Though Thalia had made it out of the castle in one piece, the grounds were more extensive than she had figured, and she still had to find her way out of the castle before…
“The prince has been kidnapped! Sound the alarm!”
Thalia’s window of peace and quiet had vanished, so, grabbing a simple white masquerade mask off a table, she heard the owner and someone else in the bushes nearby, she tied it into place, and began making her way back to the terrace. Someone sneaking around the grounds alone would look more suspicious than someone in a group, and Thalia needed to try to avoid attention. The guard she had informed before she jumped off the balcony would certainly be looking for her. They would think she had something to do with it, which Thalia didn’t, but no one would believe the word of a thief.
As she approached the party, Thalia spotted Lady Aya, in her stark white dress, her chocolate skin tinged with red in her cheeks. She’d seen that tight lipped look on many an aristocrat she’d stolen from. Lady Aya was angry. She was talking to some guards, and as Thalia got closer, she could make out what Aya was saying.
“…The last I saw of him, he was following some other woman. She wore a dark blue dress, dark hair, fair skin. I suppose she was pretty, as far as you Kassians go. I understand Prince Mythras is a playboy in your country, but this was not the welcome I expected from your kingdom. You can expect little help from Nundir in your war with the Tandarrans.”
So, that was what her visit was about, an alliance between Kassus and Nundir. She was probably here to marry the prince.
“If he’s been taken, perhaps that woman is with the kidnappers. They sent her here to lure him to his doom. There she is, why don’t you ask her what happened.”
Thalia had gotten too close, and without a second thought, she hiked up her skirt and ran for the entrance. A guard tried to block her exit with his spear but Thalia ducked around him, ramming the heel of her hand upwards towards his chin. A groan and he fell back, she kept running, but more guards were coming. Now the guests were practically jumping out of her way, but the large door seemed further away than ever. Then, five guards appeared in front of her, and she had to stop, to avoid running into their spears. Turning on the spot, Thalia saw seven more surrounding her.
One reached up and pulled off her mask.
“Well, what do you know, a crow in a flock of swans. You’ve been dodging us for years,” said one of the guards.
“You know this woman?” Asked the king, coming up, angry.
“Yes, she’s a thief and a traitor,” said the guard. “You’ve gotten cocky, sweetheart,” he ran the tip of his spear down her neck lightly, stopping just before the top of the dress. “You really think you could have gotten away with this?”
“Enough, Ryis,” the king frowned. “Not in front of my guests. I will deal with her later.”
“Yes sire,” Ryis said, withdrawing. “Take her away,” he ordered, and Thalia was dragged away from the party.
Thalia was taken to a dark, damp room, searched thoroughly by the guards. They pulled the sapphire from Mythras’ belt from her pocket and smiled amongst themselves.
When they were satisfied she didn’t have any weapons or any more jewels hidden on her, they chained Thalia’s wrists to a ring on the wall, and left the room. Then Ryis came in, no spear, but a big knife in his hand, and a smile on his face.
“I have been searching for you for a long time, little thief.” Ryis’ smile was similar to the wild dogs that prowled the outskirts of town, looking for scraps. Feral, and desperate. Thalia cringed away from the blade, but still he came. "Tell me, who were the men who captured the prince?"