Sayuri sat down in the chair, now across the desk from the mayor of Hargeon. The captain of the guard was also seated next to the mayor, which didn't really surprise her. After all, he would be the one most familiar with the gang and their operations, so he would likely be the one briefing her. The mayor smiled at her, clearly pleased with her presence.
"I take it you're the mage that has come to help us with our gang problem?"
Sayuri nodded. "I am. My name is Sayuri. Sayuri Katsuya." As she spoke, she tugged the front of her kimono just a hair, enough to show them her guildmark, confirming her identity.
"Ah. Yes yes, that's perfect. I'm Hargeon's mayor, and this is Captain Anders, leader of out town guard."
The introductions were rather unnecessary, since Sayuri had already guessed who the men were.
"Of course. It is a pleasure to meet you. I would appreciate it if you would tell me everything you know about this gang. That way I can track them down and take them out. Preferably today, before they have a chance to bring any more of the women out of the country."
This time, it was Captain Anders who responded. "I doubt you'll be able to take the entire gang down in one day. I understand that you're a mage, but they're a tough lot, and well-established in this area. Still, I can certainly give you some information on the group. They're known as the Scarlet Brigade, so called because their captain is known only as Captain Scarlet. No one knows much about her, other than that she's lethal. She's backed up by her lieutenant, First Mate Carver. He's a master swordsman, and unbelievably fast. None of my men who have encountered him have managed to land a single blow."
"The group has to have a base somewhere in town where they hold the women, but my men haven't managed to locate that. They're pretty good at keeping that under wraps. However, we do know their ship. It's called the Blood Maiden, and it's usually anchored off the south docks. They don't even bother trying to hide the ship. Most anyone will think it's just an ordinary ship anyway. And it's always heavily guarded. The captain herself is almost always on board, although the first mate slips off sometimes, presumably to check on their captives. Again, though, no one can manage to follow him. He's just too fast. So if you want to go for the head of the snake, you'd best make for the ship. Again, though, it's open ground and you'll be facing a lot of enemies. It's tantamount to suicide, which is why our people haven't taken it yet. You'll have to come up with some sort of clever plan, if you want to succeed with that, because a full-on assault won't work."
Sayuri pondered his words for a long moment. If he thought this was too tough for an entire squadron of guards to tackle head-on, he was probably right that it was too much for her. Especially since her magic didn't actually do any damage. But it definitely did give her one definite advantage... She suddenly realized that the others were waiting for her to speak.
"Hmm... Well, that you for the information. I'll go check out this boat, and then figure out what I'm going to do from there. No sense making plans until I know what I'm dealing with."
The captain nodded, clearly seeing the sense in her statement. "Well, best of luck then. I hope you're able to come up with something that will work."
The corners of Sayuri's lips turned up in a bitter smile. Thanks for that vote of confidence, captain. Still, she shrugged it off and finished up the pleasantries before heading out of the office, ready to get to work. And it seemed that work was ready to get to her too, because she walked straight out into an ambush.
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