The Children of Eris
The battle ended after just a few minutes.
The Hierophant was heavily damaged in the assault and was painted crimson.
The street outside was in a similar condition.
The corpses had all been gathered inside the tavern, both Sons and servants of the Demon Emperor alike, and stacked into one big pile.
All of the Machai had died and only three of the Ravens had survived.
“So, the reason the city-watch didn’t come was because you guys paid them off?” Mania asked the last of Herakles’s men. She’d used her magic to make him confess everything. “Well, that certainly saves us a bit of trouble, doesn’t it?”
“…We paid them…ten thousand Rhams…to look the other way,” the man said, stopping only to take short, sharp breaths as he clung to life. “As long as…we didn’t go…too far, they wouldn’t…do anything.”
Mania smiled, said, “Thank you,” and then cut his throat. She tossed his body onto the pile with the rest. “So, what do we do now?”
“Couldn’t you have asked that guy where their base was?” Fenrir asked. “I thought that’s why you asked me to try and keep them alive.”
“We were also meant to have more time to prepare for that than this. That useless idiot Sylvan got some of the Dark Lord’s servants and himself killed.” She spat on his corpse and kicked it. “What a useless man.”
“On the contrary, Mania, he served his purpose very well,” Mímir said. “He fed us inside information about the Son’s operations and other valuable intelligence, such as the wedding to the north, and he’s allowed us to find their base.”
“When there were only a few left inside the Hierophant, I sent the Ravens outside to assist you two and to follow anyone who fled. It would seem that someone among Herakles’s killers has good instincts and went to warn their boss about us and our strength.”
“Coward,” Fenrir grunted.
“Regardless, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that he’s led us right to their base. It’s in White Manor of all places if you can believe it.”
Mania giggled. “Well, that would certainly explain why they had so much money to throw at the guards. So, are we paying them a visit tonight?”
“We will, but not just yet. For now, we need a big distraction, one that will draw the guards and Legion to the other side of the city, allowing us to comfortably assault the Sons of Tartarus’s lair and end this conflict in a single strike. To do that, we’ll have to abandon the Hierophant and cause quite the stir in the city.”
Fenrir looked at Mímir confused but Mania glowered at him.
“You don’t mean-?”
“We’re abandoning the Hierophant. Take all of our supplies, valuables and money, then set it ablaze. We’ll risk torching the entire merchant’s district to draw the guards as far away from the noble’s district as we can.”
“Mimir, I’m not the best person to say this, but are you insane?” Mania asked angrily. “The Demon Emperor was kind enough to forgive us for our past sins, and now you want to burn our main base inside the city and risk burning it down? Either you’re an idiot or you’re insane.”
“The Hierophant lost all use to us once someone attacked it,” Mímir reasoned. “Now that the Sons have struck, any other factions watching us will no doubt begin to move as well. If anything, it’s fortunate that the Paladins or others haven’t found us out.
“I foresee two possibilities. One: the Paladins saw the Sons preparing to attack us and left to report that information to their companions. Two: the Sons wiped out the Paladins who were watching us before beginning their attack.
“If they did that, then they removed the risk of being caught by the Paladins themselves. Right now, time is of the essence. If we’re too slow to respond to these threats and ask his majesty for guidance, we stand a much greater risk of being exposed. In the worst-case scenario, we’ll place a large target on our back and, by extension, his majesty’s.
“We have the advantage right now and we need to press it. My Raven is still tailing the man who ran away to their base in the noble’s district and it won’t be long before he tells Herakles what he saw. If they go into hiding before we can finish them off, it’s over.
“Therefore, we’ll torch the Hierophant as a distraction and then all teleport en-masse to the noble’s district and wipe the Sons of Tartarus out. If this displeases his majesty, then I alone will take the fall and the blame. However, I strongly believe the positives outweigh the negatives in this case and thus we must get started now.”
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