Facing the knight squire, Lucien replied politely.
"I'm a friend of John's. I'm looking for John to tell him something important"
The dark blonde man, Ian, made a snort in contempt. "Why should I trust you? Just because you claim to be John's friend? John and other knight squires are in training. I can't let you in, unless you have proof of your identity."
Quite obviously, Ian did not get along well with John. Lord Venn always had John in high esteem, which made Ian feel more than jealous. In his eyes, John was just a stupid pauper who somehow got a chance to become a knight squire and was always using the knight rules to please Lord Venn, while he was definitely better-educated and more talented.
Another knight squire, Durago, felt the same way. Thus he just stood there, watching while Ian gave the newcomer a hard time.
Ian thought that a poor youngster like the one who was standing in front of him would be frightened by the posture of a knight squire. Were it the case, the youngster might just give up or start begging them on his knees.
After going through so many difficulties and challenges, Lucien understood clearly what he was facing. In his eyes, it was ridiculous to see the two squires trying to pick on him, a nobody.
Lucien answered seriously, "John's friend is in great danger. If John can't make it back in time to avoid it, both of you will be responsible for the consequences. I'm pretty sure that Lord Venn would definitely not be happy with what you guys are doing here."
He knew that Lord Venn was a nobleman who strictly sticked to knight rules all the way in his life. If Lord Venn knew his men violated the rules, he would punish them severely and drive them away from his land with no hesitation.
"How dare you threaten me, you little bastard!" Stepping forward, Ian was so furious that he almost pulled out his knight sword.
Lucien could feel the pressure coming from the high level knight squire. Even the guards standing behind him felt frightened.
What was out of their expectation was that Lucien was still the same, calm and serious. He asked sternly, "Are you gonna kill me, an innocent and unarmed boy, right now?"
It seemed like he was not affected by Ian's posture at all. His willpower was stronger than the threat.
"Did you hear what I said?" Now it was Lucien's turn to take a step forward, "Do you still want to be a knight?"
Ian's anger was burning his guts, but he knew if he really killed this bastard, his future title, rank, land and manor would all be gone. He was not stupid.
Durago tried to make the situation easier for Ian. After giving Lucien a distasteful glance, Durago hauled Ian back. "Don't waste our time on this."
"Don't let me see you again," said Ian viciously. Then he turned directly toward the manor.
Durago's face looked grim. He just stood there, waiting for Ian.
It didn't bother Lucien at all. As soon as he realized Ian and Durago were trying to cause him trouble, Lucien reached his hand into the pocket carrying the ring. The power of the ring helped increase his willpower to a higher level that could compete with a level one knight. Thus, of course the pressure from Ian, a knight squire, could not affect him.
Less than five minutes later, Lucien saw John running out from the gate in a hurry, followed by Ian, who was walking slowly behind him. John was very surprised when he recognized that it was Lucien.
"You're here, Lucien! I thought you were the one who was in danger."
"Follow me. I'll explain it to you."
Lucien stopped when he was sure that Ian and Durago couldn't hear their conversation. Then he turned to John, and started telling his well-prepared story.
"I met a weird old beggar a few days ago," Lucien put a worried look on his face, "At first, he was just complaining about the nobles and knights, but later, yesterday, when no one was around, he started accusing God. And I realized he was a believer of the devil, who was doing his vicious missionary work in Aalto.
"I was about to report to the church, but I saw he was secretly meeting Jackson. I'm afraid that the gangsters are involved with the heretic, and they may seize the chance and take revenge on us, or what's worse, on your parents. If you can report to Lord Venn directly about what's going on here, I believe the nobles and the church would pay more attention to it." Lucien looked into John's eyes.
"These damned scum… Now they're involved with the devil. Yes, you're right. I should report it to Lord Venn immediately." John took Lucien's words directly without any doubt.
"And John, I'm afraid the situation is even more severe than you thought. I counted… there are just about ten beggars now in Aalto. Many of them… disappeared." Lucien continued warning him. But he could not tell John what happened in the sewers.
Frowning his eyebrows, John could guess what happened to these poor homeless guys, "Blood sacrifice…" he murmured.
Lucien nodded seriously. "Yes, that's what I'm guessing. But John, remember, don't tell Lord Venn that I was the one who found this out. I'm afraid some heretics would seek revenge on me. I have no power to protect myself."
"But you'll be awarded for reporting this," said John.
Clapping on John's shoulder, Lucien's face softened a bit. "I'm more concerned with my life, John. Remember to ask Lord Venn not to divulge your information as well. You have a family to take care. They don't know how to fight as well."
"I will. You're always this careful, Lucien." John nodded. There was nothing more important than his family. "But if there's any award, part of it is still yours." John promised.
Lucien smiled, "Thanks John."
John stayed a bit longer with Lucien. Since Lucien told Ian and Durago that John's friend was in danger, it would be quite suspicious if John went back to the manor straight away.
After John left, Lucien decided to wait for a few more minutes to make sure that everything was going as expected. A while later, Lucien was relieved when he saw a line of knights galloping across the field. Besides John, there were six squires and a young pastor led by a serious-looking elder knight.
When Lucien went back to Aalto, he felt some vibration under the ground from the sewers. Lord Venn's men were there already.
To be prudent, Lucien decided he would not go back into the sewers for a while. Recently he was focusing on analyzing magic.
Some time before the clock showed eight thirty, Lucien finally arrived at his workplace, the Musicians' Association, in time for his shift.