Chapter 47: Back On The Battle Field
Eye lids screwed close tightly, I feigned sleep. Oblivious to my fully intact and functional senses and my eavesdropping state, the highly ranked men fighting for Vincent freely conversed about the battle strategy. The leather made tent flaps fluttered indicating a new presence, cutting my father mid-sentence. Silence settled with in the area enclosed by the cloth. I strained my hearing to get a feel of what was going on. Sounds of a singular pair of boots shuffling across the ground filled the silence, closely followed by a human voice.
“My lord, his highness; prince Vincent has issued orders to gather together your most skillful and stealthy warriors, and meet him at sun down in his tent with the band of men.”
“Did the prince say what are the men, whom he is summoning, needed for?”Came my father’s tired voice.
“He did not offer me any explanation, but I did hear him speak to Prime Minister Vergara. He was saying something along the lines; the war should be brought to an immediate end, every passing moment the number of dead increases and no matters whose army the dead belong to, all the men fighting are his people.”
“Thank you, Jackyl, you are dismissed now.”
Silence followed and remained, but only till the messenger retreated. As if given the command of speaking up, father let out a heavy sigh, and everyone began pouring out their minds to each other in hushed whispers.
“The boy is far too compassionate and kind for his own good.”
It was hard to miss the worry and fear that was clear as sun on a clear day in father’s voice. Despite his reluctance and weariness father issued orders for the summoning of more than a dozen men, who reported to him after not long. Amidst loud stomping of boots everyone cleared the tent.
I heard father issuing orders to three men; standing guard outside the tent, to keep me from leaving the shelter of the tent, but, I was not one to be stopped that easily. As soon as I heard the sound of shuffling feet fade into silence, I pushed the woolen blanket off my frame and removed myself from the rather uncomfortable bed. My eyes roamed around the small space enclosed within the cloth walls; analyzing every object small or large and judging their capability of providing me with escape.
First order of business was to don clothing that was less coated in blood and gore than the one I currently was wrapped in. Once my eyes zoomed in on the clothes my father had stashed; in an untidy heap, near the edge of hay working as bed, I wasted no time in stripping down to nothing and slipping into the first pair of trousers and top I could get my hands on. Despite the overly large size of the garments, I made do with them. Tucking the pant cuffs in my boots and rolling up my sleeves, I made a beeline for the small stock of weapons. I took hold of a bow and swung the quiver over my shoulder.
Grabbing a small dagger, I set to work. I focused all my energy on slitting the leather of the tent in order to create an opening other than the one guarded by the men appointed by my father. I tried to produce noise as minimal as possible, but still kept an ear focused on picking up the activity outside the tent. Investment of a considerable amount of energy resulted in me being rewarded by the results I desired. Sparing the tent and its entrance one last glance, I stealthily slipped out of the opening I had created.