NINE

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Chapter Nine

As the moon rises into the night, the stars also come out, the chill of the night settling into the camp that was just set up two hours ago. With voices filling the night, songs of old stories from years ago, and tents set up for the stay tonight, for the past couple of hours I have stayed within the warmth of my tent. The small tent is more luxurious than I would have expected, more than just a simple tent pitched with enough room for a small cot. Inside the tent is massive, the floor covered in a rather large rug, woven together by the threads as it creates a pattern of deer being hunted. My so-called cot is rather a comfy mattress, a white fur blanket used to keep me warm while I sleep, tapestries upon the walls of the tent to keep me warm inside, and the chest that the fairies packed for me is pushed up against once of the walls. Luxurious camping for sure even if for one night. All of this for one night, the same men that set up this tent house to take it down and then set it up day after day.

"Lady Candice," a voice announces, greeting me as the individual enters my tent, pushing through the front flaps, greeting me with a small smile. Dressed in a brown fur cloak, crimson uniform, striking silver eyes, and light blond hair, this male is a stranger to me, a stranger that is tall just like the King, and just as intimidating as any of the warriors outside. "Allow me to introduce myself, my Lady, for I am Duke Gravon of the Eastern Islands. My King has told me that you are the translator."

"The King has informed your correctly," I respond, welcoming the male into my tent, his kinder face making me feel more at ease with him than any of the men in this camp. "What can I do for you?"

Gravon takes a seat on the chest the fairies packed, the metallic trunk perfect for sitting on as he uses it to its full advantage. "My Lady, I have been on several of these quests for the King. I never doubt his determination to find this retched male that murdered the past King like a monster, but this is to be my sixth quest and every time these result in dead ends. This man that we are hunting, he is far superior. The fox that cannot be caught." If what he says is true, these two weeks that we are set out for, they could end with no more leads and I will have wasted my time here. I am on a schedule to find my father, yet I do not even have a schedule made. All my life I have been organized, always having a schedule that I stick to, and now here I am, millions of loose ends and paths I could take as I have no idea where any one leads. "What makes you think that by having you, and I mean no offense to your talents as a translator here, do you think that we can actually find a major lead on our prey?"

Do I tell this man that there is a book left at the Temple that could give me clues? It would be way to suspicious, as these men would expect me to have never visited this Temple, much less know of a random journal to be there. Gravon does not like the fact that my father is hard to even trace his tracks. One of his many hidden talents, my father could cover up his tracks, disappear into thin air. He was a magician after all, someone who would vanish before your very eyes, giving the audience no idea where he could be. He made a profession off this, meaning that these warriors and Lords are hunting a man trained to erase himself from the world. "If this Temple holds what I hope, and believe it will, Duke Gravon, then we will have a starting point that you and your men could have dreamed of ages ago. I was taught by this wretched man himself as a child, his language and even some of his tricks, but he turned on my pack, slaughtering my mother as well as others I held close to my heart."

"And so, the student is to help strike down her teacher, very poetic," Duke Gravon comments to my explanation of why he should put his trust in me. Rising to his feet, the Duke bows his head to me, offering me yet again a friendly smile. "Well then, Lady Candice, if the King has decided to trust you in this hunt, then he is wise and no fool. I must go now, to converse with the other nobles. Good night, Lady Candice, and may the gods bring you dreams of great joy."

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