Tainted Victory – The Penultimate Part (Page-a-Day)

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1 Day till the End

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Some of you are not too atrocious,” he said. “Does not mean I will give up the fight.”

“Go,” Goblet said. “Before we change our mind.” 

Hugh nodded. 

Troforsect turned from the three. He strode out of the throne room. His feet clicked and cracked along the floor his whole way out. When he reached the exit sun light casted its warmth on him. His dirty blue armor lit back up closer to its natural color. 

“We do have to decide what we are going to do,” Hugh said. 

The three looked at Colt. Hounder remained pressed on top of him, bearing down on him. He would be set there long enough for them to get ready.

Hugh moved his buggy outside to let his horses bask in some natural light after being held up in the ruins of the barn for so long. Goblet helped Hugh carry Colt to his buggy. They opened the door and tied him to the operating table with some loose rope they had found. Colt protested this the whole time, but he could not be trusted to remain free. Claudia watched them exit from the stagecoach. The whole wooden carriage shifted when Goblet exited. 

“So you are going to just take him up to the capital?” Claudia asked. 

“That is the plan,” Hugh said. He closed the door to the carriage, then locked it. He slipped the key into the pocket of his red vest. “We have all of our testimonials of what occurred here, as well as the letter by the advisor who hired him to retrieve the dragon egg in return for a job in the new kingdom.”

She moved to the carriage. “You’ll be comfortable transporting him yourself?” She asked.

“I will be traveling with him,” Goblet said. “At least until we drop him off.” He knocked on the door red stained door to the carriage. “Oh, and,” he whistled. It was so loud it felt like the clouds above broke. Following that came the clatter of nails and force of energy. Hounder bounded out of whatever field he wandered off to. He reached Goblet, tongue curled out, tail wagging, and continuously circling his new master. “He should be a helpful companion.” Goblet knelt onto the dirt. He ran his fingers through the dog’s tuft of fur. “He can go after dragons after all. Though I am not so sure Hounder is the best name. Does not seem creative enough for this one.” He patted Hounder’s side.

“Look at who named him,” Claudia said. 

“What are your plans?” Hugh asked. 

“You know,” she said. “Magical powers inside me that I don’t know how to control. New powers, new symbols. I will go and find the truth.” 

“You’ll need a horse for that,” Hugh said. 

“The one in there is Raisor’s.”

“He’s not going to be able to use it. Is he?” 

“No,” she chuckled. 

Hugh placed a hand on her shoulder. “That horse is used to going on adventures. It sounds like you are going on one yourself. Might be useful to have someone with more experience than you.”

Claudia smirked. “You better watch yourself, doctor.” She removed his hand. “I can still take you.” She made her way to the door as if gliding on the air. 

Inside the stable Raisor’s old horse stood. He seemed normal. Unwavered. Unperturbed by the events that transpired. Claudia approached the horse cautiously. Each step she took was measured. She held her hands out and away from any of her weapons. She reached the horse. It sniffed her hand. She straightened her back, then rubbed the horse on the nose. It shook its mane out. “Yeah, new person,” she said. “Do you know what happened to your old rider?” She rubbed its side down to the tail. She saw a saddle hanging off a hook near the other side of the stable. She retrieved it and placed it on its back. She noticed a piece of curved leather about the right size to hold a quiver. She undid her belt. Her quiver fit in the curved leather perfectly. “Maybe you were made for me after all.” She rubbed its side again. “I do wish I knew your name…” she checked its underside, “boy. Would Raisor be too morbid? Do you know what morbid means?” She looked out the window out to the shifting clouds against a crystalline sky. “Runic, I’m going crazy. I’m already talking to my horse.”

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