Glad you could join us for the next long-awaited episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…
“Excuse me, Ambassador,” a member of the newly formed Alliance Guard murmured to Arturo, “troops from Bog have arrived. A Lieutenant Terrance would like to speak with you.”
Momentarily diverting his attention from the Council’s discussion about observing different funeral rituals within the Alliance Army, Arturo replied, “Show them to the staging area and bring the Lieutenant here when he’s satisfied with his troops’ accommodations.”
On Arturo’s other side, Barry asked, “Da Knights are here? Would youse be all right if I go along to see ’em? Dis seems ta be windin’ down, an’ everybody’s gonna need some sleep soon, so how’s about if I come back dis afternoon?”
“That works for me, friend.”
Barry jumped out of his seat. In two leaps, he’d caught up with the Guard. “Lead the way!” he urged.
His brother Knights waited at ease in the Meadow for their orders. During his first combat mission, Barry had come to know many of them well, and he cared deeply about all of them, but there was only one he was eager to find. While the Guard delivered his message, Barry bit his tongue and scanned the Lieutenant’s platoon.
The Guard left, the Lieutenant gave his orders, the Knights moved to set up in the staging area, and still Barry hadn’t spotted his friend.
“Knight Barry,” his mentor, the Lieutenant Terrance greeted him, “I’m glad you’re still here. I hear we’ve suffered some tragic losses.”
“Yes, sir. We don’ know how it happened, but we tink dee Assassin was hidin’ nearby da whole time, an’ ambushed ’em.”
“It was the Assassin, but he wasn’t hiding.”
“I’ll let your brothers fill you in,” the Lieutenant said. “I need to have a talk with the Ambassador.” His fatherly smile only hinted at the sadness in his eyes.
Barry saluted as his Lieutenant followed the Guard back to the Council.
“Hey, Legs!” a jovial voice called over the hubbub of off-duty warriors.
Barry’s heart leaped as he spun toward the sound. “Trevor! I was hopin’ youse’d be here!” In a single bound, he knocked his best friend from his perch and pulled him into a boisterous hug. “How’re dose flyin’ feet?”
Trevor’s laugh lit Barry’s smile. “More useful than your over-blown thighs! How have you managed to stay alive without me to watch your back?”
“I dunno. Just natcherly lucky, I guess.” Standing back, he took a good look at the Knight who’d stuck with him and saved his life more than once. “Youse’ve lost weight. What’s wrong?”
Digging a toe into the loose soil, Trevor shrugged, “I haven’t had much of an appetite.”
“Why not? Youse’re an even bigger eater dan me.”
“The truth is, I’ve been worried sick since you left. I knew you’d gone from Fen to the Freelands, and when we heard three Knights were killed here, I was afraid one of them might be you.”
An unfamiliar bubble of joy burst in Barry’s chest spreading heat to his cheeks. “Nah, youse won’ get ridda me dat easily.”
Putting an arm around Barry’s shoulders, Trevor grinned. “Good to know, ‘cuz I carried your Marauder fang all the way here on top of the extra ton of regulation equipment we had to lug to supply this new Alliance Army. Come on, I’ll be glad to let you take it off my hands. Then maybe we can get some breakfast because I’m starving!”
To be continued. . .