Crucible Vows

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Chapter 10

“You’re confessing to starting the fire at the Winter Tavern and Inn.” I confirmed while crossing my arms.

We caught several individuals who were responsible for the fire, but I focused on talking to the ring leaders. Two men and one woman. I easily recognized one as the man Elora said caused her troubles when she first arrived. Though they couldn’t see it, I glared at each of them for their actions.

“We were only getting rid of that elf girl.” One defended.

“She shouldn’t be here in the first place.” The woman added. “She isn’t welcomed. Imagine what she could do to the people here.”

I gritted my teeth. “All she’s done is serve those at the tavern and provide herbal mixtures to help against peoples ailments.”

“She understands herbs too much.” The man who attacked Elora said harshly. “She could easily poison us.”

“She has no purpose to poison the people here.” I retorted. “She’s a refugee who had to leave her home because she wasn’t safe. She didn’t choose to be here. But this was the only place she could go. And she fears every minute of her life now because she’s wondering if someone is going to try to kill her.”

“She shouldn’t have come then.” He shouted.

I stood up abruptly. “She would have died.”

“It’s better than she be dead then disturb our town!” The woman stood up.

The guard behind her quickly placed a hand on her shoulder and forced her to sit again. My hands clenched hard that I knew my knuckles would be white. I was silent for a moment, fighting the urge to pull out my sword. I let out a long slow breath as I calmed myself.

“Was it worth putting several others in danger in the process?” I asked.

“We figured they would get out before it was too late.”

My fist slammed into the wood of the desk in front of me. The loud sound caused the three in front of me to jump. When I lifted my hand, I noticed that I had left a decent mark in the wood where the metal had impacted. I walked around the desk and stood in front of the individual and crossed my arms again.

“You didn’t even care about the lives around the girl you targeted.” My voice was filled with venom. “You only cared about killing the girl that you know nothing about simply because she’s an Elf. You couldn’t look past your stupid prejudice and you cost two people their livelihood and traumatized several others. I won’t pass judgement on you, but the King will. And you can expect that he will receive a full report from me.”

They remained silent.

I looked to the other guards. “Take them to the Capital and make sure they are locked up until it’s time for their trial.”

“Yes, Captain.” The guards said in unison.

As the three were escorted out of the room, I went back around the desk and began to fill out a report on the fire and those responsible. Once I finished, I sealed it and handed it to another guard. I let out a sigh and stood up. I had to speak to the King directly about me taking Elora to Alovia. We had an enchanted mirror one floor up to contact our commanders. It had been set that anyone with authority could make a call. Being a Captain, I had that authority.

Once I was in the room with the mirror, I placed my hand on its face and commanded to see the king. It only took a moment for his image to appear in the glass after it rippled to life.

“Captain Luna.” He greeted.

“Your Majesty.” I bowed before him. “There will be three individuals arriving at the Capital in a few days. The caused a fire at the local tavern and inn to try to murder an innocent young woman. I have written you a report that you will receive along with them.”

“Thank you, Luna.” He said in a breath. “Anything else?”

“I come to you with a request.”

“What can I do for you?” He asked, almost sounding annoyed.

I remained bowed. “There is a young woman here who requires an escort to Alovia. May I have permission to be that escort?”

“She wants one of my knights to escort her to the neighboring kingdom that we have bad relations with?” His voice sounded insulted.

“I volunteered.” I clarified. “No one else will, and most carriages won’t provide her with a ride. She’s not safe alone.”

A sigh came from him. “What aren’t you telling me, Luna.”

I glanced up and saw him leaning forward in his throne with his elbows on his knees. He stared at me with an annoyance in his eyes that was all too common for him. Though the king took good care of his people, he seemed to do it only out of duty rather than charity. From some instances I saw, he didn’t seem interested in anyone but himself. But he was our King, and we had to follow him.

“She...” I hesitated. “She is a refugee, Your Majesty.”

There was an uncomfortable silence that fell after I said that. I couldn’t tell what was going to happen, or how he would react. But one thing I knew, he was connecting the dots on Elora and that she was an Elf. Everyone knew that the King hated Elves.

“Bring her to me.” He finally responded.

My head jumped up. “Your Majesty?”

“Bring the Elf girl to me. I will deal with her personally.” He had a glare on his brow.

I stood up straight. “You Majesty, she has done nothing to warrant death.”

“I don’t care.” He glared at me. “All of her kind are responsible for the Obrenor Tragedy. She must pay with her life like all her people. Bring her to me. I expect her here with the others you are sending in a few days.”

The mirror returned to normal before I could argue anymore. I was frozen in place. I didn’t often feel fear, but it was clear that I was afraid for the young woman I protected. She needed to get to Alovia, but my King wanted her taken to him so he could kill her. It was my duty to follow orders, but I also felt a need to protect Elora.

I ran down the stairs until I reached where I had left Elora. She looked so small having her knees against her chest, and my cape wrapped around her form. As I got closer, I saw her vibrant purple eyes were filled with tears. It awoke a feeling of compassion in my chest and I ran over to her and knelt in front of her.

“What’s wrong?” My hands went to her arms. “Did someone bother you, or say something? Did someone hurt you?”

She bit her lip. “It’s my hand.”

She slipped her hand out from the cape and showed it to me. It looked bright red and raw with several blisters. I reached and gently placed my hand under hers as I examined it. It looked bad.

Through hiccups of breath, she told me what happened. “I guess the shock of what happened numbed it for a while. I burned in on the door handle when I was trying to get out of my room.”

I watched her for a moment before I looked back down at the burn. Guiding her hand up, I gently pressed my palm against hers and aligned my fingers. Focusing on my hand, I slowly felt the pain she felt shift to my own palm. When I opened my eyes, I saw that she glanced down to the crystal around my neck. She was curious but didn’t ask. Her tears had stopped, and by the looks of it her pain was gone.

“I’ll be right back.” I said as I stood up and walked out of the building.

It didn’t take me long to find the flower field and to find the Moris Rose. I picked a few and went back to the law house. Holding out the roses, I noticed her surprise to me getting the flower.

“Is there a way for you to make this into an ointment?” I asked.

She nodded. “I’ll need some oil, and beeswax.”

I nodded and then pointed to another separate room. “That’s the kitchen, you should be able to find what you need there to get started. I’ll go get the oil and beeswax.”

I placed the roses next to her and turned to leave again when she called to me. “Thank you, Luna.”

I glanced back and smiled. Though she didn’t see it. Simply waving, I left the building once more to get the rest of what she needed for the healing ointment. As I left, I made up my mind. I had never thought I would do what I was planning, but I had to save Elora. She was innocent and didn’t deserve to die simply because of who she was. I was going disobey orders and take Elora to Alovia.

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