Chapter 8

Life and Death

Bulding was angry, very angry. He ran along following his daughter’s trail, Emergon followed behind feeling very lucky to not have been ripped to pieces. He was worried about his future with the Trapron, Bulding was that angry. Bulding stopped short, he had reached the spot where they had found Tresna.

“Blood.” He turned to look at Emergon. Emergon opened his mouth to say it wasn’t Perrcia’s but Budling continued, “It’s Jhsu•kn. You need to get the Captain.” Emergon turned and ran. Budling continued following Perrcia’s trail, there were now more smells to follow, he could smell Perrcia and he could smell the blood and fear, but the strongest smell made him afraid. He lengthened his stride and practically flew over the ground.

“Perrcia” He growled, she ran to him sobbing uncontrollably.

“Pappi, Pappi, it’s Jhsu•kn, she’s dead!”

Bulding lifted his daughter up and carried her as he walked further into the clearing. Laey•ti was still holding Jhsu•kn who was covered in blood. Reesori was lying on the ground unconscious, a deep gash in his forehead. Finister appeared from the other side of the clearing, an angry expression on his face.

“I lost his trail. It just vanished.”

“Who?”

Finister flinched, Budling’s voice was sharp, his anger was growing.

“Vendall, it was Vendall.” Laey•ti choked the words out, fear made her voice tremble. “And he most likely has a vehicle, something big and mechanized.”

Perrcia lifted her head from her father’s shoulder, “Riders coming Pappi.” Budling set Perrcia on her feet,

“That’ll be the Captain.” Perrcia wiped the tears from her face and saluted the Captain as he rode in. With him were a half dozen Trapron, including Emergon who was pulling a sled behind his tarnick.

The Captain dismounted and went straight to Laey•ti, he kneeled before her and put his hand on Jhsu•kn’s head gently. “She saved my life.” Laey•ti whispered. “MiLady Jhsu•kn never lacked for bravery.” He replied, gently he gathered Jhsu•kn in his arms and carried her to the sled.

“Capü!” He shouted, Emergon jumped down and snapped to attention. “Take the body to Lieutenant Bulding’s house, Perrcia, you will accompany the body. Then you are relieved of duty.”

“Captain?”

“The princess was abducted on your watch, you are relieved of duty.” He drew Perrcia close to talk directly in her ear, “Your massair will need you, and you need time to grieve.” Pushing her away he raised his voice. “When we return we will review your conduct.”

“Do you have orders for me sir?” Emergon waited anxiously.

“You are to attend the body. MiLady Jhsu•kn deserves a royal escort and guard.” Emergon saluted and mounted his tarnick. He turned the animal around, Perrcia rode on the sled next to Jhsu•kn as they made their way back to the city. Another Trapron followed them. Then the Captain turned his attention to Reesori. He was conscious and being attended to by a medic. “Is he well enough to travel?” The medic nodded. “Good, Budling, call for transport for this man and arrange for him to be sent back to his ship.”

Reesori protested, “Sir! Don’t send me back, I can help you. I can help you find Vendall. I know him.” It was a lie, a desperate attempt by Reesori to somehow make amends. The Captain turned to face him, “We have someone to help us who knows him better than you I think.” The Captain looked at Laey•ti, she nodded.

Reesori opened his mouth, then shut it, he was done. “What will happen to me?”

“That decision is up to your commanding officer. I wish you well, but I want you gone. I see you again, I will find some way to hold you responsible for MiLady Jhsu•kn’s death.”

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