There were exactly six sitting rooms on the third floor of the palace and yet only one looked toward the peasant village and the fields that surrounded it. It was in that sitting room that Jares stood looking out over the castle walls at the very home that the thieves were hiding. The only problem was he just did not know in which of the ramshackle buildings they were. And yet he smiled with the more than a little contentment just knowing that they were there. As far as he was concerned his only problem was what to do with the tablet while waiting for Lord Crel to arrive. He knew that his sentries would find the thieves before they could get into the palace. After all as poor as he kept his peasants, for a hand full of gold they would turn themselves in for something they did not do if it meant they could feed their family. Jares chuckled to himself as one of the many servants that made up the staff of the palace placed a plate in front of him. He despised eating in any of the dinning rooms that were in palace. Instead he took all his meals in his chambers or one of the many sitting rooms.
“Where is she,” he asked the female servant.
“I am sure that I do not know my lord.” The servant said as she backed away from the small table.
“Then why did you not bring her dinner here with you as well”
She did not answer him and knew that there was a chance that she would end up paying dearly for it. However, as luck would have it for her one of his close guards stepped through the open door. C lose behind the guard was the dark haired girl he was looking for. She slipped silently in behind the guard carrying a tray filled with her dinner and wine.
“My lord,” the guard interrupted his fist flying to his chest as he spoke. “We can no longer find any sign of the thieves.”
“They are out there,” Jares yelled back at the sentry. “You will find them or you will find yourself hanging by your thumbs in the court yard.”
Jares threw his plate of food at the guard hitting him in the chest. He made no attempt to wipe it off until leaving the room. Not wanting to be the next to feel Jares anger the servant left quickly behind the guard.
“Fool,” the sentry muttered as he walked away, “one day I shall have my revenge.” He grabbed at his sword as he turned the corner at the end of the hall.
“Why must I be surrounded by imbeciles,” Jares grumbled as the sentry walked away. “How difficult can it be to find three strangers in a peasant village? If they do not stand out surely an orange and black animal must be have been seen?”
The dark haired girl was now sitting beside him lowering her head as he spoke to keep him from taking his anger out on her, and from laughing. She was not sure why the three were so important to him nor did she care, she had her own reasons for being in there. She laughed at Jares finally, unable to hold back any longer.
Jares turned and slapped her across the face.
“There is nothing to laugh about,” he yelled pulling his hand back again ready to strike.
The dark haired girl slumped into the stool that she sat on lowering her head even further and looked away from him. She knew that it would only be a matter of time before she could enact her own revenge for the months that she had endured his abuse. Jares grabbed the girl by her hair and pulling her off the stool, knocking over the tray he led her out of the room and down the hallway.
“Burn it,” Jares yelled to anyone that could hear him. “If they do not turn the thieves over, burn the village to the ground.”
Still pulling the girl along by her hair, Jares reached the first of his palace guards, where he repeated his demand. With his free hand he shoved the guard when he was finished making his demand. Jares continued to pull the girl along as he headed up a small set of stairs that led to his chambers. She did not struggle, not even when he had first grabbed her. She had learned early on that it was not in her best interest to struggle as it only made him stop long enough to hit her again. He threw her to the floor next to his bed before kicking her legs as she lay there.
“Where were you,” he screamed at her. “You are supposed to be near me at all times.”
“I… I … I am sorry my… my lord,” she managed to stammer
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