The guards immediately started toward Bain. Malkoff backed away, looking annoyed and angry. Fool! If they ran, it would not help their case. It would do the opposite. Was this man used to running though? What had he done? If Bain was traveling with a murderer, then he would know eventually.
“My lord, I am placing you under arrest,” the guard said when they finally made it through the crowd.
Bain simply raised his head. “Who was the witness? If they saw me murder these people, let them come forward.” He would not be undermined by the very laws he followed. No, he was righteous in this regard.
“I saw him go in this direction!” a large man said, “And when I got here, these bodies were everywhere and they were gone!”
Bain looked to the man. “No disrespect intended, but you are not the fastest runner and I was on a horse. There was plenty of time for someone to come and do this.” The guards eyed him suspiciously. “In fact, this was here before I got here, good people. If you notice, there is more blood on the ground than there should be and in too many places.”
They did notice now. Perfect. Now they would know the truth of things. The pain in his stomach had sided for the moment, like Kevin said it would, leaving a numb sensation in Bain’s abdomen. He stood up in his stirrups. “The real event was an attack on me,” Bain yelled to the crowd. He noticed a few were weeping over the corpses of loved ones. He felt sorrow for them. “They got ahead and cleared the area, then attacked me in force. I managed to survive only because of this man behind me-“ Bain pointed to Malkoff, who still had a look of annoyance “-and my skill with the sword. It was a cult. They must have removed the bodies.”
The people seemed angry still, but could not defy truth. The guards, however, had to follow protocol. “My lord,” one of them said, “I will need to bring you in for keeping…”
Bain sighed. “I am afraid I must hurry. My wife is ill and getting no better as we speak. I only came to retrieve Horus for a cure. I must be off.” Bain took out a parchment he had prewritten for Horus. It would work here though. “Here, this has my name, as well as home location, on it. Should you feel I really did this, come retrieve me.”
The guard took it, and started dispersing the people. They would clean the area and take notes down to the last detail. If Bain was called upon, he would be relying on the detail of those notes, so he stayed just long enough to become satisfied by the legislature. The law would help those who were innocent, so long as others did not tarnish it.
Within half an hour, Malkoff had a brown horse of unknown breed and the two men were on the road to Garrison’s March, leaving Grates behind. Despite all that had happened, the trip had been successful. Problems would appear again, surely, but the moment was one of peace. Now, Bain’s duty was to get back to Elizabeth.
Malkoff laughed softly once Grates was out of sight. “What is so humorous, Sir Lichtengel?
“Arkheem wanted to turn the people against you,” he said, smiling. It was an odd look on him. Like a demon with a look of joy. Except this man was not a demon. Was he? “But you made his plan backfire. Now the guards will be looking for his minions and he will be forced to try something else.”
Bain smiled slightly. At least he was happy. Dalzig snorted. He seemed to be happy to be on the road. “Who is Arkheem?”
Malkoff’s smile faded. “I do not know. He was the one who stabbed you, though, and he has gone by that name since I first encountered him.”
Bain grimaced. So, this man was hunted by this Arkheem? That would explain his earlier action. Arkheem must have framed him and made Malkoff wanted somewhere, so he fled to Britain. It made sense. Honestly, it was a relief for Bain.
“Let us make haste,” Bain said, kicking Dalzig into a faster pace, “I want to be home by tomorrow night.”
‘I am coming, Elizabeth!’