The story of a community of modern people surviving in a Medieval-esque land.


3. Planning Is Hard

The grin on the tan, chiseled face of Mr. Arthur was the brightest it had been in a while. Just thinking about the turmoil Xavier had been bearing for the past week made Mr. Arthur devilishly happy. Now, here he was, leading his private army to Xavier’s village where he would establish dominance over the people once again, in one way or another. He leaned back and checked his watch; it was rather warm for a late autumn evening. He examined his sword, then returned it to its holster as all of the carts pulled into the village. With a signal to his captains, Mr. Arthur and his soldiers hopped out of their carts. To their surprise, they were not greeted by their wardens who controlled the village, nor were they greeted by the slaves in the village. The village in general seemed completely deserted. Mr. Arthur stormed into the housing area, pulling out his blade in anticipation of an ambush. Inside however he found his missing wardens, tied up and unconscious. His eyes widened in shock, “What the fu-“

                “-cking way this will work. NO. WAY.”

                Xavier quickly hushed his stocky friend, “You need to keep quiet, Sean. Whether you want in or not, if you let the wardens know too early they’ll come after me. Then you’ll die.”

                “Yeah Sean,” the tanned youngster remarked, “If this fails the wardens are going to come after all of us!”

                “No, Marshall, I mean I’ll cut him myself if he lets it out.” Xavier replied, glaring harshly at Sean.

                The tall bloke (Thomas, by the way) sat down and took hold of Xavier’s notes. “Let’s all calm down now,” he spoke soothingly to the quarrelling trio, “Xavier’s trying to help us. We know the situation he’s in. Let’s see what we can come up with and we’ll decide later if we’ll help him or not. So,” he handed the papers back to Xavier, “Why don’t you tell us what you’ve got in mind?”

                Xavier sighed, gave a quick nod to Sean, and started writing as he spoke, “So our dear Mr. Arthur will be showing up in seven days. I’m assuming in my plan that he’ll leave closer to the evening so he can assemble all of his soldiers for “education” purposes. Either he’ll kill me if I still refuse, and will use my death as an example, or he’ll bring his army on everyone else if I agree. With the village as it is, we have no way of defending ourselves against his superior numbers. So, when the day comes, we’ll take out the wardens and tie them up as a present for our dear friend. We’ll have the weaker of the village take refuge in a cave I know of about four miles from here. As for the rest of us…”

                “WAKE UP YOU TWIT! WHERE THE HELL ARE THEY?!” Mr. Arthur was lividly swatting the face of a tied up warden. The warden had awoken already, and was trying to respond through the slaps. “Caught us-ouch!-by surprise-ow!-and left!” He received one more hit, a punch to the jaw, and went back into unconsciousness. “Already left…” Mr. Arthur scratched his chin, “But where on the Earth could they have-“

                A captain burst through the door and started stammering loudly. He stopped, took a breath, and started again, louder and more clearly “Sir! We just got a call from the guards in your castle! The slaves mounted a surprise attack and overpowered them! The castle is in control of the slaves now!”

                Mr. Arthur’s eyes widened, to the point where his eyes were trying to escape his head. The veins could be seen popping from his head and neck. He kicked down the door in rage and gathered all of his men outside. “EVERYONE, WE’RE GOING BACK, DOUBLE TIME! IF THOSE DIRTY SLAVES HAVE CONTROL OF MY CASTLE FOR ANOTHER BLOODY HOUR, YOU ALL ARE IN DEEP SH-“

                “-itty plan you’ve made there,” remarked Herson, one of the villagers who were gathered together in the dining area, “You’re going to get us all killed.”

                Xavier stopped midway through his explanation, “Well in seven days you’re all basically dead anyway. Marshall and Thomas are distracting the wardens and giving us as much time as they can, so maybe I could at least FINISH before you start complaining about how it’s too much work for you? Now, when the day comes, I’m going to take out the wardens. When I do, the people who don’t want to fight will be taken to a cave near here. They will wait until they receive a messenger. That messenger will either be from us, saying that the plan worked, or from one of the jailors I know, bringing you back here. I am going to make a deal with a jailor I know, and hopefully he’ll convince Mr. Arthur to punish me alone for what I’m about to do. If you’re afraid of getting out of this hell, feel free to join that group. Meanwhile, whoever is willing to fight will come with me to storm the castle when the army leaves. We’ll take out the guards in these areas,” he pointed to various places on the small map he had drawn, “and fortify key positions to hold them at bay when they come back. It is definitely a ‘win or die’ kind of battle, so I can’t force you to come. But I hope you can find the courage to join me in reclaiming our freedom. So who’s willing to fight?!” Xavier looked into the crowd expectantly, only to see faces of fear and depression. One by one, the people started to walk away, leaving Xavier grim. He turned to Sean, who had been watching the scene from the corner of the room, and said sadly, “Looks like it’s just me. Fun.”

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