Recovering during the peace-time of a devastating war with the Barbarans, the High Lord Teryn Ridling and his family attempt to keep moving forwards despite their losses. The Barbarans have different plans however as peace-time comes to a premature end, meanwhile not all the vassal Lords are loyal when a plot to kill the king is found.

“N-no, Thebany stop.” Eli hissed into the darkness. He couldn’t tell if the rushing wind from half way up the West tower drowned his words or whether she was simply ignoring him. He presumed the latter, as from this angle, he could only see her dark brown hair. “Anny!” He clamped his hand over his mouth, it had been louder than he wanted it to be.
                Anny looked down, her expression dropping on him as if half the tower wall were tumbling down on him.
                There was a moment of silence, then she began climbing again.
                “Anny you are not twelve any more, you’re a lady, act like it!” Still nothing, fine then.
                Eli planted a foot on the first, jutting stone he could see until, with a stretch, he reached backwards for the thin bole of the tree and leapt onto it, hugging tightly and shimmying up the trunk. When he reached the first, hanging limbs, he looked back towards the wall.
                This was always the scariest part. How does she do it so easily?
                Directly at his level, was the part of the wall that grew thinner, reflected in the small crevice. If he were feeling brave, he could make the leap, elsewise he could make shift one foot onto the thicker part of the wall and use the first limb to make the move over. Back when he was young with Anny, he wouldn’t have thought twice, but he was older and heavier now.
                Eli tested the branch. It seemed firm.
                With a tentative foot, he stretched his legs and held onto the branch at the same time, readying himself. It’s only  a short drop if I fall. He peeked down and felt his stomach lurch. Oh Gods I’m going to fall. He swallowed hard and stared up at Anny, now watching him with a smile on her smug face. If she can... he looked back at the branch. Fast or slow?
                He wanted it over with, Eli resolved.
                In one quick motion, he swung wildly to the wall.
                The sharp crack that seemed to last an eternity, was the only warning he had as his one support onto life went from above him.
                He wanted to throw up his stomach.
                Somehow he managed to grab a hold of the larger part of the wall, hanging down, his arms jarred and pained from catching himself.
                “Anny!” He shrieked, not caring if anyone heard.
                She was there in an instant, the same smug smile looking down on him.
                “Always following, always failing.” She mused in her sing-song voice. “And father gave you the bigger castle.”
                “Anny it’s not a game!” He could feel his hands slipping from the pain of holding on, sweat beading his skin.
                “No I suppose not. How would you suppose I save your life this time?” She asked, “hold onto you as I let you down that seven foot drop, or lift you up here?”
                “I’m not too particular on the details at the moment!” He yelled, “-just-“
                One hand slipped off, the other was about to follow.

The End

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