Hello! Did ya miss me? Maybe, maybe not. Sorry for the slow update, but I refuse to update a chapter with less than 3000 words in it, and it seems that I'm always busy! :(
Thank you for those wonderful reviews you gave me for the last chapter! I really love and appreciate them all :)
So here's a new chapter for you. Relax, read and hopefully enjoy!
The mood in the cells was, unsurprisingly, heavy and dreary. Well, it could have been worse.
Alyss sat cross legged on the floor with her back against the wall. Her knees were up against her chest with her hands were locked around them. Her eyes were locked on a nervous Gilan who was walking around the cell while murmuring to himself.
Clearly, he was nervous and worried. George had long ago stopped paying attention to him and was now sleepily lying down. Halt was glaring at his former apprentice as he had given up at trying to calm him down. Gilan was rigid and stressed.
Alyss just sighed and closed her eyes for a moment. This day was so exhausting and still all she could think of was her behavior. To say that she was surprised was an understatement. Normally she would speak up calmly and professionally, not shout and insult people like that. She couldn't quite figure out why she acted out like that, but she guessed it had something to do with the King. And of course the young man named William Torres.
Oh, there was something with his face expression that she just wanted to slap off. But what was it? Arrogance? Overly confidence? Nonchalance? Alyss sighed heavily again and rested her head back on the wall.
Luckily it wasn't cold in there, but actually comfortably mild. She had to admit that Iberion's climate had its perks. It was really late in the evening and the only thing that was lightening up the area was two torches by the door. The guards were in a room outside theirs and they could hear their shouting.
"Will you please stop that?" Halt growled annoyingly. "Your murmuring is not helping."
"What am I supposed to do, Halt? Just stand here and wait for Fernando?"
Halt shook his head lightly and cocked it. "I'm telling you that we won't get executed. I'll get us out of here. Isn't that enough?"
"Your word isn't that comforting right now, you know. Since there's not much we can do about our situation!"
Halt raised an eyebrow. "Gilan, please. Sit down and get some rest. We'll be out of here soon enough."
Gilan just shot him a look and ignored his suggestion. It continued like that for another an hour or so, with Gilan moving around, until they heard a voice outside the doors and someone came stumbling in.
It was William. He stumbled on his feet and in the next second he was on his stomach with papers flying everywhere.
"Maldita sea!" he burst out before a lot of Iberion curses flowed from his mouth. He got up and started picking the papers up. "Mierda, mierda, mierda! Justo lo que necesitab..."
Halt raised an eyebrow at Gilan and hid a smirk. His eyes were in the next second at William, who was running around like a chicken. His gaze caught something on the floor right next to him and he picked up a piece of paper that had reached his foot. He inspected it, but the unfortunately the words didn't make any sense to him.
William breathed fast and ran all around the area. Halt noticed that he had dark rings under his eyes and that his eyes were all huge and red from lack of sleep. His hair was unruly, but Halt suspected that it always was like that. It was obvious that this man had too much work to do, which wasn't that weird considering what Halt had been observing during the day.
"...diez...dieciocho...veintisiete...treinta y dos..." William stopped counting and a crease appeared between his eyebrows. He looked around for something and Halt's eyes lightened up when an idea came up. This was their opportunity.
"Mierda!" William then turned to the guards and rambled up some rushed words and whoop, the men were gone. Halt mentally nodded to himself. This man had more authority than one would think.
He then cleared his throat and William's attention quickly turned to him. Halt held up the paper and William brightened up.
"Oh, that was a relieve", he said with a sigh and walked towards Halt's cell. "Thought I had lost it. His Majesty wouldn't have been pleased..."
Halt neared the bars and reached the ark to him with his left hand, and just as William's hand grabbed it Halt quickly acted. His right hand took a strong grip of the young man's collar and rapidly pulled him towards the bars. William's head smacked into the bars with a loud "SMACK" once, but Halt knew that wasn't enough to put a man unconscious, so he repeated the action. Will's eyes rolled back and he was unconscious even before his body met the floor.
It was quiet for a while before Gilan whistled.
"Wow, Halt. That will hurt as hell when he wakes up."
"I guess we'll have to leave a 'I'm sorry'-note, then." Halt sarcastically replied before he bend down to tap at the unconscious man's pockets through the bars. While he did it he talked with a whisper. "Our visit here in the castle has paid off. We have the information we need to get them out of here. Just as we had hoped for."
When the company had decided to voluntarily get lead into the castle they knew that they couldn't just talk their way out of the situation. But what they did know was that the information they needed was in the castle...so they simply decided to get it. And Halt thought that they finally had what they needed to get into some real action.
He got the keys and unlocked his cell. When he was out he gave the keys to Gilan, who proceeded to unlock his cell and the other's. Halt took William under his armpits and dragged him inside the cell. Halt actually had the decency to feel a little sorry for him...for a second or two.
He then got the keys from Gilan and locked the cell that William was in. Alyss smirked at the lump form and crossed her arms. Oh, how much she wanted to be there to see his face when he woke up.
"And what's that?" George eventually asked.
"We've got time for questions later, but now we have to hurry." Halt walked to the door and peered outside. He spotted a group of guards playing some sort of card game around a table. They were all loud and it was obvious that they all were fighting about something. Probably money. The bad news was that they were in the way for the door that led upstairs from the underground.
Halt went back to his friends with a serious expression. "There's a group of guards we need to get rid off."
"What do you mean by that?" Alyss frowned a bit nervously. Were they going to kill them?
"It means that we have to do what's necessary." Halt had understood what she was thinking off.
"We don't have any weapons", Gilan pointed out.
Halt stifled a sigh. The thought of his weapons being stuck somewhere in the castle made him uneasy. "We'll take what we can get from these guards."
Gilan nodded and looked down at his feet, thinking. "Do you think there's more guards than them near the cells?"
"I'm not sure, but I doubt it. We have to be quick. We take down these Iberions, and then we get out of here as if a beast was after us."
"So, we'll just sneak out of here, trust they'll be paralyzed by surprise and then attack them?" Gilan asked.
"They're going to make an awful lot of noise." George grimaced and scratched his cheek. He was not a fighter, and they all knew that. He'd probably just cause more problems than good if he was in the way.
Alyss, on the other hand, had taken lectures in fencing, and she dared to say that she was rather good at it and could defend herself decently. But the problem here was that she didn't have a sword, and she was not physically strong enough to fight a muscular man.
Halt realized that and told Alyss and George to try and stay safe, and have it as a main task to not let anyone outside the room.
Yeah, that'll be easy...no problem.
Will scowled and growled. His hand slowly reached up to his head and he winced at the pain. He had a terrible headache and the light he saw behind his eyelids was not helping. He heard muffled voices beside him, but he didn't quite comprehend any words.
Ugh... Stupid headache.
Inwardly he sighed and kept his eyes shut. Whatever that just had happened to him, it felt as if it was better not to know.
But wait... What did happen? Will recalled going towards cells to make sure that the prisoners hadn't managed to escape or cause any trouble. Had he fallen on the stairs and hit his head, maybe? It wouldn't be the first time.
"Will? Can you hear me? Will?"
Will squeezed his eyelids tighter before he slowly opened them. Luckily there wasn't that much light, but still spots were mostly covering his vision. It took a couple of seconds for them to go away and he could now see Daniella stand beside him with a worried expression.
Will groaned and tried to sit up. Someone on his other side helped him and Will saw that it was Adrian.
"Are you alright, Will?" He asked while inspecting the nasty mark on Will's forehead and eye. It was all red and blue. A bit tad purple and maybe some green...
"..oouggh..." Will's tongue was dry as he cleared his throat. Suddenly he noticed the bars and wrinkled his eyebrows. He then looked around him and realized that he was in a cell. "Huh?"
His friends saw his confused expression and sighed.
"Oh Will." Daniella carefully put a bag of ice on his forehead and Will winced. "How do you feel?"
"Well", Will cleared his throat again, "I've certainly felt better. It feels like a horse just tap-danced on my head. Jeeze." He carefully touched his forehead again. "What happened? What on earth am I doing in here?"
Adrian gave him a tap on the shoulder and laughed nervously. "Well, here's where we found you, man. You tell us."
Will gave him a bewildered look. "Are you telling me that I just locked myself up in here? Please Adrian. Tell me, who am I gonna thank for this lovely bruise I've received?"
No one answered and Will attempted to stand up. Unfortunately he immediately felt dizzy and would have collapsed if it weren't for Adrian. His friend steadied and supported him.
"Wow", his friend chuckled. "Someone's had a drink or two. You should slow down with those drinks you've just discovered."
"Adrian!" Daniella scolded. "Shut up."
Will took the ice bag from Daniella and inspected it before he frowned. He then felt at his eye and made a grimace. There was definitely an ugly bruise there. Questions formed in his head.
"Why is my head bruised? Why am I in a cell? Why..." Will abruptly stopped himself and looked around again. His eyes slowly widened when he came to think of something. "Daniella? Where are the Araluans?" He slowly asked and met her eyes.
Daniella squirmed and avoided him. "We need to get you to the healer. I'm think you're fine, but you can never be sure."
Will's breathing stopped and everything went quiet. He suddenly quickly tapped his pockets and his suspicions were right. The keys were missing. Missing! Just like the foreigners.
"They escaped? I...I...HOW?"
This was bad. Really, really, really bad. Horrific! Terrible! Awful! Horrendous!
Will took deep breaths and walked away from Daniella and Adrian. He got out of the cell before he abruptly stopped. Oh no... What would he tell Juandres? Will immediately forgot about the pain and bit his nails. Crap.
Things just got worse.
"Well", Adrian made a humming noise, as if he were thinking. "By the looks of your bruise I would say that the older man somehow got a hold of you and smacked you unconscious against the bars. Then I guess he got your keys and locked you up instead."
Will slowly processed the information with a painful look on his face. "But what about the guards?"
He once again turned towards his friends and his eyes brightened up again before he started laughing. And he didn't stop in a while. Oh, how could he have fallen for that? His stomach started to hurt because of the laughter and he shook his head, making the headache worse. Not that he cared at the moment. "Of course they didn't escape! The guards had to stop them somewhere!" He jokingly held his finger up against them as to scold a child. "It's not nice to trick someone like that. You almost gave me a heart attack!"
With the number of guards they had in the castle it was nearly impossible for the Araluans to get away.
Will's smile slowly faded away when he saw the looks his friends gave each other. Dani reached for her friend and took a hold of his arm while looking up at him in the eyes.
"Four guards are dead and about 15 are hurt. We haven't seen them anywhere in the castle and it's more likely that they are out there in the town somewhere."
Will just glared at her before sighing and closing his eyes. It took awhile, but as soon as he heard the familiar booming voice from the outside he opened his eyes.
"Dammit!" He burst out. "What time is it?"
"About 3 in the morning."
"Which means Juandres is grumpy. Does he know?" The shouting increased and Will shook his head. "Stupid question." He turned around to walk up to the King, but stopped when he felt a hand on his shoulder.
"You don't need meet him now. Just go and rest a bit and then we'll..."
Will interrupted her with a hand gesture and kept on walking. He bend down to pick up his bundle of papers before he went up the stairs. How was he going to explain that he was stupid enough to near a prisoner?
He ignored the gazes the maids and guards and other men gave him and his bruise (which he didn't dare to think about. Hopefully it wasn't as big as it felt). He saw the King in his pink nightgown and purple slippers, standing and arguing with the head leader of the guards.
"There you are Will, now where the..." Juandres stopped in the middle of his sentence and scowled while inspecting the young man closely. "What the hell happened to you? You look like shit."
Will nervously laughed and nodded as if to agree. "Yeah, I guess you can phrase it like that."
"I don't like it. Go fix yourself afterwards."
Will just glared at Juandres, but shook his head and nervously shuffled with his papers. "What has my King heard?"
"What have I heard? What have I heard?" Juandres eyes darkened and his nostrils flared. "All I wanted was a nice sleep! I just ate the most driest chocolate cake ever (remind me to fire the baker) and you know how my stomach can't handle that. It was exhausting to eat the whole shit-cake up. But NO! I had to be waken up to some horrible noise which just wouldn't stop! And then I had to go all the way down here on those stupid steps that just wouldn't end! Only to hear that our dear friends", he spat out the last word, "has knocked you unconscious and then taken the keys that you had on you, only to lock you up!"
Juandres was out of breath and he wiped of some sweat from his forehead with a small napkin.
"Then I hear that those shit-heads managed to get past all the guards, and even managed to kill some of them!"
His eyes were dangerously glaring at Will, which made Will feel even smaller than actually was. He could see how the whole room froze and stared at them. Juandres' voice was hard to ignore. Especially when he was angry. Will gulped and the headache was worse than ever.
"How the hell did this happen? Please explain that to me, Will. I'm dying to hear."
The company managed to get some rooms in an old inn in the outskirts of the town. Luckily, no one recognized them. The hostess was an old, mean lady who didn't pay much attention to them, which suited them well.
Halt had gathered his friends in his room, but didn't say anything for a while. Everyone just stared at him and waited for him to start. Exhaustion was big in each and one of them, as their escape hadn't exactly been easy. Besides, just hours ago most of them thought they were waiting for their execution.
"Masquerade party." He suddenly whispered with a glint in his eye.
"What?" George asked with a raised eyebrow, but Gilan understood and smirked.
"Next week." Halt scratched his beard. "Until then we can get ourselves prepared and get some useful weapons."
Alyss bit her lip and slowly nodded. Okay. That could work. They could easily hide in the crowd and pretend to belong with them. "Juandres' men will be after us."
"That's why we need to stay low."
A smile slowly spread on Alyss face. She loved masquerades!
Btw, my Spanish is not the best. I haven't studied Spanish in years! Hopefully my memory didn't fail me.