Today I decided to throw a bit of a spanner in @zakludick's plan with some characters because I feel they are of better use to us where I have placed them.
Just a reminder, this story s not for the feint of heart and is a continuation of Part 60.
Mary sighed heavily; she felt the weight of the world on her shoulders at that moment. Her husband was dead, her son was sure to follow soon, and she had no idea where her daughter was. Now she had to deal with one army of the dead at her gate, and another heading into her borders. She didn’t know how much she needed to tell her subjects.
“Your Majesty, if I may.” Bowed Millmor.
“You definitely may not!” she hissed. “I don’t want people panicking when they see you.”
Millmor grinned and ran a hand through his beard, “You assume your people haven’t seen me before.”
“You need to tell your people something, I can sense their anxiety.” Said Lucien.
Mary knew he was right, but how much more could her people stand to lose at this point. All they truly had left was their mind. She turned back to her people and said loudly, “We are soon to be accosted by an army of the dead. They seek to finish what they started and destroy the rulers of this land. I for one intend to stand in their way as best I can. I seek others who are willing to stand with me.”
There was silence from the people below her. They were unsure, scared. They didn’t know what was coming, and Mary didn’t know how to prepare them for it. Hell, she didn’t even know how to prepare herself for it.
“These men, Lucien and Millmor bring with them some unorthodox creatures themselves to help stem the tide of war which is heading our way. I need men, women, and children who are willing to stand shoulder to shoulder with them as we defend that which is ours!”
Again, there was silence. This was the first time Mary hadn’t managed to rouse a fighting spirit in her people. At first, she was confused, but she soon realised why this was happening. She knew her own fear was bleeding through in her words. She turned to Millmor and gave a half nod.
Millmor took the opportunity to run and bolt over the small balcony they stood on. The crowd quickly dispersed as he landed in the courtyard. He threw his head back and howled as monstrous wings exploded from his back. His howl was echoed a roar beyond the walls of the castle. Every head below the queen turned to where the sound was coming from before they snapped back to her. All eyes were filled with fear then.
Mary held her sword aloft and spoke with more power now that she heard the strength of her new allies, “This is our land! It doesn’t matter if we’re cursed or free. If we want to see another season, we need to prepare for what is to come!”
Still, there was silence from the crowd, until someone started clapping in the crowd. As Mary tried to seek out who was clapping, the crowd opened up and revealed them. One was a hulking figure who had a hammer slung over his shoulder as he clapped. There was a purple-robed woman next to him. Mary couldn’t help but notice that one sleeve was pinned back, indicating a lost limb.
“Ooh, this is about to get interesting.” Grinned Lucien.
Gorox looked to Noxus and nodded his head once. The woman muttered something under her breath and then returned the head nod. Then Gorox spoke.
“Your Majesty, we are Kai Temple Initiates who have failed their first task.” He started.
His voice bellowed across the courtyard, and he had everyone’s attention now.
“While we journeyed, we lost the initiates for Endor Kai and Jidan Kai, may their souls rest easy, and our lives would likely have been forfeited too if it weren’t for your daughter and brother-in-law.”
Mary’s eyes grew wide. This was the first time she had heard anything about her daughter. It didn’t help her worriedness. She wanted to demand answers but managed to keep her cool.
“While your brother-in-law ordered us to never speak his name, he never said anything about loaning aid to you during your time of need,” the giant continued. “We were sent back like pups with our tails between our legs, being rescued by a mere child. No, my honour wouldn’t stand for it! To earn the right to take my first task again, I pledge my life to your daughter and whatever cause you have placed her upon.”
Every single eye snapped back to the queen, and Mary immediately realised why no one was willing to help her. They hadn’t seen the crowned princess since the attack on their king. They must have thought she had been secreted away to preserve her life. No one knew about what Magna and Adiran were doing. How could they? Mary barely understood it.
“Will you accept the help of a bright mage of Hiral Kai and a marauder of Vallox Kai?” asked Gorox as he knelt.
Everyone looked from their queen to the two initiates. They all waited with bated breath to see what Mary would do.
With tears barely hidden from view, Mary answered by saying, “Only if you tell me how my daughter’s mission fares.”
Derric pulled Magna into a side corridor and managed to hop up onto the shelf Adiran said would be there. He was sick of being down here and desperately wanted a way out.
“You feel along that wall, and I’ll feel along this wall.” He said softly as his hand sought out the loose rock.
It took several minutes of feeling below the slime encrusting the wall for them to find what they were looking for.
“Got it!” echoed Magna as she pressed the rock.
There was a grinding of rock moving and a slit of light appeared. Derric coughed as fetid air flooded into the sewer, it smelt even worse beyond the wall. He pressed against the wall and managed to open it wide enough for Magna to slip through. However, he had more difficulty doing it, and it was made worse when the first rat-like creature made it to his feet. Disgusted he kicked at the creature, sending it squealing through the air. It was the worse thing he could have done. The furry mass that had been in the water now reared to attack them.
Derric changed into his wolf form and slipped through the crack before the door slammed shut behind him with a bang. The creatures on the other side of the door squealed in protest and threw themselves against it, but they were unable to move it.
“Come on. Let’s keep going before we attract something bigger than just some undead rats.”
And there you have it, the initiates are back, but just how much will they tell Mary about what is happening? I guess you'll all have to wait until Zak posts!
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