Rein led me back to a small shuttle standing in an open area of the graveyard. He ran to the door and as I climbed in, I saw Laylar sitting in a seat at the back of the ship with a blanket over her shoulders. As soon as she saw me, she shot up off the chair and ran to me. She threw her arms around me, “Ash, thank the Universe you are alright.”
I moved her face to look at her, “Are you ok? Are you hurt?”
She shook her head, “No, just cold. What about you?”
“My head is killing me, but I will live,” I spun around to the front of the ship, “Rein, step on it!”
We flew back to the palace as fast as this ship could go, and as he lowered to the landing bay, Rein cursed, then lifted us up again.
“What’s going on?” I asked him as I went to the front of the ship.
“Savnor’s men are everywhere. If we land, we will either be killed or detained. We need to find another way to get in.”
“How?” Laylar asked as she came up to us.
Rein turned to her, “I do not know. Lord Savnor has a lot of men, and it looks like they are all here to make sure no one stops him. Without an army of our own, we don’t stand a chance.”
“What about my father’s army?”
He sighed, “Even if they were to act without the word of the king, which they may not, they are all stationed around the kingdom. By the time they get back here, it will be too late. The guards at the palace would have been moved to the prison, and locked up.”
I looked over at Laylar and saw her eyes fill with tears.
“Hey,” I said to her in a gentle voice, “We will figure it out. We will find a way to stop this from happening.” I pulled her into my arms and held her as she cried.
Rein turned the ship away from the palace, and I spotted the docking station to the market.
“I have an idea,” I said and let go of Laylar, “Rein take us to the market.”
“What do you-”
“Just do it, we don’t have time!”
I ran to the back of the shuttle and waited by the door. Laylar came to me, “What are we doing?
“You are staying here. If the people at the market see you, it could cause a scene.”
“But I want to help.”
“And you will, but please Laylar, just trust me.” She nodded and went back to Rein in the front seat. He landed us at one of the docking bays, and before he left the pilot's seat, he reached out to cup her face and give her a kiss. I smiled at the sight of the young love blooming.
With one last look, he left her in the seat and ran over to me, “What is your plan?” He asked as the door opened.
“No time to explain, just follow me,” I said as I bolted out of the ship, and ran as fast as I could to the colorful lights and music in the far end.
When I found the vendor with the game of gravity the king and I played, I skidded to a stop in front of him.
He spun to look at me, and when he saw Rein next to me he backed away, “No! The king forgave me! I have not-”
“Shut up and listen,” I said, cutting his panic off, “The king spared your life, and now you owe him one. Tell me, do you respect the king?”
“Yes, of course!”
“Do you love him, and his rule?”
He nodded, still eyeing Rein.
“Do you want him off the throne?”
He gasped with shock, “No! There isn’t a soul in this market that would ever want to see that happen!”
“Good,” I said and grabbed his arm, pulling him back to the ship, “That’s what I’m counting on.”
Rein, Laylar, and I hung back as the ever-growing crowd from the market marched towards the gates of the palace. Each person armed with whatever they could find to use as a weapon. Some had sticks, others had bats, poles, and a variety of random things.
Once they approached, I heard the guard at the gate shout for them to stop.
The vendor that hit the king led the march, and when they got to the gates, he shouted for the gates to be opened. Rein turned to me, “That guard will call for help in a moment. As soon as the others come, we will jump the wall here and run to the side door. I don’t know what we will find inside, but I will do everything I can to get you to the throne room. Laylar,” he turned to her, “my love, please stay here. I cannot fight and keep you safe.”
She met his eyes with a raised brow, “Did you forget who I am, and who raised me? Do you really think my father and uncle would let me grow up without combat training? I can protect myself.” Good for you girl. Don’t let him tell you nothing.
When the shouts at the gate grew louder, I peered out to see the guard speaking to someone through his com. A moment later, a group of men in red uniforms came running out of the palace.
“Now,” Rein said and we climbed over the wall, and ran for the side door. Rein went in first and called us in when it was clear.
“Which way?” I asked him, looking down both ends of the hall. These halls all look the same to me.
He gestured with his head to the left, and we jogged to the end. He peered out around the corner then shot his head back.
“Three men at the doors to the throne room.”
“Shit,” I said as my heart raced again.
I can’t fight. How am I supposed to help them with the guards?
As my thoughts made me freeze in fear, Rein stepped out from around the corner and whistled.
The guards shouted for him to stop and I heard their boots running towards us.
Shit shit shit!
Rein took care of the first guard with a quick move, throwing his fist into his face before he used his boot to stomp on his head, knocking him out. Or did he kill him? Who cares, he deserved it for what he allowed to happen.
When the other two guards came around the corner, their weapons raised, Rein jumped in front of the energy pulse to stop it from hitting me and Laylar. As his body convulsed with the electrical shock on the ground, I took a step back and pushed Laylar behind me, “Stay away from her.”
The guards laughed as they looked at me with a mocking gaze, “Or what?”
At that moment, I felt the anger of years of feeling weak with Dave flare up in me like a rising tidal wave.
I clenched my jaw, rolled my fists, and ran forward. In a blinding fit of rage, I just kept hitting the guard in the face over and over. The blood on my hands and my own skin breaking, but I couldn’t stop. This was payback to everyone who ever made me feel weak.
When the guard stopped moving, I spun around to see Laylar take care of the last guard and when she helped me up, she gave me a proud smile. I nodded to her and left her to tend to Rein. I ran to the large wooden doors and burst through them into the crowded throne room.