Friday, June 7, 2013

Scout's Oath - Chapter 41


< Chapter 40                                                                                                   Chapter 42 >

The Beloren envoy threatens war if King Edwar does not turn David over to the envoy!

David

King Edwar said, "Don't be ridiculous, man!  Our navy is larger and our crews better trained.  You cannot possibly win!"

"And yet the fleet will attack," the envoy said.

"But why?" King Edwar was baffled at the envoy's intransigence.

The envoy asked, "Perhaps we could speak privately?"

"Clear the chamber," the king said to his chamberlain.  Soon, we were alone with the envoy.

"The lords of the city-states fear a war with Mordan far less than they fear a threat within their own city walls," the envoy told us.  "Do you know anything of those we call the tunnel rats?"

Callan answered, "They're a murderous rabble you're too uncaring to eradicate!"

"Your opinion is far from the truth, Your Highness," the envoy said.

"Explain," the king said.

"For centuries, the city-states have attempted to destroy their tunnel rats.  Traditional military units fare poorly underground.  They always fail," the envoy said.  "Twenty years ago, the lord of Beloren paid a fortune to a man named Vraal, a mercenary, to do the job.

"Vraal led violent, ruthless men into the tunnels, killed the leader, and declared himself King Rat" the envoy said.  "Then he extended his control to the rats in the other city-states.  He wields enormous power and the lords all fear him.

"Over the years, he has built underground passages throughout the city.  His messengers pass unseen into the most secure rooms in Beloren.  As do his assassins," the envoy said.  "Vraal wants Captain Rice and will spill blood to get him.  The lords would rather thousands die in a war with Mordan than their families die in their sleep."

Thousands dead?  Many of them Mordanian?  I could not allow that.

I stepped forward, "Call off your fleet.  I surrender myself to you!"

How will Callan react to David's announcement?  Find out in Chapter 42, coming Monday!