IRNDGL - Chapter 8: Joseph
"Chief, I’ve received a report."
Joseph looked up from his documents and saw the golden haired youngster standing at the door.
"Come in, Claude." As he said that, Joseph put down his pen, removed his glasses and rubbed his nose. "Did something happen with regards to the Magic Ovum Mirror incident? These hunters…"
The old man got up, eyeing the pile of files on his desk. He took a deep breath, then roared, "....are simply the vermin of Norzin!"
Joseph looked like a refined elderly gentleman when seated. But when he stood up, the bulging muscles of his huge frame seemed like they were about to burst out of his clothes. An unwavering look of resolve on his face and that grizzled white hair gave him a daunting aura.
Claude waved to the people outside before gently closing the door and entering. “Sorry teacher, it’s a new development.”
“A new development? What kind of development can be even more important than the bunch of retarded morons that only know how to bark and cause trouble?!”
In a fit of rage, Joseph knocked on the desk lightly and a crackling sound of metal sounded from his mechanical arm.
With a loud bang, a crack appeared on the desk as it shook. “Bullshit! I would already be enjoying retirement if not for these bunch of motherless bastards! Goddamn it! One day I’ll piss on all their mother’s graves!”
Claude’s lips twitch and he couldn’t help speaking up. “Teacher, you’ve to mind your image…”
Joseph huffed, “What’s there to be afraid of?” He casted a glance behind Claude. “Haven’t you already closed the door?”
Claude: “...” What’s with this reasoning after spouting all that bullshit?
“Alright,” Claude scratched his head helplessly and placed the file he held onto the desk. “The informant tracking the hunter situation reported that Wilde was spotted on 23rd Avenue…”
“Who?!” Joseph’s eyes were shooting lasers as his expression turned grave.
“Wilde, Frank Wilde, the ‘Faceless Black-scaled Man’. Deemed as a Destructive-rank black magician by the Truth Union. Disappeared two years ago after the battle at the White Hills. We currently have a bounty for him with the reward increased every year and that causes a great deal of opposition within Secret Rite Tower.”
Claude had already expected this sort of reaction from his teacher and gave out his report precisely.
Joseph sneered, “He’s finally appeared once more. I thought that scum would have remained in the sewers shivering forever.”
Claude muttered, “But you were the one who was insistent he was alive and kept raising the bounty because you firmly believed he would reappear…”
“Of course! No one knows him better than I do.” Joseph looked down at his metal hand that had been completely furnished by the Truth Union. A jarring metallic screech echoed as his fingers formed a fist.
He had lost his right arm in the battle two years ago. But at the same time, he had destroyed at least half of Wilde’s body. Many people reckoned that Wilde was already dead but Joseph had a premonition that this fella would definitely return!
“I never expected him to be in Norzin. The most dangerous place is the safest, huh? Seems like he has made progress. Hopefully he now has more than just water in that walnut-sized brain of his.”
“What’s he doing on 23rd Avenue?” Joseph asked as he pressed his hands against the desk.
Claude answered at once. “According to the report, he entered an ordinary looking bookstore and stayed for over an hour, as if he was buying or borrowing some books.”
“A black magician that gains power from language buying books? Preposterous! Surely there’s something wrong with that bookstore. Have you investigated it?”
“I’ve already done so. This bookstore is listed under the Ash Chamber of Commerce and has been in operation for three years. While it has little customers and business, the store has a favorable reputation and the owner being an out-of-towner is the only anomaly. Initially, we had suspected that this might be a hideout for black magicians but we aren’t too sure now.”
“What aren’t you unsure of?”
With a slight degree of difficulty, Claude answered, “The Ash Chamber of Commerce belongs to the druids… believers of nature and forests. It’s highly unlikely for them to associate with black magicians. The druids might lodge a report towards Secret Rite Tower if we proceed recklessly and harm the Ash Chamber of Commerce’s reputation.”
Joseph slammed a palm on the desk. “This bunch of shi...vegetable eating troublemakers!”
“Uh, druids aren’t vegetarian…”
“Whatever! Goddamn it! Anybody can be an accomplice of the dark and the mission of us knights is to eliminate the darkness! Do you think that Wilde spent an entire hour inside the bookstore chatting, reading and drinking tea?” Joseph went on a furious tirade. “My beloved disciple Claude, do you really think a diabolical black magician full of schemes and actively plotting revenge would be inside an ordinary bookstore, reading?!”
“I shall really put on this pair of pointy end boots and viciously kick your ass if that’s what you really think!”
Claude was subjected to this torrent of abuse and didn’t dare to retort. All he could do was say mockingly, “But teacher, the Ash Chamber of Commerce provides our intelligence branch with 40% of its expenditure.”
Joseph’s face stiffened and he took two deep breaths. He then strode forward from his desk, putting on a necktie and a coat. His huge frame coupled with these clothes could be aptly described as a “western-styled mobster”.
“Whatever, I’ll make a trip to 23rd Avenue to personally see what a shit place it is!” growled Joseph.
“Yes, teacher,” Claude lowered his head and opened the door.
Joseph strode out the door and headed to the elevators. People passing by the interior walkways in Secret Rite Tower would greet Joseph when they saw him.
“Afternoon, knight chief.”
“Radiant knight sir.”
“How are you?”
One of the ten Radiant Knights of Secret Right Tower. Or rather, former Radiant Knight.
The battle at the White Hills had severely injured Wilde who was forced into hiding. Joseph too, suffered great damage to body and spirit, entering a state of semi-retirement and transferring to intelligence work in Secret Rite Tower.
Joseph pressed a button in the central elevator and it started to descend slowly.
Secret Rite Tower was a tower over three hundred meters in height. Office districts and pathways packed like honeycombs formed a huge and tight setup.
Intelligence branch, training branch, combat branch, logistics branch.
Since ancient times, knights possessing elemental powers had been striving to cleanse the world of evil.
Forty nine large elevators in the center rose and descended all the time, carrying the weights of thousands of workers each day.
“Let me sort what sort of hallowed being you are… Lin Jie.” Joseph muttered as he stuffed the report into his pocket as the elevator doors slowly opened.
Suddenly, he covered his eyes. “Damn it, the hallucinations are back…”
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