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- Drew -

A SENSE OF ANXIETY filled Drew's chest as he carried the Princess's limp body from the palace grounds. Even though the guards that stood in his way were already dealt with - knocked out by the same concoction he had used on the Princess - he still felt a feeling of danger. He knew there was no way he could take her to his home in the Lower Sector so he stole a horse and rode to the outskirts of Evrehaven heading north.

He found an abandoned cabin hidden deep in the thick trees of the Wyrmwood Forest. It was made of pale, dried wood and it looked like nobody had stepped foot in it for decades. Dried leaves littered the floor and everything was covered in a thick layer of dust. Fortunately, it was fully furnished, though some of the chairs were moldy and falling apart.

The cabin was far enough away from Lythia and Evrehaven that nobody would find him, but it was close enough so that Drew could return within a day if the need arose. He had left a ransom note behind at the palace dictating his terms which read:

To whomever this may concern,

I have taken the Princess and am holding her for a ransom of 4,000 gold coins. In three days, send a representative to The Golden Eagle Tavern and we can work out a negotiation. I will warn you, do not try to trap or trick me or you will never find the Princess.

The Peregrine

P.S. I give my word that no harm will come to the Princess while she is in my custody as long as you follow my terms.

He gently placed the Princess on the dusty bed and left to go find some food. The apothecary whom he had bought the concoction from said she would be asleep for hours, enough time to leave and come back before she woke up.

He took the horse and rode down a path he had found until he reached a small village. He quickly found the local market and took as much food as he could, at least a week's worth and left a pile of the money he had gotten from Lord Winston behind on the counter. As he was leaving, some clothes hanging on a drying line. He sighed, but quickly grabbed a dress, a shirt, and a pair of pants from the line. Once he was finished, he left before anyone could figure out what he had done.

The sun was beginning to rise when he returned to the cabin. He changed into the stolen clothes and deposited the rest of the goods he had acquired on the kitchen table. He then found an unbroken chair to sit down on and placed it near the bed that the Princess was laying on. He was drifting off to sleep when she began to stir. The sound of her voice startled him awake.

"Where am I?" she asked groggily. She rubbed her eyes and peered at him. "Mr. Duval? What are you doing here?"

"We're currently in an abandoned cabin in the Wyrmwood Forest, a day's journey north of Evrehaven," he replied.

"Why?" she asked, "what happened? I can't really remember..."

"I kidnapped you," he said bluntly.

"What? Why?" she asked in bewilderment. She tried to get up, but her limbs wouldn't obey her. "Who are you? What do you want from me?" Panic began to spread across her face and she felt tears well up in her eyes.

"You may know me as the Peregrine," he said and she gasped. "This kidnapping is nothing personal, I just need the money."

"What for? What could you possibly need this much money for?" she retorted angrily. "Haven't you stolen enough already?"

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