Chapter Thirteen: Denkalds Trespass.

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Tauren woke up some time later. He lay on the rough pine needle bed and stared up at the roof of the small hide tent he had been put in, a couple feet away lay Detrick. A lot had happened in the past few days, his life had changed. How it was events could go so fast after so many years of practically nothing happening.

His quest, his job, and his oath had already gone wrong. The sarcophagus was in enemy hands. He was a prisoner. Detrick was a prisoner. The Halavardes were now en-force on Netheron.

Slowly he rolled to the side and stood, wincing slightly as his bruises were irritated.

To his surprise he could stand up in the tent. He looked around, Detrick lay on his side, his dark grey cloak spread over him, still sleeping, other than him and a thick mat of pine needles the tent was empty.

He took a deep breath, the dry, crisp, and cold morning air burning on its way to his lungs. He needed a drink.

Turning, he pulled the tent flaps open and stepped outside, to his surprise it was early morning, only a light grey showing on the horizon telling him that dawn was near.

For a moment he was confused, but then he adding things up in his head. Yes, this was about right. They had gotten into the ruins of Arluine late on the day before yesterday, they had been caught probably sometime early the next morning, then they had been brought to the Halavarde camp, reaching it late in the day. Then he and Detrick had been shown their tent and they had lain down and fallen asleep.

Looking around he saw pale tents scattered all about, dark tree trunks showing here and there, in the thick morning mist he could see a few figures moving about, but in compare with the previous evening the camp was empty.

He remembered crossing a stream on his way to the tent, and he instantly headed down the slight decline that he knew led to it.

A few moments of walking over the crunching pine needles, past the sooty splotches were the previous night’s fires had been, he came to a small, splashing brook. He dipped his hands into the running water, it was bitterly cold, but he drank with gusto.

Looking around he saw that there were tents on the other side of the stream too; vaguely he wondered how many Halavardes were here. From what he had seen so far there must be an army of some sort. Or at least a very large force!

“Don’t cross to the other side.” He heard a voice say behind him.

Startled he jumped to the side, turning to see who it was.

Above him stood Turnhein, he looked tired, but he stood firmly on the massive, mossy log” Why not?” Asked Tauren carefully, not wanting to annoy him.

Turnhein looked down at him, and Tauren got the distinct impression that he was older than he looked.” Because, that’s Denkalds territory, and my protection to you doesn’t extend there. If you went over there nothing would stop him from tearing you apart.”

“What’s so different about your men and his?” Tauren asked, feeling that Turnhein was probably quite open to questions, and addressing one of the things that had been nagging at him.

Turnhein chuckled.” Simple! I’m a Colonel, he’s a Captain. We’ve been contesting since we were boys! Fighting! When we grew up we both made it our life’s quest to one day lead the 7th Battalion! He was reckless, disobeyed orders, and was needlessly ruthless while I was more diplomatic with my career. As a result I now lead the 7th and he’s a captain in the 4th. I can’t touch him! But he can’t touch me!

Captains and Colonels in the army are assigned their own sections of land to take care of, protect, defend, attack, and use. Our sections are much defined and we do not infringe on one another’s land, that’s against the laws. No soldier has any business, if not on higher orders, out of his section.”

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