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Arturo stopped to investigate a dark stain on the path. From what Barry told me, this must be where the Assassin attacked King Arnie. The Frogs’ prints had been washed away, but Elliot’s trail overlaid a Stinger’s. I hope the Prince knows what he’s headed into.
A scream slashed the air. Arturo picked up his pace.
The Assassin limped closer. Elliot faced his rising tail, calculating his own odds of survival. If I die now, Cassandra and the baby will be next.
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The Runners left and Lilian sobbed into Vernon’s chest. “How could this happen? They were under my protection and I failed them!”
The Queen’s fiancé held her. “Bog’s finest healers are working to keep the King alive. Lieutenant Terrance continues their search for the Princess, and Hive Elite teams are helping. They’ll find her. We’ll get her back.”
The Queen’s Guard announced, “Deputy Minister of the Alliance, Freelands’ Ambassador Arturo, requests an audience, your Magnificence.”
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Although a mere drizzle fell when Ambassador Arturo arrived at the Alliance camp in the dark hour before dawn, thickening clouds and a brisk wind promised a brief dawn and another storm. He thought of the Wildlands Ants and resisted the atmosphere’s depressing heaviness.
Great commotion at the Medic station drew his attention, but the voice calling, “Arturo! What’re youse doin’ here?” turned him around.
“Barry!” His friend was covered with cuts. “What happened to you?”
“Nuttin’ wort’ worryin’ about. Youse should see da stitches dey’re puttin’ in Trev’s face. What brings youse here?”
“I’ve got some good news for the Alliance.”
“We could use some.” Barry looked back at the Medic tent, and spoke in hushed tones. “Da King’s in dere. De Assassin got ’im an’ dey aren’t sure he’s gonna make it.”