Its burning eye swung to Isaac after overhearing his muttering. The four, on the other hand, straightened themselves up and gave the Three-eyed the most formal greeting in their cultures.
Isaac simply laughed as he was left ignored, grabbing for a cigarette.
The end of the cigarette was sliced off the moment it was lit.
“Rude. Why don’t you just stay still.”
Isaac looked at the bearer of the claws that cut his cigarette and had now tapped his cheek. A giant tiger with a coat of gold and black stripes glared back at him.
“Kukuku. I see he’s frozen still in fear.”
Isaac lazily looked over to see who was mocking him. There stood a black wolf.
Almost everyone looked at Isaac nervously, paralyzed in fear and at the Three-eyed’s mercy, but Kunette and Rizzly glared furiously at the tiger and werewolf.
Isaac pondered for a moment, then smiled brightly as he threw away his cigarette.
“I apologise. I wasn’t taught manners when I was young. I’ll be careful.”
“Hmph! I see he knows where he stands.”
Isaac’s companions watched nervously, knowing that he was planning something if he simply backed down like that, while the tiger and werewolf belittled Isaac with a snort.
“Now now, why don’t we head inside.”
Colins intervened. The tiger and werewolf bumped into Isaac’s shoulder as they moved past him haughtfully, and Isaac followed behind with an ever-present smile.
The meeting room of the airship. Anything that anybody could expect in a meeting room was there.Isaac’s place at the head of the table was naturally taken over by the Three-eyed and Isaac sat on his left with a smile. The four who followed in afterward carefully found their seat next to Isaac nervously, as if sitting next to a ticking time bomb. At the opposite side sat the tiger, werewolf, and Colins.
“So why have the inspectors come to visit us today? I thought all the talks were finished. What does the Grand Council want?”
Isaac spoke the moment everyone found their seat, but the inspectors ignored Isaac completely. They acted as if he didn’t exist—that is, until Rizzly angrily slammed the table and shouted.
“Watch your manners! Sir Isaac is the Lord of New Port City!”
“Kik! I see you’ve lost your pride as a North Bear, tamed by humans for so long. You should know a lord of mere humans isn’t something worthy of respect. Ha, what am I saying? How could a race that transforms into humans to feed off their crumbs possibly have any pride at all?”
Rizzly growled at the wolf’s taunt.1EDN: While the species was first referred to as a “werewolf,” the author and other characters often refer to this species as a “wolf,” in the same way we could call Rizzly and the North Bears simply “bears.”
“May I take it as the Black Wolf Tribe’s official stand?”
“Come at me all you want. Our tribe isn’t so weak as to be defeated by a human’s herd of cattle.”
The wolf didn’t back down, baring its fangs at Rizzly. Unable to hold his anger, Rizzly transformed into a bear, putting everyone on edge. Isaac watched the sparks fly with glee.
“Why don’t you stop that and get to the point?”
Isaac spoke, and Rizzly sat on his chair still angry, though controlled.The wolf snorted tauntingly at Rizzly’s actions as if his point had been proven.
Rizzly growled once again, but Kunette kept him in check.
“Stop. And you too.”
It seemed that not even the wolf could slight Kunette, flinching at her stare. The wolf looked at Isaac in anger before sitting on his chair.
“So what is someone so important doing all the way out here?”
The Three-eyed didn’t even react to Isaac’s question and got back on his feet.
“Make your preparations. We will be leaving soon.”
The Three-eyed spoke and left the room, followed by the wolf and tiger. Isaac laughed to himself at the empty meeting room.
“Look at the dog bark… woof woof.”
“Ahaha. Please understand. From the Three-eyed’s point of view, just being present with a human is already more than courteous.”
Colins smiled apologetically to everyone still in the room. Isaac was more surprised that the other four were convinced by his explanation.
“Are the Three-eyed really that important?”
“Rather than important…”
Rizzly failed to continue his words, which Colins took over.
“Rather than that, it’s because the Three-eyed are very few in number; they’re endangered.”
“Yes. Their numbers dwindle below 100. They suffered the most casualties during the 7 Days of Calamity.”
“So that’s why they are treated so dearly?”
“There’s no one better than them when it comes to teaching children.”
Everyone nodded in agreement to Colins. Their third eye’s ability to perceive their target’s talent and create an appropriate teaching program made them the keenest of teachers.
There weren’t many non-humans in the College, because the Three-eyed teaching was much more effective than the College. By focusing on the student’s talents, more could be achieved with much less time.
“But because they are so conservative and stubborn, and they also despise humans…”
“But he seemed to know the damsel?”
“The royal family and the heir to the Pendletons are too powerful to be ignored.”
Rivelia shook in terror remembering her childhood. Isaac had been wondering how horrible it could have been when Colins clapped to interrupt the mood and spoke.
“Now, we don’t have time, so I’ll deliver the message quickly. As the Director of Security, Sir Isaac must take charge of the mission to exterminate an angel.”
“Why’s an angel coming out all of a sudden?”
Isaac and the others’ eyes opened wide open in surprise.
“… I haven’t heard of an angel appearing.”
Kunette stared and spoke to Colins, to which he shrugged.
“That’s related to why we suddenly came here. We found evidence that the Expeditionary Forces joined hands with a demon during the assassination plot on Sir Isaac. The Directorate of Surveillance failed to track down the demonic power that escaped Anton, but the Inspectors succeeded.”
“The Inspectors managed to do what the Surveillance failed?”
“Because the Inspectors have their own independent network of information.”
“I’ll let that pass. But why is that related to me?”
“Rather than tracking it down per say, we just happened to catch it by chance. The Inspectors were staking out Count Milros when the demonic power entered their mansion.”
“… The Milros I’m familiar with?”
Isaac took out a cigarette and stared at Colins, who was still smiling.
“Then what about the angel?”
“The Inspectors were keeping a watch on Milros for fear that they were infected by angels.”
“And the Surveillance didn’t know about that either?”
Kunette furiously got on her feet, fuming in anger. Colins put his hands up in innocence, beckoning away from them.
“I’m just a messenger.”
“Well. Fine. I was supposed to take over all matters related to angels and demons anyway. But why are the Inspectors watching me?”
“The Grand Council is suspicious of you.”
“Yes. Too many coincidences can’t be attributed to luck alone. The reason why the Inspectors were just watching Count Milros is because the angel that infiltrated them hadn’t done anything yet; they’ve been completely silent.”
“The angel? Isn’t this place hell to them? I thought just breathing the same air pains them?”
“That’s why we weren’t able to intervene. Count Milros’s lands are considered a Class 1 fief, given its stable order and finances. But the angel made a move just now.”
“It spread a plague.”
“A plague… that I assume only the angel can cure?”
“That’s right. The victims can’t help but feel gratitude when they’ve been saved from the brink of death. And they’ll bear resentment towards the doctors and government that failed to treat them. The patients themselves would protect the angel even if we came probing.”
“That’s pretty smart. So what’s that got to do with suspecting me?”
“It turns out that the angel who infiltrated Count Milros’s household is a Blue Rose that the Grand Prince of Milros brought from New Port City.”
“Ah. I remember. There was quite a lot of ruckus about that right? How they were going to send in their knights and all. How did that end?”
Isaac reminisced and asked Rivelia.
“Count Milros’s successor took the Blue Rose back to his lands. The family failed to convince their grand prince’s against his desires, and she was married to him as concubine but… the Blue Rose was an angel?”
“Yes. She is the same angel who ran away after failing her scheme in New Port City. That is why the Grand Council is suspicious of Sir Isaac. You could say that Count Milros is an in-law of his. And it was Count Milros who pushed the hardest to send Sir Isaac to New Port City. And now, we’ve found evidence that the demon joined hands with them too. I don’t have to say anymore, right?”
“Just for that?”
“It’s not just that. Look at what’s happened. You, who was considered a mere invader, have fulfilled the conditions to be crowned as Duke already. You own vast territories and unimaginable wealth, and you also hold the position of Director of Security in Central. The Grand Council is afraid that the angels and demons had you infiltrate this world from the start. They even consider the recent assassination plot as an inside job to weaken Central’s power.”
Isaac laughed emptily, baffled.
“An inside job you say?”
“It’s still just a suspicion. That is why we, the Inspectors, were sent in. Depending on how you manage the Milros crisis, the Grand Council will decide.”
That was such bullshit that Isaac almost found it refreshing.
The Three-eyed selected who would join them for the trip. He allowed Kunnette, Rizzly, and Reisha to join but refused Rivelia. Rivelia argued that her position as the Vice-Director of Security necessitated her presence, but against its third eye, all she could do was remain silent and stay behind.
Having received Rivelia’s irritated farewell, Isaac boarded an ordinary airship. Isaac’s special ship needed to remain as proof that he was still in New Port City.
The moment the ship took off, the Three-eyed took Kunette, Rizzly, and Reisha elsewhere, saying he had to teach them a lesson on manners once more. Isaac stayed at the observatory, watching the view under him from the windows with a cigarette.
“You were here.”
Isaac turned around to see Colins approaching him with a smile. Isaac turned back again without a word, but Colins pranced around Isaac as if he was wanting to strike a conversation.
- 1EDN: While the species was first referred to as a “werewolf,” the author and other characters often refer to this species as a “wolf,” in the same way we could call Rizzly and the North Bears simply “bears.”
Colins is one of his old comrades I suspect.