Chapter 45: Acts Of Sabotage
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"Take this… you…!" 


With a balled fist, a worker slammed it against the helmet of an Imperial guard with all his strength, more than hurting himself in the process, but only causing the guard to stumble back slightly with a shift of their head. 


Thus, it didn't take long for them to look back at the worker who had just taken the liberty to hit them, and the response was swift. With practiced movements, they caught the wrist of the worker as he attempted to hit them again, forcing and bending it behind his back before taking him away in an iron grip. 


Such was the case for many workers who were brought away from the massive crowd that was trying to push back against the Imperial military upon the main street. Each one who appeared to have taken a minor role of a leader, or someone who was managing to fire up the crowd even more, was targeted and swiftly taken away while the main, brute force of the soldiers focused upon holding the crowd at bay. 


It didn't take long until Namagi arrived at the scene from the palace, a female captain at her side. 


"My soldiers report they have spotted and pursued the demagogues in town. We are trying to round them up at the marketplace as we speak.


Namagi nodded slightly as she narrowed her eyes, grasping the hilt of her massive saber upon her back before unsheathing it. 


"Then let's make sure to be on time."


Forcing herself to temporarily ignore the scene upon the main street, she was certain that their soldiers had the upper hand in the moment. It was crucial that they eliminated the ones who fired up this whole riot in the first place, and it seemed unavoidable to make an example of them. 


However, as she managed her way through the cobbled streets, the captain always close behind, she couldn't help but notice how some of the guards she encountered along the way were trying to set up a few barricades upon important streets to block them off for the rioting crowd. 


Yet, it was often the case that the wooden carts they used, to transport the necessary material, suddenly broke apart without reason. With a confused and perplexed notion, the soldiers would examine the broken carts with a scratch against their helmet, unable to lift the heavy cart with the material that was now partly scattered upon the ground. 


Demagogues, poisoning, sabotage… 


Namagi gritted her teeth as she closed her eyes momentarily with calm but seething fury. 


She was starting to lose it


With a pause in her movements, Namagi came to a halt once she finally arrived at the circular marketplace, and there she could already see the demagogues clothed in black, five in total, as they were surrounded by a group of Imperial guards. 


When they noticed the presence of the princess, they immediately parted slightly in their formation, allowing her to step closer. However, even though the demagogues took note of her as well, they still did not utter a single word in the face of their enemies, only their narrowed eyes being visible beneath their hat and the black piece of cloth that was covering half of their face. 


For a moment, she regarded the agents who had been responsible for all of this. But most of all, her eyes were drawn towards their weapons. Each and every one of them were holding a saber of their own, all of them way shorter than her's, forged in blackened steel. 


"... heh…" 


The demagogues eyed the princess closely as she grasped the hilt of her own saber and raised it upwards, an unsettling smile beginning to etch upon her face. 


"... I think I'll enjoy this…



"The antidote should take effect shortly, if there are any concerns, please do not hesitate to call upon our services immediately." 


The medic finished her final notes and prepared to take her leave, but before she could do that, Maren raised his head with an inquiry. 


"What about the well? Do we know anything more about the poison and its origins?" 


She stopped for a moment as she studied her notes once more. 


"The marketplace is currently unsafe… however, yes, we have gathered every piece of information we need. The poison stems from a plant that is usually more common in the southern regions, and while it is not truly lethal, its specialty lies in the ability to take full effect in just a few minutes after it was administered. If left untreated, the afflicted individual is still at risk of losing their life after a week at most."


Maren slowly exhaled once, his gaze wandering back towards Amaragi's unconscious face, a wet piece of cloth resting upon her forehead. 


"... I see… thank you a lot for your help." 


The medic was silent for a while as she regarded the scene, with Maren not letting his eyes wander anywhere else as he looked at Amaragi with deeply filled concern, both of his hands carefully enveloped around one of her own.


A small smile etched upon her lips. 


"... of course, rest assured, we will reverse the effects of the poison inside of the well upon the marketplace as well, as soon as possible."


Again, as the medic turned to take her leave, she stopped just at the door frame when, once again, she almost threatened to bump into a certain other person. 


Her face burned slightly in embarrassment at the deja vu in her head before she simply bowed her head and left, leaving Namagi to merely blink her eyes once before she casually walked into the chamber with a hint of exhaustion upon her face. 


"Please tell me she will be alright…" 


Plopping into a nearby chair without a single care, Namagi all but stretched her arms and neck once as she simply slumped back against her seat. 


With a small shift, Maren's lips parted slightly as he was about to say something, before his eyes simply stopped upon witnessing Namagi's form with a frozen expression. 


Silence reigned for a moment, until it became too awkward and Namagi simply cracked an eye open to look back at Maren with an either truly oblivious or simply ignorant stare. 


"... what?" 


On any other occasion, one might have chuckled, if it wasn't the case that Namagi's almost entire, long battle dress was stained with blood, along with a few small cuts on her left arm and shoulder, while her face was blankly staring back at him as though it were nothing special. 


Or maybe she really did think it was nothing special… 


Maren stopped himself from commenting, wordlessly but slowly shifting his head back to look at Amaragi's unconscious face once more. 


"She will be alright, she is already recovering…" 


His voice was small and frail, careful even, as though he was afraid that his very voice itself might cause Amaragi discomfort. 


Namagi hummed once, relief clearly flooding her expression, before she allowed her head to slump against the back of her chair once again. 


"... where is your saber?" 


"It needs cleaning."


Maren's eyes momentarily closed with uncertainty, choosing not to question it any further. 


"The riot is under control, it's beginning to dissipate. Most of the people have lost the will to continue without their ringleaders."


Shifting her head once, Namagi allowed her gaze to look outside one of the windows, the sight of the pitch black skies still not any more assuring than before. But at the very least, it was more quiet now outside on the streets. 


"Which reminds me… those were not just trained demagogues. Those were also poisoners, saboteurs… the full palette."


Her voice grew more stifled at the end, a clearly tired and exhausted sigh escaping her lips. If Maren was deep in thought about this, he didn't choose to speak about it as he remained silent, his eyes never shifting away from Amaragi's face. 


Thus, Namagi turned her head slightly to look at the sight. 


"... thanks, by the way. For staying at her side and… always taking care of her." her words hesitated slightly, clearly not being used to express sentiments like these. But she meant it. Her sister didn't need a fighter at her side… all that she needed was this


Now they would only have to wait and see… but for starters, Namagi didn't want to ruin the moment for when her sister would choose to wake up. With a reluctant body that wanted nothing more than to take a bath and to curl up and sleep, Namagi rose from the chair, quietly leaving the chamber with careful steps. 


Leaving the two of them to themselves. 





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