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The Secret Investigation: Part 3 - The Request

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(Lycandria Marilyn Ravenholdt)

Shade stands and walks around the room for a moment, as I wipe my face and glance at everything on mother's desk.

He faces away, looking through some very old tomes as dust falls off them. "You know... As I said before, I owe your mother alot of the success to this organization... and I want you to know..." He turns around to face me, as I sit on the stool looking back. "Just as I did for her, I will help you with anything you need going forward... It's the least I can do for her daughter."

I slowly nod and look down at the floor for a moment. "I don't think she ever mentioned who you guys were in her journals... Perhaps that was to avoid information..."

He finishes, "From getting into the wrong hands, yes... I did say she was wise, not to mention we had an agreement... It was actually her incentive, because she didn't want the manor to be able to target me, if they somehow got a hold of the information."

I smile a bit and nod. "So... what are you called?"

He smirks and hesitates a moment, pacing off into a direction of the room. "We are the Nightblades, and we have been here in Dalaran for many years. Your mother was part of the beginning, but we never really had a name back then." He then looks to me. "We survive by secrecy and disguise, much like the ones you saw coming in. We all have separate real identities for cover, should anyone fall into lawful hands. According to paper, the Nightblades don't exist and never have."

My gaze follows him as he paces, smiling a bit to myself.

He continues. "We specialize in intelligence and hard-to-find information... There is hardly a corner in our universe we don't know something about, or at least find in a reasonable time frame... We are everywhere and nowhere, everything and nothing all at once... And of course as you noticed, capable fighters who only miss when they aim to." He smirks slightly.

I look back at him with a raised eyebrow and a smirk. "Oh you mean like Darrik? Another moment or two, and I would have shown him what missing feels like."

He lightly chuckles. "That I don't have doubts of..." He pauses a moment to give me a look. "He is my son, still much to learn but quite capable... He only felt threatened by you, but I will be filling him in on things going forward from here. All of them for that matter."

I nod as I watch him suddenly start digging through a trunk on the floor.

"That reminds me, your mother used this... seal or token. I could have swore she placed it in here." He mutters as he pulls various things out onto the floor.

"What kind of token are you talking about?" I add.

He finally finds it and pulls it out. "Here." He tosses it to me, and begins to place things back.

I catch it and look it over. The seal was of moderate weight, dark and black in nature. Beveled with a raven emblem, and a large capital "R" across the crest of the raven itself. It seemed very unique and one of a kind. I had never seen anything like this at the manor before.

He closes the trunk, handing over a picture he found inside. "The uh... seal she had made here in Dalaran. She actually had a hand in its coloring."

I nod glancing at the photo now in my hands. It was a picture of mother working at the very desk I was sitting at.

He continues. "I took this of her when she was working one day... She... always had such a way with things... She would want you to have it."

I nod and study the picture, tracing my finger across to remove a layer of dust. I then look up to him and smile. "Thank you... really."

He nods and smiles for a moment. "So... there has to be a reason that's led you here. Perhaps more so than just the directions of your mother."

I sigh briefly and nod. "Yes actually... I've just been wondering how to approach the subject... It's a bit of a sore one."

Shade looks on, nodding briefly. "Just say what comes to mind, and I'll see what I can do."

I look up at him sighing and taking a deep breath. "What do you know of the Crimson Horn?"

He turns and paces around the room for a moment. "I know enough to point you in the right direction. They are also fairly dissolved by this point. Why?"

I look away, moving hair from my face. "There is a woman... a Sin'dorei death knight, who took someone of great importance to me." I sigh and look back at him. "I need to know what happened to him."

Shade rubs his beard in thought. "And what will you do with the information I provide?"

"Well, there was some sort of device in her hands that summoned a portal. I have reason to believe this object came from here in Dalaran, overhearing who Khasarah was dealing with, a mage." I nod at him.

He turns and faces me, squatting down to my level. "I think I know of just the thing you are talking about, but they haven't been around for years." He looks off toward the door to the room.

I sigh. "I don't have much to go on, but I feel like this would be a good place to start. From what little time I've been in Dalaran, I know there is alot of activity going on at any given time." I pause. "I have responsibilities on Draenor, so I don't have the time or resources to devote to this... and I don't want to involve the others if that makes sense."

Shade nods and stands. "I'll poke around with sources I have and get back with you." He rests his hand on my shoulder.

I nod and smile. "Thank you. I know I shouldn't be asking so soon, but..."

He looks down and stops me. "Hey, I promised your mother I would look out for you, and I don't intend to stop now. You have my word I will gather what I find, and let you know when you are needed back."

I slowly nod and stand to hug him. He hugs me back tightly, and then pulls back smiling.

I gather up the token and picture, hiding them in a pocket of my armor. "I should be getting back, before the league starts wondering about me."

He nods. "I agree... Next time you show up at the tavern, use that seal. They will all know who you are, so we don't have any misunderstandings. Also as promised, I will inform you when I have something. It shouldn't be long."

I smile and hug him again briefly. "Thank you again..." I walk to the door and pause looking back to him. "By the way, am I allowed to know your real name?"

He smirks and pauses for a moment. "So long as it never leaves this room."

I slowly smile and anticipate his response.

He continues quietly. "Malik... my name is Malik Dalton."

I nod and quietly respond. "It's good to meet you Malik."

He nods as he watches me leave, closing and locking the door behind me. He then walks back down the hall to address the rest of his unit.