The shallow area that was covered by forestry that seemed to be close to Woodland beheld the coveting eyes of Merek Blackkoven who stood within his makeshift office, gazing toward His forest longingly, brooding quietly to himself. A songbird called out, taunting Merek with its peaceful notes echoing lazily.
There was a barely audible tap against his door which hardly startled Merek. He mumbled the intruder entry, and waited as the person silently entered.
There was hardly a noise made except the closing of his office door, and then a swish of silent cloth. “Forgive me my lord for we have not located the prize Haute had promised you,” a voice quietly announced, making Merek turn to inquire who it was that he gave access into his office.
It was Nervon, one of the elite fighters and his youngest officer. He was knelt upon the floor, holding himself on one knee while allowing his hooded cloak to drape his face and body in the shadows, hiding him cleverly.
Merek sat upon his lavish office chair made of fine leather and comfortably fitted to him. He gazed at his officer as he pitifully knelt, asking forgiveness. He chuckled to himself quietly, noticing Nervon look up interested over the strange reaction to his plea.
“Have you not already attempted to contact Haute over this mistake? Perhaps he hasn’t summoned it yet,” Merek calmly inquired, examining his dagger as he unsheathed it from his belt, cleaning the blade.
“We have attempted contact with Haute, however he will no longer answer our summons, except to repeat a riddle: ‘Toward the dark of night, escaped with fright. Intending to cure, that which isn’t pure; you must behold a thirst’,” Nervon replied, watching Merek as he placed the dagger gently upon his desk.
Merek stood, gazing at his officer, “Young Nervon, that prize was meant for you. And you went and had it ESCAPE FROM WOODLAND?” His voice was calm, transitioning to a yelling tyrant, where at the last few words Merek stood suddenly, tossing aside his dagger that cleanly hit the wall behind Nervon, jutting out from the wood. He began to pace now, fuming, reaching for his sword and aiming it at Nervon who returned to his knelt-head-bowed state. A thought crossed Merek’s mind to execute him here and now; easily capable to separate Nervon’s head from his body in the position he placed himself, and one less failure of an officer to boot.
Then he paused, he was too young to die. He still had much to learn, and he was still required for Merek’s plan. He sheathed his sword and commanded Nervon to rise.
“Listen to me. I have a plan to invade Terrasylvae, but I need you to investigate and pry into their weak points, especially the castle. Return to me drawn plans, important people worth noting, things that pertain to the Shire, how to strike at their heart; if you cannot do this, then you may as well be dead to me,” Merek was gazing into Nervon’s eyes, holding his shoulders gently. He continued, “We must find her and have her for our own, do you understand?” Nervon nodded, and Merek released him, watching briefly as Nervon was about to leave his office.
He paused as he opened the door, and turned to ask, “Why is she so important?”
Merek heaved a great sigh. He cannot know too much, “She will be our bargaining chip against Terrasylvae. Either they submit to us, or die by her fury.”
“How do you know so much about her, sir? She could turn against—,” Nervon began, however Merek interrupted him.
“Haute has given me everything I need to know and what I want for this invasion! I will not see it undermined! Go and get me those plans!” At this Nervon bowed again, and left the room. He gazed at the door behind him, questions still arising, and some left unanswered. Someday he will be in charge and run this entire operation better than Merek… at least he hoped that day would come soon.
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