Thieves: Chapter 4
Kamber had to admit that Jovlin was pretty smart for a girl. Of course, he could have freed himself easily enough without her. One of his friends in the castle guard had made certain that there were no guards on duty about this time. How his friend did it Kamber did not know which was probably better. The less he knew, the less he could say in the event that he was captured more permanently sometime in the near future.
Jovlin led him out into the hallway, which Kamber happened to, unfortunately, know very well.
“Turn left up ahead.” He said, trying to sound like he was guessing.
She glanced at him, and then turned right instead, only to jump back when the sounds of muffled laughter reached her ears. Jovlin hastily turned back in the direction that Kamber had originally suggested, once more glancing suspiciously at her companion.
“Who are you really?” She asked.
“Really?” Kamber was puzzled “This is who I really am.”
“Oh come one!” She almost laughed out loud “You and me both know that that whole mask thing is just a cover. I should know, I have a similar way of covering my tracks. But who are you really?”
“Jovlin, it is not our names or our faces that make us who we are, it is our sinful nature and whatever is sitting on the throne of our hearts that make us who we are.”
“Whatever you say.”
They continued in silence, which was only broken when Kamber offered tentative directions, attempting to sound uninterested and suggestive, only to avoid further questioning. Kamber was impressed by this mysterious girl, but taken aback by her hostility.
As had been predicted by his friend, the halls were mostly empty. There was one close call when they had to quickly duck down a side passageway to avoid a drunken guard wandering back to duty. They were out of the lower levels and nearly clear of the outer, and final, courtyard when they were spotted.
The alarm bell began ringing, and soldiers immediately began to flood out of the castle. One of the guards by the gate ran to shut it, as Kamber ran to intercept him. He lunged, and missed. Kamber was flying through the air, completely out of control. Just as he was about to hit the ground, he used his momentum for his advantage and rolled, jumping to his feet as soon as he began to slow.
He was now going in the wrong direction, and quickly losing the guard. Kamber ran straight at the wall in front of him, jumping up and planting his feet firmly on the stone and in the same instance shoving off and doing a flip in midair. Out of the corner of his eye he noticed Jovlin, also running towards the gate, stop to send several soldiers crashing to the ground. She sure knew how to fight. Kamber shook his head and ran faster.
The gate was beginning to shut. Kamber ducked as he heard a ping against the wall to his right, but kept running. If they were close enough to start shooting at him, then he needed to pick up the speed. He charged straight ahead, faster and faster, occasionally using obstacles such as piles of stone and wood along the wall to his advantage and gaining an extra boost of speed in the process.
They reached the gate at the same time, only to find it already shut. Kamber threw the guard against the wall before he had time to reach for his weapon, and pulled Jovlin against the wall. He heard more bullets whizz by, but they bounced harmlessly off the wall. Grabbing the guard’s sword, he hacked through a nearby rope and the inner gate swung shut, trapping them inside.
“What’d you do that for?” Jovlin shouted; face red and her eyes flashing. “Now we’re trapped, thanks to you!”
“Who said anything about being trapped?” Kamber grinned mischievously at her.
“Well, whatever you’re planning you’d better do it quick, ‘cause I don’t think we have much time.”
The captain of the guard strode calmly towards the inner gateway. Some of the younger guards were pounding their rifles against the wood, futilely attempting to break through. He sighed, they were so inexperienced. Besides, he was not entirely convinced that The Mask was in the wrong.
“Hold on young man the only thing you’ll accomplish by that is a broken gun and wasted ammunition.” The captain said as he grabbed the nearest of the boys “The Mask isn’t going anywhere, and besides that you aren’t really noticing an extremely simple solution to this whole mess.”
“What’s that?” one of the youngest guards spoke up, looking rather confused.
“It’s a gate.”
The guard still looked confused.
“So… you open it.” The captain sighed, they were so ignorant. What is a gate for if it does not open or close?
The guards finally realized what the captain meant and immediately set to pulling the gate open. A grating noise filled the air as it scraped the cobblestone. The few guards not helping with the gate stood ready to shoot as soon as they had a clear target, no sense in wasting bullets.
The gate caught briefly on a piece of stone in the ground, and then suddenly swung free. The guards carefully crept forward, rifles ready. The captain watched them; secretly hoping that by some miracle the Mask had escaped, but knowing all the while that it would not be so.
The guards stepped between the two gates, and the shadow of the wall blanketed them in darkness. A shot rang out, then another. The captain flinched, the Mask was no more.
One of the younger guards came running out, calling for a stretcher. The captain felt his spirits rise. The Mask was alive, but wounded. Then the guard ran over to him, panting and struggling to catch his breath. The captain frowned, but only because the guard frowned as well.
“We…” The guard gasped “We couldn’t see… couldn’t see him.”
The captain frowned again, what was the guard saying?
“We heard a noise… coming from the left… and from the… right.” The guard paused, and finally caught his breath “Someone shot, and then someone else. Someone screamed. We thought we had got the Mask, but when we searched around we only found one of us with a bullet in his leg. The Mask…”
The captain wasn’t certain what he was hearing, what did the guard mean?
“The Mask has disappeared.”