Chapter 19:


Magic and the Black Cloaks

"Idiot one and idiot two. Gather your squad and gear."

"Right away- the fuck did you just call me?"

Akari and Winter were standing in the main military base of operations in the capital city, more or less, the office of Grand General Lumina as she called them here for whatever reason.

From the Great Cathedral to here and now, they were about to be thrown back into the world by the general again. As they were leaving, Winter turned on his heel and faced the general who said something very unreasonable to him.

"Oh yeah, I'm not talking with politicians anymore. You two are useful, let me redo that. Major Flynt and Captain Kazami, gather your squad and gear after I brief you on what you're doing."

The two pulled up extra chairs and sat in front of the desk as the general kicked her feet up to the side to still see their faces.

"There's been something of an uprising out of the less subordinate groups of people in the newly claimed areas of Breidal. Well, just the capital where we caused the most ruckus. Did you know that Breidal pretty much left all of their major cities except one to get taken over? Anyway, we're- no, I'm sending you and your company to make sure nothing violent is going down." The General removed her boots from the desk and leaned forward, "What I mean, put down anything you think is dangerous. You two and your company aren't idiots, I can trust you. With the festival coming up, I want this put down before they have a chance to organize. I have another thing poking me in the ass, I don't need two."

"Is this the same thing that had you addressing the Pope and Queen by name?" Winter asked while standing from his chair.

Akari kept quiet but was silently listening, she wasn't going to not pay attention as since she's part of the 1st, it's more than likely, that they'll be deployed to deal with the problem.

"It is, I don't have enough proof still so there's no point in telling you yet. If things go the way I think they will, you'll be busy." General Lumina yawned and kicked her feet up again, tipping her hat down to cover her eyes.

Was she really planning on taking a nap after saying something so ominous like that? She was almost too laid back, but, she knew what she was doing so there was no point in questioning one of the key players in the war.

But, Winter called up his students who were reluctant to answer his call as most of them were on break. The only ones who were working were Winter and Akari while everyone enjoyed some time off in the capital city, sure a few of them wanted to travel to go visit people or see other places but with their line of work, it was only a matter of time before they were called back in to do something.

And well, this was exactly one of those moments, they were loaded up with their supplies and thrown onto trains as nothing more than soldiers who looked to be going on vacation.

They would have to train hop a little bit to get from the capital of Argent to the former Breidal capital. They all had their gear packed up in suitcases and other things.

Since they were soldiers and there was an Argent military force in the former Breidal capital, they could openly walk around with their weapons with no one batting an eye at them.

Winter was sitting next to Akari of course and everyone was talking quietly among themselves for the time being. Though when Akari stood up from her seat and stood in the middle of the lane, they stopped talking and started paying attention.

"Are we good?" Akari glanced to Winter who gave a casual thumbs up while still scrolling through his cell, Akari took a small deep breath and placed her hands on her hips, "Okay, we're going there to find the aggressive resistance but under the context of just a plain vacation. Basically, have fun but remember we're here for something very important. Like, country-scale important. If you find anything, report it, from there, we'll say if you can deal with it or not."

Silent confirmation from everyone let Akari sit back down, she gave a small breath outward and looked back to Winter who was looking awfully bored while on his cell.

"...Are you okay?"

Winter looking bored was strange to her, he was either happy or serious. Sometimes somewhere between those, never such a flat expression on his face but with her asking him that, it was like the joy was sucked back to his face.

"Oh? Flame Queen has a heart again?"

"...I feel like I shouldn't have asked."

She was half-expecting this to happen, the casual banter between them was part of normal conversation for them. Akari can't remember a time when she had genuine disdain for Winter except for their first mission.

She hadn't realized how much closer she had gotten to her commander until now, he was nice enough, competent, and someone who could keep up a nice conversation. Basically, everything she could want in a commander was in him and she liked that.

"Oh, come on. Don't be so cold about it. We're about to have half a vacation in Verdriet." Winter tried to look at the upsides but Akari could see how they were about to be working the most, Winter knew it too but still, might as well try and have a little bit of fun while there.

"We know we're about to be working night and days looking around the city for things to put down. Though the gun squad will also be putting in work."

That isn't to say they have no confidence in anyone else, everyone will find at least something but in their mind, the gun squad along with the commanders are the ones who will do the most. Mostly because the commanders were setting an example and the gun squad had Chisai who was third in command so she was just as serious as the actual commanders.

People felt bad for the lazy Amiya who was the target for a lot of things from Chisai, they were best friends but that just meant Chisai was looking even closer at her.

"We'll be the only ones losing sleep about it." Winter lightly grinned.

"Well, as long as I'm with you, it should be easy, right?"

"Definitely. After we're all settled, we're heading right out. We might as well take a good look around the first day. I might even have a good idea where to look..." Winter put a hand to his chin as Akari just looked on.

He pulled out his cell and started scrolling again meaning Akari might as well do the same. They have more than one stop to do, might as well try to occupy that time with books, or media...

When they got to Verdriet, they were staying in a hotel that most soldiers that were still occupying were staying in. It was close by the base of operations that Breidal had most of its work coming out of, they don't think they'll have to check that place as it's where the tip-off came from.

Akari and Winter, once again, were sharing a room as they typically do. They unpacked and really didn't have much, just a few uniforms and their cloaks which would be coming with them.

Everyone had a magic item that allowed the summoning of their cloak as long as they were inside of the city. Winter and Akari were the first ones out of the building and were starting their search for anything out of place or dangerous.

Speaking of danger, the Breidal military was a big threat at the end of the day. Former soldiers were obviously going to want revenge, the ones that weren't absorbed into the Ardent military were discharged and were either in this city or another one.

"Hmm, what should be our first priority?" Down in the streets, they were walking with Winter putting up a spell so their words wouldn't be heard by anyone besides them.

"There are quite a few places we can look. I highly doubt anyone in the middle class would care about being taken over, more than likely, they're the ones who would rat out any uprisings. The high class would possibly be somewhat upset because of their sudden loss in power, they're still wealthy so I don't think anyone there would care too much as well. If there's anywhere rebels would hide, it's always the slums."

"We'll have to send the more crafty students down there, we couldn't possibly do it." Winter cleared his throat and picked up the signal to contact the Receptionist, Erwin picked up right away and greeted Winter, "Could you send the Scout squad down to the slums to check for rebels?"

"Hm. Got it."

"Also, didn't the King have a daughter?" Winter bumped Akari with his elbow basically telling her to join the line as well, he didn't want to be thinking by himself here.

"You think she would try and organize something?" Akari put a hand to her chin, it was a valuable idea by someone who certainly would have some say if she was very against the takeover.

"Hm. Let me pull up what I have so far on her, General Lumina granted me access to some of the files we had on Breidalian officials so trying to find anything about them is easy... her favorite food is salmon... weird for some-"

"What is she doing!" Akari demanded. The Receptionist refocused on his job at hand after that.

"Hm, there's not much on her recent activity. She's joined our government as an official, basically the Mayor. I'd say it's worth checking her out. The Royal Palace is being used as her current home. I'll inform General Mostima you're on the way."

"Looks like we have our first target." Akari kept up the pace but with a direction in mind, her steps had more put into them instead of the calm walk she was doing before.

"So, are we like investigators now? How much power do we have?" Winter was more or less thinking out loud at the moment, it's obvious that at the moment they had a lot of power but where did that end?

No plans to abuse it, they just kept walking and not really paying the thought any attention. They had more pressing matters at hand, they were unsure if they should use their magic devices to summon their cloaks. They weren't trying to scare the woman so it would be better to leave them behind until they had to fight.

The Royal Palace didn't exactly feel much different except for the large Ardent military presence. In a way, this place was more like a big military base rather than a Royal Palace anymore, sure it was where a lot of choices for the city went down. It was forced to conform to Ardent's style of strength which didn't change much and maybe even helped as the security here was great.

Upon arrival, they were let in with no trouble as General Mostima met them personally. As Executioners, their faces, ranks, and pretty much everything about them were unknown to the average soldier.

Just the records about them were kept away from any prying eyes and were allowed entry by high-ranking people on a need-to-know basis. General Mostima was one of the people this time around but she only knew that two Executioners would be showing up in a few minutes, she had no names and only a time frame, she just assumed these two were the ones she was supposed to meet.

Eventually, they were brought to a room with Mayor Rose. Hopefully, this goes as well as they hope it will...

And well, she was good-looking with long red hair, they could see why she was popular among the high class...