Thursday, May 22, 2014

Chapter 34

The soldiers walked into the throne room with their load, setting it down in the middle of the room. The duke still sat upon his throne, looking smug.
Fools, he thought to himself, if only they knew what I have planned.
He motioned for his Captain of the Guard to open the chest, and when he did, the duke smiled at the sigh of some of the most precious treasures in the land.
"Thank you, this will do nicely." He said. The head soldier bowed. "I suppose now you wish to bring the Lady Marianna home?"
When the soldier nodded, the duke addressed his captain.
"Go and fetch her for us, would you?" The captain bowed and left through the side door.
The duke motioned for his men to move the chest closer, and he smiled when he saw the precious stones and money up close. They were the most vibrant colors.
The captain came running back through the side door, startling the duke. He was accompanied by two more guards.
"My lord, the girl is gone!" The captain declared.
"WHAT?" The duke screamed, standing. "How?"
"The window was open, my lord, she must have climbed out."
"There was a guard posted below!" The duke said. "How did she get past him?"
"I've sent men down to investigate, my lord, we'll find her."
The duke seethed. "Your men are useless. You are useless! I ordered you to keep her in her room, was that so difficult? She was not meant to leave, you imbecile!"
"Is there a problem, duke?" The soldier asked. The duke closed his eyes and silently cursed his outburst. He had forgotten about the soldier.
"No." He said, trying to regain his composure. "Not at all."
"I would certainly hope not." The soldier said. "I will send my best men to scour the countryside for her, if you could send yours to investigate the castle grounds. Do we have any idea how long she's been gone?"
"No," The captain said, looking at the duke cautiously. "But she couldn't have been gone long."
"Then I suggest we get right on that." The soldier said, and turned to his own men. "The Princess Marianna must be found safe, go gather the troops, I will be with you shortly."
The soldiers bowed and then rushed from the room. The head soldier turned back to the duke.
"Is there any where in the town she could hide? Any nooks or crannies she could fit? If she believes her life is in danger, she will do her best to keep hidden, and the Princess is highly resourceful. It would also be good to make sure your men are not armed, at least not visibly, to make them seem more approachable."
The duke seethed silently. How dare this, this commoner tell him what to do, yet he smiled and nodded to his captain. "Do as he says."
The captain bowed after a moments hesitation. "At once, my lord."
"If you do not mind, duke, I will rejoin my men." The soldier bowed and walked out, leaving the duke alone in the throne room, his fury growing with each heartbeat.
                                                                      * * *
They dragged her until they were as far out of sight as they could manage. "I think here's a good place." Cayle said, letting to of Deanna's arm, while Cadman did the same.
Deanna fell onto the ground, hard.
"Ow!" She said, then raised herself up on her arms and turned over so that she was sitting on the ground instead of being face first on it. "Isn't it bad enough my ankle is sprained? You have to try and break bones?"
"Sorry," They both said, but she could tell they were hiding grins.
"Morons." She muttered and flinched as her ankle started to throb. She unwound the makeshift bandage around her ankle and groaned inwardly when she saw it was beginning to turn purple. "Terrific."
"That doesn't look so good." Cadman said and she gave him a look.
"Wow, really? I hadn't noticed, I am so glad you are here Captain Obvious." She said. "It would have been fine if you hadn't been dragging me over all those rocks; it took all of my willpower not to scream."
"Not my fault." Cadman said.
"No, it's both of your faults." She said. "Get me some water."
"Well, aren't you full of demands," Cadman said. "Cayle I can see why you like her."
Cayle punched him on the arm, hard. But Cadman was still wearing the guards' armor and just smiled.
"For my ankle, you buffoon." Deanna said. "If I wrap it in cool water it should help the swelling, now off you pop."
He rolled his eyes but walked over to the Kings' camp nonetheless.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Chapter 33

She landed hard on her ankle and stumbled. Cayle caught her arm to steady her and she stepped on her ankle and clamped a hand over her mouth to keep from crying out.
"I think my ankle's sprained." She whispered.
"Oh wonderful." Cadman whispered. "Can you walk? Or do I have to carry you?"
"I think I can manage, if you don't mind going slower than normal." She replied.
"Great, this is just great." He said, picking up her pack and swinging it over his shoulder. "Shall we go?"
They headed out at a slow pace, keeping an eye out for guards.
"Duck!" Cayle whispered and she did, accidentally putting weight on her injured ankle and she bit her lip.
She glanced at Cayle and saw that he was saluting someone, before nodding to her and continuing forward.
Cadman helped her up and she limped along, hating herself for landing so hard on her ankle.
They were almost to the castle wall now, having managed to avoid the guards and servants, and Deanna couldn't wait to be out there.
They had just hid from another patrol of guards, and were waiting for another group of servants to pass so that they could figure out a way to open the gates, when they opened and a small party of soldiers, all baring the crest of a crashing wave.
"The King's soldiers." Cayle whispered.
"What are they carrying?" Deanna asked, noticing what seemed to be a heavy trunk being carried by a few of the men.
"Treasure? Maybe that's the ransom money." Cadman said.
"Ransom for what?" Deanna asked.
"You, or at least who everyone thought you were."
"Marianna?" She asked.
"Yeah, how did you know?"
"When I was first brought here, they kept calling me Marianna; the reason I was still there was the Duke was supposedly making up for my less than great treatment." She explained.
"I see." Cadman said. "But where is the real Marianna?"
"How would I know that?" She said.
"Will both of you be quiet?" Cayle said. "Now's our chance."
"But how are we going to get through?" Deanna asked. "You could make an excuse but I'm not dressed like a guard."
"True, but maybe if we disguised you.." His voice trailed off as he looked around for something to disguise her with.
"Disguise me as what?" She asked.
He walked over to a clothes line and took some things down and threw them at her. "Put those on."
"It's your disguise." he said. "If anyone asks, we're throwing you out on the Duke's orders."
She wasn't convinced, but put the clothes on over her regular ones all the same, she put an extra piece of cloth on her head to hide her hair.
When she was done, Cadman and Cayle each took one of her arms and began dragging her towards the gates.
"Halt!" One of guards atop the gate said, and they paused. Deanna held her breath. "We have been ordered not to let anyone out of the city."
"And we have been ordered to throw this ruffian out of the city." Cadman replied. Deanna kept her head down and pretended to be unconscious.
The guard hesitated.
"We can't disobey the Dukes orders." He finally said.
"Neither can we." Cadman said. "So it would seem we've reached a stalemate."
The guard looked to his companion, who shrugged.
"Alright." The guard said finally and he and his fellow guard opened the gate.
Cadman saluted with one of this hands and nodded to Cayle and they dragged Deanna out of the castle.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Chapter 32

The guard took his post outside her room, leaving her to pace inside. Could she risk her original plan? Or had the Duke increased the guards?
She glanced out her window and her hopes fell: there was a guard standing below. She cursed and resumed her pacing.
She sat on the bed, staring at the wall, trying to think of a new escape plan when a rock came flying in through the open window, hitting the dresser.
She stared at the small stone as it sat on the floor, and looked out the window just as another came flying right at her.
She ducked as it hit the wall behind her.
"Is everything alright in there?" The guard outside asked.
"Yes, everything's fine, I tripped." She said, hoping the guard would believe her.
"Alright, Lady." He said.
"Why does everyone keep calling me that?" She muttered as she got to her feet and cautiously approached the window and looked down.
The guard was still standing where he had been, but now there was another guard beside him. She shook her head and walked away from the window and picked up the first rock.
It was a normal rock that had somehow thrown itself into her room. She had no explanation.
"Pssst!" She heard someone whisper. She looked around, but saw no one.
"Pssst!" The voice repeated, more insistent. "Don't make me throw another rock up there!"
"What on earth..." She muttered as she walked back to the window and looked down.
Both guards were looking up at the window, one had another stone in his hand.
"It's us!" He whispered.
"I don't know an 'us,'" She said. "Try another window."
He sighed loudly. "There's no time to be a smart-ass, okay? Get your stuff and get down here."
"No, Prince Bodil, of course it's Cayle, now hurry up will you?" He whispered.
She rushed over to her pack and tossed it out the window, and just as she was about to follow, there was a knock at the door, she froze.
"Lady Deanna?" She recognized the voice of one of the maids.
"Hold on." She whispered to Cayle, before she closed the window and walked over to the door and opened it.
The maid was standing outside holding a tray of food. "Your meal, My Lady."
"Um, thank you." Deanna said, taking the tray. "But there's really no need to call me 'my lady.'"
The maid bowed and backed away without answering, so Deanna just closed the door.
She set the tray down on the table and took a biscuit from the plate before walking back over to the window and opening it again.
She looked down.
"Well?" Cayle asked. "It's not that far."
"Mind over matter." She recognized the voice of Cadman.
"Yeah, thanks." She muttered and swung her feet out the window and jumped.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Chapter 31

(Sorry this one is really short)

Deanna watched as the guard walked over to one of the other soldiers with the wave on his chest and spoke quietly to him.
The soldier nodded and walked quickly to the door, glanced at her once, and, once the guards opened the door for him he walked through, and she saw him start sprinting before the door closed.
What was going on?
                                                                         * * *
The king was very generous, allowing them to stay in their camp while he tried to think of a way to get Deanna out of there without letting the Duke know that they were on to him.
Cayle paced.
"Will you stop that?!" Alroy said. "He said he'd take care of it, there's not much else we can do."
"We could get her out of there."
"And just how do you suppose we do that?" Cadman asked.
"We could go in disguise." Finn suggested as he absently picked at his boot, when he glanced up, everyone was staring at him.
"What?" He demanded.
                                                                         * * *
"You summoned me?" She asked, turning her back on the door.
"Yes, my dear, I was wondering if you would consider extending your stay." The duke said.
"Why?" She asked.
"Because of the escaped prisoners, of course! We can't have you wandering the countryside on your own, can we?"
"I can handle myself." Deanna said.
He smiled. "I have no doubt of that, however we do not know how dangerous these men are, and it is best to take precautions."
She raised her brow, but didn't respond.
"Guard, please escort the Lady Deanna back to her room."
The guard bowed and then motioned for Deanna to follow him, which she did after a final glance at the door.
She had to get out of here.