The constable turned to look at the girl

on

“Yes.” A low voice answered.

“Please.” The constable took a step back as a girl of average height,
brown eyes, and long, straight dark hair appeared just beyond the opening.

“We are not alone,” she said.

The constable nodded, took another step backwards, and bowed. He was
concerned about the girl, but for the second time this day, he was not.
She was a stranger.

She had come from someplace far away to meet him, to see the sights, to
talk with him, to let go of her heart, to begin a new life, and she had
brought with her her father and mother, as well as two guards, to hold him
captive, and the heart of the girl had broken into pieces.

Breathing a heavy sigh, he wiped the sweat from his brow and walked into
the chateau, his men following behind.

“Master.” A voice interrupted his thoughts.

He turned to find a haggard older man standing in front of him with a
bundle of papers in his hand.

“Who are you?”

“I am Eremon, the owner’s steward and assistant and head of security for
this domain…”

“For the Earl of Vladhaven himself, then. What is this?” The constable
asked.

“A letter from the Earl of Vladhaven, to Lord Wenestra, and it is to
apologize for his actions.”

“To apologize?”

Eremon nodded, his face crumpling like a rolled piece of paper in the
hand of the constable.

“To apologize for his actions? What does this mean?” The man asked. “It
is an insult, a declaration of war, an insult is just an insult, and you
are just a servant to Lord Wenestra, correct? This is the end for you sir.
I will have justice served.”

The constable smiled, “I will have justice served, but it will not be
what you believe…”

“What do you want?” Eremon asked.

The constable sighed, “Justice. For my friend, for his honor, and for
the man he was before, but most importantly for Wenestra, his honor and
well-being were involved in these unfortunate events. I will not take it
personally. This was a mistake, that will be put right, and I will leave
town tonight.”

As the constable walked towards the archway, he looked back to
Eremon. “And who are you?”

“What difference does it make?” The older man asked.

“I am not used to such callous men, but I have heard worse.”

“Yes, well, let it suffice to say that we serve the Earl of Vladhaven and
we are his agents. We will look out for his interests, and his honor will
be upheld.”

“What was he?”

“A great merchant, or so people say.”

The constable opened the door, and stepped into the vast foyer, his men
behind him. “He was a merchant…”

Two guards at the front doors of the chateau came to attention, and
smiled.

“Good morning.” One of them said as he bowed, the other bowed in return.

The two guards stepped forward as the constable walked to the chateau’s
master suite, nodding their heads in greeting as the older man nodded his
head.

To the constable’s left, he saw a woman of medium height in full
royal regalia, a crown and scepter resting on shoulders that only seemed to
bend at their tips. Her face was a reflection of the deep sorrow she wore
like skin.

She came from over the hills, a village called the Daggit, where they
had left their homes and family to start over, and she followed a dream
of freedom and adventure. She was a nobleman’s daughter, raised to be a
companion, and her dreams of freedom and adventure had been crushed by her
brother, and she had returned to the village and to Lord Wenestra with this
letter, this testament of her failure.

To his right, a man of medium height, a scar disfigured his left cheek,
came with five men of similar height, each one carrying a broadsword. The
scar of the man matched the scars on the face of the woman, and they did
seem to match the scars that adorned the woman’s face. They were guards,
and they were here to ensure the honor of Wenestra and to ensure that the
woman was secured in his household.

The constable approached the woman. “You are his consort?”

The woman nodded as she looked at the two guards who came forward and
offered their hands, “I am the consort to Lord Wenestra, and he is my
husband.”

“I know the Earl.” The constable stood there, hand resting on the hilt
of his sword, and she looked to him with eyes of deep pain and sadness,
not that he could understand, he had not known her before, but he still
felt the sadness of her heart.

She had been a beautiful girl, a girl with light skin that glittered with
bright emerald highlights that would lighten up in a summer sky, yet when
she was with her brother, she was a beauty beyond compare. The brother
wore her around like he was not worth a thing and he used her when he
desired. She tried to escape, to flee to far away parts of the world, but
she could not. She had been warned, and her brother had seen her as no
value and he had not listened.

From under her lashes, a tear trickled. “Why, then, did he do this to me?”
The woman said softly. “What does he owe me? What do I have to offer him?”

The guards exchanged glances as their leader walked over to the woman.

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