Chapter 4 - A High Prince Goes Missing
She grabbed a clean apron and went to see a soldier with a deep gash across her forehead.
“It’s okay.” She said as she got on her knees to examine her. “I can clean it and have it dressed in no time.”
The soldier nodded and put her head back so that Alice could get a better angle. She carefully washed the wound, then applied a poultice that Chelsi had made up for her before tying a bandage tight around it.
“There you’re all done. Go find somewhere to rest now.” She said smiling and she got up.
But as she turned around she saw Chelsi and Mira talking closely before Chelsi glanced at her.
“What is it?” She asked looking between them.
“It’s Prince Fain.” Mira said and her face was white as a sheet.
“What’s happened?” Alice half whispered feeling her stomach drop.
“I heard some of the soldiers talking.” Chelsi said. “They don’t know where he is.”
“What do you mean?”
“Half his unit got cut off. They lost contact with them…”
Alice shook her head stepping back. It was everything she was afraid of.
“I have to go.” She muttered putting the poultice down on a table.
“Go where?” Mira asked confused.
“To the High King.” She said before running out of the tent.
She pushed past the guards even as they tried to stop her and forced her way into his tent.
High King Uther stood up at the interruption and frowned before waving his guards away. He beckoned her forward and looked back at the map in front of him. One of the Generals started talking again, pointing to where little ships were placed around one section of the Island and small coloured blocks looked like they were spreading out.
“This was their last position.” He pointed to what looked like a place high up on the rocks.
“And there’s been no more reports?”
“Nothing your Highness.”
“Since when?” Alice asked and they turned to look at her. Uther narrowed his eyes before answering.
“Nine hours.” He said.
“Nine hours?” She cried. “He’s been missing for Nine hours?”
“It’s not just him. There are 20 men missing with him.” One of the Generals replied.
“Does that make it better?” Alice retorted and the High King shook his head at her.
“If you cannot hold your tongue then you will not be allowed to stay.” He warned.
Alice gritted her teeth and glared at him.
“We’ve sent out a garrison to see if they can find them but we won’t hear anything for a few hours.”
Uther nodded and stared back at the map.
“Then we wait for now.” He said.
Alice opened her mouth to object, to argue, but the tent opened and a messenger rushed in. Uther snatched the note out of his hand and tore it open. The colour drained from his face as he read.
“Your Highness?” One of the Generals asked.
“What is it?” Alice asked quietly, fearful of what he would say.
He looked at his Generals before he spoke. “Spectrals.” He said.
“What?” One of the Generals asked shocked.
“The Sharns are in league with the Witches.” Another spat.
“King Calin will pay for this..” The first growled.
“Where?” Alice asked looking at the High King.
“Here.” He said pointing not far from where Fain’s last position was.
“Let me go.” Alice said facing him.
He shook his head.
“I can do this. You know I can.”
He gave her a cold hard stare. “I said no.”
“He’s your brother.” She cried.
“I cannot risk…”
“What? What can’t you risk?”
“If you were to fall into our enemies hands…”
“So I’m worth more to you than your own brother, your own flesh and blood?” She yelled not caring if she offended him now. Not caring that everyone in the room was watching them. Not caring what any of them thought.
“Yes.” He said. “As harsh as that may seem to you. Your power in our enemies hands, it could destroy us.” He stated and she shook her head disgusted.
“And yet you’d rather I stand by and do nothing. Not even use the power I have to help you.”
He narrowed his eyes at her.
“I can save him. You know I can.”
“Enough.” He snapped. “Have her taken to her tent.”
Alice scowled at him even as his guards grabbed her and dragged her out.