Release that Witch Chapter 439
"What's more, there's a punishment for dirtying the uniform, let alone for not wearing it." Whistle kept looking left and right as if he was afraid of being spotted by a colleague.
"Stop nagging. It's symbolic enough to wear it. Standing in the midwinter snow in the black uniform will alert everyone in the vicinity that policemen are around. How are we supposed to catch any criminal?" Vader spat on the ground and then continued, "You're both from Border Town, right?"
The two policewomen became more spirited the moment Vader mentioned this. "Yes, I am. My father was a hunter who used to live on Old Street, and his skill was remarkable. He was able to strike the neck of a fox scampering about in the woods with only one arrow."
"Me too. But my father often told me that hunting was an unstable career, and he preferred I became a miner. He'd even prepared a hoe for me. Had His Highness Roland not become the new Lord, I would have spent my days in the mines."
"I can tell." Vader shrugged his shoulders. "Only the children of hunters would have such uncommon nicknames," he silently thought. "Since you're both locals, surely you're more concerned about the public order in the town than I am, right? If even I'm not afraid of being punished, why are you afraid? Is wearing the uniform more important than enforcing the rules and laws laid down by His Highness?"
"Hmm..." The duo hesitated briefly, before they replied with conviction, "You're right."
"But, Brother Vader, you're not an outsider. Haven't you already received your identity card? His Highness once said that anyone who possess the identity card are considered to be his subjects," Whistle muttered.
Vader laughed and did not say a word. Instead, he fixed his gaze on a row of cave dwellings on the eastern side of the temporary housing area.
After serving as a policeman for nearly three months, he had grown fully accustomed to life in the Western Region. Before he became a policeman, he thought that a "patrol team" would have nothing to do apart from extorting and cheating the people. Little did he know that there would be more work than could possibly be completed every day.
The police were required to accept refugees and handle disputes among the citizenry. It was also the police's duty to catch criminals and spies. Whereas, apart from fighting against the demonic beasts, the First Army did not help or intervene in the internal peacekeeping of Border Town.
This was completely different from what he had initially expected.
In Valencia, the patrol team was more like the city guards' backup. They handled menial tasks and were not of much use. This was the reason why many patrollers would seek money from illicit sources. However, in Border Town, the police and the First Army belonged to different systems. The former handled internal affairs while the latter handled external ones.
Vader soon realized the tremendous power that lied within the town—no foreign spy could shut himself off from the public or integrate into society quickly unless he grew up here. With everyone serving as a vigilant watchdog, what enemy could hide among the populace?
But of course, not every arrest operation would be successful. For example, the sneaky characters whom they arrested during the previous operation turned out to be a noble from the Kingdom of Dawn. Vader was prepared to be punished, but his superiors showed no reaction and seemed unperturbed that he had beaten up a noble. This served to consolidate his current mentality towards his job.
"Gold's here!" Firehead exclaimed softly.
"Ignore him and just pretend that you're sweeping the snow," Vader said calmly. "He didn't bring any goods, which means he's only here to check on the situation."
"Gold" was the code name of their current target. The Ministry of Justice received a report two days ago that a serf was trafficking grains. His Excellency Carter attached great importance to this issue and immediately assigned the task to Vader. He demanded that the serf was arrested alive together with the goods, and called this the "Gold Hunting Mission".
However, the mission did not start out smoothly. After making some inquiries, they began to uncover the identity of the target. Subsequently, a team of six people took turns to monitor the temporary housing area, but not a single trace of the target was found.
To Vader, it was clear that the reason for the lack of development was because the policemen's uniforms were too conspicuous. He had lived in the Western Zone for some time, and naturally knew that whenever a City Hall official was in the area, news of it would spread rapidly among the residents. It was no different in the Eastern Zone. The people who lived here were serfs, and thus the black uniforms of the policemen were as striking as fireflies in the night sky.
That explained why he was adamant that Firehead and Whistle should take off their uniforms and put on a tattered coat. In this way, they could disguise as snow sweepers and stand on the thoroughfares of the Eastern Zone and Border Town. The suspect would not be able to escape their sights as soon as he appeared.
"He's indeed trafficking wheat..." Whistle clenched her fists tightly.
"Damn it! He simply doesn't respect what His Highness has said." Firehead cursed angrily. "We shall arrest him right now!"
"Don't be rash," Vader said and beckoned with his hands. "His Excellency Carter said that he wanted the target arrested alive together with the goods. We shall split three ways and act." His instructions were in accordance with the previous operation to surround Rat. "Firehead, you'll mobilize immediately and go to the old city wall area first. There's only one route for him to enter the inner city."
"I'll follow the target. This requires a lot of skills, and thus I'm the most suitable for this role." He licked his lips in anticipation. "Lastly, Whistle, you shall stalk me from about a 100 steps back. Remember not to make eye contact with Gold."
"Then, let's begin!"
Although the three policemen were similar in rank, they acted in full compliance with Vader's plan.
Vader carried a broom and calmly walked a couple of steps in front of Gold. According to his experience, following the target from behind would easily arouse the target's suspicions. Instead, by "leading the way", the target would be much less cautious. If he was fairly certain of where the target was heading, this would be the safest method of tracking. He fully concentrated on Gold—he was confident that the instant that he heard a slight change in the target's footsteps, he could trip the target and prevent him from fleeing.
After passing through the old city wall, Gold stopped walking and rested by the corner of a street. He was ostensibly aware that if he headed towards the center of the town, there would be a high chance of encountering policemen. Vader took a dozen more steps forward and turned into a side path, where he waited for the buyer to show up.
A short while later, a local who was pushing a handcart appeared. He looked around the vicinity before he slowly walked up to the serf. After inspecting the contents of the sack, he took out a handful of coins to close the deal. At that very moment, Vader gestured for the two policewomen to act.
The three of them dashed towards the target from different directions. The dealer was so dumbstruck that he did not move at all.
Vader pressed the serf down on the ground, accompanied by the clinking sound of coins scattering all over. He yelled, "You're arrested!"