Second World - Chapter 985
Jack had spent two nights in the underground prison already. Since he couldn't do anything and could not summon his weapons, he just meditated and trained his mana manipulation. He wondered if Commander Quintus had investigated as he requested.
Jack remembered Commander Quintus saying that the court which was convening to discuss his fate would reach a verdict tomorrow. Which meant he didn't have much time. He hoped Commander Quintus would visit soon. Hopefully, the commander did find something. Otherwise, he was at a loss.
As for the servant who brought him meals, he wrote a note and hid it under the plate as Commander Quintus instructed. As an outworlder, he didn't truly need the sustenance, but he still ate the meal so that the servants could use it as an excuse to keep bringing him one. This way, he could keep on sending notes.
In his note, he laid out what had happened. He also marked the note so it was given to either John or Jeanny. If Quintus' people gave the note to one of his guild members inside the city, that member should be able to bring it to the two.
Sometimes before noon, he heard the dungeon's door being opened. He hurriedly walked toward the bars to see if it was the commander who had come.
It was not. It was Quintus' subordinate carrying the meal tray. Jack sat back on his bed in disappointment.
The soldier placed the meal tray on the floor next to a slot where the tray could be slipped into the cell. The soldier stood up and stared at Jack.
Jack found the stare to be weird. At any other time, the soldier would just leave and come back later to take the finished tray.
The soldier then transformed before Jack.
"Duke!" Jack called.
Duke Alfredo stood outside the bars. "Mister Storm Wind," the duke said. His face was bleak.
"It's good seeing you! Why do you use disguise?" Jack asked.
"I don't want people to know that I come to visit you," the duke answered.
"I heard you are part of the officials in the court that are discussing my fate," Jack said. "Why are you here? Has the court reached a verdict already? I thought it will be decided tomorrow?"
"You certainly know a lot for a person locked in a prison," The duke said. "To answer your question. No, the court has been put on hold… Due to an unexpected development."
"Unexpected development? What kind of unexpected development?"
"Another person has been assassinated inside this palace."
"Another? Who…? Wait! If there is another assassination, that proves my innocent! Did the court decide to release me due to this new murder?"
Duke Alfredo gave Jack a somber look and answered, "Unfortunately, no. On the contrary, they think you are working with someone, another outworlder. They have decided to rush the arraignment. They will be convening for the last time this afternoon and deciding on a verdict, which will most likely be your execution and the ban on all outworlders in this kingdom."
"That's insane!" Jack uttered.
"I'm sorry. I tried my best. Unfortunately, the evidence is heavily against you, and the people are demanding blood. At this point, I think they will be satisfied to punish anyone even if that person is just a scapegoat."
"Evidence… By the way, have you seen Commander Quintus? He promised to check on something for me. It might help me shed light on this case."
Duke Alfredo was silent upon Jack's question.
Jack felt the duke's silence was strange. "Duke, what's wrong…? Wait… Don't tell me… Duke, who is the person that was assassinated? It can't be… It can't be the commander, can it?!"
The duke lowered his head, he didn't answer, but that was all the confirmation Jack needed.
"No… NO…!" Jack stepped back and sat weakly on the bed.
The duke let Jack process this news. He himself was also shaken when he saw Quintus' lifeless body.
"Does Lindsey know…?" Jack asked.
"Isabelle and I broke the news to her. Isabelle was still staying with her to console her," Duke Alfredo answered.
"This is my fault… I've sent the commander to investigate. He must have found something. That's why he was assassinated!"
"What do you mean?" Duke Alfredo asked.
Jack was silent for a while. He then took a deep breath and told the duke about the commander's visit yesterday. He also told him about the white dot on his radar and his suspicion.
After finishing his tale, he asked the duke, "Where was the commander's body found?"
"Inside the late Prince Alonzo's bed chamber," Duke Alfredo answered.
"His body must have been moved there. I reckon there was no sign of a struggle inside that room?"
"No. It was as we left it after the prince's assassination."
"The commander is a strong combatant. No way there is no struggle. Even if the opponent or opponents are much stronger, the fight will still break something or leave some marks inside the room. The fight must have happened somewhere else."
"Where? Is it the place you mentioned where the white dot teleported? Even if it is Princess Sindral as you suspect, she won't be able to defeat Commander Quintus. She is a commoner. She is level 1 and has no battle capacity."
"Perhaps she used something to disguise her real level…," Jack said.
"Are you suggesting that she is a secretly powerful person who disguised herself as a commoner all her life? I have known her since she was small. There is no way she disguised herself all those times. For what? For a plan that will be carried out so many years later? To steal the throne? I'm sorry, it sounds a little far-fetched."
"You will be surprised how far someone is willing to go for power," Jack said.
The two were silent again. The duke seemed to be hesitating before saying, "When the guard informed me about finding Quintus' body, I was the next person to arrive after the guard who found him. So, I have the chance to search his body before the others arrived. He was holding something tight in his grip."
"Holding something? What is it?" Jack asked.
Duke Alfredo took something out from his coat's inner pocket. It was a small piece of fabric. He gave this fabric to Jack.
"It was torn. Could it be the commander tore this from his assailant's clothes?" Jack asked. "But how can we get any information just from this fabric? It looked expensive, but everyone in this palace is wealthy person. Everyone could have used clothes made of this fabric."
"Not everyone…," The duke said. "See the golden embroideries by the edge? That shows the fabric is from royal clothing. It was specially made for the royal family."
Now that Jack paid attention, he did remember Prince Alonzo wearing a shirt with such embroideries on several occasions.
"Then this proves Princess Sindral is behind it!" Jack exclaimed. "Commander Quintus probably knew he would be killed, so he kept this last clue for us! The princess is the only surviving heir!"
Duke Alfredo didn't say anything. He still found it hard to believe that the princess was a powerful person who was able to kill Prince Alonzo and Commander Quintus. But what if Jack was right?
"Even if it is as you said, that one piece of cloth is hardly enough evidence to frame the only heir to the throne," Duke Alfredo said.
"Then we will have to wring a confession out of them."
"Them…?" Duke Alfredo asked questioningly.
Jack didn't explain further. Instead, he told Duke Alfredo of his plan. A plan that he had been thinking about during his idle time here.
"That is insane!" Duke Alfredo blurted. "Do you know what will happen if you are wrong? I will be branded for treason. My wife and my family won't escape persecution! Not to mention, it will just reinforce the mistrust those officials have against outworlders."
"I know I'm not wrong," Jack said.
Duke Alfredo stared at Jack's confident face in disbelief. He wanted to say no to Jack. What he was proposing was absurd. But that would mean letting Jack die and allowing the real culprit to escape.
"Please, duke. You are the only one I can rely on at this point…," Jack pleaded. "I have no one else to turn to. We owe it to Prince Alonzo and Commander Quintus to bring their murderers to justice."
"No matter which way this thing blows… The kingdom will be in so much turmoil," Duke Alfredo muttered.
"When we found Prince Alonzo's body, it already is…," Jack said.
Duke Alfredo just stood there for a long time. Jack didn't say anything anymore. He just gave the duke a hopeful look.
After a very long time, the duke took a deep breath before saying, "You have better be not wrong about this."
"I know I am right," Jack replied.
"I will talk to my wife… If she agrees, I will send someone to inform your friends."
The duke gave Jack a complicated look and said, "If you see me tomorrow morning, then that means I'm proceeding with your plan. If not…"
The duke didn't finish his sentence. He just gave Jack another stare before transforming back into a common soldier and left.
Jack watched the duke's back as the duke walked to the door and exited the dungeon. He prayed that the duke would follow his request.
Later that evening, the kingdom officials announced that they will be executing an outworlder named Storm Wind at noon tomorrow. All the outworlders inside the capital were also being ushered out. Such occurrences also happened in other Themisphere cities all over the country. The outworlders who didn't follow the news were extremely confused by the treatment.
The officials announced that in a few more days, new rules for outworlders within this country would be decided. For now, outworlders were allowed to continue to roam around the wilderness inside this country, but they were advised to consider moving out to other countries while they could.