Chapter 40 (Passing guards)
Jekor whipped the reins of his horse as the burning distilleries came into sight. Did Ikiffar do this? His horse slowed, and he snapped the reins again. “Just a bit further. You can —”
Beside him, Roffor pulled her horse to a stop and leaped from the saddle. His horse whinnied then dropped to the ground, throwing him from the saddle.
Face first, he crashed into the soft dirt beside the road and skidded into a large pine tree. A groan rumbled up from his chest as he rubbed at his scratched up face.
“Get up.” Roffor grabbed him by the collar and pulled him to his knees. “We don’t have time for —”
Someone with a deep voice coughed. “Surround the arsonists!”
Armored boots pounded against stones.
Jekor scrambled to his feet.
Twelve Drunkzard guards surrounded them, hands extended.
A throbbing headache pulsed against Jekor’s skull, and his connection to the power severed. He squeezed the bridge of his nose and took a deep breath. “What kind of a hangover is this?” Agony stabbed at his eyes.
Roffor stumbled to the left then vomited beside the tree. After wiping her mouth, she glanced around. “We don’t have time to think about this little headache?”
“Little?” His voice rang inside his own head, and the world blurred around him.
“Arrest them then join the others putting out the fire.” The guard captain turned around.
“Wait.” Roffor stepped forward. “We have to get to the palace.”
“Why?” The guard captain looked over his shoulder. “So you can burn it down, too?”
“We didn’t start this fire.”
“We’ll determine that.”
“And while you waste time, all five monarchs are going to die!”
The guard captain motioned, and chains of metal wrapped around Roffor. After flicking his wrist, more chains encircled Jekor. “I don’t take kindly to threats.”
Roffor gritted her teeth. “It’s not a threat, you fool!”
“Sounded like one to me.”
“Then you should get your ears checked.”
“You know, we have a special prison for people like you.”
Roffor growled. “I’d like to see you try and keep me —”
“Roffor.” Jekor tugged against his chains to no end. These things are chafing my wrists. “We shouldn’t antagonize them.”
“Your horse thief of a friend is right.” A smirk pulled at the edges of the guard captain’s mouth.
“Horse thief?” Roffor blinked.
One of the other guards whispered into the guard captain’s ear, and his eyes grew wide. He coughed into his fist then strode up to Roffor. “Where is Kkaj?”
Roffor spat in his face. “Trying to stop the assassin.”
He wiped the spittle from his nose and slapped her. “I doubt that murdering thief would ever do something like that.”
“Because you’re a blind fool who can’t see the truth.”
He lifted his hand. “I’ll —”
One of the other guards placed a hand on the guard captain’s shoulder. “What if they’re right?”
The guard captain grinned. “Then the world will be better off.”
The other guard blinked.
“Go to sleep.” The guard captain wrapped a metal gauntlet around his left fist and struck the other guard across the face.
Jekor swallowed. “You.”
The guard captain arched an eyebrow. “Me, what?”
“You’re a member of Seed!”
“I see you’ve heard of us. Not like it matters now. With all the guards out of the city for these fires, our assassins will finish the job.” The guard captain scratched at the scruffy beard on his chin. “Though, I do wonder how you learned about our plan.”
“The assassin we are trying to stop isn’t a member of Seed.”
“Then who is it?”
“The woman I love.”
A boisterous laugh burst from the guard captain’s mouth. “That’s classic.”
“I’m going to enjoy killing you,” Roffor said. Her chains jingled as she jerked her arms back and forth.
“I don’t think so.” The guard captain brushed his fingers down her cheek. “Though, I do have a good use for you.” He lifted his hand, and the other thirteen guards moved forward. “After my men break you, I’ll turn you into my own personal slave. You can —”
A large stone smashed into the side of his head.
His body crumpled to the ground. His crafted chains vanished.
The guard on the ground looked up with a blood-covered face. “Get to the palace!” He uprooted the ground and sent six other guards flying.
Jekor swallowed. “But —”
Roffor grabbed him by the wrist and dragged him through the opening of guards. “Let’s hurry!”
“You’re right.” Despite the pulsating headache, Jekor fell into a run beside Roffor. Once they reached the picket line of horses, he pulled at the knot attached to a blue-haired stallion.
“What are you doing?” Roffor drew a knife from her Drunkzard vest and slit the ropes.
“I don’t have a stupid knife with me!”
A sigh deflated her chest. “Fine!” She spun, and cut his horse free in the blink of an eye. “We don’t have time to waste.”
Several massive explosions shook the ground from behind. Three Drunkzards strode towards them with grim expressions decorating their faces. Each held a hand out towards Jekor and Roffor.
He hopped onto the horse.
Roffor did the same.
Balls of fire gathered in the three Drunkzards’ palms.
“Go!” He snapped the reins, and his new horse burst into a run towards JimKar city.
Next: Chapter 41