The Lady's First Swordsman

The Lady's First Swordsman's chambers were stark and ugly in Danny's eyes.  Danny was very tired when they finally arrived, having passed through more tunnels and up various flights of stairs.  At times Danny saw other masked men, who slid out of the way and into shadows upon seeing Sir Raymond. 

If these sewers belonged to a city, he never saw an ordinary street.  It seemed that they traveled only through abandoned sewers and strange passageways.  The place was an interconnected web which Sir Raymond traveled without hesitation.

The door shut softly behind them, and Sir Raymond stalked across the room to a table where he occupied himself for a minute.  Danny wandered to the only window in the room and looked out.  What he saw made him catch his breath.  He was high in tower overlooking a vast dark city. But what surprised him was the sky, or lack there of.  They were in some sort of huge underground cave.  No wonder he had never heard of this a huge city.  To the outside world, this place did not exist. 

Strange words of the woman in the shop echoed in his mind, You will be taken to the very heart of the enemy’s lie and to its farthest limbs.  You will learn the secrets that no one but she knows.  And you will decide.  “Decide what?” He wondered aloud.

“What was that?” asked the old man sharply brining him back into the unpleasant chambers. 

“Nothing,” Danny muttered, accepting the glass of clear liquid offered him, but not sipping it. 

Sir Raymond’s face had hardened much since that moment of weakness he had shown in the face of Danny’s words about his daughter.  He gestured for Danny to sit and took a long drink from his own glass.

“Now,” Sir Raymond sat down, so Danny did too.  “What do you know of my daughter, and how?”

“Well,” began Danny, pausing a moment for the words to come.  But they did not come.  He sat there, for a full moment, with his mouth open, but the words didn’t come. 

Sir Raymond glared impatiently at him. “Go on.”

“You see,” said Danny.  Why couldn’t he think of what to say?  Then there was a knock at the door. 

“Come,” said Sir Raymond.

A women entered the room.  She was tall and pretty, with large dark eyes and straight dark brown hair, but she was far too skinny.  Her waist was so tiny, that Danny thought he would be able to surrounded it with his hands and her wrists were so skinny that they looked as if a careless movement would snap them.  She had a sort of gliding walk that brought her across the room, the trail of her deep green dress brushing silently behind her.

“Ah,” she said, in a soft, sweet voice.  “You have a visitor.”  She went over to Danny and stood before him, fixing a terrifying gaze on him.  Her gaze was piercing and made Danny uncomfortable, but he put up with it; his brow furrowed into a frown. 

After a moment she turned away.  “A very young and handsome visitor.  One that your daughter might have fancied, had she still been here.”

“She is none of your business,” growled Sir Raymond.  Danny was mildly surprised at the way Sir Raymond defied this woman, whom he supposed to be the terrible Lady.

“Everything is my business, my dear Ray.”  She stroked her skeletal fingers through the grey stubble on his chin.

He pushed her hand away.  “What do you want?”

“My Lady wishes for you to go on a trip.  She is looking for something, or someone.

So, Danny thought, this woman is not The Lady.  How terrible The Lady must be, if this is only her assistant.

“Can I not send one of my men?”

“No, she says that this is so important that you yourself must go.  She awaits you in her throne room, to give you farther instructions.”
“Right now?”

“Yes,” said the woman.

The old man sighed and stood up.  “Stay here,” he told Danny, then to a guard outside the door; “see that he doesn’t go anywhere.”

And in a moment both were gone.  The strange lady gave Danny another creepy look before she left. 

Thirsty, Danny ignored caution and drank the liquid he had been offered.  It was a sweet, flavoured water.  He had no intention of staying here.  Despite his exhaustion and the guard at the door, he must find Sarah and get them out of this horrible city.   He went first to the windows.  But he was far to high up to climb down.  He would have to get past the guard at the door, then.  Gathering all the energy he could muster he looked about the room for something to use as a weapon.

The End

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