“Here, take all of these.”
Once Shin entered the clinic, he caught a faint whiff of the scent of old books. Looking up, he noticed a tower of paperback manuals that nearly soared to the ceiling. Reaching out, he could feel that the pillar of books had collected small amounts of dust over multiple years. Taking a deep breath, the musty scent, that had been accumulated overwhelmed his sensory organs as he gave a light cough.
“These are all the fundamentals of learning how to become a healer. Learning about the basic human body structure, the types of plants that aid in healing and many more. Every weekend, I will test you on your knowledge to monitor how much you have learnt.”
Lady Seph informed Shin about his training regiment. Shaking in disbelief, the black-haired boy eyes quivered as he thought of the hardships he was about to face. Although he was somewhat proficient in studying, seeing the pile of notes that was twice his height, he felt light-headed.
“But senior, I don’t have any prior education!”
Shin protested. The previous Shin would have outright complained about having too much workload. However, recent events had prompted him to be a little more hardworking to help his brother Junius and the many members of the Frie Clan that counted on him.
But one does not change overnight. Still, in disbelief at the sheer workload, Shin felt that he had to voice a little complaint.
“Hmph! If you don’t think you can manage, you can walk out the door right now! This little stack of papers is just the beginning, boy… Take a look at your side!”
Unimpressed by Shin’s protest, Lady Seph used her left thumb to point to the room on the boy’s right. Glancing over, Shin’s jaw dropped in anguish. The opened room revealed a mini-library, with shelves upon shelves of thick covered books. The library was around the size of two average rooms, and the only source of light was the unlocked window. But even though it was dim, the juvenile boy could still count at least a few hundred books.
‘Do I have to read all of that?!’
Shin shouted in his head. Just the sight of a single book already made him faint, now that there was an entire room dedicated to books, Shin felt that he would collapse in shock.
“Rest assured, not all of the books in there are for you to learn, if you somehow manage to become my apprentice, then it will be mandatory for you to be proficient in everything in there.”
And with Lady Seph’s added remarks, Shin was tempted to just dump everything and leave the clinic right now.
“But before you train your read from this pile of books, I need you to do something for me.”
Delaying his study period, Lady Seph went over to a corner and opened a wooden cabinet. Inside the locker, there was a bamboo broom and woolly mop. Additionally, there is a multitude of other cleaning apparatus. Cloths, feather dusters and even bars of soap.
“Sweep and mop the floor for me. Before you begin learning, you must pay some interest.”
Rather than an attendant, the blonde elderly woman saw Shin as more of a servant.
Himmel Empire. Chilyoja Waypoint. Southern Ward Residences.
As the sun disappeared down the horizon, the sound of shuffling feet could be heard as residents scurried back into the safety of their homes. Due to recent events, there was certain unrest in the air. Bandits becoming more and more prevalent and a recent gruesome murder made the locals more apprehensive about staying out at night.
Right before sundown, business owners chased their customers out of their shophouses and locked the entrance with additional locks. Other than the central district, the streets had become void of life by the time the moonlight shined.
Chilyoja Waypoint was separated into five areas. The central district, and the four wards. The central region was the place where most businesses were done. Numerous merchants and affluent family clans set up their shops here. It was also where the mayor’s office was located.
Being a waypoint for military supplies to pass through to get to Aldrich’s Keep, the East and West Wards were mainly filled with large roads so that caravans could pass through. Other than the small amounts of houses and shops in those two areas, they were rather empty.
The Northern Ward was for families of distinguished war veterans that were stationed at Aldrich’s Keep. Occasionally, soldiers from the fortress would return back to see their parents and children, and when they look at their families living in peace, they would feel that their sacrifice was worth it. Hence, the mayor had placed the safety of those residents at the utmost priority. With the most constables stationed there, the Northern Ward was most possibly the best protected in the town.
And that leaves the Southern Ward. Considered to be the worst district in the town, the Southern Ward was notorious for having the most atrocious place in the beautiful Chilyoja Waypoint, the Slums. Filled with pest infestations and abandoned buildings, this small area is where poverty thrived.
People living here might be debt-ridden gamblers or even ex-convicts, who were unable to find a job after their time in prison. To put it simply, the Slums was where people who had reached rock bottom in their lives go to seek refuge. But unlike the traditional slums, the one in Chilyoja Waypoint had much less crime. Perhaps it was because the constable headquarters was located somewhere close to the area, there were little felonies committed in the Slums. Hence, the constables rarely disturbed the peace of the region. But currently…
“Secure the perimeter, evacuate the innocent civilians! I want this place to be shut down within the hour!”
A commanding voice barked orders at the dozens of constables, donned in their protective robes. Many of them wielded sheathed steel scimitars down at their waists. Marching in unison, the constables stormed through the once tranquil Slums, gathering up the trembling residents.
“Sir! We have barricaded the five buildings surrounding this area.”
A constable officer, who looked no older than thirty, saluted the obese man who was commanding the entire operation.
“What about the civilians?”
Lewis, answered back while gazing straight at the dwelling that the felon he was chasing was suspected to live in.
“We have evacuated the majority of them, sir! In a few more minutes, there should be no innocent soul left in the building!”
The constable officer replied.
“Excellent! The fact that the Watkin murderer could cover his tracks for so long means that he is most likely a capable Spirit User. Not just that, his Spirit should be one that specialises in concealing himself. I fully expect that there will be issues in apprehending him. Repeat my orders to your men, be extremely careful not to lose sight of him!”
Saluting Lewis once more, the constable officer left the premise to supervise his men. Currently, the constables of Chilyoja Waypoint were dispatched on an operation to take the most wanted man they have into custody.
Ever since he viciously butchered the affluent merchant, Andrew Watkins, the town had gone into a state of uncertainty. Not only had it cost the citizens to have sleepless nights, but even the mayor was unable to rest with ease. Many of the residents of the waypoint were regular Spirit Practitioners, and only an elite few were able to reach the Spirit Apostle realm and above.
Thus, when the news broke that the Watkin murderer was most likely a high-level Spirit User, there was an outpour of panic. People not letting their children go out of their houses and closing their shops way before sundown became the norm.
Lewis, being the constable captain, naturally knew of all these occurrences. He knew that the only way to truly return the town back to its peaceful state, he had to capture the criminal and do it quick. Therefore, he was especially eager to effectively complete the mission and bring the murderer to justice.
However, hunting for the Watkin murderer proved to be harder than he thought. Every time he found a lead, the traces of the madman would disappear altogether as if he were a ghost. The same pattern happened for a number of times, and slowly, it had already been nearly two weeks since they discovered the corpse.
But then a sudden breakthrough in the case came in this morning. There had been reports that someone resembling the Watkin murderer, was seen living in an abandoned building in the Slums. The constables had combed through the Slums once before as it was the obvious choice for a criminal to go and hide but their actions had proved fruitless. Hence, with the new report, the constable captain didn’t know if it was reliable. But Lewis felt that it was worth a shot, seeing that they had no other leads.
“All the civilians have been evacuated, sir!”
Ensuring that there were no innocent residents left, the constable officer raced back to report to Lewis.
“Alright! All units get into position, we will be raiding the building in five minutes.”
Pumping himself up, the chunky man stretched his tense muscles as he prepared to barge into the dwelling.