Book 8, The Ten Thousand Kilometer Journey – Chapter 20, The Summer Inferno
This had been a peaceful night. The miserable screams of the people of Holmer’s clan being slaughtered were thus all the more jarring to the ear. Those sounds had travelled very far. Even Jenne and Keane, who were within the castle, could hear them.
“What is that?”
Keane ran out dressed in his sleepwear, while Jenne came out with her hair undone. The two siblings curiously walked out towards the direction of the castle gates. As for the extremely cautious old servant, Lambert, he had run to the castle gates already.
“By the Madame’s orders, no one is permitted to leave the castle at night.”
Two castle guards standing at the gate formed a cross with their spears, forbidding entry, as they spoke coldly to Lambert.
“What is going on? The two of you, move!” Keane snapped at them.
Seeing that Keane and Jenne had come, the two castle guards exchanged glances. Everyone in the castle knew that Keane was the successor to the governorship, but at the same time, Madame Wade wasn’t going to easily give up her power.
“Young master Keane, Miss Jenne. We are very sorry, but the Madame has ordered that no one is to leave the castle at night. Please go back and rest.” The taller of the two guards spoke.
Keane’s face turned cold. “Out of my way.”
The taller guard didn’t budge. He only begged painfully, “Young master Keane, please don’t make things difficult for us. If you force us to let you pass, you’ll be killing us. We really can’t afford to disobey the Madame’s orders.”
Keane was boiling with rage.
By his side, Jenne said to him, “Enough, Keane. Let’s not make things difficult for them. They are in a very pitiable situation.”
“Thank you, Miss Jenne! Thank you, Miss Jenne!” Those two guards hurriedly said. In their hearts, they felt very grateful to Jenne. Jenne was as beautiful as a holy angel, and she possessed a kindly soul as well.
Jenne asked gently, “May I ask, what exactly happened outside? I heard screaming. It seems as though there was some sort of disaster in the east district of the city.”
The taller guard said in a low voice, “Miss Jenne, not too long ago, the Madame led a group of people out of the castle, and quite a large number of city guards passed through as well.”
“Aunt? City guards?” Jenne and Keane were both confused.
Why was Madame Wade leading a large group of city guards so late at night?
“Miss, young master. Let’s sit down and rest for now.” Lambert pointed at a nearby stone bench. Jenne and Keane nodded, then walked over, the three of them sitting down.
Jenne, Keane, and Lambert were all extremely irritated.
Madame Wade’s existence was like having a fishbone stuck in their throats, causing them a great deal of misery.
“That damn woman wants to use me not being of age as an excuse to try and force me to wait two years. Hrmph. Two years. Within those two years, I probably would have been killed by her long ago.” Keane cursed in a low voice.
Jenne nodded as well.
The two siblings knew very well that they couldn’t allow Madame Wade to continue to act as she pleased.
“Young miss, young master. The senior madame has been in charge of Cerre for quite a long time. The city guards as well as the castle guards all obey her orders. The senior madame’s prestige is at a very high level. If young master Keane is unable to become the governor, it really will be very hard for us to fight against her. After all…there are too few people here who whole-heartedly support us.” Lambert was very resigned.
Jenne, Keane, and Lambert were all silent.
Within Cerre, there were very few people who supported them. Perhaps even if there were people who supported them, they wouldn’t dare to do so openly. In the prefectural city of Cerre, Madame Wade was like a local tyrant.
A wind began to blow.
“Who is it?!” The two gate guards cautiously raised their heads, and saw a man dressed in a black warrior’s outfit and wearing a heavy black sword on his back descend from the air.
“Me.” Linley looked backwards at the guards.
Instantly, the two guards no longer dared to speak. They had heard of how powerful Linley was. At these guards’ level of power, they couldn’t even dream of stopping Linley.
“Big brother Ley.” Jenne and Keane stood up.
Linley turned to look at them.
Summer was just starting, and the temperatures at night were still fairly high. Keane and Jenne were only dressed in simple sleepwear, and their hair was all mussed.
“Big brother Ley, what exactly is going on outside? Why is it so noisy?” Keane looked at Linley and asked.
Linley said casually, “Madame Wade led a group of city guards to Holmer’s clan manor and launched a search and seizure operation. Tell me, how could it not be noisy?”
“Search and seizure?” Jenne and Keane were stunned.
“Holmer’s clan?” Lambert was greatly shocked as well.
Linley casually sat down on another end of the long bench. Laughing, he said, “Just wait and rest here for a bit. Very soon, you’ll hear some good news.”
“Good news? Can it be that she intends to give us the money she’s seized from that bastard?” Keane cursed quietly.
Right at this moment, a thunderous explosion could be heard from the east. The explosive sound was so noisy, it sounded like several dozen thunderbolts going off at once. This explosion probably woke up at least half of the residents of Cerre City.
“What was that?” Jenne, Keane, and Lambert jumped to their feet in shock.
The nearby guards, as well as the castle servants and female attendants all stared eastwards as well, and as they did, they saw that blazing flames were rising into the sky from the east.
“How could there be such a large inferno? And where did that explosion come from?” Linley looked questioningly towards the east as well.
All of the people in the castle were mystified. They all waited quietly for the city guards to return, as well as Madame Wade. Perhaps they would know what was causing that huge inferno in the east, or that massive explosion.
After a while…
A chorus of hoof steps could be heard outside the castle, followed by countless shouts. Immediately following these shouts were a series of frantic knocking sounds from the gate that came as quickly as rain drops in a storm.
“Bam!” “Bam!” “Bam!” “Bam!”
The knocking sounds were frantic and ringing.
“Open the door, quick!” Angry roars could be heard from outside the castle gates.
The two gate guards didn’t dare to hesitate. They immediately opened the castle gates, as Linley, Lambert, Jenne, and Keane watched.
Once the castle doors were opened, they saw that in front of the castle were a large number of knights as well as heroic warriors. Their leader was a golden-haired man who was wielding a spear.
“Out of my way!” The golden-haired man roared to the two gate guards.
But upon seeing Keane and Jenne, the golden-haired man started, then immediately said with respect, “Deputy Commander Ritter [Li’te] of the city guards pays his respect to Miss Jenne and young master Keane.”
Deputy Commander Ritter could be considered the second highest ranking person in the city guard. Not too long ago, he had participated in that welcoming banquet. Naturally, he recognized Jenne and Keane.
“Mr. Ritter. What happened, to cause all of you to be so frantic?” Keane spoke.
Ritter immediately fell to one knee. He painfully said, “Young master Keane. Forgive me for being useless in my protective responsibilities. Madame Wade and her two brothers died in the explosion just now.”
Keane’s eyes immediately bulged out, and Jenne and Lambert were greatly shocked as well. Disbelief painted the faces of all of the nearby guards as well.
Madame Wade had died.
Just as Keane and Jenne were worrying about her, Madame Wade and her two brothers had suddenly both died. Her death only filled the hearts of Jenne and Keane with joy.
Jenne and Keane glanced at each other, their eyes filled with wild joy.
“What exactly happened? Explain clearly.” Keane adopted the attitude and posture of a superior lecturing a subordinate.
The golden-haired Ritter immediately replied, “Your subordinate led several hundred members of the city guard, under the command of the Madame Countess, to launch a search and seizure operation of Holmer’s manor.”
“After we finished the search and seizure operation, Madame Countess ordered that all the treasures of the Holmer clan be placed within the main hall, then ordered all of us soldiers to leave, leaving behind just her and her two brothers in that hall.”
Hearing this, Keane couldn’t help but quietly curse, “That b*tch really is shameless.”
Ritter continued, “We were stationed outside capturing the escaping members of the Holmer clan, but who would’ve thought that suddenly, the Holmer clan’s manor would catch fire. As soon as it did, everyone charged into rescue the Madame Countess.”
“But we hadn’t even made our way inside before we heard that terrifying explosion. Half of the building suddenly blew up and was destroyed.”
Ritter said painfully, “By the time we reached Madame Countess and the other two, we found only their bodies, which had already been blown apart by the blast. All three of them were dead.”
“Fine. Order people to bring my aunt’s corpse here, then go back and rest.” Keane directly ordered.
“Yes sir.” Ritter immediately issued the order.
Everyone all understood that with Madame Wade’s death, all of the authority in the prefectural city of Cerre now rested with this fourteen year old boy.
Everyone watched as Ritter’s men brought the charred, blasted remnants of the corpses inside.
Only now did Keane and Jenne totally believe…that it wasn’t just a dream. That detestable Madame Wade had truly died. From this day forward, their lives would no longer be lived in fear.
“Big brother Ley.” Jenne suddenly came to her senses. She turned to look at Linley. “Thank you.”
Lambert only now understood as well. Looking at Linley, he said with gratitude, “Mr. Ley, the good news you wanted us to hear truly was excellent news. It was the best type of news, the news that we’ve been saved.”
“What are you talking about?”
Keane was flabbergasted. “What do you mean by mumbling about good news and excellent news? OH!!!”
Finally, Keane understood as well.
“Big brother Ley, just now, you came in from outside the castle?” Keane asked quietly.
“Yep.” Linley nodded.
“Then you…” A hint of a smile was on Keane’s face.
Linley begin to chuckle as well. “Seeing how nervous and restless you all were, I helped you address the root of your troubles. Alright, time to go to bed and have a good sleep, so you’ll have the energy to take over the governance of this prefectural city.”
As he spoke, Linley turned and headed towards his own residence.
Lambert, Jenne, and Keane all were amazed. Staring at each other with shock and joy, they really wanted to scream with happiness. But of course, Madame Wade’s corpse was right next to them. It wouldn’t be appropriate for them to celebrate like that.
“Boss. It’s done?” Bebe was lying on the ground, his eyelids drooped sleepily.
Linley chuckled. “Yep. All done.”
To the current Linley, someone like Madame Wade wasn’t even qualified to be considered an ‘opponent’. Those small schemes that Madame Wade could come up with were nothing more than jokes to Linley.
Try whatever tricks you want. I’ll just straight up kill you and resolve the issue once and for all.
“Why was there an explosion?” Bebe asked curiously.
“How should I know?” Linley shook his head. “All I did was kill Madame Wade and her two brothers, then use some fire-style magic to set the manor on fire. Afterwards…I just rushed back alone. Who would’ve expected that as soon as I returned to the manor, there would be such an explosion?”
What Linley didn’t realize was that one of Holmer’s experimental laboratories was located in that building. Many strange and bizarre chemicals and experimental materials were stored in that room. When Linley set fire to that building, he also unknowingly set ablaze some special materials, resulting in that massive explosion.
“You don’t know?” Bebe was startled. “Oh. Then let’s go to bed.”
Linley casually climbed into his bed, then went to sleep.
Madame Wade and her brothers had suddenly died, just like that, in one night. This news shook the prefectural city of Cerre like an earthquake. And, to Jenne and Keane, this joyous news made them so happy that they couldn’t sleep at all.
But to Linley, it was nothing more than a trifling matter.
Right now, the Holmer clan’s manor continued to blaze merrily into the night. Many of the local city guards were frantically trying to put out the fire….