|Curse of Time|
|Book: Curse of time, Chapter 3|
Chapter 3: Ransom and Rescue
The morning following the abduction of Louise, Suzuka, Siesta, Hermione, and Henrietta by Gallian Desert Bandits, everyone was quick to notice that they were gone.
"Louise! Suzuka! Where are you!?" Saito called
"Your Majesty Henrietta!" Agnès called
"Siesta!" Montmorency called
"Hermione!" Drako called as Koba turned up from searching "Koba can't find them anywhere."
"You think they left without us last night?" Kirche asked
"Then why would Suzuka leave Ro?" Guiche Jr. asked with Lanayru around his shoulders
"Everyone, over here." Guiche Sr. called from next to the river. Verdandi was with him too.
"What is it dad?" Guiche Jr. asked when everyone had gathered
"Signs of a struggle. Look." he responded
"I see." said Agnès, examining the impressions in the dirt "They must have been bathing in this river last night, and some bandits dragged them off. I can't tell how long ago it was though."
"It looks like they took their clothes too." said Dina "Junior, can your familiar pick up their scents?"
"Absolutely." said Guiche Jr., he then bent low to allow Lanayru to pick up their scents to track them
"If they took their clothes, Henrietta should still have the Ruby of Water with her." said Kirche "Verdandi can track that too."
Meanwhile, at the Gallia Royal Palace in Beautis;
"What's taking them so long?" Tabitha asked pacing in the throne room "The rebels are moving faster than I anticipated."
Just then, the throne room door opened, and Julio Chesaré of Romalia walked in.
"Julio, I'm glad you made it."
"The new Pope of Romalia sends his apologies that he couldn't come. I would've been here sooner, but I ran into some complications. Am I the first to arrive?" Julio asked
"You are." said Tabitha "I don't know what's taking the others so long."
"They probably ran into some complications as well." said Julio "But as long as I'm here now, there is something I need to inform you about."
"If its the rebels, I'm being updated hourly."
"Not the rebels, something else." said Julio holding out a scroll "When I finally manged to enter Gallia, I heard of a rumor that clearly hadn't reached your ears."
Tabitha took the scroll and read it. When she finished, her face was wide with surprise. "Impossible." she said
"We all knew it was only a matter of time." said Julio
Meanwhile, at the bandits hideout, just four miles from where they had taken the women the previous night, they had them wrapped in large white towels and their hands and feet were tied together with ropes.
"Just what are you planning to do with us?" Henrietta demanded
"I thought I told you," said the leader, who was sitting at a table with three of the others. the rest of them were lounging in chairs around the place, while the women sat on the floor. "We're going to ransom you off to the rebels."
"Why would they pay?" Louise demanded "Their fight is with Gallia, not Tristain."
"True as that is," said another of the bandits at the table "They know the Queen is friendly with Henrietta, so maybe they could maybe use you as bargaining chips."
"I don't know about all of them." said a boy that appeared to be no older than Suzuka "We only found three wands. Two of these five must be Peasants."
"And I recognize the hostile one with pink hair as Louise Vallière." said the leader "The girl who looks like her must be her daughter."
"It's been Louise 'Hiraga' for over sixteen years." said Louise "And who you calling 'hostile'?"
"Then the two with black hair must be the Peasants." said the boy, ignoring Louise "I doubt the rebels would pay a thing for them."
"Your right." said the leader "Lets keep them for ourselves, and have some fun."
"Fun?" Suzuka gasped
"Mommy, I'm scared." said Hermione, moving closer to Siesta
"Mommy?" said the boy, leaning close to Hermione "I do see a resemblance. Your just my type too." he eyed Hermione's figure "And you're really mature for your age. May I father?"
"Do as you wish." said the leader
"You and I are going to experience some pleasure time. And I imagine it will be your first experience as well." He began dragging Hermione to a room off this one
"Leave her alone!" Suzuka shouted
"Leave my daughter be." Siesta begged
"Why should I?" the boy asked "Peasants don't have any rights."
"You feudal little..." Louise started, but she never got to finish her insult. A that moment, Agnès and Saito burst into the room with their swords aloft.
"Saito!" Louise exclaimed
"Agnès!" Suzuka exclaimed
"Sorry we're late." said Agnès
"How did you find us?" The leader demanded as he and his men got their wands out
"My Verdandi tracked them here by the Ruby of Water." said Guiche Sr. emerging in the room as well with his wand pointing at them "It's useless to fight. We have as bunch of mages outside."
"We can take you." said the boy, dropping Hermione and pulling out his wand.
Within a few minutes of the fighting's start, the battle was forced outside.
"This is more than we bargained for." said Saito, who was back to back with Agnès fighting two guys with swords.
"What's that sound?" Kirche asked hearing a familiar roar after sending a flame at one of the bandits
Everyone stopped fighting and looked up at a creature in the sky. It was Syphid. And on her back was Tiffania and Beatrice. Behind them were six Albion Dragon Knights. Before fighting could break out again, Tiffania cast her Memory Spell on the bandits to make them forget what they were doing, and descended to the ground, followed by her Dragon Knights.
"What were we doing?" the bandit leader asked bewildered
"You were leaving." said Agnès sternly sheathing her sword "Get going."
Without knowing why, the bandits obeyed and left. Agnès and Saito then went back into the building to free the women.
"Was that Tiffa's spell we heard?" Louise asked as Agnès cut her ropes and Saito cut Suzuka's
"It was." said Saito "She and showed up on Sylphid with a few Knights with her."
"Is everyone all right?" Tiffania asked, appearing in the doorway
"Tiffania, my dear cousin, we're all just fine. And Saito, Agnès, your timing was perfect." said Henrietta reassuringly as Agnès cut her ropes and Louise undid Siesta's. Saito then cut Hermione's ropes. "Our clothes are right there. Can you three leave us while we get dressed?"
"Right." said Saito as he, Agnès and Tiffania walked out and closed the door
"Is everyone all right?" Jan asked
"They're all fine." said Agnès "They'll be out when they get dressed
"Hey, Saito!" said one of the Dragon Knights "Long time no see."
"Henry? Is that you?" Saito asked shaking his hand
"It is old friend. You haven't changed much." said Henry
"You two know each other?" Guiche Jr. inquired
"This Is Henry Stalford. We met during Tristains war with Albion." said Saito "We were enemies at first, but we grew to understand each other, despite our short time of knowing each other."
"I heard you're a father now. I am too." said Henry "And I see a couple of young faces here as well. So I guess we're not the only ones."
"We'll have to save, further explanations, and the proper introductions for another time." said Beatrice as Henrietta, Louise, Suzuka, Siesta, and Hermione emerged from the building, fully clothed again "We're on a tight schedule. We need to get to Beautis by tomorrow morning."
"She's right." said Suzuka "We've been delayed for too long. Erlea, are you ok?"
"Yeah. I'm fine." Erlea replied clutching her stomach. She didn't say anything, but she used magic several times during the fight. As a result, she painfully felt the viper start to move, though it couldn't have gotten very far.
"Then lets get moving." said Agnès
And with that, Sylphid turned back into Illococoo, everyone got onto the wagons, the Dragon Knights onto their dragons, and they departed for Beautis, and the Gallian Royal Palace.