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Brett had been riding for a day and stopped to camp out for the night. He and was getting close to Arcadia. He got off his horse after another hour of riding and tied him up near some grass by the river. He had to walk the rest of the way and avoid any guard patrols that might be around.

He ran through the forest jumping over logs and ducking under low branches. The sun was high in the sky and the temperature was hot. The sweat was dripping down his face as he ran. He ducked down when he heard two people talking.

He drew his sword and walked quietly towards them. He wanted to know what they were saying. He stopped when he could hear them clearly.

“I still think it was a stupid move.” The first guard said.

“I agree. Why did we kidnap her so far away from the full moon.” The second guard said.

“Why wait until the full moon?” Brett asked himself aloud.

“Because they can’t get married until there’s a full moon.” The first guard said. “You know that.”

“But I didn’t say anything.” The second guard said. They both looked at each other. They quickly drew their swords and looked around.

“I’m going to go report that someone is in the woods.” The first guard said.

This was Brett’s queue to make an appearance. He jumped out of the woods right in front of the guard who was running back to the castle.

“Sorry buddy, but you aren’t going anywhere.” Brett said. He looked at the guard and recognized the colors as being of Tiberian origins. “You will pay for taking our kingdom away from us.” He said coldly.

The guard took his sword and took a swing at Brett. Brett dodged it and swung his blade at the dark guard. It was deflected. The two fought for a minute and Brett eventually won the fight. The second guard tried his luck, but was unsuccessful.

Brett took a second to think about what the guards said. “A wedding... at the next full moon... that’s almost a month away.” He started running towards Arcadia as he continued to think. “A marriage between whom?” He wondered. He suddenly stopped dead in his tracks. “No.... I’m wrong... I have to be wrong. They couldn’t be talking about Ashley, could they?”

He started running as fast as he could towards his home kingdom. If his suspicions were true, they only had a month to save Ashley. He could see the castle now and would arrive at the gates in ten minutes. He had to think of a plan.

Back in Hresna, Mary-Kate was taking a walk in the park with Marc-Andre. They spent a day just the two of them as a sort of getaway from everything that happened in the past two weeks.

“I wonder how Brett is doing, and Ashley too.” Mary-Kate said. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t stop thinking about them.

Marc-Andre only hugged her. He was wondering the same thing. How he wanted to be there with his friend as he faced the dangerous mission alone. He felt so useless even though he had so much to do there in Hresna.

“Do you think we can win back Arcadia?” Mary-Kate asked.

Marc-Andre didn’t know how to answer. “I don’t know. But we will try our best.”

All they could do was hope for the best and to have Brett and Ashley back with them soon.

Brett found an old escape tunnel that lead into the market of the kingdom. He waited until dark to make his entrance. We walked a good 15 minutes before he was at the exit hatch. He listened for any movement up top, and opened the hatch when it was clear.

He proceeded to knock on every fifth door to tell them about the attack that was being planned to retake the kingdom. He ducked patrols and made his way past watchtowers until he had reached all the houses he could.

It would be day soon and he needed to find a shelter as to not be discovered. He looked around to try and find a place. He heard a voice call to him.

“Over here!” The man called. It was the blacksmith Brett had trained under in his youth. His hair had turned gray and his physique was not was it used to be, but he still looked like a strong man.

Brett didn’t waste any time. He could hear guards’ voices coming from around the corner. He went into the man’s house and shut the door just as the guards rounded the corner.

Chapter 23
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