CoordinatesMature

The rain remained for the last three days in the week. Filling in the trenches the Galvenston army had built giving the desired effect of a moat around the empire. With the ground moist, seeds were planted, in the hopes that there was still time to improve the harvest this late in the summer.

Baron wasted no time training the army. With the food and water supply replenished the empire was gaining strength and momentum. Though they were weak in comparison to their rivals Baron knew that their efforts to rebuild the empire would not go unnoticed by the Syronian empire. Soon enough there would be another ambush.

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Sage spent the earlier part of the morning pacing back and forth over a piece of parchment paper. The message was delivered at dawn by a messenger pigeon. She stowed the note away in the pocket of her riding trousers after reading it several times.

Empress,

Meet me at the disclosed location. Come alone.

It was left unsigned. On the back of the note was a hand drawn map, a set of coordinates circled in the center of it. The hand writing wasn't familiar. She debated weather or not to go. In the end curiosity took over and she spent the latter part of the morning readying her mare and packing her saddle bags She rode cautiously over the newly constructed bridge that lay over the surrounding moat. Nera, her mare wasn't overly brave, she wasn't fond of crossing water. Sage sighed. She was hoping to escape unnoticed. She cursed under her breath as she saw Pierson making his way over to her.

“Going somewhere Empress?” He pressed.

Sage offered the boy a tight smile. “Errands.”

“Can I come. I'm sure master Baron would saddle up a pony for me?” Pierson asked hopeful.

Sage's eyes went wide, as she shook her head. She definitely didn't want Baron to know that she was leaving the Empire. He would grow suspicious and in the worst case he would try to follow her or prevent her from leaving at all. She looked down at Pierson. Sure he was loyal, but could he keep a secret? She decided against telling him the truth. “Baron can't know that I'm leaving the Empire. I'm going into  Gallia to get him a present.”

“A present? Why would you want to get that old sap present?!” Pierson grumbled as he pet Nera soothingly under her mane.

Sage smiled at the young boy's jealousy, it was endearing. “His birthday. So I need you to hold down the fort while I'm away. Do you think you could handle that task?”

Upon her request Pierson stood taller and straighter. “Of course, what do you take me for an invalid?”

Sage patted his head. “Not at all. Would you mind giving my horse a tap on her rear. She seems reluctant to go anywhere.”

“Aye.” Pierson responded before giving the horse a nudge. Sage waved to him as she rode off into the distance. She un-tucked the map from the pocket of her cloak. It didn't seem the ride would be very long and luckily their meeting was on neutral territory. A couple hours had passed before she found her way to the location of the coordinates.

She surveyed her surroundings. The land lay between Gallia and Syronia. The grass on the ground was sparse. Mostly it was hard sand- like dirt. The only other land formations for miles were a few trees and a nearby stream. She hopped off Nera and led her to the stream for a drink. It was midday. There was no way anyone could sneak up on her as there was nothing to hide behind. Though the location was desolate enough that nobody would hear her if she screamed. She began having second thoughts, growing nervous and anxious in anticipation. She was about to turn around when a figure dropped out of the sky.

The End

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