Volume 4 Chapter 161: The Crime Of Concealment In The Fallen Nolan City

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The southern border of Gabriel Empire, Nolan City, the former capital of Norlander Duchy. As the former largest city in the southern border region of Gabriel Empire and now the second largest city, it was far more prosperous than the newly established Sarni City.

  
Despite being baptized by the war after the invasion of the Beastman Army, Nolan City hadn’t sustained much damage and most buildings were still intact. Presumably it had fallen too fast; the original defending soldiers were defeated by the Beastman Army before they could take the battle to the streets.
  
This famous border city, which originally had a population of more than a hundred thousand, was now controlled by the Third Army of the Beastman Race. This Beastman invasion army, dominated by wolfmen, was the main force that had attacked Sarnia Duchy over the past few days. They had originally had more than two hundred and fifty thousand soldiers.
  
In the war against Sarnia Duchy, the Beastman Army lost nearly fifty thousand troops and still failed. More than thirty thousand of them died in the demon ambush at the rear of Sarnia Duchy and nearly twenty thousand died near the moat in front of the city walls.
  
At present, the Third Beastman Army had only fifty thousand troops in Nolan City, while the remaining hundred and fifty thousand troops had surrounded Sarni City. Bella and the others had dressed themselves in Black Robed Wizard clothing, pretending to be Black Robed Wizards in order to infiltrate the scene.
  
The many Wolf Knight teams patrolling the streets of Nolan City and the heavy-armored Werebear Infantry, who had set up checkpoints on various major street intersections, made it hard to infiltrate the city. A large number of sentry posts were guarded by Dark Human wizards and countless three meter tall crosses had been erected in conspicuous positions beside these posts.
  
Hanging on these crosses were human corpses still dressed in assassin night garments. Depending on the situation, there weren’t many assassins who wanted infiltrate this place. On the contrary, every time the Beastmen fought an invasive war, the Mercenary Union and the Assassins’ Union would issue high reward missions to assassinate the senior ranking officers of the Beastman Army, employing assassins and hitmen to observe them.
  
This assassination mission must’ve failed. Previous assassination missions had high success rates because the Beastman Army had no means of detecting assassins who were sneaking around. This time, the Dark Human wizards had joined them. These unsuspecting assassins were shadowed and killed near the sentry posts before their infiltration was successful.
  
Noreya silently looked at her failed “peers”, clenching her fists hard, trying to suppress the negative emotions in her heart. Bella was thankful for her own foresight which had stopped her from sending Noreya, President Ivy, and Lola, these beautiful young assassins, to carry out an assassination mission. Otherwise, it would’ve been equivalent to sending them to their deaths.
  
The Beastman guards on the streets didn’t dare interrogate Bella and her companions, who were dressed in Black Robed Wizard clothing. Dark Humans seemed to have a great say in the Beastman Army. Although the two were allies, the Dark Humans should have a higher status.
  
The Black Robed Wizards originally stationed in various positions seemed to have received an urgent transfer command and had left their posts, heading towards the burial grounds outside Nolan City. There, the Dead Army of more than tens of thousands, which Bella had awakened, was revolting.
  
The Beastman Army stationed in Nolan City had about fifty thousand soldiers and it was really difficult for them to deal with the attack of tens of thousands of the dead. In order to stabilize the situation in Nolan City, the Black Robed Wizards were going to quash these corpses back to the graveyard.
  
For Bella, the retreat of the Black Robed Wizards meant that each of the sentry posts was basically unguarded. The heavy-armored Werebears on duty didn’t dare question their purpose. Without the presence of other Black Robed Wizards, the Beastman guards were afraid to question them.
  
“Why are you lot still strolling out here? There’s a big incident at the test site outside the city. Quickly, go support them. If you’re late, Master Kenneth might punish you severely.”
  
At the last checkpoint to enter the central area of Nolan City, Bella and her companions were blocked by several Black Robed Witches. The language of Dark Humans was quite similar to the human language here, but there were many additional demon words in the middle. Bella and the others understood everything.
  
Out of the concern that the more they said, the more likely they were to fail, Bella nodded to indicate that she knew and didn’t reply. They were afraid of revealing themselves and silence was the best disguise. Nolan City was shrouded by the veil of eternal night. There wasn’t much lighting outside Nolan City. Under such blurry conditions, the Black Robed Witches on the opposite side couldn’t tell that these few “companions” were imposters. They only saw Bella and the others nod.
  
“That’s right, Master Kenneth told us to go over and help… What… what are you doing? Someone… “
  
In a dark corner of the city gates, Bella grabbed a Black Robed Witch from behind and put her hand over her mouth to pull her into the dark. Before the other Black Robed Witches could respond, they had fallen to the ground after being tied up by Elaine’s puppet strings. Noreya drew out her sword and with a flash, she slashed off all the defensive magic artifacts on the Black Robed Witches.
  
“Aren’t you both a little too skilled? No matter how I look at it, you girls seem to have a rap sheet…”
  
“Bella, how can you say that. Didn’t you hint with your eyes?”

  
“Bella, I’m acting according to your practices. Do you want me to behead them all?”
  
Although Noreya and Elaine had repeatedly denied this, Bella was somewhat embarrassed by their subsequent coordination. Their technique was more experienced than Bella’s. She would’ve doubted them if they said that they had never done anything like this before.
  
Bella’s ambush was a success. No Beastman guard found anything unusual here. Over the past few days, they had thwarted many attempts to infiltrate the city by human assassins with the help of Dark Humans. The great success convinced them of the Black Robed Wizards’ witchcraft. With this, they relaxed their vigilance a little.
  
With the help of Noreya and Elaine, Bella stripped the Black Robed Witches of their clothing. The wizard garments they had on were specifically made for men, so they weren’t used to wearing them. Now that they had new clothes, they couldn’t wait to change into them.
  
Aside from suitable underwear, the witches almost had everything. Bella and her companions couldn’t be bothered about these things. They simply put on garments that fit them.
  
These Black Robed Witches looked cold and elegant with jet-black hair that trailed over their shoulders. With just a glance, it was obvious they had been selected with utmost care. This was the first time Bella had seen a Dark Human girl. Besides their abnormally pale skin, they weren’t much different from human girls. Their pupils were purely black, which greatly differed from the vacant eyes that real zombies had.
  
Bella couldn’t feel their heartbeat. Members of the Dark Human race all had the gift of immortality. The only strange thing was that these witches were still undefiled and hadn’t been “used.”
  
“Bella, your hands are being naughty again. Really, what’s there to touch? You might as well touch…”
  
“Bella, there are too many Beastman soldiers here. I think it’s better I kill them.”
  
Seeing that Bella was up to her bad habits again, Elaine and Noreya were a little jealous. Noreya had already pulled her dagger out, ready to slice these enemy witches at any moment.
  
“Don’t be impulsive, Noreya. I know you’re a good girl. Why don’t we go back to my room and chat alone?”
  
“I’m not going to your bedroom! Who knows if there are any strange traps in there.”
  
At Bella’s dissuasion, Noreya and Elaine didn’t kill these “survivors.” Bella looked around, intending to take these cold, elegant witches back for interrogation.
  
Just as Bella was hesitating on how to transport the captives back, a strange special carriage of the Human Race approached from outside. When Bella saw this, she quickly hinted with her eyes for Noreya and Elaine to act with her.
  
The witches had been knocked unconscious for a short time and soon regained consciousness. When they woke up, they were horrified to find that their clothes had been stripped, their entire body was tied up by puppet strings in a strange manner, and they were placed in a carriage.
  
This was a carriage from the Human Empire, used by slave traders to transport slaves. It was equipped with special wooden frames. Once the witches had been stripped of all their clothes, they were tied to these frames.
  
These wooden frames had slots, which were made for placing the slave’s hands and feet so that they couldn’t move and could be examined like goods. Bella still had some morals; considering the fact that these girls might have a place in her palace in the future, Bella covered up their private parts with white strips of cloth to prevent them from being totally naked.
  
“Are you awake? Be quiet. If you don’t want to be sold as slaves, stay still!”
  
When she realized they had regained consciousness, Bella, dressed like a Black Robed Witch, went over and quietly warned them not to create any trouble. Perhaps they understood what Bella said in human language. These witches could only stare at Bella unwillingly because they had no other choice.
  
Their mouths had been stuffed with soft cloths, so they couldn’t even make a sound, while their magic powers were sealed by Elaine’s puppet strings. Bella covered their eyes with black cloth, not giving them the chance to beg for help with their eyes.
  
“Bella, you’re like a slave trader now, the worst kind.”
  
“I’ve always been bad… Um, someone’s coming. Be quiet!”
  
The front seat of the carriage was designed to be spacious enough for three or four people to sit together. Elaine and Noreya were also dressed like Black Robed Witches to serve as attendants to Bella, a “temporary slave trader.”
  
Bella didn’t care much about her companions’ teasing. When the witches were being tied up earlier, the two girls had helped throughout the whole process without a change in their faces expressions. They weren’t any better than Bella. Perhaps they were also hidden sadists.
  
The southern border of the Gabriel Empire, Nolan City, the former capital of Norlander Duchy. The former grand market area in the central part of Nolan City was bustling with people.
  
If it weren’t for the Beastman Wolf Knights patrolling the road back and forth, Bella would feel as if Nolan City was still under the control of the Human Race.
  
These people who were bustling about in the central area of Nolan City were all illegal merchants who took the opportunity to make money from war assets – slave dealers, illegal arms dealers, and treasure hunters who recycled valuables from the dead.
  
Traces of these illegal merchants could be seen throughout all the war-torn areas in the Human Continent. Among them, the number of slave traders was the largest.
  
The slavery system of the Human Empire was rejected and abolished as early as three hundred years ago by the Imperial Union and the corresponding laws had long been propose and passed. However, the Great Lords of the upper-class nobles of the Human Race had unbridled desires and these bills were worthless pieces of paper to them.
  
After the law banning slavery was passed, on the surface, it was forbidden to have slaves, but it was impossible to prevent people from doing so secretly. Unless there was conclusive evidence to prove that these Lords had committed treason, even the Emperor had no right to send people to search the Lord’s residence. As to whether or not these Lords had slaves in their homes, he could only turn a blind eye.  

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War was one of the important sources of slaves. Looking at the active slave traders on the streets, Bella was deeply moved. These slave traders from various human empires didn’t have any moral integrity at all. Not only did they turn a blind eye to the Beastman forces occupying the city, they also bought and sold their former “compatriots.”
  
Slaves traded here were basically residents of the Norlander Duchy. With the exception of a small number of people who had narrowly escaped, most of the residents had been captured by the Beastmen.
  
The slaves traded were all women and children because the adult men, the elderly, as well as the disabled had mostly been killed and thrown outside the city. Those who couldn’t be sold were disposed of. No Lord would purchase male slaves. Even if they were used for manual labor, it was more cost-effective to employ laborers.
  
With the exception of a few thin clothes on the children, the female slaves were all naked, with heavy iron chains shackled to their bodies and black iron rings around their necks.
  
Slave traders were negotiating the price with the Beastman soldiers holding the slaves on one side. Once the negotiation was complete, cash would be exchanged immediately. The price of children wasn’t high; they could be bought with one or two gold coins. The price of women was higher, starting at ten gold coins and were all priced according to appearance and age. If it were a “first-hand” product, the transaction price would be much higher.


  
Beastmen also used human currency. Gold coins were the common currency in the Beastman Continent. After the deal was concluded, the slave trader’s attendant immediately stepped forward to load the slaves into a slave carriage and pulled off. They would be sold in the northern or western regions of the Human Continent, but wouldn’t be traded locally at all. These slave traders already had a complete supply chain.

As for the slaves who had been sold, whether they were reduced to being some great noble’s playthings or used for other purposes wasn’t the concern of the slave traders. They only recognized gold coins had zero conscience.
  
Dark Humans didn’t participate in the direct underground trade between Beastmen and slave traders. All the humans here were illegal traders of the regular kind. There weren’t any Beastman guards to check their identities when Bella and the others, dressed as Black Robed Witches, appeared here, so they easily infiltrated the slave market.
  
They were pretending to be slave merchants in order to obtain information about Harrington, who was the Commander of the Beastman Army in this region. Even the elites of the Beastman Army had gathered in such a big slave market, so perhaps Commander Harrington was also here. When the time came, Bella would kill him, dealing a blow to the hearts of the Beastman Army besieging the Sarnia Duchy.
  
“How should I address you, boss? Here’s a token of my sincerity. Please don’t take offense!”
  
Before long, slave traders stopped Bella’s carriage. A middle-aged man with a conspicuous scar on his face handed Bella a small bag of gold coins as a gift.
  
“Don’t be so polite, boss. Here’s a show of my sincerity. Please accept it!”
  
Bella quietly shoved a gold bar into the hands of the middle-aged man. Such an ingratiating man was either a criminal or a thief. Scarface was staring at the cold, elegant witches in Bella’s carriage. What he wanted was clear.
  
“Boss, your goods are top grade. Would you like to trade with this humble one? The price is negotiable. By the way, this humble one is nicknamed Scar. How should I address you?”
  
The exchange between them didn’t require their exact name or country of origin, but only their nickname. As for gender, it didn’t matter if they were men or women since there were also female slave traders.
  
The Black Robed Witches were fitted with masks that hid their true faces. Scar couldn’t see Bella and the others’ true faces and could only judge from their body shapes that they were all women.
  
After discovering that Bella was more generous than him, Scar figured that Bella was probably a big slave trader who didn’t lack money. Scar’s tone sounded a lot more respectful. Slave traders competed in strength through financial resources. Bella’s ability to hand over gold bars showed that her financial resources were stronger than his own.
  
Scar’s target was indeed the “fake goods” in Bella’s carriage. Undoubtedly, the slave traders who came here didn’t know much about the Dark Human Race. They only knew not to provoke these Black Robed Wizards when facing them.
  
If he knew that these beautiful, cold women were Black Robed Witches, he wouldn’t dare trade these “thorny” goods even if he had more courage.
  
“Nickname? You can call me Lady. That’s my nickname.”

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