Enter the Snowflake's lair... Circulation: 104,800,928 Issue: 204 | 18th day of Hiding, Y7
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Stolen Treasures: Part Two


by uni_luver

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"You would be willing to help?" said Fyora.

      "Yes, we'll try to do whatever we can," said Kara.

      "Alright, it would be wonderful if you would help," said Fyora. "You should realize that this could be a very dangerous job. We don't know where the items are hidden."

      "Yes, we realize that, but we would still like to help," said Ella.

      "Very well, tomorrow I'll explain more to you. Meet me in the entrance hall tomorrow morning," replied Fyora.

     * * * * *

      The next morning was another cold and wet autumn day. The frost had frozen on the trees, creating a winter wonderland. Kara and Ella were nervous about today, so once again they could not sleep. Fyora had not said much more than that the items were stolen. They did not know what they would have to face, and they had never even traveled outside the castle grounds. Fyora did not seem to want to tell them much last night, and they were both eager to know what was actually going on.

      "Where do you think the items are hidden?" Ella asked Kara early that morning.

      "I don't know," said Kara, "but it will probably be extremely difficult to find. I mean, you wouldn't put stuff like that right out in the open."

      "I just hope it's not that hard to find," Ella replied. "We've never been outside the castle after all."

      "Yes, I hope so too," said Kara. "We should probably go meet Fyora in the entrance hall now."

      With that, they both trudged up the four flights of stairs from the servants' quarters to the entrance hall. Fyora was there waiting for them.

      "Hello girls," she said. "I will tell you more now. The King told me that that you have never been outside the castle grounds. Is this correct?"

      "Yes," said Ella and Kara together.

      "I will supply a map to make it easier for you," said Fyora. "Now then, on to the robbery. Every night, I secure the Hidden Tower with special spells to make it so that no one can get in. Each morning, I then take off the spells, so that the customers can come in and purchase the items. A few days ago however, when I took off the spells and walked inside, all the items had disappeared. Whoever has stolen the items must have been able to redirect the spell, while they ran in to grab the items. They left a note on the floor."

      Fyora handed Kara and Ella a note in scribbled black handwriting, which looked like it had been written in a hurry.

     Fyora,

     As I'm sure you're aware, all the items are missing from the Hidden Tower. They are currently with me. I am quite confident that you will never find them again. I think it is only fair to give you a little clue as to their whereabouts. Here it is: You might find them in a place that is more 'knightly' than you are used to. Their location may only be 'near' this area. That is unless I have moved them, of course.

      "Who wrote this?" said Kara.

      "I do not know," said Fyora. "But now you see why I needed help as quickly as possible. I think Meridell is the 'knightly place' but the items could be moved very soon."

      "Yes, we definitely understand why you need help," said Ella. "What do you want us to do to find the items?"

      "I need you to find this area they are talking about," replied Fyora, "but I don't know where you should start. Though I doubt they will be hidden in the main area of Meridell. I will give you a map later. Are you good with a bow and arrow? Or maybe the sword?"

      "We haven't had extensive training or anything, but we can defend ourselves if we need to. Everyone in the castle is taught how to use those in case of an attack," said Kara.

      "That will be good enough," said Fyora. "You both should take a sword, and bow and some arrows if you have any."

      "We both have a sword, and Kara has a bow and a quiver of arrows as well," said Ella.

      "That should serve you well," replied Fyora. "You will need to pack some other things as well. I will provide you with chain mail to wear for protection, but you will also need the necessities like food, water, and flint for fire. I will go get your mail and give it to you."

     * * * * *

      The rest of the day was spent packing for the trip. Both girls had been given packs of strong leather. In Kara's pack they put extra blankets, food, water, and the map. In Ella's pack they put a long coil of rope, a tinderbox, money, and extra clothes. Fyora had given them their chain mail and the map late that afternoon. They had looked carefully at the map, and decided to start looking around the countryside. It would take a long time to find the items though, as they were definitely not close to the castle.

      They were somewhat excited for the expedition, but still very nervous. They had no idea who, or what, they would have to face.

     * * * * *

      The next morning was bright and sunny, a perfect day for traveling. Kara and Ella were up earlier than usual, gathering the last few things they had forgotten to pack. They both looked extremely different, having donned their chain mail with soft cotton tunics underneath. They each had a short sword strapped at their side, and Kara also had a bow and a quiver of arrows on her shoulder. A shield with the crest of Meridell was buckled to her left arm. Over all this, they had each strapped their packs, which were much heavier than they had expected. If you did not know them well, you would not recognize them as the servants who had once worn the shabby and patched aprons of the King's attendants. This in fact, was exactly what Fyora had intended. The mission was to be kept as secret as possible, otherwise many people would search for the missing items, with intentions to keep or sell them. Dressed in their new attire, the girls were almost indistinguishable.

      While walking upstairs to the entrance hall once again, they had a chance to talk over things one last time before they left.

      "Who do you think stole the items?" asked Ella.

      "I don't know," said Kara, "but I hope we find them before they find us."

      Fyora was waiting for them at the front doors. She looked very tired today, as though she had not slept very well last night.

      "I have received another letter from the burglar," said Fyora. "I do not know how they figured out I was in Meridell. I should have concealed my coming more carefully. This letter arrived at the castle late yesterday night."

      The girls bent closer to see the new letter.

     Fyora,

     I see you have figured out my little clue. This does not matter to me, as you still are not aware of the location of the items. I will give you one week's time. If you have not found the items by then, I will move them to a new location without leaving any clues. This is your last chance. If you do not find them, they will belong to me forever. This is the only clue I will give you as to my identity.

      A small square piece of yellow cloth was pinned to the bottom of the paper.

      Kara and Ella looked at each other, once again shocked. This was the most surprising thing that had happened in the last few days. How could the thief have figured out exactly what Fyora was doing?

     "So we only have a week to finish the mission?" asked Kara.

     "I'm afraid so," said Fyora gravely. "The items will be gone if you do not find them within a week's time. There is still some chance you can recover them though."

     "When do we leave?" asked Ella.

     "In light of this new letter, I'm afraid you will have to leave immediately," replied Fyora. "I wish you well on your journey girls."

     "Thank you," they replied together.

     * * * * *

      Kara and Ella sat down under the shade of a large oak tree. They had left early that morning, and had traveled all day under the warm autumn sun. It was a pleasant day for traveling, and they were quite tired already even though they had not gone very far. At most, they were halfway to the main part of Meridell from the castle. The journey was spent in silence, as Kara and Ella wanted to take in as much of the world outside the castle as they could. As they walked, they watched the woodland animals scurry among the trees, and the breeze blow gently through the golden and auburn leaves of the forest around them. They had consulted the map every few miles, to make sure they were on the right track. They would have to cover a lot of ground in the next few days, or risk losing the items forever.

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» Stolen Treasures: Part One
» Stolen Treasures: Part Three



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