Battle of Belgera, part seven

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Trindai made his way to the mage hall high up in the city center. Mage Hwain did have access to some useful powers, especially in the field of intelligence. Trindai stormed through the doors and raised his voice before giving anyone inside a chance to speak.

"Find Arthur Wallman and detain him!"

"What?" One mage apparently had the guts to question his authority.

"I'm Imperial Colonel de Laiden. Your city council has put me in charge of the immediate operations here."

"Can you prove that?"

"Of course. Your colleagues can verify my credentials after you're dead. Now find the taleweaver and do as you're told!" They'll be dead before they have time to call my bluff anyway, Trindai thought grimly.

The mage paled, and in a much more proper tone he asked. "How, and why?"

"I want him safe and preferably a long way from here."

"I'm not certain we can convince him."

"Use whatever means necessary. Order him around until I can get the mage Escha to where he is. I'll send Lord Garak as well. That man has some sense in him, and he seems to be a friend Arthur trusts."

"But does he trust you?"

"I don't need Lord Wallman's trust, only his obedience. Bully him! He expects me to behave like one anyway. I'm a soldier after all. Muscles instead of a brain and all that. Use it!"

Trindai growled. He wasn't used to explaining his orders more than once, but mages apparently belonged to an especially dense part of humanity. Too much time spent learning theory and too little thinking of how to put it to practical use he guessed.

Trindai headed for the door without waiting for his orders to be obeyed. They would be, of that he was certain now. With a bit of luck the mages were more scared of him than the outworlder enemy on the streets, and he wasn't about to change that now when they were finally forced into action.

The enemy, Trindai sighed, would be his problem. That and the losses inflicted on his men. He cursed his bad luck, but it was an obvious risk coming with his profession. He wondered if the golden mage had truly believed him when he said a good commander avoided all battles not necessary.

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