CapturedSometime in the night, Kentworth and Maniskeel alike were awoken by loud, hoarse whispers fairly nearby. Cautiously, swords in hand, the two crept over to where the sounds were coming from. There before them were two men around a fire, talking. They had their backs to the knights. Where are the others? Kentworth thought. Before, however, he could expound upon the subject, he noticed that they were surrounded. The two circled back-to-back, blades pointing outward, but found that it was hopeless. It was three to one. They lowered their weapons, and allowed themselves to be bound. All the while, Kentworth was hoping, somehow, that the two longbowmen would bring aid.
Soon enough, they caught sight of Brently. It was obvious that he was malnourished, and had been mistreated severely, as nothing more than dirt. Oh, did this anger Kentworth. To see a comrade in such a condition! It in itself was torture. But there was nothing to be done for the time-being.
The Fraudsworthians, Kentworth soon discovered, weren't exactly what most would call hospitable, to their prisoners. A couple or, if lucky, three gulps of water a day, with a measly handful of meal from a sack. Hands constantly bound. Restricted talking. They were permitted to ride atop their own steeds, which was a blessing... despite being tied to the saddle.
One day, riding across a fifteen mile or so long stretch of plain, a dusty cloud low to the ground appeared approaching from the east. The king! We're saved!! However, the mob of riders wasn't of Kentworth's own nationality. More Fraudsworthians. Blast! Now we'll never escape! The mob appeared to consist of around twenty men. They were armed, yet some wounded. They appeared to have been riding, perhaps under chase, for several days. But no one was visible behind them.
The leader appeared to be one more than of that group. An officer, of some sort. A general? Anyway, the knights' captives showed the man considerable respect, and lowered there heads when scolded by him.
“Vee don't tek capteefs! Vy deedant you keel zem?!”
“Eh, vel, seer, vee, eh...”
“Oh, neffer mind! Now zat vee haff zem, vee might as vel use zem! Conteenue onvard to Fraudsworth. Ze keeng might haff use for zem as slevz!!” and gave a menacing laugh at the prospect. Maniskeel apparently had had difficulty understanding the dialogue, and gave a questioning glance and Kentworth, but as he hadn't “permission” to speak, he ceased when shrieked at. “Shet opp!” He grumbled inwardly. How would they ever get back home if slaves to the king of Fraudsworth?!
Despite desperate attempts to find a chance to escape before reaching their destination, none arose before entering the huge, towering castle. Kentwroth, Maniskeel, and Brently were now prisoners and slaves to a ruthless, powerful enemy king.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The first few weeks in the Castle of Fraudsworth wasn't so bad. Kentworth somehow got assigned to tend the pigs and chickens. However, his “master”, gaining more slaves, and discerning Kentworth to have the capability of more advanced service, moved him to the stables. This the young man liked immensely. And he was able to see his comrades once in a while. At least them and he were receiving better rations now. But they were still treated like dirt. They were forced to endure week upon week of spitting, and cursing. Their spurs, properly distinguishing them and the knights they were, had of coursed been taken away as soon as they had been captured. However, they did get into the routine, and got used to the new environment. Each day the three worked diligently at their chores, but more and more longing for home, and friendly, familiar faces.