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   Chapter 79 No.79

The WeatherMaker Hearts Desire By Lady Lilium Characters: 5286

Updated: 2018-07-10 19:02


It was Annabel again, and that strange man Farrell had seen earlier that day, the one upon the white horse. They were surrounded by a small group of soldiers.

The stranger seemed to be trying to reason with Annabel, who was becoming hysterical. The stranger then walked away; the soldiers around him on his order grabbed Annabel. They began to drag her.

In one swift movement, Flunkit had drawn his bow, killing one of the soldiers in one shot.

'Ah shit' Farrell said.

Without a second thought Arlen and Shawn had charged forwards with swords raised, Farrell's pleas for them to stop fell on deaf ears as nearby; the mercenaries wheeled their horses around and rode towards the soldiers, weapons at the ready. The stranger who had walked away paused to stare back with indifference as his men were attacked.

The soldiers in their confusion hesitated in their retaliation, and suffered for it. In a matter of mere seconds the soldiers were all dead and the stranger who had commanded them looked on silently, he stayed rooted to the spot. Annabel cowered at the feet of the tall horses the mercenaries rode around her; she had her head buried in her arms and was too frightened to look up or even move.

'Do you realise what you've done?' the stranger asked boldly, with not a hint of fear in his voice at the armed men that vastly outnumbered him.

'Perhaps you should make yourself scarce' Woodworm suggested to him, leaning confidently forwards in his saddle, 'or else my friend here might be tempted to put a nice long arrow between your eyes.'

Flunkit still held his bow, relaxed, but indeed with an arrow in place ready to fire. Barrel began to cackle for no apparent reason.

The stranger hesitated, looking from one face to the next as he surveyed them. He was remembering each of the men.

And then his sight fell upon Farrell. A strange expression crossed him, as if he recognised Farrell, but couldn't remember from where.

'Are you deaf man?' Arlen asked him. 'Leave now or die.'

'You've made a huge mistake' the stranger spoke casually to all of them. 'You're stuck with this girl now' he indicated Annabel. 'She will be hunted, and now…so will the rest of you.' He whistled loudly then; and from over the hill came trotting towards him a white stallion.

The six mercenaries, Arlen and Shawn all stared in shock and disbelief, jaws hanging and eyes wide.

The stranger quickly mounted his steed, speaking brief words to all of them before leaving.

'We will meet again.'

And then he was gone.

Flute Stick was the first to break the silence.

'Fuck….'

'Oh my god' Carrot said. 'Was t

hat the frikkin prince?!'

'What's he doing here?' Blunkit worried.

Farrell rounded on them suddenly.

'Why did you do that?' Farrell demanded of Flunkit. 'Why did you kill that soldier and provoke an attack?'

'I don't know' he shrugged carelessly. 'I didn't really think.'

'Didn't think?!' Farrell hollered. 'You idiot!'

'We're hunted now apparently' Arlen told them all, speaking with a casual air as if it didn't really matter.

'And now we're stuck with this girl?' Woodworm asked.

'Apparently so' Flunkit added.

The young woman still cowered beneath them. The others managed to hear a few brief words she mumbled under her breath.

'Please……don't hurt me….'

'He's sure to be back soon' Shawn told the rest of them. 'What do we do?'

Chapter Twenty Seven

Underground

The band of nine men made their departure swift, travelling east, away from the village in no particular direction.

'Why did we bring her again?'

'We don't know what will happen to her if we leave her' Shawn told Woodworm. 'We don't even know if those men planned to kill her. She is hunted, and now so are we. It makes sense to bring her with us.'

He looked to Annabel as he spoke; she was riding behind Flute Stick, holding onto the back of him tightly. She seemed so frightened, it looked as if she couldn't hear their conversation; so wrapped up was she in coping with this new and unfamiliar stress.

'Maybe we should kill her ourselves and save the trouble' Woodworm said glaring at her.

'And if she is wanted alive?' Shawn reasoned with him as they rode. 'What would be the punishment for all of us if we do such a thing? If she is wanted by royalty….she must be important. Imagine what they would do to us.'

Woodworm fell silent in thought.

'The horses are tired' he said. 'Maybe it's a good idea if we rest them.'

'No' Arlen shot back at them. 'We have to reach the other side of that hill' he said pointing to a place some distance away. 'We have to get out of sight of the village.'

'You think they still chase us?' Flute Stick asked uncertainly.

Arlen glanced back towards the village.

'We mustn't take the chance.'

As the sky began to darken, the small band of men dismounted their horses, clinging to the edge of the tree line watching the horizon. Annabel, clearly still terrified sat at the base of one of the trees with her knees pulled up; eyes darting all around her in a state of heightened awareness. The others, her 'captors', stood around her.

'Why did you take me?' she sobbed. 'I didn't get a chance to say goodbye to my parents. I didn't get a chance to say goodbye…'

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