Write a Review

King of Spooks

Far and Wide

I didn’t bother to answer Alice’s question because I was already striding down the stairs towards the Kitchen, the clicks of two sets of pointy shoes close behind. As I expected, it was my apprentice at the door and he was alone, but his expression was dazed and confused. “Well, what is it lad? Spit it out! who was it and what did they want?” Over the past seven years I had matured a lot, growing much more confident, and impatient of nonsense. I had often involuntarily spoken just as my own master had, and I wasn’t ashamed of it. “military officer, not from the county, high ranked and very distinguished. He spoke with an accent, and knew very few of our words, but from what I got he thinks you are some sort of king and queen, and requests an audience with you.” The lad stumbled his tale out, obviously still stunned by the encounter. He had been the son of a Blacksmith and living outside of Caster never would have met any foreigners, never mind anyone with any more renown than a quisitor riding out of the city. No doubt he wasn’t scared, but the engagement would have been intimidating. I flashed Alice, a curious glance “Well, let’s see about this. You two practice your sparring. We should take the horses, we are a royalty after all", I said with a sly smile. Of course I was only half joking when I said that. Alice and I had traveled to many places and accomplished great things, so no doubt our guest’s reference to us came from some herald of that, and he would expect us to act as such. And so it was that we took our horses to the cross roads where we met a man just as Dave had described him. He was about seven foot tall and wore a clean fresh military uniform. On the top was a large black jerkin, folded over itself and held together by ten buttons in a line across his right side. On each of his shoulders was an insignia presumably identifying his officer rank, and everything about the man exuded, confidence, knowledge, and prestige. To both of our surprise as Alice and I leapt down from our rides and began to stride towards the man, he went down on one knee to make what seemed obeisance. “Signore e Signora Ward?“, the man addressed us in a tone that suggested respect, even under his thick accent. “Certainly I am master Ward, and this is my wife Alice, but we are not royalty. I am a spook, She is an Earth Witch, A midwife and a Healer. Together we protect the county, and surrounding lands from threats human or otherwise, help people as best as we can, and deal with the dark. Who are you? And what do you wish with us.“, I responded coolly, gesturing for him to stand. “Sure you are a royal. Maybe not in traditional sense, but you are Righello of Cacciatore di Streghe, and you Righella of Strega. Tales of you deeds travel far and wide, reaching my land far to south east. I inspired by you, and wait long to meet. I am Cavailere Anthony Acrimbatoli, and men travel with me. You lead force in name of good of umanita, and I wish to be first on you council, my Signore e Signora" I was stunned, I didn't understand everything he had said, but from what I gathered he was offering to work for us. "I don't know all of the words that you just used, but I think I understand what you are saying and I have to say I am a bit surprised and wary. Surely what you have heard of us are only exaggerations, and as much as we would appreciate your support in our endeavors I cannot begin to imagine how that would work. We do not have the capacity to pay, feed, home, or anything else for you or your men. There is much to discuss but at present language is a barrier. Where are your men? Do you have a translator with you?" I had many questions, but I was desperate to find someone to translate, before going any further. Words and meanings could often be lost between languages, and I wanted to eliminate that as much as possible, and make our conversations more effective. "Si, Segui" he said nodding and gesturing for us to follow. Putting up a finger for him to wait, I leaned in to whisper to Alice "This is strange, and I am wary, but if this works out it could be the beginning to something amazing. I think I can handle it on my own, so why don't you ride back home, and train both the apprentices on combat. I will go with Anthony, and see about his men. I will question them on their intentions, and discuss how to go about it, and I will be back as soon as we are done. Inform Kratch that there is potential for a large force to be entering either as foes or friends soon, and to await my order on which." "Good plan that, Tom" Alice said flashing me a smile before leaping nimbly onto her horse and riding off towards the house. I didn't wish to be away from Alice, but I wasn't sure how long it would be, and if we didn't come back soon I knew the apprentices would worry and come after us. Looking up I nodded towards the noble who in turn hopped on his own horse which had been tied up hidden by the trees. Finally I got on my steed and rode slowly up to him. We rode out of the trees and back onto the crossroads where we went up past the fells. We rode for a few hours before we found his men. It was a large force of at least ten-thousand men, more than the county military, and they were all camped out. This could go very good or vey bad.

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.