The Girl in Cell 3 (Triple Witching Hour)

Every day SABLE talks to her knight in shining armor, EREN. She says sweet words, tugging at his heart, hoping to steal it. But there is always a barrier between them - a prison cell door. EREN has struck a deal: keep her locked up and his little brother will be out of harms way.

Her cell is inescapable and her placement on death row rises fast. She aims to seduce him and have him break her out. But when truths and lies become one, can she deceive his heart without breaking her own?

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60. Chapter 59 - Reinhard

Reinhard sat in his office, humming a tune from his youth. He had a stack of letters and scrolls on his desk, but he didn’t bother to touch them; whatever they concerned, they weren’t important right now. What mattered right now was that things had been set into motion; the Champion of Light would get his final feast later today. Once the Champion was completed, then the stalemate at the front line could be broken and meaningful advances will be made into Eisen territory. And once enough territory has been captured, the men could live off the land and ease the burden on the supply chain. 


Of course the Champion of Light couldn’t go out onto the battlefield on his own — such a move would be utter folly. That was why he had issued a notice that roused a fervor of heroism in the hearts of young men. Fight for King’s Pride! Protect the lover you have at home. Earn your glory. Die for a patch of land.


Early reports had been promising. Since last night, long lines of men had stood outside the sign up stations at different barracks to volunteer. Apprentices from every imaginable craft, sons of wealthy merchants, artisans and even the odd traveler had answered the call of the battlefield. 


The preachers of the Word of Light was of use as well; for weeks their gospel had sounded wide and far in King’s Pride and planted the fantasy of a holy battle in many minds. 


Too easy, Reinhard thought. Far to easy. You sell them a fantasy, a story, a sensation of glory and the masses will follow you to the death. Which was good for him because it made his job easier. 


He buttoned up his uniform, drank the last of his tea and set the aside the documents in an orderly pile in the middle of the desk. Then he got up and went out of his office. It was time to see Zofia. 


She still hadn’t told him which witch would be the final meal for the Champion of Light. Her messages were always a little vague for someone who worked in the military; Reinhard was used to messages that ended in a full-stop and expected only one answer: Yes Sir. 


But that was what loved about her. She was a breath of fresh air into a life that would have otherwise slowly gathered dust and rust as it made the lonely rise to the top of the behemoth that was the army. She was the ice of his summer, the sun in his rain. The anticipation that would make his heart beat a little faster like that of a boy. 


He greeted the officers in the barracks and met Eren. They saluted each other and referred to each other by their titles — it was only proper after all. 


Eren made a comment. A volunteering call has been issued, I hear.


Yes, that is right. We will make a final push into Eisen territory — and this time it will work. 


A silent nod. 


They walked down into the prison together. Reinhard saw Eren clutching a scroll in his hand. He did not ask what it was for. 


The heavy door opened. They saluted the guards. Reinhard glanced left and right. Just about a third of the present guards knew him personally and therefore knew of Zofia’s true identity. Eren knew of Zofia’s identity as well. If he was careful, then Zofia could pass him another message if necessary. Otherwise, he’d have to wait until tonight to find out which witch would be fed to the Champion of Light.  


“Do you think this latest offensive will work?” Eren asked. 


Their steady steps echoed in the hallway. Heavy leather boots clashed with the stone floor. The witches listened. 


“Many young men have volunteered, far more than last time,” Reinhard said with satisfaction. “The front line is hungry; the last offensive had been costly and occupying enemy territory adds an extra stain on the men and supply lines.” 


“Hmm,” Eren murmured, but said nothing more. Which surprised Reinhard. Usually Eren would have more to say regarding new military initiatives. After all, Kolin was of fighting age. 


They stopped before Sable’s cell. The only cell with only two witches in them. Both sat against the wall, their knees to their chest. They silenced their furtive whispers. 


Zofia got up and came up to the cell door. Her eyes were smiling. Reinhard remained expressionless. He was waiting for something. A sign. A wink. Anything. 


“Well, I suppose that is the end of our inspection,” said Reinhard.


“Indeed.” Eren got out his keys and drew his sword. 


Reinhard raised an eyebrow. “What are you doing?” 


Without saying a word, Eren handed him the scroll. He pulled it apart and read it. It had High Commander Bloodhorne’s seal on it. Reinhard blinked and rubbed his eyes. No — this had to be a mistake. Bloodhorne had no idea who Zofia was — and yet here it says — but why?


Reinhard turned to Eren. “What did you do?” asked Reinhard. 


Eren said, “Never forget that we are your true brothers—your brothers in arms,” and unlocked the door cell door. Zofia stepped back. Confusion in her eyes. Uncertainty in her breath. 


Reinhard’s shoulders trembled. His nostrils flared. His heart sank. “You traitor.” 


“I came to the conclusion that your judgment was clouded,” said Eren and pulled Zofia out of her cell. “By the order of High Commander Bloodhorne, I am removing Zofia from her cell and expelling her from the barracks.” 


Zofia appeared utterly helpless for a brief moment before furious anger replaced her confusion. She glared at Eren and then peered expectantly at Reinhard. Do something! 


Reinhard glanced left and right. The corridor was narrow. The door was far. The last feast for the Champion of Light was near. 


He met Zofia’s eyes. He nodded. He had an idea. 


“You will pay for this,” Reinhard growled and stormed past Eren. He stomped up to his office, slammed the door shut and swept all documents off his table in one sweeping motion that did little to quench his need for vengeance. 


He sat down, got out a clean scroll and a quill. The front line was hungry. 

 

——

 

A/N: Hello there! Things are heating up!

 

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