Lesson 14

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Yorick hissed just loud enough to catch everyone's attention, then held up two fingers to indicate the number of guards at the gate

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Yorick hissed just loud enough to catch everyone's attention, then held up two fingers to indicate the number of guards at the gate. Grielle motioned for them to lean in close to her as Yorick jogged back to join the group.

"The gate is shut and there isn't any way we can get those massive doors open without making a great deal of noise," Grielle said. She looked to Yorick.

"There are two armed guards at the gate, but there are likely more in the guardhouse. That'll have doors we can pass through to get out of the city," Yorick said.

"Any archers?" Grielle asked.

"Four on the parapet, but there's a ladder."

Benedikt watched Grielle as she pressed her lips together, eyes closed in thought. Then she opened them.

"Okay." She smiled with a twinkle of pleasure in her eyes. "Here's how we do this. Ludvig will take out the two on the ground from the adjacent roof. Then, Reyn will take out the archers, and Moose and Berne will take the guardhouse."

She turned on Benedikt and grabbed him by the collar of his shirt. "We're using igniting knockout powder." She held up a small sphere wrapped in flash paper. "It's Yorick's recipe. Throw them at the ground and they release a smoke that'll put someone to sleep for hours. Ludvig has some arrows tipped with it. When he knocks out the guards, they must not hit the ground. You and Reyn will run out and catch them. If those archers hear bodies fall, they are going to light a signal fire and then this entire quarter of the city will be flooded with guards in mere minutes. Got that?" She handed him a cloth to cover his mouth and nose with. Around him, the others were covering up their noses and mouths as well.

"Don't let the guards hit the ground. Got it," he replied, straightening as Grielle released him.

"All right then, let's move." Grielle nodded to Reyn.

Reyn slipped over to the wall of the building nearest the gate and peered around the corner. She laced her fingers together and gave Ludvig a little glance. Ludvig slung his bow over his shoulder and with a couple large strides stepped one foot into her waiting hands. With bended knees, Reyn used his momentum and her legs to spring Ludvig up to the low-hanging roof of the building. Ludvig grabbed the roof with ease and pulled himself up. It all happened quickly and fluidly. They had apparently completed the move many times before. Reyn made the motion look effortless, but Benedikt guessed she had more strength than her slender frame suggested.

Benedikt waited, frozen in his position as he listened for the twang of Ludvig's bow. It was a faint sound and he almost would have missed it if he hadn't heard the snap of the powder igniting as an arrow struck the ground. Thick white smoke billowed from the tip of the arrow and Benedikt watched the first soldier slump. He and Reyn burst from the shadowed alley. He pumped his legs as fast as he could, but Reyn's long stride outmatched his and she reached the pitching guard first. The second guard took a stumbling step when Yorick's spell took hold. Benedikt slid underneath the falling man, catching him and his weapon inches from the ground.

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