Chapter Forty-Two

By Douglas E. Gogerty

"Sire," Prince William whispered into King Thorbjorn's ear. "I am glad I found you."

The King responded violently to the Prince's actions. The Prince quickly defended himself from the swinging fists of the King. The crowd sided with the King, and began closing in on the fighting pair. The Prince took a couple of shots from people in the crowd.

"Hey! It is me!" shouted the Prince. "Your son -- William!"

The King realized that it was indeed his son, and stopped his punches. It took a few moments, but the crowd also halted their assault.

"Thank you for coming to my aid," stated the King to the people of the crowd.

"What are you doing out?" the Prince asked the King quietly.

"That is a long story," replied the King. "Let us go somewhere quiet to discuss it."

"I have a room," responded the Prince. "We can go there."

"I would like that."

The Prince led King Thorbjorn to his hotel room. Few words passed during the journey from the jail to the room. The two men simply walked quietly. When they arrived at the room, the King explained how he ended up in the crowd of protesters. When his story was over, the Prince explained how he ended up there.

"A news report stated that you had escaped," began the Prince. "I knew you would not have gone far, so I was looking for you around the jail."

"Escaped? They let me go!"

"Did you fill out any paperwork? Did you get your belongings?"

"Well -- no."

"Then you were not officially released."

"You mean..."

"Someone let you out for some purpose -- perhaps nefarious."

"My guess is someone wants me to see me in trouble. There are plenty of people from some rival kingdoms that would love to see me dead."

"Or one of your own family members..."

"Would one of my own kids want the -- I guess you are right."

"I am just glad I found you before it was too late."

"So, what do we do now?"

"We need to get you to Lakeland."

"That is going to take some doing."

"That it will, but first, let us get something to eat."

The Prince made arrangements for some food to be brought to the room. It was an interesting choice by the Prince. The King had never tasted anything like it. The Prince had made a point to try the local cuisine, and he particularly liked this food.

"They call it pizza," noted the Prince.

"It is very unusual," replied the King.

"I am surprised it has never made it to Lakeland. It is very common and popular here."

"I will note it, and bring it there. It is very tasty."

"Let us hope you are able," answered the Prince.

The Prince and King continued their conversation over the meal. They did not discuss their plans; they just spoke of little things -- unimportant matters. However, as the meal neared the end, the conversation began to drift to matters that were more serious. They had to decide what they would do to get the king home.

"Certainly someone is watching the roads," stated the King.

"They cannot watch all of the roads," replied the Prince.

"However, we do not know which ones are being watched."

"That is true, but they might not expect two people."

"There is no reason to think that they would not consider you. In fact, they may be looking for us as a pair."

"I find that highly unlikely. Why would they?"

"I do not know. I am just playing devil's advocate."

"So what do you think?" asked the Prince.

"I think you are right. We should travel by the main road. They would not expect it, and they would not expect both of us."

Prince William and King Thorbjorn discussed their plans into the evening. They wanted to be ready for anything that they might face. Thus, they discussed what they would do in various scenarios.

While they would have liked to get an early start, they felt it better to wait. Hence, after the late evening, they left in the middle of the morning. The Prince's suncar was ready for the trip. They were quite glad that they would not have to walk to Lakeland. The car would afford them a little bit of protection.

The road out of town that they took skirted the jail. Like previous days, there was a large crowd. As they drove by, the Prince and King scanned the crowd for signs of trouble, but found none. At least, they did not notice anyone out of place.

The pair planned to go through Princess Angelina's Kingdom. While they did not think they could rely on her giving them aid, they thought they could depend on her for not hindering the journey. At the very least, the Prince was on good terms with her.

It was a bright sunny day. Therefore, the beginning of the journey went smoothly. The suncar had plenty energy to travel most of the day. However, because they did not start at first light, they would not make it to the Princess's kingdom before nightfall. Thus, they would have to camp somewhere. This is where the most danger lurked.

There were plenty of people watching the road; however, there was no way to tell who might pose a threat. Thus, the King mostly slouched down as the Prince drove. If anyone was suspicious or noted the Prince, they would likely make their presents known at the camp. If there was going to be any trouble, it would occur either during the night or before they left in the morning.

Thus, they conserved some suncar battery just in case they wanted to move during the night. This also prevented them from getting to the Princess's kingdom. They found a good defensible spot to camp. The Prince and King took turns keeping watch. They hoped that anyone coming after them would need lights. Thus, they would be able to see them.

It was very late when the Prince saw a large retinue of lights heading their way. He woke the King and prepared for the worst.

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This page contains a single entry by Douglas Gogerty published on October 17, 2010 7:31 PM.

"Reunited..." - Chapter Forty-One was the previous entry in this blog.

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