Piece VII - B

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Clover volunteered to narrate the Obsidia attack and their fate in Soleil since she had no coins, and it distracted her from the mental images popping in her mind.

        “The clash with the Obsidia, thrilling!” The vendor swung a fist in the air. “Though, I am sorry to hear about your town.”

        “Soleil has not informed us the details…yet,” Celia said after taking a bite of the pancake. "on who were the attackers."

        “That is Soleil. We, natives, are even surprised with the sudden arrival of refugees” the vendor said. “And news about that has not been posted on the town bulletin. Not even a word from the town crier.”

          “And I thought Soleil is better than Greendale in everything,” Celia laughed.

        “Soleil is very careful in sharing information even to its citizens!” The vendor shrugged and frowned, “They mostly give us pamphlets of Dos and Do Nots. News? Mostly two or three sentences then that’s it! Consider it lucky when you get a paragraph.”

        Clover's attention drifted off from the conversation. Shortly after, she took a liking on her shadow. It stretched long towards the direction of Soleil Court. 

        Clover casted her gaze to the court, which stood at the opposite side of the cobbled street.  A golden disk shone yellow as it basked in the afternoon sun. Clover's eyes grew wide at the sudden recollection of what happened last night. She constrained herself from spilling the details to Celia right away. She wondered why the refugee community and the guards really have no recollection of the events last night. 

        “Um – excuse me mister but why does Soleil allow morphing in the army? Isn’t that blasphemy?” Clover suddenly blurted out.

        The vendor repeatedly shook his head, “Have you bumped your head onto something? You said it yourself, morphing is blasphemous.”

        “But the reinforcements…One of them turned water into a glass wall,” Clover said.

        The vendor cracked a laugh before speaking. “Could it be you made up that tale about the Obsidia attack?” He folded his arms, “Perhaps you’re just runaways.”

        “Everything I told you was true!” Clover insisted.

        “Was?” he said.

        “IS!” Clover said.

        “What ‘is’?” he said.

        “Everything! All I narrated IS true!”  

       “Could be - I would wager the glass-wall-part was a dream or nightmare. Those monsters could easily break that,”

        “Everything I told you IS true! One Soleil reinforcement made a THICK glass wall from water.”

        “Oh now the glass is thick?” The vendor cracked another loud laugh. This time, it caught the attention of his fellow vendors and some buyers.

        Celia panicked and looked around if any guards nearby heard Clover. 

        “And the strength of the morphed material depends on the morpher’s ability!” Clover could not help but louden her voice.

        “My friend here has a wild imagination!” Celia said as she snaked her arm around Clover’s. “Thank you for the pancakes! But, we must go now. Thank you again!” She tugged her friend, signaling that they should head home.

                                                                               ---

         Late afternoon sunset pierced through three rectangular holes high on the wall of Rowan’s cell. He laid on the stone floor motionless since he was brought in. He tried to lie on his back as he felt his innards coil only to return to his initial position with a hiss. The cold floor did not help his hunger.

         Sweat mixed with dried blood on Rowan’s pinkish back. Somehow, he was thankful that his torturer whipped him a quarter of an hour less than the intended duration. With the torturer’s tall stocky build, no dungeon guard dared to oppose his decision.  

          He hissed and cried when he tried to move again. His sentence included mine duty but a day had passed, and he was still in the cell. Perhaps they forgot about him. ‘Will I rot in here forever? I am too young and beautiful to die,’ he thought.

         “How is the boy?” a familiar voice asked one of the guards on duty. The vassal’s squire came to visit. “Oh, my! How pitiful,” he said with pity as he looked through the cell bars. His tone immediately turned authoritative when he ordered the two men that came with him, “Quickly, clean him up.”

 

 

 

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