“What was that?” Markus asked. Nanor stared at him silently for a few moments, then raised himself up and answered.
“They are obviously preparing for war. They must have only come for conscription. But that man; his name is Miro. He is the King’s right hand, and is the single most evil and powerful man in the land. He can control all of the magics known to this world. He took an interest in you. He detected something. What? I do not know. But if you were of that much interest to him, it does not bear good news. If I had not intervened, you would likely be on your way to a cell to await examination, and possibly execution. Once he recognised me, well, let’s say we have a history. That is why he turned hostile”.
“Why would he be interested in me? And what did you do? Why does he hate you so much?” Markus paused for a moment. “Wait a minute. He called you by a different name. He did not name you Nanor”.
“I am not the man you think I am. Up until ten years ago; I was a part of the Dalmeri. We were leading the rebellion against King Ukudos; we knew of the evil behind the tyranny. On an assignment; Miro believed he had killed me. I survived, and have been in hiding in Carromsford since. I could not return. I had failed my mission. My real name; is Ronan. I had to hide it so they wouldn’t track me down. As to why he took an interest in you? I have no idea. I wish I did. But if you are of interest to Miro in that manner, then you will certainly be of interest to more people”.
“So it is your fault our village has been destroyed?” Salla asked, beginning to cry, “People of Carromsford died because of you?”
“It is because of both Markus and I that the village was destroyed. Even if Markus had gone willingly with Miro, he would have sensed my presence before long and destroyed the village anyway. So I acted, and decided I had best save Markus. Perhaps he could be of some use”.
“You should have let me go. I don’t want people dying for me. More to the point, how can you expect us to trust you when you have hidden your true identity from us for years?” Markus said.
“I realise this does not look good for me. But I hope you will trust me. I meant no harm. I could not let you go, Markus. I mean to find out why Miro was interested in you”.
“What if I don’t want to go with you?”
“I hope for your sake you do. You know nothing of the horrors that exist in the wilderness of this world. You won’t last two days alone”.
“I would do just fine. What happened on your mission? The one you failed”.
“That is a story you do not need to know the details of; at least not yet. Things may change, but for now, the less you know the better”.
“I don’t like this Markus” Sed said, eyeing Ronan suspiciously.
“Neither do I” Salla agreed.
“What do you intend to do now?” Markus asked Ronan.
“I intend to return to the Dalmeri; and rejoin the fight against the King. His power is growing considerably; and that does not bode well for anyone, especially if he is building an army. I would wager there are more than just men signing up. He is likely recruiting all manner of creatures. You may travel with me; but if you chose to, you must be fully committed to the cause. You must not trail behind. When we reach a city; you may chose to stay there if you wish; wait there until the oncoming investigation passes and then return home. It is entirely up to you. You, Markus, I intend to discover what is so intriguing about you. If you do not come with me; that obviously makes my job more difficult”.
With that, Ronan stood and went to take the first watch; leaving the three to their thoughts. After a time, they began to drift off to sleep; and Markus’s thoughts were solely on what he would do next; stay with Ronan, or jump ship at the first city.