The Return Chapter 1
By Firstborn Dragon
"I still cant see why you would rather tramp through the mud with us instead of sitting in your castle.."
This argument had gone on a number of time over the last year. Rudy, as usual, just listened. Since he knew that Cecilias stubbornness would hold out as long as Jacks. To make matters worse, it was always the same words.
"Lonely. Theres no one there any more. To the people Im a queen, to the soldiers a person to be protected, and obeyed. And to every one else Im important. Only with you am I treated as an equal. Besides, the chancellor is very good at looking after things when Im not there, and they always have a huge party when we go back." Cecilias usual reply.
"Well a princess really has no business "
Rudy listened as Cecilia gave the same response she always did to that comment.
"I have two great body guards with me. Are you saying that you cant deal with any would-be abductors?"
"This is the worlds best swordsman that your talking to. What do you mean theres someone I cant take?"
"Well its just the way your acting. Theres nothing to worry about. The kingdom "
Rudy rolled his eyes. When would Jack learn that noting would come of this. The same points, day after day, week after week. For the last year hed been listing to the same argument. But they never learned. Jacks usual comment would come
"Need you. I mean youve travel with us for over a year, and have nearly gotten killed more times than I can count. When there was a need I could see the reason, but now "
Followed by Cecilias
"Now these monsters have to be kept under control or theyll start attacking cites. So there is a need "
"You dont have to be the one to fight them. There are several other people who would for the excitement of it."
Rudy knew what would happen next. Cecilia always got Jack with that statement. He was ready to throw his hands up in the air. True, the two were his friends, and one of the few who knew the trust about him. But why did they always have to argue about the same thing.
"Yes like .No not like you. Like Rudy and I. A war will not erupt " Rudy finally got tired of listing to them. He knew that if he didnt intervene, hed soon regret it. A lot.
"Weve nearly reached town. Maybe you should stop your argument for the night. And we can stay at the inn. My ARMs need reloading too."
"All right." They both agreed. They always did.
They both halted their argument. Rudy wasnt quite sure how it had happened, but somehow he had become the leader. Perhaps, he thought, it was because Jack wouldnt follow a girl, and Cecilia wouldnt follow Jack because hed just try and send her back to the castle.
They approached the port town. But as they entered, there was immediate evidence that something was wrong.
"Where is everybody? Last time we were here it was a thriving port town. Now it look deserted." Cecilia asked, looking around puzzled.
"Everyones inside. I know."
"How do you know Rudy?"
"You forget what I am Cecilia. I can hear them."
Jack said nothing. He just shrugged.
The three entered the inn.
"Hello?" Rudy called out as he entered.
A timid voice replied from behind the counter. "W-w-w-whos there?"
"Just some travelers." Rudy took the lead. He knew that with a puzzle before them, neither Jack, nor Cecilia would attempt to break out into the old argument. Or so he hoped. Still better not to take that chance.
"A-a-are you w-w-w-with the M-m-m-monster?" The voice asked, but there was still no body to go with the voice.
Jack immediately looked a lot more interested. He took over from Rudy.
"The one with green hair who comes every night. He threatens to destroy the town." A man slowly stood up from behind the bar. Jack had an unreadable look on his face. Then he spoke again. "This monster with the green hair doesnt happen to carry a sword, and claim to be the greatest swordsman, or perhaps the grim reapers side kick, dose he?"
"Jack what are you talking about?" Rudy looked at him puzzled.
"Im surprised you dont remember Rudy. It was about a year ago, outside Saint Centur? I sure do. It was youre fault." Jack had a sudden I-told-ya-so look on his face.
"No. It couldnt be could it?" Rudy suddenly figured out who he was referring to. And he didnt like it.
"Well how many other warriors with green hair do you know?" Jack still had that look on his face.
"One question Jack. Why now? If he wanted power he could have taken it a lot easier after the war. And that ended over a year ago." Rudy threw that question at him, trying to nock the expression off of Jacks face.
It was at this point that the inn keeper made his appearance. Cecilia was still watching the two warriors disuse the citys attacker.
"You mean you know this creature?" He clearly appeared puzzled.
Rudy shrugged. "Well we thought we did. Im not so sure anymore."
Jack shook his head. "I told you this would happen when you first suggest that we let him go Rudy. Since we didnt end it then, we should end it now."
Rudy was getting desperate. So long as Zed was alive, he wasnt quite so alone. "Jack we dont know why hes changed."
"But he has. Listen Rudy. Remember what we were told once a ." Jack didnt notice the sudden look of fear on Rudys face.
Cecilia cut him off. "Sir. Is there a place where we may discuse a few things in private?"
"Yes miss. Only 10 coins a night."
"O.K." Cecilia handed the man the coins, and the three when upstairs. Once they were up, Cecilia turned to Jack. "O.K. Jack. Now you may continue."
"Why did you want us alone?" Jack was puzzled by this action. Cecilia, glad to have the upper hand for once, answered. "Do you really want the people to know the truth about Zed, assuming that hes the one causing the trouble." Cecilia, glad to have the upper hand for once, answered.
Jack shruged. "I suppose you right. As for what I was saying, remeber how we were told "Once a demond, always a demond"? Well apparently its true."
Rudy looked up at Jack, suddenly feeling betrayed. "If it were always true, then what about me Jack? Are you saying Ill suddenly go crazy and start distroying towns?"
Jack suddenly realised his error. "No, thats not what I mean. Besides, youre different from them."
Rudy walked up to Jack, and looked him strait in the face. "At times its easy to forget that. Perhaps thats why I see this situation diffrently then you do."
Jack suddenly became a little concerned. "Well that dosent matter now. What matters now is that .."
But Rudy cut Jack off. "I have to resolve this. It was my fault I made the final disition to let him go, Ill end this."
Cecilia knew how hard this would be for Rudy. She wasnt about to make him do it alone. "No. Well do it together. Im sure Jack would hate to miss this. Agreed?"
Jack nodded. "Agreed."
Rudy took a bit longer to agree. "Fine."
Rudy went downstairs, his bag of ARMs on his sholder. And the wating began.
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