Chapter 24 – The Whole City in a Commotion
From the roof of a high building, Lin Qi watched the burning tavern with a delighted smile on his face while leaning on a chimney.
Yu Lian was a veteran in setting fires. He had a unique talent in this aspect, and he would often boast that he could set fire to anything that existed in this world. Of course, he would also say that he was still the best at igniting raging flames in the heart of a beauty.
“Oh, I don’t know how good his ability is in setting fire to the heart of a beautiful woman, but this fire before me, it’s a very magnificent sight!” Enzo also remembered Yu Lian’s boastful words. He was squatting on the head of a bronze beast carving on a drainpipe at the corner of the house while chewing tobacco and betel palm in big mouthfuls and contentedly making a remark about Yu Lian.
Lin Qi held a cigar in his mouth, inhaled deeply, then slowly exhaled the smoke from his nostrils.
The stable’s fire had expanded. More than 30 frightened horses let out piercing neighs, running wildly in panic around the Sword and Pretty Ladies Tavern’s small square. No one knew which horse kicked the backdoor at the corner of the courtyard into pieces, but after that, more than 30 horses very quickly ran out through the open door.
According to Lin Qi’s understanding of the business district, it would be difficult to retrieve these runaway horses. The men who roamed the night would definitely be the fastest to capture these horses alive, then ship them far away from Borali. After several weeks, these horses would appear in the stable of some customers or simply become a large piece of sparerib in a slaughterhouse.
“This amount of money, Dajian Qiao could compensate for it. Merely 30 or so horses!” Lin Qi exhaled a mouthful of thick smoke, sneered, and said, “Enzo, all of you go back to the dormitory. Tonight, it will be very lively. It will be especially lively!”
Enzo let out an odd laughter, then nimbly jumped down from the roof. The building they were observing from was six stories tall, yet Enzo gracefully borrowed the windowsill on each floor to slow down the speed of his descent before safely reaching the ground almost effortlessly. He waved his hand towards Lin Qi, then, along with the Seven Bloodstained Swordsmen who had similar smiles on their faces, concealed himself into the darkness.
Lin Qi spread both of his hands out, looked at an indistinct shadow in the middle of a distant street, and laughed silently.
At least three squadrons of patrolling Dragon Cavalry hurried to the scene. Close to a hundred Dragon Cavalrymen whipped their horses to run wildly around the tavern, driving away the people who were roused from their sleep, heard the news, and rushed over to watch the excitement. Ten Guardian Office’s secret policemen, who wore copper hats on their heads and thick cloaks over their shoulders, frantically blew the police whistle while hysterically gesticulating to summon the business district’s specialized troops responsible for extinguishing fires.
The piercing sound of siren quickened the heart rates of many people. In the distance, dozens of brightly lit oil lamps rapidly approached. Approximately a hundred men, who were haphazardly dressed, shivered from head to toe as they pushed along large water carts in the tavern’s direction with difficulty. They were precisely the group of professional firefighters from Borali City’s city hall. Their and their families’ lives all depended on this large fire.
By extinguishing the fire before it created too much damage, they would receive a handsome reward.
If they failed to extinguish the fire, leading to disastrous damage, some of them could even be condemned to prison.
Fortunately, in order to guard against the cold wind coming from the Ice Origin in the north, slightly better buildings in Borali City were all constructed from stone. Furthermore, the Sword and Pretty Ladies Tavern was built from cyan rocks, that were not only sturdy but also had an excellent fireproof quality. The group of firefighters worked diligently, and after 15 minutes, the stable’s large fire was extinguished. Other than the flour shop next to the tavern being burned to smithereens because of the falling firewood from the roof, no other building in the vicinity had such bad luck.
As soon as the fire was extinguished, the Dragon Cavalrymen jumped down their horses at once, then burst into the tavern along with the Copper Hats.
The screams of men and women could be heard from inside the tavern. The second floor of the Sword and Pretty Ladies Tavern was an inn, and there were several dozens of guests who were resting in their respective rooms. The arrogant Dragon Cavalrymen and the fearless Copper Hats rushed into the tavern, while some of them violently charged into the rooms searching for suspicious individuals.
After all, the century-long Land Island War had only just ended 30 years ago. Those tragic and miserable scenes from the war still remained in the hearts of the people. At that time, at least ten incidents of arson occurred in Borali every month, instigated by the enemy to wreak havoc in the city. It had been 30 years since Borali City’s last fire. Today’s incident once again stirred up the fears of the citizens.
The doors of the inn were forced open, and the guests were dragged roughly outside into the cold. The guests were messily dressed, even to the extent that some only wore pajamas. They shivered so intensely that a few of the gentle and demure young girls fainted on the spot from the scare and the bitter wind.
While the inn was amidst chaos, a louder ruckus erupted from inside the tavern. An ear-piercing siren rang out and a single Dragon Cavalryman walked out of the tavern to toss a small scroll into the sky. It became a white-colored ball of fire about the size of a human head. As it flew to a high altitude, it hissed shrilly. After flying straight up for more than three hundred meters, it exploded with a thundering boom, bursting into a round white colored flame over ten meters in diameter.
The whole Borali City was in a commotion. This was a warning signal used by the patrolling Dragon Cavalry only when they discovered certain emergencies. These matters were either extremely urgent, necessitating reinforcement, or simply signified that what went on behind the scenes were serious enough that the Dragon Cavalrymen on the scene were unable to handle it and required their superior to rush over.
Lin Qi’s laughing mouth couldn’t be shut. This time, Dark Horse Hao Si and his group of people were done for at last.
More than a hundred Imperial Army Academy students from various years violated the institute’s military law and code of conduct by staying out all night in a tavern, drinking until they were intoxicated, and carelessly causing a large fire. It was not only the Knights of the Round Table who had met with misfortune, the Sword and Pretty Ladies Tavern were required to assume responsibility for being related with the criminals.
This matter would startle both the Army Academy’s upper levels and even the military’s big shots. Dark Horse Hao Si had a deep background, he came from an aristocratic family and was the son of a high-ranking military officer. However, the deeper his background was, the more he would be out of luck. The old but still vigorous Sheng Lewis the Thirteenth definitely wouldn’t allow scum like this to emerge from the military academy that he single-handedly created. Furthermore, this matter had also caused damage to some of the city property.
Thinking back to today’s events, Lin Qi was certain that he hadn’t left any traces behind.
Lin Qi lightly exhaled and watched as the mounted Dragon Cavalrymen expanded the scope of their search, before he scurried down the high building just like a cat and madly ran along the shadowed streets towards the Fifth University.
Enzo and the others should have already returned to the Army Academy’s dormitory by now. Without evidence, no one could do anything to them.
As for Lin Qi, he had the best witness — tonight, he was busily serving the great gods. At the time of the incident, he was inside his dormitory transcribing the scriptures. Having Priest Bahrain as a witness, even the Borali Guardian Office wouldn’t dare to talk any nonsense.
After all, religious authority was the highest authority, with even monarchical power situated beneath it. Having the gods’ radiance to protect him, who would dare to question Lin Qi?
“Great God, I will help you sell those thousand redemption talismans as soon as possible!”
Lin Qi ran like mad while sincerely praying.