57 The Princess Returns 2
"Gran, have you heard the rumors already?"
"What rumors might you be referring to princess?"
"The rumor about a city that suddenly sprung up inside the Forest of Despair in the Moribor Mountains. I smell Lord Clay's paws on the move out there. I want to go there and meet him at once, however, there's another information that piqued my interest as well. The news about Guilbert's disappearance and His Majesty, Father's healing. As my adviser, how shall we proceed?"
"Princess, going to the Forest of Despair is a no-go for us now. Not unless we pose as a merchant group and enter it. No other group with some military might have been able to enter that city. It seems that they have banned military expeditions towards the city. So, finding out what happened in Acadria should be our topmost priority. Your Father, the King, should give us a good idea about what happened. If I guess correctly, the Hero Clay, should be involved in his healing, how though, I have no idea."
"You're right. If we're to find out anything significant, we must go to Acadria first. Well then, let's clean up here and proceed to Acardia first thing in the morning."
The smell of smoke and blood permeated the air as the conversation between the two finished. Giselle vi Acadria was speaking to her Adviser, Gran. They were discussing what to do next after conquering this group of bandits in the outskirts of the Kingdom of Aroshia going to Tongkil. It was a popular gathering spot for bandits and was where most merchants had been using as a trading route before it was overrun by them. Knowing this, Giselle set out to eradicate these bandits and bring peace to the merchants.
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There was a two-step move in this situation. One, Giselle wanted to see for herself the power of her troops and two, bring herself closer to merchants and use their connections in gaining more power later. However, things changed when rumors and new information came to her.
She had to get back to Acadria and make sure that her father the King, was alright. To see if none of her siblings are still plotting against him for the throne. She had to protect him and the Kingdom. That was her motivation in doing all these preparations, and so now is one of those times when she had to go back and help.
It was a long way back to Acadria from close to Tongkil and going through Aroshia. They had to pass one large river and 4 hills if they were to journey there using the established highway. Each hill had forts or military camps from Tongkil and Aroshia to protect their own borders from each other's and of course monsters. Each of the kingdom's borders have gates to ward off any untoward events or people. This was where they checked for documents and general inspections to determine whether one could pass or not. Giselle and her company passed the border of Tongkil and could exit without any problems, with of course the help from merchants they came with. They posed as hired guards for the caravan and it was accepted as usual.
When they passed Aroshia as well after half a month of traveling, they have finally arrived inside Acadrian territory. Giselle heaved out a sigh. These past few days have been less taxing to her body but to her mind, it was a lot. She was anxious about knowing what had happened to his father and how the kingdom has responded to the things that Clay had done in the past. She wants to seize the opportunity to promote a cooperation with Clay in uniting the kingdom's territories and even having peace agreements with other kingdoms as well.
"Gran, when we arrive at the castle, you have to stay with me. I'm afraid my siblings may also be part of Guilbert's schemes and wishes to kill me when they see me. If father stays with them, he might be yet again put to danger. I cannot allow this. Please help me."
"Don't worry Princess, I will be with you all the way." Gran answered with dignity in his voice. It was a big deal for him to stay honorable as a soldier and as a noble knight.
It took them a week to arrive at the kingdom's capital and into the castle. The place where Clay had been summoned at. Giselle relieved those moments and that chilling memory of her testing Clay also emerged and the fright she felt from that man those years ago. She was looking forward to the day when Clay finally shows himself again to fulfill his promise. That day, whether Giselle knew it or not, was already close. Finally, Giselle vi Acadria, has returned to her home.