Kingdom's Bloodline Chapter 5
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Chapter V Furious Clyde
The Ruin is not exactly a ruin but the name of a landmark in Aloftstar City, located in the Second Undercity District and next to the notorious and disreputable Black Street. Its total area is about the size of a street.
Thales once listened to the elders of the Brotherhood, saying that The Ruin is said to be planned, funded and built a hundred years ago by the of Aloftstar Royal Court. It uses to have a relatively respectable name (which no one remembered except for in the Town Hall's records), and also filled with the insignificant but bustling citizens of the kingdom's capital.
n.o.body knew since when The Ruin has become a place where gangsters get in touch to negotiate or on occasion, fight to the death.
As a result, the lively and busy resident buildings, accompanied by blood and blades, turned into the deserted land left with only stone wall and bricks, The Ruin.
It is said that The Ruin was also once considered a place for corpse's disposal, so much that to this day, even the children who happily grow up while bathed under the bright sunlight of the capital are warned: "If you don't listen to my words, I will send you to The Ruin." The Ruin's reputation thanks to that is only second to the terrifying Black Street.
After the Brotherhood of Black Street raised and seized the hegemony of the underworld of Undercity District, The Ruined was treated as the base camp for Brotherhood's beggar business.
In order to facilitate administration and to prevent the beggars from escaping overnight, when arranging the thugs' corresponding and surveillance of each house, the Brotherhood dug up trenches of 10 feet wide and 15 feet deep on all sides of The Ruin, filled with sharpened wooden stakes and rusted nails; and only left a huge stone door which can be closed by a large lock in the front of The Ruin.
There is a rumor that after numerous corpses and explorations, someone eventually dug up a secret pa.s.sage through those trenches and escaped, but Thales didn't find that fabled pa.s.sage after living in The Ruin for at least four years. On the contrary, the corpses in the deep trenches, with the Brotherhood's business expanding, continue to increase every year.
It is said that there are constricted children trying to escape across the deep trenches every year, so the Brotherhood also has to clean up the bones stuck inside once a year.
As its name implies, The Ruin is made up of long-abandoned shabby stone houses with a total number of 23 (there were supposed to be more, but some collapsed in the gang war years ago, some were demolished to dug up trenches) Irregularly located behind the huge stone door, some houses are "far from the crowd" while some are closer to each other.
If lucky, a beggar will be a.s.signed to a shabby house which had well, if not, much like Thales and the sixth house, you can only fill the tanks with water from other houses - which usually didn't come without a price.
Water and food are often the reason for conflicts between beggars like in the case of the sixth house's water tank. Only after two years since his arrival to The Ruin and by various means, Thales managed to achieve an agreement with the 17th house next door to resupply the water there once a week.
Before that - when Ned and Carina had not come yet, there were only Clint, Ryan, Kelly and two other beggars who were already pa.s.sed away - even drinking was a problem.
And now, Thales and other kids heard from next door the cry of the 17th house's "little leader", Diego. Thales still remembered when they were fighting over the water and he smashed a stone on Diego's head, his cry wasn't much different from now.
"Cade! Don't! We didn't do it! Not us!"
Diego's cry seemed painful and frightened.
As a result, the beggars in the sixth house, including Thales, froze there for a moment.
But after all Thales already regained the memory of his last life. His first reaction was to bring everyone in the yard back to the holes in the house - a decision which made Thales regret it even after a long period - to avoid trouble.
Thales took a glance at the inconspicuous stone slab at the corner and hid under the wall opposite to the 17th house, then stared at a dog hole that connected the 17th house and the sixth House, which was the symbol of two houses' alliance.
"What happened to Diego's group? A fight?" Ned curiously asked after hiding.
It wasn't all happy and peaceful between the beggar children. A harmonious house like the sixth house wasn't the majority in The Ruin.
Many beggars' disabilities and even death, in addition to Clyde, were in fact caused by beggars themselves, less than ten-year-old children didn't really consider the severity of their punches. Before the arrival of Ned and Coria, one of Thales's ex-roommates died because of that.
But the 17th House was also considered the minority among other houses. Diego was a brown-skinned, yellow-haired, careless but stubborn child who was at nine and a half, so he tended to appear to be more of a leader than Clint and Thales. At least all the 17th house's beggars listened to his words, which also made the war for water between the sixth house and the 17th house that year rougher and nastier.
"Doesn't seem like they're fighting each other. Could it be that other houses are bullying Diego's group? It was surely Karl of the tenth house! He loves to bully other guys the most!" Kelly, seemed like he figured out something, hurriedly said.
"Then we have to hurry to help! It was us who told them that our two houses need to help each other!"
Hearing that, Cripple Ryan was about to come out of his hole and crawl into the dog hole, but before the moon could s.h.i.+ne on his upper body, Ryan was already dragged back by Thales.
"Don't be hasty, it's not Karl! It's something else!" Thales gravely listened to the screams next door.
Went along with the loud noise was something like a sandbag being thrown onto the wall, but this time came the cry of another child, Anson.
Thales remembered that eight-year-old child. When the war was over, Anson was tightly biting his lips, standing next Diego's side.
Also when both sides were fighting, he clanged to Clint's thigh, keeping him from getting close to the struggle between Diego and Thales. If Thales didn't stormed Diego's knee and swiftly picked up a stone, who know if the sixth house could have a stable water supply now or not?
"Something is not right!"
As the oldest child in the room, the doubts on Clint's face gradually became seriousness. As the beggar in the sixth house whose cooperation with Thales was the most pleasant and effective, Clint was the quite most of the time, but whenever he spoke, if it wasn't for important matters then it would be for crucial points.
Soon, all the children's doubts, seriousness, became terror.
"Beg for your mercy! Hah ha keep begging for your mercy! Continue! I like to hear you people beg for mercy the most!"
Next came a st.u.r.dy but furious voice.
Every single beggar in The Ruin will not forget this voice, which to them is almost more horrible than devils from h.e.l.l - at least the devil will not break the beggars' bone inch by inch, will not cut the beggars' faces slash by slash, will not dip the beggars' head in the water tank then humorously said "give you a solution for your thirst" (As to whether the devil won't really do it the beggars couldn't tell).
It was Clyde.
Clyde Rhode, the boss of the beggars in the Brotherhood of Black Street, was also the nightmare and catastrophe of the beggars.
"No! Boss Clyde! We are wrong! We - argh -"
"Let me see if you dare to talk nonsense anymore! See if you dare to curse me behind my back! d.a.m.n you! Red-haired woman! d.a.m.n you! Baldhead! d.a.m.n you! Yara Surrey! You're all deserved to die!"
As the barely-conscious Clyde absurdly cursed, there was b.u.mping noise from next door, sometimes it were fists, sometimes it were rocks, and sometimes it were the sound of collisions between the body and the wall.
"Save me! Save my life! Diego! Cade! Martha! Get up! Hurry up and save me!"
"Run! Quickly - uh -"
"Oh my G.o.d! Guard! Mr. Rick! G.o.d! He will kill us, he will kill us all--"
"No, I don't want to!"
Heart-piercing cries also came from more than one person's mouth. At that moment, The Ruin under the moonlight in the eyes of Thales actually appeared startling!
Thales took three seconds to react, what in the world was Clyde doing.
He suddenly turned around and looked at everyone else in the sixth house. Ned and Carina were s.h.i.+vering in the wall, and Ryan, who just now wanted to rush out and help, was already petrified.
Kelly and Clint weren't much better. The former's eager and fearful eyes went back and forth between the other children, wanted to open his mount but couldn't speak a word; the latter was pale, staring at Thales stubbornly.
"Bang! Bang! Bang! Cracked, argh!"
"You d.a.m.n dregs! How dare you laugh at me, laugh at the 'b.l.o.o.d.y Axe' Clyde Rhode! How dare you -"
"Hah ha, cry for me! Why don't you cry for me more?"
Next to their ears, furious roars and painful miserable cries, along with the sound of something shattered came together and made everyone unwilling to think further about them.
Thales knew that at this very moment, panic had spread within the sixth house. He frantically ran his brain and a.n.a.lyzed the current situation.
Clyde is viciously beating the beggars at the 17th House - No, listening to Clyde's behavior, and the frequency and the intensity of his blows, tonight, it isn't just simply venting out anger!
Moreover, while Clyde is a jerk, he still wouldn't beat all the beggars in a house at once - yes, Rick? The Ruin's guards, the patrolling thugs? Across the stone walls, although the beggars between each room don't necessarily be able to hear each other, but the thugs walking on the road should be!
Thales did not know, of course, that night guard's force was intentionally reduced to two, and that two thugs would never went back.
"Thales, what - what to do now?" As he listened to the tragedy next door, Clint instinctively felt like something has gone seriously wrong. On his pale face there had been small spots of sweats, and he kept on asking Thales.
"Quiet, each of you isn't allowed to make a sound! We -" Tires frowned, struggling to think of some countermeasures, but his words had not been finished when they saw from the dog hole between the sixth house and the 17th house, suddenly came out of a beggar figure.
Carina was scared to scream out a little.
With his sharp eyes, Thales realized right away crawling out from the 17th house was Anson, who had a head covered with fresh blood.
Anson's mind seemed to be on the verge of collapsing. Didn't wait for Thales to lift him, Anson panicky gasped and collapsed onto the ground like a rug while he didn't seem to care about all the blood on his face and neck.
"Quick! Fled! Fled before -"
Thales and Clint nervously lifted him up while the other house's miserable cries and furious roars next to their ears were still there. It was just that Anson seemed to have lost his reasoning. He didn't open his mouth however they asked except for murmuring "fled" with a horrified expression.
Until Thales waked him up with a slap on the face.
"What happened? Clyde came to vent out anger?"
Anson's tears suddenly flow down.
"Cly-Clyde-he went mad! He wants-we're not the only ones, he, he wants all of us-each room-inside each room, when he saw -"
Anson's words had been incoherent but were enough for the sixth house's children to understand what was going on. The six little faces instantly turned pale, even Thales could not help but feel the fear deep within his heart.
"- When he saw anyone he just beat them, saw - beat, until that person stop breathing - I heard a cry and went out to peek - then I saw Clyde dragged out Larry from the third house, blood - blood - all the blood flus.h.i.+ng out, and then he saw me - "
"He grabbed Cad-Cade, smashed him onto the ground, Diego - Diego wanted to stop him - and then - he pounded Diego a few hundred punches, Diego didn't move anymore - and- and also - Martha, Clyde pulled her to the fire - hum - the fire - "
Thales only felt his scalp tingling.
It wasn't like he had not seen Clyde's posture when beating people, but in many cases he was stopped by numerous thugs just before causing any life threatening accident - as to whether the beaten child was left with permanent disability, no one at the Brotherhood seemed to care about this.
"The third house is over - it ended, our house also - he was beating Milan just now - I don't know how many houses are left -"
But, while the crying Anson hadn't finished his grievous speech, his mouth was covered by Thales!
At that moment, through the actions of Thales, everyone realized that the cries and growls next door had disappeared, and the 17nth house turned quiet as if its children were all asleep.
Only a rough and heavy breath slowly moved closer.
Not a single person there who didn't know what it meant.
In the sixth house, almost all the children started to tremble.
That very moment, Thales suddenly turned his head, trying to keep his voice down: "Listen, we better quickly -"
A really loud bang.
The sixth house door was kicked open.
At the door, Clyde's staggering figure slowly approached while that fierce but full of grins face was looking toward the seven s.h.i.+vering children.
"Fleeing - where are you fleeing? Eh? You - you look a bit - a bit familiar -"
Everyone in the sixth house were frozen in fear, Thales was no exception.
Clyde rubbed his nose as Thales saw a bright red color on his face, the color of drunkenness.
And his hands were covered in dark red.
That was the color of blood.
Clyde looked closer at Thales closer for a bit while the latter was still clutching Anson's mouth.
"I, I remember you!"
The expression on his face changed constantly and gradually turned from grinning to a fierce hate.
"You are that one, the kid who got caught by that d.a.m.ned baldhead."
"You! It must be you who laughed at me and talked s.h.i.+t behind my back!
"It must be you -"
"It must be you!"
Thales's heart turned cold.
Rick cautiously drove the carriage and forced himself to calm down to feel the temperature behind his neck.
Fortunately, everything was normal.
That ghost did not appear.
I was probably because he got a headache dealing with Clyde.
In his vision, the big house which was the Black Street Brotherhood's headquarter was getting closer.
Rick took a sigh of relief.
Lucas's voice came, that Brotherhood a.s.sa.s.sin called out Rick from twenty feet away.
His face seemed like it suddenly appeared in the distance under the torchlight, only to hear him asked with dissatisfaction: "Why do you come at this hour? This is now killing business! You also want to join the fun with those accountant hands of you?
Rick sat there dumbfounded for a moment. As the carriage moved closer forward, he saw in the small square in front of the big house, full of shadowy figures with torches.
Each of those quietly standing figures was tightly wearing a band of black cloth on their body.
The Black band of the Brotherhood.
At least a few hundreds of people.
Rick suddenly realized that almost all the staffs from Black Street's headquarter was here.
Rick quickly step out on the side of the carriage and walked forward a few steps. By the moonlight, he saw his boss, the fat old man Morris, the Brotherhood leader who managed Aloftstar City's human trafficking business, along with a few different profiles - a two-meter-tall yellow-haired giant, a mysterious figure in a dark red robe, and a fat honest-looking man - discussing something.
Rick was shocked.
He recognized them, those were other Brotherhood's leaders in the meeting.
There were even a few who usually didn't stay in Aloftstar City.
Through each of the thug's squads who were fixing their black band while armed from axes, short swords and daggers to studded nailed staffs, Rick went straight to Lucas.
"Lucas, nice to see - well ok, I won't say any useless words- what are we going to do tonight?"
Rick never liked Lucas just as he didn't like Rick. But they still had to meet each other often because of their job, so both of them had a mutual understanding of not having conversation if unnecessary.
But at that place, the one who knows the inside story the most and the quickest person to ask, was Lucas.
"The Boss didn't tell you?"
Lucas scornfully curled his lip and glanced at him.
"Just like the same old regulations when facing the Blood Bottle gang, in addition to Magitech guns and infantry's crossbows, use whatever weapons available..."
This a.s.sa.s.sin, known for his efficiency and toughness, was seemingly holding the saber on his waist to feel the sharpness of the blade inside the sheath.
Rick was startled: facing the Blood Bottle gang...
The a.s.sa.s.sin took a deep breath, then laughed and licked his lips.
"Tonight, we shall obtain the Red Square Street!"
"Joel still has no news yet? What about the Sunset temple?"
The gray-haired, middle-aged n.o.blemen in front of the stove looked at the direction of a luxurious chair and gravely asked.
"Patience, my friend, we have waited for twelve years. It doesn't matter if we wait a little longer."
The vigorous figure rose from the chair, grabbed a scepter decorated with bright blue gemstones. Looking at them, the gemstones on the scepter actually slowly radiated dim stars light in a specific pattern.
"Useless speculations now will only become doubts of Joel's ability, and was it not that he did bring along the lamp? I believe he is already close to the target and only wait to make the final confirmation." The vigorous figure slowly said.
The middle-aged n.o.bleman bowed deeply.
"I'm not suspicious of Joel's ability, nor have I ever underestimated his loyalty. It's just that -" He paused and sighed: "-Joel is too calm, too cold. Compared to his ... unshakable loyalty, he didn't care about anything else. Just like twelve years ago, I'm worried that he would... "
Middle-aged n.o.bleman didn't finish his words, and the vigorous figure didn't immediately answer.
The vigorous figure carried his staff to the window with the view outside, looking out at the dazzlingly bright Sunset temple in the distance.
Even the moonlight couldn't rival such a light.
"Go and get ready, then secretly travel to the temple at once. Dispatch when you receive the news - don't wait for Joel's signal."
A while later, the vigorous figure slowly said "I have no reason to doubt Joel, he won't hesitate when the time come."
"But it's good to be prepared with more than one card."
End of chapter V
Kingdom's Bloodline Chapter 5
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Kingdom's Bloodline Chapter 5 summary
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