Even More Writing

Carne was deep in thought as he sat in the corner of his room if you could call it that. It looked a lot like a storage closet when he first found it as it was full of junk and the bones of its previous occupants. But they never really left as their spectral forms lingered about the place as if they could not find a way out. They often appeared when a flame was lit as they screamed in agony, probably because they were burned alive as their remains were scorched by fire. This was long before his time of course since Del Toren belonged to the Elves back when they ruled these lands. They were probably the fortress’ guards before they met their end. Now very few places such as this remained that showed that the Elves were ever even here. Now every time he entered the room he just lingered in the darkness. His eyes have long been used to seeing in the dark so he had no trouble finding his way around. He only ever came in here to either do two things, to sleep and to think. Sleeping was sometimes easy, but the nightmares often found their way in. The thinking was no better as he thought about problems he was dealing with and what to do to fix them. By the spirits, it was so much easier to think when he was nothing more than a sergeant. As he was lost in thought a knock on the door brought him back to reality. He got up and opened it. In front of him was one of the camp's guards, Matthias. “Sir, the Circle is ready to start the meeting.” He nodded and headed towards their regular meeting place, the tower. It would take him a little bit to get there as he was currently underground and the tower was on the other side of the fortress. As he did many times before he walked through the old halls that were now slowly decaying and falling apart. Some roots had found their way through the stone and covered the passageway. Even some of the Elven wall paintings, though faded, still lingered on the walls. Along with the spirits of the dead Elves seemed to still call this place home. Most people couldn’t even see them and just walked right past them, “Lucky bastards.” He thought to himself. Most of the men living in the barracks wouldn’t even be bothered if they even saw them, for they have seen and done things that make a few ghosts seem like a prank. After a few more steps on the stairs he opened the door at the end of the hall and found himself outside. It was still night out and he looked up at the stars in the clear sky that the trees weren’t blocking. Then he continued along his way through one of the refugee camps inside of the fort. Many tents covered the grass field where stones once were. Most of the refugees were sleeping as it was well around midnight, but a few of them were still awake. Most of them were just minding their own business but a few eyes glanced at him as he walked by. He had lost count of how many of them there were these days. All he knew was that he had mouths to feed. But he made sure they earned their keep while they were here, they weren’t running a church here after all. Things were a lot louder over by the training yard as he went by them. He made sure no one could see him as he went by to ensure that no one was distracted by him. Being an officer, especially one of high rank, often distracted them from their training. He did manage to see Landon scolding one of them, he didn’t know what it was about it didn’t matter. They were just lucky that Morris wasn’t around, Landon was just substituting for him until he got back, then they would be in real hot water. The rest of the way was uneventful as only the usual night guards were making their runs and enforcing the curfew. They did need anyone snooping around where they weren’t wanted. As he approached the tower he could see light on top and the decaying lookout. They must be starting without him again and proceed up the stone steps. He had to watch his step though they were not in the best condition, he still remembered the incident with one of the messengers far too well. He was lucky that he didn’t break his neck and got out with only a few cuts and bruises. He of course didn’t have any trouble at all as he nimbly made his way up to them in a short amount of time and could hear arguing from above. It was probably Jacob Morris, the brotherhood's training instructor, and Cassius Flint, their spymaster at it again; those two were like cats and dogs with each other. Which meant It was only the four of them tonight, Sophia Kellner, who was in charge of logistics, was probably up there with them.   “What do you mean you haven’t got word from the capital yet,” said Morris. “I’m telling you that none of my boys have sent anything of value yet, they're busier in covering their asses from the guards rather than looking for information. Said Flint. “ I expected them to at least get details on troop movements so our forces could maneuver around them better.” He was leaning on an old worn-out table that had maps and letters neatly organized under candlelight. As for Flint, he was leaning on one of the tower’s walls that were still intact, twirling one of his throwing knives as he often did when he was bored. Both of them never liked one another since the day they met, but they tried to keep it to a minimum for the sake of the Brotherhood. They of course we’re not the only other members of the Circle at the meeting, Sophia was there with her fox, Finnici laying on her lap sitting in between the two of them. She didn’t bother trying to interfere with them as they never listened to her. But once Carne appeared from the darkness they quickly knew that they had to get their act together. The argument ceased and they waited in their seats as he took his. All three of them were wearing casual clothing. Morris was wearing brigandine armor for training his men, Flint was wearing roguish clothing with a belt of knives on it and Sophia was wearing her wool dress she worked in.   “Well, I’m sure you are wondering why I called this emergency meeting so late today. He took off his hood revealing his pale skin with short brown hair with a decently well-kept beard. His yellow eyes of course seemed to stick out more than anything else. The other members did not react to them as they have known about it for years with only other people knowing about them. They did seem to be bothered by them unlike most other people as they treated him like a monster when they saw them. There were only four of the Circle’s members that were able to come to the meeting, that would have to be enough. Finnici lifted his head when he saw him. “Well it's about time you showed up good sir, I and my lady were sick and tired of these two arguing.” he said. “It isn’t enough that it's so late to have a meeting, but I would rather be chased by dogs than listening to these two.” “Hush now, Fini.” “There are more important things to deal with than getting your beauty sleep.” Said Sophia. He just mumbled in response as she was the only one who could get away with calling him by his nickname. What Carne could never understand was how Sophia could deal with such a pesky creature like him, to begin with. He understood that he was her familiar, that all magic casters had one, but you think he is a little wiser. He acted like a child when he didn’t get what he wanted. “Any word from Sir Dayne or Federick,” Carne asked. They were the only ones that were not here as they were sent on their duties. “We still haven’t heard from Federick from Asron yet and from what I heard about Sir Dayne was that his raid on Ironmound was a success.” He should be back in the next few days if he doesn’t run into anything. Replied Flint. “Though I still don’t know why your spies haven’t been able to make contact with him either.” Said Morris. “You know it's not my job to check up on people, my job is information.” “Also the old man is hard to find and I’m not risking my agent’s covers just to find him,” he said. “You're probably more concerned about filling your own pockets with the things they still are, you thief.” Flint was infuriated with what he heard and leaned over the table, as did Morris as they were inches apart from one another. “You're one to talk to, oh mighty captain of the guard, you’re in the same boat with me, you know.” “Will you two give it a rest, we're not here to relive the past.” “This is not a social call and there is no need to fight one another,'' said Sophia. Ah, Sophia, she was always the one who was trying to keep the peace amongst stubborn men. Though they were listening to him this time. “There is no need to waste your sweet words of deft ears my lady, some men are not worth the effort,” said Finik as he looked up at her.   “Enough!” Carne shouted. They all looked at him in surprise. Out of all the things that he had to deal with this was not one and there was no need to squabble amongst one another. “ I called this meeting for the sake of the Brotherhood, not to hear you bickering like children.” “Now if you are quite done, let us get down to business.” Flint and Morris leaned back in their chairs with their arms crossed and their heads turned away from one another. While Sophia just gave Carne a friendly smile and Finik a respectful nod. At least they were the only ones listening to him. “Now to ensure that there is no panic in the camp, I have ensured the utmost secrecy from my men to keep it that way.” “I could not even tell you, my fellow Circle members, about any of this until I made sure we were away from everyone and could talk amongst ourselves.” “What is this really about? I was in the middle of training some recruits before Landon had to step in for me,” said Morris. “We had an incident during the raid on a caravan in the northern woods,” Carne said. “Yes, I thought someone was a little off about that, I only saw six wagons with you.” “There were supposed to be fourteen, from what my agents told me,” said Flint. Maybe they were wrong about that. Replied Morris with a scoff. “My information is never wrong, my men even gave me the transportation records. He pulled out a rolled-up piece of parchment from his cloak and slid it across the table to him. Morris picked it up to examine it. “You sure it wasn’t a forgery.” “There were fourteen wagons when we found them,” replied Carne. “But what happened to the rest of them then, you know we need that supplies, winter is almost upon us. Sophia asked with a worried look on her face. Carne rubbed his stiff neck as he was about to tell them. “ There was another group waiting for them, we almost got caught by them as well.” What, another group ambushed them.” exclaimed Morris. They all looked at each other with worried looks. “Was it one of the forest tribes?” Sophia asked. He pulled out an arrow that belonged to one of the Centaurs shot at them and placed it on the table. “Worse, it was a Beastmen war party.” “Well shit,” muttered Flint under his breath. Morris and Sophia remained silent as for Finik he just snuggled up closer to Sophia to comfort her as she began to hold him tight. “How many were there?” Morris finally asked. “From what I could tell there were at least a hundred of them, composed of Minotaurs, Centaur, and Satyrs.” “ My men and I took what we could and managed to get out of there before they knew we were there. “That explains why no one was wounded or dead when you got back.” Said Sophia as the head of the Supporting Branch it was her duty to aid the sick and injured. “There were that many of them and with so many different kinds of them,” said Flint. “So what do you think this means?” Carne knew this meant one thing, that war was on the horizon. “ “They’re out for blood, that's what it means.” “The empire keeps sending its forces through the forest to get to Ardania or to find us.” Now the Beastmen are angered that their feeding grounds and lands are constantly being desecrated and they will not stand for it any longer.” “Are we still safe here then,” asked Sophia? Dra Toren was a place that very few people even knew about and it kept them safe from the Vatians for this long, but with the Beastmen on the move, that might change soon. “For now we’re safe, they’re staying up north, for now, the ambush was probably just a warning for anyone to stay away. He pointed to a spot on a worn map of the Great Forest. It was a little outdated. It didn't matter as he knew where he was. “But this will change in time, once the imperial learn of this war is certainly to come to the forest.” “What is our immediate course of action then commander?” said Flint who was looking over the map. “ We need to prepare for the bloodshed that is to come.” Once Sir Dayne returns he needs to be informed of the situations and have him prepare defenses in case of an attack.” “We also need Federick to come back from the capital as soon as possible.” “Are you sure that's necessary? “Federick has been making good progress in the Asron, he has managed to even make some partisan groups within the city’s walls as well. He said. “It's better for him to leave now, once Argos gets news of this he’ll have the whole city locked up like a miser’s safe and once that happens he won’t be able to get out.” Flint let out a shrug. “Very well, I’ll send the word to have them look for him.” “Looks like you’ll be getting what you wanted, captain.” He looked at Morris with a serious look on his face. Even Morris knew that this was something he did not want. Carne turned to Morris. “Captain Morris, I need you to speed up training for the recruits, I don’t care how you do it, just do it. “But sir, I must protest, most of them are just boys and girls.” “They need more time to become proper soldiers.” He banged his hand on the table, startling Finikan and making him jump from Sophia’s lap. “We don’t have time, we're not a part of the kingdom anymore and you're not the captain of the Royal Guard either.” he let out a sign, his anger was getting the better of him. “ I understand how you feel about this, but we need every able man and woman able to fight when the time arrives,” he said. Morris knew he was right, but it didn’t make him feel any better. “It will be done, sir,” he replied with worry in his voice.   “Sophia.” Carne looked at her as she was trying to get Finik back on her lap. She looked back at him while holding Finik in her arms. “ I need you to find as much food and supplies as you can in the surrounding area as you can.” “Go through the caches as well if you come across any.” She gave him a worried look, “Are you sure about that?” “I’m going to need a few dozen people if you want me to do that and it might attract some unwanted attention if we are not too careful.” “ You will be protected, don't worry.” “I’ll send some of my men to look out for you.” It was a risky move to make, but in case they were attacked at least their attackers would not be able to feed themselves in a prolonged siege. “What will you be doing then,” she asked. He already knew what he wanted after thinking for a while in his room.” I will be heading out to meet with one of the Krae villages.” They all looked at him as if he were mad, Morris let out a cough to clear his throat. The forest tribes were often avoided as they were not friendly to those outside of the forest. “Sir, why would you ever do such a thing.” “ The tribes want nothing to do with us and we want nothing to do with them,” said Morris.” There was going to be some difficulties from them, well at least from Flint and Morris. Sophia didn’t mind the tribes due to her past. But he was right to worry that most of the tribes had been a little more aggressive to outsiders with the empire going on their lands. “This may seem unorthodox to you, but if war is coming then we need all the help we can get.” “We at least have to warn them about the Beastmen so they know the danger that is coming.” From a tactical standpoint, this was a good idea, but they had to get past the social barrier dividing them. “ Very well then as long as you know what you're doing, I will heed no mind.”   “Now before we end this meeting we have to discuss the new guests that we pick up with the wagons.” They all knew what he meant by that. One of the wagons was a group of chained individuals that turned out to be slaves. He made sure when they got back that they were blindfolded and brought down to the prison cells in the lower levels of Dra Toren for safekeeping. “Do they need to be left down there, haven't they been through enough,” Sophia asked. He sometimes couldn’t believe her kindness that she was willing to give even to strangers. “They are being treated fairly and are being fed as much food to keep them alive.” “I think that is enough we can give them for now,” said Carne. “He's right my lady, we can just let anyone run around here without knowing if we can trust them or not.” Said Finik. Who jumped onto the table to get his say. “What your pet says is true my dear,” said Flint. Finik let out a loud growl at him, he was not a pet. “ Alright, familiar, happy now.” He stopped growling with a pleased look on his face. Flint had a few run-ins with that furball that made his life a living hell and he did not want to deal with it any time soon. The only reason he didn’t make him into a fur cap was because of Sophia, who begged him not to and he couldn’t refuse her with those emerald eyes of hers. He continued. “Remember what happened last time when we let someone run about the place.” “ They almost killed Federick and had a map of our camp.” They all remembered it too well, a woman among refugees showed up and was going to sell them out for the bounty on them. Federick caught her and she tried to kill him, but she was killed in their struggle. Since then refugees were placed in certain areas to keep an eye on them, along with any other outsiders. “It is best for them to stay where they are until I can question them.” Flint had another role besides being the spymaster, he had a way of getting people to talk, though the method varied depending on their cooperation. “Now then is there anything else to address. “Yes, about the supplies that you brought back,'' said Sophia.” What did you find in it? “There was some food, but despite what's been brought back only four wagons contained enough food to feed at least a hundred people ''. “We need to find a better way to feed ourselves before winter comes.” “It seems we’re gonna have to do a little more raiding before winter comes.'' Said Morris. If we don’t we’re going to have to ration ourselves for the whole winter long and not everyone will certainly survive.” Their options were limited as they only have been raiding imperial supplies lately, along with just scavenging for whatever could be found in the forest. Not to mention since they were trying to liberate their homeland from the Vatian Empire meant that they couldn’t just raid whatever they wanted to, especially their countrymen, or they would be nothing more than bandits. So they had been just raiding imperial holdings and taking what they could as far south as possible. A few raids north of the forest into the empire were done as well. They managed to get a little more out of it, it was not at all profitable as the empire had built defensive structures and increased their presence in the area and it would be too costly for them. Soldiers were sent after them too when they did this and were almost discovered several times. It was not like they could do it again if they wanted to since the Beastmen were active in the north. “ Flint, do any of the Elusive Hands have anything to report about the militias or some of the nobles who are with us, maybe they can help us.'' asked Sofia. Flint took out several letters from his pocket. They were not in the best condition as they had to be smuggled out to avoid being discovered. All of them from the spies of the Elusive Hands from across Ardania or one of the leaders that were aiding the brotherhood if they could write that is. “Let’s just say I have had a few letters sent out to them to request aid as discreetly as possible.” Morris and Carne gave him disapproving looks. Messages were only sent out if they were approved by at least one or more members of the circle and told about it. Neither of them was. “ Now before I get scolded like a child stealing sweets, I had permission and went through the proper channels.” “Whose?” said Carne, he knew he wouldn’t lie to them, despite his past before joining them he was quite honest which was a rare thing for one who once lived a life of crime. “It was me and Frederick.” Interrupted Sophia. That took them by surprise a little, Frederick most definitely, but Sophia, they didn’t know she had it in her. “But my lady, why would you do such a dangerous thing,” said Morris. Because we need all the help we can get, I am in charge of all the people who can’t fight and are keeping us alive while all of you are risking your lives for all our sakes.” “ I know I’m not a fighter, but if it means saving lives, I am willing to take the risk.” Finikan turned to her. “Well said, my lady,” he said. As for everyone else they all seemed to be impressed. Morris gave her a respectful nod, while Flint just gave her a wink. As for Carne, he just gave her a soft smile. “So what did they say? she said with a determined look. “Well, not all of it was good news, I'm afraid.” He opened the letters and each gave them one. Finik pulled one over with his paws to look at it, despite not knowing how to read. Most of them apologized as they were unable to afford to give food to them. Some were due to a bad harvest or the imperials had taken much of it to feed themselves. The militias could understand as they were nothing more than peasants trying to keep a low profile until the fighting started. Though the nobles are often questioned as they use their influence to avoid trouble. “But I was able to get a good response from our good friend, Herrshal Durand. Rupert Durand was one of only a few nobles that supported them and he had yet to fail them thus far. He snatched the letter away from Finik and began reading over it. As for Finink he pouted and returned to his master’s lap. “He said that he can send us supplies when he can and he says that he has information for us as well.” “What sort of information?” asked Morris. “He didn’t say, he wants to have a meeting face to face with one of us.” “That is out of the question.” Said Carne. “But what if it's important,” replied Sophia. “We should hear him out at least.” “We have to weigh the risk of this.” Said Morris. “If it's a trap and one of us is captured or killed it could cripple us.” “But it is not like we can go to our current predicament.” Flint knocked on the table to get their attention. “Might I have a suggestion?” he said. They all looked at him, Flint always seemed to have a plan up his sleeve which often involved deception. Maybe it was how he managed to survive for so long. Being a good thief does seem to have its perks especially when it was him doing it. “We could send someone to impersonate one of us to gain the information.” Morris scoffed at this. “How do you plan on doing that then since he knows me and Sir Dayne long before the war and I don’t think you or lady Sophia could go either. “You are needed here to keep things running smoothly.” Morris knew Otto Durand since he was a boy at the king’s court and Sir Dayne served with him during Roderick’s Rebellion when his father was still alive, so it was not possible to get away with it. Then Flint turned to Carne with a look of inspiration in his brown eyes. No one knew what he looked like besides those in the Circle so anyone could impersonate him without knowing any better. “ No,” he said with a look of disapproval on his face. This was not a game to be messed with, if someone found out about the meeting and knew he was there let alone someone pretending to be him, they would most certainly be killed. “ If this is a trap it’s best not to have someone pretend that it’s me.” he said, “Come now it would be just some random soldier, it would be one of your Rangers doing it, not to mention if it is a trap you can have some of your well-trained men to help them get out and get rid of the treacherous Herrshal while you’re at it.” “Just have their face concealed and act all brooding while doing it and presto, you have the Wind Walker before you.” Carne had an uneasy feeling when he said it like that, it was something that you didn’t just throw it around like it was a nobleman's title. It is a name that should be both feared and respected. Ever since he received that name from the imperial he had since become a target during and after the war as the imperials feared him and that was not an easy feat to achieve. But now he had one of the largest bounties that anyone else had in the Brotherhood. Despite the piles of corpses he left as a warning to others they still kept coming. It was a pain in the ass to deal with all the time. “It’s not up for debate here, I will not let you risk the lives of others on information that could get them killed.” He wasn’t going to have another event like Whitewood ever happen again. “He does have a point, we can have a few of your men prepared for this, the risk would be lowered and a traitor would be eliminated.” Said Morris. “Let us put to a vote then and we can decide if we should do it or not, then we can end this and get back to work. Replied Flint.   Voting was never one of the ideas the Carne approved of in the situation that they were in, he wasn’t against it either. He just believed that in times like these that hard choices had to be made that couldn’t just be decided by a few people who might not realize what the consequences were by making a choice. When the Circle was formed most of them were skeptical of the idea of a council to help guide the Brotherhood in the times ahead. But it was the only way to keep it together, there were so many different groups that joined them they wouldn’t stand for one person to be in charge. The six of them were the most influential of them all and it would help keep the peace. Once a vote was declared it could not be stopped, despite there only being four of them right now, the Circle could have a vote as long as three members were present. This was often due to most of its members being constantly away and choices had to be made without them. All he hoped that it would either be rejected or a tie. He knew he was going to reject it, while Flint would approve of it since he brought it up. As for Morris and Sophia, they were both in the middle on this and he wasn’t sure what they would decide. “All in favor of going through with the plan,” said Flint. He raised his right hand and then Morris raised his hand. As for Sophia, she was hesitant about what to do, she looked at Carne in the eyes and she seemed conflicted about what to decide. Sophia never did like to play with the lives of others and wanted to save them rather take them. But that once she looked away from him she raised her hand as well. Along with Finik who raised his paw despite not having a say in the vote. Carne just shook his head in disappointment and lowered his eyes on the out time. “The vote has been passed and now we can proceed with it.” Though no one could see it, Flint made a tiny smirk on his face over his small victory.   “So who should we use as our fake now.” “It has to be one of the Rangers obviously, but it has to be someone young and matches the looks of our Wind Walker.” The number of people that would match that description was a few as most of the Rangers were far older than Carne. Those that were were either still in training, on assignment, or dead. “What about that one you had with you for your ambush, Dylan was it,” said Morris. “You mean Twig? said Sophia with worry in her voice. Dylan was Twig’s real name, but everyone called him Twig due to him being so skinny like one. “Yes him.” Carne’s eyes shot up after hearing that and knew he couldn’t let that happen. “Leave him out of this, he’s not ready.” “He lacks the experience for something like this and it will just end up getting him killed.” “But he would make a good impersonator.” “He almost looks like you if I don’t mind saying,” said Flint. He began tapping his fingers on the table to a quick rhythm. “ He wouldn’t be in any real danger with the men watching his back.” Plus it would be a good experience for him as well.” “ If it doesn’t get him killed that is,” replied Carne. He and Cassius Flint never seemed to meet eye to eye on many things, often due to different views on events and situations, but doing this would cross a line with him. “Carne,” said Sophia in a soft voice. "I understand how you feel right now, but you can't keep him away from things like this any longer." "I think that he should decide." If he is willing to volunteer for this then let him no one is forcing him." He knew that he was not going to win this, but if he could stop Twig from doing it would give him a clear conscience. Sophia was right though it is his choice and he couldn’t protect him forever and he had been through a lot since the empire took over. “Where is he anyway,” said Morris. “He down in the cells watching the prisoners.” “Considering what happened earlier he needed something dull to calm him down.” “Didn’t they almost kill him?” asked Flint. “I don’t want him to hold any grudges either if any of them are eventually joining our ranks.” “Can you send Finik to fetch him and Landon for us?” They gave him a puzzled look. What does Landon have to do with this? "If Twig does decide to accept I want Landon to watch him, he is his mentor after all and he's managed to keep him alive this long." They all looked at one another and nodded in agreement. “It seems like a fair thing to do, we need an officer to incharge of this anyway and Landon seems to be a good choice.” He nodded to them with thanks. “Send him off then.” He said. “Alright then go get them fox.” Finik lifted his head and gave him an annoyed look he did not like being called a fox, he was more than a wild beast. Why do I have to go and get everyone that you want to see, why can’t you just do it? Why did he alway have to be like this. You think that a familiar wouldn't be this sassy and just do what they are told. Carne thought to himself, he never did this to Sophia. “Come now my noble assistant, because you are swift on your legs and can reach them faster than any of us could.” said Sophia. She began scratching under his chin to calm him down. “Not to mention these meetings must be kept private to ensure the safety of our people and who would be more trustworthy than you to keep it that way.” His tale began to wag as he heard these words, especially from his master. She valued him since she was a child when he was first created by her and could say no to her for all of her years of kindness. “Oh, if you put it that way, then I will be back in a few then. He hoped for her lap and scampered off as quickly as his legs could and vanished down the stairs. “I don’t know how you can put up with that ball of fur, my lady.” “He seems to be a handful to deal with if he acts like a child all the time.” said Flint. She simply smiled at that. “You have to know him to truly understand what he is really like and I would have any other familiar other than him.”   Twig felt a shiver down his spine as he sat at the table across from the cells. He wouldn’t even be here if he just kept his mouth shut on who was going to watch the prisoners and low and behold he was the one assigned to it. It was bad enough that they almost killed him, but that red head girl that almost finished the job kept staring at him whenever he looked at prisoners. He didn’t even know why they had to be watched in the first place, it was not like they could get out cells and even if they did they were several floors underground with armed guards on every floor. Maybe it was just to make sure they did try to in the first place, well at least he had time to write in his journal at least to pass the time. But he didn’t really like being down this far below, he heard from some of the guards that the place was haunted and he could have sworn he felt something watching him despite nothing being there. “When are we going to eat again.” said one of the prisoners. He turned to face them from his chair. The prisoners were divided into three cells that could fit a couple of them. Despite their age they were mostly intact and they didn’t seem to have decayed in any way long after Dra Toren was abandoned. He had to hand it to those Elves they knew how to make things last. “ We already fed ya, you won’t be getting any more for a while.” said Twig. “You call that a meal, a pig gets more food than this.” said an older looking man in one of the cells on the right. For being slaves they seemed to complain a lot, maybe just stayed quiet when their masters were around. “You do understand that you are not guests here right, just be glad you got anything at all.” He turned back to write in his journal, he wanted to record everything he experienced since he got from lady Sophia. She had done so much for him since they met and she helped him learn how to read, he might as well use it the best he could. “What do you plan on doing with us.” another prisoner said. He didn’t bother to turn around and kept writing. “How am I supposed to know that, it's up to the ones in charge to decide, not me.” He heard muting from behind him as he was dipping more ink onto his quill. He just hoped that he would be able to get out of here and do something productive. “ Well that is quite obvious considering that you can’t be one of the ones in charge.” “Grabbing a hold of you was way too easy.” He stopped for a moment as he heard a female voice. Please don't tell me it's from that woman as he tried to best ignore it. He just continued to write and ignored it as best he could. He was not going to be toyed by them no matter how hard they tried. “ I bet you were put here after how bad we got the drop off on him.” “Of course they decided to place you here to live with the shame, weakling.” He stopped again and it took a moment for the words to sink in. They were going to do this until he made them stop. He took a deep breath, got up from his chair and turned around to see the red head smirk at him in the cell in the middle. “Well at least I’m not stuck in a cell unlike you lot and watching you is like watching over a bunch of whining children.” “ You should be grateful if you ask me, we saved your sorry asses back there.” He heard a few whispers amongst them, but the women just seemed angry now. “Oh really, you call this saving us, putting us in a dark cell where the sun will never reach us.” “It just feels like being back home again.” He didn’t know why he was even doing this with them, but for some reason she just made his blood boil. Maybe because it was she almost killed him or the attitude she was giving him. “Clam down, Ada we should be angering them, we will gain nothing but trouble from this.” said one of the older men. She did even bother by his warning and just continued. “What, you think this one will give us trouble?” “Look at him, he doesn’t even look, he knows how to fight, weakling.” He clenched his fist at that word, weakling, he was anything but that. But he stopped himself short and took a deep breath. He was not going to get on his nerves. He grabbed the chair and sat back down as it turned to them. “ You know I almost feel for that trick of yours.” Ada looked ignorant when he heard him say that. “What do you mean trick?” He crossed his arms and smiled, in his hands was a ring of keys. The clanking they made seemed to echo through the room. “Oh, the one were you snatch these from me when I get too close.” He tossed them on the table and it landed next to the candle that was lit. He took a few steps forward toward the middle cell. “Not so smart now are you, only an idiot would fall for that.” “Which means you’ve done this before haven’t you.” Ada gave him an annoyed look and spit on him. The spit landed on his right shoulder, where he just rubbed it off. “Please forgive her master, she wasn’t born a slave.” “So being locked up in a cell is something that she doesn’t like.” One of the older men said. Twig did notice that his eyes looked silverish when the light reflected on them. But that could wait for now, he didn’t like being called master from the way he said it. “There’s no need to call me that, no one own anyone here, from what you know you're all free once everyone comes to an agreement.” The sound of surprised muttering amongst the cells began when they heard this. “Bullshit, you're just telling us that to keep us quiet.” Replied Ada. He let out a sigh, this was not going to be easy and decide to take a risk. He extended his hand out toward the cell bars. “The names Dylan, but everyone around here calls me Twig, as you can see why.” He waved his hand down his body. They seemed to be surprised when he did this, they wear them sure it was a trick or he was just stupid. Ada thought about just grabbing his arm and slamming his head on the bars, but a hand on her shoulder stopped her from doing so. Then a hand went through the bars and clasped his hand. It was the silvered eye man. “I am Geron, though I wish the circumstances were better for this meeting.” After a few moments they let and Twig garbed his chair to sit down in, only he sat in it in reverse. “ I wish that was true on my end too.” “So tell me who you think we are?” No one seemed to be willing to answer that in case they said something that might offend the young man, despite him being friendly towards them. “Your bandits aren’t you, that’s why you have us looked up and separated from the others so we don’t plan to escape together.” Said Ada, who was the only one who decided to speak up. Twig was a little confused at what she said. “Others?” “What are you talking about, you were the only ones that we managed to get our hands on.”


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