A tribute chapter to Ryuu. Please keep supporting my work and my ego Ryuu <3
Last High Human 8: Or Unless This World Changes
I dodged a vertical attack with a side step and moved away from the bed. The nurse followed after me with an angry face. She jumped down my bed and gave a horizontal slash. I dodged it again by jumping backward, landing in the passage between the beds and the wall on the other side.
[Nurse] "How dare you stain the blade of her Crimson Dagger, human? Huh?!"
She started screaming at me. Neither Newt or Lyshia seems to be waking up.
[Nurse] "They won't come to your rescue bastard. This is between you and me."
She took a stance, readying herself to jump at me. I used Body Strengthening right away. I'm pretty sure she must be one of the Crimson Daggers. But she was completely different from those that attacked the castle: her movements were sluggish, wide and full of useless motions.
She jumped at me, pointing her weapon towards my chest. I ducked instantly, took a quick step forward and punched her stomach with a fair amount of power. She starts coughing, saliva dripping off her mouth.
She dropped her weapon and fell on all four. She loudly vomits on the ground and coughed even more. She raised her head and looked at me through the tears in her eyes. I put a stop to Body Strengthening kicked her forehead.
She slumped to the ground, next to the stinking puddle. I checked on her, ensuring she's unconscious. Looks like due to the obscurity I missed her forehead and actually kicked her nose. It's not broken, but it bled a lot.
I stood up and went to Lyshia. As I put my hand on her shoulders, something made of Refined Energy, enveloping her body, suddenly broke apart and dispersed. Lyshia woke up.
[Lyshia] "Aah... Wha... Rhod?"
She looked at my hand on her shoulder then at my face.
[Lyshia] " So you’re this kind of guy huh?"
[Rhod] "The nurse is..."
I took a long breath, calming myself down.
[Rhod] "The nurse attacked me. She is a Crimson Dagger."
Lyshia sent me a cold stare.
[Lyshia] "And now you're making excuses? Why can't men take responsibility for their ac-"
[Rhod] "Lit the room for now, please. This is no laughing matter."
[Lyshia] "Rhod you don't need to make up excu-"
I slapped Lyshia's face.
[Rhod] "Lit the damn room Corporal. Before I lose my cool and do something regretful."
This time, she looked at me with a surprised face. I wanted to slap her again.
She moved to the other side of her bed and touched the crystal. The rooms lits up.
I moved aside and pointed out the nurse's body, laying on the floor. Lyshia got out of her bed, astonished.
[Lyshia] "What happened? I didn't hear a thing."
She now spoke like she did when leading our group. Seems like she finally believes me.
[Rhod] "I felt a presence filled with killing intent. Turns out to be her. She said something about Crimson Daggers. She tried to stab me."
Lyshia hurriedly grabbed my shoulders.
[Lyshia] "Did you get a cut?! Or even a graze?! Anything?!"
She forcefully took off my shirt and made me turn around, checking my body.
[Rhod] "She used some magic on you. It prevented you from waking up. Newt must be the same."
She lets go of me and ran to Newt's bed.
[Lyshia] " Ah... Newt. He's in a sort of soundproof cocoon type of magic. Seems like it's also inducing forced sleep."
She touched his head for a few seconds. Newt brutally sat up on the bed.
He looked at Lyshia with panicked eyes.
[Newt] "Corporal! The nurse! The nurse is a traitor! She's a Crimson Dagger!"
Lyshia tried to calm him down but he kept speaking hastily.
[Newt] "She's dangerous! We must stop... her...ah...."
As he was speaking, looking around like a scared cat, Newt saw the nurse lying where I left her.
[Lyshia] "It's ok Newt, it's ok, we got it. We got the situation, so calm down."
[Newt] "But she... How did..."
Newt turned silent, his eyes scrutinizing me.
Is it me or... Wait... Is that admiration in his eyes...?
[Lyshia] " Newt, go warn someone that we may have caught a Crimson Dagger spy. Don't say anything else."
Newt nodded and left the room. Lyshia turned to me, frowning.
[Lyshia] " I have strong doubts about this. But if you really found and defeated a double agent of the Crimson Daggers... You must know that you will probably be called by the higher ups to be questioned. Don't play dumb, but don't play smart either."
While she was speaking, Lyshia tore the tissue of a cushion and used it to tie the nurse's hands in her back. She used another tissue to tie the tissue handcuff to the bed's legs. She then checked on the Beastman. I completely forgot to check him myself.
[Lyshia] "Same treatment, soundproof cocoon. I don't know about this kind of magic, but it's easy to disrupt it with a simple hand contact."
She goes back to the nurse. Hands on her waist, she sighed.
The door finally opened. The Dwarn hoped in, a battle axe in hand. She was followed by Newt, the girl that took the Beastman to the infirmary yesterday, and the horned major. She scratched her forehead, approaching the nurse.
[Major Ayuha] " Corporal, fill me in."
[Lyshia] " Yes, major. While we were sleeping, the nurse attacked the human private. Luckily, he was awake and managed to avoid her attack and knocked her down using the obscurity." She's lying a bit here. "He then woke me up."
[Major Ayuha] "I see. Let me check her."
The major got a knee down and pulled up the nurse's right sleeve, revealing a red tattoo representing the dagger that the Crimson Daggers use. Aren't they too focused on daggers? This word is being said quite a lot lately.
[Major Ayuha] "That proves it all. She didn't possess this tattoo when she joined the base. Corporal Brhuork, gather everyone and check their forearm. Neutralize anyone with the mark."
[Brhuork] "Yes Major."
[Major Ayuha] "Vexia, your arm."
The girl walked to the Major and showed her arm. There's nothing but her tanned skin. Now that I think about it, this girl, Vexia, was the first woman I saw that's not wearing a dress.
[Major Ayuha] "Good. Go help Corporal Brhuork. Once everyone has been checked, send someone to the barrier. Warn them about the possible presence of spies from the Crimson Daggers."
Vexia nodded and left quietly.
[Major Ayuha] "Now for the fun part..."
She violently slapped the Nurse several times. After a dozen of hits, the Nurse suddenly woke up.
[Nurse] "How did... What..."
The major slapped her again.
[Major Ayuha] "I had put my trust in you Eries. But that's a thing from the past. Who sent you here and why?”
The nurse seemed to ignore what is being said to her and looked around relentlessly. Until her eyes crossed mine.
[Nurse] "You! I will kill you!"
[Major Ayuha] "Eries calm yourself or-"
[Nurse] "If not me they will! We'll track you down! Wherever you go, wherever you hide! We'll avenge the commander's death! Asshole! Die by our hand!"
Her eyes suddenly turned red and bright.
The major kicked her in the face and, in a swift motion, unsheathed a rapier hanging at her waist and beheaded the elf. Right after that, she covered the fallen head with a blanket.
[Major Ayuha] "Who was she talking to?"
... Has to be me. I stepped forward. And noticed that Lyshia was about to do the same.
[Major Ayuha] "Do you know anything about what she said?"
[Rhod] "Negative, Major."
[Major Ayuha] "How would you explain what she said, then? Crimson Daggers are not known for acting harshly at random. Especially dormant agents like her. There has to be a good reason. Did you say or do something related to them?"
Well, I did. I was asked not to stand out too much by Lyshia, but this sounds like a lot more important than me. Also, lying to a superior officer doesn't sound like a good thing to me.
[Rhod] "I don't remember at all. But I got chased by them near the walls. I killed one of them before running away.”
[Major Ayuha] "Do you have a solid proof of what you said?"
A proof? That would need to be something the nurse saw too... The waist bag? I took a look at the nurse. She's also wearing the red clothing and a waist bag.
[Rhod] "Maybe... Before leaving, I grabbed that person's waist bag and dagger. Since I had it with me, I suppose she saw it and made the link."
The major looked at the nurse and walked to the corpse. Feeling what's to come, I discreetly put a hand in my waist bag and took the king's ring. The major turned the corpse with her foot and took both the waist bag and the dagger of the nurse before coming back. She dropped everything on the table and looked at me with a cold attitude, frowning.
[Major Ayuha] "Show me everything you took on that person."
Huh... I detached my waist bag and put it on the table. The same goes for the dagger. The major started comparing everything. The nurse's dagger was larger and sturdier. It's made for combat purposes. ‘My’ dagger is thinner and a bit decorated compared to the other. Also, the nurse's bag is a rough bag made of a greenish tissue. Mine is made of a red fabric, with small inscriptions on it.
Opening the bags, the horned woman started taking what's inside. Nothing great. Each bag contained a notebook, a pen, a weird crystal enveloped in some white tissue and some kind of small scroll.
[Major Ayuha] "Hun... Maybe..."
The major takes the notebooks and slowly walked away with them. She first opened the nurse's diary and started reading it in silence. The sound of the door opening surprised everyone. Vexia got back.
[Vexia] "Two individuals neutralised in our ranks. Vulis and Rhunork. Situation under control. Anything else?"
[Major Ayuha] "Negative. Stand by."
The horned military resumed her reading. Vexia looked at the table, with a bored face. Lyshia has a hand on Newt's shoulder. The room was in utter silent.
The major walked back and forth between the wall and the row of beds. She closed the first notebook and opened the second one. After a few seconds of reading, she came to a halt. She turned pages with more and more ferocity. Ultimately she closed it and looked at me. There's fear in her eyes.
Major Ayuha: "Tell me human. Did you read this?"
She showed me the notebook.
[Rhod] "I did not."
[Major Ayuha] "Really? This is important human. I won't ask again. Did you read it or not?"
[Rhod] "Negative major. I did not read this notebook."
The major looked at me with dubious eyes. A long silence fell in the room while I am intensely being scrutinized by the major.
[Major Ayuha] "Vexia, gather people you trust. I want you to escort these people to Sylvendi."
The major tore a page from the notebook and wrote something on it with the nurse's pen.
[Major Ayuha] "They are to meet either General Banen or Master Rahl and transmit both of these ‘notebooks’ and this letter. As for the daggers, you can dispose of them however you see fit. Just don't cut yourselves with it. Clean them in fact. Or throw them away, I don't care. Be gone in less than an hour. Kuld will lend you horses.”
[Vexia] "Understood, Major."
[Major Ayuha] "We will take care of the Beastman, don't worry about him. And one last thing, don't read these notebooks under no circumstances. Favor destroying them if anyone else manages to obtain them."
The major handed the notebook to Lyshia. We all saluted and looked at the departure of the horned officer.
[Vexia] "Seems like we will stick together for a while. Nice to meet you."
Vexia said so with a low voice. She moved to the corpse and took the head in her hands without removing it from the blanket.
[Vexia] "I would like some help here. This mess won't clean itself."
I joined Vexia and lifted the beheaded body and followed her outside.
[Vexia] "You're carrying a headless corpse in your arms. And yet you seem pretty calm about it."
[Rhod] "This is sad to say, but I am used to this kind of sight."
[Vexia] "This is good to hear. I'm tired to clean after people having faint of heart."
[Rhod] "Why are we hiding the head?"
[Vexia] "Long story short, when those fuckers have their eyes turning bright red, that means they were sharing their eyesight with their Supreme Leader. They only use this as a last resort you know? Whoever they were looking at becomes a high priority target for the whole organisation. Her eyes DID become bright red, right?"
[Rhod] "Yes. How do you know?"
We walked through the outpost and are now climbing stairs, leading to the patrol way on top of the walls.
[Vexia] "The major would never kill someone unless left with no other choice. And what would have left her with no other choice but this?"
[Rhod] "I suppose you're right. "
We reached the patrol way and are now standing on it, looking at the grassy plains. She threw the head out there and told me to do the same with the rest. I obeyed and let the body fall.
[Vexia] "You seem pretty reactive for a human. It's kinda refreshing."
[Rhod] "I'm not sure if that's a compliment or not."
She laughed a bit. So she can have facial expressions too it seems.
[Vexia] "Burn it. And make sure the fire doesn't propagate."
Vexia told one of the Beastmen in charge of the patrol way before going down the stairs. I followed her again until we reached the stables. there were way less soldiers present in the outpost than I saw yesterday. Could they have deployed to the barrier? As we got into the stables, I am welcomed by the sight of Lyshia lying down in the straw while Newt eats a carrot.
[Vexia] "I'll see with Kuld if she can lend us these horses. I'll be back."
Vexia left me alone with Lyhia, Newt and the horses.