THE ATTAINER

4. THE WANDERER

Vicksen. ” He called and exhaled in solace.

”You
e safe now. Idrissa and the vigilantes have subdued the wolves. ” Vicksen comforted and assisted him back to the village so that he wouldn faint from the trauma.

”What about mum, Joanne and the rest of our family. ” He suddenly gasped with tensed curiosity.

”They are all fine. But Zyno got hurt. ”

”What? ” Lores asked with bulging eyes.

”Don worry. Idrissa will see to it. ” His saviour assured him.

They reached the village to find smouldering smoke sailing randomly over the empty environment. The ruckus had been stamped out and the villagers were back to their abodes.

¶¶¶¶

Few days after the disruption of the ceremony, Vatmos was beginning to recover from the shock. Security in the village had tightened since then. Hence men and women worked freely.

Lores found that what vicksen had told him awakened his bothersomeness, and for some days he had been spending a moment of solitude in a cave he discovered while he was hunting. The blazing afternoon sun smiled on him on his way to his cave.

Eighteen years ago-

Lukas and Vicksen were on their way to the south. Following a long run, they ceased to advance for the sake of resting.

”Its dusk already. Well call it a day and continue our journey tomorrow. ” Lukas stated while harnessing his horse to a tree.

”Okay. ” The knight agreed and imitated Lukas action. They searched the ground for twigs in other to enkindle a fire.

Vicksen stood with a perturbed mien after picking up a few twigs.

”Your highness, our enemies are aware that we could possibly head to Southern Mirpurt. Im having a feeling that we may be walking into a trap. ”

”We are already in the trap. This is the reason why we must be on guard. ” Lukas admitted as he crouched to grasp a twig. The knight was taken aback. He asked in disbelief.

”What? Are you saying that we intentionally walked into a trap? ” Lukas had already made up his mind. He was reluctant to throw a glance at his subordinate. Instead, he peered swayingly at the ground for more twigs.

”The earlier Im captured, the better for Vatmos. What is it now? Are you already panic-stricken when the woe you promised to share with me has not even surfaced? ”

”I must commend your decisiveness. Even if I am panic-stricken, Id rather die here than leave you alone. ” The Knight replied with sincerity. They moved to the designated spot and enkindled a fire. In complete silence, they paid close attention to everything around them including the rustling of leaves and continuous chirps of crickets.

Soon, a plonk was heard. The two men swiftly directed their gaze to the source as they sprang up from their sitting positions.

A squad of skirmishers raided them all-around. They were flaunting their weapons in the air with a raucous hail of menace thundering from their mouths.

Swords unsheathed and a fight cropped up. Right now two men were trying to ward off more than two decades of skirmishers. However, the skirmishers were not as skillful as their preys. The two men were almost done with killing their ambushers when Lukas suddenly staggered fromward before slumping with his rear. He was shot.

Another group of knights were approaching the scene as Vicksen belted towards Lukas and broke the visible shaft of the bolt pierced in his thorax. Luckily the missile didn strike his sternum.

A horse leaped and neighed simultaneously then it snorted when it settled. A good display of horsemanship by the rider to show that he was not to be taken lightly. A knight wearing a plumy helmet and holding a crossbow emerged. He was the lieutenant general of Liz.

”Its his majestys will to have the fallen prince arrested. Kindly cooperate with me. ”

”Get through me first. ” Vicksen challenged with a glare.

”Naturally, you
e supposed to die here. You should be thankful that I wasn ordered to kill you on sight. ” The general spoke without any trace of pity. Afterwards, Lukas was chained like a slave and taken away.

That was it? That was how his dad was taken to Liz while Vicksen was spared. Vicksen told him the details of how his father was captured after his experience with the wolf. He said he didn know why he was spared then, but what he cared about now is to never fail his superior by protecting his son with his life.

”Your highness, Ive scouted the area. There is a village ahead.

”Your highness? ”. He was on a hill, so he looked down the transverse terrain where the voice came from to detect an individual clad in a richly embellished cloak sitting on a white horse. He was together with two other men who were on horses too.

”Ive been on exploration for more than two years. How come I never came across this naturalistic place? ” He asked himself, spinning his head in admiration.

”Ive checked the geographical map of Liz. The village ahead doesn seem to appear in the sketches representing the outskirts of Liz, therefore its normal that we haven been here before. We only stumbled upon this place because we took a detour at your request. ” The guard who reported first replied him and handed a vellum scroll to him for his confirmation. He took the scroll, opened it and peered intently at it before returning it to the holder.

”Shall we include it? ” The guard spoke again after observing that his perky gesture dropped by a margin. The individual shook his head in disagreement.

”Its an official map. Its not appropriate for it to be uttered. ” He turned to the other guard. ”This place should be included in my own map. Lets name it the green forest. ”

”Noted. ” The guard responded and carried out the order immediately.

”Liz? He seems to be a prince from Liz. What are they doing here? ” He was wondering from his unnoticeable spot when he unconsciously swished on some crispy leaves with his feet.

”Who goes there? ” One of the guards blustered as the three of them darted their eyes to find the initiator of that very noise. Lores stood erect like a sentry. He hated the way these men imposed their authority like they owned everywhere in the world. Since Vatmos wasn anywhere on their map, they should be fully aware that theyve encroached.

Ignoring their eyes that were fixed on him, he strolled down the terrain to meet them.

”Who are you? ” The individual on the white horse questioned him. Lores felt he possessed an authoritative demeanor with the way he quizzed while in the middle of his two guards who were staring at him like he was a nonentity.

”And who are you? ” He echoed. The guard who held the official map contorted an irritated expression.

”How dare you? Do you know whom you are talking to? ” He vented with an irking tone. Lores face wried with surprise at the simple question that was thrown at him.

”Of course not. I don know him. I have never seen him and he has never seen me either. ”

”It seems you have a death wish. ” The other guard chimed in.

”Its enough. ” The individual calmly called an end to the battle of words. He sighed before throwing another question.

”Are you from the village that is onward? ” He asked, expecting a direct answer. Lores brain did a quick analysis. From his knowledge, Vatmos was not found due to its elusiveness. His father sacrificed himself to put an end to the search but if Vatmos happens to be discovered by a dignitary from Liz, the search may awaken, thereby putting the village at risk. Right here, it was evident that this fellow meant no harm to his village but notwithstanding, he was anxious to know a thing from him

”What if Im from there and what if Im not from there? ” He said, trying to know the fellows motive of inquiring about the village. The fellow boggled at the statement. He was nonplussed because no one had ever spoken to him like that.

”Your highness, let us teach this wretch a lesson. Youve been way too kind by wasting some of your precious time on this vagabond. ” Either of the guards ranted as he made for the sword that was aslant his waist. The other one followed suit. Lores gaped. Was he that tough that two men were about to take him down?

”Let him be. ” The fellow restrained his bodyguards. ”I came all the way to explore not to shed blood. ” He cautioned. The guards unheld their hilts and became peaceful. He faced Lores with look that suggested that he was moved by his boldness.

”You
e quite daring. Well, should the village gain recognition from the nearest county, it will lead to a good development on the path of the locals. Whats your take? ”

”I appreciate your concern. Weve been living well without being recognized by any county. I don think it is necessary now. ” Lores quickly played down the idea. To be on a safer side, it was better for them to remain unrecognized. The fellow nodded stiffly and reversed his horse. His two guards did the same. While they were moving, the guard who held his own map asked him.

”Your highness, why were you lenient to that wretch? ” The fellow smiled. He was prince Mobecke Freydor diminutively known as Prince Mo, a reverenced prince of Liz.

”He was just trying to protect his village for some reason best known to him. Im a rich prince. I don have to bully a poor villager. ”

Lores left for his cave. When he got there, he was surprised to see an unfamiliar person. He thought he was the only one who knew about the cave. What was this fellow up to?

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