Quest for the Treasure, Chapter 3

Fiction By Jackie West // 6/1/2010

Hadrian sat on his throne, drumming his fingers impatiently." Where are those spies?" he hissed." They were supposed to be back hours ago!"

"What do expect?" Jezebel said in a 'don't-be-silly' tone of voice. "They're spies, and not only spies, but idiots, not only spies and idiots, but also brothers. Brothers fight all the time."

"Tala! Bring that boy, Muncha, or whatever his name is, here with his grandma," Hadrian ordered his aide.

In a while, the pair of prisoners stood before Hadrian.

"This will be like your interview from a few days ago," Hadrian said, "only on a different subject.' He cleared his throat." Now, do you know about the most priceless, ancient treasure on Galandria."

"That I do," Hannah answered.

"Do you know where it is?"

"I do not."

"Come on, come on," Hadrian said.

"I said, I do not know."

“You’re lying." Hadrian leaned back and closed his eyes.

"Actually, I am telling the truth,' Hannah said." You just do not believe me."

"Send her back," Hadrian told Tala." She is a terrible bore."

Just then, Pogisa and Pike came in. "Master, our mission was unsuccessful."

"Unsuccessful!" Hadrian roared. He was furious. "You've never failed me. Why do you now?"

"Master," Pike began," w-"

"Lock them in the stocks overnight," Hadrian ordered." No food, no water."

The spy pair was led away.

Tala came in. "Would you like a private dinner?"

"Yes. Get me the best roast chicken and wine," Hadrian said, slouching in his chair." And honeyed fruits."

The meal was brought in, and sat on a tray on a table.

Manchu's eyes followed Hadrian as he paced for a while, and then sat down. "You know of this… treasure, right?"

"Aye, that I do," Manchu replied.

Hadrian gave him a queer look. "Are you a seafarer?"

"A few months of the year. I am a cabin boy."

"And you've heard about this treasure."

"Aye, I already said I did."

"If you tell me everything you know about it-where it is hidden, or clues to where it is hidden-you can dine on the food on this tray," Hadrian said.

"I know of a clue, but I don't remember what it was," Manchu said truthfully.

"Tala," Hadrian called," bring this boy back." He tossed a fruit to Manchu. "There. You didn't tell me much, but the information is good-for now."

Tala came in and left with Manchu.

Hadrian relaxed and enjoyed his dinner. "That pair is practically useless. The grandma is stubborn, the boy knows almost nothing. I'll release them soon."

"Keep the boy," Jezebel said." You could get him to tell you where he lives, so we could go and take everything of value."

Hadrian turned on her in fury. "I care not for loot now! I want that treasure! My father hid it too well, and travelers know hardly anything of it."

Jezebel's eyes were blazing with rage." So be it!" she yelled.

"Get out of here!" Hadrian shouted, shoving his wife through the door and locking it behind her. Sitting down, he gulped wine to calm himself.

Emily was bringing a bowl of scraps for the prisoners when Jezebel blew through, knocking the bowl over and scattering the scraps.

Silently, Emily gathered the scraps and delivered them to the prisoners

"I couldn't get any food of mine through tonight," she whispered," but I'll try again tomorrow."

"Ok. Thanks." Manchu took the bowl.

Emily went to her room, where she ate a raw carrot and pondered Jezebel's rush. When she finished, she went to the entertainment room. When she arrived, a girl her age, Norjula, dragged her inside.

"Come on! Today is the 100th anniversary of our army being organized. We're eating a special meal in here."

"Special! My foot," Emily said." Baked chicken, fruit rolls, wahoo. That was practically my family's regular meal before Pike and Pogisa captured me."

"S' what?" Norjula said." My normal meal 'fore joinin' th' army was scraps from the garbage bins." She dragged Emily to a table, where Gyran and Karan were sitting.

Emily sat and waited for Norjula to bring her a plateful of food.

While Gyran, Karan, and Norjula dove in, Emily silently prayed and then began to eat. Her three table companions stared at her before talking about some other thing.

"I've been here for three years," Emily said to herself," and I don't like it. I want to leave."

Hadrian went to the entertainment room to make an announcement.

"My master is coming tomorrow," he said.

Everyone fell silent.

Oh no, Emily thought.

"And since it is the 100th anniversary there will be a sacrifice to honor him, just as my father promised would happen."

But there aren't any animals, Emily thought, so….

Suddenly, her eyes went wide and she was ready to clap her hands over her ears as Hadrian finished.

"Who is willing to please our master?" With that, Hadrian left.

Emily fell in a heap on the floor.

 

When she awoke, she was in a dark, sweet-smelling room, and she heard voices.

"Is the sacrifice ready?"

"Yes, my Lord, but I don't know why you didn't decide to sacrifice one of the prisoners instead of her."

"Emily is useless! We feed her lazy mouth, but she refuses to join our army."

"Me! I'm the sacrifice!" she murmured to herself. The silky dress she was wearing rustled. One of the people came over.

"She is awake, Master."

"Get her and follow me. Has everyone except Pike and Pogisa gathered?"

"Yes, my Lord."

Emily sat up, and one of the people forced her up. She started to walk.

Through a maze of passages, the three went, finally ending in a large room. The rough wooden seats that nearly filled the room were packed with people, prisoners, and army people alike. Emily went up the wooden platform. On it was a sort of bed with straw on it.

"Lie down," Hadrian commanded." Tala, the knife."

The audience fell silent.

Hadrian raised the knife. With blurring swiftness, he brought it down…

Emily shut her eyes tightly. When nothing happened, she forced herself to look.

Hadrian's knife was frozen above her heart.

Gently, Emily pushed the knife aside and sat up. She looked around. Everyone seemed to be frozen.

Emily slid off and gingerly took the knife from Hadrian with her mouth. She put it down.

The knife disappeared from her view. As slowly as she dared to, she turned.

A warrior held the knife. Gently he cut the bonds and Emily rubbed the wrists to bring the color back.

"Who are you?” she asked, her voice echoing.

"My name is Caelan. I was sent by my master to help you escape," he answered.

"Who is your Master?"

"My Master is God, Lord of the universe. I know this place, for I was once held captive here. I, too, refused to join their army. I, too, was to be sacrificed. God helped me escape. I gave my life to him and am now one of his warriors." He looked curiously looked at Emily. "Why do you seem afraid to look at him?" He nodded toward Hadrian.

"He has a scar from some kind of fight that only his wife even thinks of looking at him-but now I will."

Emily turned and looked upon the face of Hadrian the Wicked.

 

 

Caelan speedily led her through the passages, and he hurriedly got her outside.

"When they are unfrozen, they will come, thirsty for revenge," he told Emily.

"What for?" Emily asked.

"Their sacrifice was stolen. They will want it back," he answered.

"I see. Oh, my name is Emily."

On through the night they sped. Caelan stopped at an inn and knocked.

A stout, hospitable lady opened the door. "Why Caelan, it's good to see you. Won't you come in?"

Caelan and Emily stepped inside.

"Could you get my guest some food? I'll tell you what's going on, Xenia."

In a little while, Emily sat eating a delicious meal of bread, beef, fruit, and cold sweet water.

Caelan told Xenia all that had happened.

"How old are you, Emily?" Xenia asked.

Emily looked up from her food. "I'm sixteen."

"Perhaps you would like to meet my daughter, Chandra. She is fourteen and rather lonely with no girls her age."

"Oh, by the way," Caelan said," how's Manchu doing? And Hannah?"

"They're just fine," came a voice behind them.

Everyone turned to see the voice's owner.

"Hey, Conrad, were you following me again?" Caelan said, chuckling.

"Hey, bro," Conrad said." How'd the rescue go?"

"Good," Caelan said.

"Hannah and Manchu are doing fine," Conrad said." They just need to regain their strength."

Xenia told Manchu and Hannah, who had come in with Conrad, to sit and eat.

When Xenia returned with food for the pair, she called," Chandra, please come down!"

Chandra was a tall, slender girl with bright green eyes and curly brown hair. She was wearing a plain blue ankle-length dress and a clean white apron.

Xenia introduced the girls, who took a liking to each other and went off talking.

"You can sleep in my bedroom," Chandra said." It's kind of lonely a lot of the time."

"OK."

"You can borrow one of my nightgowns."

'Thanks."

The pair slipped into nightgowns. They brushed their hair and teeth and washed their hands and faces.

Chandra went to say goodnight to her parents, and returned as Emily was slipping beneath the bedcovers of her twin bed.

"My mom said that we'll share clothes while you're here. During that time, she will sew some for you to keep. Shall we go to bed?"

"Yes, let's," Emily said.

They lay down. Chandra soon fell asleep, but Emily lay awake, thinking.

 

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Hadrian sat on his throne, drumming his fingers impatiently." Where are those spies?" he hissed." They were supposed to be back hours ago!"

  "What do expect?" Jezebel said in a 'don't-be-silly' tone of voice. "They're spies, and not only spies, but idiots, not only spies and idiots, but also brothers. Brothers fight all the time."

  "Tala! Bring that boy, Muncha, or whatever his name is, here with his grandma," Hadrian ordered his aide.

  In a while, the pair of prisoners stood before Hadrian.

   "This will be like your interview from a few days ago," Hadrian said, "only on a different subject.' He cleared his throat." Now, do you know about the most priceless, ancient treasure on Galandria."

  "That I do," Hannah answered.

  "Do you know where it is?"

  "I do not."

  "Come on, come on," Hadrian said.

  "I said, I do not know."

  “You’re lying." Hadrian leaned back and closed his eyes.

  "Actually, I am telling the truth,' Hannah said." You just do not believe me."

  "Send her back," Hadrian told Tala." She is a terrible bore."

   Just then, Pogisa and Pike came in. "Master, our mission was unsuccessful."

   "Unsuccessful!" Hadrian roared. He was furious. "You've never failed me. Why do you now?"

   "Master," Pike began," w-"

   "Lock them in the stocks overnight," Hadrian ordered." No food, no water."

   The spy pair was led away.

    Tala came in. "Would you like a private dinner?"

   "Yes. Get me the best roast chicken and wine," Hadrian said, slouching in his chair." And honeyed fruits."

  The meal was brought in, and sat on a tray on a table.

  Manchu's eyes followed Hadrian as he paced for a while, and then sat down. "You know of this… treasure, right?"

  "Aye, that I do," Manchu replied.

  Hadrian gave him a queer look. "Are you a seafarer?"

  "A few months of the year. I am a cabin boy."

  "And you've heard about this treasure."

  "Aye, I already said I did."

 "If you tell me everything you know about it-where it is hidden, or clues to where it is hidden-you can dine on the food on this tray," Hadrian said.

  "I know of a clue, but I don't remember what it was," Manchu said truthfully.

  "Tala," Hadrian called," bring this boy back." He tossed a fruit to Manchu. "There. You didn't tell me much, but the information is good-for now."

  Tala came in and left with Manchu.

  Hadrian relaxed and enjoyed his dinner. "That pair is practically useless. The grandma is stubborn, the boy knows almost nothing. I'll release them soon."

  "Keep the boy," Jezebel said." You could get him to tell you where he lives, so we could go and take everything of value."

  Hadrian turned on her in fury. "I care not for loot now! I want that treasure! My father hid it too well, and travelers know hardly anything of it."

  Jezebel's eyes were blazing with rage." So be it!" she yelled.

  "Get out of here!" Hadrian shouted, shoving his wife through the door and locking it behind her. Sitting down, he gulped wine to calm himself.

 

  Emily was bringing a bowl of scraps for the prisoners when Jezebel blew through, knocking the bowl over and scattering the scraps.

 Silently, Emily gathered the scraps and delivered them to the prisoners

  "I couldn't get any food of mine through tonight," she whispered," but I'll try again tomorrow."

  "Ok. Thanks." Manchu took the bowl.

   Emily went to her room, where she ate a raw carrot and pondered Jezebel's rush. When she finished, she went to the entertainment room. When she arrived, a girl her age, Norjula, dragged her inside.

  "Come on! Today is the 100th anniversary of our army being organized. We're eating a special meal in here."

  "Special! My foot," Emily said." Baked chicken, fruit rolls, wahoo. That was practically my family's regular meal before Pike and Pogisa captured me."

  "S' what?" Norjula said." My normal meal 'fore joinin' th' army was scraps from the garbage bins." She dragged Emily to a table, where Gyran and Karan were sitting.

  Emily sat and waited for Norjula to bring her a plateful of food.

  While Gyran, Karan, and Norjula dove in, Emily silently prayed and then began to eat. Her three table companions stared at her before talking about some other thing.

  "I've been here for three years," Emily said to herself," and I don't like it. I want to leave."

  Hadrian went to the entertainment room to make an announcement.

  "My master is coming tomorrow," he said.

  Everyone fell silent.

  Oh no, Emily thought.

  "And since it is the 100th anniversary there will be a sacrifice to honor him, just as my father promised would happen."

  But there aren't any animals, Emily thought, so….

   Suddenly, her eyes went wide and she was ready to clap her hands over her ears as Hadrian finished.

  "Who is willing to please our master?" With that, Hadrian left.

  Emily fell in a heap on the floor.

 

  When she awoke, she was in a dark, sweet-smelling room, and she heard voices.

  "Is the sacrifice ready?"

  "Yes, my Lord, but I don't know why you didn't decide to sacrifice one of the prisoners instead of her."

  "Emily is useless! We feed her lazy mouth, but she refuses to join our army."

  "Me! I'm the sacrifice!" she murmured to herself. The silky dress she was wearing rustled. One of the people came over.

  "She is awake, Master."

  "Get her and follow me. Has everyone except Pike and Pogisa gathered?"

  "Yes, my Lord."

   Emily sat up, and one of the people forced her up. She started to walk.

   Through a maze of passages, the three went, finally ending in a large room. The rough wooden seats that nearly filled the room were packed with people, prisoners, and army people alike. Emily went up the wooden platform. On it was a sort of bed with straw on it.

  "Lie down," Hadrian commanded." Tala, the knife."

  The audience fell silent.

  Hadrian raised the knife. With blurring swiftness, he brought it down…

  Emily shut her eyes tightly. When nothing happened, she forced herself to look.

  Hadrian's knife was frozen above her heart.

   Gently, Emily pushed the knife aside and sat up. She looked around. Everyone seemed to be frozen.

   Emily slid off and gingerly took the knife from Hadrian with her mouth. She put it down.

   The knife disappeared from her view. As slowly as she dared to, she turned.

   A warrior held the knife. Gently he cut the bonds and Emily rubbed the wrists to bring the color back.

  "Who are you?” she asked, her voice echoing.

   "My name is Caelan. I was sent by my master to help you escape," he answered.

   "Who is your Master?"

   "My Master is God, Lord of the universe. I know this place, for I was once held captive here. I, too, refused to join their army. I, too, was to be sacrificed. God helped me escape. I gave my life to him and am now one of his warriors." He looked curiously looked at Emily. "Why do you seem afraid to look at him?" He nodded toward Hadrian.

   "He has a scar from some kind of fight that only his wife even thinks of looking at him-but now I will."

   Emily turned and looked upon the face of Hadrian the Wicked.

 

 

   Caelan speedily led her through the passages, and he hurriedly got her outside.

   "When they are unfrozen, they will come, thirsty for revenge," he told Emily.

   "What for?" Emily asked.

   "Their sacrifice was stolen. They will want it back," he answered.

   "I see. Oh, my name is Emily."

   On through the night they sped. Caelan stopped at an inn and knocked.

   A stout, hospitable lady opened the door. "Why Caelan, it's good to see you. Won't you come in?"

   Caelan and Emily stepped inside.

   "Could you get my guest some food? I'll tell you what's going on, Xenia."

  

  

   In a little while, Emily sat eating a delicious meal of bread, beef, fruit, and cold sweet water.

   Caelan told Xenia all that had happened.

   "How old are you, Emily?" Xenia asked.

   Emily looked up from her food. "I'm sixteen."

  "Perhaps you would like to meet my daughter, Chandra. She is fourteen and rather lonely with no girls her age."

  "Oh, by the way," Caelan said," how's Manchu doing? And Hannah?"

  "They're just fine," came a voice behind them.

  Everyone turned to see the voice's owner.

  "Hey, Conrad, were you following me again?" Caelan said, chuckling.

  "Hey, bro," Conrad said." How'd the rescue go?"

  "Good," Caelan said.

  "Hannah and Manchu are doing fine," Conrad said." They just need to regain their strength."

  Xenia told Manchu and Hannah, who had come in with Conrad, to sit and eat.

  When Xenia returned with food for the pair, she called," Chandra, please come down!"

  Chandra was a tall, slender girl with bright green eyes and curly brown hair. She was wearing a plain blue ankle-length dress and a clean white apron.

  Xenia introduced the girls, who took a liking to each other and went off talking.

  "You can sleep in my bedroom," Chandra said." It's kind of lonely a lot of the time."

  "OK."

  "You can borrow one of my nightgowns."

  'Thanks."

   The pair slipped into nightgowns. They brushed their hair and teeth and washed their hands and faces.

   Chandra went to say goodnight to her parents, and returned as Emily was slipping beneath the bedcovers of her twin bed.

   "My mom said that we'll share clothes while you're here. During that time, she will sew some for you to keep. Shall we go to bed?"

   "Yes, let's," Emily said.

   They lay down. Chandra soon fell asleep, but Emily lay awake, thinking.

  

 

 

 

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