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The Divine Hunter

Reaper Scans

 

Chapter 289: Disappearance and Departure

 

[TL: Asuka]

[PR: Ash]

 

Three days had passed since the criminals' apprehension. The morning sun covered the academy in a golden blanket. Linus was standing outside his zoo. The breeze was gentle, but the look on his face was solemn. "Vlodimir von Everec, leader of the Redanian Free Company, escaped prison last night."

The witchers had a bad feeling about this. "Calm down, professor. Tell us more about it. I don't think anyone would do a prison break in Oxenfurt." The witchers had seen Oxenfurt's prison. It was a town within a town. The place was heavily guarded. It was a maximum security prison. They couldn't imagine how Vlodimir managed to break out of it.

Linus was unnerved. He was fidgety. "From what I know, Vlodimir disappeared into thin air. The inmates saw it. It sounds ridiculous. Like… Like it was magic."

"You sure they aren't making this up?"

"I talked to some of the witnesses, and their reactions seem genuine."

"Have they noticed anything else? Like minor earthquakes, weird sounds, strong winds?"

"I didn't ask that," Linus answered slowly.

"We should have killed all of them back then." Felix's eyes shone dangerously.

Everyone fell silent. A grim aura hung in the air.

"So what do you think?" Letho rubbed his head. He too looked solemn.

"I'll take a guess. Vlodimir must know some kinds of sorcerer. I know some powerful sorcerers can bust someone out of prison without making a sound."

Kantilla frowned. "You're forgetting something. Vlodimir's brother is still on the run. He might have contacted a sorcerer."

Serrit shook his head. He argued, "No, that's impossible. I know how mages work. They're not gods. They can't grant wishes with the snap of a finger. They'll need a portal to transfer a living human from one place to another. There's no way a portal wouldn't alarm the guards and inmates."

"Some sorcerers can block out human senses, or at least disorient them. It's possible what they saw wasn't the truth." Felix paused for a moment. "Magic's involved in this. Mr. Pitt, we'll need you to lead the way. We want to know more about this."

"Of course. As long as we can recapture the escaped criminals." Linus was confident they could capture Olgierd, since he was alone, but now that Vlodimir had gone missing, he was worried the brothers might come back for revenge.

Everyone was trying to come up with a plan, but Roy was frowning. Something told him that it was not a sorcerer who broke Vlodimir out of jail. Are we back to square one? Did Gaunter O'Dimm come back to help Olgierd out? If it wasn't him, then who?

***

Vlodimir was starting to stir. He looked around himself groggily. The sky was dark, the moon shone on the woods around him, and the soil underneath felt soggy. The leaves on the greenery around him were covered in dewdrops. He could smell the water in the air. The cool breeze kissed him, and he shivered. Vlodimir rubbed his eyes. This time, he was sure this was the wilds, not the prison or anywhere near it.

"What happened?" Vlodimir remembered talking with his men a moment ago. They were going to deal with the soldiers and the torture. Everyone was watching them. So how'd I get out here? This is bizarre. "Is this an illusion? Or am I dreaming?" Vlodimir tried to slap himself. His strength almost failed him. After all the torture he went through at the hands of  the soldiers, it was a miracle he could muster an ounce of strength.

The dull sense of pain told him that this was no dream.

"Yes, my dear brother. This is no illusion," a familiar voice said. Vlodimir felt a chill run down his spine.

He turned around and was met with a tall but exhausted man. "Olgierd! You…" Vlodimir's jaw dropped. His eyes widened in surprise. And then he felt confused. It's only been two days at most, but something's different about Olgierd. And not on the outside.

Olgierd was still looking sharp, handsome, and devilishly charming. He was pale and exhausted, but there was no mistaking the excitement in his eyes. Compared to how he was before, Olgierd now felt mysterious, as if he were hiding something beneath him.

"Why are you here, Olgierd? Did you bust me outta prison?" He staggered ahead. Olgierd quickly held his arms, but Vlodimir thought his fingers were deathly cold to the touch.

"Vlodimir, you're the only family I have. I couldn’t leave you to languish in prison. Of course I had to bust you out."

"How'd you do it?" Vlodimir looked at his brother and saw a crimson rune on Olgierd's right forearm. He knew Olgierd all too well, and he was sure there wasn't any tattoo on his forearm before this.

Olgierd noticed where he was looking. He gave Vlodimir a tired smile and covered the rune with his sleeve. "Long story, so I'll make it short. A great being has shown mercy to me and granted me a new life." He shook his head. "Details for another day. Now we must leave Oxenfurt. There are pesky insects out and about, hunting for us. We can't stay for long."

"A great being?" Vlodimir was stunned. That's not like anything Olgierd would say. But he didn't press further. "Are we leaving Oxenfurt alone, brother?" Vlodimir asked. "You busted me out. Can you do the same for our men? Those bastards forced us to tell them everything we did. Almost everything. Most of our men have a list of crimes under their belt. They'll be tortured at this rate."

Olgierd shook his head and sighed. "Sorry, but I don't have enough power to do that at the moment. We'll have to come back for them later. Once we settle down elsewhere. Don't blame yourself, brother. This isn't over yet." A crimson gleam flashed in Olgierd's eyes. "Linus, the witchers… Everyone who did this to us… I'll make them pay! But not now. Not until I take the manor and Iris back."

Vlodimir hung his head low. "But where can we go? Those Oxenfurtian bastards locked out the manor. And they're hanging posters of us everywhere."

"We're gonna rise back to prominence right here in Oxenfurt. But first, we'll need a place to settle. Somewhere in the outskirts of Oxenfurt. Then we'll make our plans." And I'll have to see if I can use my third wish to deal with the Master of Mirrors. Most people never had the chance to meet any demons. They had no idea about demons or how they operated. He needed an expert in the occult to give him some tips to deal with the Master of Mirrors.

 

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