> Spare the mercenaries
You look at the two for a moment, thinking before turning to Datev. “Go tell Father what we’ve learned here, and ask him what he would have us do now.”
“We both know what he’s going to say.” The cat crosses his arms. “He’ll be of a mind to just leave it to the guards.”
“I know full well of his likely stance on this. Even so, he is still in charge of the company. We cannot leave him without the information.” You nod to him. With that, Datev leaves you with Tess and the two mercenaries. “As for these two…” You step closer to the two of them. “What companies do you represent?”
“No one, officially. If you have to know.” The human girl shakes her head. “We’re from Kerim. The local company there. This job didn’t go through them though. We’re just freelancing this one.”
“Kerim said this job was suspicious. Too much gold for what the work was. Hells, we barely had a choice though.” The elf looks down to the floor. “There ain’t been enough work for everyone near the border. Nothing honest anyway. And it’s not like the Kingdom’s gonna let mercenaries help with anything to do with the war.”
“I’ve heard they’ve been shy of trusting mercenaries ever since that mess back in the war between them and the Alliance. Highnight didn’t really go over too well for them.” Tess shrugs. “Even so, it can’t be that much harder to find honest work in the Kingdom than anywhere else. The place is big and there’s gotta be plenty to do. You two were brought here by the coin, not cause work was hard to find.”
“Maybe so, but we have no immediate reason to see an end to these two.” You shake your head. “Beliya wronged us personally. Given the chance, these might have as well, but we cannot pass judgment with such speculation. However, we cannot risk allowing them to leave before we finish this up.” You turn back to the mercenaries. “Once we deal with your employers, you will be free to return to your home.”
“Eh, so you’re the only one who gets a meal out of this?” Tess sighs with a shrug. “Well, maybe their bosses will do, eh? Heheh.” You sigh, shaking your head before leaving the room with Tess.
Out in the hall, you meet back up with Lorre. “Ah..? Telri, you’re..?” She looks down at your squirming belly, full of elf.
“I am giving the elf the same mercy she gave Melra. I assume this is not an issue with you?” You look to the elf girl.
“O-of course. It’s fine.” She nods. “A-ah, I saw Miss Kelle out. She told me to tell you that she’ll stay in town tonight and leave in the morning, in case you needed to speak with her again.”
“Very well. Depending on what news Datev returns with, we may have need of her.” You nod. “Until then, we should rest. I have a mind to rid us of this elf in a timely manner.” You look down at your gut for a moment before you and your allies head to another room to rest and wait for Datev.
After several minutes, the cat returns. “Datev, what did Father say?” You turn to him, asking.
“You can probably guess.” He shakes his head. “We’re to stand down and let the guard handle this. He says he’s already contacted them, but I can imagine they’re in no hurry. By the time they decide to deal with this, it’s likely that our friends at Copperbirch will have already been on their way back to the Kingdom.”
“W-well, it’s not like they can do much more here.” Lorre speaks up. “We have enough evidence that it would be foolish for them to come back here again. They’d only stand to get themselves arrested, right? Whatever they had planned has surely failed due to this, don’t you think?”
“Yeah, maybe.” Tess sighs. “But hells if it’s not pretty unsatisfying to just let them go like that. But it’s not like it’s our choice to make…” She glances over to you.
“Father would be furious if we were to go against his wishes, no matter what results we got in the end.” You shake your head. “And it is unlikely that we could gain his permission. However…”
“Easier to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission.” Datev adds. “We’ll follow whatever you decide, Telri.”
You consider if it’s really worth it to chase after Copperbirch. As Lorre said, it’s unlikely that they’ll be able to operate in this city any longer, and likely the entire Empire as well. Whatever plot they held against you and your company will likely become pointless if they are forced to flee back to the Kingdom. Even so, there’s still unanswered questions…
Your belly continues to gurgle away as Beliya’s struggles start to slow. It won’t be long before the elf will finally be gone, and your sister avenged. If you do plan to go after Copperbirch, your belly should be down to a manageable size by the time you prepare to leave.
[WAITING FOR INPUT…]