I roamed the poorly lit halls. It was already quite late as my whole day consisted of meeting with my father and other men with high rankings.
Normally these halls would be empty at this hour but due to the many guest there were staying in the castle with all the meetings, there were more maids hastily walking around to keep everything in order. Even though the guest were staying in a different wing than from us, the washing room and the kitchen were located in the part of the castle where my family lived, thus making this hall the fasted route for the maids.
I yawned, running my hand through my hair.
While I was attending all the meetings today.
I haven’t seen Kieran at any of them. At first I thought he would just be later, knowing Kieran loves a good party. But when he didn’t show up later, I made a mental note to ask about him later.
While I had no idea where he actually stayed, I just thought it would be smart to walk around outside, making sure to look for things that resembled Kieran.
While walking around I turned a blind eye to all the scared and judgemental looks people shot me. I understood, while my own people knew how I was and where I got these scars from. The guests that were here now didn’t. So I could understand that mothers quickly pulled their children towards them as far away from me as possible. And it didn’t really help how stoic my face was and how low and gruff my voice was when I decided it was needed to open my mouth and speak.
It didn’t really bother me, although now when I got older I could only hope that my own children wouldn’t be scared of me. But that was a problem for later. The upside of this was that people naturally were a tad bit scared of me so they would leave me alone.
I was deeply in thought when I vaguely heard something. Well you could say someone.
“Norton!” Someone yelled.
I grinned, but kept walking trying to blend in with the people that were roaming the street.
When I saw the possibility to slip away without being seen, I hid in a dark ally.
My heartbeat quickened, I felt the adrenaline rush through my body, making me feel funny inside. I couldn’t hold in a soft laugh. This made me think about the good old days. I missed being hunted, especially by stupid people.
I climbed on some wooden barrels that were stashed here, now I could see the people that were coming in the reflection of the window.
I only had to see a glimpse, I jumped out of my hiding spot, pulling a dagger out of a leather holster I always wore under my jackets.
I always had weapons on me, because you never knew if you needed them.
“Well hello to you too” I said gruffly, while standing behind him, my left hand on his forehead pushing it back to expose his throat, while my right hand pressed the dagger against his throat, firm enough to feel pressure but not hard enough to draw actual blood.
I heard the slightest sound behind me, quickly I turned around, shooting my right hand out with the dagger, pressing the tip against the second persons throat. In the meantime my left hand moved from the first guys forehead to his throat, keeping a firm hold.
I didn’t show any emotions. Just like the other two men didn’t. The longer we gave each other looks the more people came, surrounding us, like we were some puppet show. I almost grunted in distaste.
My eyes shot to the guy who I had my dagger pointed at when I felt the dagger move just a tiny bit, I let a small smirk seen. I knew it. This proofed to never let your guard down.
But what they didn’t know is that they were very predictable. Because when I met the eyes of the one were my dagger was pointed at. I knew the other one were my hand was around his throat would make a move, purely using his brother as a distraction.
I let my grip on his throat go, while turning around I saw that the other guy also came into action. I flashed him a grin, he chuckled.
I turned with the other guy so he couldn’t get behind me. I grabbed his arm turning it behind is back. Using him as a shield against his brother. At the last moment his brother had to change the direction of his move to avoid hitting him. Ending up with an unlucky stance, but he moved quickly. So quickly that I had a gun pointed to the side of my face. But before he could blink or say anything, I laughed while nodding my head. “Yeh no” was my answer before I over look the gun en pulled the brothers towards each other. One with a gun against his head while the other had a dagger poking in his adam’s apple.
I shot a glance around the crowd, hoping that maybe Kieran was also here, knowing he would die to see something like that. Although I knew this all was a play.
The brothers slowly grinned and showed me their throat. Knowing it was done I let them go, also with a grin. “Brothers!” I said while embracing them both. We laughed.
“Its been ages” I said while ignoring the confused bystanders. “Brother, we heard you might need out help.” The oldest Zedler said.
I clacked my tongue. “I need indeed help. But I am not planning to go into war.” I explained.
The youngest one nodded his head. “We heard it all. We though it would be nice to work together again.” He said. “Like the good old days.” The other grinned.
While we slowly walked towards my favourite pub, I told them about the case and all the details we already discovered. While we walked into the pub, I was immediately on my toes. Something was off, I looked at the brothers who stood behind me. The looks from them told me enough, they also sensed it.
Normally when you walked in every where you looked you saw people having fun and Edgar the pub owner would greet you behind the bar. But now there was nobody at the front, but looking where the commotion came from I stood there with a brow raised. I signed to the brothers to follow me. I walked to Edgar who I saw standing talking with other people. But Rumi, the oldest, called me back.
“Ascian?” I nodded in reply.
“I think we found Kieran” Rumi said while gesturing towards a guy yelling sitting on a table with people around him.
“Oh no.” I muttered.
He was visibly drunk. And I knew he was very unstable the last few times I had spoken to him.
“Clear the pub” I said, while walking towards Edgar. While I was explaining to Edgar what I was doing, I never lost Kieran out of my eyesight.
After Edgar left Towards the back and the Zedler brothers had cleared the pub.
Kieran’s attention was on me.
I went to the bar to make three beers, while I heard that Rumi locked the door.
I shoved the 2 other beers towards the brothers while gulping mine down. Making myself a new one I started talking to Kieran.
“These two here, that are with me, are two very dear friends that are close to my heart. They’re my brothers even.” I was silent, still working on filling my glass. “This one here, is Rumi Jurai Zedler, the oldest. And the other one over there is Mori Rue Zedler, the younger one, by 6 years right?” I asked while sipping on my beer.
The brothers hummed, they were casually standing around the room. But I knew that it was strategic. Seeing that Rumi stood at the bar by the door that went to the back where Edgar was. And then there was Mori who stood diagonally behind Kieran, so Kieran could still see him but Mori could still quick enough jump in if needed.
Letting me in charge of the door, that was locked but nonetheless still important.
“What are you doing here Kieran? Look at you.” I said while shaking my head in disappointment.
It hurts to see my friend at such a low point.
Kieran shook his head, showing hurt in his eyes. His eyes were screaming for help but Kieran always denied help. Its been almost a week now that I met Kieran. It became clear to me that Kieran was here with a friend of his dad and that Kieran himself wasn’t high ranked.