Journey to the Southeast
Nicole had no impression of the name Dark, so Rody gave up pursuing.
Sieg, Gordon and all the other people who were with the late Duke could not recall that name. Even Nicole had never heard of Dark. Rody could not understand. Dark was an expert at archery and had a deep hatred for the Tulip Family. How could those people have not heard of him?
Did Dark deceive me? But his eyes showed extreme hatred and anger, and that did not seem to be fake.
After thinking for a long time, Rody still had no clue. Therefore, he could only order his guards to be more attentive.
News of the Duke being attacked by an assassin broke out. The news spread all over the Imperial Capital. That day, a lot of people had witnessed the incident on the street.
Abbas XI immediately ordered for the security soldiers to thoroughly investigate that incident and find the assassin within ten days. Apparently, His Majesty was so furious that he summoned and fiercely scolded the commanders of the security soldiers. When Rody heard that, he gave a wry smile thinking that His Majesty was angry not because an assassin attacked him but because the assassin did not manage to kill him.
The one that ended up experiencing hardships were the public security soldiers. Battalions of soldiers had to patrol the streets, day and night. They walked through every street in the Imperial Capital and left no stones unturned. Every pedestrian on the streets became an important suspect. According to the Duke, the assassin used a long bow and arrows. That caused inconveniences to all the shop owners of weapon shops in the Imperial Capital.
“What? You did not sell any bows and arrows? What about last year? What about the year before last? What about three years ago? How can you be sure that the assassin, who intend to assassinate the Empire’s greatest Duke of the Tulip Family, did not take a few years to plot that attack? What if the assassin bought the bow and arrows three years ago? Please show us all the transaction records from three years ago…There are no records? In that case, very simple. We shall handcuff you and you can follow us back to explain…”
“What? Your shop had never sold bows and arrows? That is still not good! The assassin had failed with the bow and arrow this time. Next time, he may use a sword! Stop talking nonsense and take out your transaction records from three years ago… What? You do not even sell swords here? You manufacture wheeled ballistae for the Empire? That is terrible! If that hateful assassin had obtained the large-scale weapons of mass destruction, then it will no longer just be a matter of safety for the Duke of Tulip Family. Even the Imperial Capital may suffer a large-scale terrorist attack! Stop talking nonsense and take out the records or follow us back to explain!”
“What did you say? You do not sell swords or any kind of weapons? How did you get arrested? Who are you? Shit! Your shop sells soy sauce? Which idiot arrested you?”
Everyone that had gone in or out the city gate in the past three days were all brought back to the security bureau. All the inns and clubhouses were also investigated several times. The prisons in the security bureau were quickly filled up. It was no longer possible to squeeze in those large groups of suspects in the already crowded prisons. The commander of the security soldiers felt helpless. But, finally, he had a good idea. He ordered for the doors and windows of the toilets, kitchen, stores of the security bureau to be replaced with iron doors and windows. Finally, they managed to create enough space to house all the remaining suspects.
When the soldiers in charge of interrogation saw so many suspects, they immediately sped up the interrogation. Their eyes almost popped out and their chin already dropped to the ground. They could only brace themselves and work overtime to intensify the interrogation. The interrogation lasted for seven days and seven nights.
The soldiers dug out all information of their ancestors. In addition, they also found out when they entered the city, where they visited and how they went. However, after many sleepless nights, the security officials were disappointed with the results. From the suspects, they had uncovered a lot of culprits for old crimes. For example, seven years ago, one of them stole a horse from a Viscount’s home. There was the leader of a bandit group who escaped from a fight between two factions six years ago. There was also a person who had kidnapped the Earl’s concubine five years ago and had become a shopkeeper that sold soy sauce…
It could be said that this was a splendid achievement. After the strict investigation, the public security had greatly improved. Groups of overworked public security soldiers were patrolling the streets. It was the first time in hundreds of years since the death of Abbas the Great that safety had returned to the Imperial Capital. Honesty and stability prevailed throughout the Imperial Capital as many small swindlers and abductors were also arrested. In the future, that large-scale operation in the Imperial Capital would go down in history to have achieved a very high evaluation, Even though it did not achieve its original purpose of capturing the assassin, the improvement of the public security was obvious to everyone. When that was reported to His Majesty, His Majesty happily gave the order for the large-scale strict investigation to be carried out regularly every year. His Majesty also considered extending that throughout the Empire!
As such a strict investigative operation managed to strike at a large number of criminals, it was later referred to by the future generations as ‘crackdown’…
After releasing all the innocent people, the commander of the security forces gritted his teeth and gave them another command to find the assassin by hook or by crook.
Therefore, those public security soldiers who had endured all this until their eyes turned red, started to weep. Those soldiers who had patrolled every street of the city until their shoes wore out also wept.
After ten days of hard work and strict investigations by the team of public security, they finally came up with some good results. They arrested a total of six robbers, ten rapists, seventeen repeated offenders for thievery and three powerful gang leaders.
Finally, the commander of the security soldiers, putting in a tremendous effort, took two days to write a voluminous hundred- thousand-words long report.
In the report, it was written that the arrested criminals were accomplices of the assassin.
At the same time, he reported that the plot to assassinate the Duke had been planned for a long time in an ambitious conspiracy. The purpose was to eliminate the meritorious Duke of the Tulip Family and subvert the rule of the Empire.
In the report, the commander of the public security argued from many different points of views and elaborated on each and every one of them. Finally, he arrived at the shocking conclusion:
It was not just an assassination but a premeditated scheme by domestic and foreign forces to subvert the rule of the Radiant Empire.
After the report was submitted, the commander of the security soldiers immediately called his subordinates to prepare a coffin. He invited the priest, personally selected a burial ground, and prepared some poison wine. Once His Majesty had finished reading the report, he would immediately commit suicide.
But he had not received any news from the Imperial Palace. The commander felt perturbed for two days and then finally received a commendation order from His Majesty the Emperor. Effectively, the commander had been miraculously given a second lease of life. He found out later that because his report was too long and profound, all the ministers, including His Majesty the Emperor, did not have the patience to even read half of his report. Therefore, they approved the report.
Even the soldiers of the Imperial Capital shed happy tears for him.
One morning, a carriage followed by a dozen warriors wearing civilian clothes slowly left the Imperial Capital through the South gate. When the garrison soldiers saw the documents containing the customs clearance, they immediately stood straight. They saluted in the most dignified manner towards the person in the carriage.
The group then left the Imperial Capital. After traveling for more than ten miles, the window of the carriage opened to reveal the heroic face of the Duke of Tulip Family.
Looking back at the disappearing outlines of the magnificent walls of the Imperial Capital, Rody smiled and said, “Are we on our way to the mountains in the South now? I heard that the mountain barbarians do not like to bathe. I wonder if this is true…”
Randt replied while on the horse, “Your Excellency the Duke! We have left the Imperial Capital! For your safety, you should not open the windows. The terrain here is more difficult, and it is more dangerous especially if someone ambushed us with arrows.”
Rody nodded and closed the windows, but he sighed in his heart. If he had brought the Wolf Fang with him, he would not have to feel so oppressed, hiding in the carriage.
The Wolf Fang had officially been separated from the Central Cavalry by His Majesty. The missing numbers lost in the Northwest were replenished. This new cavalry was now no longer part of the ‘Lightning God’s Whip’ and instead was directly placed under Rody’s command.
Although the soldiers were reluctant to be separated from what the Empire considered their most elite army, it was even more glorious to become the cavalry regiment serving the Empire’s God of War, the Duke of Tulip Family.
When His Majesty the Emperor readily agreed to Rody’s request, he had considered the fact that this twenty thousand cavalry would not be of much help in the South.
The mountain barbarians were not like the people of the grasslands. They divided themselves into hundreds or thousands depending on the size of their tribal camps. They were scattered around the vast complicated hilly terrain of the Southeast Region.
The Wolf Fang may be powerful but their cavalry would be less effective in the vast regions of the mountains. On the rugged mountain with steep terrain, the advantage of cavalries was lost. The Emperor and Marquis Garoline knew about this. That is why the Emperor pretended to be generous and gave the Wolf Fang to Rody.
Garoline had initially objected to this. Abusing his power as the Military Minister, he looked for excuses to reorganize the Wolf Fang and therefore delayed them for another few days. He wanted to make things as inconvenient as possible for Rody. However, His Majesty was pleased about the success of the peace negotiations and ordered Rody to immediately go to the South. Rody could not delay his departure. Therefore he took a group of guards from the Tulip Family and started his journey to the Southeast hills.