Beast Blades, Chapter 5: Fleeing Sharen City Part 3

A guard locked a pair of shackles around the wrists of a pastor. The pastor protested, “I swear I didn’t know that the rebellion was using the catacombs! They’re sacred to us, we’d never allow them to be used for anything but the resting place of past believers!”

Aldrick shook his head. “You’ll have to forgive me, Father, but I find it hard to believe that the rebellion could sneak in and out of your church without you figuring out that something was going on.”

“You have to believe me! I am innocent!”

“I’m afraid at this point what I believe isn’t as important as what Lord Geraldo believes. You are a man of faith, Father, so I’d suggest that you start praying.” Aldrick turned to one of the guards. “Put him with the others. I want them out of the city and on their way to Lord Geraldo for judgement in the morning.”

The soldier saluted. “Yes, sir!” He turned to the group of clergymen in chains. “All right you lot, you get to spend the night in the prison, so start moving!”

The clergymen started to shuffle out of the church, soldiers armed with spears walking on either side of them and the one that had barked the orders walking behind them. Aldrick turned to a group of soldiers still standing in the church. “I want guards positioned inside the catacombs at all times from now on. We’ll capture any other merchants or members of the rebellion that want sneak into this city. I’ll leave the scheduling and positioning to you, Captain.”

The soldier saluted, “Yes sir, General Aldrick, sir!” The Captain turned to his soldiers. “Drake, get that trap door opened, and the rest of you get down inside of there! We’ll do some extensive scouting on the tunnels and find the best places to wait for rebels.” The soldiers disappeared one at a time down into the catacombs.

Aldrick finally turned and looked at the group of Acerbi standing behind him. “I thought I had given you specific orders to only observe Apollos and the children.”
An Acerbus responded in a dead voice, “If we had attacked sooner we could have all three of them. It was humiliating watching them move about freely in this city, especially when they were traveling about unarmed. I only regret not following my instincts! We could have ended all of this instead of chasing after them once more!”

Aldrick shook his head. “You Acerbi never did seem to understand the finer points of tactics. I had you follow and watch them, and as a result we have discovered the location of the next legendary beast blade and shut down an underground black market the rebellion was operating right under our noses. If you had managed to not reveal yourselves we could have captured all the merchants as well. But you made sure to give them ample time to escape.”

The Acerbus pointed an accusing finger at Aldrick. “If you had moved faster to aid us in the tunnels we could have captured Apollos at least! Instead all of my brethren were slaughtered by that butcher!”
Aldrick shoved the Acerbus’ finger aside. “Let’s get one thing straight here, Acerbus. Geraldo put me in charge, you take orders from me. I didn’t back you up in the caves because I wanted Apollos to escape. Geraldo wants those legendary beast blades. With those in his possession, no one would be able to challenge him ever again, and his victory would be assured.”

“If we kill the boy Lord Geraldo’s victory is assured! He needs no other beast blade than the one that controls us.”

“If you kill the boy the legendary beast blades will just chose another to take up his place. Leave the strategy to me, you had better just obey me. Now, prepare yourselves, we’re leaving the city once I find something to eat.” Aldrick turned and regarded the two men standing behind him wearing red capes. “Captain’s Hugh and Charles, make preparations to follow after Apollos and the boy. We begin our pursuit once I have found something to eat.”

Captain Hugh saluted. “Are we to set up a little surprise for your old teacher, sir?”

Aldrick smiled. “Yes, Captain, I believe that Apollos will be quite surprised.”

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