After Zarrel met Kirin, but before Zana Taru and Kowl, there was a great
battle between Laxcorna and Gerake. Here is the story of the battle as Wintroq
Be sure to read some of the previous stories on the Zafara Assassin.
Bakel flapped his wings wildly, to try and stay aloft
with the parcel that he held between his talons. It was one of great importance,
one that Queen Laiondite would not be so proud to receive. Bakel smiled to himself
as he caught an upward drift, and rose higher into the air.
Queen Laiondite, no matter how long she had
been queen, Laiondite would always be the princess he met in front of Teralk's
HQ those many days gone past. That was when he they first saw the true colors
of the assassin Zarrel Charmain. She wasn't half as bad as the world made her
out to be. She was more or less just misguided.
Bakel would have smacked himself had he not
been flying. He had almost forgotten his other message to report to Laiondite.
That he had met Zarrel Charmain. Though of course, when he reported that little
bit of info he would have to be in secret with the queen, for the whole experience
with Zarrel Charmain, and how she was the real one who saved Laxcorna that stormy
night was only between Laiondite, Corinth, and himself.
Bakel looked up ahead at the castle, and smiled
to himself. It looked so beautiful with the sun's rays bouncing off of the rock
surface. It also meant that he could recite his information, and take a much-needed
rest. He had flown non-stop for almost two whole days in order to get that message
"Queen Laiondite!" Bakel yelled bursting in
through the window, finding her to be in a meeting with some ambassadors from
Laxcorna's sister cities.
Laiondite let out a surprised gasp at his sudden
entrance, but before she could say anything, Regan, her life partner the king,
piped up. "Bakel! We are in a meeting, you do not interrupt royal meetings without
"No, let him be heard Regan," Laiondite said
putting ahead her authority. Even though she was only the Queen, she still had
the true power over Laxcorna for her wisdom and strength of mind. "I have known
Bakel for a very long time, and I know that he knows better then to interrupt
a meeting without a very important reason to."
Bakel just nodded; for he was so much out of
breath that talking was next to impossible.
"Look at that note that he has!" Harlem, take
it from him, and read it to us please." Then with a nod the castle herald took
the parcel from Bakel's grips, and gasped as he read it to himself.
"So," said a finely dressed nobleman Aisha of
a far-off city. "What does it say?" If he was to travel all this way and then
be interrupted during his speech, the news had better be good.
The herald cleared his throat, and then read
the startling message aloud to all:
Us of Gerake have grown much in power over the last few years, and so
we take that power into our hands. We propose that you pay us a yearly due
of gold, manufactured items, cloth and food for as long as you wish to live.
If you refuse this offer, the forces of Gerake shall be unleashed upon you
as soon as I give the word. You have one month Laiondite. One month before
I destroy you.
Laiondite looked down at the ground and sighed,
"We cannot give in to his offer, but even so I do not want to see my citizens
Corinth, the head of the Laxcornian army walked
up behind her with a stern face. "It looks like it has finally began," he said
slowly. "We have been expecting war for almost two years now. It is no real
Laiondite nodded, and then turned to face the
startled group of leaders before her. "Now you can see the full extent to as
why I have summoned you. We need your help in this war."
"Why should we risk our citizens to help you?"
the Aisha said receiving several nods.
"Because!" Corinth yelled breaking in with anger,
"Laxcorna is the only stronghold between Gerake and your precious cities, and
if we were to fail, would Vernok stop there. Of course not! He would go on and
on destroying and looting everyone else who stands in his way."
"You see!" Laiondite called out. "The only way
that we can protect all that we love is if we work together, and form an alliance
against Vernok. We have one month before he wages all out war on Laxcorna. Make
your decisions by then, and report back here. You are dismissed." And then the
Usul queen turned her back to her courtiers, and walked away down the hall to
try and think out her problem.
"Steep stroke, steep swing, step block. Good!" Wintroq laughed as he watched
the younger pets attempt to use the sword. The fire Zafara smiled. Life had
been good to him in Laxcorna since he had come to live there, and now he after
having become one of the higher ranked in the Laxcornian army under General
Corinth, got to spend his leisurely days training young Pages-to-be out in the
vast clover fields of green.
The young Draik who was taking his turn at the
current moment, stuck his tongue from the side of his mouth as he tried to out-maneuver
the full-grown Zafara warrior. Wintroq put on a scowl at the youngster. "Grrr,
after I am through with you, I will use your fur as a rug for a Puppyblew!"
and it was hard trying to keep a straight face at using one of the childish
insults that the youngsters had become fond of.
"Well I'll boil you in a stew and eat you all
up!" the Draik said, flailing his small sword at Wintroq, who purposely let
himself be hit.
"Oh no! You got me!" he cried, and then lay
still in the grass holding the small sword up to his side. The little blade
was specially made for the practicing youngsters, so that as it looked real
enough, it would not cut flesh.
"Mr. Wintroq?" the Draik said shacking him.
"You're not really dead, are you? Wintroq!"
"Boo!" he yelled bounding up at the youngsters,
and several of them jumped back with a scream, and Wintroq fell down laughing.
It was a great way to spend a sunny spring day.
"Wintroq!" a familiar voice called out to the
warrior, and he turned to see a Scorchio come running up. "It is Corinth. He
requests to see you at once."
"Okay," Wintroq said standing up, "Bring all
the youngsters home, will you Terow?"
"Sure Wintroq, I'll do that. By the way, you'll
find Corinth at his cottage most likely. He was headed that way when he told
me to get you."
"Thanks," Wintroq said giving a slight bow to
the older Scorchio before then running off to find out what it was the Corinth
Sure enough Wintroq found the yellow Zafara
general to be sitting on the porch of his cottage next to his young rainbow
colored son Erred. "What is it that you wanted?" Wintroq said walking up to
Corinth and Erred.
"You had better go on inside Erred," Corinth
said with a smile, and with a loud 'Awwwww!' the rainbow colored Zafara walked
off inside leaving Wintroq and Corinth alone. "It is about Vernok." And with
that name Wintroq cringed.
"What is it?" he asked. "What has that slime
done this time?"
"It is war. He has finally declared it."
"I knew that it wouldn't be too much longer,"
Wintroq said squeezing his fist.
"We have just under a month to prepare troops
for the defense of Laxcorna," Corinth said. "And if there is anything that you
can say to aid us about Vernok. Well, considering the fact that you worked with
him for so long…"
Wintroq laughed. "You really mean that because
he's my father."
"Yeah. I just didn't want to rub it in."
"Thanks," Wintroq said putting a hand over his
friends shoulder. "I appreciate that, but as for information. I don't know much
more than you do. He is a killer, unpredictable, even to the extent of murdering
his whole family."
"Yeah. I do believe that you already told me
of the incident with the mutant Eyrie. I am still amazed that you and Zarrel
both made it out of there with your skins from the way you tell it." Corinth
smiled, but then that smile disappeared. "Back to business. Wintroq, you are
probably the best leader and sword hand that I have out here, so I would like
you to help organize the troops with me. Plus maybe do one other thing for me."
"Yes to the first part, but what is the other?"
"It is your sister. Zarrel Charmain. Perhaps
you could see if she would help us out some bit." Corinth sighed. "I will never
forget back when she not only saved both Laiondite and myself from the clutches
of Teralk, but also single-handedly saved Laxcorna."
"I'll ask," Wintroq said, "But don't expect
much. She is still a rouge at heart. As good as that heart may be."
"Good," Corinth said. "I just hope that we can
win this war."
Wintroq was off on the hour, and traveling through the woods to try and find
his sister, Zarrel Charmain. It was tough going, but once he had taken anything
upon himself, Wintroq always carried it through.
It took several hours of hiking through thick
underbrush, and dense foliage before he finally came around to the areas that
he knew as spots where Zarrel Charmain resided. Wintroq was just taking another
steep foreword when two green paws grabbed his shoulder, and turned him around
face to face with an angry looking green Eyrie with a broadsword.
Wintroq practically jumped out of his fur at
sight of this Eyrie, for the memories that he had of him were not friendly ones.
Dorono. Zarrel Charmain's partner, who also had almost slew her. "It's Wintroq!"
Wintroq called out to Dorono.
But before Dorono could do anything, a beautiful
red Zafara with a brown tunic, and a blue cape practically materialized from
the trees. "Wintroq," she said with a smile.
"Hello Zarrel Charmain," he said bowing to his
"What is it that brings you so deep into the
"It is a request of you by a friend," Wintroq
said with a smile to the assassin.
"Couldn't he have sent a messenger more suited
to forest travel then a lumbering warrior. I could hear you from a mile away.
Most of my employers usually sent a winged messenger, not a Laxcornian warrior,"
she said laughing. "Besides," Zarrel Charmain said. "I would usually expect
a brother to drop in to see how things are going, not to get an assassination
from his sister."
"Actually, that isn't really why I'm here,"
Wintroq said with a tinge of embarrassment. He really had no intention of asking
his sister to do his dirty work.
"Then why are you here?" said a deep voice,
and a green Zafara appeared behind Wintroq wearing a green tunic, and a red
cape. He was Kirin, Zarrel Charmain's life partner. It made sense to Wintroq
that of everyone she could choose, that she would take a rouge of her status.
"You see," Wintroq said, "the one who sent me
was Corinth, and that is because Vernok is planning an attack on Laxcorna. Corinth
wanted to know if it was at all possible that you could help out in some way?"
"I can't," she said looking a little irritated.
"The only future that I would have in Laxcorna would be sitting in a grade C
jail cell at best. No one welcomes an assassin into his midst. Especially one
who did in their prince eight years ago."
"I am sure that Corinth doesn't mean for you
to go as you are. He most likely means for you to disguise yourself."
"It is still no, for if I go, so shall Kirin
and Dorono, and it isn't everyday that three strangers appear in your city who
are all excellent weapon handlers, and seem to have no past," she laughed. "Most
of your military would think we were spies from Vernok, and Corinth would have
a heck of a time trying to break down the many rumors that spread up. Besides,
it isn't too often that a warrior is female either."
Wintroq just starred into her ice-blue eyes
for a bit. She had defiantly proved Corinth and him wrong. There just would
be no persuading the Zafara assassin to join into the battle directly. "Well,
if there is anything that you can do, the we would be happy if you could, but
Corinth will understand why you can't come." And with that, Wintroq turned and
walked back towards Laxcorna from his fruitless encounter with Zarrel Charmain,
Dorono, and Kirin.
To be continued...