The Red Shadow Hunt(A Pokemon Paul Love Story Part 13)

0

It was early the next morning I rose out of bed quietly. I grabbed a comb, a few knives, and my boots before seeking out the door and down the hall. Candice was always an early riser, and it was her I needed to talk to.

I knocked softly on the door and waited for her to open it. She looked slightly surprised to see me up this early and still around the place.

“Hey, what can I do for you?” She asked and opened the door all the way so I could come in.

“Animal and I are heading down to town today.” I told her, “I need a disguise.”

She smiled brightly, “You came to the right place!” She told me.

She opened both of her closets and I sat on her bed brushing my hair.

“What were you thinking?” She asked me.

“Something simple.” I told her, “Covers most of my face, a lot of women from any town would wear it aswell.”

She nodded and turned around digging through everything before she pulled out something long and black, she tossed it to me before pulling two more pieces of cloth out.

“That’s the dress.” She said, “It’s mostly figureless, so you can conceal those weapons. This is the head dress.” She held out the two pieces, “This one goes on your head like a hood, and this one goes across your face, covering most of it.”

“It’s perfect.” I told her, “Thank you.”

“It’s my home too, Jowey.” Candice told me softly, “I don’t want it wrecked because of the King and his guards trying to find you or anyone else. If this helps I do it willingly.”

I stood up and walked over to her, I wrapped an arm around her shoulder and pulled her in for a side hug.

“I know.” I told her, “I know.”

“Wow, you actually look like a girl.” Animal teased when I came down.

I shot him a glare and a playful smirk, “Too bad you don’t get a lot.”

‘OOh’s were heard throughout the room.

He frowned deeply and pulled the bag Martain had just finished packing off the table.

“We takin’ horses?” He asked as I pulled the mask over my nose.

“No.” I said, “It’d take too long.”

“And you sure no one is gonna recognize you?” He asked.

I nodded, “All I have to do is keep my head down and act meek. They won’t suspect a thing.”

He nodded, “We’ll see you later.” Animal said and headed to the door.

“Bye guys.” I said and quickly followed.

“What about, Paul?” Alec asked quickly.

“Say bye to him for me.” I said and ran to catch up with Animal.

Paul’s pov.

I woke up and looked around. Jowey wasn’t there.

I sighed and sat up. I really need to start waking up earlier. Most of the time she’s already left by then. But even the time I get up is still early. Guess it’s not compared to her.

I quickly tied up my boots and threw on a shirt before grabbing my sword and heading down stairs.

When I got there the door had just shut and I made my way to the bar.

“Morning guys.” I said and sat down.

“How come you always sleep in?” Zuren asked.

I looked at him and said, “Usually the time I get up anyways.”

“Late, you ask me.” He said.

“And how many are still asleep?” I challenged.

“Most of the girls, and a few of the guys.” He said, “Course that’s just ’cause of what usually goes on at night with them.”

I shrugged and accepted the coffee Martain placed in front of me.

“So where’s Jowey? She leave yet?” I asked.

Martain nodded, “She and Animal just left. I don’t think anyone would recognize her in what she was wearin’ either.”

I nodded, I was going to be a long day or two without her.

Jowey’s pov.

We hurried down the mountain, and did it in record time too.

“I won.” Animal hissed as me when we reached the bottom.

“Don’t care.” I told him and continued on.

“Aren’t you supposed to be acting like a woman?” He asked me.

I nodded, “When we come across people.” I told him.

He sighed but said nothing about it.

We continued on until we came to edge of the town. There were a few farmers in the fields, we were stopped by an elderly one.

“I wouldn’t go that way.” He warned us, “The king is taking any and all able young men to become his soldiers.”

“For what purpose?” Animal asked politely.

“Son, there are changes in crown going on in a few of our neighbouring countries. The king feels as though it’s time to attack them as the new king settles and expand his kingdom. He needs every man he can get. He sent an entire battalion up into the mountains not too long ago to look for a traitor, not a single one came back. They’re presumed dead.”

Animal nodded, “My sister and I where up in tavern about the same time, resting. They were all killed.”

The old man shook his head, “He keeps sending men to die uselessly. It breaks my heart.”

“Where one of those men your son?” I had cut in to ask.

He nodded slowly, “His name was Tracey. He was a good boy, very gentle, wouldn’t hurt a fly. And yet he was recruited.”

“I’m sorry.” Animal told him, “My sister just asks things sometimes without thinking.”

The old man shook his head, “It’s alright. I just pray his soul is at peace.”

“We thank you for the warning and your time, sir.” Animal said and we both bowed. Then turned and left the man in the fields.

“What do you wanna do?” Animal asked me when we were far enough from anyone’s ear shot.

“Go around the back.” I told him, “I’ll scale the wall, and see what I can see from the castle.”

“Don’t get caught.” He told me.

“Have I been so far?” I asked.

He didn’t say anything after that as we made our way to the rear of the city. In the shade of the high walls, we hid in the shadows.

I shed the dress and head-piece and left it on the ground next to Animal.

“I’ll wait here.” He told me.

I nodded and spit on my hands to gain the grip I knew I needed. There were small spaces between the tall staked rocks, at times it was harder, but I had made my way up.

I looked left and right over the stone path where guards walked, and waited until the coast was clear. When it was I ran across the wide path and made the five foot jump from the wall of the city to the tower of the castle.

I had timed it right because there was the shift change happening at the moment.

I slowly crawled my way up the steep wall until I came to a specific window. It was the Window to the Princesses room. I was maneuvered in such a way that I could see into a part of the room, but they couldn’t see me.

“You really are like your daddy.” I heard the princess giggle. She walked into my view holding something to her chest covered in blankets, “You must be hungry.” She said and began to undo the buttons of her dress. She pulled her breast out of her undergarment and the child began to suck.

I was disgusted with myself. I had seen the child had purple hair. Hair just like paul’s. He had given her a child, and then he took me.

I was about to move on, I didn’t like this sight anymore, when the door to the room opened without a knock or permission to enter.

Into my sight strolled Cyrus, he stood in front of his daughter holding a large amount of authority over her.

“Has he come?” She asked respectfully.

“No.” Cyrus said flatly, “Our first attempt to bring him back had ended in failure.”

The princess looked down almost ashamed.

“It’s alright.” He told her, I could have sworn he was smiling when he did, “I’ve already made other arrangements about bringing him back. He should be here soon.”

Her eyes lit up and mine widened.

I scurried down the wall, leapt across the pathway, and jumped down to the ground, landing with a muffled thud.

“We have to get back up to the tavern, now.” I told Animal with slightly heavier breath than normal.

He didn’t question anything, we merely went as fast as we could back to the mountain base, and climbed about as fast as our limbs would let us.

Advertisements

The Red Shadow Hunt(A Pokemon Paul Love Story Part 12)

0

I stirred awake and blinked a few times to get the spots away from my eyes, I attempted to sit up, but a headache forced me back down. I glanced around the room. It was as I left it, except for Paul laying next to me shirtless he was on his side and had his head supported by his left hand. He was smiling at me tiredly.

“Please tell me we didn’t do anything last night.” I begged.

“Why?” He teased, “You don’t want me in you drunk?”

He nuzzled his face into my neck.

“I wanna remember every time.” I told him and ran a hand through his hair.

“We didn’t.” He said resuming his original position, “You were a little drunker then you thought, and after the guys went down to bed you were giggling like crazy, pulled your boots and shirt off, then complained about the wrappings as you fumbled with the knot.”

“Must have been funny.” I grinned and successfully sat up that time. The blankets fell from my chest revealing it was bare.

I shoved the rest of them off and stood up only holding onto the wall momentarily for support.

“You’re still gonna drink?” Paul asked and stood up with me as I picked up another bottle on the floor. This one still had ale in it.

“Yeah.” I said and took a swig, “I gotta be drunk to kill ’em.”

He sighed and grabbed his shirt, “You never cease to amaze me sometimes Jay.”

I shrugged and downed the rest of the bottle before grabbing the wrapings and wrapping my torso back up.

“So who is this guy you need to kill anyways?” Paul asked leaning against the wall and eying me as I pulled my shirt on.

“Can’t tell ya’.” I said and sat down to pull my boots on.

“Why not?” He asked, “If he makes a run for it I can stop him before he leaves.”

“Wont leave.” I told him as I finished tying them up, “No one would expect it to be them, they won’t run. They’ll think I think it’s someone completely different.”

“Who is it?” Paul asked again.

I stood up and turned around to face him, “You’ll have to wait and see.”

He sighed frustrated as I picked up a few knifes and put them in their holsters. I also picked up one last bottle that was mostly full. I assumed it was the one I gave to Reggie, he was never big one ale.

I sipped on it was we walked down to the lobby. When we got there everything stopped. I looked around with the bottle at my lips.

“Everyone here?” I asked Martain.

“Some of the girls are still upstairs.” He replied.

“Candice.” I spoke softly, “Run up stairs and get the girls that are still sleeping if you don’t mind.”

She nodded and hurried up the steps.

I took another swig and pulled out my finest knife.

“The traitor is one in this room.” I told them, “I’ll give you an honourable death, as honourable as one can give to a traitor anyway.”

The girls hurried back down stairs. I quickly chugged the rest of the bottle and set it down on the counter.

Everyone was shifting wondering who the rat was.

“Hey, Jessie.” I called.

The crimson haired woman turned to look at me, looked for only a moment before receiving the promised dagger in her stomach. I walked up to her pulling out one that was serrated. I grabbed the front of her dress and made her look at me.

“You should have known your fate when you crossed the Red Shadow.” I whispered.

And with that I placed the knife at her throat and slit it. Pain was the most evident thing there was on her face.

I allowed her lifeless body to fall to the ground before I pulled the knife out of her abdomen.

“Take this as a warning.” I said as I marched up to the bar and started wiping the blood from the blades, “I wont hesitate to kill anyone who ever crossed me. Be you man or woman. I have no bias. Girls, go up to her room and take what you like of her belongings, find anything that I might like to see, letters, a journal, old books, what have you, bring them to me. Animal, I want you to take care of her body.”

“Will do.” Animal grinned. He got the name as his battle style was as savage as one. I’m sure everyone assumed he’d have been the one to sell me out. We sparred regularly, and there was hardly a day that went by that he threatened to kill me. Everyone knew he never could. But he and I were on good terms, we just had one that revolved around fighting.

The girls did as they were told, eager to go through her closet. Jessie always got first dibs of the cloths that everyone brought home saying she was the oldest so she had to be the first. Her cloths closets were overflowing more than my weapon one.

I sat down at the bar and rubbed my head with my hands.

“Can’t believe you had to kill her?” Reggie asked sitting next to me.

I shook my head, “My head’s killing me.” I told him, “Martain, can you make a Charlie oyster or whatever they’re called to get rid of hang overs please?”

He said nothing but just set a clear glass in front of me. I looked at it to find an egg with god knows what else.

I smiled at him, plugged my nose, and downed it.

“Bet you never want to drink again.” Alec said and sat on the other side of me.

I shook my head, “Just not for a little while.”

“I’ll give her ’till dinner, what do you guys say?” Martain chimed.

I stuck my tongue out at him and he just chuckled.

“How’s the kid doin’?” I asked.

“He’s resting,” He said, “You can go see him when he’s awake.”

I nodded and turned my attention to Maylen when she reached the bottom steps. She walked over shyly with something in her arms, she handed it to me.

“We think there might be more.” She said.

In my hands was a black leather bound book, pages old and worn. The cover was blank.

I went with her back upstairs to Jessie’s room. She had her’s on the second floor.

The girls were still going through her closet.

“Jowey would look so good in this.” Misty said holding up something that was red and shimmered.

“Okay, but you try to wrestle with her to get her to wear it.” Zoe laughed.

“I’m sure I could get Paul to convince her to put it on.”

“I think not.” I cut in.

Everyone froze and looked over.

“You found this in here.” I stated more than asked as I held up the book, “Do any of you have any kind of idea of what this is?”

They all shook their heads.

“Birth records.” I told them and threw it down on her bed, “That means Jessie was used to hide something from someone. From now on nothing leaves this room that I don’t okay first.”

“But you said,” May tried to say.

“And now I’m saying this.” I told her, “I don’t know what Jessie had in here, and as much I really don’t want to know, there might be something else in here that could tell us why she sold me out and who she’s working for.”

“Think so?” Maylen asked.

I nodded, “The cloths you can still have, but I want to go through everything first. Is that fair? Speak now or forever bite your tongue.”

“It’s fair.” Zoe said, “But I just wanna ask one thing.”

I nodded and crossed my arms.

“What do you think she was trying to hide?” She asked.

I paused a moment thinking it over before I sighed, “I have the faintest of feelings she was working for Cyrus.”

Back down the mountains in the castle. Cries were coming from the princess’ chambers.And not long after, new cries, that of a new born baby could be heard echoing through out the stone walls.

One of the doctors cleaned off the child before handing it back to its mother.

Dawn held her new son to her chest lovingly. She sniffled wishing Paul could have been there to see his son.

“You did well, my princess.” King Cyrus said stroking her hair.

“I wish he were here.” She whispered.

“I know.” He said and kissed the top of her head, “I’ll get him here, don’t worry.”

“Thank you father.” She said trying not to cry.

I sat at a table in the lobby late that night with the five of them.

“What would you guys make of this?” I asked as we looked over what we found. In total there was one birth record book, seven or eight books recording the reign of king Valkner, more than a dozen letters addressed to Jessie, and one medallion that didn’t belong.

“Cyrus is defiantly hiding something from everyone.” Paul growled, “And I served that bastard.”

I placed my hand on top of his fist gently to calm him down, it worked but not very well.

Alec lit another candle for more light.

“I think the best way to find out exactly what’s going on is to check the birth records.” Reggie said and reached for them.

“Why the birth records first?” Zuren asked.

Reggie stopped and looked at him, “I remember hearing one of the guards in the castle speaking to another about the day the king was over thrown, something about a birth in the middle of it. Regardless of what was going on at that time a doctor would have recorded the birth of any child born when he delivered it.”

“And you think that’s what started all of it?” Alec asked.

He shook his head, “But I think it might help to find out why Jessie was hiding all of this and what role she played.”

“You’re the best reader.” I told him.

Reggie picked up the book and flipped through the pages, he stopped about half way through.

“What is it?” I asked him.

“King Valkner had a daughter.” He said, we all stared at him, “She was born just before Cyrus went into overthrow him. Says here, she was seven pounds two ounces. Black hair, eye colour- it’s smudged.”

“It’s a start.” I said, “Valkner had a daughter, she’d have been the princess of the country. But that leads to another question, did Cyrus over throw the king just for power or was there an actual reason behind it?”

“If I remember right,” Reggie said, “Baba always said that king Valkner was a good king and just. There was little to no poverty when he rained, the county was completely happy, even bandits would come into his kingdom and be redeemed for their sins and they got to live in happiness and peace.”

“I’ll assume those books will go into depth about what he did.” I said.

“I also remember something he told us.” Alec said, “Baba told us about all those precious jewels he had. And about whoever had them would live in eternal happiness and prosper. But he also said that only one true to the royal blood could touch them, and the rest would die a slow and painful death.”

“I remember a story I head while in a tavern not too far from the castle.” I said, “There once was an old king with not a child nor wife to give one. He brought in woman after woman to try their luck, not one had given him even a daughter, so he killed every last one. One after another women everywhere started to become scares on the streets in fear of being his next victim. One day in church the king cursed the heavens for not giving him even a wretched daughter to carry on his blood. A voice from heaven replied ‘Thou art but being punished for thou’s sins, thou hadn’t been the king thy people needed. thou shalt now parish a untimly death.’ and at the snap of fingers the king fell in unbearable pain. A kind peasant boy brought him back to his hut to care for him. The king had actually recovered, and upon opening his eyes he found the boy in an empty hut, he was close to starving too. He asked him where his parents were. And he replied that his mother was sent to the king to try to give him a son, and his father was killed refusing to hand her over to the king. His heart was broken hearing that. He then thought of all that he’d wronged. He went around the village and collected those orphans and brought them to the castle. He cared for and taught them. One day he fell ill again from another disease. But this time he died with all those he’d cared for around him. Before he had died he gave that kingdom over to the boy who had saved him that day. And from the heavens another voice came saying he had atoned for his sins. and his body and soul were brought up to heaven. in his place on the bed where he lied there were millions of jewels and much gold. The children where told to protect it as it would give them the strength to run the country for as long as their blood existed. And with the help of each of them the kingdom prospered. Same time that guy was really drunk.”

Paul shook his head, “I remember reading something similar to that in the library.”

“The king was good, how’s the economical standing now?” I asked.

“It’s quite poor.” Reggie said, “Heavy taxes, lots of sickness, little food. The castle couldn’t be in better condition, but the villagers.”

“So this was for power and money.” I said, “Wonder what he’s gonna do when he realizes he can’t have that wealth.”

“What do you want to do?” Zuren asked.

I shrugged, “I wanna see how things play out for a little longer.” I told them, “I was gonna go down to the village in the morning, see what I can find out.”

“You alone?” Paul asked, “After you were sold out?”

I nodded, “Trust me,” I told him, “Me and the girls are about the same size, and I have more than a few tricks up my sleeve.”

“Jowey.” Paul warned.

I shook my head, “I go down alone, if I think I need a little back up, Animal, Bull, or Thunder would be the best choices.”

“You’d take animal with you?” Alec asked.

I nodded, “We may not be as close as the six of us, but I can rely on him and he can keep up easily. Trust me.”

“All we ever seem to be doing.” Martain said, “But I do want someone to go with you. Take no chances.”

I nodded, “We should all get some shut eye. It’s been a long day.”

I blew out the candles and went to bed.

The Red Shadow Hunt(A Pokemon Paul Love Story Part 11)

0

Jowey came back not long before night fell. She pushed open the doors and the lobby fell silent. She glided across the floor up to the bar and sat down.

“How’s the kid?” She asked.

Martain looked over to her with tired eyes, “You really did a number, Jay.” He told her, “I almost lost him twice. But he’ll live.”

“Did you get his name?”

“Tracey.” He told her and yawned, “and your knives are over there.”

She looked over to where he was motioning, next to the sink was a barrel full of sharp and pointy objects.

“Find anything interesting?” He asked her.

She shook her head, “There was nothing. No scouts, no other solders, no camp, no evidence of any one or thing coming up or down the mountain. It’s strange.”

“With you, what isn’t?” He asked.

“Why now of all times?” She asked and got up marching over to the sink, “The planting would have just happened, and that would make large openings for bandits and murderers alike.”

She threw her cloak off, and pulled her gloves from her fingers as well.

“Leaving a town without a large amount of protection is not only stupid, but risky as well.” She muttered and poured some water into the sink, “It doesn’t make sense.”

“Maybe he hired others like you to help protect the city while the guards were away.” Martain offered as he filled up more mugs.

Jowey shrugged as she started scrubbing the blades.

“I just thought he was smarter than that,” She said, “And they just wanted, Paul. How would they even know he was up here? There are a million cabins from there to the base of the mountains.”

“You find out who the rat is?” He asked.

“Not a hundred percent sure, but I got a hunch.”She said.

“Hunch is better than nothing.” He said.

Down the mountain in the kingdom, princess Dawn sat staring out the window to the mountains.

A soft knock came to her doors.

“Come in.” She called softly.

The doors flew open, and her father the king strode across the floor until he reached her.

“You truly think it’s his?” He asked giving her a sideways glance as he too looked out the window she was staring out of.

“I know it’s his.” She whispered, “He was my first, and no one else lied with me as much as he did. Father, I’m sorry for the dishonour, but I love him.”

Cyrus sighed and turned to fully look at his daughter. She had the same beautiful eyes and hair that her late mother had. She was her spitting image. She too was pregnant before any marriage happened. It broke his heart to realize he’d done the same thing her father had to her.

“Have I ever told you how we came to power?” He stated more than asked.

“No, sir.” She said rubbing her swollen stomach looking up the older man.

“We had to throw out the old king.” He told her, “He was evil. Always taxing, always killing, always wagging war. But he had the most beautiful of wives, all of which he’d stolen from those deserving of them. All of them died in childbirth, children too. Except for one.”

“Which one?” Dawn asked like a child would about a fairy tale.

“Hard to say.” He said, “But the wife survived, as did the daughter. But that woman was a witch, making the child unholy. It was just after the birth that we came in. We over threw the king and I made myself a better one then he. But we let the wife and child escape.”

“What happened to them?”

“I don’t know.” He said, “I heard rumors they she escaped up into the mountains and managed to another country, but it was a harsh winter that followed. If either of then are alive, it’d surprise me.”

“Father,” She asked timidly, “Why couldn’t we just imprison them?”

“They were evil, princess.” He told her, “God would have never forgave him or any of his family. Their daughter would have been the equivalent to the devil if she survived to maturity.”

“I see.” She said, “So we made everything better?”

“Yes.” He said, “Things will be even better once we can get your husband down here, and marry the two of you.”

“Father, why do you bring up our over taking of the kingdom now?” She asked.

He didn’t reply for a moment.

“I have a bad feeling that somehow, their daughter did survive.” He told her, “And that she’s keeping him there.”

“But she’d just be a woman, wouldn’t she?” She asked, “She easily could be overthrown.”

“That’s what trouble’s me.” He told her.

Spring wind howled past the tavern. One by one each of the men were asked up to Jowey’s room to be asked a few questions. The girls were in her room the entire time.

It seemed to be going on for hours. And it had, it wasn’t until well after midnight that Misty came down with four or five empty ale bottles and said,

“Jowey wants to see Martain, Alec, Zuren, Reggie, and Paul. She also wants a few more bottles.”

“Why would she want to see us?” Reggie asked the others.

“Probably to show she has no favoritism.” Zuren said and picked up two bottles.

“Probably right.” Martain said and grabbed another three.

Misty had two more and they all headed back up to her room.

Misty knocked softly.

“Come in.” Jowey said softly.

The door slid open and they all stepped in. The girls were all sitting either on or next to her bed in chairs. The divider was pushed off to the side. And Jowey was sitting in a chair in front of the window with her back turned to the door. There was another chair directly behind her, presumably where the other’s would have sat when she talked to them. Next to Jowey was a small table. There was an empty glass, and it was shown that she was holding something.

Misty grabbed and placed all the bottles of ale on the table next to her.

“Glad you guys could make it.” She said still leaning back, staring out at the moon.

She set down the bottle she had in her hand and picked up another one. She didn’t bother with the glass, and drank straight from the bottle.

“Don’t you think you’ve had enough?” Martain asked her.

“Nope.” She told him and took another swig, “For this kill I have to be drunk, or I wont do it.”

She giggled slightly, then went silent.

“You guys would never stab me in the back like that, would you?” She asked looking back slightly.

“W-why would we ever?” Reggie asked thrown off by the question.

She shrugged, “Didn’t think the one who sold me out would do that either.” She told them, “But then this happened, and here we are.”

“I think you’re drunk.” Martain said.

“Not even close.” She said, “I’m just getting tipsy.”

She laughed again then sighed. It was quiet a minute, then she stuck her hand out like she wanted someone to hold it.

“I can’t trust too many people.” She said, “But you guys I know I can.”

“Forever.” Zuren said and grabbed it.

She grinned up at him, then looked back at the others.

“Can I trust you guys too?”

Reggie went up and took her hand from Zuren, “Yeah.”

“Of course.” Martian said and took Reggie’s spot.

“We’ve been through worse.” Alec said and grabbed her hand.

“Paul?” She asked.

“I thought you knew that answer.” He said and walked up to her. He gently moved her head so she was leaning back and looking up at him, he then gently kissed her lips, “You can trust me you’re life, I’ll do the same.

She grinned again like a little child.

“I knew I could count on you guys.” She said, “Come on, let’s drink.”

She put the chair back down on all fours, and handed each of them a bottle.

“Drinking isn’t any fun alone.” She told them, “Girls, you’re dismissed, I’ll the kill the one in the morning.”

They filed out silently.

The six of them sat, silently, in her room. Drinking ale. And watching the moon.

The Red Shadow Hunt(A Pokemon Paul Love Story Part 10)

0

Long months have passed since the bounty hunters had been sent up into the mountains to hunt down the Red Shadow. Many more moths since the six friends had been brought back together, and stayed as such.

Many months since the snow came, but it just melted. Spring was there and light had come.

Walking down an overgrown forest path each couldn’t help but allow memories of their youth flood over them. Their reckless running around. How their father cared for them without any reason.

There heads were down as they came to a small cabin hidden behind many trees. If you didn’t know it was there you’d never of found it.

A smile graced all of their lips as they walked to the rear of the building. The mound of dirt, covered in the grass the grew over it. The only one who had been there sooner than the others was Jowey.

The six knelt in the soggy grass in front of the grave, spring moss had covered the entire marker.

Jowey layed down the flowers she had picked on their way there.

Not one said a single word, no one had to. What they wanted to say was in the silence of the wind. They knew he knew they were alright. They knew he knew Jowey and Paul were now together. They also knew that he knew all the murders and sins that each had committed.

It wasn’t untill just the sun was beginning to set that they felt it right to stand and leave. Paul and Reggie stayed behind an extra moment, before joining the others.

It was dark by the time they made it back to the tavern. No one questioned where they were. Over the long winter they had come to understand that they were as close anyone could get.

It wasn’t until they were each locked away in their rooms were words between some of them spoken.

“How you feelin’?” Jowey asked Paul as she brushed out her hair.

He shrugged, “How about yourself?”

” ‘Bout the same.” She said with another shrug.

Paul sighed and got up from the bed they shared, he wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her back onto the bed in his lap.

“I know you miss him.” He whispered.

“I know you miss him more.” She whispered back.

“We can’t live in the past Joe.” He told her laying his head on her shoulder.

“I know.” she said, “But it’s kinda hard not too when there are still idiots coming here and demanding to fight the Red Shadow.”

“You still win every last match.” He said and started to rub her arm.

“Sometimes I don’t wanna.” She said staring up blankly at the ceiling.

“But I love you.” Paul said and kissed her neck.

“I love you too.” Jowey whispered before pulling his arms off of her waist and turning around to face him so she was straddling his lap.

She leaned in and kissed him passionately, Paul returned it instantly. But it didn’t go further than that.

Jowey broke away when they needed a breath and got off his lap. She crawled over to the other side of the bed and curled up under the covers with her back to him.

Paul understood. and he didn’t press. He slid in with her.

–The Next Morning–

Jowey sat at the edge of the bar staring into her ale. Even Paul kept his distance from her this morning. The fire behind her eyes showed she was ready for a fight. The many knives she had on her confirmed that for anyone who saw her.

“Paul, Reggie.” She said, silence shot through the entire building, “Up stairs now. Girls you too.”

The boys were about to question but the girls pushed them away before they could saying she does everything for a reason.

They were all on the first floor listening to whatever might happen.

The doors flew open and an uniformed soldier came through and looked around.

Everyone glaring at him.

He walked proudly up to Martain behind the bar.

“How may I help you?” He asked politely.

“His Royal majesty, King Cyrus the first is here in search of the former bounty hunter, Paul Shinji.” He recited, “We have reason to believe that when he and the other Bounty hunters came up here last winter in search of the Red Shadow he met a woman here and married her. We need him back at the castle immediately.”

“What would the king possibly want with him?” Jowey hissed.

The knight turned his full attention to the dark haired girl at the end of the bar.

“I believe miss.” He he gritted, not liking a woman speak to him on equal terms, “You should hold your tongue when speaking with a man.”

“My apologies sir.” She said and looked away humbly, “But I was just wondering. I know the man, and he doesn’t seem like the kind to get in trouble, especially with king Cyrus himself. Forgive my ignorance.”

“Forgiven.” He said and slid into the seat next to her, “You wouldn’t happen to know where he would be would you?” He asked leaning in really close to her.

Martain placed a mug of ale in front of the soldier as he spoke.

“No.” She said quietly.

“You’re lying.” He whispered. He raised his hand to strike her, but she caught it instantly. In it was a blade. She pulled out one of her own, but he caught that as well.

Her eyes narrowed at the man as he smirked at her. She lunged forward and at full force hit her forehead against his. That gave her the upper ground as he not only let go, but dropped his weapon and fell to the floor at her feet.

In another instant Jowey was a fraction of a second away from breaking his neck.

“How did you know?” He hissed to him.

He coughed before choking out, “Other bandits tipped us off about you.”

Jowey gritted her teeth almost hard enough to draw blood from her gums.

A loud, bone crushing crack echoed through out the building. His limp lifeless body fell to the floor as Jowey stood up breathing hard.

Her eyes darted around the building for something out of place. Everyone was doing the exact same thing as she was, who would have sold her out. She’d have tortured them.

She caught a side glance out the window.

“Down!” She called. Everyone hit the floor in a second. out side there were a lot of guards. All of them working for Cyrus. Jowey slithered over to the stairs, and climbed up quickly avoiding any fire.

She hushed the girls, Paul and Reggie and she passed them. She went into the room right above the entrance. It was used for storage.

She peered out the window carefully.

“Joe, what’s going on?” Paul whispered coming up next to her, Reggie in toe.

“Someone sold me out.” She whispered looking around, “One came in, tipped me off about it. Sixty, seventy.”

She gritted her teeth again, before her miss matched eyes spotted something, and her face cracked into and evil smile.

“Stay here.” She told them and stalked off.

“Jowey!” Paul called after her.

“Let me do this!” She yelled back.

Paul shut up and was forced down by Reggie.

She made quick work of all the stairs and went up to the top floor. There were eight in total.

She went out to the same spot, eight stories up, no one could see her. All of them had an open spot. The smirk she wore grew, twisting her face to an evil grin.

She flew back down the stairs, and down the hall way to her room. She grabbed every knife she could and slid it on pieces of twine. Once satisfied she bolted back up, but not before telling the girls to tell the guys in the lobby to barricade the door and windows.

They, of course, obeyed, the girls had no time to question before she was gone again.

Jowey was thanking all that speed and stamina training she made herself go through. It sure came in handy.

She was back up on the eight floor, and opened the window. Everyone was completely oblivious to the fact she was there.

If her smirk could have gotten any bigger it would have.

She picked up a twine with forty knives, it clinked as she pulled it up. She tossed it recklessly out the window. knives, and blades of all shapes and sizes rained down over the unexpecting soldiers. She continued to do that over and over again. By the time any of them looked up, or called a warning to the others. It was too late.

Blades coming down like the spring rain. Men attempting to run, but failing in the process. Instant deaths, some took three or four blades before they were done.

Jowey chuckled darkly watching this unfold. Their walk way was soon stained with the soldiers’ blood in under two minutes.

Most were dead, the rest were barely alive, but they’d be done in before noon. And if not, she’d finish them herself.

She glanced around, and couldn’t find any others, but she wasn’t to be fooled so easily.

She checked windows on every other side to make sure. There wasn’t anything out of the ordinary.

She shot down stairs. The girls, Paul and Reggie were still as she left them. Down in the lobby everyone was still.

She peered just outside the shutters that they put up. She gritted her teeth wondering if there would be anything else going on.

A few minutes passed. Then five. Then ten. Something was off in Jowey’s mind.

They came up here for Paul, but there was a lot more than just for apprehension.

Jowey bolted up and down the stairs checking rooms and windows incase she missed something. But no, the place was still.

“Marsh, Bull, back me.” She said walking through the lobby again.

“You want us to back you?” Marsh asked, he was a red head and think set, he grew up on rice patties so he got his nick name from that.

“What if one of us were the ones that sold you out?” Bull asked. He got that name because he looked exactly like one if they could walk on two legs.

She walked up to Bull slowly, staring both him and Marsh down.

“If either of you were the ones who sold me out, you wouldn’t be hesitant to go out there, and if you were I’d have you proceed me, not back me.” She snarled, “You go out before me and I use you as a shield when they start firing.”

Both swallowed watching the eyes of the girl before them.

“Now are you going to back me or not?” she asked.

They sighed in defeat.

Bull picked up his giant club, and Marsh grabbed his gun.

Jowey pulled out a blade and slowly opened the door.

Hesitantly she walked forward, Marsh and Bull following carefully. Jowey kept glancing around, making sure there was nothing. She glanced down at the fallen soldiers at her feet. Only two alive now.

She sheathed her blades knowing there wasn’t any danger. She knelt next to one of the ones that was alive.

His breath was raggid, but it was steady.

“I could save you, or leave you to die.” Jowey bargened, “But you need to tell me what I want to know.”

He stared up at her, his black eyes quickly loosing luster. He slowly nodded.

Jowey motioned to him. Bull hauled him up.

“Be careful.” Jowey warned.

She went over to other one that was alive.

“You can tell me what I want to know, or die.” She told him.

“I’d wrather die.” He smiled at her, blood in his mouth.

She kept her emotionless face as she raised a hand with a bone knife and plunged it right between his eyes.

She stood up and turned to Marsh.

“Get some of the others.” She told him, “Strip them of valuables. Get the blades out too, I’ll deal with them then.”

“What are you going to do?” He asked.

She looked back at him, “Scout out the area. See if there’s anyone left, gather any information I can. Stuff like that.”

He nodded.

And she left to see what she could find.

The Red Shadow Hunt(A Pokemon Paul Love Story Part 9)

0

Everyone stared at the pair that glided across the floor. And gawked even more as the three men who ran the Tavern jumped and all five of them embraced each other. Things were definitely strange.

“It’s been a long time, Reggie.” Martain said as things settled down.

“It has.” The older man nodded.

“Can I offer either of you a drink? Finest in the land.” He assured.

“That would be very nice, thank you.” He said.

They sat down and chatted about this and that for a little while, before someone came up in conversation.

“Jowey’s gonna be ecstatic to see you.” Zuren laughed.

“Where is the young lady anyways?” He asked looking around, “Paul told about how fine a young woman she turned into.”

“She’s up in her room.” Martain said, “She was out training so we told her to have a bath and put on some dry cloths.”

“Still living on the edge, I see.”

Martain shrugged, “She’s better than what she was. But she’s gotten even better since Paul showed up.”

“I wonder why?” He smirked in sarcasm.

“I’m sure she’s done now.” He told Reggie, “Misty, can you lead Paul, and Reggie up t Jowey’s room?”

The red-head with her hair in a side ponytail nodded and lead the way up the stairs for the boys.

“It’s so good to meet you.” She said looking back, “Jowey has told all of us so much about you. I’m almost honoured to be in your presence.”

“I wouldn’t go that far Misty.” Reggie assured her, “I’m not much different from you.”

“You can read and write.” She said quietly.

“I’m more than happy to teach you if you’d like.”

“Really?” she gleamed turning around and stopping dead in her tracks.

He nodded and smiled. Misty quickly pulled the older man into a tight hug. She then just as quickly let go and proceeded to continually thank him before turning around with the worlds largest smile on her face.

One more flight of stairs and almost at the end of the hallway they came to a door that had no number on it.

Misty raised a fist to the door and knocked softly.

“Jowey,” She cooed, “There’s a couple of men here to see you.”

They waited a moment, two, three. Misty was about to knock again when the door flew open too fast for anyone to react.

Reggie was sent straight to the floor, something blurred black and white knocking him down.

A curved dagger raised in the air about to be brought down, when it stopped.

The long, raven haired girl straddling him sighed and stood up. She put her right hand on her hip and held the dagger in left at her side. She glanced between Reggie and Paul, before sighing again.

“I’m happy to see you guys too, but you need to understand just how many people are after me. Whether Paul supposedly brought my head in or not, not everyone is going to believe it.” She told them.

“You sure have changed.” Reggie said standing up.

“I could say the same for you.” She told him, “Come on inside, I’m getting a draft.”

It was only then that the two boys realized she was wearing her black pants, sloppily tucked into black boots, her hair was down and damp, and her shirt only consisted of wrappings she wore under her shirt that only covered her bust.

Jowey smiled at Misty to dismiss her, and she left. Jowey lead the way into her room and closed the door behind them.

It was the same size as all the other rooms, same wood, same window placing. But it was different. The head board of the bed was pressed up against the wall furthest from the door, it was open on either side. She had two wardrobes, both where open. One contained her cloths the other containing weapons. There was a small vanity in between the two wardrobes, on it was a few roles of wrappings, a small mirror, a few pieces of string, and dagger she had just placed on the table. She had a divider as well, that was right in front of the window, on it was her cloak, two belts, and what looked like a whip. The floor was littered with a few weapons, hilts stained with blood, but blades shined like the moon.

“Sorry about the mess.” Jowey said grabbing a random shirt from her wardrobe, “If I knew you guys were coming back so soon, I’d of cleaned up a little.”

“You’re room’s the same as the other girls in the tavern’s isn’t it?” Paul asked looking around again.

“Yeah.” She said as she disappeared behind the divider as to save the two brothers embarrassment, “There’s supposed to be three on every floor.” She continued, “One right at the stair case, one at the middle of the hall, and one at the end. That way the guys don’t have to g too far from their room’s for one. I requested this as it’s an ideal position.”

“How would you figure, guards come in your trapped.” Reggie told her.

“Or am I?” She asked and pushed the divider aside so they could see out the window. She had her shirt on and towel on her head.

She motioned to the window and they walked forward.

“It’s the third floor.” She told them leaning against the wall and drying her hair, “I can jump down no problem, if I can’t the tree’s there and provides a lot more coverage then you’d think, especially at night. These wall’s are thin, Reggie. I heard Misty shout downstairs and that’s what set me off, so I was ready for anything that came my way. Unfortunately I wasn’t expecting to see you guys so soon, but it was a pleasant surprise, I must admit.”

“I’m glad.” He smiled at the girl, “You know, Jowey, Paul told me something interesting on the way up here.”

“Yeah, we banged each other’s brains out.” She stated boardly and then threw the towel she was using to the other side of the room, “someday we’re gonna be in-laws.” She walked over to the vanity and picked up a hair brush hidden behind the mirror.

“He told me that, too, but it wasn’t what I was going to say.”

“Shoot.” Jowey told him, “Not literally.”

“I know.” He chuckled, “You’re the Red Shadow.”

“Point?” She asked.

“No point.” He said, “It was good to see you again.”

Jowey put down her brush and hugged him, ” I missed you, Reg.”

“I missed you to.” He placed a hand on top of her head and pulled away.

“I wanna have a long conversation with you later.” She told him.

“I’d enjoy that.” He smiled, “But for right now, I’m leaving you and your lover boy alone.”

She grinned up at him as Paul just scowled.

Reggie saw himself out and shut the door behind him.

“So?” Jowey asked.

“So?” Paul mimicked

“How’d you convince the king t not let marry your princess?” She asked.

“I didn’t have to.” He said and sat down on her bed, “When I went in she was crying, the king was yelling at her, she was pregnant. I told him I didn’t want to be a part of her anymore, and I was pardoned because I brought him the Red Shadow’s head.”

Jowey smiled and sat down next to him, leaning onto his shoulder.

“Who’s was it?” The I-told-you-so smirk was starting to pull at her lips as she tried to fight it.

“We don’t know.” He said and rested his head onto of her’s, “You were right.”

Jowey only smiled, successfully fighting off the smirk.

They stayed like that a few moments in silence before Paul broke it.

“I know you wanna say it, so just say it.” He told her.

“Say what?” She asked playing innocent.

“You were right, I was wrong. You knew her actions better than I did. I was blinded by lust, and could only see clearly when I had you to love. Just tell me ‘I told you so’ already!” He almost snapped.

“Why would I wanna do that?” She asked looking into his eyes, “You know what you did wrong and I know you wont do it again risk of loosing your manhood. . . . . or life, which ever I feel like taking at the time.”

Paul only flinched sightly. He knew better than to cross this woman. So he merely smiled, wrapped an arm around her waist, pulled her into his chest, and leaned them back on to her bed.

Jowey was listening to Paul’s heartbeat as drowsiness started to take over her. The fact that he was lovingly stroking her hair wasn’t helping that fact either.

Paul was comforted by her steady breathing and stillness in his arms. He too was slowly being lulled to sleep.

The Red Shadow Hunt(A Pokemon Paul Love Story Part 8)

0

“It’s snowing.” Zuren said to no one in particular as he stared out the window.

“Jowey upstairs or out?” Alec asked as he downed a mug of ale in his hand.

“I’d say out, I haven’t seen her all morning.” Martain said as he washed some dishes in the sink.

“Wonder how long Paul’s gonna take?” Alec muttered.

“Hard to say.” Martain said drying his hands, “If it keeps up like this is could be another day. I know Jowey’s anxious about him coming back.”

“I would be too if I were in her boots.” Zuren pointed out.

Each sighed and nodded in agreement.

When the pair got back to the tavern, it was not only full, but everyone congratulated Paul on taming the Red Shadow. When they tried to deny it, everyone said how they could hear Jowey moaning all the way there. Needless to say that they excused themselves as red in the face as humanly possible.

At the base of the mountain however, Reggie and Paul were quickly ascending wanting to beat the storm that was rolling in.

“I don’t know how slippery the short cut’ll be in the snow.” Paul told his older brother as he finished explaining how he’d gotten down the mountain so fast.

Reggie nodded at his younger brother as they picked up the pace a lot more than they had.

“So tell me how much your Jowey has grown up.” He said curious to his brother’s unusual good mood.

“The true picture of beauty.” He said.

“Way to elaborate.” He scoffed, “I know you layed with her, just admit it.”

“I can’t admit it.” Paul said as a smirk tugged at his lips, “We weren’t in a bed when we did it.”

Reggie whistled, “Got her in the bath house.”

“Nope.” He said, “Against a tree.”

He chuckled deeply, “She really must be something then.”

“You have absolutely no idea.” He said.

Jowey on the other hand was running at top speed up the river towards the waterfall. She jumped up on the rocks leading to the top, pouncing up like a cat. She touched the top and continued on in a straight line.

When her breath became shallow, she stopped and turned around pulling out her blades and began to fight against an opponent that wasn’t there.

Sloppy. She thought as her left kick came out weaker than she wanted.

She sheathed her blades and took a deep breath as she looked up at the sky and the snow falling from it.

“Just like the first winter up here without you.” She whispered to the wind as it carried her voice to an unknown location.

All of them sat around a large hump of snow as more came down slowly covering them. Each of them said not a word, but they sat in silence staring at it. “We should gt back to the tavern.” Martain said and got up brushing all the snow off f him. “You’re right.” Zuren said following suit. “Are you coming, Jowey?” Alec asked as they started to walked away noticing the girl still sitting in front of their father’s grave. “You go on ahead.” She told them, “I wanted to do some training.” “Don’t stay out too late.” Martain called back to her as they walked. But his voice was mostly lost before it even reached her ears. Slowly she stood up and headed over to he river. She stripped down to her underwear and dove in. She began to swim. Strengthen your body and your mind. Her Baba’s words echoed in her head as she continued to swim until she became fully numb. “I will.” She whispered as she quickly dressed, “Just for him.”

She slowly walked back to the waterfall she had jumped up. Jumping back down and stripping down to her underwear again she placed her clothes on a rock where they’d be safe and sat under the ice cold rushing water as she was instantly drenched.

Cold. She thought. Just like before. . . .

She was left under a weeping willow tree when she was a few months old. The mountain sage and the boys found her in the snow. Somehow, she remembered something.

Red, everything was red. Everything was cold. She remembered pain in her neck, and crying out in pain. Something warm dripped onto her. She opened her eyes and saw a beautiful woman carrying her and rushing. loud noises, Bangs, pows. People screaming was the only thing that filled her ear drums. It was warm again, glancing over she saw fire. More yelling, something she couldn’t make out. Everything went black again. When she opened her eyes again, she was being held by Reggie as Paul handed him a bottle.

Jowey’s eyes shot open realizing she had fallen into her daydreams again. Often she had them. Remembering little bits and pieces that never quite fit together in her mind.

She quickly got out from under the water fall and dressed.

“What could it mean?” She muttered as she walked back to the tavern.

She sighed and pushed the doors open stepping into the warmth.

“There you are!” Candice cheered, “Did you want something warm to eat?”

Before she could even answer, Candice had scurried off to the kitchen to get her something.

“Sure I guess.” Jowey muttered to herself and jammed her hands into her pockets as she walked towards the bar.

“How come your hair’s wet?” Martain asked without looking up at her.

“Training.” She replied and rubbed her face.

“Seems like more than that.” Misty said as she sat down next to her.

“Yeah, what’s wrong, Jowey?” Candice asked as she placed some hot stew and fresh bread in front of her.

She stared at it a moment debating weather or not she should tell them or not.

“Another day dream.” She finally admitted and went to rubbing the back of her head, “It’s nothing to worry about.”

“The one about you being left there?” Zuren asked.

She nodded and began to wolf down her bowl.

“Maybe Reggie could shed some light on what might have happened.” Martain suggested.

“They here yet?” She asked as she pulled back from the bowl to breath.

“Not yet, but soon hopefully.” He answered.

She nodded and finished, setting the bowl down and wiping her mouth on her sleeve.

“Go dry off.” Martain told her.

“Don’t tell me to do something I was going to do anyways.” She playfully snapped as she went up the stairs.

Jowey had just closed the door to her room when the tavern doors were pushed open and in entered two purple haired young men.

The Red Shadow Hunt(A Pokemon Paul Love Story Part 7)

0

“I’ll be back up as soon as I deliver this to the king.” I told them as we stood outside the tavern. Winter was rapidly approaching. All of us could see our breaths solidifying as we breathed.

“Promise?” Jowey asked with begging eyes.

“Of course.” I whispered to her stroking her unhurt cheek lovingly, “And when I get back we can marry.”

She smiled, and nodded.

I knew she wouldn’t want to get married just yet. Enjoy her freedom of being an independent woman a little longer. But I also knew better than anyone she wouldn’t stray. It was one of those mysteries about her no man could figure out.

“Good luck.”Martain said and we shook hands.

“Be sure to bring Reggie up with you.” Zuren said as he took mine.

“The whole family back together again.” Alec said, “Baba’d be happy ’bout it.”

I smiled, “Shouldn’t take more than a week. If I’m any longer it’s either because I’ve been imprisoned for refusing to marry the princess or I’ve been killed for the same reason.”

“But you wont go and lay in her bed again, will you?” Jowey asked and bit her lip in anticipation for the answer.

I stroked her cheek again longingly.

“Never.” I moved my hand to tangle in her hair, pushing her head forward and pressing her lips to mine. It was going to be a long week or so.

“You don’t come back after seven days I’m going down this mountain to hunt you.” Jowey threatened when we pulled away.

“I know.” I said and let my hand drop.

I turned around and picked up the sack with the head in it.

“I’ll be back.” I told them.

“We’ll be here.” Alec told me.

I smiled and was off down the mountain to the castle. Along my walk I thought to myself, how I was going to decline wedding the princess, and how I would explain myself o the king.

At the tavern–>>

We were all settling in for the night. Well almost all. Jowey was leaning against the wall staring out the window.

“He isn’t going to return any faster if you keep staring out there.” Zuren told her.

“That’s not what I’m watching.” She said softly.

“What then?” I asked walking over to the window she was staring out of from the corner of her eye, “I don’t see anything.”

“Not on land, but in the sky.” She stated.

I glanced up and noticed dark ominus clouds.

“I’m worried Martain.” She said looking down, “What if a blizzard starts and he’s caught in it. You know how bad these months are. And he’s traveling in them.”

“If a blizzard does start, which’d be unusual for this early in winter, Paul’d find shelter. He survived this long in the mountains with us and bounty hunting. You know he’s not going to be kept down that easy.”

“I know.” She whispered so lowly I almost had to strain to hear her, “I just want him back.”

With Paul–>>

I was making a lot better time then I thought thanks to the short cut one of the bandits gave me just before leaving.

I know understood how Jowey could get up and down these mountains so fast and unnoticed.

I figured that if I kept up this pace I’d reach the Castle by about dawn. But I couldn’t help but keep looking up at the clouds that threatened to let snow fly.

I picked up my pace and readjusted the sack over my shoulder. I wasn’t about to get stuck in a storm. Not after what I promised.

But then again, in order to keep my promise to Jowey I’d have to go back on my word to the princess. The king and his many men had every reason to strike fear into my very heart, but they never did. It was the thought of leaving that little black haired, miss matched eyed, scared girl alone to cry again.

I could live without, Dawn. I finally concluded. But I wouldn’t want to live if I lost her a second time. I knew that the second we kissed. She’s my everything and I’m not about to lose it again.

–The next day—>>>>

I had finally arrived at the castle. The guards let me through no problem. I went straight into the throne room, not even knocking or letting anyone announce me.

I pushed open the doors and saw the king there basically yelling at his daughter.

“How could you disgrace yourself, and more importantly me, like this!” He boomed.

Princess Dawn was bawling like a little baby.

“You are too be married and you go and give in to lust with some man and become pregnant!” He hissed, “Who is this man!”

He was too busy yelling to notice me.

“I-I don’t know.” She sobbed, “S-s-so manny-y-y.”

“What?” He roared.

“I’ve been with so many!” She shrieked back, “I don’t know if it’s to be one of the knights, a merchant’s, hunter Garry’s, hunter Drew’s, hunter Paul’s! I don’t know!”

“You!” He growled.

“Sir.” I said breaking in.

His eyes snapped their glare towards me.

“You layed with my daughter in her bed at night?” He demanded.

I nodded, “As the princess wished, I did.” I told him, “I was told I was her only, and I would have done anything to keep the secret and marry her before she became with a child of mine. But I wish no part of her anymore.”

“You promised!” She yelled.

“And you swore I was your one and only!” I snapped back, “We’re even know.” I directed my gaze to the king, “His head your majesty.”

I threw it to the floor in front of him.

He smiled graciously, “I thank you. This immediately pardons you for your crime, Paul.” He said and cleared his throat, “You’re dismissed, Dawn. I will speak with you in private later.”

“But-

“Now.” He hissed.

She quickly dried her eyes and rushed out of the throne room.

“What happened to the others?” He barked.

“All dead, sir.” I told him.

“The Shadow?” He asked.

“Some sir. Not all.”

“What happened to the rest?”

“Barry, Ash, Harley, Garry, Drew, and James were all done in by the Shadow. The rest were taken down by either other bandits or the wild in the mountains.” I told him, all was true so I hadn’t been lying there.

“How did you do him in?” He asked pride rising in his voice.

I cleared my throat, “Sir, I didn’t expect you to be interested in the details of the this hunt.”

“Why wouldn’t I be?” He asked, “You have just taken down the most wanted man in all the land. I want to know how you did so.”

I sighed, knowing I wasn’t going to be going anywhere without telling him.

“It was a hard battle.” I started trying to make it sound real, “I managed to get him while his back was turned to me, he was finishing off the others. I drew from behind, and stabbed in the back. He was down after that. So I kept him down and took off his head in a clean sweep. I’m sorry sir, but I’m not one for details.”

He smiled down at me, “Non sence, I’m just happy you at least came back alive.”

I nodded, “Thank you sir.”

“As a reward though,” He thought, “What should I give you?”

“All I’d like sir is the retirement from bounty hunting for you.” I said.

He stared at me like he couldn’t believe it.

“I have come across a woman as I was traveling.” I admitted, “I promised if I could I would come back for her. The princess is obviously a mess, and I know you wouldn’t marry her off, nor do I wish to indulge in her anymore now. So with your permission, I’d like to go back to her.”

He smiled, “She must be a lovely one to have you want to give you bounty hunting.”

“You have no idea sir.” I told him, smirking remembering her naked body tangled up in mine.

“Very well.” He said, “The bounty for the Red Shadow may be collected from the knight station on your way out of the castle. I suggest you speak with your brother about this though.”

“I was about to sir, thank you.” I said, bowed and left.

I headed to the library where I knew, Reggie’d be.

“Hey.” I said walking up to him.

“You’re back.” He smiled looking up from his studies.

I nodded, “I came across them, this time.” I said looking away.

“Really? Where are they? How are they? Are they okay? How did you come across them?” He asked all at once.

“Tavern, top of the mountain. They’re okay.”

“How did you come across them up there?” He asked staring at me know.

“I, uh, I went into that tavern. Didn’t recognize any of them at first. But it was just after the Shadow did Ash in. She appeared, told me everything and knocked a little sence into my thick skull.”

He smirked, “Sound’s like Jowey.”

I nodded, “I, was wondering if you wanted to see them again.”

“Of course, why wouldn’t I?” He asked.

“I mean,” I restated,”How would you like things to be like they were? Us up in the mountains, being crazy and having fun.”

“What are you saying?” He asked.

“I said, when I left that Id’ bring you up with me.” I told him.

He shook his head, “To chose between family and the opportunity given. Paul, it’s a hard decision.”

“You don’t have to answer me know.” I told him, “I was going to leave tomorrow.”

“Why not today?” He asked, “It’s still early morning, we could get supplies and be out of here well before noon.”

“You wanna come?” I asked.

“Paul. It’s a hard decision, but not impossible.” He said and stood up, “Besides, I’d like to see the kind of people they turned out to be.”

“You’d be amazed.” I told him, “Especially when you see her.”

He smiled, “Has someone finally admitted to a crush on our young girl?” He teased.

“Nope!” I said as we walked out of the library and down the halls, “I’ve admitted I love her, Reggie.”