Falling Empire

This war has not ended...and I will finish it one and for all

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2. Shadow People

The stars gleamed in the night sky.

I walked silently through the woods with my bow and quiver, and stopped at the big tree, waiting for Ryder. We had agreed earlier that we would meet. There was something I had to talk about. 

The wind was chilly and snow was slowly falling, covering the trees with a white blanket. I pulled up my scarf to cover my chin. Suddenly I heard footsteps and my body tensed. I saw Ryder coming out and slowly let down my guard. 

"What did you want to talk about?", Ryder said with a exasperated sigh. I took a deep breath said "I'm running away." To him it probably came out like a rush. Ryder had a confused expression and said "Say What?!" I said it again slowly, "I. Am. Running. Away." 

"You can't do that!" 

"Yes I can, and I'm going to!" 

"What about me!" 

"You can come too if you want."

"No I won't because you can't just decide to run away!"

"Ryder, I have been thinking about this for months!"

"Fine, go. See if I care." 

I didn't like where this conversation was going. I just turned around and left Ryder fuming under the streetlight. Why did this have to happen. He has to understand that I don't want to run away. I have to. The king of Venizen Amosh had already prepared an army to come and attack my kingdom. I was already hard at work to defend my land. My army was training to sharpen their skills.

I saw the welcoming fire from my small wooden cottage. I stepped in the warmth, took off my coat and scarf, and landed on my scratchy, leather couch. My bag was already packed. All I planned to take was food and clothes for a few days. I hoped to find a village in the middle where I could buy more supplies and spend the night.

My eyes felt heavy and I fell asleep on the couch. 

 

 

In the morning I woke up mumbling "Don't kill me. Don't kill me!" I put my hands over my eyes, and looked up to the window. By the sun, I could tell it was about 7:30. I ate a hearty breakfast of oatmeal, fruit, and freshly squeezed orange juice. 

I set out at noon with my bag, bow, quiver, and horse. The wind was whipping my hair making it hard to see. My goal is to make the nearest big city, Zunwa, before sundown. 

The king had his spies and guards everywhere, watching for me. So no doubt they would be crawling around Zunwa. This whole trip was a big risk on my part. 

After a while it started snowing again. Mountains, plains, and forests passed while I made my way through gravel trail. Soon I saw the dark spires towering over the city of Zunwa. Looking at the sun I figured In didn't have much time. Zunwa was still an hour away on horseback.

The gravel gave way to pavement as Zunwa came closer. I must look like a sight, with my ragged clothes and my tangled ponytail. Before I knew it the big iron gates of Zunwa came into view. I took a deep breath and entered. 

 

 

 

Zunwa was a bustling city. There were people everywhere. Food vendors were abundant. I didn't realize I was starving until my stomach made a rumbling sound. I went to the nearest vendor and asked for a small hunk of bread. 

"Ma'am let me see your money." 

Angrily I took out my change bag and asked how much.

"Two copper" , he said in his monotonous voice. 

The bread wasn't even fresh. It was as hard as rock and tasted like medicine. I threw it away and looked for a inn. I found on the corner of one of the busiest streets in the city. The building looked large and luxurious. I went in and immediately felt the warmth of the stove. A bearded man sat behind the counter counting the money. He saw me and said, " 2 silver a night" "That's too much!", I shouted. "Sorry, that's the lowest I can go.

I fished out two silver and handed it to him. He gave me the key to my room and continued to count the money.  I went up the polished mahogany stairs and continued down a hall. Their were rooms on either side of the hall. I looked at my key to see which room I was in. It read 21. Three doors down was my room. I stepped inside. Not bad I thought. 

I didn't notice the group of people standing next to the bed. I surveyed the room and saw them. 

"Whatcha' doin' here!" I said.

A women from the group came forward and said "Hello, I am Hilda Benson and we are the shadow people.

 

 

 

 

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