Gansdore looked timidly at Saruman and offered a box. Obviously, he was not optimistic that this thing could move the heart of his lord.
After receiving the box, Saruman’s eyes flashed. He caressed the surface of the box with his fingers and wondered:
“The residual aura on this box, why………does it feel so familiar?”
Saruman slowly closed his eyes and traced his fingers across the surface of the box. The back of Saruman’s hand had a lot of wrinkles, but his palm had skin that was smooth and delicate. A series of intoxicating and crazy words escaped Saruman’s mouth.
“Ah, wait, such familiar dark aura, such frustrated howling and anger…. It’s like the feeling of that guy called Dwar! But how is he related to this box?”
Saruman immediately opened the box slowly – he seemed to be guarding against possible magical traps – and then he frowned. The box was empty!
This feeling made Saruman very uncomfortable. He felt like a child who saw his favorite candy, but after excitedly peeling off the wrapping paper with a load of expectation, he found that the inside contained a stone.
Saruman’s words were perfectly calm. One could hear neither joy nor sorrows in his words. But Gansdore, who was familiar with his personality, immediately prostrated himself on the ground and stammered.
“My lord! The object inside this box looks very ordinary, but after the box came into my possession, a lot of strange things happening kept happening to me. I really… I really don’t dare to bring it here directly! In order to avoid any mishaps happening to you, I only dare to bring this box that was contaminated by its breath.”
Saruman asked curiously.
“A lot of weird things happening? Interesting. I’m getting more and more interested in this matter. Order someone to bring it in right away! No, you’ll take me to where it is!”
“Right away, my lord,” answered Gansdore in fear. He hurried back a few steps, then led Saruman out of the magic tower.
The two men arrived at Gansdore’s carriage and immediately saw a guard who had fallen dead on the ground. His eyes were wide open and there was a horrible wound on his throat. It looked as if someone had stabbed in using a red-hot knife.
The situation was also chaotic all around them. A tall horse that was ridden by a security officer had struggled free from its rein. Some of its skin was torn, directly exposing its bulging muscles and blood vessels. Its eyes were as ferocious as a hungry beast as it chewed on the palm of its dead master, spewing flesh and blood everywhere.
Saruman showed no concern for these sights at all. He strode into the carriage and could immediately felt a dense dark aura. At this time, Saruman suddenly moved his head to the side, because the strap he used to tie his hair had turned into a mottled, two-headed snake. The split tongues reaching out of its mouths were black in colour. Saruman pointed his finger at the snake, and it immediately dissolved into black smoke and drifted away.
“So it could infect all objects around it that contained any dark nature…” said Saruman with a bit of admiration. “Gansdore, you did well. You’ve brought me a great surprise. Where’s the fragment? Where did you put it?”
Gansdore awkwardly answered.
“I put away the new box containing the fragment in the carriage drawer, then told the guards to keep their eyes open and pay attention to any abnormality.”
At that moment, a guard ran over in horror and shouted.
“My lord, our horse went mad! It attacked Casey, and the skin of the demonic creature laid inside the carriage suddenly grabbed Sherr’s neck….”
“Shut your mouth! Just tell me where the box is!” snapped Gansdore sharply.
“During the chaos, a strange looking person boarded the carriage and reached into the drawer. We cut off one of his hands, but he opened the drawer with his other hand and grabbed the box. Before we cut off his other hand, he swallowed the box and then ran away!” Answered the guard in horror.
“Wow, good job, good effort!” remarked Gansdore sarcastically. “Put the city under a state of emergency and lock down the gates!”
“There’s no need for that,” remarked Saruman calmly. He held out his hand and released a “Detect Evil” spell. Instantly, the route that the Dunlending took to flee appeared in front of their eyes like it was drawn in ink.
“I want to see either the box or your severed head in ten minutes. Remember to clean the box.”
The iron-fisted and orderly rule of Saruman in Isengard showed its effectiveness. His will was implemented in five minutes.
The dripping wet [Armour Fragment of Dwar the Nazgul] was placed in front of Saruman. It was retrieved from the stomach of the unfortunate Dunlending, so it carried a stench no matter how it was washed.
“This fragment….it really does not disappoint me! Gansdore, you fool. The fragment was suppressed by powerful natural energy before this, so it could only keep accumulating energy inside. When it was handed over to you, the power of nature that suppressed it disappeared, and the power of darkness it accumulated erupted, thus causing all these chaos! This really is a perfect piece of metal, a perfect gift!”
“Um, my lord,” said Gansdore hesitantly.
Saruman impatiently snapped at him.
“What else do you want. Is the city not chaotic enough yet? Why are you still here? Calm the citizens down as quickly as possible.”
Gansdore braved himself and looked at Saruman’s face.
“Actually, your series of actions were completely predicted by that person….so forgive my impudence, but I have to pass on his words to you.”
“That person??” asked Saruman wildly.
“The gem trader, my lord. The original owner of this piece of fragment.” answered Gansdore boldly.
Saruman pondered for a while before enquiring.
“What else did he have to say?”
Gansdore answered in a mysterious tone.
“He said that he has something else that will make you feel even more tempted – and, if I pass on these words, he will pay me an extra two thousand platinum coins. If there is nothing else, then I will take my leave.”
Saruman’s slender eyes revealed a glimmer.
“This person is really interesting. Very well, go and tell him that because of the surprise he gave me today, I decided to give him a chance. Half an hour later, I will meet with him in the magic tower. I have already received a very nice gift today; I hope he can continue to surprise me.”
The work efficiency of Gansdore in implementing Saruman’s order was quite high. Sheyan and his team soon came to Saruman’s guest room.
Of course, for safety reasons, Sheyan did not bring Melody along. It’s difficult to say whether Melody’s disguise would be seen through by Saruman as the disguise of the Ring if Air wasn’t impregnable after all. Once she was seen through, the consequences would be disastrous!
Currently, there was only one hour or so left in the time limit of the mission. Shenyan believed that since Saruman was so concerned with the armour fragment of the Ringwraith, the [Elven Illusion Bone Crystal] they had should interest Saruman even more.
Even if they fell out with Saruman, with the huge temptation of the [Elven Illusion Bone Crystal], they should be able to delay for an hour. When the mission failed, they would naturally return to the realm. At most, they would suffer a bit of hardship.
They knew that Saruman would not immediately brandish his weapon against them even if they came to a disagreement. That was a behaviour for Lurtz the Uruk-hai. An old fox that had lived for thousands of years like Saruman would first consider ‘what benefit would I gain if I kill them….’
When the three stepped into Orthanc Tower, they did not notice any special changes – maybe Saurman was unwilling to allow them to see any special changes. An attendant led them into Saruman’s magic laboratory. They finally came face to face with the “evil hero”.
Sheyan was surprised to find that the layout seemed to be very familiar. It looked very similar to the interior of the rough mage tower in the orc city of Misty Mountains. The tall, majestic, burly and powerful wizard glanced at them, then calmly asked.
“I heard you wanted to meet me?”
Sheyan stepped out and said with a smile.
“My name is Seaman. I am a believer of the High God. There is a saying among my people – there are no eternal friends and enemies, only eternal profits. Under some special circumstances, we managed to obtain some objects on Middle Earth which are said to be quite precious and mysterious. My friend told me that the Gray Dwarves outside Angmar may be interested in these things, but their offer couldn’t satisfy me. So, we came to Isengard in search of a better price for these goods.”
“Ah, so you are believers of the High God,” Saruman nodded slightly, then gently said. “Please sit down. I must first thank you for gifting me with the armour fragment that was full of an evil and dark aura. You made a wise decision.”