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.
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.
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.