Chapter 31: Escaping The Sanctuary
It was well into the night when I finally closed the book, resting in my hands with a loud thud. A sigh filled the utterly silent air as I rested my head against the backrest of the wooden chair I was plopped on, and closed my eyes to lose myself in the sea of thoughts.
According to one of the many books from Vincent’s collection, Señor Alonzo Gritti was born in the house of a Spanish General Lord Lorenzo Gritti; who was held accountable for treason and found guilty. Execution of Lord Gritti, a public one, is said to have not settled well with his young son at that time pushing him to start numerous failed, and one successful uprising against the king of the Spanish lands. With the downfall of his king, Señor Alonzo Gritti rose to power, but politics and throne did not hold his interest. It is speculated that with appointing of a new king Seño rGritti vanished into thin air, no one has known to be in contact with señor and found to be authentic. Despite staying out of the public eye it is known that Senor Alonzo Gritti formed and leads to this very day an army described as the best of the best. The army is divided into smaller units and spread worldwide, and available for hire at competitive rates.
From the hours of daylight and darkness I poured into conducting an extensive research regarding señor Alonzo Gritti I have come to know one thing for a fact; his support is vital for Vincent to survive let alone win this war that he plans to wage against His majesty king Cedric.
In light of all I knew at this point, it was certain that señor is purchasable; the only question is what his price is. I am quite sure men sent by Vincent must have offered him money or political status, the usual price of men.
If I wished to save Vincent I had to figure out the price of Señor sooner rather than later, and pay it in full, but for that to happen I first and foremost needed to get out of this house guarded by Vincent’s loyal soldiers.
After only a few moments of racking my brain for ideas, one dawned upon me. Immediately, I set to work. Rushing in to the only bedroom in the house, I slipped into Vincent’s white silk shirt, black leather pants; that stuck to my body like a second skin, and black boot that enveloped the leather of pants, up to the half of my lower legs, with their own thicker layer of leather.
I let go of my haste for few moments, and slowed down to revel in the scent, that was pure Vincent, enveloping me completely. A mixture of spicy, herbal, and earthy scent caressed my nostrils, soothing my raging nerves just like Vincent had the skill to. Taking hold of the cuffs of the slightly long sleeves for my frame, I rubbed the soft fabric on my nose, and inhaled deeply.
Sadly I did not have plentiful time to continue for long bathing my senses in the delightful scent that was part of Vincent. Tugging a leather vest; which happened to also belong to Vincent, over my torso I slipped out of the house.
The thick spell of darkness floating over the forest was my benefactor for the task at hand. Dressed in Vincent’s clothing, to soldiers my silhouette will seem similar to their own, keeping my stroll outside the house out of notice. I had a distant memory of spotting Schzndra berries, right before Vincent had kissed me senseless.
It was a beautiful day. The sun rays were showering every leaf, every flower, every stem, every bee, every bug, and every human present in the, rather extravagant, gardens of Castile Black with pleasant warmth. Laughter, surprise laced screams, and playful banter filled the atmosphere.
Low giggles bubbled out of my lips, as I made a sharp turn around a hedge and kept running away from my brothers chasing me. Somewhere along the path I managed to lose my brothers who were formerly hot on my heels.
I came to a halt as I spotted delicious seeming berries since I found no trace of my brothers around yet. All the running had made me hungry. Plucking the berries I popped, one after another, altogether five berries in my mouth. I was not yet done with savoring the taste of the succulent berries that still lingered on my buds when my eye lids became heavy as lead. I tried to keep my eyes open and my senses active but, with every passing second darkness had gotten closer till it finally consumed me.
It took me around two days and two nights to come around to my senses, only to receive a piece of mind from a very angry father of mine.
Fifteen years after that fateful day, I could now recognize the Schzndra berries with nothing more than a single glance, and I was absolutely right it were the same sleep inducing berries growing in vicinity of Vincent’s humble abode that I had consumed once before in the twenty six years of my life. Detaching a bunch of berries from the plant, I soundlessly made my way around the small house to the well which was the source of water for all six of the soldiers guarding me.
With the aid of my hand I crushed the berries and added their nectar to the water present in the well. I sent off a silent prayer for my plans to commence without any hindrance, wiped my hands on my pants to rid them of any Schzndra nectar and secured my consciousness. With caution regarding not being seen, I slipped back inside the house.
The moment my feet came in contact with the stone floor of the house, I began to count down hours till every single guard was lying on the ground consumed by a spell of sleep. It was well past noon when the first step of my plan came to completion and I could leave without any obstacles.
Binding as much of easily transportable food as I could get hands on in a sheet of cloth, I loaded it onto one of the soldier’s horse. I tucked the pouch full of coins, which I had along the moment I had days ago left to tour the market, in the waist of my pants. I had kept on Vincent’s clothes, and added a cloak to the ensemble, before mounting the horse and speeding away.