Like herself, Killua had not faced off against any Rune Knight, but he knew a thing or two about their common foot soldiers. Dia herself had tried to carry out some research on Fiore's primary law enforcement agency, as she was sure that her path might lead her to cross blades with them down the line. What she knew about the police force of the mage realm was more or less common knowledge: the leaders of the Rune Knights were rather famous, as was to be expected, holding positions reserved for the most powerful "Light mages". Light... the concept of light being good was relative, as far as she was concerned, but that was a lesson in philosophy for another day. Today, there was someone to kill.
She nodded at Killua's suggestion to reconvene here by nightfall. She was done showing him the place, anyway, so there was no point hanging around here. Whatever she needed to take note of had been done so; all that was left was to begin the stealthy assault on Edger's premises under cover of night. "Well then, see you around, Killua,"
she said with a light wave as she turned and walked away to find something cool to drink. Much of her day would be spent resting up, so that she would be fully awake and alert at night. She and Hexter spent a little more time wandering about like sightseers, before retreating to the cool of the room they had rented.
It was not difficult to find their way to this place at night. It was a little beyond the "witching hour", when, according to some ancient writer, "none but the wolf and the murderer is abroad." Dia met up with Killua, Hexter following silently behind them. They walked into an alleyway; there was almost no one out at this time, though Dia suspected that a city such as Crocus would have patrolling guards. They would have to be swift, decisive and effective. She watched as Killua requipped into a more tactical outfit... or had he transmuted his clothes? Whichever one it was, Dia thought it was a nifty spell to have, that could change one's clothes as situation demanded. Perhaps, with a more powerful transmogrification spell, she could even pass off as someone else. That would be very, very useful.
Killua scaled the wall with ease and a practiced agility. She looked at Hexter with a slight grin. "He's an impressive kid, isn't he?"
Hexter shrugged in his indifferent manner, though his words agreed with her. "Yeah, he does move like someone who's had military training."
They waited for Killua to give the "all-clear", but there was no need to help them over the wall. With a command from his mind, Hexter lifted himself and Dia silently to the top of the wall, where they both perched in a crouching position. Standing upright might have seemed cooler, but it was very unwise, as they would be more easily spotted. Both of them were dressed in dark clothes, so that they would easily blend in with the shadows.
At that point, they noticed a guard walking below them, coming towards their direction, but Killua leaped onto him before he could respond, knocking him to the ground. By the time Dia and Hexter had dropped silently to the garden grounds, Killua was already dragging the body to hide it close to the wall. Silently, the two crept over, and listened to his plan. It was sound enough, given their current equipment and objective. Dia nodded. "Alright. Let's find a way in."
As Hexter moved to peer into a lit window, Dia drew out a snow white feather, so white it seemed to glisten in the night. She clutched it in her hand, unwilling to activate it yet, in case it interfered with her movement, due to its size. She looked over at Hex, who gestured to them to come over. The window he crouched close to led into a kitchen, where three of Edger's staff had been working. Their backs were turned to the window, but their bodies were stiff, like they had been seized by an invisible force. Hexter silently opened the window and climbed in. Dia followed him. She stood in front of the three cooks, their faces white with fear. "I'm a reasonable person, and I'd like to keep this brief. Tell me what I want, and I'll let you go. If you lie, you die. Try to raise any alarm, and it won't end well."
She glanced at Hex. "You can release that one's mouth,"
she motioned with her head at the one in the middle, an elderly woman. Hexter did not move, but the woman visibly relaxed. Instantly, she took in a deep breath, no doubt going to scream, but a sickening popping sound stopped her short. Her eyes bulged, then she slumped to the ground, obviously dead. Dia shook her head, her expression irritated, as the other two made muffled sounds of horror. "Goodness, it is so hard to follow instructions?"
She looked into the eyes of the man, terror written all over him. "You're next. You'd better behave."
His body relaxed, but unlike the first cook, he didn't attempt to make any loud noises. "Please, what do you want with us? We're just lowly..." "Shush! I'll ask the questions. Where's Edger? Is he home?"
The man paused, then shook his head. Dia nodded slowly. "Right."
She looked expectantly at Hex, but there was something dark in her eyes. Hex understood. The man's head turned one-eighty degrees to the back, with a sharp crack. Dia closed her eyes and exhaled slowly. Then she turned to face the other cook, who still half stood, half floated, tears streaming from her eyes. "You look like a smart woman, so I'll give you a chance at life, which you'd better not muck up like your friends. I'll ask you some questions. You lie, you die. You scream, you won't even manage it before your heart goes out right through your back. You cooperate, you live. Nod if you agree."
The woman nodded. "As you can see, I can tell if you're lying, so don't waste my time. Now, what did Edger eat this evening?"
The woman looked slightly surprised, but as Hexter let her mouth go, she replied, "Rare steak and..."
Dia cut her off with a raise of her hand. "Good enough. Where is he, now?""His bedroom...""On the top floor. Where?""At the end of the hallway to the left, once you climb the stairs..."
Dia put a finger to the woman's lips. "Good, good. You've earned your life."
She nodded to Hex. As the woman's eyes widened, she suddenly jerked backwards, as though an invisible force and delivered a powerful blow to her stomach, then she dropped to the floor unconscious. Dia felt pleased with herself. Her mind games had worked quite as expected. She had no power to read minds, but having used the first as an example, and asking the second a question which she was sure she knew the answer to, and meting out judgment instantly on their failures, she was sure the third would be more than eager to cooperate."Top floor, end of the left hallway,"
she said to Killua, as she produced the feather once again, and this time, activated its power. Pegasus transformed into a golden spear and shield. The shield she strapped to her back, while she wielded the spear. "I've got a better idea, Killua, one that will not jeopardize the mission in any way. Once we get Edger, I'll be the one to extract him immediately. Don't worry, he'll still die before I leave these grounds."