(15) King Galgorbrith

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        The goblins grunted in confusion, their beady, bloodshot eyes scanned the place for me.

He was right here! Where’d he go,” a goblin screamed in confusion.

The other goblins shouted and shared their confusion. I smiled, trying hard not to laugh, i quickly made my way around the goblins, squeezing carefully around them until I left them far behind me, their confused and baffled voices still screaming and shouting in wonderment. Strangely and thankfully the more I wandered around, the more light seemed to be drawing into the dark tunnels or caves. And the narrower they got.

 As soon as I heard voices I ducked behind a stalagmite. When they grumbled on and walked past me i breathed a sigh of relief. They're everywhere! What guarantees me from being caught? Turning invisible?

 I shook my thoughts out of my head. Doubting myself would lead to an unclear mind, my father taught me how to focus and concentrate, to leave troubling thoughts away.

    Whatever the cost I had to rescue Almar, Aeron, and Aria, I thought to myself. But where were they?

    

    A few hours had passed, or an eternity the way it felt. And I had made no progress, well, I was on the right track. I had overheard one of the goblins say that the humans were in the dungeon, so at least I knew where they were; the problem was how to get there.

   My eyes had adopted a bit more to the darkness, but my eyes were a liability here and the goblins could see in the darkness, for they were raised and born in the dark. I could merely cast a fire spell, illuminating the way around, but at the risk of attracting more goblins without a sword, wasn’t worth it.

 I sighed, this was going to be a long day. I looked around which was useless considering I was still enveloped in darkness, which I found more frustrating.

  “Hey,” I heard a voice from behind me scream. Yay, more goblins! I broke into a run, but as soon as I started, I ran into something hard, like a wall. I grunted and fell back, rubbing my head in pain. A lantern swung over me, my eyes burned as the brilliant light burned my eyes. The harsh glow from the lantern threatened to stun me for a few seconds, being surrounded in darkness for hours then suddenly being exposed to harsh light didn’t help. A few seconds was all they needed.

  

 “Bind his feet! He’s a slippery one,” the goblin yelled. Two calloused, meaty hands gripped my ankles. I yelled and tried kicking but they held on tight, while another two worked quickly and tied a strong rope around me, after they were done knotting it, they moved on the hands held my wrists together, I quickly tried something. I mouthed the words for the bresgr spell to burnt them to ashes. But then another thought came to me.

  Why fight back? I was walking in circles anyways. . . . they might take me to Almar and them, then I rescue them! Or . . to King Galgrobrith , maybe I could convince him to let us go.

 I immediately stopped resisting, the goblin finished binding my wrists together then delivered a brutal slap to my face, “ That’s for making us walk all this way to get you! Now the King wants to see you, to determine whether or not your really who say you are. If you are the Prince, your free but your friends are dead! If your not, then you be skinned alive, tossed in the dungeon, then torched and eaten! So you better fess up now!”

  “I-I’m really the Prince, me and my friends were going to go to Murnon on business, you oaf! A-And you can’t kill them either! Their very, very important regents of the council, if you kill them the entire Calaranian and Vazguerdian armies will have all of your heads!”

 I tried to sound frightened and like a little spoiled brat. Hey, if I was going to convince them I was a prince (even though I was) might as well sink into character and act a little whiny like some seven year- old brat. The goblins looked at each other, with a dull expression then shrugged and carried me around for a few minutes until we finally arrived deeper in the cave.

  They dropped me and bowed, I quickly looked around, and was practically awestruck at what I saw.

We were in the heart of the Goblin Grotto. Or practically the Goblin Hoard, thousands of glinting golden and silver coins stuffed full inside leather bags gleamed around a silver throne. Ores struck out of the cave wall, stalagmites were covered in necklaces of high value and a small crowd of armed goblins swarmed around King Galgorbrith. It was still dark, yet strangely light from the thousands of golden and silver coins, and various jewels, ores, and silver armor cast a bright light. Lanterns hung overhead, replacing chandeliers. Behind the large and fear-invoking throne, was a small chamber, most likely King Galgorbrith’s chambers.

  King Galgorbrith’s beady, bloodshot eyes stared at me with fascination and hate. The King of all Goblins, his face was shriveled up, and his thick brows were raised. Is long nose was several inches long, his lips were formed in a snarl. He wore a crimson cloak spotted with black dots, his silver crown had several spikes rising from it, numerous jewels glinted on it’s surface. He held a long swordstaff, and he sat lazily on his throne.

 “Is this the boy,” King Galgorbrith’s voice was raspy, yet sharp, “I’ll give five seconds to confess! Are you really the prince?”

 “Y-Yes,” I pretended to stutter nervously which wasn’t that hard, his brutal and commanding voice made me cower a little, not to mention his horrifying face. The light from the lantern made his shadows loom longer and larger.

 King Galgorbrith grunted, then rubbed his chin in thought. The silence passed uncomfortably in the air until King Galgorbrith leaned closer on his throne. He leaned so close to me his nose touched mine.

 “Then, tell me. . .why would the worrisome Queen Crystaine let her son - the Crown Prince and royal heir leave! You are King yet, you royal scum! You’d have no business in a town filled with bothersome ogres and trolls!”

 “What,” i coughed, the arrogance and false nervousness left my voice, “what do you mean overrun with ogres and trolls?”

  “You don’t know,” growled King Galgorbrith, “ever since that pesky Shadow-Walker cast a spell on that town, those half-witted humans have been frozen in time! The ogres killed the humans and the trolls tossed them away. So now it’s their town! Those maggots even refused to let us goblins in!”

   

I stood frozen for a few seconds, then remembered King Galgorbrith’s gaze was still on me. I snapped out of my shocked trance and looked him in the eyes. Suddenly a sly and wicked idea formed in my mind.

 “Then let’s make a deal,” I said, a slick smile formed on my face.

 “You wish to negotiate, human,” King Galgorbrith arched his brow, “do you not know what happens if you fail to hold your bargain with a goblin! But. . . continue.”

 “How about this,” I paused for a small while to maintain suspense, “we release me and my friends and we’ll take care of all of them for you. Give us our weapons, and release us, we were planning on going to Murnon anyways. We will send the ogres and trolls packing, then you goblins can stay there. If you don’t trust us, then you can have some goblins follow us until the task is done.”

  King Galgorbrith stopped then leaned back on his throne. Silence hung once again, then in light of the blazing lantern the faintest smile lingered on his face.

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