Torchlight flickered in the darkness, revealing rough, chiseled walls and a sandy floor. Harsh breathing and the clinking of metal could be heard over the sounds of the whistling wind and the soft rhythmic thudding of the three men’s feet hitting the ground.
“Please! I didn’t do anything! Please believe me!” The man in the middle pleaded, his bare wrists and ankles bound with chains. The other two men, both dressed in uniform black leather armour over black linen tunics and breeches, remained expressionless as they continued to drag him by the arms onward to a door at the far end of the stone tunnel. “Why are you doing this? I didn’t do anything! I have to provide for my family! They will be worried by now!”
The guard’s expressions still didn’t change as they stopped and opened the door, revealing a long, scarcely lit dark room with a throne at the end under the only stable light source in the room. Sitting in the throne was a young man dressed splendidly in an ermine cloak and silk tunic and breeches. He held in one hand a thrysus, and in the other a short, black-bladed dagger. When the prisoners’ eyes landed on the man, he whimpered and started pulling away from the guards that flanked him. They only gripped his arms harder and thrust him forward, forcing him to his knees in front of the throne. They kept their hands on his shoulders as he trembled, making sure he couldn’t stand up.
“W-who are you? Why am I here? What are you going to do to me?”
The man sneered. “I think you know why you are here. Don’t remember? Think back about twenty years. Remember now?”
The prisoner’s face whitened visibly, though he tried not to show it. “I d-don’t know what you are talking about.”
“I think you do. Look closely at me, now. Do you not see the resemblance?” The young man said softly, leaning forward so that the prisoner could see him better.
“You…” The dirty, shackled man breathed. “But, I thought you were killed along with your father.”
“Oh, I’m sure I would have, if not for my wet nurse. She’s dead and gone by now, though, the poor dear. She raised me, you know. Loved me. Not that she mattered, she was only a nursemaid, anyway. Now, for what I’m going to do with you…”
The prisoner’s eyes widened in fear and the blood drained completely out of his face. “Oh, but I didn’t do anything on that night! My father had forced me to go. Please don’t kill me, Lucas!”
“Oh, so you remembered my name, did you?” Lucas acted as if he was considering the prisoner’s request. “Alright, I won’t kill you, Jeremiah. Not at first, at least. First I will get information from you.”
Jeremiah’s shoulders sagged in relief. “All right. I will tell you anything you need to know.”
“What do you know about multicoloured dragons?”