The sky was gloomy. Overarching bellows of thunder preceded sparks of lightning as a cascade of rain descended from the clouds. As freezing as the day was, three figures hurried in the woods as though they were oblivious of the unfriendly weather. This was a matter of life and death, so seeking asylum was the bigger picture. Behind them were a large group of armoured men on galloping horses, chasing hungrily. Vicksen stared back in dread. It was no-brainer that outrunning this troop would be improbable. After rescuing the crown prince and his wife from the bloodbath in Solice, the trio had been on the run for three good days.

”Your highness, go ahead. Ill try to stall them. ”

Crown prince Lukas Taptallen halted, not certain of what to say. He looked at his pregnant wife who was hyperventilating. His arm had been around her back all these while they were escaping. This, coupled with her pregnancy were the reasons behind their low speed rate. So whether Vicksen succeeded or not, the odds were still against him.

Suddenly, the pregnant woman collapsed to the ground with the guide of the prince. His eyes lit up in terror.

”Mariana… Mariana… ” He trailed off.

The neighs and gallops of horses were becoming more audible. Vicksen unsheathed his sword waiting for the unfavourable outcome. His loyalty to Lukas was unquestionable, and he was more than ready to die with him. He clasped the hilt of his sword in an attempt to gather courage. The world is the dream, and death the interpreter. The sight of one hundred cavalrymen wasn a juicy one.

At that moment, a mage intervened. He had a long grey hair augmented by a waterfall fringe that partly shielded his countenance. They were long enough to touch his grey beard like the pale rider arriving from the underworld. There were silvery cylindrical shaped bracelets on his wrists, alongside a wand he firmly gripped.

With agility, he tilted his wand towards the approaching cavalry who were subsequently influenced by a massive force. This force left them thumping their dorsal regions against each other and the stationary trees. The quartet escaped before their pursuers would regain consciousness.

They sheltered in a cave, away from the downpour. Everyone was shivering from the cold, so the mage casted a spell to warm up the cave. Lukas delicately made his wife sit on a steep rock and sat close to her with her head leaning on his bosom.

”Idrissa, how is she? ” He asked, his head pounding with tension. The mage squatted to check her pulse.

”Your highness, shes weary from the long run. Shell be fine if she takes enough rest. ” The prince heaved a sigh of relief at this. Suddenly, a puzzled look crossed his face as he recalled what happened prior to the fall of Solice. His eyes fell rapidly

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