Wuxiaworld > Release that Witch > Chapter 487: The Guarding Shield

Chapter 487: The Guarding Shield

Chapter 487: The Guarding Shield

Translator: TransN Editor: TransN
By dusk, the ship reached the port of the inland river near Longsong Stronghold.

Petrov had heard about their trip and greeted them at the port with his followers. When they returned the castle, a grand welcoming banquet awaited them in the hall of the first floor. After taking over Longsong Stronghold, something changed in Roland's heart. When watching the nobles giving toasts to each other, he felt the money spent on the banquet came out of his own pocket.

After briefly greeted the eldest son of the Honeysuckle Family, he cut to the chase. "Have the Rats come out again?"

"Judging from the reports we received, it seems so." Petrov made a gesture to guide the prince to a corner of the hall. "Compared with the former organized Black Street groups, the criminals we recently arrested mostly acted individually, such as thieves, burglars, and murderers, all of whom were pulled to the square to be hung. Since you asked us to judge with adequate proof, the criminals we executed were only a small portion of all the reported criminals. Verifying the information in hand took quite some time. Besides..." The eldest son of the Honeysuckle Family paused. "We're in a great trouble recently."

"What is it?"

"Someone openly resisted your policies, Your Highness," Petrov said in a worried tone. "Earl Medde knows more about it. I'll ask him to tell you in detail."

"Your Highness, the Elk Family greets you." After being summoned, Rene came and bowed to the prince, and then he began to tell the whole story. "Recently, something serious happened in North Street of the outer town... Um, Sheriff Vader would call it a serial killing case."

"Um, it's actually what I would call it." This triggered Roland's interests. "Carry on."

"Yes," Rene Medde said in a serious voice. "Since three days ago, a resident has been found dead at home every night. The victims were all male, lived alone, had no families, and most importantly, they applied for jobs in the City Hall."

The prince frowned. "Were they regular employees?"

"If handymen can be counted as full-time job, then yes." The Earl of the Elk Family nodded. "In the room of each victim, there was a painting drawn with blood—a crown and a cross. Because of the identical mark, I sought confirmation from the City Hall and then found all the victims were among the list of people who were about to be sent to the Redriver District to build houses.

"You think their intention is..."

"To sabotage your enrollment plan, Your Highness," Rene replied. "Rumors have been spreading in North Street saying that whoever applies for a job in the City Hall will be a target for killers."

"I believe that's what's happening." Petrov chimed. "We've employed less than we'd expected, and there're barely any applicants from North Street. Moreover, there're applicants who regret applying and say that they're physically unfit for going out of town and hope that the officials can take their names off the City Hall's enrollment list. Now, the rumor is only spread in North Street, but if it goes as far as other blocks, it could sabotage your construction plan."

Roland contemplated for a moment. "Have you got any clues about the suspect?"

"We..." Rene opened his mouth and said after a while, "There were no witnesses to the crimes, so we've no idea where to start the searching."

"Really..." Roland felt surprised. "How did you solve such cases on previous occasions?"

"Do you mean the patrol team?" The young Earl of the Elk Family hesitated for a while. "As far as I know, they didn't have standard handling methods. If it was an influential case where the families of the victim appealed to the Lord, and the Lord decided to show his subjects justice, he would pressure the Black Street gangsters and order the Rats to hand over the criminal—the patrol team didn't care if the person they handed over was only a scapegoat or not. If the victim was only a foreigner or lived alone, the patrol team would usually ignore it."

"This is outrageous!" Roland was shocked. "The patrol party's way of handling such cases is equal to handing over the jurisdiction to the Rats. No wonder people were saying that Rats were the other party who ruled the city. Besides, in this era, there seems to be no such a thing as a criminal investigation, so if there's no witness in a murder case, it'll most likely become suspended—of course, that's only the case for civilians.

Border Town has always been under Nightingale's supervision, plus it has a simple population composition, so all the crimes here are instantly cracked, which led to my neglect of this matter. Although Rene didn't say so, he might think that my request of a verdict on verified evidence is too demanding.

But no matter what, I won't allow the using of scapegoats in my territory."

"I see. From tomorrow on, the Security Bureau will take over this case, and all you need to do is to cooperate."

"Yes. Thank you, Your Highness," Rene said joyfully.

...

After the banquet, Roland returned to his study on the top floor of the castle. The interior of the study looked very different now—the book shelves around the walls were all torn down, and a soft couch, a tea table, and cushions were added. Behind the desk, the wall was knocked open, and two French windows were installed. Although they were not made of crystal glass, they greatly expanded the view of the room. Through the slightly tinted glass, Roland overlooked Stronghold, enveloped in darkness, and nodded with satisfaction.

It seems Petrov followed my orders with great care, which means my choosing him as my deputy was a wise decision.

"How do you plan to handle this?" Nightingale emerged from the Mist sitting on the desk with her legs crossed.

"I'm not planning to handle it at all." The prince smiled, shaking his head. "Now that all the nobles have returned to Longsong, tomorrow the primary work is to have them establish the secondary City Hall, divide them into departments, and place some people in charge. The sooner the structure is established, the earlier Soraya can draw identification cards. You'll be the one in charge of fighting crimes."

"Me?"

"You're the head of the Security Bureau, so it's totally up to you to decide how to solve a case... The whole police department of the City of Neverwinter is in your command; both Vader and Rene are your subordinates."

"But didn't you always say that the authority of the departments should be separated, and administrative status should be equal?" Nightingale felt bewildered. "I don't understand how the City Hall operates, but this arrangement seems to put the Security Bureau above the City Hall."

"Territorial security is top priority, which is exactly why you report directly to me," Roland said affirmatively. "Not only for the police department, but all the examination work for the City Hall and the army will be carried out by you. Indeed, each department should be separated and not interfere with one another, but there needs a web that binds them together and stops power abuse and corruption. It'll prevent the collapse of the new system from within. You must have heard the saying: the firmest defense collapses from within." He paused for a while, looking into Nightingale's eyes. "You're the most powerful shield to prevent all these things from happening. Now, both my personal safety and the security of the territory are in your hands."

."