For August: With Love And Squalor (Part IV)
by Senator Brett
Orione strode over to where Princess Anel had left Breann and took the pony’s reins in his hands and guided the pony over to the princess. “Here, get on. We will head back to the castle to discuss things with your mother.”
Princess Anel thought for a moment and then said, “But, you look like you are hurt. There are battle scars on your armor and the royal robe is almost shredded to pieces. Plus, you were limping when we first saw you. No, you should ride Breann and I should walk along side you.”
“That’s very nice of you to suggest, my princess; however, I fear that it is impossible for me to ride Breann all the way back to the castle. My armor makes me too heavy, and I simply cannot take off my armor right now,” he replied. “Actually, I must put my helmet back on so nobody knows that it is me in this armor and in the royal robe and not your father.” With that, he fitted his helmet over hiss head and closed it’s visor to protect his identity.
Princess Anel mounted Breann and the three of them turned back towards the direction they had come, back towards the direction of the castle.
After making their way across the clearing and entering the strange woods again Princess Anel asked Orione, “How is it that you were following us into these strange woods?”
“Well, my dear,” Orione replied as he pulled the reins of Breann in a little closer, “I was on my way back to the castle when I saw you two head off in this direction. I followed you as quickly as I could, but my wounds kept me far behind. But, once you entered the woods you slowed down and I was able to catch up, well, almost catch up.”
“Why didn’t you just go to the castle and have mother send some of the King’s Elite Guards out to find me?” asked the princess.
Orione pulled Breann to a stop and looked the princess in her eyes and said, “I followed you alone because I do not know who to trust anymore, not even the members of the King’s Elite Guards. I won’t say anything more on the matter until we get an audience with your mother, and your mother alone, but I will tell you this… there is much treachery among our midst. Much treachery indeed, and we must be very careful with whom we trust.” And, while the princess did not fully understand what the noble knight meant, she felt a beginning of dread in her heart. It was like slow and rumbling fear that crept along her insides, and for a second she visibly shivered.
(To be continued…)