The Primal Hunter

Chapter 899: The Dark Ones And He Who Knows

Chapter 899: The Dark Ones And He Who Knows

Holstred frowned as he read over the report in front of him. They would have to increase security personnel in certain districts if this development continued. Dissidence had been growing over the last few years, ever since he and the other slaves arrived. The natives had mostly been welcoming, but some weren’t huge fans, especially of those who weren’t humans.

When Ms. Wells was still on Earth, she kept everyone in check, but now that she had gone to Nevermore, a lot of annoying people had come out of the woodwork. Arthur was doing his best, and he had quelled much of the dissatisfaction on a more global scale, but in this city, his influence had little sway. This was a problem, as this was also the most multi-cultural and multi-racial city on the entire planet, as the majority of those brought to Earth from elsewhere chose to settle down here.

This had led to a lot of crime. Holstred wanted to say that the former slaves were innocent in this entire matter, but there was a lot of tension there, hidden under the surface. A lingering fear of the future and of what it would bring. Many of the freed slaves also weren’t sure what to do with themselves after finding themselves on an entirely new planet, making them lash out.

And then there was perhaps the biggest issue… Earth had many factions, some of which had been the ones gifting the slaves to the Chosen of the Malefic Viper. Seeing a merchant proudly wearing the emblems of the same faction that once slaughtered your family, ruined your home planet, and then enslaved and sold you off could be triggering, to say the least.

All of this is to say that sometimes when one has a melting pot, some of the individual ingredients have a problem properly mixing. Especially given how short a time it had been. After a few decades, Holstred believed many of these cultural issues would naturally fade, but for now, they had to deal with the current situation at hand before it got worse.

While outright murders were rare, they did happen. With the system, everyone now had power, and there was a big disparity between individuals. Those more powerful could easily kill anyone who bothered them with little effort, which could be a recipe for disaster. Most would control themselves, but sometimes emotions got too high, or someone truly vile decided to ignore the laws to take another life.

Holstred was the man Ms. Wells had entrusted to help uphold the law of Haven. A responsibility he had taken on him with pride, and he had more than willingly sworn a Knight’s Oath toward the woman, offering his unquestionable loyalty. Despite it effectively making her his master, It was far different than the forced servitude of a slave contract. It was his choice, and should she step onto a path deemed too evil, the oath would cease to be.

He was the former Knight Commander on his own planet before they lost the war and he was enslaved, so he did have some experience in leadership. While he hadn’t established any knight order, he had been put in charge of what Ms. Wells called a security force. With her, and many of the other top brass, absent, he had taken on even more work than simply security.

And he personally cared a lot about the security of Haven. His wife and child both lived in the city, and he wanted it to be the safest environment it could possibly be. Compared to many other areas of the multiverse, it was surely already considered very safe… but Holstred still wasn’t satisfied, as he began to consider an action plan to address some of the on-the-surface non-violent organizations against certain races or people that had begun to appear. Many of them were suspected of backing or inciting actual violence behind the scenes, but without proof, moving against them would only lead to more problems…

As Holstred was deep in thought, a magic token vibrated on the table before a voice appeared:

“Sir, he’s here again… more insistent than usual…” the voice of the woman on the other end said in an exhausted tone.

Holstred instantly knew who she was talking about as he answered. “Alright, alright, just send him up.”

Maybe this would be good for him. A brief respite from actual important matters. Because the man who was about to come was as far from important as he could possibly be.

Less than thirty seconds passed before the door to his office opened, and a man walked in with slightly disheveled hair. Once he saw Holstred, he smiled. “Honored knight! Hard at work, as always! Truly a respectable figure, even if you are surrounded by dark influences, you remain a light within the darkness fighting off evil!”

“Hello Greg, what can I do for you today?” Holstred asked, knowing what was about to come.

“I ask myself what can be done every single day, but before we ask what we can do, we need to understand what needs to be done, and for that to happen, we need to understand our situation and the world at large!” Greg said, more or less going on the same spiel as usual.

Holstred just leaned back as the man took the chance and summoned a whiteboard filled to the brim with… stuff.

“You remember where we left off last time, right?”

“Sure,” Holstred just said, honestly not at all remembering the ramblings of the madman.

“Good! I knew you were reasonable… anyway, as I said last, I believe I have finally cracked the code regarding the name Haven and the hidden meanings behind the Dome of Secrets, but that is not what is important right now. No, it’s related to the news of the Chosen of the Dark Ones.”

“To make sure, the Chosen of the Malefic One is still someone who has experienced the integration thousands of times before and is using his knowledge of all his prior lives to excel?” Holstred asked, hiding his amusement as best he could.

“Well, his status as a regressor is unquestionable, and his quest to force through what he considers an ideal future is as clear as day. But, no, this has to do with these so-called Leaderboards… or as they should be rightfully called, the Board of Leaders.”

This could be amusing, Holstred nodded, trying to look serious.

“Think about it. This is their hidden list of members of the Dark Ones. Even the name is a clue… Nevermore. It’s telling them they are to “never more” speak of the Board of Leaders they now belong to. Or are you truly trying to say it’s a coincidence so many influential people are put on the same list like that? Preposterous!” Greg spoke with a level of certainty and confidence in his voice that Holstred could only find admirable.

It was good that Greg was ultimately harmless and more of a fun distraction. Somehow, the man had become convinced Holstred was someone who could be trusted, in part because he was a slave before and secondly because he had been a Knight Commander. Greg somehow had a skill that gave him a general sense as to what kind of Path others walked down, and knowing Holstred was a knight apparently meant he was a man of honor who could be be trusted in the fight against the Dark Ones.

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The man continued his lengthy rant about the secret leaders of the multiverse, the former Knight Commander nodding along almost automatically. About half an hour later, Greg’s fervor finally died down as he took a deep breath, which also signified that Holstred should at least listen to his final words.Content belongs to NôvelDrama.Org

“So, do you see why we need to be extra cautious of any lines in magic circles longer than three and a half centimeters?” he finished off.

“I do indeed, and I will be on the lookout,” Holstred agreed in his usual serious tone.

“It’s good to have allies fighting the good fight with me,” Greg smiled as he took away the whiteboard. “I shall return and continue my… my…”

Greg stared with wide eyes as he seemed to stare past Holstred. Holstred was confused and looked over his shoulder but saw nothing there. When he turned back to Greg, he saw the man already running towards a window.

“No! You shall never catch me alive!” Greg yelled loudly as he jumped through one of the windows, phasing right through it using magic as he took flight, breaking quite a few air traffic rules in the process.

Holstred stared for a moment before he shook his head. “I hope he gets the help he needs.”

Jake stood a bit confused behind the guy in the chair that the man named Greg had referred to as a knight. Sandy had tried to convince him to do some prank that included separating the entire space of the office from the rest of the world, but Jake had decided to just make a sneaky entrance. One where he would appear behind the man, taking him by complete surprise like some ninja in the night.

However, before he could pull that off, Greg entered. Jake wondered what the guy was about and thought it would be fine to surprise two people at once… but once the guy started talking, Jake kind of forgot all about his plans. The words of Greg were just too… interesting.

It was like watching a trainwreck live. The entire thing only got more amusing when Jake fully realized he was the center of this entire conspiracy. Apparently, he had quite a few secret identities, hidden powers, and was a super mastermind villain beyond comprehension by mortal minds. Which made sense, as Jake was actually a god – or at least had been a god at some point – according to Greg’s very credible theories.

When the guy finished, Jake was even a bit sad. But… then, out of nowhere, the guy called Greg suddenly looked straight at Jake before screaming and jumping out the damn window before flying away, leaving Jake still standing there invisible as the knight muttered with hopes of Greg improving.

The confusion was very brief, though, as Jake instantly knew who was responsible. “Sandy… what did you do?”

“Wha!? Me! Who says I did anything?” the cosmic worm said in the most guilty tone Jake had ever heard. “Sheesh, what could I even have done? Revealed we were standing here all along and told the guy the Dark Ones are always watching and that the truth is more dangerous than he could possibly imagine? No, I would definitely never do that, ever. But if I did, it would be because a certain someone didn’t want to do a fun prank, so I had to improvise.”

Jake stood there momentarily before sighing and walking around the table toward the door. Jake opened it - his stealth skill, making sure the knight didn’t even notice – and went to the other side before dispelling his stealth skill.

“Killjoy,” Sandy sent, as they realized Jake wasn’t even going to play their original prank anymore.

“Enough pranking for one day; I need this guy to actually give me some useful information and not be scared shitless or view me as some deranged lunatic, making him actually believe the words of that madman,”

Jake shot back.

“Jake Thayne, Killer of All Joys.”

Ignoring the cosmic worm, Jake raised his hand and knocked on the door. On the other side, he saw the knight look up with a frown as he spoke up.

“Who goes there?”

Jake could explain himself but decided to just open the door as he walked in. The knight looked at Jake for a second before his eyes opened wide in realization. Scrambling, the man practically jumped over the table and knelt down in front of Jake, his head way too close to the ground.

“This lowly one greets the Chosen of the Malefic One,” he said in a tone that had far more fear than any other emotion in it. This probably shouldn’t have taken him by surprise, but it honestly did.

He knew Miranda had wanted to foster a view of Jake that was less negative than most initially adopted. That he was more of a protector of Earth who didn’t get directly involved in matters and wasn’t a symbol of fear, but one of stability and multiversal might in that no one would dare attack a planet owned by the Chosen of the Malefic Viper.

Clearly, that hadn’t worked super well. His reputation – or, more accurately, the reputation of the Malefic Viper – was just not that good. At least not good if Jake didn’t want to be treated as someone who would kill others just for looking at him wrong.

“No need to kneel,” Jake said, trying to sound casual and relaxed. “In fact, you’re just making this needlessly uncomfortable for both of us, so please, stand.”

Jake saw the man hesitate as the fear of refusing an order from the Chosen seemed to win out over his fear of what would happen if he stopped kneeling. The knight stood up with slow movements, as he still didn’t dare look away from the floor.

“What’s your name?” Jake tried to get any kind of conversation going.

“I am known as Holstred, honored Chosen.”

“Just call me Lord Thayne,” Jake shook his head. He wanted to ask the guy to just call him Jake, but that had literally never worked in any situations like this before, so he just defaulted to what he, more often than not, ended up settling on anyway.

“I… very well, Lord Thayne,” the guy answered, being quite receptive.

“Thank you,” Jake said with a bit of relief that he didn’t need a minute-long conversation to convince the guy to not call him some overly long or overly respectful title. “Now, I take it you work for Miranda?”

“That is correct, Lord Thayne. I am one of your former slaves who was employed by Ms. Wells to help with security within the city, with my responsibilities recently expanding due to her temporary absence,” Holstred gave a surprisingly detailed answer.

“I see, so I assume you are aware of matters on the planet? I wish to learn the current status of Earth after my return to Earth and how things have developed in my absence,” Jake said.

“This… I am aware of current matters, but surely there are those more qualified-“

“No, you’ll do,” Jake said with a smile as he went around the table and sat behind it. “Now, take a seat and get me up to speed.”

Holstred seemed to realize there was no reason to fight it as he nodded. “If that is what Lord Thayne requests, then very well.”

The man sat down and, despite his nervousness, began to go over everything that had happened on Earth over the last three years or so, including many things Jake doubted he could have learned from anyone who wasn’t a former slave brought to the planet.

About ten minutes in, Sandy got bored as the cosmic worm decided to just take off to who-knows-where, saying they’ll be back later. Jake was only a tiny bit worried about what the giant space worm would be up to, but he didn’t really want to invest any mental energy in worrying too much as he had a lot of information to take in regarding the political climate of Earth and Haven in particular.

Besides, it was limited how much trouble Sandy could get into within such a short time, right?

Sandy and politics were two things that just didn’t mix. The Big Boss Hydra had tried to make Sandy learn about politics, but Sandy didn’t care. Neither did Sandy care super much about Earth, though they did want to go back and visit the dunes where they grew up. While Sandy had been effectively disowned for no longer being a Sand Worm, they knew this had mainly happened to give Sandy a good reason to leave and explore the rest of the multiverse with Jake.

And there sure were a lot of things to explore! And eat.

Mainly eat.

One place Sandy had quickly identified was worth exploring was a certain place in the big city. It had taken a while, as the tasties were hidden well… but Sandy had found them. Now, the only problem was just how to sneak into that big metal dome thing without getting discovered, making Jake mad, and potentially getting snack privileges taken away by reporting Sandy to the Big Boss Hydra…

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