Himmel Empire. Chilyoja Waypoint. Constable Headquarters.
In a dark corner of Chilyoja Waypoint, hidden from the inquisitive eyes of the town residents, there stood a gloomy and inconspicuous structure. Enormous boulders and towering trees prevented the structure from ever getting discovered. And even if someone managed to venture in uninvited, the watchful gazes from the treehouses above would be able to apprehend them immediately.
To enter this mysterious structure, one had to tread carefully on the single concrete pathway constructed. One wrong step and the consequences could be dire. And currently, a hulking middle-aged man was trotting nonchalantly down that very path. As if he had memorised the numerous bends and curves of the road, the man walked unhindered at a brisk pace. The guards who monitored the road round the clock were well aware of that man’s presence, but they didn’t bother to disturb the man. Evidently, they had been expecting his arrival.
At the end of the path, the Instructor was filled with nostalgia as he saw the towering structure. He had once been a regular visitor to this building a long time ago. Ever since that devastating battle ten years ago, the Frie Clan had been forced into seclusion to recover from their wounds. It was hard to believe, but before the upper echelons of the clan ordered their members to return to the mountain, the exalted Frie Clan had agents operating at every corner of the empire. Like an indomitable eagle, the clan’s wings encompassed the empire, striking fear into their enemies hearts.
But now, other than the Mushinkei and the members who tended to its daily activities, there were rarely any Frie Clan operatives working outside of Frie Mountain.
With heavy footsteps, the Instructor opened the tightly shut doors of the building and made his way inside.
“Lou! You’re here!”
Once stepping into the constable headquarters, a nasal voice called out to the Instructor.
“Lewis, sorry for being late.”
“No, settling your personal matters is more important. After all, you wouldn’t want your supplies to go bad.”
The wooden floorboards creaked as Lewis made his way over to greet the muscular man. Being a plus-sized man, his weight could easily collapse the aged, mouldy wood. It was an enigma that the floor had not caved in yet.
“This time, there is something in that escort that’s much more important than a bunch of supplies.”
“Oh ho, and what was that?”
“I’ll tell you later, we have more pressing matters at hand. Have you started interrogating the prisoners?”
Once the Instructor had reached the gates of the waypoint, he gave the five captured Dalits to Lewis. The constable captain then brought the bandits to their headquarters. Chilyoja Waypoint didn’t have a prison, but the constable headquarters had multiple detention cells. Currently, the five convicts were being imprisoned deep in the dungeons of this very building.
“Not yet… But honestly, I think we won’t be able to get much out of them…”
“What, you didn’t talk to them after catching them?”
Lewis raised his eyebrows as he questioned the Instructor. Since the Frie Clan escorts were the ones to apprehend the Dalits, the seasoned constable assumed that they had done some preliminary investigations.
“We did, but they remained quiet throughout the trip. Did something happen?”
“What? Hmmmm… I think it’s better for you to see for yourself.”
Stroking his fat chin, Lewis turned his body to lead the Instructor to the cells where they Dalits were held.
The floorboards creaked loudly as the two massive bodies sauntered through the ground floor of the headquarters. Fortunately for the floor, it did not have to endure much more torture as the two large men reached a stairwell that led down to the basement.
Following Lewis down, the first thing the Instructor noticed was the cobblestone walls that had moss popping out from each crevice. Chains that hung from the ceiling made the basement seem more like a slaughterhouse than a holding cell. The air was as cold as can be, giving anyone who entered the chills. The Instructor covered his nose as a pungent stench, that reeked of blood and sweat, reached his sensory organs.
“As usual, this place is revolting.”
Frowning at the inhumane conditions in the dungeon, the Instructor gave a grim remark.
“Relax, you understand the rules of the waypoint. Only the worst kinds of criminals would be locked here. Murderers, rapists and violent bandits. Common misdemeanours won’t result in imprisonment. In fact, we only have eight detainees. Well, until you came and brought five more.”
Lewis brushed off the Instructor’s comments and further descended down the stairs. After descending three levels, the duo reached a metal reinforced door with a lone guard manning the level.
Once the constable saw Lewis, he stood up from his chair and clucked his feet together, performing a military salute.
“At ease, open the door.”
Pulling out the keys from his pocket, the junior constable unlocked the numerous locks on the massive door. Being the most secure place in the entire waypoint, there were a series of checks the constable had to perform before he could fully open the entrance to the dungeon.
After a full minute, the final lock had been unsecured, and the metallic gate squeaked open.
The Instructor and Lewis made their way into the dungeon. The first thing that greeted the Instructor was the numerous empty cells that were uncharacteristic of a prison. Noticing his bewilderment, Lewis flashed the Instructor a snobbish grin.
“I told you, we only have eight prisoners. Most of the cells here are vacant. But isn’t this the goal of a good police force?”
“Yeah, yeah. Shut it. Where are the prisoners?”
“Hahaha! Someone’s rattled… They’re just up ahead.”
Lewis’ bulging stomach jiggled as he led the Instructor further into the dungeon, after passing the numerous empty cells, they arrived at a large cage that held the five Dalits. With their hands and feet in chains, the bandits sat on the cold, concrete floor, unresponsive to their surroundings.
“So what’s the big deal? Can’t you just begin your interrogation?”
Seeing that the five Dalits were wide awake, the Instructor prompted Lewis to start grilling the outlaws. He was still furious about the black mask assault on their caravan and wanted to dig out any information on the mysterious organisation.
“Hold on, let me show you. You, open the cage!”
Lewis ordered the junior constable to unlock the cell so that he could enter.
Placing the key into the lock, the cell guard attempted to open the cell. However, once his hands grabbed the bars of the cage, the dim eyes of the Dalits suddenly turned sharp. A maniacal frenzy blew up from the depths of their souls as their dazed expression turned into a thirst for blood.
Getting up from their positions, the five Dalits charged mindlessly towards the cage door. With bared fangs, the bandits reached out and tried to strike the poor junior constable.
Scared out of his wits, the prison guard pulled his hands back the cage door could be unlocked. Falling to the floor, the junior constable laid on his bum as he saw the five Dalits that were hell-bent on ripping him to shreds.
“Hah, another useless dimwit… Hey! Get up, you’re embarrassing me!”
Lewis was annoyed that yet another newcomer had failed to impress.
While Lewis was reprimanding his subordinate, the Instructor was carefully inspecting the five Dalits. Their eyes had turned crimson red as not a shred of sanity remained. Their decayed teeth and putrid breath suggested that the bandits had little care for hygiene. With hands filled with blisters and warts, the Instructor inferred that the men had been doing some heavy duty work. All in all, from what he observed, the Dalits had lived quite a miserable life.
“Hmph! Settle down you assholes!”
Snorting in derision, Lewis released a surge of spiritual energy and directed it towards the cell. Swept into the air, the five Dalits got pushed backed and were only stopped when their backs knocked into the solid wall.
Groaning in agony, the bandits rolled on the cold floor.
“All… hail… the… Allfather…”
One of them started to murmur a chant.
“All… hail… the… Allfather…”
“All… hail… the… Allfather…”
“All hail… the Allfather…”
“All hail the Allfather!!!”
“ALL HAIL THE ALLFATHER!!!”
“ALL HAIL THE ALLFATHER!!!”
It was the first time the Instructor had heard them speak. Sounding like religious zealots, the five Dalits cried out the chant in unison.