Chapter 15:

A Capital City of Errors

Magic and the Black Cloaks

"Major Flynt..."

Winter almost jumped as he was buttoning up his shirt. He didn't expect Erwin to contact him so soon after landing in enemy territory seeing the risk associated with possibly having this signal discovered.

"Make it quick." Winter sighed as he walked out of the small bedroom.

"The Breidal Secret Police have apparently discovered some cloaks similar to ours in the luggage of a civilian and now they think we've infiltrated, it was among your group and a group that came after you so the SP's might have an eye on you. Captain Kazami isn't going to like this but until given the signal, you two should be acting like the married couple type."

Winter cringed internally as she wasn't going to like this, since everyone was split into groups and given some sort of cover to not be separated, the two with the most important jobs were also given the heaviest cover. They were married, given rings by the Empire, and their last names were the same for this mission. If the Secret Police saw these two suddenly not acting accordingly to their very openly affectionate country, they would be in deep.

"What is our signal?"

"Civil unrest. Good luck, Major."

Erwin cut off the communication right after that leaving Winter staring at Akari who was dressed up in her casual clothing they weren't even planning on using.

but, it looked like they were awfully close in style, Akari had a simple black skirt, button-up top, and her normal boots while Winter practically had the same thing on but pants instead of a skirt.

"I see you copied my outfit." She said while waiting to open the door.

"It's not like we had the chance to pack anything different, darling."

Akari's face instantly fell at Winter's comment but she really didn't know what to say or do nor did he know how to communicate they were possibly being watched at this very moment. He just had to hope she was bright enough to understand.

"...Oh, I see..." She nodded to herself and perked back up, "I dare say you look fantastic still. I'm glad we're wearing something similar, makes getting separated harder in that bustling crowd..."

"I know, the city life is so much different from how I imagined it... anyway, should we try looking around the city today?"

They both felt alarmed by the small trace of a magic signal being broadcast around their home. So, it looked like they really were a target, they had to really play this out then until it was time to perform.

"Yes, let's take a look around the city. It'll be a new experience for us both."

Winter walked over and grabbed Akari's hand slightly startling her then opened the door. They shuffle out and try to secretly discover who was watching them. Whoever they were, they were good, no matter how hard they tried to look, all they could feel were the traces of Wind Magic picking up their words.

Its times like this Winter was happy he drilled Magic Sense into his students as otherwise, Akari would have had no idea they were being watched. The spell was so lowkey still, Winter doesn't doubt one of his students doesn't detect it if they're also being watched.

"...I knew we should've bought that map of the city..." Winter sighed as they really had no idea where they were, the only map they studied was a rough map of the Royal Fortress/palace. From where they are in the city right now, they have no idea how to get there.

They could follow the crowd but people were going each and every way in such big groups, it was impossible to see which one is going where.

So, the most basic option came to mind.

"...Excuse me, sir. Do you know where the royal palace is? Me and my husband want to see it in person for the first time but these streets are just so very confusing..." Akari's acting skills were on point. Her dejected tone and sigh afterward made the man stop in his tracks right there.

"Oh, uh. It's directly in the middle of the city. From here, if you had North, there should be a few signs pointing towards the main street, once there I think you'll be able to see it."

"One more thing, are we in the South part of the city or another part?"


It was a no-brainer considering that he told them to go North but she felt better safe than sorry.

"Alright, let's go see that capital building!!" Akari pointed her finger forward and started walking with Winter being dragged along seeing as they were holding hands.

Instead of just heading straight there, they stopped in a few shops and as much as they didn't want to spend money to give to the enemy, they wanted to look natural... and they were also hungry.

From shop to shop, the two eventually semi-forgot that this wasn't some sort of date out and still a mission they needed to do. With no one to stop them, they spent around the place and only made it to the capital building hours after the idea was brought into their mind.

They woke up and got dressed around 8 AM and were only just getting to the capital building around 4 PM. It should be classified as negligence but as soon as their eyes landed on the super guarded palace up close, they suddenly remembered that they were assassins.

"It's just as grand as I thought it would be!" Akari was too busy marveling at the piece of art in architectural form.

it was imposing as all palaces should be. A wide front garden, a massive gate, and guards lining the gate, walls, and edge of the massive building. Even with all that security, Winter marked out a path in his mind that he could use if things go according to his plan.

"I know, right? I knew the capital building was huge but this is blowing me out of the water!" Winter brought his eyes from beyond the gate and looked at the guards patrolling the edge of the gate they were standing just a few feet from.

He quickly noted that two of the four guards were Ralian. That meant they had a pretty high chance of recognizing him, unlike most countrymen, outside of their continent and on opposing sides of conflict, they don't hold back.

If those guards looked and him and knew who he was, a fight could start right here leading to them being discovered. But, if there was one thing everyone hates, it was obnoxious public displays of affection.

In Breidal, most people were very open about their relationships and often show affection in the open, it's gotten to a point that people find it as normal to see two love birds kissing right in the middle of the street. Others just move on and ignore them, so, Winter knew what he had to do as the guards started eying him down.


Akari had no time to object as he threw them into a hug which she gave back or else they'd look even more strange.

"Rali guards..."


She embraced him even tighter and hid her face away in his chest while he tried to keep his own face from showing. He was glad he was wearing his side ponytail today as it covered his face a little more from the angle they were looking.

Once the guards were passed, they got out of there as their listener had finally come back to observing them.

"...You look like you enjoyed that." Winter grabbed her hand again as they kept walking down the crowded main street again.

"Hush you. Besides, it's not often a cold person like me can enjoy a hug or hold hands."

"What can I say? The farm comes first sometimes."

"Well, now that we're here. You should put all your focus on me."

Winter glanced down at Akari and he couldn't tell if she was acting or not when saying that, is this how she felt when he did it to her?

"Of course, as long as we're together, I'm sure nothing could possibly stop us."

Neither could tell if the words of the other were just an act for the observer or some sort of true feeling that was springing out. But, something was definitely up as people were picking up the afternoon newspaper...

"What?! They can't be serious?!"

They wouldn't dabble in something like this but they glided over and collected their own papers and right on the front page, it was said that Breidal completely shut down peace negotiations with the Empire.

One simple quote from their King was, "We would rather be skinned alive than surrender to those self-entitled Imperial bastards!!"

But, that's not what the majority populace thought. Any normal citizen would say this was the time to quit, they're already on the backfoot, surrounded, and all of their lands have been claimed already, this wasn't going to be some grandstand against a superpower, this was a government starving their citizens slowly because the king doesn't want peace!

"We can't stand for this!! He's trying to kill us! Who does he think he is, those Imperials have us beat, give them the victory before they snatch it from our cold dead hands?!"

"Yeah! This is absurd, the more we resist the bigger the demand will be?!"

"This war is already causing prices here to skyrocket, we can't possibly sustain this...!"

"The palace!! We're the people, we have a right to voice when we're not happy, march on that palace and give that king a piece of our mind!!!"

Winter and Akari just sat listening to the civilians become wholly angry with the government. Unified, people started marching while chanting for an end to this war, there was no more time for secrecy.

The person following them had been revealed when Winter traced back the spell and let's just say he no longer was a problem for them. They pushed through crowds of people and made it back to their home, put on their real gear, and this time around, they had masks to conceal their identity.

Not as if it completely mattered, they just wanted the utmost secrecy this time around. It was nothing special, it was opera masks and each student designed the masks however they wanted. Winter and Akari both somehow did the same theme but thankfully had different designs from each other.

The Night Sky, specifically the stars, were the main features of their masks and as the pair made their way out of their home again using the window, they jumped up to the rooftops and started making their way back towards the capital palace.

"They're idiots for not taking our offer!!" Akari was here to spout off her anger like always.

"That's true, it's like he wants to die? It's either gonna be us or his people, what a stupid position he's put himself in!!" Winter almost felt like it was comical.

Dead ends wherever this king looked, they hoped he was counting his breaths because they were numbered.

Thanks to not being limited and using rooftops as walkways, getting back to the Royal Palace was a much easier feat but, they had to wait until nightfall.

Until then, they were going to wait on a rooftop far enough away from the Palace that the snipers can't see them and normal soldiers wouldn't want to use it as a vantage point to see unruly civilians.

It was a bakery roof...

Seeing as the Summer months were kicking in and it was only about 5 PM now, it would be another two or three hours before nightfall so there was a lot of time to kill before then.

"So, back on the street. Would you like to explain what you meant? I was trying to tease you but you were starting to sound a little genuine there, I'm touched."

"I could say the same to you, Major...! Nothing can stop us if we're together, huh?"

"Of course, we're the strongest there is, right? There's not many people that can stop us." He gave a confident shrug as Akari pulled her knees into her chest while sitting on the ground.

Akari didn't feel like she could hit back with anything, "Is it so wrong to enjoy a hug, though?"

"Not really. If you want, I could give you another." He was speaking in an obviously joking manner but his face went blank under the mask as Akari stood up and started walking over to him.

A multitude of thoughts shot through his mind but he had no time to say anything as she stopped in front of him, she opened her cloak and finger to his chin while taking off her mask.

"You were hoping for one, weren't you?" The grin on her face as she was right made Winter think of what to say to combat her but the longer his silence drew on, the more she knew she was correct.

"What can I say? Everyone enjoys a hug, even you, Flame Princess?"

"...Hmm..." She put her mask back on and walked away, sitting back on the spot she got up from, "I'm guessing you planned out a route for us already?"

"Most certainly. I would imagine that most of us are striking around the same time, let's try and do this and get out quickly, 'kay?"

"I can agree with that." Akari stretched from her sitting position and laid back on the rooftop, "I'll just rest for a bit. Hanging out with you earlier has me a bit tired, talk to you later, Breeze Prince."

Winter said nothing back but was upset about the nickname she just gave him. His powers were no simple breeze and he left it at that and let the girl go to sleep, that just meant he was going to be on lookout duty this whole time...