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The cold floor and the endless pain all over his body forced Mahnke awake.
He seemed to be in a cold and damp cellar. Ice-cold droplets of water dripped down his skin, and Mahnke could not help but sneeze, his eyes quickly beginning to grow clear.
“Right, the ambush failed. I’m a captive now… A captive. What a joke…” He could feel a sharp pain in his thighs and arms. The lack of his teeth left a sense of emptiness in the cavity that was his mouth.
By the dim light, Mahnke could see the noble who had achieved victory over him. The man looked exceptionally calm with not the slightest hint of joy in his expression, which only made him feel more fearful.
“You- you’re dead meat! Dead meat!” Mahnke shivered as he exclaimed in a strange voice. The sounds he produced were distorted by the air leaking out of his mouth.
“Oh, is that so? And you’re going to do that?” Leylin’s expression was full of ridicule, “Or perhaps it’s him?”
The clothing on Mahnke’s arms slowly ripped apart, revealing a church emblem branded into his skin. This was a strange rune made up of a head and fresh blood.
Leylin’s impression of the God of Murder, Cyric, was that of someone powerful who liked provoking deaths and conspiracies. He found joy in causing civil wars in regions, and was one of those gods who liked to stir up sheet. Even so, a real god’s church would pose tremendous trouble for Leylin as he was right now.
“Stop bullsheetting. You’re just a follower of the God of Murder, and the mighty god would not shift his attention to a mere mortal, not to mention a piece of trash who is also a failure.” There were always followers of gods dying on the continent, and unless they were saints or high-ranked priests, the gods would not place much focus on them. Regular followers and the like were obviously neglected.
Unless Leylin used techniques to profane the soul of a believer, that god would not be angered into giving him divine punishment.
This deep understanding caused Mahnke to freeze, with a lifeless expression on his face.
“Tell me! How many mad dogs are there like you under Tim, that useless son of Marquis Louis?”Seeing that he had successfully shattered his defences, Leylin tossed out a huge bomb.
“You knew?” Mahnke exclaimed in surprised, which confirmed Leylin’s suspicions.
‘So the information that Tapris had was real. Marquis Louis has been the one behind all of this!’
“Since you know, you should understand that you can’t win…” Mahnke cackled, “Even if your talent as a wizard is startling, you’re nothing in the eyes of the real royalty even if you’re a rank 6 wizard…” It was obvious that his loss at Leylin’s hands was still fresh in his mind.
All that talk about him being rank 6? Leylin happily watched Mahnke guess wrong, and did not have any plans to correct him. After all, the fact that he was hiding his wizard rank and wasn’t restricted as much by the Weave was more believable than him being able to use rank 0 spells without limit, and he was less likely to be exposed because of it.
“Alright, I don’t have much time to chat with you. Now I need to know how many men there are under Tim. Where they are, when the pirates plan to come ashore, as well as the plans of the continent… Whatever it is, you must tell me all you know.”Leylin’s expression turned cold, his eyes flickering.
“Keke… I’ll say nothing. Aren’t you just going to torture me? Bring it on!” Mahnke, however, began to sound like a scoundrel.
Pirates and assassins naturally went through some training, and possessed great endurance against torture.
“Seems like you’re very confident in your endurance?” Leylin glanced at Mahnke, his eyes holding within them a sense of… pity?
“You’ll soon know how much happiness there is in death. All that you’ve experienced before is nothing…” Leylin cracked his knuckles loudly. There were few in the World of Gods with as much experience as him in torturing the body and soul.
His astonishing surgical skills and knowledge of potions allowed him to claim someone’s life with ease, and on top of that, he also had the spells that could affect their minds. Leylin’s eyes flickered with an evil glint. Soon enough, the other party would find how blissful it was to be able to choose death.
Mahnke gave in very quickly. Three hours later, he was weeping and sniffling as he revealed everything to Leylin, only begging for death. Leylin hadn’t used even a hundredth of his abilities.
Once he had gained all the information that Mahnke knew and confirmed the truth of his words, Leylin did not kill him or torture the poor child any longer. Instead, he threw him in jail. Such a high-ranked guinea pig with a profession was very difficult to obtain.
After gaining the intel, Leylin first personally purged the manor. With his experience and the detection abilities of the A.I. Chip, the hidden spies grew completely obvious. Soon enough, numerous little rats were seized, including a kitchen lady, two stable lads, and a few servants.
At crucial moments, Leylin never cared about not involving others when it came to crimes. He took control over their families, and such ruthless methods caused all those serving in the manor to tremble in fear. Even Claire and Clara grew afraid of him. Of course, with what had happened as a pretext, his absolute domination of them extended further.
‘How many people can I gather?” Leylin asked Jacob from behind the baron’s desk. His arms were crossed.
“Reporting to young master,” Jacob was wearing leather armour, and was cloaked in a powerful aura. His respectful attitude pleased Leylin greatly. “We’ll do our best at the port. We can transfer fifty men from the guard, and with the guards of the manor, there will be eighty men!”
“Eighty men?” Leylin muttered to himself. It was true that there were very few people that he could use, and at the very most those that he could were farmers with a few days of training, comparable just to militia.
The real elites were obviously by Baron Jonas’ side.
‘Things should be easier on their side with my warning.’ Leylin had obviously sent Baron Jacob the information he’d obtained, and it was sure to be useful for him. At the very least, they weren’t going in completely blind and knew who the enemy was.
“Gather them and prepare to annihilate the pirates with me!”The group or pirates who could come ashore at any moment was the most urgent threat to Leylin, and he wasn’t going to watch them wreak havoc on his territory. Taking the initiative to make the first move thus became the most necessary choice.
“Understood! We shall become the sharpest blades in young master’s hands!” Jacob guaranteed.
“I look forward to it!”They were Leylin’s only hope. Though these militia could do little against those with professions, they would still be of some use to regular pirates.
With his current strength, it was impossible for him to eliminate so many pirates. It was important to have help from subordinates.
“‘Mm… This should be enough power to deal with the regular pirates, but based on the information from Mahnke there’s a rank 10 leader amongst them, and we don’t have enough high-ranked powers…” Leylin stroked his chin, muttering to himself irresolutely.
‘If we talk about high-ranked power, Cousin Isabel should be alright, but it’s better that she protect Madam Sarah.’ At the thought of her, Leylin immediately asked, “What’s that cousin of mine, Isabel, been up to?”
After hearing this question, Jacob looked hesitant.
“Tell me!” Leylin’s expression went cold.
“Does young master still remember the spies that were captured?” Jacob gritted his teeth.
“Didn’t I tell you to take care of them?” Leylin’s brows furrowed.
“Out of all of the captives, she picked two servants and took them away and there hasn’t been word on her location. Ever since she entered her room, it’s like she has completely disappeared from the world. Based on what the patrolling guards said, miserable cries have been heard from her room…”
Jacob’s expression was filled with unspeakable horror. After all, people of this world easily related these happenings to ‘devils’, ‘demonic rituals’ and the like. Isabel’s actions were of a similar vein.
“Alright…” Leylin rubbed his forehead, feeling a headache coming on, “Anything else?”
“The miss seems to have some interest in the family members of the spies, but I persuaded her…” Jacob said.
‘I almost forgot that’s a problem. Things would get troublesome if the people from the church were to find out…’ Leylin sighed, “I’ll take care of Isabel’s matter personally. Don’t tell anyone about this. Demote the families of these criminals to slaves and don’t lock them up in the manor for some more time. Get them to the pier and put them in hard labour, or just sell them…”
It was important to set the norms at this point, whether they be positive or negative. Whatever it was, the people had to see the serious consequences of betrayal if he wanted to intimidate them effectively.
“Alright!” Jacob did not have any objections and carried out his orders, leaving Leylin alone.
Leylin watched the tranquil night sky outside, and suddenly sighed.
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