Chapter 46: Long Awaited Prey
"Before coming here, I visited Marquis Percy's chamber," Cian informed with a cold tone.
"Ah." That explained why Cian had that much gold. If Arlan was to guess, those several pouches of gold were enough to support a small village for a lifetime or two. "Who would have known that the Crown Prince of Abetha is a thief?"
"Doesn't matter as long as I can save myself and the recklessly brave Crown Prince of Griven."
The two continued walking in silence. Outside, they could hear people shouting.
After a while, Cian asked, "Give me an update on everything. How did you come here, and how do we? escape from here?"
Before Arlan could respond, the floor shook, causing them to lose balance and hold the wall for support. No, not just the floor. The entire castle was shaking as if there was an earthquake, but the shaking stopped only after several seconds.
"Seems like the devil is out," Arlan commented with a serious expression.
"What do you mean?" Cian asked although he was smart enough to have already an idea of what he meant.
"King of Megaris," Arlan replied.
Cian frowned. "What is he doing here?"
"To rescue you. What else?" Arlan replied as he was in a hurry to conduct his part of the entire plan. "First, I need to take you out of here safely," he continued as he tried to remember the map to see which way they had to go. "This way."
"Tell me why Megaris is involved, and tell me who else is in this operation. If there will be fighting involved, I want to fight. I am not injured, and I am not a damsel to be rescued. I don't think I can run away when others are here fighting because of me."
Arlan turned to look at him. "Don't worry about Drayce. No one can harm that devil. Just be obedient and follow his plan. We need to take you out once we find you."
"And leave others here in danger?"
"Everyone will be in danger if you divert from the plan. Three kingdoms are here for you. If you're worried about why Megaris is meddling, well, he has his reasons to stay here. He is not that generous to do it for one prince who he doesn't even know," Arlan countered. "But can't that wait for when we are outside the fortress?"
Cian narrowed his eyes. "Don't treat me as a liability. Although I am not generous enough to put my life in danger for a king I don't even know about, I can't be the prince who escaped, leaving my people behind who came here to rescue me."
"Royals and their pride!" Arlan pinched his nose bridge as he mumbled,
"Let's just introduce you to my devil friend."
Arlan and Cian then made their way towards where they heard the loudest noise of swords clashing.
After Slayer separated from his king, Drayce continued to fight with a seemingly unending stream of enemies.? With each hack, a soldier fell, only to be replaced by another. It could be seen from the number of incoming soldiers that this was a planned attack as if the Thevailes soldiers had waited on this strategic spot to corner the intruders.
The enemies were expecting them.
It was a surprise for Drayce and the knights with him, but it wasn't unexpected enough to fluster them. On the battlefield, anything could happen, and you could not belittle your enemies. Just as you could plan against them, the enemies could also plan against you too.
Sir Berolt and the knights with him immediately joined Drayce's group upon realizing that the rescue plan had gone awry. The combined group fought their way out of the castle until they reached the vast open space away from the military barracks.
It was pure chaos. Numerous men were fighting each other, and as the intruders were in disguise, both the Thevailes army as well as Marquis Percy's personal soldiers could not easily determine who the opponents were until they were attacked. The noise of swords clashing and painful screams continued to fill the surroundings.
"Seems like they were prepared to welcome us," Sir Berolt commented while fighting along with Drayce.
"Marquis Percy," Drayce concluded.
Sir Berolt understood despite the noise around them. "That old rag is still not tired of his tricks."
As the strongest fighters from their respective kingdoms, they fought with ease as they conversed, making sure each and every enemy soldier's blood splashed on the ground. Their elite force could have already made their way towards the gate of the fortress, but as they weren't sure of the whereabouts of the Crown Prince of Abetha, they remained in the periphery of the castle.
A heavy and deep sound of a war horn echoed across the blood-soaked battlefield.
There was a sudden silence as the enemy's soldiers stopped fighting and steadily moved away from Drayce and Sir Berolt's group of elite knights.
Drayce and his men had no choice but to turn defensive. The enemy soldiers backed away and eventually parted in the middle, clearing a way for someone to reach where Drayce stood.
One man in heavy armor came towards them on a horse, followed by a small troop of soldiers behind him. Drayce and Sir Berolt recognized the old grey-haired man who had a long scar on the left side of the forehead, which moved straight down to his left cheekbone, crossing his left eye.
Godfrey Percy, the Marquis of Hatha who lords over the Niaris Territory and the general of the fortress that stood as a gateway between the Kingdoms of Hatha and Thevailes. Despite being a titled noble of Hatha, he was more known for being one of the staunchest allies of Thevailes inside his kingdom.
Now that Hatha had bowed down to Thevailes, perhaps he should be officially considered as a man of Thevailes now.
"He planned to capture us," Sir Berolt commented under his breath. "The Crown Prince being held here in the frontier of Hatha isn't a coincidence."
"Isn't it good? It would have been harder if the Ilven boy crossed over to Thevailes," Drayce replied,? but with his sly expression, it was as if there was something else he wasn't saying.
Sir Berolt looked at Drayce in surprise. They did consider the possibility of Marquis Percy personally appearing in their earlier planning, but he thought the probability was small. But with the way the young king said it, he looked like he was sure the rescue operation wouldn't go smoothly.
Soon, a bigger troop of soldiers composed of Hathan soldiers, as well as the ordinary soldiers from Thevailes that were initially merrymaking outside, had surrounded the entire place. Drayce and his men were trapped in between like caged rats.
"King of Megaris!" the old armored man on the horse exclaimed as he stepped down and walked towards Drayce.
Drayce calmly looked at him. There was no caution or fear on his handsome face, only a certain coldness as a light smirk painted itself on his lips. His red eyes glittered dangerously as if he saw his long-awaited prey.