Those Who Fly
The wind passing underneath my wings was refreshingly cool, especially now that the morning sun had transitioned into the heat of the approaching noon of summer days. I was at least grateful that the sun would be at my back for the entire trip, as long as I could get there and back in a single day. Though all it can take is a single day to create trouble.
I shook my head slightly and concentrated on my flight. I needed to trust those two, they should e good enough right now to avoid messing with the current balance on their own. Red should be able to deal with any of the pirates if they come looking for trouble outside of Hook, and Blue… Well as long as he stops and thinks about what he is doing it should be fine…
… … …
Maybe I should try to get there and back faster.
No, The Word chose him for a reason and he needs to learn and grow. Though his moments of distraction were worrying. I had seen that look before, on myself and on my comrades after the war. The look of remembering horrors that you can never forget. But that should be impossible. This was a clean run as far I can tell. I would know if someone had used ****.
I almost stop flying for a moment, my wings weren’t wide enough to glide for too far and I quickly corrected myself. I couldn’t think of the word anymore. It was slipping away from me like a greased pig. I have only experienced that power a few times in my career as a Pagemaster. To be unable to grasp its name now…
Clicking my beak together I hurried my flight toward the border. If someone has that power now, this could be very bad. The damage that could be caused by someone who doesn’t know what they are doing with it… We might have less time to save the universe than I had initially thought.
The sun was directly overhead when I neared the border of the kingdom, admittedly I had cheated with spells to speed up my flight, and even then it took me almost half a day to reach this part of the kingdom. This would take a few days for anyone on horseback to reach the capital if they went without rest.
The view was quite nice, flowing hills and valleys leading up to the border, where the hills were almost the heights of small mountains that created the guarding barrier between the two kingdoms. It was almost easy to see the divide between the two lands.
The border guards were spread out across either side of the borderline, emplaced in towers that were alternately emplaced every few kilometers. If I guessed they were placed so the considered kingdom line was right in between both sets of sentry towers. A small force was encamped on this side made of a few hundred soldiers to guard against encroachments by a raiding force and to work with stopping people from crossing the border from either side when necessary.
I didn’t go down for a closer look since my main objective was to find out what was going on with the other side of the border. Gaining some more altitude, the sight before me was troubling. I would have furrowed my brow if I still had one. A sprawling war camp was sitting just on the other side of the hills. Thousands of soldiers, possibly closer to tens of thousands and more than half of them mounted cavalry. Perfect for a quick invasion into an unprepared kingdom.
This was looking less hopeful that it was merely a ploy and more that war was getting prepared for waging. Floating in a slow circle I was beginning to believe that this task was going to be going awry very quickly. All that I could hope for the time being was that we could settle the matter with the pirates and get Sleeping Beauty started off properly before we had to deal with this impending disaster.
While I didn’t have access to Rewrite, I could still make use of certain other spells. Turning invisible for a few moments was all I could do at best. Taking those precious moments to land atop of the command tent and hope I could get wind of whatever this noble’s plans were.
There were a few men inside from what I could see before landing, A giant of a man sitting on a large chair that even then seemed unable to completely support him, who must be the noble, a young girl standing next to him looking quite uncomfortable while a pair of men were showing something on a post board that was facing away from the entryway.
“My lord, Roux Sieler border guards have been avoiding the bait for a while. According to our spies, the commanders have all been switched out with more temperamental men. There isn’t anyone that will make any rash enough decisions to give us our justification to attack. We can sit here indefinitely but the King won’t like having our forces sitting so close to the border for long.” The first voice spoke firm and matter of factly. Perhaps this was the main commander of the army.
“In a few days, we should have people ready to stage something if we need to. They have the tools and equipment to appear as Sieler soldiers, it’s just making sure they integrate properly into the other side first.” The other one was more hurried in his talk, impatient and a little bit slimy in some ways.
“I’d rather wait until we know about the Dark Queen’s movements, or if the rumors of Heroes wandering around the kingdom have substance. Either one of those could prove problematic in the long run.” The first retorted
“Fuhuhuhu… let a Hero come out. I’ll crush him and then take his widow for my own…” The deep voice spoke with a low perverted laugh, I heard the sounds of a woman trying to muffle her gasps and moans. I could only guess this deep voice was the Noble. Great… this was going to be one of those stories, wasn’t it?
“… At best we should wait until we’ve heard from the spies in the capital. This flying ship is troubling news if it is real. Who knows what secrets or magic it might hide aboard.”
“I agree that we should wait, Ricard. Still, continue to prepare the traps if they refuse to give us the opening on their own. Another week won’t hurt us too badly. Those lovely women won’t be going anywhere after all.”
I was starting to wish there was something hard to knock my head into. What is it with people and these kinds of characters? Still, I was staying as quiet as possible, hoping for something more that might happen as I stayed on my perch, something valuable, not… This guy.
“My lord, we shouldn’t wait for too much longer. But, in reluctant agreement with Ricard, I admit having more information is better before we commit fully to this venture.”
“Good. Now, gentlemen, I need to attend to something with my adjutant. Isn’t that right Casiel?”
“Mmph… Yes… My… Lord…” I could hear the young woman panting out, making me feel slightly uncomfortable right here. I wasn’t sure if I had everything I needed. But I could easily scour the camp for a more accurate count before heading off again. Casting the invisibility spell once more to get away and back up in the air I left that tent to it’s pending debauchery.
Ricard stood at attention, guarding the entrance and looking outside the tent, ignoring his master’s playtime machinations with his young companion. Her voice leaking out soft moans and squeaks would stir anyone else’s thoughts away from duty. But he had long gotten used to how his Master was even when they were not playing games like this with unwanted spies and eavesdroppers.
His counterpart stood beside him, slightly more flustered about things. Even for a smart tactician, he wasn’t used to their lord’s way of doing things yet. Glancing down at the ring on his finger he checked the pulsing red gemstone, trying to see if he could find who, or perhaps it was a what, that had been trying to spy on them. The only thing catching his attention was the shadow of some kind of rare bird in the sky. It was too far above to tell what kind it was and directly in the sunlight, he couldn’t make out anything while squinting. A shame that he wouldn’t be able to add it to his private game of Bird Bingo today. Perhaps next time.
The gem slowly began to pulse slower and change in color to a dull blue. Clearing his throat he spoke to their lord while not turning to face them. The girl would kick him in the shins if he tried to, after all.
“My Lord, the spy is gone, what is your will?”
“Fuhuhuhu, good work, Ricard. Tell the troops to get ready. We will begin the invasion tomorrow.”
“As you desire, My lord.”
He ignored the sounds that escalated inside the tent and walked away, leaving his master to enjoy his Pre-war “workout” before they began to sortie out. Roux Sieler would fall in a week’s time, Hero or not.