Chapter 61 – An Apt Reward
Right as Devon and Petunia agreed upon their revisionist version of the story, several horsemen came clopping down the road. They were armed to the teeth with heavy plate mail and pikes, and the warhorses were also donned with steel horse armor. Across their breastplates were an insignia of some sort, but one of the horsemen had a different crest.
Petunia grunted. “It’s the earl’s private army,” he said. “And that one right there?” he indicated, pointing at the lone horseman with a different crest. “Royal army member. I’m not surprised that the royal army’s here to investigate. Demon sightings have been growing more frequent in the past month, and that’s a cause for national concern.”
The horses rushed down the dirt street towards the courtyard and arrived at the country house.
“Halt!” the royal horseman in a full helmet shouted, and the horses all came to a neighing stop.
Stepping down, the royal horseman in a yellow uniformed tunic with an black insignia in the middle over his heavy armor walked towards Petunia and Devon. Upon seeing Devon’s getup in bunny ears and short shorts, he scowled. “What is this? Some sort of prank, a misreport of a demon sighting?”
“It’s just one of the young lady’s pastimes, officer. But look at the crater over there.”
The crater in the ground finally caught the officer’s eye, and he walked over with a discerning eye. He stepped over the rubble and stone and dirt, examining the meters wide crater. “Mother of god, what in god’s name caused a crater like this?”
He looked over at Petunia, then towards the giant ape demon carcass on the floor nearby, then back at Petunia. “Did you make this crater?” he asked, looking at the muscular bodyguard.
Petunia shook his head. “No, it was the demon. I managed to wound the gorilla, and the escort here helped me deliver the final blow.” Petunia pointed towards Devon, who nodded ever so slightly in response.
“Strange, very strange…” the royal officer muttered. “I can see that the demon created the crater, but how in the world did you two manage to subdue such a creature? Even an entire battalion of the royal army would have trouble against a creature of such power. Perhaps this was a weaker member of its species…”
Stepping through the crater, the royal officer knelt down and examined the damage done to the gorilla demon’s corpse, including an arm that was completely blown off. “And how did this happen? I don’t see any explosives anywhere.”
Petunia shook his head. “I’m not sure. There was some kind of boom from within the gorilla demon. I couldn’t see what caused it in the heat of the moment.”
“Hm… sword marks too.” The royal officer shook his head. “Right near the chest cavity. So an oversized bodyguard and an escort took down an entire demon by themselves. What a turn of events.”
The royal officer nodded. “Well, in any case, a crisis has been averted. I’ll send some professional examiners from the royal army here to take a gander at the demon. In the meantime, both of you will be rewarded with a large gold bounty for your contributions to the country.”
“Show me your I.D.s, so I can take down your information to dispense your gold reward to your account.”
Petunia handed over an identification card, and Devon took out both his adventurer’s card and his backroom card.
“Which one do you need?” Devon asked, handing both over.
The royal officer’s eyebrow raised upon seeing the black card. “Just this one is fine,” he said, taking the black card and recording the identification number onto his state issued magic quill and notepad.
“I’ll be heading out to inform the army headquarters of this development. Adieu.”
The officer hoisted himself onto his horse and whipped it, as it cantered away.
Now that the royal officer was gone, the head of the earl’s private army stepped forward to speak. “Crisis truly has been averted, huh. Striking the final sword blow on a demon… what a feat. I will let the earl know about your contributions.” He spoke directly at Devon.
“And Patrick, good job like usual.”
Patrick, otherwise known as Petunia, nodded gruffly.
“I’m sure the earl will want to invite you to dinner tonight to celebrate such an impossible feat. You see, the earl loves to hear about stories such as this one. Come. We will get you dressed up for tonight. And I’m sure that the earl will reward you handsomely for such a feat.”
A big reward from the earl? Devon smiled. Maybe he could request a slave girl for the night as a reward. Or even Lady Ann herself…