Hearing the delirious chants of the demented Dalits, the Instructor raised his eyebrow in contemplation.
“Did the black masks have such a figure?”
“I don’t know… I have never heard of the black mask syndicate having a single leader.”
“Seems like we have uncovered something big.”
Being one of the most mysterious organisations in the Himmel Empire that emerged in recent years, there was not much information on the black masks. No one knew who founded the syndicate or their total combat strength. Thus, each new finding was crucial to the empire’s police force.
“ALL HAIL THE ALLFATHER!!!”
“ALL HAIL THE ALLFATHER!!!”
Still chanting wildly in the cells, the five bandits continued their mad frenzy.
“Oh, shut up!!!”
Lewis’ nostrils flared up as released a torrent of mana. A dazzling emerald green light emerged from his obese body and congregated in his right hand. The Instructor raised his hands to protect himself from the blinding light as a sharp, ornate jade sword formed in Lewis’ hand. With a jewel embedded into its guard, the jade blade boasted an array of ancient runes that made the sword look like a national relic.
Slashing his sword in the air once, Lewis released a ray of emerald light. Once exposed to the light, the five Dalits fell to the floor once more with foam pouring out of their mouths and their eyes turning white. The fat man had knocked the bandits out cold.
Stroking his dishevelled beard, the Instructor observed the Dalits. If that Allfather is the real leader of the black masks than there would be one more vital clue to eliminating the vile syndicate.
“Lewis, do you think that the Allfather brainwashed them?”
“Maybe, maybe not. I’ve seen religious fanatics that act this way before.”
“No, the way that they’re acting is much worse. If you look into their eyes, you can see that their consciousness had been ripped from them. As if they had become a living puppet that does their creator’s bidding.”
“Aren’t you exaggerating? There are thousands, if not tens of thousands of Dalits. Are you suggesting that this Allfather could possibly use his Spirit to control that many independent minds? I doubt even a Rank 90 Spirit Saint could do that!”
Lewis doubted the Instructor’s ludicrous remarks.
“I’m telling you, those Dalits have not a single ounce of humanity left in them… Additionally, I’ve fought a Kshatriya up close before.”
“What does that have to do with this situation?”
“Everything! Those masks that are issued to each member strengthens each and every one of them. If the Allfather is a real figure, he must be dispersing his power to the syndicate.”
“You’re joking! There’s no way such a person could exist!”
Although Lewis was vehemently rejecting the Instructor’s hypothesis, he felt that the muscular man was making valid points. It was just that he couldn’t fathom a person holding so much power that he could freely share his mana with that many black masks.
“I hope that I’m wrong too… Lewis, I need to talk to the mayor.”
“Yeah, this matter is too huge for us to ponder on our own. We need to report it to the higher-ups.”
As Spirit Lords, both the Instructor and Lewis had considerable standing in the Himmel Empire. However, the circumstances of their findings were way beyond their scope.
“Not just that, there’s something else I need to request from him.”
“Oh? And what’s that?”
“Remember when I said that the convoy I escorted contained something much more important than supplies?”
“I brought my students over. They are being stationed here at the Mushinkei.”
“What?! You became a teacher?”
Lewis jaw dropped once he heard that the Instructor became a tutor. He had always remembered the muscular man as an impatient and fiery man. Imagining him patiently guiding and coaching a kid seemed unfathomable to Lewis.
“Hahaha! What’s there to be surprised about. By the way, I hope you would look after one of my students. He will be assigned to the mayor’s office where he will be training to be a constable.”
“Wow, the exalted Lou Frie’s disciple. I hope he is not as disappointing as the recent new hires…”
“Hoho, don’t worry he won’t disappoint. I’m sure he will become one of the most valuable constables in the waypoint within the year!”
“Hahaha, I sincerely hope so! Alright, let’s leave this depressing place…”
As the Instructor was with Lewis, Shin and Junius were busy gaping in awe at the intricate interior of the Mushinkei. The ground floor of the building was over four metres tall and had plenty of space for movement. The first thing the orphans saw was a marble counter manned by an alluring femme fatale that was no more than twenty-five years of age. Her maroon-coloured hair flowed like a waterfall to her thin and slender waist. Wearing a traditional mandarin gown, the slit in the dress revealed her seductive bare, long legs.
Noticing the new arrivals, her bright brown eyes lit up as she threw out an affectionate smile.
“Sister Ines! You’re here!”
Leaving her station, the elegant woman sashayed over to greet her fellow clan members.
“Riko! Long time no see! How have you been?”
“Hmph! Why are you suddenly so attentive? You didn’t even bother to come to visit once! How could I be fine?”
The receptionist puffed her cheeks like an adorable hamster as she protested.
“Ermmm, you know I’m busy with clan matters… It’s not like I didn’t want to visit.”
“Hehehe, I’m joking! I’m just glad you’re here!”
“… I see the little girl has grown up splendidly, to be able to joke like that.”
“Of course! I’m not a clueless, little girl anymore!”
Her banter with Ines suggested that the two had a long history with each other.
“Alright, alright. Come let me introduce you. Shin, Junius, this is Riko, my younger cousin. Riko assists in the storefront and deals with clients that walk through the main door. Riko, these two are the new residents of the Mushinkei.”
“Hello!~ Nice to meet you! You can call me Riko!”
“Pleased to meet you, senior Riko. My name is Junius.”
“Pleased to meet you, senior Riko. My name is Shin.”
Shin echoed Junius’ greetings thinking that it was the right thing to do.
“*Bzzzt!* *Bzzzt!* Do I really look that old to you? Call me Riko!”
“No buts! I’m not old enough to be addressed as a senior. Repeat after me. Ri~ko~”
For some reason, watching the gorgeous lady in front of him being so pushy reminded Shin of a specific broom-wielding headmistress that loved to torment the orphans.
“Hey, enough playing around. You’re over a decade older than them, how do you expect them to call you by name?”
Ines couldn’t stand to watch Riko making a fool out of herself and butted in.
“So what? In my heart, I’m forever eighteen! Come, Shin, say Ri~Ko~!”
But her comments fell on deaf ear as Riko continued to urge Shin.
“Ermmm… Sister Riko?”
“Hehehe, see! Shin gets it! I’m going to raise your allowance!”
Squealing in delight, the slender beauty promised to give Shin more money for his smooth comments.
“Hey! Don’t throw money at such trivial comments!”
“My youth ain’t trivial!”
While Riko and Ines started arguing, Junius’ ears had perked up at one of Riko’s comments.
“Senior Riko, we are getting an allowance?”
“Call me Riko! And of course, you will get an allowance. We will provide you with a monthly stipend of five silver coins! How’s that?!”
Riko proudly declared. However, she did not get the reaction she wanted.
“Huh? Wait… Sister Ines… Don’t tell me they don’t know the value of money…”
“Ermmm… They’ve been living on the mountain since forever, so… I guess not?”
Sticking out her tongue, Ines replied Riko.
“Arghhh! The hermit lifestyle of the Frie Clan really harmed this generation. Fine! Listen up you two! The Himmel Empire uses three precious metals as currency. First is copper coins. One copper coin is sufficient to purchase a bowl of noodles. When you accumulate a hundred copper coins, you will be able to trade it for one silver coin. One silver coin should be enough to buy a silk gown sewn by the best artisans in the waypoint. Lastly, gold ingots. If you have a hundred silver coins, you trade it for a single gold ingot. A gold ingot is enough to let a family live in luxury for one month.”
Riko patiently explained how the Himmel Empire’s currency works.
“What?! Seni… Sister Riko, we can’t accept that much money!”
Junius was about to call Riko ‘senior’, but after he saw her stern gaze, he abruptly changed to sister mid-speech.
“Don’t worry, it’s not like you guys are going to be freeloading here anyway. Just take it as our investment to you.”
Before Junius could issue a rebuttal, a compassionate voice came from behind him.
“That’s right. It was the First Elder’s orders. Rest assured, that small amount is nothing to the Frie Clan. It’s like plucking a strand of hair out of an ox.”
Marshall, who was helping out with the luggage, overheard the conversation and chimed in.
“Then, we can only express our gratitude at your gracious offer.”
Standing up from his wheelchair, Junius gave a deep bow. He had been taught basic manners from the headmistress and knew that a great kindness was bestowed onto them. Hence, despite his wobbly legs, he still decided to perform a bow of respect.
“Wow… Hey, sister Ines, are you sure that boy is brother Lou’s disciple? He’s way too well-mannered!”
“Sometimes, I have my doubts as well… How did brute like Lou raise such a courteous child?”
“Hahaha! It’s fine. It’s fine. Your well-being is the most important to us!”
Patting Junius on the back, Marshall gave a broad smile. At first, he had some doubts when he heard the circumstances of the two orphans. He wondered why the First Elder would go to such lengths to protect outsiders of the clan. The old man had nearly initiated a conflict that could potentially end the Frie Clan just to exact revenge. But now, after some initial interactions with the two, he was starting to understand why.
The two orphans were just innocent youths that wanted to live their lives and even serve the Frie Clan in the process. Instead of orphans, the First Elder and everyone else in his division saw them as part of the family.
“Alright, enough chit-chat, I’m sure you’re excited to see your new rooms!”