The King's Slave

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Chapter 17 - Ravenswood's Chatelaine

April 23, 1645
Ravenswood Castle
The Walled City of Arcadia, Capital of Ivaris


I woke up with a start as I heard the door slam. Instantly, I was sitting upright on the bed. I shook my head as I felt the heat of desire from my dream still upon me. I closed my eyes and sank back into the pillows once more, willing all the forbidden thoughts to clear my mind.

Anyway, it was one lovely dream...

I was back in the river with Duncan but things were different between us now. He kissed me and it was unlike those other kisses we’ve shared. This kiss ignited the passion inside me and unleashed it. It was sort of like the King of Ivaris’ kisses...

My face flamed at the thought. No, I shouldn’t be thinking about that horrible person. Again, I thought of the details regarding my dream and how it was so rudely interrupted by the slamming of a door. Only one person slammed a door that loudly here: the King of Ivaris. Maybe he came here to check on me and found me still asleep and that infuriated him?

I rubbed my temples for my head ached a bit from having drunk too much last night. The last thing I remember was falling asleep at the feast and then ending up here. What happened after? Did I walk here to my room without remembering it?

Wait... This isn’t my room!

The bed was larger than my own. There were numerous furs piled together which made it so soft. Silk sheets were spread across it and a blue coverlet lay on one side. The bed was canopied and sheer cloths were parted and tied on the four corners.

I glanced down and saw that my feet were buried in the softest carpet I’ve ever had the fortune to feel. The carpet was in a deep masculine blue color with golden embroidery in the center of the room. Its design was very intricate and I’ve no doubt that it cost an entire fortune.

On one side of the room lay five wooden trunks. On another corner lay my one and only trunk. I went there and opened the trunks and was surprised to see the King’s clothes! Another trunk contained weapons. Another contained armor. And there was one more which contained jewelleries, jewelled daggers, chalices, and many more! I snapped them shut as I realized that this chamber belonged to the King of Ivaris.

He had them bring me here expecting a wedding night but I was glad that I did the correct thing by getting drunk. Maybe he slammed the door because he was frustrated that he had no wedding night...

Or maybe he did... Knowing him, he could’ve taken advantage of me last night... Ugh... The thought of that made me shudder in revulsion.

I checked the sky outside and the sun was fully out. I should begin my duties as queen today and I have the most awesome idea about what I should do first. I smiled and hummed to myself as I tidied the room.

A knock sounded on the door and maids entered. “Good morning, your majesty.” They greeted me with a bow. Suddenly, I felt awkward about everything. It has been a long time since someone treated me like a princess.

My parents sent me to Durnham Province three years ago so that I could be away from all the trouble brewing in the capital, Harrow. My father also wanted to protect me from the suit of overeager nobles who wanted the crown for themselves. Now I know why they never accepted any suitors... It seems that they’ve had me betrothed right when I was one year of age.

At Durnham, I instructed the slaves to never treat me as a princess when I was alone. It was so boring there that I learned how to cook, clean, sew, and do other things that would’ve sent my mother to a swoon. She’d never have me work as a commoner. Now, my hands were rough and callused and not at all one that should belong to a dainty princess. But I am proud of my accomplishments.

I am not a highborn lady who lavished herself in riches and the security afforded to her because of her title. Take the riches and the title away from a lady and what would she have? Nothing. That’s right, nothing. Everything was taken away from me. My riches, my kingdom, my title yet I could still live as a commoner. It was only my sheer luck that I was captured as a slave.

“Your highness?” a maid asked. “I’m sorry... I drifted away. What was the question again?” I said apologetically. “We asked if you wanted a bath and then breakfast to be brought here to your room?” the maid repeated. “That would be lovely.” I replied.

One hour later, I was done with my breakfast and dressed like a queen. My maids helped me into one of the new dresses that the seamstress had sent. I looked at the mirror and then quickly shook my head.

“This won’t do.” I told them and the maids went around the room and looked for a more extravagant gown. “No. Not those. Get me one of my old ones.” I said. “But your majesty, that is not suitable for a queen!” a maid exclaimed.

“No, it is not.” I agreed. “But today I wanted to have a tour of the castle and know everything about it. Those lavish gowns would only hamper my movement. I’d wear those when we have company but for now, this would do.” I said as I held up one of my drab grey gowns that looked like they belonged to a commoner rather than a queen.

The maids could not mask their looks of horror but I did not mind them as I donned the gown. I braided my hair simply and then looked out the door and addressed one of the footmen standing at attention. “Please fetch Hodge and tell him that I shall meet him at the entrance to the castle in a few minutes.”

“Right away, my queen.” The footman replied and dashed off.

Two of my guards stood outside the door. Lachlan, the winner of the Hakor, and Alec, the head of the soldiers that the King has assigned as my guards. They stood at attention and followed me as I walked outside.

I realized then that being a queen certainly had its drawbacks. I could not walk anywhere now without a procession. Two maids walked behind me and then the two guards behind them. I looked back as we walked and addressed the two maids. “What are your names?” I asked.

One of them blushed instantly. “Forgive our rudeness, your highness. We forgot to introduce ourselves.” She said a little breathlessly. I stopped walking to allow them their introductions. “I am Vivian.” The red-haired said and she curtsied. She was the younger of the two maids. “And I am Finnie. We are your personal maids your highness. ” The raven-haired older maid said as she too curtsied.

“Glad to have you Finnie and Vivian.” I replied and started walking towards the entrance once more.

Hodge stood there waiting for me. He bowed when he saw me. “Good morning, your highness. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you on your wedding and bid you welcome to Ravenswood.” Hodge said.

I gave him a small smile. “Thank you.” I said graciously.

“You summoned me, your majesty?” he enquired. “Yes. I would like to start my first day as queen with a tour of Ravenswood.” I announced. “Certainly, your grace.” He replied and then led me towards the courtyard.

“Ravenswood is the King’s primary estate. It sits on the outskirts of the walled city of Arcadia. To the north is the Glenn Forest while to the east is the ocean where the port of Ivaris rests.” He said in a voice filled with pride.

“The main castle sits three stories high with the King’s tower about five stories high. There are three more towers but they are scarcely used because of the cold. Ravenswood has about seven hundred rooms.” He said and smiled at my sharp intake of breath.

“I never knew it was that big.” I said.

“The other rooms are usually unused. The North wing is the part of the castle that is always occupied. The King’s Tower is in the North Wing and that’s where your chambers are. Also, that is where the king houses his err... his ladies.” Hodge said and I could see him fidgeting and turning a shade of red as he spoke.

“How many are there?” I asked.

“Pardon, my queen?”

“I said exactly how many mistresses does the king have?”

“Errr... 24 now my queen.” He replied uncomfortably.

“Carry on.” I instructed.

We walked a few more paces and I saw another smaller building to the right of the castle. “The empty grounds outside the castle are usually converted into an arena or into a place where a gathering could be held should the King choose to entertain a larger crowd. When a smaller, more intimate affair is to be held, it is done in the Great Hall instead. That building on the right is where the King used to entertain. But it was deemed as small. Now it is left unused.” The butler said and he pointed to the small building far to the right of the castle.

Suddenly inspiration hit me.

“Have it cleaned and refurbished. The King’s mistresses will be housed there.” I declared.

The butler’s nervous expression now turned to one of outrage. He shifted nervously on his feet and looked around us as if expecting lightning to strike anytime. “Is there a problem?” I asked.

“N-no... Your h-highness... But have you discussed this with his majesty?” he asked. “Yes. In fact it is written on our marriage contract that I am to be given free reign of the castle.” I replied. The butler sighed. “Right away, your majesty.” He said and then sent one of the footmen to summon the steward of Ravenswood Castle, Iain.

“Her majesty wishes for the building to be restored and refurbished at once.” Hodge said to Iain and the steward’s expression mimicked that of the butler’s earlier outrage. He held his emotions at bay and then replied with “Right away, my queen.”

“How long before the building is cleaned and the rooms adequate?” I asked.

“It can be ready tomorrow afternoon, your highness. I’ll set everyone to work right away. They will be most eager to please you.” He said and I smiled.

“Very well. I shall not hold you from your duties a moment longer.” I replied.

When the steward left, I gazed at Hodge once more. “Are there any more things I should know?” he asked. “The keep for the soldiers are at the south part of Ravenswood Castle. The stables are also near the keep. The keep is a fine building and houses the King’s entire army. Near the keep is the training fields. The King usually spends his entire day there. He takes a great interest in the training of his soldiers. Ivaris boasts of having the finest warriors in all of the land. Shall I take you to the kitchens now, your majesty?” Hodge asked and I nodded.

We walked to the kitchens which took up almost half a wing of the castle. I whistled as I beheld its elegance. Cooks and maids scrambled about doing their duties. The smell of newly baked bread wafted in the air. Ten hearths were lined up on one side where numerous steaming cauldrons were placed.

“Your majesty, allow me to present the head cook, Madame Gertrude.” Hodge introduced the middle-aged, rounded woman who wore a very dirty apron over her clothes. She beamed and curtsied when she saw me.

“Your highness! ’Tis a great honor!” she exclaimed. I touched her arm and smiled. “The honor is mine. For now, I am finally seeing the lady that made all my meals. I must say that they are the finest I’ve ever tasted!” the cook turned red at my compliment. I saw some of the maids smile as they scurried about.

“You flatter me, your grace.” She said. “I hope that one day you may teach me some of the things you know. I can cook too!” I replied. She looked even more excited. “That would be a great honor, milady! Please teach me how to cook your favourite dishes and I’d serve them for you.”

“If you need anything regarding the kitchens, don’t hesitate to approach me directly.” I replied.

Hodge and I, along with my procession of guards and maids exited the kitchens and found ourselves back in the hall.

“Exactly how many servants does it take to run Ravenswood?” I asked.

“Around seven hundred, your highness.” he replied and I let out a low whistle once more. “During gatherings or when there is a special event, we hire more from the capital and the people are extremely happy to be of service.”

“Who ran this estate before? Was it you?”

The butler shook his head. “No, your majesty. The steward and the governess, Maria, ran it before.” He replied. “I am chatelaine of this castle now and I expect everything regarding it be brought to my attention. The governess would now be relegated to running the outer building which will house the King’s mistresses.” I instructed. “Yes, your majesty.”

I remembered the governess’ cruel gossip and the jests and insults she hurled my way. I’m doing things my way now and she would be most welcome to reside with the King’s other ladies whom she favoured.

“Would there be anything else, your majesty?” Hodge asked. “I seem to be sharing the King’s chamber. Is there no adjoining room or another room for me to use? Have my things moved instantly.” I ordered.

“I am sorry, your highness. But it is his majesty’s orders that you share his chambers. He was most adamant about it.” The butler explained.

“I will bring the subject up tonight.” I said and the butler looked relieved that he wouldn’t be the one to tell that certain news to the King.

“You may now go back to your duties. Thank you so much for accompanying me today. Tomorrow, I hope you would accompany me on a tour of the rooms.” I said with a smile. “It would be my honor, your majesty.” He said with a bow and then left.

-King Seth Liam Ivaris XV-

“Are you a warrior or a lady?” I taunted Malcolm as he swung his sword once more. I sidestepped and quickly raised my sword to block another swift blow from him. I swung my sword and Malcolm quickly rolled back to avoid the sharp edge.

He ran towards me with his sword raised and we exchanged another round of bone-jarring blows while the other warriors looked on with amusement in their faces. Sweat poured off my back and I felt the heat of the sun directly on my naked skin. I found the tunic very constricting so I removed it and fought bare-chested and wearing only my breeches and boots.

“Can’t you do better than that, Seth?” Malcolm growled when I missed. I grunted and then quickly flicked my wrist. The movement caught him unaware and sent his sword flying towards the air.

“Will you yield now?” I asked as I held him at the point of my sword. He quickly rolled away and in an instant, he was back on his feet. “Never!” He replied and balled his hands into fists. I let go of my sword and took another stance. I braced my feet wide apart with one foot in front of the other and clenched my fists. I placed my fists at the level of my chest to guard the middle of my body from unexpected attack.

Malcolm ran towards me and I ducked when he released the first blow. I moved fast to avoid his fists and then used my shoulder to ram into his belly. He grunted with pain and we landed on the ground. He tried to buck me off him but I quickly wrapped my arms around his head in a death grip. “Yield?” I asked once more. He heaved and before I knew it, I tumbled in the air and landed on the ground. I stood up quickly but not quick enough. Malcolm caught me with a blow in my middle which sent me staggering a number of steps back.

Malcolm grinned with satisfaction and I heated with fury. I ran towards him and sent my fists flying. He caught an uppercut to the jaw and landed flat on the ground. I lifted my boot and placed it on his neck, ready to crush his windpipe if he refused to yield once more.

“Alright, I yield!” Malcolm shouted and the warriors cheered and then dispersed when they saw that the fight was finished.

I offered Malcolm my hand and he took it and stood up. “What’s gotten into you today?” he asked and I almost struck him again. He knew me well and he was the only one who understood my moods.

“Nothing.” I replied.

When a man rises from his bed the day after his wedding and then finds someone to spar with instead of making love to his new wife the whole morning, something is wrong. If I were newly married, I’d rather be deep inside her now than rolling around the dirt with you.” He said.

I threw him a sharp glare and bent to retrieve my tunic.

Malcolm regarded me and then said, “Wasn’t your bride too drunk last night?” he said and then his face split into a wide grin. “Oh now I get it! There was no wedding night!” he said and then howled in laughter.

I ignored him and went about the task of securing my weapons on my belt again.

“You, of all people! You couldn’t handle your bride! I seem to recall that when we were younger, we tumbled nearly all the wenches in Arcadia.” Malcolm commented.

“I refuse to have this conversation with you.” I replied and then strolled back towards the castle. Malcolm’s loud laughter echoed across the courtyard.

I walked briskly, intending to find Adrienne and show her just who she was making love with. I’d force her to open her eyes and look at me as I slid inch by inch deeper into her. I’d not have another man’s name on her lips for she’ll be screaming mine instead!

With that, I walked in more purposeful strides towards the castle. I saw servants carrying piles of wood, carpets, tools, candles and supplies. They looked as if they were headed towards the abandoned out-building that was previously used as the entertainment hall.

“Goodmornin’, your majesty.” They greeted with a bow and I waved my hand and sent them back to their tasks. What could the steward be doing with the abandoned hall? Was it being converted into another keep or a stock room? I made a mental note to ask the steward right away.

I entered the castle and the servants bowed. Then, I saw her. She was with her guards and her maids and she looked around the great hall as if thinking of what changes she could do. “My queen.” I greeted. She was snapped out of her thoughts with a startle and I grinned at her expression. “Your highness.” She replied with a small incline of her head.

“What have you been up to?” I asked. Her eyes widened in fear and I saw mischief behind them. “How did you spend the morning?” I rephrased my question and it seemed to me as if she breathed a sigh of relief.

“I asked Hodge to give me a tour of the castle.” came her reply.

“That’s lovely but you should have asked me.” I said.

“Oh. I thought you were busy, your highness.” She replied and I took her hand and placed it above my arm. One of the servants quickly approached me with a towel and I took it from her and wiped my face and neck with the sweat and grime from the training fields.

I saw Adrienne’s scrutiny of my face and I volunteered the information, “I went to the training fields and sparred with Malcolm.” I had no idea why I just said that. I usually had no need to explain myself to someone else. I quickly snapped my lips shut. Adrienne said nothing. I led her towards the dining hall and pulled out her chair for her.

Lunch was served and we were both silent as we ate our meal. I glanced at her and thought of an appropriate topic for conversation but my wit completely deserted me at this point.

“Your highness... I woke up this morning and found myself in your chambers. Am I to stay there or is it just a temporary arrangement before my own chambers could be arranged?” she asked me. I stifled the urge to shout and willed my fury to ebb before I turned to face her.

“You are my wife and you are staying with me.” I bit out, emphasizing every single syllable.

“Wouldn’t you be more comfortable on your own? I sincerely recall that you loved leaving right after a night of passion.” She said without even blinking an eye. I wanted to strangle her then because of the poisonous words that came out from those lovely lips.

Instead, I willed myself to remain calm again and took a long drink of wine before answering. “You sleep with me, in my room. End of conversation. It’s your job to give me my heir.” I reminded her.

I saw her face redden and this time, it was she who took a long drink of wine. It gave me intense satisfaction at having the last word. Suddenly, the door to the dining hall burst open and in came Brianna in a wild tangle of skirts and tears.

She approached the table and knelt. Her face was red with tears and she was clutching the skirts of her gowns. I saw that she managed one glare towards Adrienne before she exploded into sobs.

“Your highness, how can you do this to us?” she cried. I stood up and helped her to her feet. “Do what?” I asked.

“You are having us evicted from the castle and sent t-to that hovel outside!”

“What? I did no such thing!” I replied and then remembered seeing the servants and the supplies that were brought outside to the abandoned hall.

I looked at Adrienne and she seemed to have developed a certain interest with the contents of the ceiling. She gazed at it in rapt attention as she chewed her food and drank her wine.

“Adrienne...” I growled.

“Yes, your highness?”

“Do you know what this is about?” I asked and pointed at Brianna.

“It seems she is most upset about something.” She replied sarcastically. Oh, the nerve of the chit! Again, I wanted to wring her neck for her insolence.

I gritted my teeth together and replied, “I can see that. Do you know anything about what caused her to be upset?” I asked.

She just shrugged and said. “I am moving your ladies to the abandoned entertainment hall where every luxury would be afforded to them.” She said with deliberate emphasis on the word ladies.

“My lord, you must not allow that!” Brianna screeched. Adrienne just gave her a haughty glance as she continued to eat. “I will see to it that everything is back to how it was before.” I replied and Brianna immediately stopped crying and sent me her most grateful and seductive look.

“And I will see to it that my things be moved to the hall. I will reside there, now. Ladies, please gather my belongings.” Adrienne said and nodded to her maids who then shuffled out of the room.

“You will do no such thing!” I shouted to the maids and then quickly turned towards Adrienne. “Is there a problem, your highness?” she said coolly.

“You are staying in the castle! They are staying in the castle! End of story!” I replied.

Adrienne sighed and finished the last of her meal before she lifted her eyes and looked at me. “Then I’d have to assume that our marriage is now over and that you have made it null and void.” She said and sounded so forlorn that the servants turned their heads toward her and looked at her with pity.

“What?!?” I shouted in outrage.

“You agreed to give me free reign of your estates in the contract. I would like to remind you, your highness, that if one of the terms is violated, the offending party has made the marriage null and void and has forfeited all his rights.” She said sadly.

“Why!” I couldn’t even find the words to say.

“My first day as queen and I am having my authority grabbed from me all because of your mistresses. I didn’t even ask you to give them up though it would be what a prudent husband would do... I only moved them away from my home so that people won’t laugh at me.” She said and it all sounded so real. Her voice broke on a sob and she even had tears in her eys.

I am not a fool! All this was an act! Those tears were faked! The servants were all buying her act, though.

“Stop it Adrienne!” I shouted and the servants’ heads whipped towards me with accusation and judgement in their eyes.

“I am nothing but a design in this castle! A useless queen!” she cried. Her maids went to her and rubbed her shoulders soothingly. Hodge even went to her and offered to get anything she wanted just to make her feel better. She shook her head and sobbed pitifully. I saw my trusted warriors flinched and they all looked as if they wanted to run towards her and comfort her too.

Keras! I sighed and ran my hand through my hair. “Fine, move them!” I acquiesced and Brianna started crying again. Now these were real tears when Adrienne’s were fake and spilled just to make me look horrible and sway me into doing her bidding.

Adrienne was sobbing too but I swear I saw triumph flash in those lovely eyes. She even smiled and gloated over her victory when no one else was looking.

April 23, 1645
The Port of Ivaris
The Province of Hampton, Ivaris


We’ve travelled almost one day at horseback to reach the Province of Hampton, Ivaris where the docks were located. The King allowed us a boat and it will escort us back to Amaranth. All throughout the journey, I was uneasy for I didn’t trust the soldiers with us. Not even one bit.

I constantly looked out for myself and for my men and feared that if I so much as closed my eyes, one of us will have a knife sticking out of our back. Also, the thought of Adrienne being married to that lowlife of a King wormed its way through my thoughts.

Nay! I won’t allow it! I’d find a way. I swore I would come back to her and that’s certainly what I would do. I need time and a better plan. I tightened my grip on the reins of my horse and the chains that bound my wrist together clanked loudly. I winced as the chains rubbed on my raw wrist.

I smelled the ocean and saw the vessel that bore the logo of the King of Ivaris. That would be the one that would take us to Amaranth. But I do not want to return to Amaranth. Not now that Adrienne needed me. I needed a plan...

“The enemy of my enemy is my friend...”

I suddenly recalled the proverb and thought of who the King of Ivaris’ greatest enemy is. I smiled when I thought of the right person. I would go to him but I certainly needed a bigger vessel.

Rurik, my second-in-command, caught up to me. I glanced at him and signalled him to cause a diversion when I say the word. He nodded and moved out of the way so that the guards wouldn’t be curious. There were eleven of us and twenty two of them. They were armed and we had nothing. We were even bound with these chains.

But that wouldn’t stop us.

I gazed at each of my men and signalled them to be on alert when the guards weren’t looking. They all nodded and kept a watchful eye. In a few more minutes, we’ve reached the docks. It was dawn and most of the villagers were already asleep. The docks were deserted and a lone lantern filled the street with light.

I dismounted from my horse and caught Rurik’s eye. I nodded and edged closer to the lantern. Then I swiftly picked it up and threw it on the ground. The light was instantly snuffed out. It was a dark night and it wouldn’t be long before it rains. There was no moon and it was suddenly too dark to see.

The guards panicked and I heard the scrape of steel as weapons were withdrawn. “Now!” I shouted and approached the nearest man to me and swung my chained hands in a wide arc. The chains caught the man on the jaw and he sprawled towards the ground.

Another approached me with his sword raised. I raised my chained hands and separated them so that the chains caught the sword. The man staggered backwards and I aimed a high kick towards his chest. Then, I grabbed his sword and held it in both hands.

And after that, it was an easy fight. The King’s men fell one by one. I heard the sound of running hooves and was instantly alerted that one of them was escaping. “Hunter!” I shouted and tossed a bow and a quiver of arrows towards him. To an ordinary archer, the distance that the fleeing man covered would have been difficult. But not Hunter. He was the best in archery.

He caught the bow and arrow and quickly aimed. He took his time and then inhaled deeply and fired. We heard a loud thump as the man fell from his horse. “Well done.” I told Hunter and he grinned like a fool. No one was injured from my men and all the King’s soldiers were dead. I grinned at the thought.

“Where to now, captain?” Rurik asked. He walked towards me and his chains clanged loudly. I flinched. “Quietly, man. You’ll wake up the entire village. First... We have to get these blasted chains off of us.” I replied and then squinted to take a closer look at the village.

The Gods seemed to be watching over us tonight for a few blocks away from where we were standing was a shop of a blacksmith. I walked and the men followed. It was still dawn and the owners seemed to be asleep.

I knocked on the door but no one answered.

“Allow me.” Brodie said and I sidestepped to allow him access.

I thought he was going to pick the lock but what he did was to knock five times louder. Instantly, three hands lifted and smacked Brodie across the back of his head: Mine, Rurik’s and Kurt’s. “Ow!” he yelled and rubbed the sore spot. “Fool." Rurik hissed.

Rurik pushed Brodie away and was about to pick the lock on the door when we heard a scuffle from inside. The doors opened and revealed a brown-haired girl with an irritated expression on her beautiful face. “What the devil is this?” she hissed.

“We beg your pardon miss... But we have need of the blacksmith.” I said. Her eyes roamed over us and settled on our uniforms and on the chains that bound our wrists. I tried to look as decent as I could and I looked back and saw the men wore grins on their faces for her. I shook my head for they looked like idiots.

“Are you from Amaranth? Don’t lie to me for I know those uniforms.” The woman replied. My eyes widened in surprise. “Yes, maam.” I said.

“What are you doing here in Ivaris? You came for the wedding? Don’t you dare lie to me!” she inquired.

“No. We came here to rescue the princess but we failed.” Brodie replied. This earned him another smack from Rurik. I saw Kurt roll his eyes heavenward as he prayed for patience.

“The lady said ‘don’t lie!’” Brodie argued as he rubbed his head.

I was sure that the lady would close the door on us but I was surprised when she held it open and stepped aside so that we could enter. She locked the door the moment all of us were inside.

“I came from Amaranth too... And I don’t think the princess should be married to that King.” She said as she poured us some tea. The men looked at her as if she was an angel and gratefully accepted the tea and biscuits she offered. It was hard to eat in chains but we made do with this small blessing.

She started the fire at the hearth and heated some of her tools while we ate. “Maam, where’s the blacksmith?” I asked. She looked at me and raised her chin. “I am the blacksmith.” The men’s jaws fell open and so did mine. She called me first and then inserted a heated rod into a link on my chains until it melted and fell open. Then she heated another smaller rod and used it to melt the locking mechanism on both chains.

It was the fastest work I’ve ever seen! My men stood there with jaws agape as she reheated her instruments. “Who’s next?” she asked with a sweet smile and everyone raised their hands. She worked diligently and dawn was almost breaking when she finished.

“Lady... We have neither coin nor token to give you for now. But I promise that when we return, we shall come back here and repay you for your kindness. My men and I will never forget this.” I said. “Nonsense. I did this for my countrymen and my princess. Now go, before the village wakes!” she said and pushed us all outside her door.

The men went towards the boats. I turned to the lady once more. “Can I at least have the pleasure of knowing who gave us her kindness?” I asked. “Lis.” She replied with a beautiful smile.

I bent and then lifted her fingers to my lips and kissed it. “Thank you, Lis.” I said and smiled at her before I turned around and caught up with my men.

Our vessel was tied to the moor on one side and I murmured a prayer of thanks to whoever God was watching over us. I never thought I’d see the Sea Serpent again! My men untied the ropes and prepared to set sail.

“Haul anchor! Release those sails!” I shouted and after a few moments, the land faded and we were back in the open seas once more....

*Dedicated to Lis @SeriousMoonlight who is forever my Wattpad friend. haha.*

“Make me a side character that releases Duncan and crew. I will help him save his love... Hell, he can fall in love with me if need be.” -SeriousMoonlight (on one of her comments on my chapter)

I remembered that comment so I named the character after you. And I know you're still reading this here on Inkitt so I did not remove this note. :)

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