Marc-Andre gave Mary-Kate some water, and then gave some to Brett. He asked his friend “How is she?” as he looked back to his sister with worried eyes.
“Her fever has gone down quite a bit. She woke up once or twice and wondered where you were.” Brett answered. “She’s still very weak. Hopefully, the water you brought back will help her regain her strength.” He pondered for a small while and then turned to Marc-Andre. “Should we stay here until she gets better or should be make a stretcher to carry her in?”
“We should wait until she gets better. We could use a small rest.” Marc-Andre answered.
They spent the following day collecting food and water for their trip. Ashley regained her strength and was eager to resume the journey for the Hresnan Kingdom.
Marc-Andre took a break from collecting food and went to see his sister, who was sitting at the foot of a tree. “You look bored?” He smiled.
“I am very bored.” She said. “Can’t you let me help you? Please? I won’t work too hard.” She pleaded. She had spent the last two days sleeping and sitting down. She yearned to stand and do something creative for the group.
“You are staying right there. You need all the strength you can get. It’s still a long day or two until we reach Hresna.” Marc-Andre said. “Enjoy this relaxing while you can. Soon you will wish we could take a break. But, this time don’t wait too long to tell us you are tired. You gave me quite a scare back there. You gave us all quite a fright.”
“Don’t worry. I won’t wait too long.” Ashley said with a smile.
Marc-Andre gave his a kiss on the forehead. “Well, I got to get back to work. Call me if you need me.”
After all of the supplies had been collected, the group once again set out for Hresna. They were rested and were psychologically stronger than before the ordeal with Ashley.
At the end of the day, they had entered Hresnan territory.
Ashley slowed down and walked beside her brother. “What do we know about the Hresnan people?” she asked with curiousity.
“I’m a little curious, myself.” Mary-Kate added.
Marc-Andre thought for a bit, trying to keep track of how each kingdom acted. “The Hresnans are a prosperous people who enjoy commerce with other Kingdoms. They don’t get out of their kingdom much. Mostly, they wait until other kingdom’s come to ask for a trade agreement.” He said. “Don’t worry, they aren’t anyone to be afraid of.”
As Marc-Andre finished his comment, a band of men jumped out of the bushes both in front and behind them. They didn’t say a word; they only drew their swords and pointed them at the four travelers. Brett and Marc-Andre drew their swords as Ashley and Mary-Kate stayed between Marc-Andre and Brett.
“This just keeps getting better and better.” Brett said to himself.
“We don’t want any trouble.” Marc-Andre said, “We are only passing through.”
The men started to advance on them, still keeping their eerie silence.
“Somehow I don’t think they care.” Brett said back to Marc-Andre. He then turned to the men advancing on them. “No blood needs to be shed today. Just let us pass.”
A man charged Brett as he yelled. Brett dodged the attack and drove his sword into the man’s chest. “I did not enjoy killing him. This is your last warning. If you threaten us, my friend and I will fight back.” Brett warned.
“Brett! Lookout!” Mary-Kate yelled. As Brett turned around he saw Marc-Andre had been struck down. No one knew if he was alive or not. Mary-Kate and Ashley had been held back and their mouths were covered.
“What the?” Brett said. Before he could react, one of the soldiers charged him. He deflected the sword, but the soldier spun around and hit him in the head, knocking him to the ground. Before he passed out, he said “Mary-Kate…”
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