The weapons warehouse was strategically positioned near the training grounds so as to facilitate easier access to weapons for the trainees. Not only did this block contain all the weapons, it was where all the craftsmen and blacksmiths worked as well. With how much fighting and by extension how much weapons they went through, a steady source of weaponry was needed. Whether it was research and development or maintenance, both functions were indispensible to the Demon Hunters.
As such, the weapons department of the Demon Hunters’ Division was always kept under close guard at all times. To the Demon Hunters, the weapons they carried was as important as their life. On top of storing weapons, there was also a materials storage house located within that block. As its name suggested, that place was stacked full of materials needed for crafting and research. Naturally, this positioning was made with convenience in mind; after all, smithing new equipment required a lot of materials and having to cart them around would just be a pain.
The Core was sandwiched between the weapons and residential block. This was the most secretive and guarded block in this branch of the Demon Hunters’ Division. The brass of the Demon Hunters worked here and it was where their top secret documents were stored as well. Should someone ever break into this block…it would be a disaster for the Demon Hunters. No matter which faction or organization they were, they all had a skeleton or two in their closets. The Demon Hunters were no exception to this rule either, despite focusing on only killing Devils.
Moreover, the true treasure vault of the Demon Hunters’ Division would always be located in this block, regardless of which branch it was. Only materials or equipments worth over 1000 gold coins could qualify for this vault and as such, one could imagine how terrifyingly expensive its contents were. By raiding this vault, one could easily purchase a Baron’s, or even a Duke’s fiefdom!
The gaol that Nicole was about to visit was located near the weapons warehouse. Why? Because new weapons needed testing, that’s why!
There were a total of 10 gaols in this branch, with at least over a hundred cells in total. Each cell was at least 20 meters square large, with the largest reaching 50 meters square. While it might seem rather wasteful to give inmates so much space, it was only to be expected since certain Devils were innately large. At the same time, these larger cells would function as a mass incarceration cell for the less dangerous Devils, like imps.
Like their non-Devil counterparts, these gaols were all dreary and dark. The atmosphere within could only be described as stifling and uncomfortable, assuming one was being generous. At times, muffled cries of pain could be echoing throughout its dank halls. Adding on the fact that this entire section was dimly lit, those who were more timid didn’t even dare to take a foot inside.
As Clear Water Mirror’s disciple in the Demon Hunters’ Division, Nicole was naturally well-known amongst her colleagues, especially for beauty which had garnered her quite a following. Unfortunately for them, the Nicole right now only had eyes for revenge. As for other matters, they were nothing but distractions to her and a waste of time. Since the Devils killed her little brother, she would kill all the Devils then.
The guards stationed at the gaol had long been informed of her arrival by Clear Water Mirror. The moment this icy beauty walked up to them, they merely let her in without a single question asked. From amongst them came a middle-aged guard who, after speaking with his companions briefly, waved to Nicole.
“Miss Nicole, the leader has informed us of your arrival, please follow me.”
Nicole didn’t return his greeting but instead nodded mutely. The man knew of her icy demeanour so he didn’t mind it all that much; he merely nodded back and signalled for her to follow him.
Walking in a column, the two proceeded as such for roughly two minutes, passing by multiple filled cells in the process. The insides of said cells were home to widest variety of inmates one could imagine. From crucified vampires who were barely alive anymore, to Necromancers that were so skinny, they might as well have been bones. Throughout this morbid tour, she even passed by a werewolf who had its four limbs all chained up and a little girl who was actually a vicious Demoness killer. As she breathed out, her breath would reek of the signature smell of brimstone…as she wailed profusely, she would scream about her innocence. Finally, Nicole even passed by a vengeful wraith stored inside a special jar…
“Please step this way, this is where the cell is.” The middle aged man brought Nicole to a sealed up jail cell. Even though it was sealed up completely, the jail wall allowed one to see through it, though not for those dwelling within. It was clearly crafted from a special material.
It was a bare jail cell, with nothing inside it except for three human males of different body sizes. All three of them were clad in the typical greyish, hemp garments of a peasant —short sleeved shirt, long pants and nothing else. Their ages were similar: all in the thirties.
One of the men was seated in the corner of the cell, eyes downcast and head lowered. It was basically impossible to tell what he was thinking at the moment except that he had basically given up on life at this point. His body was in an extremely weakened state. Normally, a werewolf would be picture of health. Even in its human state, it was at least two times as strong as an ordinary human.
In contrast to him, there was another man who, while still not too healthy, was at least spirited enough to pace around while mumbling to himself strangely.
The last man was noticeably more burlier than the first two. From a glance, one could tell that he was used to manual labor. Furthermore, he had the typical laborer’s face: rugged and dishevelled. This muscled man was practically brimming with the scent of violence. In fact, he was violently smacking against the jail wall right now. This however, had no impact on those guarding this cell at all. While the wall was translucent and allowed one to see inside, it completely shut off any sound from escaping. To those standing outside, this man just seemed to be miming some strange act.
Still, it was clear from his taut muscles and furious speed that he was trying to smash down the door.
If there was a single person who could be a werewolf, it would most likely be him. The reason being that werewolves were famously known for being unable to control their tempers. Like a rabid dog, they had the tendency to attack on sight.
Yet things couldn’t have been that simple at all. Nicole had no doubt in her mind that if this was all it took for her to discern the identity of the werewolf, Clear Water Mirror wouldn’t have given her this mission at all. It wouldn’t have been a trial then.
“The three of them used to work in the same place. That rowdy one and the crazy one both worked as movers in a warehouse. As for that skinnier one, he was their manager. Despite all the methods we tried, we are unable to find out who amongst them is the true werewolf. Because they all worked at the same workplace, they ended up all having the stench of a werewolf on them.”
“We’ve even tried using their most hated stench drug to try and suss out the werewolf but all three of them ended reacting to it…” The guard said in what seemed like an act of helpfulness.
‘All three reacted? They can’t all be werewolves, right?’
Nicole furrowed her eyebrows and asked: “All three of them are?”
“No…I don’t think the likelihood is high that all three of them are werewolves. That drug is not only effective on werewolves, it also affects humans who have more sensitive noses…”
The drug the guard was talking about was a utility drug that was specifically created to distinguish werewolves. With its unstoppable stench, any werewolf who smelt it would immediately react by vomiting, gagging or fainting. However, it had to be placed right beneath their noses for it to be effective.
Dogs and wolves were both extremely tough animals. However, there was one particular weakness that both of them shared, and that was their snouts. As long as one targeted it, the dog or wolf would basically be crippled even if it wasn’t dead.
It was an effective drug to be sure, except for the fact that sensitive humans were affected by it as well…
“So you’re sure they aren’t all werewolves?”
“Unlikely…” The guard explained in an unsure tone: “When we checked the scene of the crime, there was only a single set of werewolf tracks.”
“In other words, two of three are innocent?”
The guard shook his head and continued: “Probably..but there’s also the possibility that there are two werewolves acting in rotations…”
In short, one set of tracks didn’t necessarily mean one werewolf. There could be two acting in concert to take turns and hunt. While one went out, the other would stay behind. This way, they provided an alibi for each other. However, there was also the possibility that the werewolf kept a normal human with an exceptionally sensitive nose by his side. This way, it could discard that human in dire situations and escape.
Truly, it had to be said that while the werewolves weren’t exactly the brightest race ever, they weren’t dumb either. They at least knew of such tactics to try and foil their human foes.
In order to avoid harming the innocent, most Demon Hunters would act judiciously. Unless they were sure that the other party was a fiendish creature, they would never casually show their hand. Naturally, the keyword was most…there was also a small portion of Demon Hunters who acted without restraint or regard for the common man…
These Demon Hunters were basically punished once found out but all in all, this was an inevitable phenomenon. Given how dangerous this occupation was, it couldn’t be helped that some would develop such negative traits.