Chapter 18:

Reasonable Suspicion III

Sword Quest

Down to the last man, whose prominent jawline matched his sleekly parted long mane dauntingly well. As he admired the aura of heroism the man gave off from his constructed eyes, he realized this person was likely Hedric, the last Sword Heir who was betrayed and murdered by the Wolverine Chief-General.

The three took the flight of stairs, Al in the lead, and took the left passageway, bypassing guards who were either too confused or too intimidated by the 3,000-Man Commander to question them. After traveling some ways down the richly decorated hallway, Al stopped and scratched his head.

“You’ve forgotten where it is, haven’t you, Al?” Galgi spoke up with a sigh.

Ignoring him, Al held up a hand, before turning and pacing back the other way. Finally, he stopped and turned down a rather dimly lit corridor headed by two crossing green sword emblems on either side of the larger Teuton insignia, an emerald green shield with a bold black cross on its face.

Eventually, they came to a curved passage that led to a small room with a long table blocking a chamber door. At the table sat a young man not older than twenty-five, frowning through thin spectacles at a stack of documents. Upon noticing his three visitors, he sprang up, revealing a white buttoned shirt resembling Cedric’s, and a pair of suspenders latched to sleek black pants. Clearly frazzled, he attempted to asphyxiate his slick black hair before it experienced full bloom in the worst way.

“Well, hello there, Ango, been a while! You sure are working hard there, aren’t you?” Al rang out with a boisterous laugh that resembled his charismatic air from earlier.

“Al, huh? Yeah, I’m extremely busy sorting through reports for the Chief, as you can imagine…but what business could you have here? And with a rank-and-file soldier and a student, no less…” The now-calmed Ango looked Galgi and Cedric up and down, as if they were a species he was seeing for the first time in years.

“Ah, well, something rather serious actually. We’d like to see Chief Allen, as a matter of fact.”

“Huh? Hahaha-you’re joking, right? You know how bad last night was for us, so you know exactly how swamped the Chief is right now. Of course, you can always write a report, and I might even give it a bit of priority over some of these others, here, like these pointless ones…” Ango trailed off, sitting back down with a relaxed breath and sifting through a chunk of the papers spread out on his table.

“I’m afraid this is far too urgent to write a report, due exactly to the seriousness of last night’s battles.” Al leaned over the table and laid a hand firmly onto the stack of papers Ango was rummaging through.

“Hmm…I guess it would be something odd. Still, I can’t just send you all right through to the Chief, even if you are one of the top commanders on this side of the mountains. At best, I can get the chamberlain or his aide. This is just the reporting ward of the Security Bureau, after all. We’re a subsidiary to the Chief’s ward, and sure it’s kind of on the way, but we still have to follow protocol and have you checked and escorted. Especially with these two with you.”

“Ah, enough rambling already. Ango, I need you to go get the chamberlain. Quickly.”

“Sure, sure. Just, don’t let them dig through any reports please. No offense, guys…” Ango smiled awkwardly, holding his head as he opened the door to the proceeding chamber. Cedric and Galgi exchanged their own awkward smirks as they watched him leave.

It didn’t take long for Ango to return with another younger man, this one wearing green robes that suited his feathered strawberry-blonde hair.

“Yes, what is it? Commander Al, is it?”

“Correct. But, Ango, I’m certain this is not the chamberlain,” Al retorted with a frustrated look.

“The chamberlain is in a meeting right now. I am his direct subordinate, Shae Cillavier. You may address me with your concerns, for now.”

“Cillavier..?” Cedric accidentally mumbled out loud.

“Yes, what of it, boy? Commander, I must say, the company you bring inside castle walls does not reflect particularly well on your behalf.” The man blinked his blue eyes reproachfully at Al.

“And your attitude toward a Commander doesn’t reflect well on yours,” Al stared back at him, his eyes beginning to look menacing. The mood in the room had turned from awkward to tense, quick.

“Government representatives have no duty to kiss up to military commanders, unfortunately. So, state your business before I return to the inner chambers to continue cleaning up your people’s messes.”

Al’s eyes opened slightly before narrowing once more.

“Ah, yes, gladly.” His tone remained low as he was clearly holding back a significant amount of anger.

“Our business involves last night’s battles. I’ll cut right to the chase- this boy encountered a Red Wolf operant within the walls, and this soldier can verify the likeliness of this operant, and maybe more, sneaking through our defenses.”

Al summarized the night’s events, nodding for Cedric and Galgi to pitch in at certain parts. Shae stood cross armed, frowning with a raised brow through the whole thing, while the dumbfounded Ango pretended to work.

“Well, despite everything wrong with this group’s collaboration, I understand your sense of duty to come here directly,” Shae admitted as he rubbed his temples.

“I can assure you, however, that there is no need for concern. This matter has been taken care of already, hence the comment about cleaning up your people’s messes.”

“And you’re absolutely certain it’s been taken care of?” Al retorted, ignoring Shae’s condescending tone this time.

“Yes, as I said, we’ve handled any intruders. The chamberlain has confirmed this. There is no need for any further query, so please take your leave.”
“I don’t think so, pal. You haven’t told me anything to ease my mind about the possibility of more intruders. I’m not going anywhere until I’ve at least met with the chamberlain.” Al’s voice rang out much firmer than before.

“You have no right to make such demands! Are you aware of your position here? Not only mingling with a student, but sharing security information with each other! If you continue to throw your overestimated weight around here, you might end up finding yourself stripped of your rank!”

“And just who will be stripping me of my rank, eh? Will you?”

“Excuse me, gentlemen…” a deep voice interrupted the two before their aggressive faces managed to reach each other over the table.

From the open doorway, a tall older man with finely molded blonde hair stepped in, placing a hand on Shae’s shaking shoulder.

“Just what is going on here, Shae?”

“Ah, Master Wendell, these men here-”

“I’m Al. Are you the Chamberlain here?” Al cut Shae off, incurring his wrathful glance.

“Yes, I am. Wendell Eraldin, Chamberlain of the Security Bureau.”
“” Cedric spat out unintentionally.

“Huh? Oh, is that…Cedric? What business could you possibly have here? Mel hadn’t mentioned you running around with soldiers…”

“Ah, yes sir, every now and then. He hadn’t mentioned his father being the Chief of Security, either.”