It was eerie to walk through what was always such a bustling city and see nearly no one about. Winding his way through the damp streets, Beddigan peered around at the city that he had spent much time in during his time in Her Majesty’s Royal Sapphire Brigade. It looked as though most of the city had evacuated before the Wolves and their war machines had arrived, as there was little to no evidence of battle in the city’s interior. Instead of looking like a war zone, Yroebrage looked mostly like a ghost town.
The Wolves had used their war machines to tear down most of the eastern wall, where the war front had always been. That wall had stood against the Wolves since it had been built., through decades of sieges. It was nearly completely destroyed now from the mechs, worse than any of the other walls which all bared some damage as well. So, even though the Wolves had been driven out of the capital by the combind forces of the Lions and Rams, it would not be easy to hold the city from their next attack, and it would take the Mice much time to rebuild their stronghold.
He hadn’t even noticed where he was walking when he abruptly stopped at the end of a cobblestone lane, and looked up at the royal palace of Queen Elendie. His eyes drifted to a low building, just to the side of the palace on the right; the army barracks — the place he had spent most of his youth and young adulthood. The place where soldiers grew and trained, and the place where those seen as worthy were picked for Her Majesty’s elite force, The Royal Sapphire Brigade.
The draw-bridge leading to the island that housed the castle and it’s surrounding buildings was in its usual, affixed down position, the moat having been filled in with rocks and gardens many turnings ago. What had once been a precaution against invasion, was deemed unnecessary because of the strength of the city walls, and the Queen had demanded it be replaced by something pretty.
Bitterness creeped up Beddigan’s spine as he walked adjacent to the palace.
“Would’ve served you right to have the Wolves take your palace, my queen.” He muttered sourly, walking towards a nearby town square.
As he approached what was usually a bustling market square with a large, brilliantly carved fountain in its centre, Beddigan’s eyes fell upon a familiar form and face. The Panther, in her shimmering purple Mage robes turned and smiled at him as she heard his approaching footsteps.
“Ahh, Beddigan. Just the Mouse I was looking for.” She said sweetly. He rolled his eyes at her in response.
“I’m the only Mouse you know.” He said pointedly, a smile teasing across his mouth, happy to see a friendly face. “Besides, there are very few Mice left in the city.” Serina chuckled and gestured up at the statue.
“Is this your Queen?” she asked. All humour left Beddigan’s face.
“Yes, the illustrious Queen Elendie.” He said bitterly, not even trying to hide his feeling for the ruler of the Mice.
He caught Serina’s arched brow at his tone, but she must have decided to leave that bit alone, and instead said,
“It’s a beautiful statue.” Beddigan grunted,
“The old statue was better. Annalose and Ardra entwined, carved out of a similar stone, but as old as anyone could remember.” He sat on the edge of the fountain and dipped his paw into the cool water. “Ancient and reminiscent of a time before war, before all this division. Before all this fighting.” He said wistfully. His expression darkened again as he looked up at the statue of the Queen. “But she decided that as the symbol of hope for our people, a statue of her would be a much better fit for the capital city.” He finished bitterly, rising to his feet.
Serina linked and arm through his, her silky chuckle cutting through his feelings of bitterness.
“Well now, don’t hold back, Beddigan!” She said smiling at him, “You clearly have some very intense feelings about your ruler, hmm?” Beddigan simply grunted and allowed her to lead him out of the square in the direction of the western wall.
Changing the subject Beddigan patted her forearm gently.
“Were you looking for me for some reason then?” he asked. Serina nodded, her face losing a bit of its gentleness and humor.
“Yes, the Lord Regent would like you to be present while we question the prisoners.” Beddigan felt his heart skip a beat and he skidded to a stop on the tiny side street.
“Prisoners?” he asked. Serina nodded,
“Yes, three Wolf soldiers are being held at the camps for questioning.” She said, brow furrowing. “You didn’t know?” she asked. Beddigan felt anger twist in his gut. Normally he would be pleased that a few soldiers had been captured for questioning, but he did not trust the Lord Regent, and that distrust was only growing.
“Apparently, the Lord Regent is making a habit out of not telling me things.” He said before stomping off in the direction of the camp.
To be continued…
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