Arc 7 Chapter 115: Visitor in the Night

The travel to the capital took only a few days. It was a rather quiet and uneventful time since anyone they met on the road immediately moved aside. They did not look at the royal knights because they did not want to start a fight for any misconceived wrong that the knights might throw at them.

The ship that had brought Akira and the others in the peace delegation to the north set sail again and moved closer to the capital city where it set its anchor a short distance away so that it was close enough to pick up the group if something went wrong in their negotiations.

As they rode through the gates Akira remembered how large the capital had felt when he was a child. Now when he compared it to several of the other capitals it felt far smaller than he remembered.

When he compared it to the other cities he had been to it was somewhere in the middle.

As they walked down the main street Akira noticed that there were far more people in the city than when he had last visited the city many years ago.

Klyn was oohing and ahhing at everything new that he saw. The farthest away from Bluemoon city that he had ever gone was only recently when they went to the small town of Swormp to escort the werewolves families back to safety.

The escorting knights parted the morning crowds as they trotted through the mass of people pushing them aside. They led the way down the winding road and up to a side gate of the Royal castle.

The peace delegation was allowed to pass through the castle gates only after being thoroughly inspected by the castle guards.

Akira and the others were taken to a nearby stable where they dismounted from the horses and left them with the stable boys to take care of the horse’s needs.

“This section of the castle is where the royal guest houses are. Only those of great influence are allowed to stay in this part of the castle,” said Rodger.

As they moved further into the guest area past many large stone buildings Akira noticed that there were many people already staying in most of the buildings.

“You guys came during the fall harvest celebration so you’ll have a lot of neighbors to talk with while you stay here,” said Rodger.

They were led to a house that was the farthest away from the outer gate.

“This is where you will be staying. There are enough rooms in the house for all of you. Just a small reminder, you must stay within the Guest section of the castle and you are not allowed to roam the city. This is for your own protection,” said Rodger.

‘And so you can keep an eye on us,’ thought Akira.

Before Rodger and the knights under his command left Akira called out to Rodger, “Is Ruth in the capital right now?”

“No, she’s off on some princess duties with her mother the queen. They should be back before the royal ball starts. I don’t know how long you will be staying here since it all depends on when the king has time to talk to you. So you might be able to see her if you are still here when she returns,” said Rodger.

***

The guesthouses all had their own kitchens for the more wealthy nobles who brought their own cooks and maids as well as ingredients for cooking.

If the guest had none of them then there was a classy food hall that served top-class meals for the guest free of charge in limited quantity.

Akira and the other werewolves of the peace delegation were persuaded by Klyn to go to the Food hall and eat. It didn’t take much persuading since it was free and had to be better than the stuff they had called food for the last several weeks.

As Akira entered the large food hall the scent of fresh-baked bread as well as the steamy aroma escaping the bowls of stew filled the air making everyone’s stomachs grumble from hunger.

There were nearly 100 square tables in the large hall all of them had a delicate white embroidered cloth laid over them with a small magical fire lamp at the center of the table to keep everything well lit.

A large portion of the tables were already occupied by other well-to-do guests all dressed in fancy clothing.

A waiter hurried over to them making sure to not make them wait too long. Even if they looked shabby everyone that was able to step foot in the food hall were honored guest of the king and queen.

“Hello guest, I welcome you to the royal food-hall. Are you all together?” asked the waiter as he counted everyone.

“We are,” said Elder Bleddyn speaking for the rest of the group.

“I’m sorry, we don’t have any single table big enough to fit you all.”

“That is no problem we can sit at more than one table.”

The group was led to five different tables. The waiter and a few other servants carried extra chairs over to the tables to accommodate everyone.

Akira, Klyn and the four quiet Bluemoon warriors were seated together at one of the tables. With the bulky bodies of the werewolves, the tables seemed rather small and crowded.

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“This countries weather is really nice,” said Klyn as he took a sip of the water from an ornate crystal glass.

“The weather may be nice but the company is not at all,” said Dolph one of the Bluemoon warriors sting next to Akira.

He had a scar that went from his lower right chin over his lips and stopped near left of his nose where a portion of his left nostril had been cut off.

When Akira had first meet Dolph he had asked how he had received the wound.

Dolph went into great detail to explain that during the last great war he had been sent out to keep an eye on the border along with several other werewolves. Not long after they left they encountered a demigod with several human allies that were already fighting another group of werewolves.

Dolph and the others joined the fight and while fighting he received the wound from the demigod when an attack aimed at his throat had missed.

As they waited for the food to be delivered the guests that sat around them mostly kept to themselves. Except for one person sitting all alone at another table next to Akira.

“You here to celebrate the buffoon of a king as well?” asked the elderly drunk man.

Several nearby people choked on their food or quietly chuckled at the drunk man’s words.

“What? Do you guys all have a stick up your butt that you can’t see who the king really is? He is a clown! A bastard born from a mother that was a demon!”

“Shut up you fool.” “Be quiet before the guards come and take you away!” shouted a few people as they threw pieces of bread at the drunk man.

“Go home Bill you’re drunk. If you keep spouting such things you’ll end up behind bars during the celebration,” said a young noble as he walked over to the elderly man and tried to help him up out of his seat.

The old man slapped his hands away and stood up on shaky legs, “I don’t fear a king that has no balls. Let him come to my house near the gates and talk to me. I’ll give him a few choice words.”

The food hall was quiet as everyone tried to ignore the old man who continued to make jokes about the king as he stumbled out of the food hall.

The rest of the dinner was quiet and uneventful. The food that was cooked by a royal chef was well worth its weight in gold.

They walked back to their own guest house and fell asleep with full bellies after they made sure to lock the doors and add a few extra security measures.

***

“Ahhhhh~!” a loud scream of pain pierced the early morning air waking up Akira and everyone else in the guest house.

They grabbed their weapons that had not been taken by the castle guards and donned their armor and gathered in the front room. When Elder Bleddyn saw everyone was present and okay he sighed.

“Let’s go see what is happening outside, everyone be careful, we are not in friendly territory,” said elder Bleddyn.

Akira was the first to exit the guest house. He stopped and looked around searching for any disturbance while the cold morning air helped clear the sleep from his head.

The sound had come from one of the guesthouses far away from their own house near the outer gates.

With Akira leading the others followed and ran towards where they had heard the sound had come from.

The cold morning was extremely silent with the only sound they could hear coming from their feet hitting the paved stone streets as they ran.

Dolph sniffed the air and called out, “This way I smell fresh blood!”

“Over there!” said Elder Bleddyn pointing at a building up ahead.

They came to a stop at one of the houses that had its door broken off its hinges and was laying on the ground in two pieces.

Akira stepped forward and to look inside. He found traces of a fierce struggle and a large amount of blood splattered all over the floor and walls, but there was no sign of a body or the attackers.

The inside of the house gave him the familiar smell of Bill the elderly drunk guy from the night before.

“Klyn you smell that as well?” asked Akira.

“I think we can all smell it. This has to be the house of the old man from last night,” said Dolph.

“You there! What are you doing out so early in the morning? Go back to your house!” shouted a guard who ran over to the group of werewolves with three other guards.

“What happened here?” asked Akira.

“Nothing. Just an old house that is getting fixed up,” said the guard.

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“What’s going on out here? Why is there such a loud commotion going on?” asked the young noble from the night before.

Several other people were stepping out of their houses with similar questions and were looking at the guards and the fully equipped werewolves who were still in their human forms.

“Something has happened to Bill,” explained Akira.

“Who?” asked the young noble, with the other guests echoing his question, confused at the name.

“The old man you talked to last night in the food hall. Did you get too drunk to remember last night?” asked Klyn.

“I don’t know anyone named Bill. I remember last night clearly since I did not drink at all and never talked to anyone,” said the young noble.

The other guest all parroted the same thing. No one knew who Akira was talking about.

“Then who was staying in this house?” asked elder Bleddyn.

“No one that I can remember of. It has been empty for several months.”

The werewolves were stumped at the words and actions of the guest and the guards who acted as if the man named Bill was just a figment of their imagination and had never existed. But their own noses did not lie.

There had been a man named Bill whether or not he was still alive was debatable.

“Alright everyone no need to cause a ruckus. Go back to your houses!” shouted the guard as even more soldiers joined the group of guards.

“Who can sleep now with all the noise they made?” asked the young noble pointing at Akira.

“Move it!” shouted the guards as they started to walk towards the crowd of people and shooed them away.

Back in the guest house, Bleddyn called for an emergency meeting.

“This incident proves that we can not be too lax with our own security. Two people will be on watch at night and rotate every four hours. We do not want to receive any uninvited visitors during the night.”

***

The peace delegation was ignored by everyone for over a week as they waited.

When Bleddyn had gone to speak with one of the guards asking to speak with the king or the prince he was told that they were both busy with overseeing the fall celebrations and he would have to continue to wait.

At the beginning of the second week, a fancy envelope invitation was stuffed through the small crack under the locked door.

“Hmph! They have time for parades and parties but no time for a meeting to stop the fighting between us,” said Elder Bleddyn with contempt after reading the letter.

Akira picked it up from the table and read it out loud for the others.

“You are hereby invited to join the Royal Fall Ball scheduled at 4 in the afternoon to midnight with several events to take place before the Ball dance. Be advised that weapons will not be allowed inside the ballroom to avoid hotheaded duels.”

“Oh! I have never been to a Ball! Elder Bleddyn can we go?” asked Klyn.

“I’m not going to go, but you are welcome to go mingle with the humans if you want. Just be sure to bring someone else with you,” said elder Bleddyn.

“Akira will you go with me?” asked Klyn as he clung to Akira’s arm pleading with him.

“Hey weren’t you the one that warned me to be careful of the humans and not be so friendly with them?” asked Akira.

“Well if we totally ignore them then they might get the wrong idea,” said Klyn trying to make up an excuse.

“It would be best if you went as a goodwill ambassador to try and smooth things over with the prince if he is there. He might be able to move the talks forward,” said Dolph.

“True,” said elder Bleddyn while stroking his beard. “Just make sure that Dolph goes with you and don’t you go picking any fights. I don’t want to have to report back to grand elder Wulfric that something happened to you while under my watch.”

“No need to worry Elder I can keep him safe,” said Dolph.

“What about me?” asked Klyn.

“Don’t get in a fight and you will be fine,” said Akira patting Klyn on the back.

***

Tibia had received orders from the other heads to go to the Beorin capital and capture Akira who was supposed to be staying there.

This was her first solo mission without number 6 and was of great importance. She was ready for this chance and would have to show that she could handle any task given to her.

She quietly walked through Bador’s quite early morning streets looking for a place to stay while she searched for her target and made plans to capture him.

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