Release that Witch Chapter 1090
In Thorn Town at the foot of the Cage Mountain in the Kingdom of Dawn.
A wagon train passed through the town and staggered to a halt in front of the lord's mansion.
"Here we are. Get off, all of you! Hurry up!" A man who seemed to be the steward of the fleet brandished a horsewhip and bellowed, "Govern yourselves if you want to stay alive. Answer whatever the lord asks you. You got it?"
Most of the passengers getting off the carriage were pale and ragged. They were tied to each other by the wrist with a rope. Beyond a doubt, they were all slaves, slaves of the lowest rank.
Slaves were trafficked to Thorn Town quite often recently. The arrival of the Graycastle exploration team, as well as numerous caravans and emissary delegations sent by various lords gradually filled this quiet town with exuberance and vivacity. These new visitors either took up their abodes at a hotel or pitched a tent or a barrack outside the town. Within merely a month or so, this remote town had expanded a great deal.
"Sir Marl, what do you think of these people?" Forint Sheffield, one of the recent visitors from the City of Maplesong, asked Marl Tokat, a great noble in the City of Glow, greasily. His eyes were fixed on Marl, one hand massaging the other restlessly. "These people are in a good health condition, with no visible disabilities. They're the best picks from the prison. Although they look fragile, they all have ferocious characters. Once they are fed, they can do anything for you, sir."
"Enough," Marl dismissed him with a wave impatiently. From the look of Forint, Marl instantly knew this man, who shared the same family name with the lord of Maplesong, was not worth his time. "I'm not interested in purchasing prisoners, but this gentleman here is. This is Mr. Sean, the Captain of the Imperial Guards of the King of Graycastle."
"I, I see," Forint stumbled while bowing again. "My lord immediately answered the summon of the King of Dawn. He asked me to commence my journey as soon as possible. Pray forgive me for my ignorance. I wasn't aware that Mr. Sean is the real purchaser."
"That's fine," said Sean as he walked up to the prisoners whilst darting his eyes from one another. These prisoners were apparently not as good as those sent by the King of Dawn. However, considering that they currently needed as many people as possible to excavate the Temple of the Cursed, he was not too fussy about this matter.
When Sean was carefully surveying the prisoners, one of them suddenly dashed out of the queue, knelt down in front of him and said exasperatedly, "Sir, I'm wrongfully accused. Please let me go!"
Restricted by the rope, he could only implore in a half-kneeling position
"You idiot!" The steward yelled while gritting his teeth. He would have lashed his whip at him if the two lords had not been present.
"Why did you say so?" Sean asked curiously as he stopped in front of him.
"I didn't kill or rob. I only stole some chickens from my neighbor!" the prisoner explained breathlessly. "Prisoners with such minor offenses in the City of Maplesong will be only sentenced to flogging or banishment. It isn't a capital offence, sir!"
"Is that so?" Sean asked as he turned to Forint.
Forint replied at once, "Yes and no, sir. On the day before Earl Sheffield received the summon of the King of Dawn, he made a little adjustment to the local laws. To quash the rampant Rats and reduce underground crimes, he increased the maximum penalties for all crimes, including theft."
"Wh-what?" said the prisoner in astonishment. "A death penalty for stealing some chickens?"
"Is it very hard for you to understand?" Forint shot him a distainful look and said, "The internal war and the constant rebellions bleed off strength from the City of Maplesong. With the increase in refugees, how to make scums like you behave if not with more severe punishment? Today you steal chickens from your neighbor, tomorrow your neighbor would probably starve to death. So, what's the difference between a thief and a murderer? In my opinion, you deserve a death penalty."
The prisoner wanted to argue, but Sean interrupted him. "Since you're guilty, what about doing some work to atone for your sin?" He paused for a second and then raised his voice. "You probably have all known that you'll get your freedom after ten years of heavy labor, no matter what crime you committed. This is a promise made by the King of Graycastle and the King of Dawn! Don't try to escape, for this is your last chance!"
With these words, he signaled his men to take away the prisoners. Forint immediately approached him with the same oily smile. "I knew you would take all of them. According to our contract, one prisoner is..."
"One gold royal each, and it's 106 in total, right?" Sean asked.
"That's right!" Forint replied, his eyes glistening with excitement.
"Someone in the lord's mansion will receive you."
"Yes, sir!" Forint said, returning Sean a broad grin.
"Also," Sean spoke abruptly as Forint turned around, "I don't want to see the same thing happen again."
"You mean..." Forint said, a little surprised.
"I don't care whether the lord of Maplesong amended the laws the day before or not, but according to our contract, the prisoners must be told the purpose of this trip and the punishment they will receive. If there's one more prisoner who appears not aware of his death sentence and claims that he's innocent, I'll have to deduct a portion of my payment," Sean warned sternly.
He neither intended to be some sort of judge, nor did he really have empathy for these people. For him, the most important thing was to complete Roland's task and prevent those avarious noble merchants from disgracing his Majesty.
"I... I see." Forint said while bowing his head. "I'll be more careful next time."
After Forint took his leave, Marl commented with a shrug, "You're very cautious."
"I'm just doing my due diligence."
"Really?" said Marl as he looked at the crowded town."Your king even takes extra caution when purchasing death row prisoners. I wonder if King Wimbledon did it on purpose or he's simply a born philanthropist. My elder brother told me that he's around the same age as me, but he's already a marvelous king. A man can't be a philanthropist and king at the same time. Now I really want to meet him in person, since his guard has already impressed me."
"It isn't hard to meet the King of Graycastle since you're from one of the three big noble families," said Sean coldly. "If I were you, I would not be so imprudent as to say such things to that guard."
"Who cares? You tend to shut yourself in instead of sharing your thoughts with others, don't you?" Marl said while spreading out his hands.
Sean now had a better understanding of Marl's character. Like his cordial, loyal brother Otto Tokat, as the second son of the Tokat Family, Marl was also very easygoing.
The best way to deal with this kind of person was to ignore him.
He turned around, planning to take a look at the dump site guarded by the First Army when a soldier sprinted up to him.
"Sir, a stranger wants to see you. He says he knows where the 'treasure' is."
Sean drew his brows together. Ever since the message of searching for the cursed treasure went out, every now and then they had people coming forward who claimed that they knew the whereabouts of the treasure, most of whom were scammers who provided false information just for the purpose of getting a reward. Sean said, "Didn't I tell you that you only report to me when there's a solid clue?"
"That guy insists on meeting you in person," the soldier replied. "He claims to be one of the last survivors from Hermes. Apart from the treasure, he also knows where the remaining members of the church are hiding. We've already detained him."
Sean squinted his eyes and then said, "Got it. I'll go meet him."