Chapter 70 Spy (Part 1)
“Groundhog” Kohl was somewhat anxious as he looked out of the window.
In this hell-like place, it was snowing without end. He thought that the sky looked exactly like his grandmother’s sheets which she hadn’t washed for years, both of them dirty and gray. Even though he couldn’t see the sun, he still had another way to judge the hour.
That ‘way’ was the militia training; as long as the weather permitted, the militia would run every morning (at 8 am) around the town square. The group of idiots had already started it a month before the Months of the Demons, but they were still doing it even now.
Don’t these people know that it’s most important to save as much strength as possible during the winter so when the time comes that they truly need to run, they won’t need to pray to God to lend them stronger legs?
However, thanks to this bunch of idiots, he could now determine the right time to leave.
That’s right, Kohl wanted to flee this possessed town! Although he was ordered by the 2nd Prince to stay in Border Town to observe everything that the 4th Prince did and then send the gathered intelligence back to Valencia, But now, he had reached a point where he didn’t want to stay any longer.
His thoughts were, I’m afraid that in less than two weeks I, along with this town’s inhabitants will all become the Devil’s sacrifices.
This wasn’t him being paranoid!
Since the beginning of winter, one strange thing after another had happened. Perhaps other people weren’t aware of it – which to him, wasn’t surprising.
These townspeople don’t have any experience; they’re all country bumpkins! As long as they have enough to eat, they don’t care even if the heavens were to fall down on them. But I’m different, I’m “Groundhog” Kohl! Because my skills in stealing information and snooping for news are the best, His Highness Timothy himself hired me for this job.
One night, when he had climbed over the city wall, he had discovered a strange weapon that was able to knock down demonic beasts, but of course, this wasn’t the most startling discovery.
The 4th Prince was openly working together with a witch!
Merciful God, could there be anything more unholy than this? There can’t be any other explanation, the Devil is controlling the 4th Prince!
Even if the Prince only wanted to have a taste of a witch’s flesh, he would surely only do that if he was hidden in his castle. It wasn’t the first time for Kohl to hear that a noble had become addicted to the taste of witches – after all, there were many aristocrats with strange habits, but it turned into a completely different matter when it was done in public.
But this wasn’t a delusion; he had seen it with his own eyes!
Based on the principle “those who are paid have to do the work”, every day, when the snow wasn’t too high, Kohl walked towards the nearby city walls. There, he could often see the figure of the 4th Prince, doing his work. In the beginning, he had asked himself the question, what gave the incompetent and spoiled Prince the courage to stay in Border Town during the Months of the Demons, not piss in his own pants in terror, and run back towards Longsong Stronghold? But now he finally understood; the Prince had already been replaced by the Devil!
He had been at his hiding place when the big demonic beast burst through the wall, which was then killed by the Devil’s Thunder. The following rush of the demonic beasts was held back by the flames summoned by the witch. And it was exactly this witch who later threw herself into the arms of the Prince!
He also had heard constant rumors from his neighbors. They talked about a witch who supposedly had the ability to heal wounds. The witch was said to have cured an injured boy; supposedly she had also cured the broken foot of the old lady from across the street.
But to Kohl, this was only a blasphemous rumor! How could someone accept treatment from a witch? What would be the difference between them and all the witches who accepted the Devil’s corruption?
However, the last straw for Kohl was two days ago, when he saw a witch flying two rounds around the Prince’s castle and then going down into his backyard. What did the Church’s father always say? A witch will only get her powers after she had fallen to the Devil’s temptation. And by now he had already seen a witch with the power to summon flames and another witch with the ability to fly around the castle. Together with the rumors about the witch with healing ability, he came to the conclusion that at least three witches had gathered!
Undoubtedly, the Devil has turned the castle into his own lair, and now he’s gradually beginning to turn the townsfolk into his minions. I have to leave this town as soon as possible! Anyway, I’m holding the alchemic formula for the gray powder used to build the city walls in my hands. As long as I deliver this to the 2nd Prince, not only wil I not I be punished, but I might even receive a reward.
From day to day, Kohl regretted more and more that he hadn’t left when the other aristocracy had left Border Town for Longsong Stronghold.
But now, if he wanted to leave this place, the way above ground wasn’t a viable possibility. During the whole of winter it would continue to snow, making it impossible to either walk or ride to Longsong Stronghold. His only way was by booking passage on a merchant ship from Willow Town.
According to Kohl’s observations, every first day of the month, a boat from Willow Town would deliver food to Border Town. After two to three hours of loading and unloading, it would set sail again and leave the harbor. He only had this small time frame to get on board. Otherwise, he could only wait until the next month.
Today was finally the start of the month’s first day.
“One, two, three, four, one, two, three, four” Just then, Kohl heard the already familiar slogan again. He could see a group of men in brown leather uniforms running in full spirit. If Kohl hadn’t seen through the Devil’s plot, this would have been a remarkable scene to look at.
Finally, it’s time to leave, he thought.
After putting on his fur coat and fastening his belt, Kohl moved away from his cabin. At this moment a neighbor who sat outside of his cabin saw Kohl and greeted him, “Good morning. Where are you walking to so early in the morning?”
Kohl had to acknowledge that, although Border Town was now controlled by the Devil, thanks to this, the life of these souls became a lot better compared to their former lives. They even dared to dry their fish outside of their houses – after all, if the people were hungry enough, even if the fish were as hard as a stone, they would still try swallowing it raw.
However, Kohl didn’t respond to the man’s question. Instead, he took a probing look towards the militia and when he saw them running around a corner; he went straight towards the pier. Residents here regarded him as the younger brother of Iron Paddle, who came from the Fallen Dragon Mountain range to visit his family – of course, all of this was nonsense. Previously he had caught the real Iron Paddle, questioned him for his name and address and then killed him. He had then taken Paddle’s clothes and masqueraded himself as his brother. This was just one casually created identity, so Kohl didn’t care whether they believed in it or not.
Within the last few days, the fallen snow had been cleared from the streets until there was nearly no snow beneath his shoes. He kept a constant speed so that he could save as much stamina as possible – as for the footprints he left behind, he wasn’t worried. Within a day the snow would cover all of his footprints. Maybe even by the time he reached Valencia, they would still be in the dark about his whereabouts.
As he approached the marina, Kohl saw the long-awaited merchant boat.
Under the watchful eyes of the guards, bags of wheat were being carried out of the storage room. Kohl checked the contents of his pockets again, inside he had two gold royals and sixteen silver royals which was all of the possessions he had. Seeing that there were six guards, Kohl thought that it wouldn’t be enough even though he had two gold royals. So, his only way out would be bribing the porter. As soon as the unloaded goods could provide him with protection from being seen, he would immediately go towards the porter, and ask him whether he would like to have a good future life or if he wanted to get knocked out. As long as he could get on board, Kohl believed, that in all likelihood, the temptation of the gold royals would be enough and the captain would take him away.
At the moment Kohl was ready to take action, he heard shouts from behind him.
His heart immediately became gloomy, when he turned around he discovered that some militia was rushing towards him, coming from all directions and leaving him no way to escape.
When seeing that there was no way to escape, Kohl immediately put his hands in the air and fell to his knees. One of his mottos was to not show pointless resistance, as long as he spat out all of his employer’s information, he would be safe, or probably they would even… try to hire him for an even higher price as a double agent.
As long as he got money, he would do anything; this was the principle of “Groundhog.”
But there was one point he didn’t understand. How were they able to find him?