As the leader ate and chatted with the others, the spirit flew into her; a slight glaze came over her eyes, indicating the spirit's influence. Andrea kept a close watch, ready to intervene if anything went awry. The leader stood up, ready to walk over to the group when a bandit asked, “Hey boss, where ya heading?”
The leader turned towards the bandit, a smile playing on her lips, but her eyes retained the glazed look from the spirit's possession. "Just had a thought, we need to check on the lookout spots, make sure no one's sneaking up on us. You all stay here and keep things in order; I'll be back soon, so save me some food, okay."
The bandits nodded, accepting her explanation without question. They trusted their leader's judgment and knew better than to question her decisions. As she walked away, Andrea maintained a safe distance, making sure that no one followed them, and that the spirit's possession remained undetected. Andrea led the leader to the prearranged spot, where Ash and Casandra were concealed among the shadows.
As the leader approached the prearranged spot, Ash and Casandra emerged from the shadows, ready to implement their plan. Ash focused on maintaining eye contact with the leader, ensuring that his hypnotic control remained strong and seamless.
Casandra, standing nearby, kept her spirit manipulation abilities at the ready, prepared to have another spirit intervene and possess her in case she started to yell when she removed the first possession. The second spirit was less cooperative and subtle, so she hoped to avoid it as a second possession might drain the minuscule amount of mana that gathered in her human body.
With a commanding yet soothing tone, Ash activated his hypnotic suggestions as the spirit left the leader’s body. "Be calm and don’t make a sound. Relax, you don’t know us, but you have a good feeling about us, so there’s no need to make a scene. Your mind feels hazy, and you’re feeling good, so you’ll answer any of our questions without any falsehoods. Let’s start, what’s your name?"
The bandit leader, with a relaxed, dull look on her face, answered, “My name is Lady Ashby Whitewood, the former Viscountess of Winthorne.”
Ash, Casandra, and Andrea exchanged surprised glances at the unexpected revelation. Lady Ashby Whitewood, the former Viscountess of Winthorne, it seemed this bandit leader was far more interesting than what they had assumed.
Casandra's mind raced with possibilities, trying to piece together the puzzle. "Lady Ashby Whitewood... This is far more intriguing than we could have imagined. It seems that she has quite a complex history. We should delve deeper into her past, gather information about her noble connections, and find out what led her to become a bandit later. For now, Ash, ask her if she has a grudge against the current royal family. If she already does, then it shouldn’t take too much to push her into starting a rebellion."
Ash nodded, absorbing the new information. "Lady Ashby Whitewood, it seems that fate has brought you to us for a greater purpose. Do you hold any grudges against the current royal family? Have they wronged you in any way?"
Lady Ashby's expression remained blank, her mind still under the influence of Ash's hypnotic suggestion. "Yes, they wronged me," she replied with a detached tone. "They framed and accused my family of treason, stripping us of our titles and lands, and leaving us with nothing. They then executed my mother, father, and older brother. I was only able to survive with the help of my butler. The royal family is corrupt, and they rule with an iron fist, caring only for their own interests while killing those who disagree with them."
Casandra's eyes lit up with excitement, realizing the potential they had stumbled upon. "This is perfect! With her grudge against the royal family, she's already inclined to work for us. Ash, reinforce that grudge, make her hatred burn stronger, and convince her that she has the power to make a change. Convince her that she is destined to bring down the corrupt monarchy and restore her family's good name while avenging them."
Ash gazed into Lady Ashby's eyes, his hypnotic powers working in tandem with Casandra's manipulative suggestions. "You hold the power to change the course of history. You’ve run and hid while holding onto the grudge of your family's murder at the hands of the king. You now have allies who believe in you, so it’s time to inform them of your true plans. The kingdom is focused on the war with the elves and dwarves, so now is the best time to gather allies and power. The royal family will tremble before your wrath."
Lady Ashby's glazed eyes flickered with determination, the suggestion taking root in her mind. "Yes... I will claim what is rightfully mine. I will bring down the corrupt royal family and restore my family's good name while avenging their deaths. The king will pay for his crimes; I shall take his head like he did to my father."
Andrea, who had been observing quietly, spoke up. "With her newfound conviction, we can shape her bandit group into a formidable force that supports her cause. We should place a hypnotic suggestion on her allies later so that they don’t betray her in the future.”
Ash and Casandra nodded in agreement with Andrea's suggestions. They could see the potential in shaping Lady Ashby's bandit group into a powerful and loyal force, with her as their charismatic leader. It was essential to ensure that Lady Ashby's allies remained devoted to her cause and that she felt a sense of security and guidance from a mysterious, trusted ally.
Ash turned his attention back to Lady Ashby, reinforcing the hypnotic suggestions already in place. "Your bandit allies are now bound to your cause, and they will never betray you. They will follow you without question and fight fiercely by your side. You can trust them implicitly, for they share your vision of justice and revenge."
Casandra joined in, adding her manipulative influence to the hypnotic mix. "And you, Lady Ashby, have a secret, mysterious ally who supports you in your endeavors. They provide you with vital information and guidance, always working in the shadows to aid you in your quest. You trust this ally wholeheartedly, knowing that they have your best interests at heart."
With their hypnotic suggestions firmly in place, the trio had gained a powerful ally in Ashby Whitewood. She was now no longer the formidable leader of the bandits, but a leader of a soon-to-be rebellion force with a clear mission to bring down the corrupt monarchy and avenge her family's murder.