19. Claim Your Weapon

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Athena couldn't remember the last time she ran that fast. To say that she ran like someone set her tail on fire was an understatement. With Ryder leading the way to the training grounds, everything was a blur around her, except the screams of the rogue and the shouts of people trying to contain him.

As she entered the training grounds, she saw a paled Byron running up to her as she looked around to find the rogue. "Your Highness, I don't know what happened to him, but he suddenly started shouting that he couldn't handle the pain gnawing inside him anymore and started to flail about."

"Why didn't you rest for two days as I told you to?" Athena countered.

"The marks were causing all of us some sort of discomfort which made us really restless. And we didn't have anything else to do, so we asked one of the guards to bring us here early morn." Byron replied, walking alongside Athena.

'Is that a reaction to the binding?' Ryder mind linked

'Probably, but I won't know until I ask him.' Athena replied as she looked at Byron.

"Take me to him. I need to ask him something."

Nodding, he led the way to the small group in the hidden corner of the training ground. Right in the middle of the huddle, lay a man writhing in pain. She remembered his face, she remembered him looking exceptionally scared when he had come into the room for the binding. Kneeling down, she touched his head and slowly whispered a few words of comfort. As he calmed down she asked him to sit up and looked right into his eye.

"Are you working as a spy? Speak only the truth."

A look of discomfort and hesitation flitted across his face as he opened his mouth a couple of times to reply.

"Yes."

The small crowd around them gasped as Byron grew livid. "What are you saying Romanov? When did this happen and whom are you working for?"

Gulping, he looked at Bryon in fear as he replied, "I lied when I said my family cast me out. I was sent by one of the Lords working for the king. They had heard of the start of an uprising amongst the wolves and elves."

Athena gave Bryon a cold look, which he just shrugged off. Looking back at Romanov, she put all authority into her voice as she asked him, "How much did you tell them."

"Everything, until we left camp to come here."

"So, do they know of our location?"

"They don't know where exactly yet, but it will only be a matter of time before they pinpoint your location and attack."

Nodding, she looked at one of the guards who stood behind him. "Take him to the dungeons and keep him there. Don't torture him or treat him badly. But no outside contact. I will decide what to do with him later."

Dragging him up by his arm, the guard slowly guided him to the dungeons below them.

"The rest of you, except Byron and Ryder, prepare for battle. Inform all scouts in the peripheries of the mountains to stay on high alert and report everything and anything that seems too suspicious." Everyone around them dispersed to do as told as Byron and Ryder awaited further instructions.

"Byron, I need you to the lead all the able-bodied men into battle, if need be. But I do not want you any of you to be on the front lines until absolutely necessary."

"Your Highness, I can assure you, we have the best fighters amongst us. After all, we were rogues up until a few days ago. Our sword skills are good enough to slay multiple Horundeers in one go."

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