Special Envoy of the Imperial Capital
On the way to the tent, Muse found out that the brawny man was called Dark. He was from the Radiant Empire but he had migrated to the Great Moon Kingdom. He lived alone on the grasslands and hunted wolves for a living.
Although Dark’s tent was supposedly ‘not far away’, it took almost half a day before they reached it. Dark’s home was not big. It only consisted of two tents which were placed closely together and there were two horses behind the tents. There were also a few cattle and sheep, all important commodities of the grassland.
Once they entered the tent, Rody was placed on a felt mat. After that, Dark carefully examined Rody’s injury. When Dark saw the frightening wound, he looked at it strangely but did not say anything. He took his herbal medication and applied it on Rody’s injury before re-bandaging him. He was much more skilled compared to Muse and the bandage was more secure.
Muse who had been on the run the entire night was very hungry and thirsty. She calmed down after she ate some meat given by Dark. After some thought, she took out a few magic crystals and gave it to Dark before saying, “Thank you for saving us. Just now you had to throw away your preys. These crystals are still worth some money. Please accept them.”
Dark looked at the objects in her hands and accepted them without any reservation. Then, he said, “These are magic crystals. Are you a sorcerer?” Muse was startled and left speechless as she stared at Dark. She did not expect a hunter of the grasslands to be such a knowledgeable person. Dark then shook his head and said, “You do not have to be nervous. I have no interest in your business. If you are giving these to me, I will take them. If you do not wish to talk about anything else, I will not ask you.”
Muse questioned him, “Mister Dark, you are definitely not an ordinary person. Are you a warrior?”
Dark raised his eyebrows and laughed. “What? I didn’t ask you questions but now you are the one asking me questions? But, it is fine. I was a warrior in the Radiant Empire but now I am just a hunter of the grasslands.” After that, he walked to the front of the tent before he turned around and said, “Your companion is badly injured. The two of you better stay here for the next two days. Do not let him move around too much. Nonetheless, his physical health is very good. He will probably wake up soon.” After he finished speaking, he left the tent.
Muse felt helpless and could only sigh as she sat quietly beside Rody. Even if Muse and Rody had escaped danger, it had been so many days and Watt Fortress would probably be in chaos.
Twenty days ago, Reuenthal’s army had retreated. The duke’s and Giesslunt’s raids in the grasslands of the Great Moon Kingdom were extremely effective. Giesslunt’s soldiers had also safely returned many days ago. Although there were a few casualties when they encountered the defenders of the Great Moon Kingdom along the way, there were not many problems apart from that.
On the other hand, the duke’s troops returned gradually, one after another. One day there would be 300 people and another day, there would be 500 people. After asking those who returned, Seig found out that the duke had ordered the splitting and the withdrawal of soldiers. The duke only took 100 of his bodyguards with him.
As the days passed, most of the Wolves Fang cavalrymen had safely returned. Although there were some who perished during encounters with the enemy on the way back, approximately 8,000 or 9,000 soldiers out of the 10,000 had safely returned. However, there was no information on the most important one of all, the duke.
The city still carried the banner of the Tulip Family but His Excellency the Duke had not appeared for many days. The soldiers started to spread rumors. Sieg and Reuben tried to suppress them. As time passed by, however, their morale became more unstable.
Reuben had ordered the caning of a few officers who spread the rumors. That managed to temporarily suppress any confusion from spreading.
One morning a few days later, something major happened
A dozen cavalrymen from the Great Moon Kingdom arrived along with a cart. One of the officers of the Great Moon Kingdom then shouted and said that their messenger wanted to meet with General Reuben.
Sieg who sensed some trouble, quickly dispatched a few of his trusted subordinates to get Reuben and Gordon to meet at the garrison so that they could receive the messenger together.
The three of them were shocked when the Great Moon Kingdom showed them the contents of their cart. It was filled with the armor and weapons of the duke and his 100 bodyguards. The messenger claimed that the duke had already been killed by them. He demanded that Reuben should surrender immediately and hand over the Watt Fortress. Otherwise, they would resume the war five days later.
Reuben was extremely surprised and he could not believe that the duke had died. However, he could see that they were returning the duke’s armor and weapons. He could not sit still. Reuben was short tempered. He would have immediately deployed his entire army to find and confront Reuenthal.
Fortunately, Sieg was experienced and prudent. He ordered his soldiers to make sure the Great Moon Kingdom’s messenger and soldiers were escorted directly out of the fortress gate. He also ordered his soldiers to prevent the messenger from stopping or talking to anyone along the way. He then pulled Reuben aside and convinced him that His Excellency the Duke was most likely not dead but ambushed on the way back. If the duke was dead, they would not send his armor and weapons but his head. Although the Great Moon Kingdom was intimidating, they were afraid of being found out.
Even though Sieg said those things, he was actually anxious. He looked at the armor of his personally selected elite bodyguards in front of him. It meant that most of them were dead. The only uncertainty was the safety of the duke. He was silent but his heart was pounding.
Sieg, Reuben, and Gordon were originally subordinates of the late Duke of the Tulip Family. They were comrades in arms for years and naturally could relate to one another truthfully. They ordered their soldiers to keep the returned armor and weapons. They also gathered the soldiers of the Great Moon Kingdom and locked them up to prevent chaos. However, their morale was still unstable. A lot of commanders and officers came to look for Reuben but they were all stopped by Sieg’s subordinates.
Gordon had developed a cautious character after serving for many years in the palace. He proposed that he quietly lead a small group of soldiers to secretly enter the grasslands and search for the duke.
Sieg did not agree to his proposal. He believed that after the last attack, the Great Moon Kingdom would be more alert and cautious. Not just the grasslands, even the Loulan Fortress and Trier Fortress would be impossible to sneak past. If the group was not careful they would instantly be routed by the enemy.
They were scratching their heads to think of a plan when suddenly, one of the guards opened the door and ran in. He loudly reported, “Your Excellency, a special envoy dispatched by His Majesty the Emperor has arrived from the Imperial Capital! Request for Your Excellency to quickly go out!”
The three of them were shocked and quickly hurried out of the hall. They then saw a group of people wearing golden armor already rushing into the garrison house. The golden armor was that of the Imperial Family’s Imperial Guards. Gordon quickly walked forward and scolded the messenger, “This is not how things should be done! When did the special envoy enter the city? Why am I only getting the report after they’ve reached the entrance?”
The bodyguard knelt down and loudly said, “Your Excellency, the special envoy has His Majesty’s command token! The city gate officers did not dare to stop them! They are the Imperial Guards. Even Sieg’s subordinates did not dare to block them!”
Before Gordon could say anything, he suddenly heard a charming voice. “Commander Gordon, I have not seen you for just a few days and you have already become very bad-tempered. I am already here. What other notification do you need?”
The three of them turned towards the entrance as soon as they heard her. They saw a graceful young woman followed by the Imperial Guards. The woman smiled as she glanced about with her smiling eyes.
Gordon’s face changed when he saw who it was. It was the sister of Her Highness the Empress, Miss Jojo! As an official in the palace, he naturally knew who Jojo was. He also faintly knew that His Majesty, the duke, and Jojo were somehow connected to one another. He never expected the special envoy to be her.
Jojo’s eyes looked around before her gaze met Gordon. She gave a shallow smile and ignored his surprised reaction. She asked, “Where is Seth?”
Gordon could barely smile and escorted Jojo into the hall. He stammered and introduced her to the rest. Reuben had left the Imperial Capital for many years so he did not know Jojo. On the other hand, Sieg was just a commander. Although he had heard of Jojo, he had never seen her. Both of them realized that the woman was the sister of Her Highness the Empress and immediately saluted her.
Jojo’s expression did not change. She patiently waited for Gordon to finish the introductions and then she asked again, “Where is Seth? Where is he?”
Gordon’s face turned gloomy and he replied, “His Excellency… His Excellency the Duke is not here at the moment.”
“Not here? Then, where is he?”
Reuben coughed. He knew he had no choice but to speak. With difficulty, he laughed and said, “His Excellency the Duke… he led the troops out to inspect the defenses…”
Jojo frowned. She looked at the three of them for a moment and suddenly, her eyes opened wide. She slammed the table and shouted, “Nonsense!”
Gordon was shocked. He knew how powerful she was. She was the sister of the empress and was admired by His Majesty the Emperor. Although the Imperial Capital had a lot of powerful families, none of them dared to provoke her.
Jojo’s face sank and she coldly said, “Do all of you think I am that easy to bluff? Look at the way you speak! You all are mumbling and hesitating. It must definitely be lies! Why do you not tell me the truth? Where is Seth? Hmph, let me tell you that I have brought His Majesty’s orders! I have important things to say to the duke! You dare stop me?”
Sieg sighed and ordered his soldiers to bring in the armor and weapons returned by the Great Moon Kingdom. Jojo looked at him strangely. She did not understand the meaning of Sieg’s actions.
Sieg told his bodyguards to go out and close the door after them. He then sighed and went to Jojo’s side to explain softly. As soon as he finished his explanation, Jojo’s face turned pale and she shouted, “What?”