Friday, March 1, 2013

Scout's Honor - Chapter 120

< Chapter 119                                                                                      Author's Afterword >

Princess Callan schemes to draw Prince Rupor to her room!

            I watched.  I learned.
            "I hope you'll write a note like that to me someday," I said.
            "I'll do better than write!" Callan smiled.  "Have we got enough gems?"
            "Yes."
            "Time to go," Callan said.  "Captain Hunter, you understand your part?"
            "I do, Your Highness," Hunter said.
            "Come along, Milo," Callan said as we exited the treasure room.
            As we climbed stairs, Callan handed the note to Milo.  "Give this to Prince Rupor, personally.   We'll be leaving right after Rupor gets to my room, so keep up with him."
            "And be prepared to run," I added.
            Grinning Milo dashed off.
            We had just reached Callan's door when footsteps pounded up the stairs.  I took up my position at the door and Callan slipped inside.  Rupor charged into the hallway, Milo on his heels.
            Strutting to me, Rupor held out the note.  "It appears Her Highness wishes a display of precision swordsmanship.  Stand aside."
            I stepped aside, the twinges of guilt I'd been feeling for what I was about to do banished by Rupor's words.  I hit Rupor on the head with the pommel of my sword, dragged the unconscious prince into Callan's room, and handed him to Martin.
            The room was a shambles, the dead assassins artfully posed around the room.
            Boarding the airship, I took Callan's hand.  The realm of Mordan was an inextricable part of her.  As the Pauline drifted away from the palace, I looked out over the land.  I know little of it, but Mordan claims my heart, because it claims Callan's heart.  It holds my oath, because Callan holds my oath.  It is my country, because it is Callan's country.
            I will fight to protect her realm.  I will die to protect her realm.  I have given my oath and I will not be foresworn.

The End

This is the end of Scout's Honor but not the end of the story.  On Monday, I'll post an author's afterword about my experience writing this story over the last nine months.  On Wednesday, March 6, Chapter 1 of Scout's Oath will be published, and our heroes will be off on more adventures!