Lesson 13

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Since his room was right next door, Ludvig had been awakened by the commotion and came to investigate

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Since his room was right next door, Ludvig had been awakened by the commotion and came to investigate. Grielle instructed him to head to the west entrance, where a canal passed alongside the palace walls, and hire a boat to get them through the city.

Benedikt waited anxiously outside Grielle's chamber as she changed her garments. Yorick and Reyn had already rushed off to find the others.

She soon re-emerged from her room. "I don't need a bodyguard," she said as she brushed past him.

"You know, a little 'thank you' here or there would be nice."

Grielle started off down the hall and Benedikt followed. She pressed herself to the wall and stuck her head around the first corner. "Thank you," she whispered, her lips lifted into a slight smile. She again poked her head into the adjoining passageway, then headed onward.

"That wasn't so hard. Although, now I really see why you didn't like me if you thought all princes were like Henrik. That man is a real piece of work if you ask—"

Grielle turned abruptly and Benedikt nearly crashed into her. "Will you shut up?" she hissed, her lips inches from Benedikt's ear. "I don't think Henrik will be happy if he finds out we are vacating his palace earlier than expected. I get the feeling he doesn't want me leaving at all." She pulled her face away and gave him a warning glare.

Benedikt didn't need to be told twice. He made a motion as if buttoning his lips closed.

Grielle gave him a satisfied nod, and they continued down the maze of passageways. While she checked their surroundings, Benedikt inventoried his thoughts; they insisted on wandering to the tickle of her whisper on his ear, or how soft her skin had felt when he touched her hip.

Roaming guards forced them to duck into darkened alcoves and doorways on several occasions, but they reached the door to the western gate with relative ease. After exiting the palace, they approached a shadowed figure at the gate but quickly saw it was a guard rather than one of their own.

Grielle laced her fingers through Benedikt's, slowed their pace, and to his surprise, rested her head on his shoulder. Having momentarily tensed and readied himself, the guard relaxed at the sight of another pair of courtiers wandering the gardens at night. With a flirtatious giggle, Grielle pulled Benedikt into the bushes off the path. Once in the foliage, they turned to watch the soldier, but since he didn't even cast a second glance in their direction, they crawled across the lawn until they spotted some familiar figures in the darkness. The rest of the Liberators already waited for them, hidden in the shadows of the cypress trees.

Ludvig stepped out into the moonlight with his shoulders back and neck stiffened. He was dressed in the dark red uniform of a palace guard and nothing suggested he was anything otherwise. He raised a hand, motioning for them to stay put, then moved out onto the path. They all watched and listened intently as Ludvig marched over to the guard by the gate.

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