It was, beyond any doubt, time for an easeful rest... oh did one sound alluring. At the uppermost peak of the stairs, a bright hallway extended to the right, fitting five doors. Three doors fit on the surface opposite to Teiy's location, and two others beside the stairway. At the end of the hallway, to the right, Lyez stopped, holding his door's handle.
“Teiy. I want to ask you something.”
Teiy stood watchful.
Lyez turned and rose erect, “How did you lose your 'friend'? What trouble are you caught in?”
“You have to see it through my perspective. I don't know what your mission might be in finding this man. I want to help you, but I can't be sure... if you intend to do something with this person...”
“'Do'? I'm not going to do anything to him! I was accompanied by three men on my way here. Two were killed, he wasn't – ”
Lyez's eyes widened and he drooped down, “I... I see.”
“... Tomorrow morning.” Teiy opened his room's door, and shut it sympathetically.
The room was surprisingly dim after experiencing a great deal of luster everywhere else. A bed, covered in bright-blue sheets, choked up most of the space inside. A small table settled across the bed, right below a cramped, boarded window. A raggedy chest laid at the bed's end, for supplies and clothing no doubt.
Teiy dislodged his blade and let down his shield, before falling rearward against the bedstead. It was filled with an ample heap of hay by the fluffiness of its texture. However, its topping of soft cloth-rolls is what iced the cake of extensive pleasure. And did it begin to feel wonderful. At this point of comfort, Teiy understood that leading any thought to mind would only abuse, rather than benefit, himself... So, he accepted a mindless sleep...
The hammering tone beat into his mind... constantly... pulsating. Teiy sprung from his dreams and looked all over, frantically.
“Hey! You awake, Teiy?”
The beating sounds were coming from the door-frame. “Lyez? Is that you?”
“Yeah, come on. I have to leave soon. If we're going to travel together, you need to get up at this moment.”
“One second!” Teiy rose from the bed and fixed his armour components in-place. After fastening his helm to a rope on his waist, Teiy grabbed his sword and rushed to the door – unlocking it.
The door opened, and Lyez peeked in. “'Yello?”
“Yea, move out of the way. We'll need to get some food, I don't think there’s anymore on my wagon... oh! We also need a covering for the supplies in back!”
Lyez nodded blankly, and pointed to the bed. “You'll also be needing that shield, I’d hope.”
Teiy yanked his head and pressed over to the bedside. He took the shield to his back, and slid the sword through its crevice once again. Perfect fit!
“So, are you still planning on finding this 'Builth' you were on about last night?”
Teiy broke to a pause, “Yea.”
Lyez closed the door behind Teiy, and they made their way down the stairway. “If I were you, I’d check out Royce for a while as-well. Who knows? Maybe you got the name wrong.”
“I've been to Builth before, although I can't remember much of it.”
Reaching the tavern floor, all who accompanied it was Kabe and a new stranger. The stranger wore long-blond hair and a drawn-out, blue robe to go along with it. The two looked spacey, not noticing Teiy's entrance.
Teiy waved, “Morning!”
“... Oh! Mornin' you two! Heading out?”
“Not just yet. Say, remember my offer when I first came here? About the covering for my cart?”
“Oh! Yes, yes! I think there's a fitting one in the basement, I’ll be right back.”
Kabe walked quickly to a door situated on the side of the staircase, and disappeared.
The blond man drifted back in his chair, “G-good morning.”
Lyez approached him, “Morning to you! Where are you heading?”
“I... we were braving East to the Numb Gap... they... past the gate... last night.”
“Huh... You don't mean!”
“No... I should've stayed up longer -”
“No, no. It's fine... I still plan on heading to the Numb Gap. There's more people I plan on meeting up with later.”
“The Numb Gap. I've heard several stories about that cold place. One old climber explained to me that he saw a 'giant' during his time there... The giant's head reached higher than the tip of the bluff he was ascending! 'Quaking steps', he said...”
Clattering wood could be heard below the floor, and a soft grinding bewailed behind the basement door. The door smacked gaudily as the knob twisted and turned. Teiy ran over and turned the knob. Kabe burst through, a gargantuan tarp at hand.
“Thank you.” Kabe dropped the sheet by his feet and bent over to regain his strength.
Teiy lifted his arm, “I can hold it Kabe!”
“It's very heavy.”
The stranger stood, hanging. “... Here, let me help too.”
Lyez returned from his woeful mind, “Huh? Hold up! Let me get right here!”
Kabe scanned past the three faces beside him, and they all acknowledged at once.
All four of them stood at all sides of the heavy tarp. They shuffled slowly for the front door, as they all got an improved grip on it. It took only a matter of moments to get comfortable, and then the lugging became an effortless task.
The cart poised before them all. The stranger, Kabe, and Lyez all lifted the leather and moved accordingly to Teiy's motions, and orders. After a good seven minutes, the wagon was properly covered. The edges were pegged into place and pined until the sheet felt capable of serving the role of a hammock.
The blond man brushed his hands, “Very good.”
Teiy went into the back of the wagon, and searched for his bag. Once finding it, he unfastened the top and browsed through 'til he found some gold coins.
He placed the sufficient number into a small pouch, and handed it to Kabe. “Will this do?”
Kabe stuck the sack on his belt trustingly and smiled, “Of course!”
“Okay then, thank you so much!” Teiy neared the blond man and shook his hand. “I'd like to thank you too. Might I have your name? I'm Teiy.”
“It was nothing... and you can call me Jori.”
Lyez swiveled to Kabe, “Could you help me get the horses ready?”
“Right to it!”
Jori motioned a goodbye to Teiy and went along with the others. Teiy looked off to the path ahead. Haze blurred the distant landscape. The vivid colors before the fog, though, made a grand spectacle to witness. The colors turned dim, and dumb, past the gently-departing haze, towards their destination. Looking back, the path North stayed clear, as the memories of it remained clearer. How would the mission of those French templars be carried out? Teiy had no idea what destination Jehan and Audric had in mind, and how important the object within that chest must be. The denseness of the situation made the thought of completion utterly unattainable. Maybe some allys of theirs would be waiting at Builth... or Royce?
Lyez and Kabe returned with two horses, the second being of Lyez's holding.
Kabe stretched out, “Teiy, since you'll both be riding the same way, would it make sense to tie up both these horses to your wagon? Your say, Lyez?”
Lyez nodded, and Teiy did like-wise.
Once the horses were mounted, and the passengers aboard, the wagon began departure. Lyez and Teiy waved off at Kabe and Jori, who settled behind the wall's gate. Soon the inn was out of view, and even sooner Kabe and Jori.
The flat path made the ride to Royce quite motionless. Dust kicked up from behind the wheels several times when the horses didn't mix well. After a few hours, though, all of the cart's company were accustomed. Teiy felt so more alive with a trusting friend by his side. He could talk, speak his mind, and not have to be shunned to thinking within himself... in lonesomeness. Lyez was a welcome visitor after-all.
A large shadow grew progressively paramount within the obscure haziness ahead. Lyez smacked Teiy's shoulder, “Right there! That's Royce! We'll be arriving shortly.”
“It looks like it's pretty big.”
“Of course! Do you plan on stopping off there, too, for a look at the place? Maybe you'll remember something and realize that Royce was the Builth of your memory.”
“But Mundi... my master told me to head to 'Builth' for the shipment. It doesn't make sense. Why would the location of the two places be almost identical?”
“I don't know. To be honest, I still doubt there ever even was a 'Builth' to begin with. It just doesn't make sense for something like that to exist by the Kingdom of Royce.”
“That man in the inn called that place a 'kingdom' too.”
“What's weird about that? It is a kingdom after-all.”
“We're in England you moron. The Kingdom of England!”
“England? You know, I want to say you're just -”
He doesn't know?
“- pulling my chain, but you come up with these names like their second nature. It doesn't seem like you're the lying type, but any-”
“That name doesn't mean anything to you?”
Lyez turned back unto the path ahead, “Nope.”
Teiy's head ached in confusion. “You... but how? England! That map! We're in England!”
Lyez jerked from the sudden shout, “Loosen up a bit, why dontcha!”
“But the map! It was shaped exactly as England! And – and the citadels were all placed in the same positions, just with different titles!”
“That's strange you got your whole concept of the land obscured. Maybe -”
“I didn't! King Richard II! You don't even know of that name?”
“No! Listen you have to calm down about this whole subject. Why don't we just see how everything is for ourselves once we reach Royce? There will be a check-point in a few minutes. You can see it at the edge of the fog can't you?”
Teiy scanned forward, and noticed minuscule green shapes in the distance. “I see something.”
“There's a gate, and a good number of Roycian knights. Just a check-point though, don't get all excited just yet?”
A check-point! What should I say? I can't let anyone get their hands on the diamond chest! Could I trust Lyez enough with such a secret?
“Is that the only way through?”
“Yea... why do you ask?”
“Is there anything you haven't told me that would make them a problem?”
Should I? “Nope, but I think I should report back with my master before going onwards! Maybe-”
Lyez grabbed Teiy's shoulder, and pulled their eye's into alignment. “Do you have something illegal on this cart? Did you do a crime in Royce?”
“No... there's just weapons, and armour, which I’d hope they'd allow through.”
“Well, of course they would! Just come off as a merchant and you have nothing to worry.”
There's no other way, I’ve got to tell him so we can come up with something. Teiy shifted his arm to his side. “I have a special shipment in the back...”
“What is it?”
“I don't know, but I can't let anyone get their hands on it.”
“That doesn't sound legal... is it?”
“To be honest, I don't know. All I know is what my fallen companions told me, which is that it is of the utmost importance that it doesn't get in the wrong hands. In the hands of evil... or the greedy.”
“Is it that significant?”
“I don't know, and they're dead now. I have to make sure their quest reaches fulfillment.”
“I see. I won't betray you if that's what you fear!”
“Then let me show you the box first, it might switch that thinking.”
Teiy halted the cart, and the two approached its rear. Teiy placed his hands on the sagging end of the tarp, and pulled it up to show the contents inside. The old sheet still covering the chest, and Teiy began the unwrapping.
“Yeah. Let me get – there.”
The blue of the diamond chest gained the most awareness, amongst the uninspiring cargo.
“Diamond? Is that all diamond?”
Lyez removed his gauntlet, and rubbed the box's glossy exterior. “It's incredible someone was wealthy enough to use such rare materials for a plain-old chest. But I guess that makes the chest not plain and old doesn't it?” Lyez giggled, as Teiy grew uncertain.
“I don't plan to betray you. I have a feeling you would've used this thing for your own wealth if it truly wasn't important in some way. The fact it's made of tough diamond also proves that someone else knew it must be kept safe. No enchantment... Do you have the key?”
“Key...” I never thought of such a thing. I hope there wasn't one on the knight's bodies... No, I'd never take from the dead.
“I don't think so, no”
“Then how would this ever be opened?”
Teiy put the wrappings back in place, and slid the thing deeper in the wagon bed. “We should get going.”
They climbed atop the wagon, and Teiy whipped the steeds on. “What should we do about the check-point then?”
“Hm... is it heavy?”
“When it was first being planted into the cart, it took the strength of two men to hold it in place.”
“Damn. We could... um...”
“If we be very open about what we're for, and not act suspicious, how it stays now may work... but that's risky still.”
“I don't think there's any other way, unless you want to split ways here?”
“No. I need to go to Builth for all of them.”
The trail went off in a single direction towards the ominous shadow behind the fog. With no diverging paths before the check-off, they would have to face the roadblock head-on. Time before the point shortened, as idea's failed to improve their chances. A single, green tower stood watch before a silver, wooden gate. From their range, five to six men were spotted.
“Listen Teiy. I want to help you with this, but I won't go against my kingdom. If it comes to violence, I can't help you. Are you still okay with going through this?”
“... yes, I didn't mean to cause trouble anyway. If that be my fate... then so be it.”
A red flag rose from the green tower as they enclosed, seconds off, to the check-off. A horse rode to them, a notable warrior on its back.
“Hail! You two wish to pass?”
Lyez leaned over, in-front of Teiy. “Yes -”
“Do you fight for Royce, knight?”
“Indeed, I do.”
“Why are you with this merchant?”
His horse followed the wagon as they reached the blockade. “We were both staying at the same tavern, just a bit north.”
“I see, what's in your cargo son?”
Teiy swallowed vigorously, “Weapons and armour. They're to be sent to Royce. They were purchased from my village, out of the boundaries.”
“Alright. Yorvick, check the cargo.”
The warrior cruised to the front, while the other one scoured through the back. “And why did you leave, knight of Royce? Where's your assigned equipment?”
“It was my vacation, and I don't want to be jumped by some band of people who aren't a fan of Royce.”
“Tsk, how was it then?”
“How about your break? Coming up anytime soon?”
“Why, no I -”
The scrounger reported, “There's nothing out of the ordinary back here Carter!”
“Good. You two may go through.” Two, green and silver, knights pushed the gate ad-jar. “Hey, boy! Make sure not to disappoint with those!”
Teiy turned back, “Got it! Thanks!”
Lyez waved at them, “Bye now!”
The sound of the calming breeze returned to authority, and both of them fell back and sighed with relief. The castle ahead began to push through the fog, and two large green banners could be seen to the left and the right sides of its silhouette. They were both ingrained with a large, white cross. The thing itself towered higher than anything Teiy remembered seeing in the past. This place wasn't anywhere he'd been to before.
Builth... why did you call it that Mundi?
Lyez turned and grinned, “Fantastic isn't it?”