Ludovica stood staring out her bedroom window. It was almost Springtime, and sure enough, the first birds had returned to the Northern continent of the Maynard empire. She watched them, endeared by them, yet melancholic. "If only you had any idea..." She muttered, a wry, sad smile on her face.
Soon there was a knock on Ludovica's door. A rather solid, loud, and impatient knock. Outside stood Olivier, contemplating to himself why on earth he didn't have his own messenger to tell the commander of what was going on. This wasn't his line of work. His arms were crossed and he heaved an impatient sigh.
Ludovica chuckled inwardly. Olivier... she thought to herself. She crossed over to her bedroom door and opened it. "Yes?"
While he didn't particularly like to be the delivery man when it came to messages, this didn't mean he lacked respect for his superior. He bowed like a gentleman before her before meeting her gaze, "Forgive me for interrupting you, Ludovica. May I come in?"
"Absolutely." Ludovica stepped aside to let the majestic-looking young man into her room. "It is important?"
"If it was not important, I would have simply contacted you by writing a letter." He smirked, moving inside, his posture perfect. "It seems that we have a spy among us, but we're not sure of who."
Ludovica blinked, making sure she heard correctly. Knowing she had, she sat down on her bed to avoid panicking. "Who do you think it could be...?"
Olivier moved a strand over hair away from his face that seemed to be persistent in falling back into place. "At this point it is really not an easy thing to figure out. If you look for suspicions, there's something suspicious about everyone here. We only know because our little spy seemed to have dropped this." He held up a small badge with the government's symbol on it.
The blonde stood up and examined the badge in Olivier's hand. "That's certainly an Imperial crest..." She narrowed her sharp grey eyes. "It stinks of wine. You don't think it might belong to our head supply manager, do you?"
"I wouldn't eliminate anyone yet but I doubt this belongs to our head supply manager. I'm more suspicious about those who recently joined. Anyone who is careless enough to drop something like this is obviously new to what they are doing. And a fool at that." Olivier snorted. "But again, I wouldn't eliminate any possibilities."
Ludovica shook her head. "It could be anybody. I'll be investigating. As you're my most trusted swordsman, I ask of you to assist me. And keep your guard up." Ludovica took her crossbow and quiver down from the wall, attaching them to her belt and shoulder respectively. "I'd like to take that crest, as well."
"That I will, commander." Olivier smirked, his tone not exactly teasing but neither was it completely serious. He handed the emblem over to Ludovica, "I will begin investigating." His sword was always kept by his side in it's scabbard and he seemed ready, as always, to take on anything.
"My first suspect is still supply manager Goldsborough. He may have been with us for a while, but its rare that he ever speaks. I suggest you check with him, first. I'll be in the magic hall to speak with Durriken."
Olivier's eyes rolled slightly at the mention of Durriken's name. Oh, how he detested that man. Maybe he would be lucky enough to have Durriken be the spy so he'd never have to deal with him ever again. "I will. This culprit is not going to get away so easily."
Ludovica gave a firm nod to Olivier, and strode out the door. She was trying her best to stay calm, as she didn't want her troops to lose morale. She made her way down the stairs and to the door of the magic hall. She knocked lightly, hoping she wasn't interrupting training.
Fortunately, Ludovica wasn't interrupting anything. Durriken couldn't stand to be interrupted. The door opened almost immediately after the knock and she was greeted by the often overly enthusiastic sorcerer. "HELLO, commander!" He greeted, seeming to be in high spirits, "Do come in!" He urged, his hands moving to touch her shoulders and physically bring her inside, not especially the type who liked to be hanging around in door ways.
Ludovica walked through the doorway by her own volition. "You seem affable as ever," she said, forcing a smile through her concern. "However, there is something I must address."
"Well then, tell me all about the fiend!" he smiled a bit deviously at her but in a good-natured way. He had a habit of bringing up things that was a bit difficult to know without being in the situation himself. Then again he was a sorcerer and had a few advantages. "I have plenty of time, you know."
"So you already know about the spy?"
"Indeed I do, dear Ludovica." he smiled warmly at her, "But I wouldn't be telling you the truth if I told you I knew who it was. After all, I can't know EVERYTHING." He laughed at his own words.
Ludovica's eyes shifted with concern. "Do you at least have any clues?"
The other's head lifted up, as if he were gazing at the heavens above. "It is someone who you would not expect. Someone who seems innocent. A young person. Charming and beautiful." he looked back at the other and smiled, "And very good at lying."
Young, innocent, and beautiful... Then it can't be the head supply keeper... She thought, her concern building more. "Nurse Greenstone perhaps. Could you please speak to her for me? I have some business to take care of in the storage room..."
"I will do that, commander." Durriken bowed slightly. "Just be careful, this spy is a crafty one!" he warned.
Theresa had been making the empty infirmary beds when she had given in to the temptation to fall asleep in one of them. She was sprawled out on top of the clean white sheets, silky black hair covering half of her face. The door was still wide open.
Two arms wrapped around her, followed by a contented sigh, "Ah, quite comfortable, don't you think?" Durriken had somehow managed to sneak in and slip into the same bed, unnoticed when she was not paying attention.
Theresa woke with a shrill squeal. "So...sorcerer Durriken!!!"
"Nurse Theresa!" He exclaimed back, mimicking her.
She gave him an indignant look. "Do you need something?"
"Well, actually... no." He answered the question, getting out of the bed, "But," He began, "Have you heard about our little... disturbance?" He raised an eyebrow at her.
Theresa had no idea what the sorcerer was talking about. She raised her own eyebrow. "Disturbance?"
"You mean you haven't heard? Oh, well I suppose the news hasn't been spreading very fast. Well let me start by asking you this. You haven't been healing any helpless people who only have you to turn to that have been spies, have you?"
"Ah, no... I haven't had any patients at all for a month, actually."
"I see..." He smiled at her, "Well the reason I mention this is because the government has sent someone to pose and spy on us all!" he shook his head with a sigh.
"...I see." She looked down at her feet. "I'm sorry, I really have no idea who it might be. Maybe you should ask Goldsborough? He seems a bit on edge lately."
Durriken took her hand, "My dear, we are asking everyone who seems to be suspicious! And we will continue to do so. For now... you just go back to your nap."
Theresa nodded, worried. "I hope you're able to find them soon! May I ask that you lock the door on your way out? I'm still tired, but I wouldn't want them to get me in my sleep..."
"Of course, my dear!" He brushed a strand of hair away from her face, "You just have sweet dreams of... helpless, innocent patients. And no spies." Durriken smiled warmly at Theresa before turning to leave her, locking the door as she requested.
Theresa felt a bit less worried. She knew Durriken and the others would act fast. Once again, she gave in to sleep.
Olivier had been interrogating the poor supply manager for quite some time now, even while his instincts told him this was not the correct person. It at least gave him something to do and he could remove all doubt.
Ludovica approached the two of them blankly. "Olivier."
The swordsman turned to face the commander, giving her his attention. "Yes?"
"Have you been able to gather any information?"
The brunette crossed his arms, "No, nothing useful if that's what you mean."
"Ah, I see. Too bad, but the search grows narrower. I had Durriken check with Nurse Greenstone, but somehow I don't think it's her." She sighed. They had to find this spy today or they could all be dead by tomorrow.
The mention of that name again sent a shudder through Olivier's spine. "I didn't think it would be her. How have you narrowed down the search?"
"I had the sorcerer do a bit of a reading. He said someone innocent, charming, and good at lying. Lady Breyerhof is too outspoken and embittered to seem innocent, and Lenon is a bit too dense to be a good liar, no offense to him. I think it could be that seductress we recently recruited."
"Seductress?" he raised an eyebrow. "You mean...?"
"Her?" Olivier didn't want to believe that. What a waste of a pretty face! "It can't be her."
"Well, she's young, charming... and as the head of Espionage she must be good at lying."
Olivier sighed, "Well, I suppose it's possible." He admitted-- but still didn't want to believe it.
Ludovica bowed her head a bit. "More than possible..."
"Well then, do you want me to speak with her or will you?" He inquired.
"I will go to speak with her. Believe me, I regret this as much as you." With this, she took her leave of Olivier and made her way to Rose's room.
Rose was at her desk, reading some kind of romance novel in her spare time. It was something she would do when no one else was around, not wanting to give the impression that she was 'soft'.
Ludovica knocked on the door. Even though she suspected Rose of being a spy, she still didn't want to be rude.
The knock startled the redhead from her reading and quickly book-marked the page and shoved the book into her desk. "Come in, door's open!" She called.
Ludovica entered the room solemly. "Excuse me, but there's something important I must discuss with you."
Rose cocked her head to the side then stood up, adjusting her corset a bit that she wore underneath her dress shirt, to look a little more presentable before looking up. "Yes?"
"I have reason to believe that you are a spy for the Maynard Empire."
She laughed softly, "Why would you say that, commander?" her gaze was not shifty or nervous looking in the least.
"Olivier found a badge with their crest on it. I consulted Sorcerer Durriken about the matter, and he told me there was indeed a spy, and that it was somebody young, charming, and good at deceit." Her tone was straightforward and firm. "Surely, as our head of Espionage, you would be a good liar."
Rose smiled, "I understand completely why you're suspicious... and you flatter me, really, that you think those adjectives describe me." she laughed, "If you want to search, you may."
Ludovica nodded and began searching the room. She found nothing in the closets or under the bed; in fact, both spaces appeared immaculately clean. Too clean, she thought to herself. "Do you mind if I search these desk drawers?"
Damn it! She thought, knowing that for sure the commander would find that helplessly sappy novel of hers. A blush covered her face, but aside from that, she appeared calm. "You may."
Upon opening the top drawer, Ludovica saw the book Rose had seconds ago been reading. She was immediately taken with suspicion, as it didn't seem like something Rose would be interested in at all. Between the pages, she noticed a folded up piece of paper. Calmly, she slipped it out of the book and unfolded it. "A letter from General Kaspir. Explain this."
"It was intercepted." She replied calmly. "Guess I chose to use it as a book-mark instead."
"What's this name right here? I can't read it." She pointed to the head of the letter.
"Virgin." She replied, "It says Virgin." And what a horrible lie that code-name was!
"I see. Please do me a favour and read the contents of this letter for me." The handwriting on the letter was illegible. The only thing that identified it for the commander was the Imperial General's personal seal.
"Indeed, there is a spy among as, and you are correct. This intercepted letter even proves it." Taking the letter and opening it up, her eyes fell to the first few sentences, her adrenaline rushing through her but somehow she managed to remain composed. She decided it would be best not to make up the contents of the letter and read what it said, plus or minus a few sentences, incase it was somehow decoded and used against her. "Virgin, we suspect that the resistance is going to be making a move. Can you confirm this? I haven't received a report from you in over a week. If you fall behind, you will be left behind, and if you fail us, you will be executed." She paused. "Signed, General Kaspir."
"I am not convinced that the spy isn't you...Nor am I sure that it is. Do you know who this letter was to? If not to yourself?"
"I am not sure, but I can certainly have words with those under me. My belief is that it is a female."
"It would seem so."
But that badge wasn't dropped by me... I don't carry that with me, how could it possibly be? There had to be some other spy... "I will do my best to find the spy. As head of my department, I am sure it will be easy enough."
"During that time, and until she is found, you will still be surveyed."
"I understand, commander." she saluted her respectfully.