Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Scout's Oath - Chapter 49

< Chapter 48                                                                                                   Chapter 50 >

David has been lowered into the tunnels beneath Beloren.


Hands dragged me along the tunnel.  As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I recognized the route my captors were taking.  They were leading me to the arena where Callan's personal bodyguard, Rob, had given his life in exchange for hers.

Could my guesses about King Rat have been wrong?  Was I on my way to quick execution?

I was led into the arena.  Unlike my first visit, the vast room was dimly lit and almost empty.  A few people gathered on the far side of the room, but it was nothing like the frenzied crowd I'd seen before.  As we approached the people, they fell silent and stepped back, opening a path a seated man.

We regarded each other with interest.  The man before me was lean and smoothly muscled.  He looked both quick and capable.  I'd been expecting a brute of a man, perhaps starting to grow fat.  If this man was King Rat, he was nothing like I expected.  The feeling appeared to be mutual.

"You're not that impressive now that I see you close up," he asked.

"I could say the same about you," I asked in return.

"Ha!" he slapped his knee.  "And not scared of me, either!"

"Before these witnesses, I challenge you to a duel for the rat kingship!" I said.

"My, you're a well-spoken young man!" King Rat said.

"That's me," I said, "a traditionalist.  Are you too afraid to face me, Vraal?"

"No, I'm too smart to face you without need," Vraal said. To his men he said, "Throw him in the cell with the other one."

We walked down hundreds of stairs before my captors chained me into a dark room.

"Hello?" asked a voice.  "Who's there?"

I responded, "Imagine meeting you here, Raoul!"

What is Raoul doing in a Tunnel Rat cell?  Find out in Chapter 50, coming Friday!