Chapter 25: Risky Rescue
My laughter broke the thick silence that was beginning to envelope the not so spacious shop of the infamous Madam Rosalie. This was surely not the type of reaction she expected from my side for her face was morphed into a picture of confusion.
“Are you alright, my dear?”
“By all means I am quite alright.” I replied with a laughter laced smile.
“Then why is it that you laugh so outrageously?”
“I laughed at the idea, that you expect me to believe all the lies you concocted as my future.”
Anger blazed in her hazel orbs as my words registered in her mind.
“You should refrain from calling me a liar, child,” she stated in a controlled manner. “Whatever I told you is no lie but mere interpretation of your possible future indicated by these cards.”
“How do I believe you are just not spinning lies to muster money from me?”
She laughed an amused laugh, and spoke.
“Did I ask you for any amount of gold?”
“Then you should not send such baseless allegations my way. I am not here to take anything from you, rather to give you something. Whatever I have told you is not some product of my wildly running imagination. It is one of the many possible outcomes of a certain course of action you will choose during upcoming times.”
“Alright but I am still blind to see here what you are giving me.”
“Patience is much too priceless a virtue, my dear. I see in your future a soul in perfect harmony to yours; a true lover, but I also foresee clouds of darkness symbolizing death hanging above the heads of both of you. I am just as ignorant as you towards the idea of which action of yours or what circumstances would lead you to the result of death. It is impossible to change the first two readings since they according to my talents will fold into reality on this very day, but there is a slight chance that the last probable event in your future may be altered.”
The seriousness in her gaze and tone compelled me to not be so sure of the idea I was formerly nursing that she was lying to me. Now that she had cleared the fact that she did want no material thing from me, it was harder to find a reason for which she might tell me false tales. I had to accept the fact that there might be some truth to her words.
Witnessing the storm of confusion and uncertainty brewing within me Madam Rosalie chose to speak up once again.
“Since we are not aware of the things that would lead to the prediction turning to reality, there is not much I can do for you, but I can give you a locket made of holy of all materials and considered to be holy. It may impart you with certain guidance. I will not say anything with certainty, but there is no harm in keeping a small artifact with you. It may serve to remind you of me, and lead you to be cautious if nothing else,” said the beautiful woman sitting opposite to me.
With a smile on her face madam Rosalie rose from the cushion her small frame, covered by a cheap but exotic red dress, was perched on, and walked to one of the darker corners of the room. I heard a few scraping and shuffling noises before she returned to me with a locket in her hand, which she passed to me. Carefully taking the pendant into my hand, I ran my fingers over it.
Strung on a long copper colored thread with rubbery texture was a tiny metallic cross, a rectangular metal slate on which scriptures in an unfamiliar tongue was engraved, a couple of rings; probably made up of a mixture of worn out copper and iron, with carvings on, and an artistically carved wing of some sort also metallic, kept in place by a beautifully tied knot.
When I offered some gold coins to Madam Rosalie she was beyond offended and refused to accept them. Thanking her for her time, I left the fortune telling shop with the pendant in my hand. I had wandered outside the house to find some food for my thoughts, and that is exactly what I got. Sometimes things get too literal. After all that Madam Rosalie had spoken of, I had a lot to think of.
Ditching any ideas I preciously had of walking around the city more, I started onto the path back to the house I had been residing in for a while. I had only walked a few yards when I felt as I was being watched. Turning around I swept the people walking in the congested and crowded street with my gaze, but found no one suspicious, so I filled the feeling of being watched as my imagination since my brain was working in an overdrive, and resumed my journey back to home. Only few more steps closer to the house I felt again as I was being followed, but found no one again, and started walking again. The third time I got the same vibe, I was sure it was just not my imagination and something was not right.
I quickened my pace, and changed my path as to not give away the position of my safe house, in case my doubts came to be true and just not my paranoia. Instead of taking a right turn and keep walking in the busy street as I would ideally have done, I took a left turn that would after few miles of market open up to open space leading to the docks. I had not gone very long way when I could hear feet hitting the ground hurriedly very close to me. Undoubtedly, I was being tailed. Taking a deep breath I broke into a full on run. Looking over my shoulder, I saw five, no six burly men running too. It could not be good.
My lungs were just beginning to burn with the lack of oxygen when I felt something pull me back with considerable force. My back met with something hard, which I believe was one of my pursuer’s chest. I had hardly gathered my bearings when a sword blade was pressed against my throat, and I was ordered to not move even an inch or I would be the only one responsible for the condition I end up in.
“Gentleman, drop your weapon.“, came the all so familiar voice of Vincent.
Relief washed over me on thought of being rescued, but only for a moment, as the reality of the situation hit me. Vincent was here to protect me, but he was most probably alone, while there were at least six men comprising the band of men who we were against. I was still mulling over worry for Vincent’s security when the sword from my throat was pulled away, and I was released.
With a swift movement I turned around to witness a terrible situation. Eight men in total had Vincent surrounded with their swords pointed all towards his torso, while he had his sword pressing into the Adam’s apple of the man standing between me and him.
One moment everything was eerily slow, and the next moment everything was a blur. With great agility, strength, and speed Vincent plunged his sword into the heart of the man he already had in front of his sword. Rivers of blood began to flow down the man’s torso as he fell to the ground with a grunt. Pulling his sword free of the flesh of the now dying man, Vincent made a run for me. Within a blur of a moment he was standing in front of me, while a frozen me still stared at the dead man lying in my feet. Grabbing my waist he threw me on his shoulder, and made a run away from the now seven men, who were right on his heels.
My body wobbled on Vincent’s shoulder while he ran through the crowded street, the only thing keeping me from falling was his hand around my waist dangerously close to my behind. Not losing a single step Vincent sheathed his bloody sword, and swung me off his shoulder into his arms. A mischievous smile lit his features as he yelled out to be heard above the noise of the crowd around the beating of our own hearts.
“Is it not fun, my lady?”
I slapped lightly his shoulder for joking in such a situation. Without breaking a stride Vincent kept running with my weight in his arms. He would dodge most obstacles, but sometimes bump into oncoming people who would not clear the way for their own security or carts that would be too high for him to jump over like most other carts and other mundane objects in his path.
Finally, we caught a break when our pursuers bumped into a huge cart of clothes, and lost their footing; stumbling to the ground. My companion took the moment to enter the first shop to our side; which turned out to be a wine shop. I was then gently put to my feet, while Vincent tried to catch his breath.
A baffled old man hesitantly approached the two of us eyeing us with bulging out orbs.
“What type of wine will you like, mister.”
“The kind that burns the easier and brightest,” replied Vincent between two deep breaths.
The man looked at Vincent like he had sprouted another head, but that look did not stay long and was replaced by greed when Vincent threw a pouch full of gold towards him. Clutching the gold close to his heart with one hand, the old man used his other hand to point to the small numerous containers of wine. Instead of moving forward to get the wine he so overly paid for Vincent walked around the shop; shuffling things, till he found a small cloth made bag with a strap. Putting inside three containers of wine, and putting the bag strap over his shoulder, Vincent grabbed my hand, and ran out into the market in the very direction we just came from.
One hand in Vincent’s, other grabbing my dress, I ran along Vincent letting him lead the way, and push people and things aside to make way for me. All the commotion attracted far too much attention giving away our location to the group of men hunting us, but Vincent did not seem to care, and kept running. It was not long before the men were almost onto us but we did not stop until we reached out of the crowded area of the city and stepped into the forest.
A horse with jet black fur stood tied to an oak tree. It began to neigh as he saw us approach. Without catching a break Vincent made me get on the horse, and handed me his sword.
“Stay safe, Eleanor.” He whispered after planting a soft kiss on my hand.
I did not get a chance to protest. The horse broke into a trot with two slaps on the back from Vincent. I only saw Vincent climb a tree, and settle on a thick branch with his bow loaded with an arrow, before the horse took me away.