Sage balled her fists into folds of leathery dragon hide all the while blinking mist out of her eyes. Slowly she raised herself on her knees to get a better view of the Empire below. The effect made her feel queasy. She dug her nails deeper into Saffron's rough skin. Below them Gallia was not more than a barely visible speck of dirt. Even so the flash of red was unmistakable.
Had Baron's army and the Mounseikens fought Blue's army already? That seemed to be the explanation. And since she hadn't detected any signs of Galvenston's army it meant only one thing to her. Baron and the Mounseikens had fought Blue's men and lost. A harsh vice clamped itself over her heart. Drakmor, Baron they were both... Sage tried to dismiss the thought. She grabbed Saffron's reigns. " Turn around dragon! We are going back home!"
Obediently Saffron did a 360 and gracefully swung his massive tail and weight into the air like a boomerang.
Once they arrived in Galvenston Sage balanced herself on her feet using Saffron's scaly back as a platform. The massive dragon hovered at least twenty feet from the ground. She took her bow off of her back and notched an arrow as a precaution. Before Saffron could protest Sage jumped off of him and landed in a crouching position on the ground.
She stood up slowly and awkwardly with her bow. They were in a pasture outside the barn. So far nothing seemed amiss. The horses were usually the first to grow skittish in these situations but they seemed to be going about their business as per usual.
With a single glance back at Saffron Sage took off into a running sprint towards the castle. If someone had infiltrated Galvenston in the short time they had been away they would be in the castle.
She only paused for breath when she reached the castle. She was greeted by Callia who had a look of concern etched into her face. Sage gently took the maid by the shoulders. " Go to the center surround yourself with other people. You should be safe out in the open."
Alarm registered in Calla's eyes. "What's wrong ?"
Sage shook her head. "Just go. Now!" She demanded.
Once the maid had left. Sage raised her bow again and cautiously surveyed the castle. She familiarized herself with every trap door and hidden passageway. Nobody was hiding on the first,second, third or fourth story. Which meant somebody could be waiting for her on the fifth. In get own bed chambers perhaps...
Growing impatient Sage resisted the urge to kick down her bedroom door and surrender herself, though she never made it that far. In the dark hallway someone lunged at her and grabbed her from behind.
Sage screamed and struggled rigorously. The only good that did was tire her out. She screamed obscenities at her captor who she could not clearly see in the dark.
He clamped his hand over her mouth. His voice was low in her ear. " Not another sound unless you want to get us both killed Empress."
Sage blinked in confusion. Slowly the man relinquished his hold on her and she turned to face him. She had to squint in the dark to make out his face.
"Beck?" She nearly wept with relief.