Its been two days since the battle in No Mans Land. All the dead minotaurs they found was set aflame. Some villagers took a few dead minotaurs and kept them for meat. Minotaurs were still steak anyway.
No Mans Land was just a ghost town now with no residence. Dorian hadn ordered it to be rebuilt yet but he was planning to, he couldn just leave it.
That day a council took place in the Throne room. The people present was the king, the prince, the mage Lady Lane, the Kings Hand Allister, Karl Smidt who was recently made Captain of the Dornishmen, and Doctor Ross, wirh Sir. Ruth Steel was present amongst them aswell.
”My brothers and sisters ” said the king beginning the council, ”I called this meeting to discuss the matters of the Land we have acquired from the minotaurs, and a plan of action retrieving the Pnevma back. ”
”Never liked those beasts anyway ” Karl mumbled.
”All bodies have been disposed of? ” Dorian asked.
Karl nodded, ”Yes i had the place sweeped off twice ”
”Good ” said the king, ”Im thinking of renaming it. We can build more houses there ”
”A wise decision ” said the mage, ”But that can wait. What i really want to know is your next step in going after the Pnevma which is impossible. You remember what Sir. Ruth said? ”
”I still have my money on Rickard Hyde helping them escape pass the Boarders ” said Allister, ”That man cannot be trusted ”
”You paid him a visit before this minotaur incident ” said the doctor, ”What did he say happened? ”
”Claimed one of his inactive warriors sided with the Pnevma and the boy and attacked our men including Ruth and my son ” said the king
”That bastard is lying ” Allister protested
”So the girl has allied with an Earth Triber now…. ” the mage sighed. ”First a knight then an Earth Warrior. I dont know about you but i think her persuasion skills are off the charts. Whos next, the king of Winter Land? ”
Karl Smit giggled and said ”We lost the Pnevma. What is the next course for action? ”
”We can climb over to the Winter Land and look for them ourselves ” Daerason said sarcastically.
”Or we can wait it out ” said the king.
Everyone looked at him puzzled, then the king explained, ”What i do know is that the Pnevma wont stay in the Winter land forever. Her mission or objective is as clear as day ”
”To go back to Theronia? ”Ruth asked.
Dorian nodded, ”Precisely. The Pnevma most likely crossed over Boarders to get a ship or a boat than to run away from us, because the Earth Citys docks and ships belong to us. If Christyl Frost gives them a boat which im sure he will, the Pnevma will have so sail through the Cold Sea which passes next to Dorne. ”
”Now that i think of it the king is right ” Karl said, ”They cant sail straight north because of the Cyclone. So their shortest route to Theronia is through the Cold Sea, south between Dorne and the Devils Island. Then into the Iron Sea and back north into the Red Waters ”
”Its going to be a long way back home ” said the Prince, ”You really thought this through father ”
” the mage said,
”But did the king think through how we
e even going to know when they set sail? We literally have no eyes on them so we cannot predict how long their stay is ”
”I thought of that too ” said the king, ”The People of the Nest ”
The council room died quiet for a few minutes and everyone exchanged puzzled looks.
”The Strongholds? ” Ruth made an irritated face. The king nodded.
”You know those birds cannot be trusted ” the prince said.
”We are out of options here ” said the king, ”with them we can know the Pnevmas every move. Also paying them will not be a problem. ”
”I have a feeling theyll demand more than just gold and silver ” Lane said.
”Whats worth more than gold and silver? ” Dorian chuckled, ”Karl Smith. Send a bird over to the Nest ”
That morning he woke up next to his wife Lady Nia Stronghold who was reading a book. Isiah yourned stretching his arms with his mouth wide open.
”Dont swallow me
” his wife wife said jerking him away. Isiah giggled,
e up early ”
”I was sleep deprived ” said Nia closing the book.
Isiah shook his head, ”Im going to take a shower ”.
Lord Isiah went off the bed and stretched. He went to the bath room and stared at his reflection in the mirror. He had small eyes, neat black straight hair till his neck, tan face and a mustache. He looked young but he had three sons.
A few minutes later he was done with his bath then went into the room and found Lady Nia dressing.
”You already bathed? ” Isiah raised a lash. Nia giggled, ”You were snoring Isiah. ”
Isiah Stronghold wore his grey robes and sandals. He went out the room and into the hallway of his palace making his way outside to get some fresh air.
The sound of wooden stricks hitting on eachother attracted him to the back yard and found his youngest son Gregg sparing with Xavier Crane, a Lieutenant, with wooden swords. Xavier paused at the sight of Isiah and bowed his head. He was a tall big man with muscular arms.
”Dad ” the little boy greeted nodding.
”Hes showing potential ” Xavier said.
”Aye, he should ” Isiah smiled.
”If my baby gets hurt…. ” Nia showed out of the blue.
”Relax ” Isiah said, ”He wanted this anyway ”
Gregg Stronghold was an eleven year old boy who was home schooled like his two older brothers Triton and Jack.
From behind another Lieutenant showed up, his assistant Amanda Winfield. ”Ah there you are My Lord. Goodmorning ” she bowed.
”Goodmorning Amanda ” Isiah said, ”You were looking for me? ” Amanda Winfield worked in a different department for the Nest. She was the eyes and ears of Lord Isiah all around Dorne, she had spies all over that told her everything, thats why she knew everything.
They even had spies in the villages of Dorne and in the Earth City.
Amanda was a young eighteen year old with blonde hair and a cute innocent face. ”News My Lord ”
”Im all ears ” said the Lord.
”My birds tell me that the Dornish are planning rebuilding No Mans Land as their own ” she said.
”So then minotaurs are really gone? ” Nia asked.
”Yes ” said Amanda, ”Its a big piece of Land, could be useful to us ”
” Isiah smiled.
e oddly interested about that place ”
”Alittle ” Amanda shrugged her shoulders.
A black bird found them in the back yard and Isiah held out his arm then it grabbed hold. Isiah found a letter attached to its leg then read it.
”Wheres it form? ” Nia asked.
Isiah gave a puzzled look ”From King Dorian ”
Amanda gasped, ”The Dornish? Well thats unexpected ”
”Says he wants to discuss something tomorrow….here ” Isiah folded the paper.
”Dorian is coming here? ” Xavier echoed.
”Yes. What are we waiting for? Let us prepare! ” Isiah laughed.
The following day they all got ready to leave with the three council members,Doctor Ross. Sir. Ruth with Karl Smith and Lady Lane. They all hopped on their horses and got ready to leave.
Daerason was relieved that they were not going to teleport there because teleporting that many people and things at once would really cripple him for the day. The prince wore no armor, just his black leather tunic and his golden crown. The king didnt try too hard either.
They took the Black Road straight up north in silence.
Daerason disliked his fathers idea of asking the Nest people for help, they couldnt be trusted. The whole council of Dorne knew that much. Their bird transformation ability was a sneaky one, you could never really notice them flying above you with normal birds.
The road was long, peaceful and quiet. They were almost there. Two human sized birds glided over them then landed on their path. Their Dornishmen stopped. The prince let out a sigh then made a dull expression.
The two birds suddenly turned into two people, a woman and a man. They both bowed at the sight of the king and Daerason looked away.
”Welcome Your Grace ” said the female, ”lord Isiah is expecting your arrival ”
”I guess we
e just in time ” said Dorian, ”lead the way then ”
The two Nest people lead them to their city, The Nest. They passed through the walls around it that had a statue of two giant birds at the entrace gate. They walked in the city and till they reached the palace where they met Lord Isiah Stronghold and his wife Lady Nia Stronghold.
They both bowed at the sight of the king, ”King Dorian, welcome to the Nest. The king went off his horse and shook the lords hand. ”Its my pleasure being here ”
”It has been so long, i trust everything is well? ” Isiah said.
”Ive seen better days ” said the king.
”Please, let us talk inside, you all must be really exhausted from your trip here. Please follow me. ” The rest of the Dornish got off from their horses and followed the Lord of the Nest into his palace.
Isiah invited them in the dining room where his maidens have prepared a meal for them all. Its like Isiah knew how many of them were coming, the plates were exactly six for the Dornish. The table was full, Daerason looked around at the Dornish he had came with, then his eyes narrowed at the Nest people who dined with them.
”Im sure youve met Robin and Raven ” Isiah said, introducing the two that lead them to the Nest. ”My wife Lady Nia, ” he introduced his wife then his two sons Triton and Gregg that was present. His elder son was absent, Daerason noticed.
”And these are my trusted Lieutenants, Lianna Swallow, ” he introduced a young girl with orange hair, ”Jewell Sparrow, ” Jewell was a man with blonde hair and a scar over his cheek, ”Xavier Crane, and Amanda Winfield ”
”A pleasure to meet you all ” said the King, ”Im sure you all know who we are ”
”Oh we do ” said Lord Isiah drinking his wine, ”So to what do i owe this visit? ”
”The Dornish need your aid ” said Dorian
”You want our help? ” Isiah giggled, ”I never thought Id see the day. With what can we possibly help you with? ”
”Visual ” said the king, ”We have two fugetives on the loose but they escaped to the Land of Winter. ” Karl Smit gave Isiah the posters that had the fugetives faces on them.
”So you want us to capture them for you? ” Isiah laughed.
”No ” said the king, ”i need you to observe them for me until they leave the Winter Land. They are bound to sail out of there ”
”Hm…a spying mission ” said Isiah. Well you came to the right place King Dorian, the Nest is known for its stealthiness. But you should know that this king of task is very expensive. My birds could freeze to death in that ice box of a place. ”
”I am aware ” said the king, pulling out a bag of gold,diamonds and silver and tossing it on the table. Allister pulled out another bag of riches and so did Sir. Ruth. Now there were three bags of riches.
”I believe that will do? ” Dorian said.
”But that is not the type of payment i had expected my King ” Amanda spoke. Everyone looked at her, ”we will take the gold, and the No Mans Land you took from the minotaurs ”
Robin sat next to Raven at the table opposite the Dornish. When Amanda demanded the possession of No Mans Land he saw the prince cough, choking on his drink.
”Excuse me? ” Dorian said, ”How do you know about No Mans Land?
”When you spend most your life in the sky you see the most interesting things on the ground ” Isiah giggled and looked at Amanda, ”Isnt that so? ”
”Indeed it is ” Amanda smiled then faced back at the prince.
Robin sat quietly at the table watching how everything unfolded. Jewell and and Lianna also just watched the show in silence.
”Why do you want it? I have plans for that place ” said the king.
”Me too ” said Isiah, he looked at the porters of Dornes fugetives, ”What do you want with a girl with beautiful like this? ” The Lord of the Nest laughed aloud.
”Thats none of your business ” said the king.
”Exactly ”said Isiah, ”So is my use for No Mans Land ” he leaned back on his seat still eying the king looking as bold as ever.
The Dornish chattered exchanging looks.
”So what will it be? ” Isiah asked.
There was a silence in the dining room. Amanda whispered, ”Oh look at them all, they thought they could just buy us over with gold ” she scoffed, ”they got another thing coming. If Dorian really wants that Pnevma girl for himself then he will bend to our terms ”
Guess Amanda and Isiah already thought this through huh thought Robin.
The Dornish stopped their chattering then faced the Nest people boldly.
”We accept your terms ” the king sighed, almost embarrassed. Isiah let out a smile, ”In exchange for gold and No Mans Land we accept to help you then people if Dorne ”
Robin saw the prince gritting his teeth but said nothing.
”I will send four of my trusted Lieutenants to the Winter Land tomorrow ” said the lord of the Nest, ”they will locate your fugetives for you and you will be able to watch, with this ”
Xavier came with a crystal ball on a pillow, ”With this ball youll be able to see through their eyes what they see thanks to the enchanted necklaces that we have. ”
The king nodded. Isiah added, ”These will be your eyes in the Land of Winter- Robin, Lianna, Jewell and Raven ” the four of them stood up.
After some time the sun had set,the negotiations were over and the Dornish had left.
”Bloody cold up there
” Jewell complained. They were talking outside that night. Lianna laughed,
”Don tell me you
e scared of alittle snow ”
”We will face tougher missions ” Robin said calmly, ”This is just a stepping stone ”
”Gon be one cold stone to step on ” Jewell mumbled.
”Look at the bright side The Nest acquired new land to expand ” said Amanda.
”Easy for you to say, we get send to weird places while you sit here comfortably ” Jewell barked at Amanda.
”The perks of being adorable ” said Amanda, ”yall better get ready. Its gonna be a long day tomorrow ”
The following day they all got ready. They said their goodbyes then took to the skies heading for the Boarders