The woman captured in the magistrate’s office struggled for a moment, then found her body wouldn’t move. At the same time, Shanta’s hand came down on the back of her head and she lost consciousness as energy suffused through her head.
“Damn, they took poison before they even came in here.” Shanta shook her head, “But if she thinks she can die without my permission, she’s got something else coming.” Shanta put her hand on the woman’s back, and a moment later she was vomiting out some sort of poison. Then Shanta fed her something else. She looked up at the magistrate, “I hope you have at least one set of shackles for restraining energy cultivators?”
“We have a few, courtesy of Stredo…” the magistrate nodded, then called for some guards to go retrieve them. “Any idea what group this woman is a part of? She does not appear to be Earthbreaker Sect.”
“She’s one of the Silver Blades trying real hard not to look like one. Except if they tried that hard they couldn’t do anything.” Shanta started pulling things out of the unconscious woman’s pockets, “Same sets of poisons, same style of dagger. Looks like she must have given up her second dagger.”
Barrett sighed, “What are the chances the others are gone?”
Shanta shrugged, “Pretty good. Either way, I’d prefer not to walk into their den with them being ready. This one is good enough to show Stredo and condemn the Earthbreaker Sect as a whole- along with the magistrate’s word about what happened here.”
“I’ve put out the call to arrest those from the Earthbreaker Sect,” the magistrate offered, “They won’t come, of course. However, their refusal will be enough to declare them condemned in absentia. I have requested the assistance of the army, but they will not be prepared before everything is done, even if the request is granted. The public declaration is out, so all they could do is kill me and possibly delay their escape that way.” The magistrate sighed in a resigned fashion, “Frankly, I would prefer if they just flee the city. The two of you should take that woman to Stredo itself- I doubt she will be much more secure in the castle dungeons.”
Barrett went to find Clara and Jack on his way out of the city. He managed to convince them to leave with him. While it was likely the Earthbreaker Sect members wouldn’t be able to get near Oseta in the near future, there was no telling what they would do on their way out- and the Silver Blades might sneak back at any time. The whole situation was a big mess, and Barrett wished it could be solved by just killing people- and maybe it could, but he wasn’t strong enough to do so without consequences such as possibly dying- not counting the legal consequences doing the same thing to him. He didn’t think allowing slaughter of not technically convicted criminals would be a good idea, but just letting them mostly get away didn’t sit well with him either. However, any of them who were known would have a bounty and wouldn’t be able to come anywhere near Stredo again.
Clara and Jack would be coming to be farmers working for the Immortal Berserker Sect. Barrett had left them in Sashor to allow them independence and the chance to stay away from the cultivator world, but now the cultivator world had grown to include them. If they hadn’t run into any particular trouble Barrett would have been content letting them stay if they wanted to, but the current circumstances didn’t make that wise.
Shanta would be bringing them along with her- she had a way to deal with people trying to track them, which was a possibility. Meanwhile, Barrett ran ahead with the prisoner. It would be only a day of running to reach Stredo- more than a week of long days for normal people, especially considering they couldn’t continue day and night.
. Barrett was ever so slightly slower when carrying a person, but it wasn’t noticeable. Nobody would be able to catch up to him- unless they had fourth tier Silver Blades in an unimportant place like Sashor. In that case, he would likely already have been attacked and they wouldn’t have failed to kill the magistrate. Probably just a small number had ended up there by coincidence, instead of it being somewhere important. The longer term subtlety of the Silver Blades had been a result of hard work by their older members, whereas it was understandable that some less experienced members had revealed themselves that easily. That said, the Silver Blades had only managed what they did due to the corruption of others- otherwise they would have been eradicated from Stredo long before.
Part of the way to Stredo, the passenger in Barrett’s arms woke up, which he noticed from her making some sounds with her mouth. That was all, because she couldn’t do much more. Shanta had stabbed her in the spine when she was captured- and unless the woman was secretly a Pure Body Temperer, that meant she couldn’t move anything below her neck. That seemed extremely unlikely, especially considering it was usually an exclusive thing. Meanwhile, the shackles drained her energy and restricted her access to mana. If he didn’t have a missive from Magistrate Devon, he would have been hesitant to approach Stredo’s walls. Not that he expected things to go without trouble because of it, but some time sitting around under watch was much different from being actually arrested.
It was such a pain trying to do things the right way. Barrett thought back to what he had done in Durham and Triridge. That wasn’t the best solution either, but it actually seemed better. He just needed to be stronger. Of course, he also needed to be in the right. It was important to keep a good moral compass, otherwise he really might just start slaughtering people. Not all at once, of course, but if he killed a few innocents here and there to settle things quickly… it could easily add up to him being just as bad as those he condemned.