Chapter 2: The Huntsclan Investigates
"Huntsgirl, I'm afraid Rotwood is indeed right about the Demon Sorcerers." The Huntsmaster commented. "Last Chinese New Year, it was reported that Shendu's palace reappeared, suggesting he came back, but it was in ruins, suggesting someone defeated the demon before it unleashed its dragon army. The questions the Huntsclan can't answer are: Who defeated Shendu; and who helped him to return in the first place?"
"Well, Rotwood said the Government interfered with the space bus back when the Moon Demon was at large." Huntsgirl replied. "Maybe they also know magical creatures are real."
"It makes sense." The Huntsmaster commented. "They are already known for keeping secrets from civilians. The existence of magical creatures might as well be another of them."
"But then, Master, why have we never seen any Government agent hunting magical creatures?"
"Maybe they were just tailing some criminals who learned about Shendu." The Huntsmaster replied. "There's nothing to suggest they know about any magical creature currently polluting our world. But let's investigate."
The Huntsmaster then had the Huntsclan's intelligence department investigate the latest space mission's possible link to the Moon Demon.
Meanwhile, the Dragon Council had finished reading Lao Shi's message. "Fellow Councillors, how can we be sure this isn't one of Huntsgirl's tricks?" Councillor Kulde asked.
"We can't." Councillor Andam answered. "We simply have no better lead to follow and the threat of the Demon Sorcerers warrants investigation."
"We can't even be sure they're really involved with the moon's briefly darkening." Councillor Kulkulkhan added. "The Huntsgirl might be trying to use them to distract us while they get the last of the thirteen Aztec Skulls."
"We already have two of them." Councillor Andam replied. "We can afford to miss the last one but not to let any of the eight Demon Sorcerers return."
"Fine." Councillor Kulde said. "We'll start an investigation."
Back at the Huntsclan headquarters, the Huntsmaster got the results of the investigation. "Look at that, Huntsgirl! Members of a crime ring known as the Dark Hand snuck in the spaceship. Whatever they wanted it must have been something big. Their boss also went there. According to the Huntsclan's contacts within the Government, the Dark Hand was once so much of a threat to mankind a Government division named Section 13 has been created specially to counteract their actions. To lead Section 13, the Government recruited an Interpol agent named… Augustus Black?"
"What's wrong, Master?" Huntsgirl asked.
"Never mind, Huntsgirl." He hastily answered. "Let's focus on the villains…" And then he never allowed her to talk about Augustus Black ever again. That night, she went to the Dream Realm to talk to Jake.
"Rose, I've never heard about this Augustus Black fellow before." Jake commented. "You said he's an Interpol agent, right?"
"Former Interpol agent who now heads a team of Federal agents, Jake."
"Maybe this Captain Black had tried to locate you and the Huntspunk is afraid you find out."
"Wouldn't it be a work for the local police or the FBI?" Rose asked.
"Well, the Huntsclan hunts magical creatures all around the world. Maybe they abducted children from other parts of the world, warranting Interpol investigation."
Rose was shocked. She never thought about the possibility of her abduction not making her unique among dragon slayers but now realized she should have suspected something like that. "Well, what about this Dark Hand, Rose?"
"The Dark Hand is a crime ring led by a crime lord named Valmont." Rose explained. "They are, or at least were, so much of a threat the Government formed Section 13 for the sole purpose of investigate their crimes. When it was established the Dark Hand was trying to acquire ancient artifacts, Captain Black requested help from an archaeologist named Jackie Chan to keep them one step ahead. With help from Mr. Chan and his uncle, who runs an antiques shop, it was discovered the Dark Hand was searching for Shendu's talismans. Almost one year after the talisman hunt started, it was revealed that the Dark Hand was recovering the talismans for Shendu." Rose then showed her memories of reading the files on the most prominent Dark Hand members. "Is this Tohru a human or an ogre?" Jake asked.
"A human who could have become a sumo wrestler, I suppose." Rose answered.
"And they let him off like that?" Jake asked. "I'd let him do a little time in prison."
"Then you won't object if the Dragon Council locks me up."
Jake was now feeling awkward. "Uh, sorry, Rose. I'm sure they'll understand you started helping us after learning the error of the Huntsclan ways."
"No, Jake. I never had hopes of us having a happy life together. The Dragon Council will see to it even if I leave the Huntsclan."
"Rose, I'm sure I can convince the Dragon Council to trust you."
"They'll never let a dragon marry a slayer."
"You won't become a slayer anymore after leaving the Huntsclan." Jake replied.
"What if they still treat me like one?"
"Then I won't be a dragon anymore." Jake replied. "The Dragon Council can remove my powers and I'll gladly let them do so if they make me choose between them and you."
"You're so sweet, Jake." She made him blush. "But we'd still need to hide ourselves so the Huntsclan won't force our kids into dragon slaying."
"Oh, yeah. I'd never forgive myself if Haley is slain by an offspring of mine."
"Yeah." Rose replied. "But now let's focus on more immediate troubles. What to do about the eight demon sorcerers and what's so important about this Augustus Black the Huntsclan won't let me enquire about him?"
"I'll see what G knows, Rose."
In the next morning, Jake told the new development to his Grandfather, who became even more worried. "Jake, I don't know what's more worrisome: that the Federal Government knows about the existence of magical creatures; or that they spent months on a magical emergency before we even heard about it."
"One more thing, G." Jake added. "The Huntspunk seemed to be particularly worried about the guy leading the Feds on their demon hunt. Some Augustus Black character." Lao Shi's reaction scared Jake.