Chapter 18:



Entz still felt a hint of hostility from the group. Not because he didn’t trust them, but more like they didn’t trust him. And, to tell the truth he couldn’t blame them. Could he? He deserved it. After what they did to him, he still had the guts to ask them to explain who they were. He knew Teph, but the others, it was the first time he had seen their faces.

The story Teph explained made him realize who these people were. He thought his father was the only man of honor he knew and when he died honor died in his heart too. But, he was wrong, honor lived. It lived in the hearts of the men Standing in front of him. The Great Jack, The Genius Strategist; Trent, Morshina’s Greatest Duelist; Mort, His father’s right-hand man; Teph, and finally the Weapon Master himself; Korn. These people were admired, not because of their achievements, but because of the age at which they achieved their titles.

He felt something smack his back, to the side, it appeared that Trent had slapped his shoulders.

“You looked like you were drowning in your thoughts.” the Thin man said “So I gave you a little push.” he smiled. Entz smiled back.

He looked at the state they were in and was saddened by how they dressed. They came from the Under City, it was a sad fact that made Entz feel ashamed of himself, rather than those pointless arguments he attended, he should have focused on taking action. With the power he had, he could’ve at least sent rations to their city and tried to improve their quality of life. Idiot, he told himself.

“Don’t look down on us Pure Blood,” said Mort from his table; they sat in his office waiting for Teph and Jack to arrive with Mort’s guest. Mort’s tone didn’t contain a single hint of hatred or despise, yet, it was more of a warning to Entz. Unlike the others, Mort treated Entz as a client he was forced to follow to get his paycheck and nothing more. No mutual respect, yet No disrespect, just brutal honesty.

That didn’t bother Entz, how would he have felt if he was in Mort's situation? He still appreciated the smile from Trent.

Maybe it was the age difference that created such silence. Trent was kind enough to start a conversation a couple of times, but it all ended after a few replies. What is taking them so long? Entz and Trent arrived almost three hours ago at Mort’s office building; it was the only structure apart from Halfway inn that had more than a level to it.

Mort’s office was as simple as any room Entz has visited. He expected that since Mort was the founder, he’d have a lavishly furnished office. But, in reality, it was bigger than their unit back at the inn, however, much smaller than Entz’s room in the presidential house. Mort sat at his table leaning back on his chair and his legs placed on the top of his table. Windows resided behind him, being the only lighting apart from the three light bulbs that tried their best to light the room. Again, the atmosphere here was as warm as it was on the outside. Entz and Trent sat next to each other on a small sofa that was in the middle of the room.

It was getting more boring and Entz took matters into his own hands to try and lighten up the mood.

“How did you build such a city, Mort?” Asked Entz hoping that the ex-general would reply to him. However, only silence, Well, he sighed, I tried.

“Kid, be patient, not everyone here has to answer your questions, but, I know you are trying to break the silence, which is good, so here, let me tell you. When queen Helet banished the guys into the Under City I tried my best to fill this place up with as many people as I possibly could,” answered Mort in a thoughtful tone.

“Why didn’t Teph and the others join you?”

“I tried tens of times to send the location to Teph, Jack, Trent, and Korn, but every single time they declined.”

Entz looked at Trent and he explained their reason

“We felt guilty when we couldn’t take revenge. We deserved it, when the General died, Morshina died with him. There was no hope! And, we didn’t think that living here in the ‘Middle City’ was what we deserved.”

“So, after some time, I just stopped sending them requests. However, that didn’t mean we stopped meeting each other. Being as an engine operator they got four days of holiday per month and every single time Korn, Trent, and Jack would visit here.”

“That would explain how Korn was familiar with the road,” Entz noted.

“Exactly. However, Teph never once visited, hence, why Jack went back to pick him up.”

“Teph,” Trent said “he, umm, blames himself for what happened. When your mother showed us your corpse, Teph thought it was it. He lost all hope and wanted to kill himself. But, Beth’s dying wish was for him to avenge her and Khol. You see they were lovers. And, Teph always promised us that one day, somehow, we would start an uprising to end our and future generation's misery.”

“That is why,” Mort said getting up from his seat, “I told Jack and Teph to take a detour to pick up our guest, who hopefully, would be able to lend us a hand. They should arrive any second now.”

And, to Entz’s surprise, someone opened the door and it was

“Sorry for taking my time, I had issues with today’s lunch.” Korn had excused himself thirty minutes ago to visit the toilet and Entz forgot the man’s presence. “What?” Korn asked, the three men looked at him with a disappointed look.

Luckily, however, Entz heard footsteps from outside walking towards them, but it took a minute before they arrived. Jack and Teph walked with two more figures behind them.

“Mont,” said a man with yellowish-black hair paired up with a haircut that matched a child’s one. He wore a long robe with a grey shirt that barely appeared from his chest. “After ten years, you came calling us for help. And, you never ask for it, even when you built this remarkable city by yourself. So, what is it you need?” Entz recognized the man that spoke as Mrol, he knew him from the various virtual meetings he had with king Molf, although, he never did visit with his father on their trade trips, not even once.

Mort really did come from a family of power, Entz thought smiling. He looked at Jack who shrugged knowing that his jokes about Mort’s heritage were actually true, he even caught a hint of a smile from the seven-foot man. Things are getting are finally getting interesting.