Home Post 1167-chapter-135


“Yes, look for a conductor or station attendant who has seen a pregnant woman with brown hair, turquoise eyes, and wearing a light brown coat…”

Outside, private soldiers mobilized by the Central Command were scouring the train station and the city late into the night, all to find just one woman.

Most of the personnel urgently deployed for this operation had no clue about the woman’s identity. They only knew she was a person of interest recently captured, with critical knowledge about the rebels.

The moment the door burst open, the noise that had filled the ears ceased abruptly. Everyone stopped their tasks and stood up to salute, but this respectful act only seemed to offend the captain further.

“So, having the luxury to stand up means you’ve found the runaway Bella, I suppose.”

As faces turned ashen, the captain turned coldly and headed towards the conference room. Amid the resuming chatter of voices asking about the woman’s whereabouts, the captain ordered Campbell.

“Get Lieutenant McGill.”

“Yes, sir.”

Campbell signaled to a private waiting on standby and then flicked his finger towards a familiar face seated at a desk. The private, who had been in charge of trailing the woman from Halewood to Winsford, immediately stood up and rushed over.

“What about Nancy Wilkins?”

He mentioned the rebel’s real name, which he had heard from conversations. When asked if there was any update on Wilkins’ whereabouts, the private’s face darkened.

“No new information has been obtained so far.”

Only about how Grace Riddle noticed the surveillance at the Winsford base and informed her colleague, then managed to escape from Wilkins’s tail and disappeared.

“And what about the Crawford area?”

“With the holiday season approaching, it would take some time to verify.”

“How long?”

“Expected by early next year…”

The private whispered the report, glancing towards the conference room. Beyond the conference room door, a blackboard detailed the pursuit status. The captain standing in front of it radiated a murderous aura.

He was returning from interrogating a porter who had lied to the surveillance team.

The porter claimed he only helped because he thought the woman was caught up with some trafficking ring. But the captain wasn’t interested in the porter’s motives for helping. It was suspected by anyone who knew Grace Riddle that she had employed her cunning tactics.

What he wanted to know was her whereabouts, yet the porter also said she didn’t know her current location. Campbell finished debriefing the private and took out a cigarette.

The situation was as if a mouse had snipped the wire on a hanging bomb and escaped.

“D*mn it…”

It had been an operation months in the making painstakingly by the Domestic Intelligence Department.

So, it was unthinkable that they hadn’t anticipated such unexpected developments. Over those months, the plan had been flexibly designed to adapt to various contingencies, and they were now following the contingency plan for if the woman disappeared while on the move.

However, this couldn’t be considered ‘going according to plan’. The farther the woman got, the further away the final objective became.

Campbell, while spinning the wheel of his lighter, chuckled without realizing it.

How could a pregnant woman avoid five soldiers? Especially when she had only shown signs of being subdued after meeting with her comrade in Winsford, making it hard to imagine her running off like a startled colt.

Campbell immediately stopped smiling and glanced towards the conference room. He was thankful that his superior hadn’t seen him laughing. The captain was pressing his temples with his fingers and his eyes shut tight.

He had thought the captain was as twisted as his necktie knot that morning, but it turned out to be far worse as the day went by.

Campbell understood what was at stake with this operation.

The future of the Winston family.

For the captain, who was already out of favor with the king for not participating in the downfall of the Sinclair family, this operation was a critical chance to turn the tide completely.

Obviously, the captain had more to his purpose.

The insistence on sending the woman to the rebel’s hideout, even though they already had clues to its location, indicated as much. As he moved to the window to light his cigarette, the office door opened, and a middle-aged nursing officer entered in civilian clothes.

‘She looks like a corpse.’

Campbell watched Lieutenant McGill’s pale face with pity as he headed towards the conference room.

Grace Riddle might as well be a black cat in human form. Everyone entangled with that cunning woman ends up unfortunate.

“Captain, did you call for me?”

The captain, who had been staring at the blackboard, turned towards her. In that moment, Lieutenant McGill, despite knowing not to, flinched and averted his gaze.

She was startled by the intense blue eyes that seemed to flash ominously from beneath the shadow of his cap.

The lingering image was haunting.

She joined this operation three months ago, hoping it would unblock her stalled promotion. The lieutenant had thought Captain Winston, with his refined appearance and dignified demeanor, couldn’t be less suited to the military. However, he became as rigid as any soldier the moment the operation started.

And now, she feared he might transform into the Camden vampire, which she believed to be an exaggeration.

“Close the door.”

The lieutenant stepped in and closed the door, she took a deep breath before turning back to find the captain now fully facing her. His gaze looked at her as if questioning her.

The conference room felt like an interrogation room.

When she first reported the situation, the captain had emitted a volatile aura but had not reprimanded the surveillance team. He instead focused on directing the adapted operation. Perhaps she had been summoned now for the delayed reprimand.

The pressure made it hard to breathe, and she felt sweat trickle down her spine.

“Lieutenant McGill.”

“Yes, Captain.”

“Report every detail of your conversation with the operation’s target.”

The lieutenant tried hard to recall every word and intonation from her conversation with the woman. At some point, the captain’s brow furrowed. She vaguely realized that a mistake had been made.

Leon sighed wearily.

Using a nursing officer had been a gamble. Despite intensive training over the past three months, the lack of field experience led to mistakes in critical moments.

Leon had limited options.

Female soldiers were rare, and most of the capable personnel had been stationed as guards in the interrogation rooms. It meant that Grace might recognize their voices. Out of the few candidates, they chose one who appeared least likely to arouse suspicion based on age and demeanor and a nursing officer in case the woman’s condition worsened.

Yet, he made a mistake.

“Didn’t I make it clear? That woman is extremely perceptive. Be careful with what you say and do. What exactly did you hear?”

“I apologize.”

“Continue your report.”

“Then, I asked if it was her first child, and she said yes, mentioning she was both excited and scared…”

Leon couldn’t help but let out a scoff.

Excited about having a baby, she claimed. She only pretended to give up, but the woman who still clearly resented the child had bothered to lie, playing the part of a harmless and ordinary woman.

That woman knew this was a trap. Since when? Was it the lieutenant’s slip-up, or had she known even before that?

As soon as she fled the mansion, she went to Winsford’s face. She got travel funds to go to her fiance. There, she was betrayed by her fiance and witnessed the vile true nature of the rebels. And he was supposed to reclaim a fully brainwashed woman and wipe out their base.

That was the outcome he most desired.

Still, she played her role as the operation’s biggest variable exceptionally well. Leon looked back at the report of a private who had overheard the woman’s conversation in a phone booth next to the post office.

Amid the urgency, she fought the self-interested rat from the safe house. From there, everything started to go wrong. Then, she fought with her fiance over the phone. She faced betrayal much earlier than Leon anticipated.

That was supposed to happen at their home base. Now, he could only hope her sense of betrayal would turn into a desire for revenge.

Nonetheless, the tight-lipped woman, after saying she’d go to her brother, actually boarded a train heading east to where Jonathan Riddle Jr. lived.

The base was in the north, in Brayton. That was an unexpected gain from her careless action.

Crawford 1499 in the Brayton area.

It was simple to extract the region name, telephone company, and number from the operator who had connected the woman’s call.