Tainted Victory – Chapter 1, Part 5 (Page-a-Day)

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“That is quite one tale…” Colt began but clearly had forgotten her name. “ma’am.” 

“Did you see anyone else approaching?” Hugh asked. He moved next to Evelyn, and looked sideways out of the window. “Aside form the Blues.”

“Yes,” Evelyn said. She moved away from Hugh, or window, or both. “I saw an older soldier and a mage traveling together on horseback.”

“Interesting,” Hugh said. “A mage and his bodyguard maybe. All the soldiers were moved out with the king to either guard him, or hold our lines of conflict.”

“He was wearing the colors all right,” Evelyn said.

As if on cue, a jingle and rattle from armor against armor clattering together came from outside. That was followed by a thunking tap of a stick on Hugh’s carriage and an exchanging of low voices. Hugh and Raisor saw the shadow of a horse being led away and stop on the opposite side of the house. The voices soon got closer and closer until they were on the other side of the door. “It was good we made such haste to arrive here,” said an older, more worldly voice. “But those modern saddles… I do not care what they say, they do not protect my butt.”

“You wear no padding on your butt,” said a more stern and bellowing voice. That voice was the first to breach past the doorway and into the house itself. “Now this must be where the rest of our band has chosen to meet up.” The bellowing voice opened the door the rest of the way to reveal a knight in shining armor. That would have been more literal if the storm clouds had not started to gather over head. The knight in shining armor was a large man with broad armor that made him look even larger. He had a crimson brand in the shape of a rose on the corner of the breast plate, and ends of his arms. He had short, silver hair and matching beard, with a claymore resting on his hip. 

“It seems so, and we are not the first like you said,” the older man said. He positioned himself behind the soldier. He wore the colors of the kingdom, purple and silver along his robes. He had a full, and messy head of hair for a man his age, and a crooked walking stick in his hand.

“I told you that we had to take that diversion to steer ourselves away from the invaders,” the big man said.

“Yes, yes I know,” the older man said. He started to push his way into the door frame as well. “But really after all this time nothing changes. I’ve been through two different reigns, and over a dozen kings and rulers. The only change is how much I’m being taxed.”

“I find that hard to believe,” the big man said. 

“Hey, my names Colt! This is my dog Hounder.” Colt ran his fingers through Hounder’s thick fur. “He’s part wolf if you couldn’t tell.”

“Hello!” the big man said. “I am a former Captain of the Guard: Siguard Rose.” He placed a fist over the rose insignia on his chest.”

“And I am Olivier Wendig,” the older man extended a long hand. “I am a mage from the West.”

“Good to meet you all,” Hugh said. He and Raisor gave their introductions to the two newcomers. They positioned themselves around the house. Space was becoming scarce. 

“Is this the whole group?” Siguard asked.

“We’re unsure of that ourselves,” Hugh said. 

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