Night Ranger Chapter 7
Marvin’s father wasn’t a wizard, but his paternal grandfather was. Marvin’s grandfather was a high-ranking member of the south wizard alliance. He and his followers were already pioneering when River Shore City hadn’t been built yet. As a wizard of the alliance, he led them to clear out many unexplored lands to open up new territories. According to the deal between the wizard alliance and the pioneering wizards, a part of his pioneered lands, now known as White River Valley, would become his own territory.
Because of their status as newly reclaimed territories and their proximity with wilderness, these territories were given more freedom than the major southern city states. They didn’t receive a lot of orders from the wizard alliance, aside from regularly paying taxes. But when there was an emergency, they had to be able to answer the wizard alliance’s summons.
Marvin’s grandfather had two children. The elder was Jean, Marvin’s father, and the younger was Miller. After the death of Marvin’s grandfather, Jean cleany inherited White River Valley along with the territorial administration. And Miller, because he didn’t have the right of inheriting the territory, obtained a considerable amount of money instead and after privately meeting with Jean to get an additional sum, left White River Valley.
The current Marvin remembered that his uncle had left for many years. He suddenly came back south last year. Apparently his business was thriving and he was a really wealthy businessman. Miller purchased a place in River Shore City. The two brothers met quite often and Jean was extremely happy that his younger brother came back. He spared no expense to welcome him home.
In the innocent youth’s memories, even if that Uncle Miller was quite stingy, his relationship with his brother was very good.
But to the current Marvin, there were all kinds of clues in those memories:
His father’s body suddenly began to take a turn for the worse only half a year after Miller’s return to River Shore City. His father was in the prime of his life at only 40 years old and his body had been as strong an ox! Even if he wasn’t qualified as a wizard, for a true 2nd rank fighter who had once single-handedly put an end to a mutated stone-toothed wild boar that intruded on his territory, it’s fair to say that his body functions couldn’t possibly naturally deteriorate this much with such timing.
Even if it was a sickness, it would be quite difficult to bring so many problems to a strong and sturdy fighter.
However it was exactly because of this one unfathomably serious illness that Jean, his father, passed half a year ago. Marvin was barely 14 years old when he inherited the territory along with the title. He began to govern the territory carefully and diligently.
This past year was very hard to handle for a 14 year old. But the results weren’t bad.
‘Although that innocent kid was somewhat weak, he was quite gifted in managing the territory.’
‘Miller came to my father’s funerals and faked his tears. He also said some strange words.’
‘His return and my father’s death were too coincidental; he really might have a hand in this. Because he didn’t inherit the territory, Miller had always antagonized my father. Perhaps this event was his goal all along. He became wealthy and came back to exact revenge on us.’
‘Maybe he wanted to take over the right of inheritance of White River Valley. As long as I died, my younger brother Wayne would definitely not be his match. He just bribed the Acheron Gang and River Shore City’s city hall and White River Valley was as good as his!’
In a short amount of time, Marvin thought of many things.
Uncle Miller was quite suspicious. But they still didn’t have any proof to back up this theory.
"Whether or not Uncle Miller planned this, we need to investigate."
Marvin quickly said, "Perhaps those two Acheron gangsters could shed light on the issue."
"What do you mean?"
"Follow me, quietly." Marvin added, "Keep one of the two alive."
In the alley near Fierce Horse Inn’s front door, a bored thief was glancing at the unchanging scenery in front of him.
At his feet was an elaborate hourglass with most of the sand already fallen down. This meant that it was soon time for the secret signal.
‘That woman is probably already sleeping like a log. What is there to watch? I heard our employer was quite fond of this half-elf, and wanted to capture her alive. Apparently our boss will take care of that tomorrow.’
The thief played with the dagger in his hand while thinking. He was watching the roof not far away where another sentry was cautiously and diligently watching the inn.
But at that moment, his eyes suddenly noticed something! A furtive shadow was closing in on the guy on the roof!
The thief narrowed his eyes. His perception was unusually high to be able to notice this guy in [Stealth].
‘Another gang’s thief?’
Just as he was opening his mouth to warn the other thief, he suddenly felt a chill as he sensed something behind his back!
‘Shit! Someone saw through my [Stealth]!?’
He abruptly turned around only to see that half-elf swordswoman holding a sword and dashing toward him.
Her eyes were firmly locked onto him; she obviously knew his hiding spot!
The thief reacted very quickly, taking a nimble turn to try to flee the alley, since he wouldn’t be able to take on this swordswoman in a direct confrontation.
However, at that time, a shadow suddenly appeared in the corner of his eyes.
A dexterous shadow quickly jumped from the rooftop and landed in front of him, barring the way.
The thief bitterly looked at his companion’s body on the rooftop, his mouth somewhat dry.
Killing in such a decisive way...
From him noticing the other sneaking towards his companion to the elf swordswoman showing up, only a mere 2-3 seconds passed and he had already killed the rooftop sentry.
This was just inconceivable!
Where could the gangsters in the business district see these kinds of killing methods! The thief didn’t know how many powerhouses that guy had killed to be able to show that kind of skill.
But when he saw the assassin’s face, he was dumbstruck. "It’s you! How come you aren’t dead…" The thief was speechless.
Anna’s sword was pressed against his back, and in a cold voice she said, "You have two paths ahead of you. Cooperating with us, or dying."
The thief obediently let go of his dagger and spread his hands out. He had already given up on resisting. That seemingly weak young noble was actually a frightening assassin, not to mention the half-elf who was at least a level 4 fighter; if a fight were to erupt, he would have no chance.
"Tie him up, I know of an abandoned warehouse not far from here." Marvin softly said.
North of the city, in an abandoned warehouse.
"I swear! I told you all I know!"
The thief named Dink was tied to a chair with an hemp rope. He bitterly cried, "I was merely in charge of tailing, not the attack!"
"You still haven’t told me, why is your gang trying to kill me?" Marvin coldly asked.
Dink acted pitiful and said, "I really don’t know…"
"Hey! What are you doing?" The thief got frightened.
Marvin sneered while grabbing the thief’s right-hand. He lightly drew a line on the wrist with a small knife and blood started flowing out of the wound.
"This doesn’t hurt at all, right?" Marvin grinned, "But I cut your vein; your blood will slowly leave your body until you die."
Saying that, he once again lightly cut Dink’s wrist with his knife.
"You fiend!" Dink was shaking from fear, "Quickly stop!"
"Tell me what I want to know and you’ll be free," Marvin said heartlessly. "Otherwise we will leave and let you die of blood loss."
Anna was worriedly looking at Marvin. She obviously knew that they needed to use some methods for interrogation, but she was quite worried about Marvin’s behavior.
He appeared a bit too cold-hearted, as if he had just gone from kind-hearted to the other extreme.
‘It’s all because of me being too useless. Not being able to protect the good Young Master made him suffer so much that he had to change like that.’ The half-elf bit her lips and gripped the sword so tightly that her hand turned white and clearly showed blue veins.
Under Marvin’s simple interrogation, Dink collapsed very quickly. These gangsters had not received any training to withstand this kind of ruthless interrogation. They only joined the gang in order to support their families, so they had weak willpower.
In his past life, Marvin had once met with some fanatical cult members; getting information out of their mouths was extremely annoying.
‘That guy really didn’t know who ordered the hit on me. He only said that it was a rich merchant in the city who paid a huge sum.’
‘The Acheron gang in River Shore City is merely a second-rate power. Their boss wanted to rise up but this needed a huge amount of silvers. The rich merchant promised to invest in them once they managed to do the deed.’
‘Only their boss met face to face with the employer, while the rest of the goons only received orders. If we want to know who pulled the strings, we need to find the one known as [Diapheis] and pay him a visit.’
Marvin was quietly pondering.
Dink would say anything in order to save his own life.
Apart from the 2nd rank fighter Diapheis, the rest of the Acheron gang wasn’t very powerful. The most annoying one to deal with among the rest was a mere level 4 Thief. Their base was the Pyroxene Bar, which was well-known in the slums as an underground casino dealing in organ trade, and it was quite crowded.
Diapheis was quite the careful man. He had fortified the Pyroxene Bar, especially the backyard and the basement areas. Sneaking in wouldn’t be easy.
Marvin was a ranger after all, not an expert at removing traps and sneaking in like thieves, so he couldn’t get close to Diapheis.
"Young Master, what should we do now?" Anna asked.
Somehow, she had been unexpectedly relying on Marvin ever since he woke up from his illness.
"You said you would let me free!" Dink said loudly.
Marvin walked over and slashed a few times with the curved dagger, cutting the hemp rope.
Dink had a blank expression; he wasn’t expecting Marvin to actually free him like this.
Anna frowned and wanted to say something, but suddenly Marvin’s hand flashed with a cold ray.
Mouth covered! Cutthroat! Blood flowing!
Dink opened his eyes wide, struggling for a moment before dying.
"I am allowing you to go free, but I didn’t say that I wouldn’t kill you." Marvin indifferently pushed away the body of the thief glaring at him and wiped his curved dagger clean.
Anna was slightly trembling with fear. "Young Master Marvin, what happened to you? This isn’t like you."
Marvin looked at Anna and sincerely said, "People have many different sides. In these kinds of circumstances, I have to turn into someone else. I won’t allow anyone to snatch my territory, nor will I allow anyone to hurt you."
"I won’t allow it!"
He grabbed Anna’s cold hands and whispered, "You are one of the most important people in my life. If someone wants to scheme against you, I will make them pay the price."
Anna’s small face reddened slightly, and despite looking at such a scary Marvin she felt much more secure.
She took her hands away, somewhat embarrassed and said in a low voice, "Young Master, what do we do next?"
"We head to the cemetery."
Marvin spoke of an unexpected location.