https://novelplanet.com/ - 18.104.22.168Five days later, Farrina and Joe received information from the First Army's liaison en route.
The Army's commander-in-chief, Iron Axe, had requested to meet them.
After going all the way to Cage Mountain, they walked into a conference room and discovered there was more than one person inside. The epaulets on their shoulders revealed that they were all high-ranking officials of the First Army.
Joe swallowed his saliva in nervousness.
Farrina remained calm and gave a military salute. "First Transport team, second vehicle convoy member, Farrina, is here to report."
Iron Axe and the others smiled and returned the salute. None of them had any airs.
This surprised her slightly.
The Hermes Church's style instilled in her the habit of ignoring the hierarchy disparity, causing her to always handle affairs bluntly. She never expected for the high officials of Graycastle army to do the same, to the point of surpa.s.sing the Hermes Church.
The reason for her calmness was her clear conscience, but that did not indicate that she had forgotten she used to be a 'scapegoat' for the Judgment Army—It would be nothing strange if she suffered from a cold shoulder.
But no one showed any contempt. Even the Church had never been so friendly towards their non-paris.h.i.+oners.
"What is the reason… for informing me to be present today?" Farrina's gaze landed on Iron Axe.
"Do you still remember the Everwinter Knights you captured a few days ago back in Sedimentation Bay?" Iron Axe got right to the point. "We have already confirmed their ident.i.ties, as well as the crimes they have committed."
Farrina suddenly realized something. "Are they very important to the First Army?"
"Yes and no." Iron Axe replied, "They are nothing when it comes to the entire war situation. But to the people that have offered their lives for the war, their imprisonment means that criminals will ultimately not escape from punishment. In a sense, this will comfort those who have sacrificed themselves."
After that, Farrina listened to a story involving blood.
In the beginning, news of the intruder did not capture the attention of the higher-ups since such occurrences of refugees deceiving their way through the barrier were encountered three to four times a day. They were either unimportant n.o.bles or wealthy merchants; their reasons for escaping were either due to crimes or afraid that their a.s.sets would be plundered.
According to Lorgar's report, the two Everwinter Knights belonged to the former, but due to the mixed and rich smell of blood on them, the interrogators investigated even more meticulously.
After a few psychological games and taking separate statements, the younger brother caved in and revealed everything they had done. A few months prior, the two brothers were ordered by their feudal lord to capture refugees, but since the elder brother had a grudge against Graycastle, he turned the capturing into hunting.
If it had been an ordinary murder case, the treatment would had been the death penalty or mining for life. But the matter of "hunting refugees" was too severe that the person-in-charge kept it in mind. In the end, the case was handed over to the Intelligence agency, where Hill Fawkes was tasked to investigate.
The case had two large blind spots. Firstly, the First Army was unsure who had sent the information and only knew that the deceased worked for Black Money. Secondly, the party's willingness to kill others. Even if murder was involved, the two might not have admitted it. In other words, even if Nightingale was present, it was impossible for them to link the information to the two through interrogations.
The only breakthrough was the smell of blood as mentioned by Wolf Girl.
It was a pity that Lorgar could only verify the diverse variety in the blood. She was unable to accurately pinpoint the timeline of the blood—In the end, her sense of smell was an added advantage due to her mutation. Although she was not affected by G.o.d's Stones, she wasn't able to surpa.s.s the limits of her physiology.
In the end, the final decision was obtaining a.s.sistance from the Witch Union, who sent Vanilla and Broken Sword.
With Broken Sword's augmentation, Vanilla found the same pheromones on Talos Murray's armor and on the secret letter. Although it was only a droplet, it was undoubtedly considered concrete evidence.
If the two had never met, how could the bloodstains contain the same pheromones?
Thus, the Murray Brothers were definitely the murderers of the messenger.
"Such people exists amongst the ordinary folks…" After listening to Iron Axe's explanation, Joe could not help but sigh with sorrow.
"Presently, Everwinter is still occupied by the Demons, so we are unable to spread the news of such heroic matters, but history will never forget people like him." Iron Axe sighed. "The two of you are the main contributors to capturing the murderers, but you are not established under the military. So aside from seeking the two of you out to inform you of the investigation results to give you closure, I wanted to ask what rewards you would wish to receive."
"But we didn't even do much." Farrina replied directly, "Firstly, it was that Witch who sensed their strange behaviors first. I merely heard the commotion and came in at the end."
Her words incited a burst of well-meaning laughter.
"Relax, His Majesty Roland will never miss out on contributors." Iron Axe explained, "The Witch Union and the Army are two separate departments, so Miss Lorgar's rewards are handled by others. In theory, your rewards should be handed out by the Administrative Office. But since the frontline matters are dealt with the locals, we are here to handle the inquiry."
"I understand…" Farrina hesitated for a moment. "I was once part of the Church's Judgment Army and was deceived by the shams and lies of the church. But if it is possible, I hope to obtain the chance to redeem myself."
"Yes." She took a deep breath. "Joining the First Army is the reward I want."
The room instantly turned quiet. Everyone's eyes roamed about, as though communicating their opinions.
After a long moment, Iron Axe spoke up. "The enlistment of the First Army was drawn up by His Majesty, I am unable to agree to your request."
"Is that so…" Farrina's clenched her fists before loosening them slightly.
"But," Iron Axe's words took a turn. "I can include your contributions and request into the report and hand it over to His Majesty to decide, provided that you are willing and determined to do so."
Farrina lifted her head, revealing the light in her eyes. "Yes, Please!"
Farrina knew that upon joining the Army, her movements and actions would be restricted, the risks of facing the enemy amplified. But that was the route she thirsted for—The more th.o.r.n.y the road, the more she felt she could redeem the sins of her past.
After their departure, the other officials left, leaving Iron Axe and Edith in the room.
The Pearl of the Northern Region who was silent the entire team sighed. "That's why I have to say, the Hermes Church is truly formidable… Since no judgment was meted out, what crimes or mistakes does she have? Only the pious believers of the Holy City would rather inherit sufferings in exchange for a peace of mind."
Iron Axe shrugged his shoulders. He was already aware that Edith was shrewd in seeking personal profits; her occasional concessions were always for greater benefits. If the benefits were mutual, she was a flawless partner. But once there was a conflict of interest, it became extremely difficult to antic.i.p.ate her thoughts. Farrina's decision to be selfless and offer her devotion was something that would never appear from Edith.
But he held no dislike towards her.
Compared to those slow-witted, egotistical, or greedy profiteers, she was at least able to define her own goals and not make silly mistakes for the lack of foresight on short term gains.
"Then… what's your opinion on dealing with the two convicts?" Iron Axe turned back to the main topic. Roland's reply to him mentioned 'If the crimes committed by the Everwinter knights are verified, you have full authority to decide.' According to usual practices, the two knights who had over a hundred of lives on their hands only had one route—to be executed by hanging.
"If we hang them, I don't think His Majesty would had specially exhorted us about it." Edith revealed a sneer. "And don't you think that sending them on their way is simply giving them the easy way out?"
"What do you suggest?"
"Since we can't publicize this, why not send them as gifts to Black Money. After spending so much on them, I'm sure they will be extremely hospitable to the two of them."
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