Chapter 66:

Arming Minds

Lovely kNight

Standing before her knights with full power and authority, Vestil directs every member present to view the screen behind her. A detailed map of the area of the sting glows through the room. The very same she had forwarded to my device yesterday.

“Listen well, men! All that we’d discussed this morning shall be reiterated to make sure it gets through to every single one of you in preparation for tonight’s sting operation! As stated prior, joining us is the Celestial Knight who will be briefed alongside yourselves. His role to play shall as well will be to act as witness and observational lookout. I would believe that every one of you knows just how apt of a knight he is. Most here had attended the Hero’s Tournament and witnessed his victory. His inclusion will doubtlessly be a tremendous benefit to the operation.”

The knights present converse in the pause Vestil takes for herself. She sorts through a series of papers on her podium and states the purpose of the sting.

“Lately there has been a rise in the quantity of illegal drugs circulating the kingdom. It’s believed that this situation had its start by the end of the previous year and has been gaining momentum as of late. Having been successful in our previous missions, we’ve been able to pull a few culprits off the streets. One of which was none other than the infamous Miss Acher. But much like a certain mythical tale from another kingdom; if one head is cut then two more may very well take its place. This is the most pessimistic view but it’s the view that will get us focused on the prize. We cannot allow this sordid business to grow. We must pull this weed out from the roots.

“Recently our branch of the knighthood was been given information that another deal will be happening in the second merchant’s district located in the less populous elderly area of the kingdom. Said sale will be taking place tonight and by our informant’s word, is sure to net us another possible lead to the next layer of this illegal business. Said dealer is noted to be a dangerous man who comes prepared with lackeys to defend him so we are to exercise the utmost caution in our apprehension of the criminal. This dealer’s code name used in the streets is Miras. Birth name yet to be determined.”

Quickly tapping through her KNITE, a separate window appears revealing a powdery substance colored a deeper crimson to us. Schematics and data are organized around it with paragraphs of accompanying text.

“For the uninitiated, I will give a brief explanation as to the drug in question from which this criminal group makes their profits.”

She taps her pointer with a firm click against the image. Her already intense, serious expression is made even more fearsome while she begins her next topic.

“This drug goes by the street name of Retro. It has been reported that this name stems from the term, Retrograde. Usage is said to cause feelings of euphoria and it may leave the body feeling dizzied confused while having psychoactive effects on one’s perception. Should one either wind up addicted to the substance or take too large of a hit, it causes aggression in its user. Prolonged use and exposure to Retro most often results in a deterioration of the body beginning with the flesh. Musculature may suffer damage. Irritation is also a common symptom of a frequent user. As you’ve likely reasoned by now, this drug is a health and safety risk for the kingdom as well as it is a moral risk. Yet it is curious that there has yet to be reports of any cases of overdose.

“There, however, has been confirmed reports of civilians having been attacked by users. So far there has yet to be a murder or casualty, but the assault that most victims have endured has been telling.”

Another picture exposes the results of the violent attacks. Bloody, bruised and injured patients are laid up in hospital beds. The sight gets my nerves on edge and my body to a stinging.

“All patients have been under the care of the kingdom’s own hospitals as there have been rumors that exposure to users during their outbursts could cause the victim to contract a peculiar illness. As of now we have yet to confirm nor deny these rumors. I pray that it is nothing but a rumor.”

The two images are minimized and the focus returns to the map.

“Now for the strategy we’ll be employing to apprehend our troublemakers. First note to speak: our dealer’s original customer was too eager to get their hands on their high and were arrested for their conspiracy to possess. In his stead, we’ll be entering frame as the customer. The center of focus for our unit is Milky Street.”

She circles the street and labels the points in which her units will be dispersed to monitor the roads. Her undercover agent’s is placed by the antique store at the center of the street.

“Positioning himself at the very heart, we will make sure to lock every point of exit for the dealer and his cronies so to prevent their escape. Our decoy is the bait in the trap. When he is able to ascertain the product, Bravo team will be set into motion to surround conspirators. The desired outcome is that they would immediately surrender, but we can’t be certain that they’ll go down without a struggle. As such, class C offensive spells are authorized. It there is a need to subdue, either stun or confuse the target. Nothing more will be allowed at this time.”

Every knight is intently focused on the conference. They meet Vestil’s gaze with nods to confirm their understanding.

“Per our intel, our resident dealer usually has 3 men with him at all times. Make sure not one member of their group is able to call for back up nor raise any alarms for their fellow criminals. When we take them off the streets the objective is to make sure they’re gone without a trace. Make it seem like they were spirited away. The only ones who will be hearing from them will be us and we’ll be extracting every bit of information they have to give.”

All eyes turn to me as I’m the next operative to be given their role.

“Now, Celestial Knight. Your place is to stand lookout by my side and to act in accordance with our plans. Each member of our team will be communicating via ear piece and any information you have to offer is to be spoken to the rest of the team. I know well that you have sharp eyes so put them to good use.”

“Understood.” I respond to her with a strong nod.

“Then we’ve made good progress with this meeting. Let’s wrap up what’s left and get ourselves suited up to meet our rendezvous. In the time until the appointed hour, I’d made sure to send two of our men to watch over the area. They’ve been there since morning just in case any unexpected events happen before our arrival. So far all is clear, but I’m sure they’re getting bored of waiting around.”

The conference continues until the sun’s light is at its final moments for the day. With a strong, militant voice, Vestil relieves her men to prepare themselves. In the blink of an eye we’re fast on our way to our contact point. My heart pounds as we march through the streets. I prepare myself to do anything necessary to assure a victory for our kingdom.