The blood had slowly seeped off of his armor and fallen into the drain below, where it was lead into the sewers below the city. The remainder of the blood had either stuck in the sponge Caedmon was holding, or the fur of his hands. It was a mindless task, and right now, that was exactly what he needed; He had been taught by his master that should your feelings threaten to erupt, the best you could do was to empty your mind. And doing something that required no thought what so ever, was the best way to do this.
Just as he had finished cleaning his chestplate, he heard Maverick’s voice sounding from outside. For about twenty minutes now, he had heard but not paid any mind to, a bunch of Knights calling him names and mocking him openly. He had completely ignored them, simply grieved over the state of which this city found itself nowadays. But as Maverick’s voice sounded, Caedmon paused and listened in.
“You better get to that cell within the hour or I will personally find another to take your place! Get a move on Caedmon!”
Caedmon’s eyes lowered to the sponge in his hand, his ears twitching as he listened for more, but none came. He closed his eyes, breathing out heavily before squeezing the sponge, causing blood to flow across his hand and into the trough below. He stood up and began putting on the armor as well, before washing his hands in the same trough. The way the empire’s houses were decorated was incredibly sparse and Spartan, but most had grown accustomed to the very bare way of living. Caedmon being one of them.
While he was fitting the armor onto himself, he had decided to go, without waiting even further. The fact that she had not arrived yet, made it clear that she would rather not be caught in such a compromising meeting, and Caedmon understood her reasons. Even if he somewhere within himself, that he did not acknowledge, wished that she had arrived. He didn’t have much time any longer.
He stepped out into the hall and took a faint look inside of his living room. Even for a knight’s room, it was incredibly sparse, and he only really seemed to notice how empty it seemed now. He then shook his head, lifting a hand to grasp the gem hanging in a chain around his neck before stepping outside and walking down the steps, onto the street.
As the door was opened, the Pokémon who were calling names immediately stopped. Caedmon narrowed his eyes at all of them before speaking. His voice was a low, glutteral and threatening growl.
“… Get back to your posts. –Now-.”
It didn’t take long for the knight’s to scurry off, away from the commander. Caedmon’s features softened up, and he let out a huff before striding towards the council’s building once more. He had a plan, and it was time to put it into action. He had had enough.
Arriving at the building, he swiftly made his way down the stairs off to the left within the lobby, which led to the dungeons, where the prisons were kept. A Flaaffy was standing guard outside of the door leading to the cells, and he quickly got to saluting Caedmon as he approached, despite his expression turning into a rather amused one.
Caedmon waved this off internally and stopped in front of the knight. “I am here to interrogate our prisoner. The Timburr.”
The knight nodded and gestured at the door behind him. “Down the hall, third cell on the right. And… have fun with her.” He said with a snicker, though quickly assuming his position once again.
Caedmon snorted quietly and pushed open the door, not wanting to have his plans ruined by a fit of anger at a moron. He closed the door behind him as he walked down the barely-lit, stone hallway until he reached the third cell. All cells had only one door, which was a heavy, wooden one. He unlocked it with a key he had gotten from the guard as he pushed open said door and entered.
Within, sat the Timburr on the wooden cot at the corner to the right, hugging her knees. She didn’t notice Caedmon until he closed the door behind him, which caused her to startle, and immediately, upon seeing her, pressed herself against the wall behind her.
“P-please! I don’t know anything! Don’t hurt me, I beg you! I just want to go home!”
Caedmon lifted a paw to stop her pleading, which it did. He stepped closer, folding his paws on his back as he looked down at her, the only light source being a small lantern with a flame within it, hanging from the ceiling. Caedmon’s eyes were completely void of emotion, and so was his voice, when he spoke.
“… Where is the mechanist’s leader located?”
The Timburr, shaking all over shook her head again, whimpering out faintly, staring up at Caedmon with widened, fearful eyes. “I told you, I-I don’t know! H-He’s in one of the other enclaves!”
“I have to meet him. If you can show me the way to him, I will set you free.” Caedmon continued standing and speaking very formally, as if asking someone if they wanted more tea.
Her eyes began tearing up as she quickly shook her head once more. “I-I would if I could, but I… I don’t know where he is! Please, listen to me…” Caedmon’s brows furrowed and he let out a faint sigh. He was only used to being friendly towards other knights. This was different.
“Listen. I know you are scared, but you have to listen to me. I am not going to lead anyone to your leader, I am not going to kill him. It will only be you and I, without anyone else knowing. And you will be free.”
The Pokémon in front of him blinked her teary eyes in confusion while looking up at him, her heart pounding away in her chest, her expression becoming a little more determined now.
“A-and how do I know I can trust you…? You knights… you knights are all the same! You promise and promise, and you only keep them if you they’re in your own interests! Like back at the enclave when you promised my f-friends and family they’d go free!”
Caedmon bared his teeth in a snarl, lifting a paw to slam it into the cot in front of the Timburr, leaning over to stared her down, fury painted across his features. The sudden movement and… well, Caedmon being Caedmon, caused the female to shriek out in fear, covering her head with her arms. Caedmon then spoke, or rather, yelled out.
“What happened back there was –not- my fault! You were there! You saw the other knights slaughtering your friends! You saw me stand up against something so despicable and lowly as murdering civilians, and you claim that I have no honor?!”
Breathing heavily, Caedmon glared down at the Pokémon, shaking in fear. After a few moments, he seemed to calm down, standing up straight once more. The Timburr slowly eased up, staring up at Caedmon, breathing quickly, although something seemed to have changed in her gaze up at him. After a long while of silence, she spoke, quietly.
“… They would… send a team to check on the r-ruins… find s-survivors…”
Caedmon stood still for a few moments, before nodding his head, decided with himself that that was all of the information he needed to, eventually if anything, find the leader of the Mechanists. “Very well. I am going to take you with me, but if you try to run, I will not answer for the consequences. So stay close to me.”
The Timburr nodded her head quickly, but didn’t get up until Caedmon had turned, walked back and opened the door, after which she walked directly in front of him.
As they got to the door into the hallway, the guard stepped in front of them, the Timburr moving over to the side, cowering away from them both.
“Hold it! Where are you taking the prisoner, commander? I haven’t heard anything about a prisoner transferral.”
“Of course you have not, they would not go around, shouting that information to any and all who would care to listen, would they?” Caedmon replied, folding his arms across his chest. The Flaaffy still seemed suspicious, but slowly began smirking.
“Oh, I get it now. You’re taking her home with you! So the rumors –are- true! Hah, wait until the others hear this! Still, I can’t let you go. Not until I’ve asked the captain and had the transferral confirm-“
He didn’t get to say anymore as Caedmon had closed the two meters in between them in a single step and thrust his fist against the Knight’s throat, leaving him to stagger backwards, wheezing for air, trying to call for help, with no sound escaping him. Caedmon then swiftly made it around the knight and wrapped his arm around his neck, tightening, to cut off his air supply. After a brief struggle, his eyes rolled back in his head, and he fell unconscious, at which point Caedmon let go and dragged him inside of the hallway of the cells, closing the door behind him. He gestured to the wide-eyed Timburr to follow him, who seemed just a bit more eager to follow him now.
He led her up one set of stairs and down another, and after about ten minutes of walking, they got to a very small room, with a grate in the floor. Caedmon removed it, cringed at the horrid stench coming from the hole before motioning for the Timburr to get down there, before moving into it himself, covering the hole with the grate afterwards.
They had made it into the sewers beneath the city, and Caedmon quickly directed her to walking down, through the tunnel carved out by several ground Pokémon back in the day. Caedmon now seemed to ignore the stench entirely, the Timburr holding her nose and nearly throwing up as they walked through the filthy water.
After about fifteen minutes of swift walking, they had made it to an opening, where the tunnel led into a large lake. They crawled out onto the grass, where Caedmon led them both quickly clean themselves off in the cleaner part of the lake, before he went off in a brisk walk towards the broken Enclave, the moon now risen slightly above the horizon.
The Timburr, after a short while of walking, spoke out. “… I’m Emma. E-Emma Nyte.” Caedmon nodded, without looking over his shoulder at her. “… I take it you know my name from my reputation, so there’s no point in saying it.” His mind was a mess, and he didn’t want to converse with anyone right now. He wanted answers… and he wasn’t going to get them from any Knight, or the council.