Questing Sucks! Book two: Four is Unacceptable.
By Kevin Weinberg, A.K.A Parogar
Copyright 2012 All Rights Reserved
Chapter 1: Doors Exist
The bath and warm tea did little to calm Patrick’s growing anxiety. He should’ve been joyful--he should’ve been at ease. He was alive, after all, when he’d been so certain of his own death. Yet here he was, standing at the corner of the war-room looking out of a window with a cup of tea in his shaking hands.
So much, he thought. So much work to do. So much destruction. So much … waste.
Through the high walls of Hahl, beyond the stone-masons evaluating the damage done by the enemy’s catapults, beyond the mass of priests rushing to aid the wounded on both sides, Patrick could see the wicked Cockaliths kick up dust as they retreated back to their mountainous home. It was one thing less to worry about. Patrick hoped to never again see the giant yellow beasts.
The battle had finally come to an end, and now the cleanup had begun. Kingdom soldiers stood guard around black-armored men. They were disarmed and kneeling on the ground, confused and hungry. Patrick had ordered water brought to the invaders and the injured tended to, but for the moment, he didn’t know what to do with them.
The door snapped open behind Patrick, pulling him from his thoughts.
“My prince,” Commander Duuhard said, bowing his head.
Patrick waved him on. “Take a seat.” He motioned to one of the five vacant seats at the round table in the center of the room. Duuhard hesitated and Patrick waved again. “Go on.”
Patrick walked to the table and took a seat next to Duuhard. The older commander shifted in his chair. “Be at ease,” Patrick said. “You won’t be brought up on charges of disobedience. No one except Marshall will.”
Duuhard sighed and relaxed immediately. During the battle, he’d refused Patrick’s orders in lieu of Alan Marshall’s, a crime typically punishable by hanging. Yet in the end, things worked out for the better, and Patrick was in no mood to be shedding any further blood. Except, of course, for Commander Marshall’s, and even then, Patrick wished there was another way of dealing with the obnoxious commander. But he’d disrespected Princess Saerina in a way that couldn’t be overlooked. Regardless of all other factors, had Patrick’s relationship with the Elves not grown as strong as it was, Alan Marshall’s actions could have started a war.
It was for this reason that when the war-room door popped open a second time, with Alan Marshall and Saerina walking arm-in-arm, Patrick rubbed his eyes and blinked. Was this some sort of twisted joke?