Home Post 1473-chapter-144


As the door swung open, Blanchard, who had been lying on the bed in the corner, turned his head towards them.

His face lost color as his eyes met the Captain’s.

As he entered the room, the Captain sharply gestured toward the table in the middle, prompting the guards to rush over and pull Blanchard to his feet.


Blanchard groaned continuously, in as much pain sitting as he had been lying down. His prison garb, unchanged since the morning interrogation, bore large brown stains over the original gray. This morning, those stains had been red.

In contrast, the Captain’s shirt was immaculate.

Campbell promptly took the jacket the Captain handed off, placing the file he was holding onto the table before even being asked.

With the guards gone, only three remained in the room. The rustle of paper seemed especially ominous as the Captain slid two photos across to Blanchard. One of them, focusing on the stern of a motorboat, was labeled ‘Escape.’

An escape boat.

On any other day, the Captain would have joked cynically about the amazing coincidence. But now was not ‘any other day.’

“Castiel M1001 model.”

Leon noted the model of the boat and scrutinized Blanchard’s eyes intently.

“It’s yours, isn’t it?”

At the Captain’s affirmation, Blanchard chewed on his split lip.

A tacit confirmation.

“Found abandoned at the marina in Anderton just this evening.”

Just today.

It had taken a week of exhaustive searches up and down the river to finally locate the boat that the woman had used to escape. It had been only today due to that damned rat keeping his mouth shut.

It was clear Blanchard wasn’t staying silent to protect the woman who betrayed him. He had often cursed between grunts and blood, uttering, ‘D*mn you, Grace.’

The silence was purely due to a deep-seated hatred towards him.

The hatred was no less on this side. When the Captain first learned of the woman’s disappearance, he nearly lost his composure and came close to killing Blanchard.

In that brief moment, he thought she might have been quickly hidden somewhere in the village. However, as the search yielded nothing, he even imagined the worst—that perhaps she had been killed.

That was until he learned of the mysterious explosion that day, which turned out to be her doing.

While searching the village hall, a soldier discovered an entrance under the conference table leading to an underground bunker, prepared for emergencies with passages leading elsewhere. The path was blocked off and collapsed into a dead end, so they couldn’t immediately see where it ended.

The bunker’s vault was haphazardly emptied of money and weapons, perhaps in a rush. Clearing the passage revealed traces of dynamite.

As she was in a hurry to escape the military, she must’ve detonated explosives to block her comrades’ escape.

It was unmistakably her work.

Her calculations were spot on. In the underground bunker, a few old leaders of the rebellion, who had pushed the youth to fight and then tried to flee, were found injured from the explosion.

“This path leads to the river on the west side of the village. Grace Riddle must have escaped in that direction.”

The rebels, realizing who had collapsed the tunnel, spilled the beans on its destination even before they were asked.

It was less of a confession and more like a snitch.

Releasing tracking dogs to follow the woman was easy until the scent trail ended at the dock.

The river upstream went to a neighboring country and downstream to the sea, making escaping abroad possible. Between those points lay dozens of towns and cities, all connected by rail to thousands more locations.

In theory, there was nowhere she couldn’t go.

Narrowing the search required specific information like the boat model or fuel capacity, but Blanchard was utterly uncooperative.

The only unreliable information came from other prisoners.

“It was made of mahogany…”

At any marina, half the leisure boats were of the trendy mahogany type. This was as useless as saying the thief was male. Additionally, everyone remembered the boat’s name differently, which added confusion to the search.

‘I knew they were brainless from the way they planned their revolution, but I didn’t expect them to be this stupid…’

Ultimately, it took a whole week to pinpoint the accursed boat due to the inability to narrow down the search effectively.

Leon, who had wasted precious time, was seething with a desire to kill Blanchard in the most painful way possible. He restrained himself only because he needed more information.

He suppressed his urge and unfolded a map.

A red circle was already marked around Anderton on the downstream.

As soon as he heard that the boat had been found, he rented a vessel and rushed to the Anderton marina. Despite thorough searching and inquiries in the area, he only learned that the boat had been docked empty from Christmas morning onwards.

Given it was Christmas Eve, there were no witnesses to her arrival.

The fuel tank was nearly empty. It baffled him why she hadn’t refueled and taken the boat out to sea, leaving it instead.

Perhaps there was somewhere nearby she could go.

“Addresses of any bases or places in Anderton and the surrounding area.”

Leon threw a pen in front of Blanchard as if tossing it. While taking a cigar from Campbell and putting it in his mouth, Blanchard slowly shook his head.


Leon’s patience was dwindling, much like the end of his cigar. Despite being asked to list all known relatives, acquaintances, or likely places that the woman could have gone to, except for Jonathan Riddle Jr., the man responded in this lackluster manner.

He decided to wait and see how long his patience would last, given only by the drag of his cigar.

“Look, I’m giving you a chance here. Didn’t you see it with your own eyes this morning?”

He had shown Blanchard a good spectacle by letting him witness an execution by firing squad scheduled that morning from his boring windowless cell.

“You know you’ll end up in tatters too.”

Recalling that scene seemed to strike a nerve, and Blanchard clenched his eyes shut.

“My point is, if you cooperate in finding her, I can make sure you avoid the death penalty.”

Blanchard sighed deeply and closed his eyes. Perhaps he was weighing his options with his walnut-sized brain.

Seeing a slight wavering, Leon added generously.

“You might think it’s a joke for a ‘captain,’ but I have that much authority. So think carefully.”

However, Blanchard’s walnut-sized brain remained silent as the cigar burned down to a third of its size.

“If you prefer not to live, I can always ask someone else. Your comrades know how to squeal, don’t they? Just mentioning ‘Riddle’ gets them spilling more than I ask for.”

Everyone was driven by vengeance, just as he had intended. Moreover, for those desperate to save their own skins, Grace Riddle was the perfect opportunity to cooperate with the military without betraying a comrade.

The problem was that they weren’t particularly close to her.

Once their useful information ran out, they would needlessly recite her crimes. They intended to drag her down to hell with them.

How much of it was true? From forging official documents and infiltrating government agencies to bombing and assassination. Listening to them, it seemed she single-handedly managed the work of dozens of ‘revolutions.’

Their ‘enthusiastic cooperation’ only fueled his anger further. It wasn’t his business what she had stolen from the royal villa. He just wanted to know where she was.

Finally, Blanchard opened his eyes.

“I’ll tell you the only place I know.”

Was this delay a tactic to increase his value in a bargain?

Deciding to deal, he picked up the pen. Leon, forgetting to tap off the ash, was fixated on the tip of the pen when Blanchard’s face suddenly hardened.

He scrawled not a name or address in the center of the map but a single word.


“That’s the only place Grace will end up.”

A short, sharp laugh escaped through Leon’s teeth clenched around the cigar.

“You seem to be under a misunderstanding…”

Switching the cigar to his left hand, Leon extended his right hand towards the man. What he grasped was not the presumptuous rat who didn’t know his place but the pen.


“Here, I am god.”

The sharp tip of the pen pierced into the man’s hand.

“Hell is this place you’re in right now…”

Muffled groans and the sound of the pen scratching skin continued relentlessly.

“I can send the whole world to hell, but I won’t send that woman…”