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Legends Of Zyconia Part 5
The Makings Of An Army
Many hours later on the bank of the River of Reflection camp was set up and all retired for the night, all but one of evil. A shadow passed the tents as the unknown assailant moved through the camp. Suddenly Terrek felt the sharp pain of a dagger thrust into his shoulder. Terrek leapt to his feet as pain shot down his arm. He swung his arm hard and felt it collide with someone, the assailant fell through the side of his tent creating a large rip in the animal hide. Terrek fumbled with his flint as he lit a torch and, sword drawn, quickly ran out of his tent. He peered around each tent but the assailant had disappeared!
The morning came swiftly, and Terrek summoned his aides to a meeting in his tent to inform them of the events that had transpired the night before. Jessica stood on one side of Terrek changing the bandage he had put on after the attack. On the opposite side of Terrek stood Diana, worry etched in her features.
"And when you peered out of the tent you saw no one?" asked Zachery.
"No one. I even walked around the camp, but I never caught a glimpse of him," Terrek replied.
"Surely you didn't expect to catch him? It was the dead of night," offered Perrin.
"No, there was a full moon last night. It should have been fairly easy for Terrek to spot him, and the nearest cover would be the small forest to the north and that's at least two-hundred strides from the camp." replied Hemoth.
"Which means that we're dealing with an assassin among us. It is vital to the stability of the quest that we find out who he or she is," Terrek said.
"I suggest a rotation of guards to patrol the camp during the night from now on," chimed in Ricsis.
"Yes, that will be a top priority. Zachary. Perrin, you two will be responsible for setting up the rotation," Terrek replied.
"We'll probably need about a dozen guards patrolling at all times," Hemoth suggested.
"I think that is everything for now. You may leave," Terrek finished, his aides vacated his tent and he walked out with Diana.
Outside. the wagons were lined up and hungry people surrounded them arguing. Terrek was about to try and get the situation under control when an angry woman caught a glimpse of him. The woman burst from the crowds and advanced towards Terrek. Quickly Adam and Jason blocked her path.
"I want to speak to Commander Terrek," yelled the woman.
"Commander I must speak with you," she pleaded.
Adam and Jason appeared as though they were about to drag the woman away but Terrek intervened.
"Let her through men. I'll hear what she has to say."
The woman walked between Adam and Jason.
"Commander we have plenty of food in the wagons but because of the crowds many can't get to it." the woman explained.
"Very well, what is your name?" asked Terrek.
"Juliana, sir." she said cautiously.
"Juliana I appoint you as one of my aides. You will be in charge of food distribution," he said.
Terrek turned toward Adam and Jason, "Round up some soldiers to assist her."
The woman smiled at Terrek, he peered down as a small boy came out from behind her legs. The boy looked up at the tall muscular man before him.
"Are you a real swordsman sir?" asked the boy.
"I suppose so, son," Terrek replied grinning down at him.
"Well Juliana, you had better tend to your new responsibilities. Don't worry about the boy. Diana and I will look after him." Terrek said.
The young woman walked toward the wagons directing the people into lines as Terrek took the boy's hand.
"So. what's your name son?" asked Terrek.
"Timothy," the boy replied.
Terrek nodded, "Well Timothy. I suppose we'll have to wait in my tent until your mother is finished, come on."
Moments later Terrek, Diana and Timothy were in his tent, Terrek sat in a large fur covered chair and Diana and Timothy sat at a large oak table nearby. Large hunks of meat and vegetables sat on gold platters on the table, a large barrel of goat's milk sat on the end of the table.
"So Timothy. how old are you?" Terrek questioned the boy.
"I will be nine when the harvest season begins," the boy replied.
Terrek knew this was the youngest child with them. Timothy stared at Terrek's shoulder. the bandage stained in blood.
"How did you get hurt?" Timothy asked, Terrek looked up at Diana as if looking for some sort of answer in her beautiful face.
"I got hurt in a fight," Terrek replied quietly.
"With who?" Timothy prodded.
"Just someone in the camp," Terrek replied.
"But - but you - you're the Commander of the army," Timothy exclaimed, flabbergasted that anyone would attack Terrek.
This time Terrek didn't have to say anything. Diana began to speak to the boy.
"Timothy you haven't eaten today have you? Well I'm sure Terrek wouldn't mind if you had some of his food. Would you Terrek?" Diana asked.
"No I don't mind, go right ahead," Terrek replied as Timothy looked at the food with wide eyes.
Diana gave Timothy a plate and began cutting him some meat. Timothy quickly devoured the food. Terrek looked up as the sound of footsteps outside his tent came closer, then the door flaps were pushed aside and Juliana stepped through.
"Well what is your report Juliana," Terrek asked in a formal manner.
"Everyone has their rations and are packing up to move on." she reported.
"Very good. Don't forget you're one of my new aides," Terrek said in a commanding tone.
Juliana turned to Timothy. "Come along Timothy. time to gather up our belongings."
Timothy slipped from his chair at the table and followed his mother out of the tent as Terrek stood and stretched his legs.
Terrek looked at Diana and began to speak, "I - Diana I've been meaning to ask you if you would join me for dinner this evening." Diana looked down, away from Terrek. a slight blush crossing her face.
"I'd be happy to join you." Diana said smiling, she looked up at him out of the corner of her eye.
Terrek smiled back at Diana as they began gathering Terrek's belongings into antelope skin sacks.
TO BE CONTINUED...
TO READ FROM THE BEGINNING GO TO: LEGENDS OF ZYCONIA PART 1
TO READ THE PREVIOUS PART GO TO: LEGENDS OF ZYCONIA PART 4
TO READ THE NEXT PART GO TO: LEGENDS OF ZYCONIA PART 6