Nicole wanted nothing more than to tear the scarlet dress apart as she and Adam rushed after the guards who escorted and carried the King away to his quarters. Adam was pale, with a pink tint on his fuzzy cheeks from the excursion. He probably felt sick with worry. Nicole thought herself as red as her fine dress, and the feeling of the want to throw up wasn’t unfamiliar to her.
The chafe of the dried blood on her back was annoying Nicole greatly, but it kept her mind off the icky feeling in her gut. It wasn’t hers, but the robed wizard’s who had intruded on the festivities. Her arm was sore and quite stiff from the experience.
The guards closed the door after them, leaving Adam and Nicole outside.
“Looks like all we can do is wait for orders,” Adam sighed as he raked his fingers through his dark hair. He turned to Nicole, “How’s your shoulder?”
“It’s fine,” she lied, “You ask about my shoulder when our King is in deep trouble?” Adam didn’t smile, and knocked on the door. Muffled voices from the other side halted.
“No, our King needs to rest,” came a female voice from the other side. Nicole kicked the door, hearing the grunt of the spokesperson.
“Fine,” Nicole said, “I’ll go out-” she put her finger up to her mouth, facing Adam, ‘’- all by myself to catch and kill that evil, ruthless, deadly wizard who kidnapped the princesses.” After a few seconds of complete silence, the door opened, an icy blue eye glared out at them. It wasn’t the king, but one of his sisters, the mother of princess Katie.
Her glare said, I really hate you, as she opened the door wide for Nicole and Adam to enter. Her wisps of gray and black hairs a ruffled mess. She must have fainted earlier, Nicole thought. The King was sitting up on his grand mattress, a flushed nurse attending to him, and seven guards all about the lavish room, standing by windows and the bed posts.
Nicole leaned down and took off her heels, shortening her height down below Adam’s shoulders. Tossing them aside, she pulled a chair from a nearby desk and set it beside the king. Adam went directly to him, his knuckles white with worry and anger, although it didn’t show on his face. He leaned across the bed, on the opposite side of Nicole. Her back itched like crazy, but it didn’t matter. What did matter was what the King needed her and Adam to do. Each stared at the other in silence.
“I say we go get them back, and make the bastard wish he had never been born,” Nicole said, leaning back in her chair with her arms folded. Adam scowled at her as the King closed his eyes and used his thumb and middle finger to massage his temples.
“Nicole, that is far too dangerous,” Adam insisted, “He is too powerful, and we have no idea what he has in mind for the princesses.” The King nodded in agreement and added, “And he might wish for the kind of approach to he can use it as an excuse for all-out war.”
Nicole stood in a rush, knocking her chair over, “This IS war! Not just a simple kidnapping, this wizard doesn’t have a ransom in mind,” She didn’t much care for the princesses, but they were the future of the kingdom she protected and loved. Adam came around the bed and placed both his hands on her shoulders, looking her in the eyes.
“You’re not the only one who knows that,” he said firmly, “Yes, we need to find a way to get them back, but it needs to be passive, if we are to save them.” Nicole’s eyes went down as she bit her lip. But how? We don’t know where he is, how powerful he is, and his reasons for taking them in the first place.
Adam turned to the King and removed his hands from her, “Is there anything you can add to this, sire?” The King looked up at him, his eyes focusing slowly, as if he had been in deep thought.
“Say again?”-Adam repeated himself- “Ah,” The King rubbed his eyebrows, “Damien is his name, he also is a wizard of immense power. We have always been enemies. Over the decades of silence from him, I had thought that he had either parted from this world, or left the land for an easier target. That was my mistake. Such is the way of serpents: letting you think that they are no longer there, so when they strike, it will be precise and all the more deadly.”
The room was silent once more, everyone contemplating his words.
“What should we do?” Nicole whispered. The King gave a faint smile to her.
“A wise man once said, ‘Think of the solution, not the problem’,” Adam said, trying to be lighthearted as usual. An urgent knock came to the door. Without permission to enter, a courier stumbled in, ragged with dirt streaked across his face.
“The barbarians are attacking,” he panted, “I saw princess Andrea being handed to their leader, as if like a prize.”
Adam quickly went around the bed and gripped the man’s shoulders, “Did you see the other princesses?”
The courier answered immediately, “A wizard had the other three princesses tied to him on leashes. They headed east.”
Nicole was off her chair in an instant. “Sire,” she was on her knees by the bedside, “Knight me now, so that Adam and I can go get them, and hopefully kill the coward that stole them.”