“Who wants what, I have pepper poppers, mixed bean soup, lime
turkey, Garlic rice with wasabi toast and Rosemary and mint beef, hurry up and
decide before it gets cold” Blake walks out of the kitchen announcing. It’s her
thing; she makes the most random meals and then makes us eat them. But if isn’t
for her we would all go hungry.
Blake is our group’s
positive meter and by that I mean she can cheer us up even when there is
nothing to be happy about while also being an active member of the group.
Blake stands 5 foot 5 inches, with raven black hair and green eyes and has a
fashion sense of a diva and while she looks like a diva she is naive in a way.
After Blake announces the
dinner everyone including I rush down to pick what looks best. Xanto takes the
pepper poppers since he loves spicy food, Ty picks lime turkey only because he
likes turkey, I pick mixed bean soup. It looks weird but I’ve come to learn
that weirder things taste better, Blake takes the beef and Calix is left with
garlic rice and wasabi toast.
We sit around our table
together for our meal, one of Blake’s rules, and munch on about.
“I forgot we have a new
case, this one is very cool” Ty begins with his food still in his mouth “so in
this forest kids have started to disappear and not just at night time but in
broad daylight, most of the locals say the forest is haunted by a ghost who’s
footprints these kids follow and then never return.”
“This one is simple, some
guy or woman, no offence ladies, lures these kids into the forest and you know
captures them” Xanto chimes in.
“Could be but they are
paying us double of what we charge so I guess we should take it and if you are
right then it will only take us a few days. What do you guys say?”
The offer sounds great and
I can see it on everyone’s face that they agree and the vote is clear.
“Dinner then we pack,
what’s the weather like where we are going?” I ask to finish my soup and put my
“Well, it’s dry and rainy
in Waevaria this time of the year so pack according to that”
“Waevaria” Blake whispers
to herself and I could see the colour drain away.
days, 5 hours and 45
“It’s a good thing the
king’s subordinates had arranged for our arrival because getting a rental
vehicle is the worst,” Calix pointed out to everyone as we stopped at the
entrance of the palace. Calix hates long distance travels and wasting time with
rentals so he was glad everything was arranged.
We were led into the grand hall by the guards where the king awaited us; though he was stunned at our arrival his face remained neutral except for a slight twitch.
“Yes, you must be the Shadow rebels my subordinates take about. I don’t understand the point of picking such a ridiculous name or what my subordinates see in hiring you but I guess if I must, bringing you here wastes everyone’s time but might lead to some amusement. My subordinate will see to your needs. Now be gone” with the king’s last word we were led out.
The subordinates walked ahead of us while we followed.
“I can’t believe how rude he was, yeah he is the king but did he never hear about M-A-N-N-E-R-S” Ty huffs and puffs like a bear but keeps his voice down to a whisper.
“I know, like why ask us to
come if he was going to humiliate us. We should get done with this case as fast
as we can” I’ve always hated men like him but even he surpasses most.
While we talk bad about the
king and his manners Blake and Calix take in the castle and its ancient
architecture. But it’s after we get to our room that I notice Blake walking on
into a different direction.
“Earth to Blake” I called her from behind her.
“Yeah, sorry just got lost in the castle walls”
“They are pretty but they are calling you, apparently your room is a little further from ours. Go hurry up and come back.”
I get led to a much bigger
room, I throw my stuff in and head back to everyone else. We all take up space
in Calix’s room.
“Ok, Ty start us off with
the clues and info you gathered” Calix says with much more enthusiasm then I
could ever imagine from him.
“First about 10 kids have
gone missing. Second, there are footprints everywhere in the forest that seem
to lead kids deeper into the forest. Third, the king’s a jerk. Fourth, there is
a legend behind the forest that I couldn’t find details about. End of info”
“The legend is that in that
forest once lived a herd of swans that could shape shift into humans. The king
at that time sought to marry the swan queen and use her powers but the queen
found out and banished any humans to enter the forest. So the king had his men
lure the swan kids out and use them instead. The queen had rescued the kids but
died in the process. She laid a curse on the kingdom, she said “A day would come when the greed for power will
outlive love and loyalty and from that day forth those with pure hearts will be
pulled into the land of the forgotten. Then chaos will spread and when the
greedy perish will be returned””
everyone stared at Blake as I finished, she turned red when she saw us staring.
“Cool story, but how did you…” Xanto enquired.
“It’s just a hobby I picked up looking up myths and all.”
“Cool. Ok Isa and Calix you
go into town and ask around about the kids and their activities and the forest.
Ty looks up more about the myth, we should cover all our bases and Blake and I
will see what the subordinates know. Let’s meet back here before dinner” Xanto
gives out our work which I know he loves to do. We all head our own way.
Blake and I pestered the
subordinates as much as we could but only got a little info.
“Maybe we should split up, I could ask the ones who went this way and you could ask the ones who went that way” Blake suggests and I agree since we could cover more ground that way.
Blake heads to the east side of the castle and I take the west side. I find at least five subordinates to pester.
Since I took the east side
I was sure to come across at least one subordinate because if I recall
correctly I saw the king walking past here with his men. I was there for about
a quarter hour before I came across a man dressed in the royal colours.
“Sir” I call out “I need to
ask you something”
“I don’t have time for
this, the King is waiting for me” he said walking, almost running away from me.
But I followed him until he entered the room and I was locked out.
I began to walk back to Xanto when I heard giggles coming my way. I hide behind one of the statues lining the wall. Girls older than me or Isa walk by talking and I could only pick up one sentence.
“Did you look at her, all roughed up. Father was definitely not pleased with her returning”
When they left I came out of hiding and saw Xanto.
“Did you find anything?” he
“No, the one I found was in
“That’s ok I got some info
and everyone else will be back soon so let’s head back”
We returned to our rooms
and waited for everyone.
The library of this palace is huge, I mean bookshelves reach to the sealing huge and more than five rooms. But the weirdest thing is there is only one book on the myth and it’s only 100 pages. It has the same thing Blake mentioned and finding this took me the whole day. I came back to my room exhausted and drained.
I hate it when people just
walk away as soon as they see me coming. I mean I know I look scary but I’m not
about to kill them, that's Isa’s thing. I’m more of a persuader but I can
fight. Still Isa and I were able to find out how the kids disappeared and there
were many similarities to it. We were the last to return and by then dinner was
ready and we were called to the dining hall. As we thought the King wasn’t
going to dine with us but it was better, I for sure know Isa might rip his head
out if he said anything demeaning.
“We found similarities in the kids disappearing…” Isa started “Apparently kids have gone missing in the past, the ones who were found said they followed a trail of footprints that led them astray. And most kids go missing during this season.”
“The kids are all around 9 to 10,” I added.
“There is nothing in the
library,” Ty commented while sipping his soup.
“Most of the subordinates
said nothing but when I eavesdropped on the conversation I heard them say there
is a ship that comes in as soon as the season ends…”
“And?” Ty interrupted.
“That’s the thing, that
ship only comes as the rainy season ends and then doesn’t appear until the next
rainy season” Xanto finishes.
“Wait. Has the ship been appearing more in the last 2 years because the number of kids disappearing has increased since the last two years” I shoot out of my seat and rampage through the police reports of the disappearing kids “Police made reports to document the number of disappearance and if it matches the ship records then we have our kidnappers who are hiding behind the myth story.”
“That’s the best lead we have. Xanto, who did you hear talking about this?” Ty asked with excitement.
“I think it was Wolfmoon
and he was talking to a woman. What’s her name again? She’s one of the
subordinates, the only woman in that group…”
“Velvet Woods” Blake
mentions her name without looking up from her food. “I’m heading to bed. Good
night guys” she says and leaves her half eaten food.
The next day
We headed to the forest
because that’s where we would find the missing kids. Blake looks sad, upset
like someone ripped out her soul, none of us asked her because she wouldn’t
confess so we left until we solve this case.
We walk deeper into the forest until we are only surrounded by trees. Xanto was ahead of all of us and then he suddenly stopped and he told us to stay down. We lowered a little and Xanto pointed at the footprints just a few inches from us. Xanto and I moved past the other just enough to see where the footprints lead. Once we saw the warehouse we signaled the rest to tip toe over to us.
“I’ll go and check how many people are in there and how to get in then I’ll signal you all” I said in a whisper and kept myself low and looked all the way to the warehouse.
I could only find a cracked
window from where I could see Kids tied up in a corner and two men in the royal
guard’s uniform. I beckoned everyone to come and the following steps reached
where I was.
“Kids are in there with 2
royal guards” I whisper.
“Let’s just break in, there
are only two guards” Ty whispered back.
“Not so quickly” came a
harsh male voice from behind us. We looked in the voices direction and the
identity of the person before us shocked us. We were dragged into the warehouse.
“I can’t believe it’s you”
Blake started “Why would you do something this disgraceful when father trusts
you and gives you more than enough.”
“Princess Isadora Lillian
Harrington, still so naïve, we do it for the thrill of course and the extra
cash doesn’t hurt” this time it was a woman who stepped out of the shadows. We
would never have suspected them though it was clear to us it must be someone
from the town. But we would never have imagined it would be Victor Wolfmoon and
“Princess!!!” the boys said unanimously.
“Ohh Princess Isa didn’t you ever let your friends who you are. Well if you don’t mind, this young lady here is the youngest daughter of our beloved king of Waevaria” Velvet Woods continued “And she was banished after refusing to marry the ruler of the neighboring country.”
“This isn’t about me, let
these kids go or…” I could sense anger in Blake’s voice.
“Or else what you will
command the guards to take us away” Velvet laughs like she has the upper hand.
“No, not at all. I’m mature
now, that's why we’ll do it ourselves, Isa, Calix want to take the lead” she
didn’t have to tell me twice. Seconds later swords clashed, blood smeared and
bodies fell. We didn’t kill Woods or Wolfmoon but rendered them unconscious.
3 hours later
We brought the kids safely back to the town and handed them back to their parents. Woods and Wolfmoon were arrested and imprisoned for their crimes against the kingdom and we had completed our mission. Once the King thanked us we were free to leave.
“Isa stay back I have something to say” the King commanded “Stop this foolish game and return home.”
“I have spoken to King
Ronald and he is willing to take your hand in marriage, again.”
“Father…” I said firmly
this time “I can’t believe you, you haven’t changed. This foolish game is now
my life. I'm happy you may banish me forever but I will not give in and marry a
man thrice my age with kids older than me. I bid you farewell Father” I walked
out but not before I saw my sisters giving me an evil grin.
I returned to my room and
packed whatever was left and left the castle. On the ride back I explained to
everyone what happened.
“So he’s your father and he
was going to marry you off to an old man” Calix was shocked the most.
“Yes, I attacked King
Ronald which got me banished but that was the best thing to ever happen to me.
I am happy now and let's go back home. This trip was exhausting. '' We laughed
and enjoyed our whole ride back.