"My Lord" Captain Rickard began. "It seems your little run in with our assassin has given us a vital clue as to the identity of your assailant." He held out his mail clad fist, sat on his palm was the crest of the assassins guild. The most notorious killers in the nation.

"Does Chancellor Macian know about this?" Zephiel asked, his voice was high and wimpering no matter how hard he tried. He sat stroking Francois, who lay beside Zephiel on his back kicking every now and again. "He needs to know, they may go after him. Darn, who could possibly have the money to take out a contract on a king."

"Indeed sir. I fear there is a traitor at court sir." Rickard continued. "We need to lie low for a while, I have men at the castle-"

"No we need to inform Machian." Zephiel shouted. "He could do something about it, destroy the assassins or flush out the traitor.

Rickard paused for a moment. Then continued. "Sir I am doing everything in my power to end this threat, but we have to consider the chance that Macian is..." He stopped there, realising that Zephiel understood.

The carraige whipped through the mountain passes at, the cart bumping and scraping with every turn. The gaps between the mountains seemed as yawning black chasms, empty and bottomless. Zephiel felt sick, he couldn't even consider that his most trusted subordinate, Chancellor Machian, could be a traitor. Tears began to drip from his eyes, he felt lost, alone and unnable to trust anyone.

Suddenly the carraige ground to a halt. The coachman had gone and there was shouting and knocking outside, the sound of men running in armour could also be heard.

"Highwaymen?" Zephiel wondered aloud.

"No" Rickard replied grimly. "The guardsmen would have got them."

There was a shout from outside.

"Get out, now!" The voice cried angrily. Zephiel clenched his fist.

"I'm dead this time" He thought to himself as the door opened. A silouette of a man stood holding his blade out to the pair. They began to climb out of the carraige.

The End

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