Fighting God Chapter 31: Traitor
“So it seems your test was completed successfully eh?” The Matriarch replied.
“It’s true Mother, though they did not attack the Sharpfang head-on, they still killed a Sharpfang. In addition, they even made it seem like a Fiery Boarhead was responsible for the attack.” Sherul answered excitedly.
“Oh? How did you manage to do that, boy?”
“It was simple, Revered Matriarch, all I did was grabbed the boar skull that was lying around in their dwelling and stabbed the corpse a few times. Then, I set the place on fire. When the other Sharpfangs came back, they were too blinded by sorrow and anger to notice anything wrong with the lacerations on the corpse except that there were boar tusk marks and fire. Who else could they blame except for the Fiery Boarheads, am I right?” Aldred explained.
“Haha. Wonderful! With this, we can decrease the number of enemies we have by having them finish each other off. It is true that the Fiery Boarheads are on a fragile alliance with the Sharpfangs like how we are with the Deathblooms. You did a good job. You have proven your worth and gained our trust. We welcome you to our den.”
“Thank you, Revered Matriarch.”
“Haha, no, call me Aunt Sheila.”
It has been a month since Aldred and Julia were accepted to join and live with the Toxic Razortails at their den. During that time of peace, Aldred and Julia continued to train and cultivate. With the help of Sherul and some younger Toxic Razortails, Julia was able to increase her power and abilities with Poison. She had become rather proficient with the use of poison. Skaal had continued making small improvements with the Earth God Cultivation Technique. He was able to increase his affinity with Earth, thus giving some boosts to his Earth-type abilities. In addition, he was able to change into Human Form…though the time-limit was only ten minutes. Aldred continued training the cultivation technique and the fist technique. He had to modify those techniques a few times in order to accommodate the loss of his left arm.
After a month of close-door training, he was able to double his proficiency with his right arm. He could dig as fast as when he had two arms and his overall arm strength increased significantly as well. Aldred would have continued on training if not for the fact that his Aunt, the Matriarch, had called for a general meeting and Aldred was invited…rather ordered to attend. When he arrived at the Main Hall, Skaal and Julia were already there. He walked up to them and stood with them. The rest of the attending members were all powerful figures who managed to obtain their Human Form. Of course they’re in their Human Form right now cause the small Main Hall cannot house all of these Toxic Razortails in their Giant Beast Form.
“I had called you all here because of something important that had occurred outside our den.” The Matriarch explained. “You may all know that the Fiery Boarheads and the Sharpfangs have been involved in a few skirmishes this past month. This is all thanks to young Aldred here for stirring up a big misunderstanding between the two families.”
The audience murmured in agreement and understanding when they heard this. Some looked at Aldred and gave approving smiles. An elder walked up and asked, “We know of this…but this can’t be the only thing you want to tell us, is it? This type of news shouldn’t warrant a general meeting.”
“That’s is correct. Last week, the Fiery Boarheads and Sharpfangs had initiated war against each other. They have lost quite a few members…however, just yesterday, I received word that the two families ceased fighting…and abruptly at that. To suddenly stop fighting and even made an alliance…something was definitely wrong.”
“Could they have figured out something?” Aldred asked.
“This was my thought as well. I had already sent out Sherul to gather some intelligence. She should be back soon.”
Just as the Matriarch finish this sentence, Sherul rushed in and whispered something to the Matriarch. The Matriarch’s face paled a bit before she looked at the crowd once again. She replied slowly, “Sherul had just gotten back from gathering intelligence on why the Fiery Boarheads and the Sharpfangs stopped fighting with each other.”
“What is it? What’s the reason?” The crowd asked curiously.
“They found out…they found out that it was all a set-up!”
“Y-you don’t mean…!”
“Yes…we have a traitor!”
“WHAT?! Who’s the traitor?”
“We don’t know yet but only the people here knows about the real cause that spurred the war between the Fiery Boarheads and the Sharpfangs. This can only mean one thing.”
Yes…this could only mean one thing, the traitor was in their midst. But who could it be? The attendees looked around at each other…who was most likely the traitor? However, everyone here was a respectable member of the Toxic Razortail family. Could the Matriarch be wrong? Maybe there was an outsider…. At the mention of outsider, they all looked at Aldred and Julia. However, a few dismissed the thought. After all, it was these two who started the whole set-up. But most of the Razortails kept their suspicions.
Aldred saw the looks in their eyes and immediately knew that they were suspicious of them. In order to dispel these suspicions, Aldred voiced out, “Matriarch! Isn’t there an elder who can use a special type of poison that can make someone tell the truth?”
“Ah! There is! Elder Rell! Sherul, go summon him here.” The Matriarch exclaimed. “This is a good idea Aldred. Everyone, I ask you to give me some face and allow yourself to be examined. Of course, you don’t have to…but that would only make you the most suspicious.”
Everyone had secrets and many were nervous. Most of them did not want to tell the Matriarch of their innermost secrets…but they also did not want her to treat them as potential traitors. When Sherul came back with Elder Rell, everyone held their breaths in anticipation. Elder Rell was notified of the situation and quickly proceeded towards the first Toxic Razortail. While the elder conducted his tests, Aldred observed this old scorpion. The Toxic Razortail had a gray and dark green exoskeleton. He was missing a leg and his tail seemed to be limp and flat. If Aldred didn’t know any better and saw this elder from a far away distance, he would have mistaken this elder for a giant lobster. The elder pricked his tail into the first examinee. When the poison set in, the elder proceeded to ask some questions. After a series of tests with a number of Razortails, there was still no traitor…only loyal family members. Finally, one Razortail answered a bit differently from the rest.
“Are you a Sharpfang?” Elder Rell asked as a preliminary question. Victims of Elder Rell’s truth poison always enter a trance-like state and could only say yes/no answers. So the questions were worded for convenience.
“No.” The Toxic Razortail answered.
“Have you had dealings with the Fiery Boarheads?”
“Have you had dealings with the Sharpfangs?”
The crowd gasped at this answer. Could he be the traitor?
“Do you work for the Sharpfangs?”
“Are you a traitor?”
The crowd breathed out in somewhat relief. Though the Razortail being tested was involved in some suspicious activities, he was not the traitor they were looking for. The Matriarch told Elder Rell to end the test with this examinee and move on to the next one. Then, she ordered some guards to bring in the Toxic Razortail for further questioning. Elder Rell moved on with the next one…and the next and the next until finally…someone couldn’t take it anymore. That Razortail immediately backed up and quietly tried to sneak away.
However, Matriarch’s sharp eyes caught sight of this and shouted, “Her! Don’t let her escape!”