Malcolm couldn’t remember the last time he got some proper sleep. Once he realized that Redmond was the enemy, he wasted no time coming up with a plan to deal with him. However, that wasn’t Malcolm’s biggest problem right now, as he would need to stabilize the increasingly volatile black-market alliance once Redmond was out of the game.
Most outsiders viewed the black-market alliance as an invincible and impenetrable force. As one of it’s founding fathers, Malcolm secretly knew that its foundations were weak and crumbling. No matter how robust the system was, solving every internal conflict that arose within its core would be impossible. This was where Redmond’s influence came in handy, something the system couldn’t do.
Every black-market merchant had their own cliques and factions, and naturally, some were hostile to each other. Malcolm wasn’t the right person to balance power and resolve their conflicts since held only been in Nassau for a few years. When it came to matters like this, he still had to rely on Redmond. After all, Redmond was one of the eldest and most experienced black-market merchants in Nassau.
This was why Malcolm was in charge of the alliance’s operations while Redmond became its leader. Within two or three years, Malcolm would have built a strong reputation within the alliance, and Redmond would be kicked out of the game. He was even confident that he could take over all his tasks within a year. Owing to that, he was surprised that Redmond would turn against him a lot earlier than expected.
At this point, the two could never go back to how they were before. Redmond knew that the longer he dragged things on, the more unfavorable his situation would be. To him, Carina, Malcolm’s rival, was the wildcard in this game, and it would be unsurprising if he decided to secretly take action on her. That said, Redmond failed to keep it a secret from Malcolm
Malcolm’s priority, as of now, was to find a way to kick Redmond out of Nassau, and at the same time, ensure that the operation would cause minimal effects on the alliance.
Malcolm wrote down the names of a few influential black-market merchants on a piece of paper, supposed candidates for Redmond’s replacement. It wasn’t until late that night that he went to bed. Not too long after he fell asleep, he was awakened by some loud shouting and rapid thumps of footsteps outside his room. Such actions were typically forbidden inside the manor. Instantly, Malcolm’s eyes popped open as he jumped out of bed. At that time, someone knocked at his door.
Wallace pushed the door open and stormed into the room.
“What’s going on outside? What’s with that loud noise?” asked a frowning Malcolm while hastily changing his attire.
“The slaves are rioting! They’ve set fire to the barn and our wood and cotton warehouses!”
“How many of them?!”
“I can’t come up with a number right now, but I believe more than half of our slaves are in it. They are all armed mainly with stones they picked, and knives from the kitchen. But there are some with daggers and guns. On the bright side, they have at most, two or three guns with them. I’ve sent for a team to protect you, and I’ve also rushed a messenger to get help from other plantations. Once their men arrive, we should be more secure.”
Once Malcolm put on his proper attire and shoes, he walked out to the balcony and instantly saw the fires that were raging nearby. It seemed that a new fight had just broken out at another spot. It was just like what Wallace said, the black slaves had the numbers, but the guards were better equipped. As of now, the guards were holding up well. Not too long after that, the supervisors joined the brawl as well.
Getting assistance in crushing the dissent should be a breeze too. Managing the slaves had been a constant headache for landowners like Malcolm, and as he shared a good rapport with a few plantations, they would inevitably run to his aid in a time like this. Malcolm’s confidence was boosted, and he wasn’t too worried about the ever-growing riots around his manor. Even when Wallace told about the massive losses they had suffered, he seemed unconcerned.
Malcolm was trying to figure if the riots had something to do with Redmond. If it did, what was he hoping to achieve? How did he convince so many to work for him?
A handful of slaves had attempted to escape Terrance Manor before, but a riot of this scale was unprecedented. It would have been a massive undertaking, not to mention that with so many being involved, the secret was bound to be spilled somehow. Most slaves weren’t petite as well, and they could be easily spotted. There was no place they could hide even if they escaped successfully. Malcolm was also baffled by how the slaves got their hands on the daggers and guns. All these questions could only be answered after the riots were over. He knew one thing for sure, though. Daisy wasn’t the snitch.
Soon, they received updates that the slaves were moving toward the ranches, a spot that was poorly defended. If that were to be the case, the guards might actually be on the losing end. Once the horses were set free, the situation would only become more chaotic and eventually get out of hand. So with Malcolm’s permission, Wallace and his men scrambled to the ranch hoping to stop a horse stampede.
Wallace was running when he suddenly stopped in his tracks. It dawned on him that fierce fighting was happening at three different locations around the manor. One place, however, had been unusually quiet tonight. It was in the fields where the torture chamber was.
“Cunning little pieces of shit!”
Wallace reloaded his rifle, and with a scowl, turned to the plantation. From afar, the body of the supervisor guarding the room could be seen lying on the ground. Several knives were sticking out of his back like bristles. Meanwhile, a black man was dragging Nadya out of the room.
Wallace pulled the trigger, the bullet missing its target and landing on a nearby barrel instead.
Startled, the black man fell to the ground as he dropped Nadya. Wallace’s men had also started shooting as well. Desperate to save his own life, he left Nadya and ran back to the torture room. At the same time, Leah heard gunshots as well. She was right behind the black man. As for Lola, she was carrying Daisy and was behind Leah. They were joined by four women and two men who had previously been slaves at the plantation.
Earlier, a few slaves were in a fight with a supervisor, and one woman survived with light injuries. Those were their only people left still capable of fighting. As for Wallace, he had five guards with him, and four were armed with guns. Creeping slowly and quietly to the torture room, they hoped to take their targets by surprise. Just as they were about to reach, they were greeted by a loud gunshot, followed by the loud thud of a guard dropping to the ground. Wallace and the rest quickly crouched as low as possible; the casualty only turning them more cautious. What they didn’t know was that Leah only had one gun, and she had just shot her last round.