Upon hearing the old wizard’s question, the bald wizard replied in a tearful voice:

“I truly don’t know who posted that bounty. In the wizard hunter circle, bounties like that are typically anonymous. After all, most of these tasks involve illicit activities. Who would risk revealing their identity? It’s asking for trouble!”

Hearing the bald wizard’s response, the old wizard realized that he was likely telling the truth.

The Alliance had anticipated this, considering the nature of the wizard hunters’ missions, and the anonymity of such bounties was expected.

However, allowing an attack on their leader to go unanswered would invite ridicule from the wizarding community.

So, the old wizard chose not to further torment the already pitiful wizard hunter.

Instead, he shifted his focus to the cloaked wizard lying on the ground.

With a sardonic grin, the old wizard addressed the cloaked figure, “I say, have you rested well? You seem unfazed even after witnessing your partner suffer the Cruciatus Curse. Your resilience is impressive! If you’re feeling rested, get up and tell us what you know. The floor is rather cold, and you wouldn’t want to catch a cold.”

As the old wizard’s words hung in the air, Auston cast an intrigued glance at the cloaked figure.

He wasn’t aware of when this individual had regained consciousness.

But just as the old wizard had finished speaking, the cloaked wizard suddenly rolled over, simultaneously pointing upward toward the bar’s ceiling.


In response to the cloaked wizard’s command, the chandeliers above shattered into countless pieces of falling glass, plunging the bar into darkness.

In the ensuing darkness, Auston and the others quickly extended their wands.


The spells ignited a soft glow at the tips of Auston and the others’ wands.

Auston promptly scanned the area but couldn’t spot the cloaked wizard.

“Wandless casting? It’s intriguing; I underestimated him. Young people these days continue to surprise me,” remarked the old wizard, seemingly unfazed.

However, a hint of murderous intent gleamed in his eyes.

Sensing this, Auston, anxious to pursue the cloaked wizard, attempted to dash off but was halted by the old wizard.

“Stop, Auston, what’s the hurry?”

There was a touch of dissatisfaction in the old wizard’s tone as he continued, “You must remember, Auston, as a young wizard of the Alliance, the future belongs to you. No matter the circumstance, do not tarnish our reputation. Until our leader stands, you are our representatives, the future of the Alliance. You mustn’t appear flustered, lest outsiders look down upon us.”

“But do you intend to let him escape like this?” Auston protested.

The old wizard huffed in disdain and responded, “He’s just a wizard hunter. To the Alliance, a wizard hunter is merely a slightly more exotic prey. Where can he possibly go?”

However, before Auston could retort, footsteps and the sound of dragging emanated from the bar’s entrance.

Everyone in the bar turned their attention to the source of the noise.

After a brief pause, a wizard, wielding a wand in his right hand and dragging an individual with his left, entered slowly.

Upon closer inspection, Auston recognized the wizard with the wand as the one who had remained on the ground earlier, casting an invisibility spell on himself.

The individual being dragged was none other than the escaping wizard hunter.

Witnessing this, Auston came to the realization that the senior members of the Alliance had been well-prepared beneath their seemingly casual exterior.

They had established security measures to prevent escape and left behind a wizard to ensure the group’s safety.

The wizard tossed the captured wizard hunter to the ground and nonchalantly clapped his hands before heading toward the bar’s entrance without uttering a word.

“Is he still alive?” the old wizard inquired, baring his teeth.

“I think so… maybe?” The man’s response carried uncertainty.

Subsequently, after completing all necessary precautions at the scene, the cloaked wizard finally regained consciousness.

Without wasting any time, the old wizard asked straightforwardly, “Did you hear what your partner said? Is there anything you’d like to add? If you provide valuable information, I can make your end more comfortable.”

After a moment of silence, the wizard hunter, in a raspy voice, slowly admitted, “I confess. Although I accepted the bounty, I don’t know much more than the others. But I do know one thing: within the team I assembled, some members were in cahoots with those who posted the bounty!”

Hearing these words, the old wizard’s eyes lit up with interest.

He responded quickly, “Very well, this information is still valuable. How did you come to this conclusion?”

“Because according to the person who issued the reward in the letter, we were to find a secure hiding spot after successfully capturing the target. They would then contact us later. However, they didn’t specify the hiding location or how to contact us.”

The wizard hunter paused before continuing, “It’s clear that they were confident they could locate us after the fact. You should know that finding the hiding places of wizard hunters is no easy feat. The most likely explanation is that among the individuals who participated in this operation, there were some working with those who issued the bounty. That’s why they’re so confident they can find us!”

Upon hearing the wizard hunter’s explanation, the old wizard nodded thoughtfully.

Then he fixed his gaze on the man and inquired slowly, “So, in your opinion, who is the most likely person behind all this?”

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Published On: October 31, 2023

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