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Warriors of Heaven Chpt 2

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Everyone headed inside the castle towards the grand hall, where the Queen was. She saw them rushing in a worry and she as well got the same feeling even before saying anything. She asked anxiously "James? What happened? What’s wrong with your face?"

He said as he handed her a paper in his hand, "Your majesty… the meeting wasn’t successful in the way we wanted it to be… King Robert II wrote everything down here before I come back with the news."

She took the paper with a distressed look on her face and started reading it aloud:

We’ve been in peace since 3 years already, and everything between our kingdoms was nothing but helpfulness. Since a short time we noticed your villagers were cruelly entering our lands and destroying our crops and even stealing them and we were getting less food quantities recently. We were just going to send you a messenger to warn you but yesterday, one of our villagers’ children was kidnapped by one of your villagers and this led the entire valley to search for him all midnight, till it was clear that who kidnapped him came out and declared he was the one who kidnapped the kid and he won’t give him back till he get an order from you in person. We hope that villager wasn’t really sent by you, but we can’t find clue and it seems you sent him.

We gave you a warning by destroying a part of your crops, and that part is even less than tenth of our losses this week and all that happened between 1 and 3:30 am. Today, your messenger denied it with complete confidence, even though we can’t trust him and so we sent for that man. He didn’t have the same opinion and he kept proving he was sent by you. He gave us a bag of golden coins and said he was ordered by you to capture any intruders in your lands. We hoped your messenger would be honest, but we can’t trust who denies the truth and I gave him a little gift as a thank you for lying. We hope you reply as soon as possible with more explanation for this terrible act because if you wanted to start a war then I’m warning you, Queen Amelia, you’ll lose the battle and return with your head down.

"Oh how rude! And what’s that stupid rumor that you sent a villager to capture intruders?! We supposed to be allies with King Robert II and he knows there’s no way we could do such obnoxious thing!" Janet cried out in a fume of anger. The Queen was irritated even more and said with a very wild tune as she banged her clenched fist on her chair’s arm, "We ourselves need explanation to what’s happening around here! I want somebody to find out who that betrayer is and bring him here right away."

The alarm system in Amelia was roaring underneath her throat and her brain was boiling with thoughts. There were too many troubles going around her and she was the last to know, which made her feel even angrier. Janet looked at Andrew confused, who looked back at her, also confused but much madder than what Janet expected to see on his face. Andrew left the grand hall and went straight to the stables. Janet followed.

"Andrew wait, where are you going?" She tried to catch up with his pace. He didn’t answer. He finally reached one of the horses and started getting it ready. She was a beauty. She was a white horse with long, silky, honey brown mane and charming pale honey brown eyes. She was just attractive. Janet looked back at Andrew. He was just very angry, that’s all what can be said. She watched him as he rode the horse and she said, "You’re going to find the rumor spreader yourself?"

"There seems to be no one but me available right now, I mean look, the Queen was evolving with furiousness and I could swear that I felt her body heat from where I was standing and she was yelling out there for some person to go, but no one even lifted a toe!" He was getting out what’s in his boiling heart. He said with a little softer tune "They’re just useless guards, if they were doing their work properly none of that would have happened. That’s exactly the reason why we both work here, to correct their stupid mistakes. Their sloppy careless guarding is just getting the freak out of me."

Janet smiled at his sudden burst out and said as she patted softly on his shoulder, "It’s ok Andrew, you’ll find him and get him and everything shall be fine."

"Janet please, don’t try to make me very hopeful now, can’t you see it? There’s someone pretending to be a servant of ours and broke the bond of our peaceful empire and maybe wants something worse and you’re telling me everything will be alright?" He didn’t sound convinced after all with her soft words. She was depressed by his reply and her face expression changed; she knitted her eyebrows as she said, "Ok fine, my mistake, sorry to try to give you a ray of optimism to your mission. Now go ahead and try to find him." She finished her sentence with a frown and turned to leave immediately to not give him a chance to speak. He watched her leave.

He sighed with grief as he turned to his horse. He looked at her and said, "Hey there Indigo…" He patted over her head lightly, "Sorry to not be able to give you the usual good morning, today we have work to do, too much in fact…" He looked at her for several minutes, admiring her beauty, then he finally jumped over her back and galloped towards the village.

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

It was noon already when he was in the village. He started going among the people, trying to get information about anything, and it was much than he actually expected that he was surprised at every word said to him. He went to the last few houses in the village when he found himself close to the other village. But before he could do anything, he went to the river to get some water. He filled his bottle and drank some water when his eyes spotted something in the distance while he was drinking.

He saw a man, a young man, probably in the thirties of his age, talking with a soldier of the other village. He looked so secretive and they were in a place out of eyeshot, between lots of bushes by the river. They kept talking and Andrew kept watching till finally the soldier was gone, turning his head left and right, so as to make sure no one was watching. Andrew instantly got onto Indigo and galloped towards the man. The man looked a bit confused when he saw Andrew in the distance, but he seemed to try to get over his panic. Andrew looked closer at his face then said, "Excuse me, you don’t look familiar to me, are you new here?" Andrew asked and raised an eyebrow as he said the last half of the sentence.

"No in fact, I live here. I own that hut over there." He replied as he pointed towards a hut in the distance behind Andrew. Andrew looked behind him then back at the man and said as he got off Indigo, "Oh well, looks like this is the first time we meet then." He raised his hand and said, "I’m Andrew Anverson, one of the royal warriors in the castle."

He shook his hand and forced a smile as he replied, "John, John Steevol. Nice no meet you senior Andrew." Andrew went into the subject quickly, "So they’re talking about that huge robbery that happened in our lands, people are saying that they were planting crops of corn and when they came to gather what they’ve been working on all year, they found half of it not there, in other words, stolen…" He paused, waiting for a respond. When he found no answer but nodding, he continued, "Don’t you have any information about it?"

"Well, I do, I was there when I saw they stole because my crops were also stolen." He stopped unexpectedly.

"You mean you also were a hostage for the robbery?" Andrew’s voice got deep.
"You can say so, I mean yes…" That strange struggle between his words made Andrew get really suspicious about the matter going on. He asked again, "You were stolen then?"

"Yes." He answered, but not convincing Andrew. Then he asked, "When exactly did you find out your crops gone?"

"Umm… let me remember…" He scratched his chin and raised his head high as he said, "Yesterday after midnight, probably between 1 and 2 am. I didn’t really see the clock that time."

"And there was a battle between our forces and King Robert’s, right?" He wanted an answer eagerly. "Umm… Yes, there was a huge battle and some houses were damaged too. Look even at my hut." He walked towards John’s hut and took a look from outside. It was demolished badly from one of its sides and the roof was on its last leg and could fall in any second. Andrew was puzzled. That was the only house that got damaged in the whole village, except some old ones inside the center of the valley which were already damaged by time. He felt very weird, why would his hut, mainly, get a very bad damage and no one else’s house would? Even he asked about the battle and people among the village affirmed hearing cries and wails and swords hitting and horses galloping, but only a few saw it.

This made Andrew get back to the village again and ask people. Now he was simply lost. These were some replies:

"Oh my God, please don’t remind me, it was horrible. People died in front of my eyes and I was doing nothing but watching. I supposed to be transferring some goods to one of the merchants near that place yesterday when I saw the battle. I was standing like a dummy, and how could I do anything with that battle ahead of me!" A young farmer said with fear in his tune as if he still sees the blood in front of him.

"A battle? What are you talking about young man? I was sleeping peacefully yesterday and no battle took place, you must have been seeing a nightmare or something!" A woman in the shops said in a hurry and left without even letting him say anymore word.
"I didn’t sleep even for one second, I was worried of the cries I heard. I thought I was just hearing things but, all of a sudden, numberless people hacked my fields and I wasn’t able to defend myself nor my crops. Everything I worked on for a year was gone in a minute!" An old woman said as she took water from the river into a bottle and she was very terrified, according to her voice AND look.

"Well yes, our fields were actually stolen but, where did you come with the battle thing?!" A young farmer girl said with a questioning expression as she placed a bag of rise on a table in a shop.

"(Laughing) Gosh! You sure know how to bring the smile on frowned faces, young man! I believe I was near the place you’re talking about, but I saw nothing and I heard also nothing. Only thing happened yesterday were the groups that robbed all our crops. But thanks anyway for the funny joke!" A chubby man in a bar said. He had burst out into laughter when Andrew just mentioned the battle.

Finally, Andrew was done with asking everyone near that part of the village. He reached where he rested in the first place near the river and sat down. He sighed loudly as he laid his back towards a tree and lifted his head towards the sky. He took a deep, slow breath as he closed his aqua blue eyes and tried to relax.



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