Londo the Impatient
[Must I do this?] Even though it had been done, Leguna still felt rather unsettled about it.
[You must,] Gahrona said, [Desertion, assault on a governor, Kurdak's now a traitor of Hocke. If you don't make it clear that you have nothing to do with him anymore, you're likely to get dragged into it.]
[But what?] Gahrona said mockingly, [Weren't you the one who hated him so badly back then? Why are you hesitating now? Wasn't he someone who betrayed you?]
[I just feel that kicking him when he's down is rather distasteful… And perhaps he really had his troubles and reasons for it…] For some reason, even though he was the one who cursed out at Kurdak for betraying him, he would defend Kurdak when others were badmouthing him.
[Alright, whatever you say,] Gahrona said helplessly, [No matter his intentions, it's still best to make your stance clear. Otherwise, you'll risk suffering unnecessary consequences or be involved in something terrifying. Even if you have plans for the future, you have to first preserve your power now, understood?]
Leguna had no choice but to agree reluctantly.
A day later, Melindor Daily reported about Leguna's hunt for Kurdak. The article included a detailed description between Dark Requiem and Ironblood Greatbear Kurdak. While their exploits on Lance wasn't reported thanks to Moonshadow's suppression of information, the normal folk of Chino could easily guess how special their relationship was.
Currently, one of the two brothers was on the run and the other was taking active action to hunt him down. That was a classic example of time revealing the true natures of people. How could two sworn brothers not hesitate to kill one another? Dark Requiem's ruthlessness was something to behold.
The newspaper also leaked the reason the two people turned against each other, pinning the blame on Kurdak for prompting Leguna to send out the capture order for him.
According to news within the bureau, Kurdak had met Annelotte and Leguna a few days before the incident, but the details of that meeting were unknown. However, the bureau's members witnessed Kurdak almost killing Leguna.
While Melindor Daily seemed to be trying to side with Leguna, the 'smart' imperial citizens knew what really was going on. Doubtlessly, Dark Requiem had bribed the media to put him in a better light.
After all, Kurdak coming to attack Leguna sounded almost like a joke. Even though Kurdak was a good commander and a high-order warrior, he was only so strong individually. How could he take on Dark Requiem, someone who could even blink? While the two of them were around the same impetus stratum, one of them was stronger than the other. Not to mention, Leguna had one of the strongest humans on his side, Annelotte. Kurdak wouldn't even dream of taking on two gifted even if he was half insane! And he was definitely no fool, considering how he got one achievement after another at the southern battlefield. He definitely wouldn't do something like that.
So, the only reason the report would mention something like that would be Dark Requiem trying to make an excuse for himself.
The Hockians weren't aware of why Kurdak chose to suddenly betray the empire, but they were more than willing to blame Leguna for it. After all, they believed that northerners were far more loyal than Stokians, so the report of Leguna hunting Kurdak down didn't earn him any favors. They instead thought he was trying to cover for his own traitorous misdeeds.
IN terms of power and ability, the Hockians respected Dark Requiem's leadership over the bureau, but they were quite questionable about his character, believing that the incidents that happened to Annelotte and Kurdak had something to do with him. While the intimacy between Annelotte and Leguna came as quite confusing to them, they didn't doubt their negative evaluation of his character.
Thanks to compounding issues and matters, Leguna's name grew worse and worse among the Hockians. His reputation was rock bottom. Fortunately, that didn't affect those around him, so Leguna didn't really mind that. All that mattered was that those he cared about understood him.
"Big Brother Leguna really did so?" Eirinn was quite shocked to hear the news. She had thought she had been able to convince Leguna against doing so and was surprised he went through with it, anyway. Was the shock this time too large for him to bear? She began to worry about him even more.
Innilis didn't say a word either. Everyone could tell his decision had saddened the girl.
"Don't worry, it'll be fine," Annelotte said as he signed a document. "Even though Leguna gave the search order, it isn't a high priority one in the bureau."
"What?" The two girls looked surprised.
"Just read this document yourselves!" Annelotte pulled out a thin piece of paper from the drawer and continued her work.
The other two unfurrowed their brows when they read it. Annelotte continued signing documents away. "Now, you're relieved, right?"
"This is great!" Eirinn said with a satisfied nod that he hadn't changed like before.
"Now, just go! I still have lots to do!" she said, feigning anger. "Thanks to you two, I'm working twice as slow. Can you give me some quiet? You're even more annoying than Leguna!"
"Oh, my!" Eirinn didn't look scared at all. She poked her tongue out mischievously and left hurriedly with Innilis.
"Also…" Annelotte added just before they left.
"Don't come to me for that fellow's matters ever again!"
"Hehe! I can't say for sure!"
"Whoa, Innie, run!"
At the same time, a military camp in the southern battlefield was just as rowdy.
"Darn! Anyone with that thing in their pockets, come with me!" Londo roared with his two-handed sword in hand.
The soldiers of other units would definitely be unhappy with what he was doing, but they were soldiers of Krudak's independent unit. They were called the rowdiest bunch on the southern battlefield, so not only did the troops not stop Londo, they even raised their own weapons to join in.
"Brothers! Our leader has been a great boon to us, has he not?"
"Our leader has put himself in danger for us, has he not?"
"Our leader wouldn't leave any of us to die, would he?!"
"Good! Since he's in trouble, what do you say we do?"
"Save him! Save him! Save him!"
"Good! All you bastards are my brothers! I, Londo, didn't judge you wrongly! Follow me!" Londo gathered near a hundred men and prepared to leave.
"Wait!" Eibron roared with rage. He had just broken through to the high order two months ago and was now a 15th-stratum ranger. Even though he was weaker than Londo in combat, he had much higher status than Londo in the unit.
That was because Londo was someone who only knew to charge head-long into battle. Some would be kind to call him a fierce warrior, but others only knew him as all brawn and no brains. So, the smarter Eibron came to gain a better leadership position.
"Eibron, what do you want, midget?" Londo said, looking down at the much shorter ranger.
"That's what I should be asking you! What are you doing? This is a military camp!"
"I don't freaking care! I only acknowledge one leader. Now that he's in trouble, we'll go find him!"
"Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!" the soldiers cried in unison.
"Nonsense!" Eibron roared with impetus over the other voices, "We're in an army camp! We are soldiers, not bandits! We have to obey orders! What you're doing is essentially mutiny, you know?!"
"Our leader didn't give us any orders!" Londo replied with a glare.
"Since that's the case, I'm the vice commander, so I'm giving you an order, now! Londo, keep quiet! Stay in the camp!"
"Freaking… I'm a vice commander to! You can't order me around!" Londo hated using his position of authority, but he didn't really have a choice.
"Because the commander left me this badge before he left!" Eibron used his trump card and took out a bronze-colored badge from his dimensional pocket. "Military orders are absolute! Dare you defy them?"
The moment Eibron took that out, quite a number of men stepped down. They were soldiers and the badge represented their commander's authority. Many of them were conflicted.
Seeing the tension relax, Eibron gave the order. "Men!"
"Sir!" Even though many in the unit were worried about Kurdak, some understood how serious this was getting. The hot-blooded ones were the minority.
"Tie them up and watch them close!"
"Eibron, you dare tie me up? Which one of you dare touch me, Londo? You wanna die? Darn it! Don't think I won't fight back! Eh? Ah?! You dared hit me?!"
Even though Londo was rather brash, Eibron calmly put him down and put an end to the commotion without causing any serious incident.Previous Chapter Next Chapter