Lorelei spit on Franklin’s face. “How disgusting, he thinks all of my people are the same.”
William stepped out from his shadowy corner. “That went surprisingly easy.”
“You’re telling me? Though I suppose people stupid enough to trust those with a stated goal of eradicating you would generally be easy to interrogate.” Lorelei got up from her hunched over position and stretched. “This guy just blurted out names.”
“How did you know his name though?”
“Hmm? Oh, I memorized the names and faces of every noble. Haven’t you?”
William shook his head. “I haven’t seen all of them, and though there are portraits, many of them aren’t… accurate.”
“Highly embellished, for sure, but serviceable in a pinch. Anyway, this would have been much more difficult if he hadn’t assumed I was one of them. I also already knew Seirrohm was working on this kind of stuff, but if he were to mysteriously go missing… Well, it might cause trouble for me, no matter how much I might enjoy it.” Lorelei walked over to a desk, taking out a piece of paper to start writing notes on. “If he hadn’t been so easy, I would have had to bring up the names myself, and read his reaction. In this particular case… it probably would have been fine, but if someone realizes what I’m doing the accuracy can go down to meaningless levels. They can also just close their eyes, which makes the process more difficult, especially since I don’t have any proper tools here.” Lorelei smiled, and since she wasn’t currently under an illusion, it actually looked natural on her face. “My apprentice still hasn’t figured it out, after all this time.”
“You have an apprentice?”
Lorelei sighed. “Yes. I shouldn’t to talk about it. I’d prefer it kept a secret, because when this is all over I want a living apprentice. Your secret keeping skills have certainly gotten better… but torture still sometimes works, and it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility for you to get captured at some point.”
“What a wonderful thought.”
When all the new information was compared with those William had… taken note of earlier in the night, William was disappointed at how many new names came up. The two groups barely overlapped. That wasn’t a great sign for the future of Ostana. There was one group of opportunistic traitors, though they were mostly dead. Then there was a group of nobles apparently colluding with demons, which was much worse since there wasn’t even any possible benefit for them… though presumably they had been told they would be spared, or even rewarded. William supposed they might be getting rewarded now, since it wouldn’t be a problem for the demons to spend money since they were going to kill everyone and take it back anyway. William doubted they used the same currency, but that wouldn’t be a problem as long as they produced gems or useful items.
After organizing the information they had as best as they could, William headed off to the knight’s compound, while Lorelei stayed behind with the prisoner. It was better to not attempt to carry an unconscious person through the city streets to the compound, even at this time of night. William supposed it was almost early morning now, but the point remained. Since the information William had might be time critical now, William wasn’t going to worry about being seen at the knight compound. It was possible that his contact was in danger, and he also didn’t want to wait for certain nobles to realize that the heads of their houses were dead, as well as for another group to realize that their spy was missing.
Since it was a very strange time to arrive at, William’s identity was checked more thoroughly than normal, but it was not long before he was allowed into the compound. Someone went for Knight Commander Tyler. When William saw her in her office, she was fully dressed already. “Still up, or up already?”
“Fortunately the second. I can’t afford to stay up all night too often. So, what’s so important that you would come here… and at this time?”
William explained everything. The group that had been plotting to overthrow the country came first. Then came Franklin Gallowood. It was important to note that he actually managed a disguise spell, which meant others could be disguised too. William doubted they were good enough to hide the magic itself, however, so it was unlikely they could infiltrate the knight’s headquarters. Enough of them were capable of at least basic magic, and thus seeing the manipulated mana which would be immediately suspicious. Though it was known that William couldn’t sense mana, they had not suspected that he could tell that it was an entirely different person through the feeling of their soul. Otherwise, the disguise might have worked. William also expressed his concerns about his contact’s safety. Then, he wrapped up his recommendations. “I can’t order you how to do your job, but I hope that, even if you can’t manage to get a legal conviction with this evidence, you don’t let that stop you. Ostana, and the rest of humanity, can’t afford to have people trying to tear it apart from the inside.”
Knight Commander Tyler sighed. “Why is it that whenever I see you, trouble follows?”
“Don’t blame me. Blame them.”
“This time… I think a good amount of blame falls on you. While the killing of those five might not be traceable, it’s definitely going to cause a headache.”
“Well… they deserved it. Besides, if you do it right you can investigate the mysterious fire that killed them.”
“I suppose. At least you didn’t kick anyone out a window this time… though I suspect it was only because they were underground. Still, I think you have caused enough trouble… and helped… enough for some time.”
“I was thinking the same thing. I’m sure my family is missing me.” Though he said that, Yu Li was actually here in Ostana. The only other family he cared about were his grandfather and Yu Huan. Still, it was about time to go back to Liaoyang anyway.