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Published at 27th of December 2018 03:17:03 PM


Chapter 14



Marion's horse trotted . Bucky was a good horse, she was fast and not easy to tire . Of all the horses in the stable, Bucky was the best . The only problem was her attitude . She was moody and would sometimes refuse to move . Marion doesn't know why Bucky does this sometimes . She was the first horse he had met with an attitude .

Marion sighed . He was still a long way from Castle Thespelae . It would still take him days to reach the castle . The road to the Castle was not that bad, but the journey was boring . He had made this journey dozens of times in the past and none of those times were fun . But he must endure . Inside his bag was a red-sealed letter from the King . A red-sealed letter! And it was from the King! How happy he was when the captain entrusted him with this task . It was an honor for him to carry this letter and he will deliver it at all cost .

Marion knew how important his job is . Prince Timothy himself will lead the army to annihilate those damn Tulosans . Apparently, a portion of the Tulosans went to the villages around Solon and they are currently razing the villages one by one . Scums, Marion thought . War is for soldiers, not civilians . Are they so afraid of the Castonian army that they chose to bully the civilians instead? They should leave those villages alone . Luckily the higher-ups decided to protect the civilians by sending Prince Timothy . He had heard of the third prince before . Some people say that he was kind but strict . They also say that the third prince was smart . He was very popular with soldiers like Marion . In the barracks, they always talk about the royal family especially Timothy . But Marion knew that Timothy lacked experience . Yes, he had been to Knightsend for a year, but that was not a battle . Marion fought in several battles a few years ago . A real battle was so different from exercises . A real battle was chaotic and frightening . The deafening noise of the battlefield drains one's courage . So he would be lying if he said that he wasn't worried about the Prince . Experience was the best teacher and qualification . Being smart and being experienced were two very different things . He could only hope the prince good luck .

It was dark . He already entered the domain of Baron Braun . The Baron doesn't care about his land so many of the farmers already left the domain . Marion doesn't understand why Baron Braun let his land degrade like this . It was not a bad land to have, Marion thought . Well maybe not the best and probably not on the category of good, but it was not completely barren .

Suddenly, Bucky stopped moving and neighed .

" What? Not in the mood? Now's not the time girl . We need to deliver the King's message" Marion cursed his horse . He caressed Bucky's back to calm her . She can't throw a tantrum now . They still to finish the mission, a very important mission .

Suddenly, two figures on horseback emerged from the darkness . One of them was taller than the other . Marion froze . He could somehow feel their murderous intent . Years of experience in the field had shaped his instincts to detect dangers . Bucky must have also felt the danger and that the reason why she stopped .

Marion quickly turned Bucky around . His instincts were never wrong before . If he felt that there was danger nearby, then there was probably danger nearby . Now he felt that the two men were dangerous . Why else would they hide in the abandoned houses? Are they bandits? Even though banditry was rare nowadays, some bandits still rob merchant from time to time . But there were only two of them . Normally, bandits group up so that they can attack larger caravans . This brings him to a second and more dangerous possibility . The men were assassins . They must be after the red-sealed letter from the King . If he will give them the letter, they would probably let him go . But Marion was not a coward . He was also not a traitor . Castonia and Prince Timothy need him . He won't fail his mission . He urged Bucky to run at full speed .

The two people chased after them . Surprisingly, their horses were fast too . In fact, their horses were faster than Bucky! Marion whipped Bucky as hard as he could . Both of them were running for their lives . If the two assailants catch them, then the letter will not reach Thespelae . Damn it, he cursed . The men were probably Tulosans . They wanted to steal the letter from him to put Prince Timothy in peril . Dirty tricks! Why can't they just fight them fair and square? Marion looked at the two chasing men . The distance between them shortened . He was a soldier but two people were too much for him to handle . A fight of two versus one would almost always end up with the death of the person who was alone .

Whiz

A crossbow bolt went past Marion's head . That was close, he thought . His hands were sweating hard, his heart thumping like crazy . Will he die tonight? No he shouldn't think of something so negative . He will not die tonight . And if he did, he will at least die trying to do his duty .

Whiz Whiz


Two bolts nearly hit him . He got lucky . Those bolts could have hit him . A single shot finding its mark will not immediately kill him, but it will slow him down . Marion gritted his teeth .

The assailants were getting closer . Now Marion could see their faces . Wismarines? The men are Wismarines! He thought they were Tulosans . Why would the Wismarines want to kill him? Wismar and Castonia just signed a trade agreement . Wismar was not hostile towards Castonia . But now the two men were trying to kill him . This could start a war!

A bolt hit Bucky's neck . Marion saw the bolt enter the skin and into the flesh . Blood started to flow out of the wound . At first the horse was fine, but she fell down after a while . The impact of the fall was so strong that Marion almost lost consciousness . But one thing made things worse, Marion's right leg was crushed under Bucky's heavy body . He couldn't move . It was over .

One of the assailants dismounted his horse . He went to Marion and pulled a dagger .

" What do you want Wismarine?" Marion shouted with all his might

" Nothing personal Castonian" The Wismarine answered . He went closer to Marion and unsheathed his dagger "Just my job"

" You won't get away with this!" Marion shouted " When the King hears of this, he will declare war to Wismar" he warned

The Wismarine ignored his warning

" Any last words Castonian?"

Marion thought for a while . It seems he was going to die tonight . He smiled . He failed his mission . Prince Timothy will be put in danger . The Wismarines had won the chase . He could only hope that his brothers will avenge him .

"Long Live Castonia!" those were his last words . The Wismarine stabbed Marion in the neck . After a while, he died .

******************************************************************

Nirvana, Capital of Castonia

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" Her highness wanted to see me?" Escanor knelt in front of Lucia . They, along with two of the Vanadian Royal Guards, were inside Escanor's room .

" Have you heard of the news Escanor?" Lucia then looked around . Escanor's room was clean, small and empty, a room of a real merchant . Since he was travelling a lot and only sleeps in the room whenever he's in Nirvana, a total of about two months each year, he doesn't really need a huge and extravagant room .

" About the third prince your highness?" Escanor asked from behind .

Lucia turned around and nodded

" He's leaving in two days right?"

" Escanor, I need you to ask around . Listen for news, rumors, anything . Something feels off" Lucia felt that something was not right . The sudden change in the decision of the King still bugs her . The decision of the King to attack the Tulosans rather than wait for reinforcements was a very risky decision . She had heard of King Leopold's personality . He was a very careful man . For him to change his mind just like that, something big must have happened . It was just a hunch, and she hopes that it will remain that way .

" That would be easy . " Escanor assured her . " Merchants talk to each other all the time about rumors . Rumors sometimes point us to profit . "

" Thank you Escanor" Lucia felt that lucky meeting Escanor .

"Will that be all your highness?"

"No . There's one more thing . Do you have connections to other Vanadian merchants from other cities? Solon, for example . " Asked Lucia . If Escanor was loyal to her, then his connections will be of great help in the future .

" My brother is in Solon and I can still send a carrier pigeon to him . He respects the Vanadian Royal Family as much as I do so he will help you . As for other the other cities, I think I have . " said Escanor

" I might need your connections in the future Escanor"


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"It will be my honor to help you, your highness" the merchant smiled

After speaking with Escanor, Lucia went back to the Palace . She lied in her bed . It has been a long day, but she was not tired . She thought of her long conversation with prince Timothy . She got to know him better . Every time she thinks of him, her heart flutters . She buried her face into the pillow .

Prince Timothy, what are you doing with my heart! Why do I feel this way whenever I think of you?

But a sudden sadness hit her . She hoped that he will be safe . She won't see him for a long time . She will miss him for sure . Lucia was about to sleep when someone knocked on her door .

"Princess Lucia" Bisham called to her "Someone is here . She said she wants to talk to you . I'm sorry to bother you this late Your Highness, but she said it's important"

Lucia opened her eyes .

"Who is it?" Lucia asked

" Freya" a female's voice answered .

Lucia opened the door and saw Freya

" Freya . " She was a little bit surprised . Why would she come here at this hour? "What is it?" She looked at Captain Bisham as a sign to leave them for a moment .

"I will be in the royal guards' room . Just call me if you need anything" the captain reluctantly said .

After he left, Freya started to talk "You know already right? Tim is going to battle"

So it's about Tim, she thought . It was important after all .

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" Yes . I went to his room and talked to him about it" Lucia said

Freya frowned " Went to his room?"

" Ahhh . Yes . He won't change his mind . How about you? Did you talk to him about this?"

Lucia was somehow afraid that she'll say, 'Yes . I also went inside his room and we talked' . But Freya's answer surprised her .

" No" She smiled and shook her head "He won't change his mind anyway . I'm here because I want to talk to you . " She then looked around to ensure nobody was listening . "Don't you find the King's decision strange?" she asked in a hushed tone

" I do" she admitted . So she wasn't the only one who thinks something bad was going to happen .

"Then we're the same . Tim is smart, but he's not invincible . He makes mistakes . "

" Mistakes? Like what?"

"Like trusting his father . I've been here for 10 years and I've seen how the King treats Timothy . He doesn't love Timothy as his son, I'm sure of it . Timothy is blinded by his love for his father . " Freya explained

"So you want me to protect him from the King?" asked Lucia

" Not just from the King, but also from anyone who tries to harm him"

" Even if you haven't talked to me about this, I would still have protected Tim"

" That's reassuring then" Freya sighed "If you need anything, just tell me . I hope we could work together"Please download our sponsor's game to support us!


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