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freedom
06-05-2007, 11:29 PM
Chapter One:
Rumors

The sun rose in a blaze, blinding her as she made her way up the hill. She crested the top of the hill and stared at the monster of a town below her. She held her hand up to block the light so she could see into the distance. Her long black hair blew in to her eyes and she shoved it behind her ears in aggravation.

Below her she could see that the buildings were crammed tightly inside the walls. People milled around like ants. Wagons full of breads, cloths, silver and other finery to be sold at the market pressed into the crowds pushing people out of the way. You could hear the sounds of people shouting and metal clashing even from where she set atop her horse about a mile away.
With a deep breath Renee urged her horse forward. She needed supplies. She would have to be picky as her gold was low. Right now food and clothing were her main concerns. She would have liked to have gotten a room and a bath for the night but her meager supplies had to last her all the way to the capital. Her trip had barely begun three weeks ago and this was the first time she had stopped for supplies. She had supplemented her meager food supplies with what game she could catch. The woods near her home where almost empty of wild game the past few months. Everyone was suffering since King Aryan died. Without an heir the country was in turmoil trying to keep its boarders intact.

The fighting had pushed into the area around her home many months ago. The soldiers were cruel to the villagers. It didn’t matter whether it was your own country’s troops or not. They burned and pillaged just like outsiders and robbers. They took food, money, livestock, and anything else that wasn’t nailed down. The rumors of a rebellion in the capital had reached to her village. Rumors of people fighting back and trying find the rightful heir to the throne.

All this evil was done in the name of Ker the all mighty. Renee spit in disgust. The people in the capital called him the mighty one true god. After King Aryan died it had become a crime to worship anyone but Ker. Renee had always feared a raid on her small hut back home. Her shrine to Airmida was small and hidden in the back of her supply room. Airmida was the goddess of healing, medicine and spring. She was just one of many great gods and goddesses in their world. Renee was a healer in her village and had been raised with Airmida as her main goddess. She wouldn’t forsake her for anything. Her mother had trained her in the ways of Airmida and whispered of a great heritage.

Renee sighed as she thought of her parents. She had lost them both at a fairly young age. It had been a bad winter and they had sent her away for her healing training. When she had returned home to train with the local healer her parents were gone. They had died in a freak winter storm. Her father’s body was found in the snow when the weather cleared. Her mother’s body wasn’t found but many of her things had been recovered. Renee had never found out what the heritage was that her mother whispered about. She shrugged off the memories as she worked her way down the hill.

She had left her home when the soldiers had gotten too far out of control and smashed up her salves, potions and medicines. She was headed now to the capital. To help this rebellion in any way she could. The thought that the rebellion was just a rumor never crossed her mind. She would cross that bridge when she came to it.

She traveled carefully and tried not to draw attention to herself. She mostly stayed in the edge of the woods shadowing the road. Any time she heard horses she hid, fearful that it might be soldiers. She had means of protecting herself but she refrained from using them if possible, for she was a healer and devoted her life to healing people not hurting them. The soldiers had gotten a bad reputation for treating women roughly and having their way with them. She had treated several of the women in her village after such attacks. The women never once said a word to the village constable. Even when Renee said she would go with them and give witness to the things she had treated them for. Their fears of retaliation and death at the hands of these men were too great.

Her horse began to shake when she lead it into the press of people near the town gate. She eased through the pedestrians carefully and made her way into the line waiting to enter. She watched the people ahead of her as they dealt with the gate guard. Each one was asked a series of questions then given a parchment of one type or another. She could feel her hands sweating as she twisted the reins nervously. Her turn finally came around and she tried to calm her nervous hands.

“Name?” the guard asked.

“Renee of Watergrove, sir”

“Purpose for visit?” he asked in an impatient tone.

“To buy supplies, sir.” She smiled trying to be confident. But something about this town made her unnerved.

“Length of stay?”

“Just for a few hours. Long enough to buy the things I need. Can you tell me how to get to the market?”

“Here are your papers. Follow the crowd. Be out of town by sunset. After sunset your papers expire and you’ll be put in jail for curfew violation. Move on.” He turned without thought to the next person in line.

She moved quickly into the flow of people headed into the city. She had never been in a city this big before. People practically swarmed over each other, yelling and screaming. Trying to sell or buy their wares. She ducked into a side street to catch her breath. This was impossible. Hours? To fight through this crowd? What had she been thinking? Her heart was racing a mile a minute. She stood up in the stirrups and surveyed the area ahead of her. On the left were the food vendors, on the right was a mix and match of clothing shops, healers, priest, and some shops the priest might frown upon.
With great ease she moved back into the crowd on the right hand side and made her way down to second hand clothing stand. She tied her horse up and ducked inside out of the press of people. On each side of the small stand were tables with piles of shirts, pants, and other various types of clothing.
She took a deep breath and dove into the table nearest her. After several piles had been discarded she was left with a rose colored shirt with a small rip in the side that she could very easily fix, and a beautiful blue shirt with some light stains on the sleeve. With a little embroidery or even removing the sleeves since it was warm the blue one would be presentable easily. The pants she found where a soft brown with a little fraying around the edges and she even found some womanly garments that where hardly touched. She made her way to the front of the shop and paid for her purchases. The girl behind the counter was barely old enough to see over the top of it. She smiled and gleefully took Renee’s money.

“Thank ye. With me Pa off in the capital lookin’ fer airs there’s naught but slim pickin’s ‘round here.”

“Looking for airs? What are you talking about little one?” Renee asked quite confused.

“Ya knows airs to the big chair in the big city. Somebody that’ll makes it all better.” She smiled and went behind the curtain to hide the money away.

Renee took her packages and strapped them to her other packs. She was still going over what the girl had told her when she practically got ran over by a cart of ale. The driver cursed her for not paying attention as she ducked back into the alleyway. More carefully she stepped out into the street. She put the information she had learned into the back of her mind and head for the food vendors across the square.

She found several stalls that offered the dried meats and herbs she was looking for. The first stall was way out of her price range with only prime cuts to be had. She slowly made her way down the row of vendors and finally found one that was reasonable. She picked up several herbs she was low on and several large dried chunks of meat. The meat was finely cured. It would be great for jerky or softened in a stew. She purchased several days worth of the meat and loaded them on her horse.

She was just barely going to make it out of town in time. She didn’t relish the idea of spending the night in jail. She made it to the gate just moments before they began to close them. There was an older man at the entrance now.

“Cutting it close child.” He laughed.

“Hard not to with that mess of people. Any news of how things fair in the capital?” Renee asked as the younger men shut the gate behind her.

“No good news. More fighting, and more people yelling about an heir to King Aryan’s throne. Hell, everyone knows he was childless. As was his only sister. Sad thing really. You’d think the government could keep everything in order but they’re too busy fighting amongst themselves to do anything. Wish there was an heir. I’d sit him on the throne me self. Enough of this war talk. You be careful tonight young one. There’s a mean storm brewing. Make sure you’ve got strong cover.” He nodded as she urged her horse forward.

She headed down the hill away from the town with thoughts heavy on her mind. Rebellion, it was a strong word and a strong idea. How could she help? She was nothing more than a healer. She’d never studied at the temple to learn more. Her teacher had always said she could do more than he could teach. But she had been scared. Afraid to leave everyone she knew and loved. Now because of the rebellion she was being forced to do exactly what she dreaded, leave everyone she loved and knew. Except that know she was alone and then she could and would have had all the help she needed along the way.

She had to be strong. If there was an heir and they could end all this fighting then she had to help. How could she stand by and watch the innocent people around her be abused and killed? That would be against all she stood for as a person and as a healer

A loud rumble of thunder brought her out of her thoughts. She was nowhere near the type of shelter that type of sound said she needed. She urged her horse into a run. She was just about to worry when she topped the rise in front of her. Below her was a thick group of over grown trees. She let the breath that she didn’t know she was holding out. It was just starting to sprinkle when she lead her horse under the trees.

When she entered the woods fully she was surrounded by darkness. Like the sun had gone down the moment she set foot in trees. Thoughts of childhood stories came to her mind as she walked through the tangle of branches. Elves, dwarves, goblins and all sorts of monsters meant to keep children out of the woods.

These woods had a different feel to them. They were completely silent. The only noise was the sound of her feet and the leaves beneath them. She found a sheltered spot big enough for her, her horse and a small fire. If she could get one going before everything was drenched. By the time she had her fire going good true night had fallen and fear was eating at the edge of her mind. The thunder grew louder and she could hear the rain start to hit the leaves above her.

She had never liked the woods, at night especially. She was always sure someone was there watching her from the shadows. She was beginning to feel that now. She pulled her cloak tighter around her as she looked around the edges of her shelter slowly. Almost afraid of what she might see. There it was! Movement off to her left.

She grabbed her pack and set to making wards around her camp. She cast as many of the spells that she could remember as fear gripped her. Her fear was like a lump in the pit of her stomach. She could hear it now. The leaves were rustling under the creature’s feet. She finished her wards and went back to the shelter of her fire. Renee was shaking hard as she sat and tried to warm herself. She heard a hiss off to the right as it touched one of her wards.

“Leave me be creature! I mean you no harm! I just seek shelter from the rain. Let me be and I’ll be gone by morning.”

She cried over the rain as panic took her. The wards were being weakened where the creature had touched it. She quickly tried to cast more wards as the other ones failed. She whispered a prayer to Airmida in between her spells. Her panic made her stumble over the spells as she worked. She managed to get one more up before she heard a rustle behind her. She tried to turn to face the noise. Renee felt something hit her solidly in the base of the skull. She screamed as she fell. When she hit the ground she reached up to feel of her head. She tried to see if there was blood but everything went black before she could.

davesmistress
06-05-2007, 11:39 PM
Great addition Freedom...thanks

frozen_north
06-08-2007, 12:52 AM
Nice, very very nice. Please keep this one coming, you have MY attention. :)
Kudos

freedom
06-08-2007, 01:35 AM
lol...how about you buy the book when I get it published...lol

I don't know if I'll put the whole thing up but I'll put most of it up.

Thanks for the feedback

frozen_north
06-08-2007, 01:47 AM
If it keeps up like this, I'll take a copy even if you desk-top publish it. That's what I did for Rite of Passage. Wanna copy? :)

freedom
06-08-2007, 01:49 AM
I'd love a copy. i've sent it off to an agent to try and get it published. We'll see how it goes.

frozen_north
06-08-2007, 01:50 AM
I've got one copy left (but I can make more). If you want it, pm me with an address. :)

freedom
06-08-2007, 02:37 AM
Chapter Two:
The King

The pain in her hands woke her many hours later. She tried to sit up and couldn’t move. She turned her head trying to see where she was. The room she was in was not what she expected. She was surrounded by soft pillows on a huge bed. Unfortunately she was tied to the bed in question. The rest of the room was just as elegant. Deep red walls, gold mirrors, rich velvet curtains of the deepest purple, pearl handles on the furniture, it was exquisite. A robed man stood near one of the windows facing away from her. She felt that same twinge of fear that she had felt the night before. She
whimpered involuntarily when she saw his back. She didn’t know what it was about him that she feared so much but it cut her to her soul.

He turned as soon as she made a sound. He walked slowly towards the bed. She couldn’t see his face for the hood. His gaze wandered over her body. No not over her body but through her, almost like he could see her very being, into the very fiber of her soul. She shivered as he moved closer. She could feel his breath on her face. She had her eyes shut. fraid of what she might see.

“Maid?” A soft voice asked.

She opened her eyes unexpectedly surprised by the softness in his voice.
“Y- Yes?”

“If I lose your bonds will you work no more magic?” The soft voice whispered.

“Of course. Am I free to go then?”

“No, you will be our guest until His Majesty decides you may leave.” He loosened the ropes as he talked. She noticed a bandage on his hand. She had to assume it was from where he had touched her wards.

“Where am I?” She rubbed her wrist where the ropes had been.

“You are in the kingdom of Alben. Distant from all you know yet right next door.” He bowed and left the room. Renee still had not managed to see his face.

She got up and walked to the window. Below her was a land in the full thrall of winter. She felt her heartbeat quicken. Had she been captive here for that many months? She was suddenly filled with fear again. Why where they keeping her? How would she find her way back to her home? Even in as much turmoil as Kellen was in it was still home. A knock on her door broke her thoughts.

A maid entered with arms full of clothes. Once again Renee couldn’t tell much about this person. She wore a hood and veil of the softest blue. Yet it was enough to distort her features. Why didn’t they want her to see them?

“His Majesty wishes you properly clothed before you come before him. Please choose one you like then ring the bell next to the door.” The maid bowed and left.

Renee laughed as the maid left. Why should she care what the man holding her captive would want? She wanted to go home but she wasn’t getting it. She took a deep breath and tried to stay calm. She knew that letting her temper get the best of her wouldn’t help things any at all. She would dress as asked but that was as far as she was agreeing to go.
Renee picked each dress up marveling at their delicate beauty. She finally picked a brilliant blue that made her jet black hair stand out and matched her eyes. She dressed and went to pull the bell. A moment later the maid returned. Even through the veil Renee could tell she smiled.

“Wonderful choice, milady. I will help you with your hair now.”

The maid set her down in front of the mirror and set to work. She twisted the long lengths of Renee’s hair and twirled them in a beautifully intricate spiral down her back. The she began to apply color to Renee’s eyes. A soft white that made her blue eyes stand out. She stood at the maids urging and she finished fastening the dress full around Renee’s small waist. When she turned and looked in the mirror she didn’t recognize herself. Where a mousy village bumpkin had been stood a beautiful woman. She was breathless and she blushed as she actually thought of herself as beautiful. She smiled as she turned and looked at the maid.

“I see what has intrigued His Majesty so when he saw you enter our lands. Someone will be here to escort you shortly.” She bowed and left.

Renee turned back to the mirror. Hardly able to believe her eyes. She turned and twirled in the beautiful dress. The anger that she had felt moments earlier was almost forgotten. She was still twirling when there was a knock on her door.

“His Majesty wishes your presence at dinner, milady.” An older gentleman greeted her at the door. Unlike the others he was not wearing a cover on his face.

She took a deep breath, “Lead the way.” She stepped out the door and closed it behind her, then turned to follow the old man. She didn’t really want to meet the king but she was hungry and there was no way she could get out of here on an empty stomach.

He motioned her down the hall. Everyone they passed was shrouded. She knew she was being rude but it mystified her as to why they were all covered and this one old man wasn’t. So she let her curiosity get the best of her.

“Sir?” She waited for him stop and turn towards her, “Why don’t you have your face covered like everyone else? Is there something wrong with them? Or is it a religion? I don’t want to insult the king by being ignorant in his ways.”

The old man motioned her to come close, “They aren’t human. They are things of fairy tales. But this war in neighboring Kellen has disturbed him. You are the first human without an army to come through our woods. He would know of the outside world. Then he will most likely let you go. Come we will be late.”

She felt some relief at the thought of being allowed to return home. She silently followed the old man down the elaborate halls. By the time they reached the dining hall her head was buzzing with questions of her own. The old man stopped outside the door and held up a hand.

“What is your name? Just your first name. Never give one like this your full name no matter how much you trust him. Also, remember once you go in do not speak until asked to. It angers him much. Unless you want to grow old in a castle full of ageless creature do not anger him. Your name?”

Her questions disappeared from her mind. “Renee. My name is Renee. Thank you for telling me. I would be in very deep trouble as soon as I set foot in the door.” She smiled nervously.

“Wait while I introduce you.”

A moment later he came back in the door and motioned her in, “Bow, low then wait for permission to speak.”

She nodded her understanding and went through the door. She followed her instructions closely. She bowed very deeply and waited. The silence seemed to stretch forever. She was scared and angry but she wouldn’t let that get the best of her and chance being stuck here forever.

As she waited she looked at the king from under her lashes. Trying to notice things about him. The first thing she noticed was how handsome he was. Even the oddities that made him distinctly inhuman. His hair was a brilliant blond and hung in long waves down to his waist. His pointed ears barely stuck through his hair. The color of his eyes was hard to determine. Not really blue but not green either. They where slanted like a cats almost. He stood at least a head and a half over her.

“Welcome, human. You may not understand what an honor you have been given, to stand before an elf king. I would ask you questions about the war in your country. Please on this night see yourself as my equal and be seated at my table.” He walked up to her and took her arm leading her to the table. His hands where very slender and beautiful, yet they felt very strong.

She sat quietly and looked at the food spread before her. There were quail, boar, duck and many more meats. Not to mention the other dishes of strange spices and colors. The aromas made her stomach growl. She looked at the king and smiled. She was still afraid to speak. She had expected something totally different from this. Hard as she tried to be upset she couldn’t hold her anger. Every time that she looked at him she couldn’t help but think how handsome he was. She felt herself blush so she looked down at her hands and sat silently until he bade her to fill her plate. She filled it full of meat, breads, and bowls of strange soups. She was just beginning to eat when he began to question her.

“Why where you in my woods?”

“I was on a trip and a storm came up on me. I needed shelter and the woods looked like a promising place to find it. It wasn’t like there was a ward up or anything to warn me. If there had been I never would have set foot in your precious woods but since I had no idea that it was your woods… King…I am sorry I don’t know your name.” She blushed feeling deeply embarrassed and angry at the same time.

“My apologies. I did not introduce myself. My name is Danril. I am king of all the fair land in Alben. We don’t use wards the woods themselves are enough to keep most people out. Why don’t we try to make this pleasant?”

“Pleasant? You kidnap me, knock me out and you want me to be pleasant? Look it’s your own fault that you can’t keep people out of your woods. Maybe you should put up a sign. ‘DO NOT ENTER! PRIVATE PROPERTY OF KING DANRIL HIS ROYAL HINEYNESS OF ALBEN OF THE FAIRY TAIL KINGDOM! WE’RE NOT A FAIRY TALE ANYMORE!” She yelled at the top of her lungs. She had managed to insult him several times in one breath. She was proud of herself.
Danril looked taken aback as she yelled at him. “I’ m sorry. I needed information and…”

She cut him off letting her anger get the best of her, “Information! You think kidnapping someone is the best way to get information? I shouldn’t answer any of your questions.”

“I didn’t think you would come willingly to speak with me. Most humans are afraid of my people as you showed with your wards. So are you saying if my man had come to you and asked you politely you would have come to see me freely? I think not. You would have thrown a log from the fire at him or worse a curse or a hex. Milady I did what I thought was best.”

She stopped herself as she began to answer him. He had called her milady. He was being respectful to her in spite of her yelling at him. She felt like an idiot. She stared at her plate of food like it would give her all the answer she needed. She took a deep breath.

“I’m sorry for my outburst your majesty. This hasn’t been the best day for me. It hasn’t been good for me in a long time it seems.”

“I can understand that milady. You remind me of a rose…” He let the sentence trail off as he looked at her. There was no anger in him anywhere.

“You would ask me of the rebellion your majesty?”

“Yes milady I would. The king of the humans in this country where our world touches your has joined in with other kingdoms to take your home country of Kellen. There is talk of a rebellion in the human capital of Kellen. Is this true? Is there not an heir to the throne that is capable of ruling?”

“As far as I know for sure there isn’t one. There are rumors of King Aryan having an heir but no one brought any proof forward. There is a rebellion growing in the capital. That is where I was headed. Our country is being torn apart. Our own soldiers rape and pillage the countryside. You can’t move without someone stopping you and taking whatever they want. I don’t understand why you want to know. This doesn’t affect you at all. Your country is safe.” She shivered at the thought. Thinking of some of the girls she had treated back at her home village. She didn’t know why she was talking so openly with this stranger or even caring what he thought. He was a king and had no need to worry himself with the affairs of her country.

“Ahh, there you are wrong. It is interfering quite a bit. Tell me, what would you give for this rebellion? What would you do to put a person you don’t know on the throne? Would you give your life? Would you take another’s life just to prove you are right?”

“I hadn’t thought about it. I just know that there has to be a better solution to this then what we’ve got. Some of the things I’ve seen…” She trailed off into silence thinking of one girl especially that she had treated. “There was one girl I treated. I’ve never talked of it to anyone. She was only 9.” A tear came to her eye.

“Would you tell me? Maybe it will prove to me why your rebellion is so worthwhile.” He stopped eating and leaned forward on the arms of his chair. She looked in to his eyes and realized he was genuinely interested in her words. She nodded and braced herself to tell the story.

She didn’t know where to begin. “It was the end of winter. The soldiers had been raiding our town for several months. I was the healer in my village so I often saw things that no one else did. Megen was a friendly child. She would talk to anyone. She was walking home from the market that afternoon. She had gone to help her father. Some soldiers, our soldiers, Kellen soldiers, stopped her in a quiet part of the village.”

She took a deep breath before she continued, “She had talked to these soldiers many times. I had even seen them give her candy and pat her on the head. They treated her like a little sister. We were glad to have these particular soldiers with us. They seemed to be a few of the good honest ones. They tempted her into an old warehouse that we used in the summer for storing the tools for the garden. When they brought her to me she was barely alive.” Renee could feel the old anger boiling up inside her.

“They had cut, raped, strangled and beat her to the brink of death. I worked for three days trying to save her! I tried every healing spell, every painkiller, anything I could think of. I prayed to Airmida till I couldn’t think anymore. It wasn’t enough! It was NEVER enough. She died in my arms.”

She broke down in tears. Sobbing like a baby. It just hadn’t been fair! She was too young! Those men should have been hung! She got her sobbing under control, “The men went free. They attacked several more young women, but never again like that. That’s when I left, to join the rebellion. I have to stop people like that. I can’t sit back and watch more innocent children be hurt because some sick scum bag things it’s all great fun.”

“Well, you may look sweet as a rose but you do have your thorns don’t you? You will be my dark rebel rose. Let’s forget bad memories and enjoy our feast. Tomorrow we will talk more of your rebellion.” He smiled at her and poured a dark red wine in her glass.

“Tomorrow? When am I going to be able to leave? The food is delicious and you seem like a very nice person but I need to get home.”

“Of course you will get to go home. I would just like you to stay as a guest for another day or two. I am giving serious thought to helping your people in their struggle. When in my presence you are my equal and my act as such.”

“Thank you, Your Majesty. Was the trespassing in your woods the only reason I was brought here? And what did you mean by saying I had thorns?”

The elf king laughed softly, “You want honesty I take it. Well I will answer honestly then. I brought you here for many reasons. One you entered my woods. Two you used magic in my woods. You used very minor magic but I feel more inside you. Almost like your training wasn’t completed. Third your beauty. No elf has black hair. It intrigued me. Does this satisfy your first question?”

“Yes, more than I expected it would. My trainer in the ways of the healer said that I needed more than he could teach. But as to beauty, that I believe to be just flattery. What about my second question?” She smiled surprisingly comfortable in this strange beings presence.

“As I said I brought you here for your beauty. You are beautiful like a rose, but when you spoke of those men I could feel anger and power well up inside you. A rose may be beautiful and fragile, but they can make even the strongest man bleed, with their thorns. Now do you understand?” He was leaning over the table looking into her eyes.

“I think so.” She tried to ignore the comments on her beauty. She had never seen herself that way. She changed the subject. The way he was looking at her was taking her breath away.

“I received all the training I could. I wasn’t temple material. They won’t let poor people no matter how talented into their ranks. Bedsides I think they’re the ones behind a lot of things going on in Kellen.”

“What temple is this that you speak of?” He was frowning confused.

“The Temple of Mighty Ker. The god of all. They are a bunch of self righteous, deluded, hypocritical, false god loving bunch of idiots. You know they say your people don’t exist. That you are just stories to scare children.” She smiled at him feeling almost in a trance as she talked to him. She picked up her wine glass and sipped it slowly.

“Oh we exist and we walk freely in your world. Often. I have heard of these Ker followers. They are evil men. I think we shall talk more. Then we will leave in a few days to go to your rebellion. Yes, in a few days.”

“We? Are you going with me?” I was in shock. The person that was supposed to be holding me captive was offering to go with me to help the rebellion. Things were getting weird really fast.

“Yes, you intrigue me as I told you before. I think I want to stay with you a while. And I can teach you things with your magic that Ker priest can’t. Do you object?” He smiled a ravishing smile.

“No, no, not at all. Besides why would I argue with a king? Even if you’re only a fairy tell.” She smiled and blushed at her own attempt to flirt. She didn’t understand what she was doing. She must be losing her mind.

“Maybe someday I will show you how real I am.” He laughed softly as he rose and walked around to her, “All in due time though. Shall I escort you to your room?”

She rose and almost stumbled but managed to hold herself upright. What did he mean ‘all in due time’? Surely she was dreaming and would wake up soon. She must concentrate on getting to the capital and helping the rebellion. She had to stop the horrible things going on. The king walked her to her room and bowed goodnight to her. It had taken a long time to get there. Everywhere they went servants bowed, he smiled and spoke. When they reached her door he kissed her hand. “Goodnight, Rose.”

“Goodnight, Your Majesty,” she said with a blush. He bowed and walked away silently. She went into her room and was greeted by the maid from earlier. She felt like she was a child again. She smiled at the maid as she leaned against the door.

“I will help you change milady.”

“I’m no lady. I’m just a woman. My name is Renee. What’s yours?”

“My name? Why it’s Kildee. None of our guest has ever asked that before.” Her eyes glowed. Renee guessed she must have smiled since she couldn’t see her face.

“Well, Kildee glad to meet you. Let’s get this dress off and me in bed. I’m extremely tried for some reason.”

“Did you drink wine with the King?”

“Of course. It was wonderful. Nice dark wine. Why do you ask?”

“That was an elven wine. It has that effect on humans. It makes you sleepy. Most times the king serves it to help relax his guest. It does taste wonderful whether you are and elf or a human.” She unlaced the dress and helped Renee into a nightgown. “Rest well milady. I will wake you in the morn.”

“Good night, Kildee. Sweet dreams,” those words carried her into dreamland where dreams of fairy tale creatures filled her mind.

She awoke to the sun shining into her eyes. She looked out the window as snow blew across it. It amazed her that it could be winter here and summer in Hirck. She pulled the soft blankets up to her chin. Kildee had already built a fire in the fireplace. There was still a chill in the air. Renee rolled over and closed her eyes again. Just as she did the door opened.

“Lady? I hate to wake you but the King would like to see you.” Kildee’s voice called softly from the door.

Renee sighed and rolled over to face her. “All right I’ll be ready in a few minutes.”

Renee was still very sleepy. She was starting to assume that it was from the wine she had drunk. She stretched and sat up as Kildee pulled the doors to the armoire. It was full of dresses.

“Where did all of those come from? I only picked out one last night.”

“The King wanted you to have these as gifts.” Kildee pulled a dark hunter green dress out of the armoire and held it up for Renee’s approval.

“I really can’t accept these. I haven’t done anything to deserve them. I can wear what I brought with me.” She walked over to her own bag and pulled out her change of clean clothes.

“I don’t mean to step out of place Lady but the king will be very upset if you chose not to wear one of the dresses he offered you. I don’t know why but he has taken quiet a liking to you lady.”

Renee sighed. If she insulted the king then she might never get to go home.
“All right. I want to get out of here someday.”

Renee let Kildee help her dress in the hunter green dress. She tried not to fidget as the maid pulled her hair up and did her face. Time and worry was eating at her. The king wanted to make everything a big deal. Kildee finished and Renee turned to look in the mirror. It was amazing what Kildee could do with her hair and makeup.

“Well let’s go see the King.”

Kildee lead her to the King’s chamber. Renee waited nervously outside the door. There was something about this man that made her nervous. She jumped as Kildee opened the door and motioned her inside. Renee smiled at her and made her way inside the chamber.

Danril smiled and motioned her to take a seat. “I’m glad to see you like my gifts.”

“They are lovely but I’ve done nothing to deserve them.”

“I think you have. You are giving up everything to help your people. You deserve those dresses. It is merely a token of thanks.” Danril had a large stack of blank paper on his desk.

“Looks like you plan on doing some writing your majesty.”

He laughed as he sat back down in his chair. “Yes I am. I want to learn about your people. I know only what my people have taught me. I would hear about humans from your experience. I think it would be more accurate.”

“I don’t mind answering your questions but I am in a hurry. I need to get to the capital quickly.”

Danril looked down at his pile of paper and sighed. “I’m sorry. I forget how important time is to others. If you would answer but a few of my questions until my men can prepare to go with you.”

“Of course. I didn’t mean I had to leave today. What would you like to know?”

Danril smiled and laughed softly. “It will seem silly but I would like to know everything. Can we start with childhood? What do human children do and learn as they grow?”

“Everything is a big order.” Renee laughed softly. “Most children once they are old enough to walk and talk, start learning to read. Although there are some villages that are too poor to support teachers for the children. Once they start school the children that are blessed by the gods start their separate training and begin to master their own powers. The normal kids usually go home after school and help their parents on their farms or in their shops.”
She didn’t know what else to tell him. Life as a human child was pretty simple. Not much excitement to being a kid unless you were royalty.

“Such a simple start to life. I would have thought with such short lives it would move much faster. Is that the extent of human life? To follow in your parents footsteps? Is there no need to surpass your parents or go a different route from your parents?”

“Of course there is. There aren’t many that get that opportunity either. The blessed children don’t always come from blessed parents. It just depends on who the gods chose.”

Danril was writing as she talked. She smiled. It was weird to see someone take such an interest in thing as mundane as childhood.

He stopped mid pen stroke and looked up at her. “Would you like to go on a walk? I know it’s cold but the gardens are still beautiful.”

“Yes that would be lovely.”

He stood and held his hand out to her. He took a cloak from a hook near the door and draped it around her shoulders. He led her down the corridor to a set of glass doors. He pushed them open and moved out into the snow. The pines were snow covered and bowed under the weight of the snow.

“This is lovely your majesty.”

“Please call me Danril. I told you when we are together to see yourself as my equal. We cannot work together to achieve a common goal if we don’t see each other as equals.”

Renee nodded as she looked around the garden. She could imagine it in summer full of flowers and green grass. There was a stream running through the garden. Trees lined the stream and she was sure in the summer they were in full bloom. She could imagine tiny pink blossoms lining the trees.

They walked on a bridge over the stream along a beaten path. She could tell from the way the trees looked it was an orchard of all kinds of fruits. Some of the trees she could recognize but some she’d never seen. She could imagine it in summer full of flowers and green grass. Danril was standing in the sun and she caught herself looking at him imagining the sun shining through his hair. She shook herself and looked at the ground.

“Something wrong Rose?”

“No, nothing Danril.” It felt strange to be saying his name but she liked it. She was starting to like him too much. This was too fast. She said a silent prayer to Airmida for guidance.

“Your hair looks so beautiful out here. It shines and glistens like a raven’s wing,” Danril commented.

Renee blushed and turned away from him. She found she was shy when it came to a handsome healthy man. If he were sick and wounded he would be much easier to be around. She found him looking at her with those eyes and it made her blush and turn away from him.

They walked along the beaten path, past the orchard to an herbal garden. This is something Renee knew a bit on. She fell in love instantly with the enormous garden meant for healing. She had never seen such a large herbal garden.

“Oh my, this is beautiful. I can imagine in the summer time all of the herbs in bloom and growing at a rapid pace. How do you keep such a large garden in this good of condition?” Renee asked.

“It’s easy when you have the skill and amount of people the elves have. We all take some part in taking care of this garden. It is essential to the lives of my people,” Danril said as he smiled. He could tell how excited she was about the herbs. He knew she was a healer and appreciated the garden.
He was seeing a new joy in the life around him. Something he had long forgotten about. He was seeing her getting excited about the garden and could feel it. He had walked these paths for hundreds of years and had forgotten about the wonder and joy that could be found in the garden. He had walked in these gardens to think and clear his mind since he had become king, not noticing the beauty around him. He had quite a bit on his mind, trying to rule a country.

“Look Danril, look what I have found,” Renee said with excitement.
Danril strolled to where she was at and looked down. She had found a bird’s nest with eggs in it. He smiled at her staring in the excitement in her eyes. “Wonder what kind of bird it is?”

“I think they are phoenix eggs Rose. It may be abandoned with winter coming so early. Would you like to take it home to see if they hatch?” Danril asked.

“Do you think that is a good idea? What if it isn’t abandoned? What if the mother comes and it isn’t there? How will we hatch the eggs?” She bombarded him with a series of questions.

He laughed at her flurry of questions. “Slow down my Rose, slow down. There is no mother here protecting her nest. Winter set in way too early for her to stay. We will take them home and figure out a way to hatch them.” He replied, “The phoenix is a beautiful bird. Its feathers are made of flames. After a few weeks they burn into a pile of ash and are reborn from those same ashes. Maybe these eggs are a sign of rebirth for both our worlds.”

Home? It seemed odd to hear him say that. She wondered if there were any meanings behind it. She had to hope he was right about the sign of rebirth. She shook it off the mix of thoughts as she picked up the nest. She would have to leave it here when she returned to her world but she felt better knowing the eggs had a chance.

“Let me show you the stables.” He took her arm and led her out a gate in the wall.

Once they reached the stables Renee was awed at their beauty and size. Each stall was immaculate and comfortable for each horse. She saw her own horse comfortable in one of the lush stalls. She made her way down the stalls to the horse. She stroked her as she blew rolls of air into her hair. She turned and smiled at Danril as the wind started to blow.

“Let us head back. I can’t have you catching cold.” He led her back to her room and bowed to her, “Until dinner my Lady Rose.”

“Until then Danril.” She curtsied in return. She watched as he walked down the hall. There was something about this elf that made her heart beat quickly. She turned and sat down on the window seat. Renee closed her eyes and leaned against the cool window. She soon slipped off to sleep.

davesmistress
06-08-2007, 11:24 AM
Thanks Freedom for another good chapter....;)

freedom
06-08-2007, 04:50 PM
Glad you like it...lol

davesmistress
08-20-2007, 02:30 AM
We will also bump in our Newer Forum....Enjoy....:)

wizardwriter
08-20-2007, 09:34 AM
Freedom. as you know I love the story, and maybe you can post the latest revision soon, sweetie

g00ber
08-22-2007, 04:08 PM
fan bloody tastic is all i can say

freedom
08-22-2007, 05:43 PM
awww....thanks Goober

freedom
08-22-2007, 08:16 PM
Trip to Hirick

The sun rose bright and strong that morning. Renee had been in Alben for what seemed like an eternity. The King was her almost constant companion. If he wasn’t at her side then Kildee was there. She was watching the sunrise. The sun washed the white landscape before her in shades of orange and red. Her mind drifted to the rebellion as she looked out over the now painted land. It seemed so far away after these peaceful days. The King had begun to question her about the habits of the people in her country. He said he wanted to be knowledgeable before he went to the capital of men. She hadn’t realized that it would be so hard to explain the habits of her people. Things she did everyday where foreign to him. He didn’t understand why magic wasn’t a bigger part of their lives. It was hard to explain to a magical creature that in her world magic was rare and used as little as possible. Many people feared it for they did not understand it. She sighed and laid her head against the ice cold frame of the window.

A knock turned her from her window and broke her thoughts. Kildee stood there unveiled for the first time. She was beautiful. Long blond hair, tiger like eyes and a beautiful smile. There was a confidence but yet there was a softness that made her seem so young and innocent at the same time. “Kildee! Wow! Why in the world did you always go around veiled? You are gorgeous!”

“Until today it was law for the King’s servant to cover themselves. With our faces covered our eyes could not distract us from the duty at hand. Duty has always come first to our people. I think that sometimes too many sacrifices are made in our world for duty. But now my lady, you have changed that. The King now thinks that everyone is different and should show it. Since he began his talks with you he has started to see beyond the ways that his forefathers set for him to follow. Danril has always been a great man but I think he will be even greater now that he has learned to see where he walks. I wanted to thank you for that. I am 215 years old and had my first suitor today. I am so glad that chance has brought you to us Rose.”

“I see my nickname has stuck. I am glad for you, Kildee. I just want everyone to be happy. It’s hard to teach someone who has only stories to guide them. I know Danril has met other humans before but I wonder if he ever really got to know them or just made assumptions based on what he had been taught himself. Now back to your good news though. Who was the young man? Anyone I know?”

“Yes. He’s the man that brought you here. Devill. He’s shy though.”

“I never knew his name. Actually I haven’t seen him since my first morning here. He seems very soft spoken. Yet he seems afraid of magic. Well, my magic at least. I know that when I first awoke in my room his hands were bandaged like he had been badly burnt. Was that from my magic?”

“Human magic is almost poisonous to use when used in certain ways. If it is used as a ward, blessing or to cast something out. It’s not that WE are evil. It’s that we are SEEN as evil. That makes your magic poisonous to us because it’s like it’s directed at us.” King Danril said from her door. Kildee turned and bowed. Renee was confused. It didn’t seem right that magic could be so based on a person’s beliefs. Then on the hand it seemed to make sense. If you didn’t believe in your magic it wouldn’t work and it has to be influenced by your thoughts and actions since it is tied to the person welding it. She shook herself out of her thoughts and went back to listening to their conversation.

“Devill has asked my permission to court you since your mother has left my service. If you wish it I shall grant it Kildee. What say you?”

“Yes, please your Highness. I have waited a long time for a suitor and I think he would be perfect. Thank you.” She almost blushed with pleasure.

“I am glad you can be happy. I have changed my views on many things recently. We will be leaving for the human capital in the morning. I will be leaving the castle in your hands and Duncan’s. I feel between you and the old human all will be well.” Danril put his hand on her shoulder in a fatherly way.

“Thank you for your trust. We will do our best. Be safe on your journey,” Kildee bowed and left the room.

Danril turned to Renee and smiled. “I hope to help you and your country in their rebellion, milady. I know you have wondered why. I hope to explain this to you if you would like to know.”

“Of course sire. I am deeply interested.”

He walked to the window and looked out over the same snow covered vista that she had pondered on just moments earlier. “It may seem that our worlds are separate but the fate of your country lays heavily on mine. Since our woods touch your lands shifts in magic and violence in the land affect ours. If things get out of hand and your country drowns in turmoil ours will start to unravel.”

“There aren’t enough magic users in my land to do much of anything. Violence on the other hand we are over abundant in. So if we fall apart you do to. Why?”

“At one time my people lived in your world, until the humans became intolerable of us. The world was our mother so we vowed to ever watch over it and make sure the humans didn’t destroy it. We wove the magic in this place to mimic yours. If your land has a disaster ours will suffer in response. This should be summer here just as in your land. But the effects have been almost tragic on our land. So if I am to save my land I must help you, my rose, save yours.”

She looked out the window with new eyes. She had looked earlier marveling at the beauty that was found in the peaceful snow covered landscape. Now she looked out and saw turmoil. She understood why Danril was so worried. This would affect their crops and everything else that their world depended on to run. It was amazing that they had managed to survive this long. The war had been going on for months in her world. She could imagine if it continued what kind of affect it would have on this world. Renee hoped that when they were done Danril would have a kingdom to return home too.

Danril turned to face the window with a sad look on his face, “This temple you spoke of has more power than you realize. If magic was not in heavy use then the affect on our land would not be so severe. There are many magic users in your land. We must put a stop to the works of evil being done. The amount of power being echoed to us says there are extremely large and powerful movements at work. And I would be willing to chance they have to do with the throne that now sits vacant.”

“I didn’t realize this was so important to someone other than us. What could they need that much magic for? There have been no battles of any sort that have had temple trained involved.” Renee was angry. Not only where they hurting their own people they where destroying something that they had no idea existed. “I will be ready to leave by morning sooner if need be. We will save your land.”

He turned to face her. “May I ask you a question Milady?”

“Of course.”

“You say this Ker is a false god. Who is the true god of your people?” Danril turned back to her as he talked.

“There are many. I was raised to worship Airmida. She’s the goddess of healing so she was always our main deity when I was growing up. Why do you ask?”

“I was just curious. I hope your goddess smiles on us with this journey. I shall leave you for now Rose.” He kissed her hand and turned to leave. Renee set into packing her meager belongings. There seemed to be more and more at stake with everyday that passed by.

The next morning dawned with a dark and gloomy sky. Renee watched the first hint of light come up over the horizon. She had been up for several hours pacing the floor. She jumped when a loud knock broke the gloomy silence.

“Yes?”

“Morning Milady. Do you require any help preparing for today’s trip?”

“No, Kildee. I’ve been ready for hours now. When will we be leaving?”

“Soon Lady Rose. I will let the King know you are ready to go.”

Renee nodded as Kildee turned and left. She had hoped they were ready to go now. The sooner they left the sooner they could end all this madness. She had gone back to double check pacing when another knock came on her door. She turned to answer but the King had already entered.

“Good Morning, my Lady Rose. I hear you are prepared for travel. Shall we?” He held out his arm to escort her down. She picked up her pack with her meager belongings and slung it over her shoulder. “Is this all you are taking? Do you not like dresses that I have given you? Are they unsatisfactory?”

“No! They are amazing but how can I carry such things on horseback to the capital? It is many days journey still to come. I thought... it’s just that, uhm ... that I thought I would return to get them someday. If I can come back that is.” She blushed. She had assumed that she would be coming back here once their journey was over. Danril seemed so eager to learn about her people and they hadn’t had much time. She had assumed that he would want to learn more. There was also the fact that they had begun to develop a bond during her time here.

“You would like to return? HA!” Danril laughed loudly and hugged her, “Of course! I was praying you would like to come back and stay with us for a while. I was afraid to ask. I thought it to forward and you would think of me badly. You may stay as long as you like. Let us go. The sooner we leave the sooner we return.”

He was smiling a huge smile. It lit his eyes up. Renee felt something in her jump when he looked at her. She shook herself. She was starting to feel more then she should and quickly. He was a king and she was nothing. That was just the start of their differences. The heart was a fickle beast though and it didn’t listen to such things.

Renee laughed along with him. He was so confident in himself. He was going to walk into the capital of Kellen, the mighty city of Hirck, and tell them to end their nonsense turn around and walk right back out. Just like that. She hated to tell him it was not going to be that simple.

He led her out of the room and down to the stables. Her horse was still in the stall. She looked at him confused. “You will ride one of our steeds. They can move faster than other horses. We will be in Hirck by nightfall.”

He helped her mount the huge beast. Then mounted his horse and motioned them out. The moment they took their first step she knew something wasn’t right. She quickly understood how they would be there so quickly. These animals and their masters’ warped time around them with every step they took. The scenery was twisted and foggy. Her head began to swim. She began to cast a spell to help her stomach when it all lurched to a stop. The King was turned looking at her. “What do you think you are doing?”

“My stomach and head where hurting. The land twisting around me was ****** me sick. I was going to stop it so I wouldn’t inconvenience you. Did I do wrong?”

“You cannot work magic while in the time drift. I will give you something to help you but please do not try to do magic again until we leave the drift. We will stop when we reach the borders between our lands. We will have to be more careful once we reach that point. The disturbance in the time flow may be seen by the very people we are going to stop. No unnecessary magic. I know you where suffering but I had to stop you. You could have been killed. And that, my love, was unacceptable.” He moved her hair out of her face and smiled.

“I’m sorry. I’ll be more careful.” Her head was spinning with more than sickness. He had called her ‘my love’. Did he mean it? Her mind drifted back to the thought she had in her room just moments earlier. She stopped her train of thought. She was jumping to conclusions. There was no reason for her to believe that he loved or cared for her. If something came of the feelings she was beginning to have then so be it but she wouldn’t let her heart run rampant and rule her mind. It was dangerous to let someone close. It hurt to bad to lose someone you cared about and there was a good chance that would happen on this endeavor.

He handed her a blue stone wrapped in gold wire. The stone glowed softly as she took it from him with a smile. She slipped it over her head. She pulled her long black hair from the chain. It was cold when it touched her skin. The churning in her stomach stopped the moment it touched her skin. “Keep it in contact with your skin. With that you will not suffer from the view of time. When we reach the border we will break. Then we will not be able to move slowly. We will have to move even faster through the drift. If we move to slow someone may notice the slight distortion. Let us move on.”

With the stone she could begin to look around her. It seemed as if the air itself was twisting around them. First it closed in on them like a blanket. Then it seemed to twist. Everything you could see outside of the drift seemed to move in slow motion. She could see people moving and working as they rode the wave of time. They seemed almost frozen as she watched. The sun was different in the drift. It was dimmer and everything seemed to be shadowed no matter how much light shown on it. It felt to her body that they had been riding for days. She saw Danril motion for them to stop. When they stepped out of the drift though the sun had only moved a fingers width. They had done a half days travel in about an hour. She slid off her horse and stretched her tired body. The elves seemed unaffected by the traveling they had done.

Danril handed out lunch. She took the piece of jerky and put it in her bread. She ate the food quietly. She was glad for the stone or she’d be in no shape to eat. She took a big sip of the water skin they passed around. She was exhausted. To the world around them it was still early morning, but for her it had been six grueling hours of hard riding. She sighed when she saw they were ready to ride. Danril looked at her in concern.

“Are you ok? You look tired.”

“I am tired. I guess I don’t have the energy you do. I am not eternally young,” she smiled at him softly.

“It will not take us long to reach our next resting spot. It will be dangerous though. We will sleep in the drift. We can get a few hours sleep in just a few minutes. My men and I will take turns standing guard. You will sleep.” His smile melted her heart.

She had been surprised that she had grown so attached to this strange being so quickly. Even though his servant had abducted her she felt warmth towards him. He was kind, gentle, fair yet stern and stubborn. He made her feel ways no human man had ever made her feel. She had seen so much wrong doing by men’s hands that she was always put off by them. There were no such feelings towards King Danril or his people. They were trying to protect lives not destroy. The fact the she ‘intrigued’ him made her feel special. She smiled and pushed the thoughts from her mind. She needed to stop letting her mind drift in directions that had no bearing on what they were doing.

Several hours later, in her own time, they stopped. Danril escorted her out of the drift for a few moments to give her a break. She stretched as her body untwisted from the drifts magic for a moment. They were standing alone in the shade of a maple tree. She smiled at him half asleep. She closed her eyes to rest. And was rewarded with a soft kiss. She opened her eyes slowly not wanting it to end. He smiled at her in a quiet and calm mood.
“Does this bother you?”

“No. Not at all. I am flattered. I have been having the same kind of feelings towards you. I thought I only ‘intrigued’ you?”

“You do, but you also do much more. If I can I would like to bring our people back to your world. I want our worlds to be one again. Then I would be able to ask you to stay with me and not have to leave all that you know behind. One day you could be my only companion. That is if you would like to have that kind of relationship and follow it too whatever end it may lead too.”
“I would like that. But we need to finish what we started by going to Hirck. Then we will see about bringing your people and your world back into mine. There is no need to rush for either of us. Things will work out the way the gods intend. I don’t want the time we’ve spent together to cloud your mind or mine.” She wanted to be happy at this moment but her worries outweighed her other emotions. There would be plenty of time to face these good warm emotions when the cold fear for her world had left her heart. If they didn’t stop what was happening there would be no elven world to join back with the humans.

When she started this trip many weeks ago her plan had been simple. Go to the capital, find the rebellion, use her skills as a healer to heal the fighters, put a good king on the throne and go home. Now things are so different. She was still going to the capital to help the rebellion, but she had a group of elves to ride with her and the king had taken a fancy to her. She had never thought of herself as beautiful. No man had ever courted her. Maybe that was because they only saw her as a healer not a woman. She felt as if she was dreaming. She smiled at Danril. She hoped that her reaction to his words didn’t dishearten him.

“Come, my rose. Let us rest a while.” Danril lead her into the drift yet again. Her stomach didn’t lurch this time. It seemed a great improvement to her. He didn’t seem hurt by her words. She sighed and pushed her own emotions down so that she could concentrate on the task at hand. She lay down against and used her horse’s saddle as a pillow. The other elves had brushed the horse’s down while they had talked. She closed her eyes and let her exhausted body slip into sleep.

She woke many hours later feeling very refreshed. She looked at the sun out of habit. It had barely moved two fingers width since she had gone to sleep. The elven riders where already mounting up. Danril had her horse packed and waiting on her. She sat up, put the saddle back on the horse and made sure it secure. She stretched and mounted the horse.

“We will not stop again until we reach Hirck. Are you ready?”

She nodded and took a deep breath as they began to fly through the drift. At first she could tell details about the scenery flying by, but then it all became a blur of color. Green fading into brown, turning blue and then back to green again. It was like someone was taking paint and swirling it in circles and wavy lines. She was in an almost hypnotic state when the drift suddenly came to a halt and the detail became clear and crisp. Where they were stopped it was like she could see every leaf move in the wind in excruciatingly slow detail. The horses started moving again and hers horse jerked beneath her as they stepped out into the normal flow of time. They were about a mile outside of Hirck. She was suddenly very nervous. How would they get into the city without being seen? How would they find the rebellion? What if there wasn’t one? She began to turn to Danril and spill her dozen questions at his feet when he put his hand on her shoulder.

“Calm your thoughts. I can see your questions in your eyes. Elves have long been hiding in human company. Our ears are not all that hard to hide and our eyes take little magic to hide. With the amount of magic going on inside those walls they will never notice. First let us find shelter.” He turned from her and began giving orders to his men.

She walked into the edge of the woods and changed her clothes. There was a small stream close to where she stood. She squatted down and let her hands trail in the cold water. She splashed her face trying to relax. Renee looked down at herself and realized she was covered in dust. She cleaned herself the best she could of the dust she had collected. After she had washed she returned to the road. She could feel the undertone of magic that had just been done. Luckily that was one thing that went away. If she hadn’t been looking for the change she never would have noticed it. Human eyes where just as beautiful and mysterious in Danril’s face as his normal eyes. She smiled and walked up to him. “Are we ready? Do we have a reason for being in the city? The guards will want to know. We have to have our story straight. Do you have any human money? Your elven coins might give you away.”

Danril smiled, “Yes Rose. We have everything we need. Elves do not travel into the human world lightly and are always prepared. We are a band of mercenaries. You are our physician. Since the war started we are looking to hire ourselves out. The capital seemed like the likeliest place to start. Do not give them your real name. Are you ready my love?”

She blushed profusely and nodded yes. They traveled the last mile to town through the most beautiful and lush farmland in all of Kellen. The fields where green for miles in every direction. Every crop was healthy and every beast fat. The crop of choice in Kellen had always been cren. It was a green vegetable that was sweet yet pungent. Everyone in Kellen grew up on cren and all of its variations.

The only sore spot in the capital was the gate. The soldiers questioned everyone thoroughly and kept a line at the gate always. No one ever got out of hand and everything went smoothly. That was before the war and King Aryan’s death. Now there was a mob at the gate, soldiers where ransacking wagons, taking what they wanted and jailing anyone who resisted. Renee’s stomach turned. She was afraid it might be bad, but not like this.

They got in line to enter. It was then that Renee noticed the two handed swords Danril and his men now carried. When the guard approached them it was with caution.

“What is your reason for entering the capital?”

“We came seeking employment.”

“Type of employment?” The guard was ****** notes on a parchment.

“Mercenary. Any good employers to be found?” Danril asked.

“Many these days. How many soldiers in your party?” That was when he noticed Renee. “And what about the wench?”

“Five soldiers and the wench is our personal healer. Never can be too careful in this line of work. If you’ve got some hack cutting on you, you might not get back up.”

“List your names here and sign,” he passed the parchment over nervously to Danril. Renee could see what he was writing and smiled when he listed her as Rose.

The guard waved them through and they made their way to the center of town. The first thing to do was find lodging.

Badlybent
08-22-2007, 09:12 PM
Well done Freedom. Well throw a big publishing party for you some day I'm sure.

Badlybent
08-22-2007, 09:14 PM
I'll want an autographed first edition for my investment portfolio. I'm sure it will be priceless someday. :-) Good job. You rock.

freedom
08-22-2007, 09:18 PM
doubt it but it's a nice thought

freedom
08-22-2007, 09:22 PM
thanks bent but I've already been turned down once...we'll see what happens

davesmistress
08-22-2007, 10:04 PM
Thanks for the new addition

wizardwriter
08-22-2007, 10:11 PM
Cause you didn't have the secret sauce my dear,
Got it now, won't be long and you can add published author to your bio,
As always love the visuals, good job,

g00ber
08-31-2007, 06:06 PM
who in their right mind would turn you down, this story is every bit as good as any other book I've read. Can't wait for chapter 4

freedom
09-01-2007, 06:31 AM
Thanks Goober...someone did though

g00ber
09-01-2007, 09:50 AM
their loss, our gain

cum4me
11-14-2007, 09:43 AM
wow great story is there more? If so post or tell me how to get the rest please, by the way your a great autor
keep em cumming

niteowluk2003
11-15-2007, 07:18 AM
Great story well written and executed... many thanks Freedom.

freedom
11-15-2007, 08:33 AM
Thanks niteowl...I'm reediting this one so I will probably post another version of it. Not sure yet but this is a complete book Cum4me...pm me and I can get you more of it.

freedom
08-10-2009, 09:11 PM
question for those of you out there that have read this...i've got more chapters....would anyone like to see them? Also have another version....or if anyone wants i can email them the book...if anyone wants just reply here or pm me...thanks guys and gals