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Lowenna 2 and the secrets of light and darkness: chapter 19
By
rbo

Lowenna 2 and the secrets of light and darkness: chapter 19

Lowenna got her crystal back. She is low on magic, has lost rune and now... lets make it intresting

Chapter 19 Unmasked lawman

The rain had stopped. Both of Orkenza's moons were on show, and the first sign of the new sun was just starting to show.

Lowenna had been keeping to the shadows, trying to stay out of sight. At the moment she was watching the Doc Side Inn. The Lawmen knew she had a room there. She had lost her boots, her cape, her money and her weapons. All she had left a stolen robe a pair of sandals, her crystals, and her arm guard. She had even been denied a nights sleep, and now she had a moment, she realised how tired and sore she was.

Lowenna turned away from the inn and started walking. It wasn't worth going back. The only thing she was losing was a wash and a bed, and even though she could do with both, she couldn't take the chance.

Lowenna walked for a bit, heading down the street towards the sea front. She had no clue what she was going to do, or where she was going to go. The church now knew she was a Lowenna, the lawmen, and the Queen's guards were looking for her, and her only friend in the city was now helping the queen to find her. “Can it get any worse?” Lowenna asked her crystal, as she walked along the sea front. She was so busy thinking about Rune's betrayal, and what she had been through since arriving in Hymdale, that she didn't notice the lawman on the roof till he dropped down in from of her, his bow in hand.

“Azmil!” Lowenna said to herself, as she quickly tapped the creamy white crystal to activate her light shield. She positioned it to protect her as he let an arrow fly.

The arrow passed straight through the shield and stuck in Lowenna in the shoulder. She spun round with a jolt, pain running through her. She flipped her almost grey crystal into her hand, but Azmil had already fired a second arrow, this one hitting the floor just in front of her. The ground suddenly froze, and Lowenna slipped over, landing on her back with a painful thud. “I know your secrets now Lowenna. That shield won't save you,” Azmil shouted at her. 

Lowenna flicked her fingers into the air, and five pinkie grey sparks flew from her fingers. Two intercepted arrows and the other three hit the floor by her feet, melting the ice. She jumped to her feet, but couldn’t move because her arm felt like it was made of lead. She went to grab the arrow, but before she could remove it, someone hit her from behind. Lowenna tried to turn to face her attacker, but Erkut hit her right in the face. 

Lowenna felt her nose break as blood flew from her mouth. He grabbed her good arm, and slammed it into his knee, hoping she would drop her crystal, but Lowenna turned her wrist, and the crystal glanced against his knee.

Erkut jumped back in surprise and pain, as where the crystal had touched his leg, flames now burnt him. He smothered the fire with his cape before growling in anger heading towards Lowenna again. 

Lowenna turned and started to run. She was hurt, tired and very low on magic. She knew, in her present state, she had little chance of beating Azmil and Erkut in a fight, but suddenly lightning rained down from above. It hit her so hard it knocked the breath out of her. 

She was beaten, and she knew it. She could hardly stand let alone fight. Blood was pouring from her nose, and she was struggling to breathe. She forced herself to move, but Erkut slammed into her again, "Never take your eyes off a lawman," he stated, as Lowenna bounced across the floor. She ended up lying face down, not moving, blood running from her mouth and nose, wishing she had never come her, or even had woken up on that beach just suns ago.

Erkut walked over and picked her up by her throat. Lowenna couldn't resist. She tried to spit blood at him, but it just ran down her face, staining the robe she had stolen. “Told you we would get you Lowenna.” He stated with great satisfaction. Azmil walked over and joined him followed by Nera and Zenith. Azmil took some cord out of his pouch and bound Lowenna’s hands, then grabbed the arrow in her shoulder and pulled it free, making Lowenna cry out in pain. “Queen Darcarial is looking forward to meeting you,” Erkut stated with a smile.

The look on Azmil’s face suddenly changed, showing confusion. “Our orders were to take the Lowenna back to Penbirth. We should leave now.” Zenith nodded, but Nera looked at Erkut.

“We take her to our Queen,” Erkut said sounding angry.

“Our Queen?” Azmil stated, looking surprised “She is no queen of mine, I follow the royal household, and there appointed Lords, as do you...” Azmil had said before Erkut caught him in the face, with the back of his free hand.

“Our Queen!” Erkut shouted, dropping Lowenna and launching himself at Azmil who was trying to re-draw his bow.

“Erkut stop; what has come over you?” Zenith had shouted before Nera hit her with her Lightning.

“You haven't met Queen Darcarial yet have you?” Erkut asked Azmil as he hit him again.

Lowenna slowly lifted her hurting head up off the floor. At the moment, no one was watching her, Zenith had drawn a sword and was using her own gauntlet to stop Nera's lightning, but Erkut was battering Azmil. Lowenna got to her feet slowly. She looked at the alleyway. She was close, she could run, hopefully, make it. She looked at Erkut again, “Never disrespect my Queen,” he shouted full of rage, no longer paying any attention to his prisoner.

Lowenna felt the anger building and adrenalin taking effect. She charged at Erkut, slamming into his back, making him take an off-balanced step. Lowenna then swept his legs out from under him, as Azmil caught Erkut across the jaw with his bow.

“Run” Lowenna shouted, as she charged for the alleyway, Azmil and Zenith both just behind her. Erkut pushed his gauntlet towards the three runners, and a beam of light hit Zenith, in the back. She cried out before collapsing, smoke drifting off her unconscious body. Azmil slowed as he looked at his fallen comrade. “Don't stop!” Lowenna shouted, as she stumbled, kicking off the sandals as a bolt of magic just missed her.

Azmil grabbed her robe as they turned into the alleyways. He pulled her to the left, then right, straight on, then another left. 

The adrenalin, which Lowenna had felt, was long gone, and she was struggling to keep up with him through the maze of streets and back alleyways.

The two friends stood on the cliff top looking at Hymdale, from across the short stretch of sea. They had seen flashes of magic on the harbour front. "That's Lowenna," Rique said.

"You can see that far?" Grilk asked.

"I can't make out who is who, but I know that was her, who else would be openly fighting lawmen," Rique replied.

Grilk growled, "She in trouble, we have to help her."

"I'm sure she will be alright, but we have to get there quickly," Rique said as she turned her horse and started back down the hill, "Be alright Lowenna," Rique whispered to herself as she rode, with Grilk right behind her still growling.

Lowenna was struggling to keep up. She was hurt tired, and her body didn't want to run anymore. "Azmil!" she shouted, as she stumbled, her body finally giving out from exhaustion and pain.

Azmil stopped and stared at her, before helping her up. “Why did you help me Lowenna?” he asked while looking up and down the alleyway.

Lowenna forced a smile, tasting her blood, “I don't know. The smartest action would have been to run, but I couldn't just leave you, it's not what I do.”

Azmil removed his facemask, showing a swollen eye and a busted lip. Lowenna blinked and gave a gasp of surprise. It was him! The lawman from her dreams, the one she had been so close to. Lowenna shook her head slightly. “No, it's you,” she said quietly, but Azmil seemed to ignore the remark and looked right in her eyes.

“Don’t expect any mercy from me Lowenna,” he stated, sounding cold, but Lowenna knew this man she had loved him in a vision, she couldn't believe it was him. “If it wasn't for the fact my fellow lawmen are under some spell,” Azmil continued, “I would be dragging you back to Penbirth as we speak.”

Lowenna regained her composure, whatever her feelings were to this lawman, he didn't return them, not yet, and there was no way to know if or when he ever would. “Spell?” Lowenna asked.

“Yes, a very powerful spell. Lawmen aren't easy to control. We only obey the royal household, and their appointed lords and people who have been trusted with a lord's rings, not anyone else. Certainly not a fake queen!” he looked at Lowenna, “Erkut is one of the most single-minded stubborn men I know. He wouldn’t obey anyone except a lord or a ring bearer, and even if the queen had a ring, our orders to take you back to Penbirth would take priority.”

“So you are saying that the Queen has some sort of magical hold over him and possibly others?” Lowenna thought back to the man in the market who killed his wife. He said he was on a charge for the queen. Then there was Rune, she had said she was Lowenna’s friend, so betraying her, didn’t make sense.

“Yes, I do. I think I should find out a little more about this Darcarial. My orders are clear, although I am to capture you and return you to the lords of Penbirth, saving a fellow Lawman takes priority.”

“I could help you,” Lowenna suggested, tentatively, “she has my friend under her control too.” Lowenna wanted to trust Azmil but knew what his orders were.

Azmil looked up and down her, “You can barely stand, how can you help?”

Lowenna felt a little insulted with that statement, after all, she had just saved him from Erkut, but didn’t want to upset Azmil and wanted to free her friend from the Queens control. “I will need some time to heal, and for my magic to return, but don't forget...” Lowenna smiled again, “I’m a Lowenna.”

Azmil watched her for a moment, and a small smile flickered across his face. “Very well, Lowenna. We will rest until sundown then if you are ready or not, we head to the palace.”

“Agreed,” Lowenna said with a nod. 

Azmil took a flask out of his pouch and took a big swig before offering it to Lowenna, “Drink, it will help.”

Lowenna took it and was about to drink it when she remembered Grilk’s war potion, and how horrible it was. She sniffed at the yellow liquid, “What is it?” She asked.

“A Healing broth, we lawmen heal quick and feel less pain, but this helps, when we are severely hurt or exhausted,” Azmil replied. “If you don't want it...”

“No I do, it's just... thank you.” She finished before taking a mouthful. It was sweet, too sweet! Lowenna forced the second mouthful down before handing it back to Azmil, who was smirking at her. “What's so funny?”

“Your face. It doesn’t taste that nice, too sweet for most people,” Azmil replied.

“I’ve had worse,” Lowenna replied, thinking about Grilk’s war concoction.

“I know a place we can rest. It's unlikely the others will find us before we are ready to leave. Zenith won't be able to track us, and she took out Nera, so we don’t have to worry about someone flying and spotting us. I believe you hurt Erkut’s leg. I’m assuming that’s why he didn't charge after us.”

Lowenna looked serious, “What about the other lawmen?”

“As far as I am aware, they have only been ordered to take you prisoner on sight, not to search for you so we should be safe, at least for this sun.”

Lowenna breathed slowly she already felt a little stronger “My friend Rune, she can sense and find things she is looking for.”

Azmil stayed quiet for a moment, “You need to rest. We will have to chance it, else I leave you here, and go to the palace alone.”

“We go together this moon. I will rest until then,” Lowenna replied before taking a step towards Azmil. Her leg buckled, and she fell. Azmil caught her in his strong arms. Lowenna couldn't help smiling as she looked into his green eyes.

“That’s enough of that,” He said as he propped her back against a wall, “If you can't walk, stay here,” and with that statement he turned and started to walk away.

“Jerk!” Lowenna thought as she regained her balance and slowly walked after him.

Lowenna followed Azmil. She couldn't help looking at his strong muscular body, even though he didn't feel the same way about her. This was a new kind of torture for Lowenna, knowing they were destined to be together, while he was completely oblivious to that knowledge. Lowenna had fantasised about their first meeting how he was strong and loving taking her into his arms as they kissed. She hadn’t thought about blood running down her face, or the fact he would have tried to kill her a few times.

Azmil turned out of the alleyways and pointed to a nearby inn. “We will stay there this sun.”

“By the Angelous, no chance!” Lowenna protested as she looked at the Dark District Inn.

Azmil looked at her a little confused. “I’m the only member of our group to come here. It’s not exactly a pleasant place. They won't find us.”

“I tried to stay here the first night I was in the city, it didn't end well,” Lowenna blushed as Azmil threw her a smirk. “I mean, the Orc didn't like me, and a man came to my room.” Lowenna tried to explain, but Azmil smirk turned into a broad grin, “Not like that!” Lowenna shouted her cheeks starting to burn. Lowenna took a deep breath, composing herself, “I can't go back there.” she finished.

Azmil took his cloak and face guard off, “put these on,” he said, “and let me do all the talking.”

The face guard covered her mouth and nose, hiding the fact it was broken but the cape wouldn't go over the robe Lowenna had taken, she walked back into the alleyway facing away from Azmil. She removed the robe and placed the cloak on, tying it shut. She turned back to see Azmil watching her, “Hey!” Lowenna shouted while putting her arms around her to cover herself, even though the cloak covered her.

Azmil had that same smirk on his face, “Don’t mind me. I was just making sure you came back,” he said, but Lowenna knew better.

“Look Mr. Azmil, I thank you for the cloak, but you don't have to stare at me like that.” she said sounding angry, but unashamed Azmil just shrugged.

“You are my prisoner, I must keep an eye on you,” he replied. 

Lowenna felt very exposed. She pulled the cloak's hood up, so it covered her hair, “Let's go she said cooly, and Azmil nodded before both of them walked to the inn. 

Even before they entered the inn, Lowenna heard Gronger shouting at someone. “Remember let me do the talking,” Azmil said while opening the swinging door. 

Lowenna could tell he was a lawman, even without his cape and mask. He still looked impressive, his wavy blond hair, his bright green eyes, and his muscular physique. A dark shirt and thick leather belts covered his torso, and leather boots and black leggings completed his look. He even had a short green cape, which he had placed over his shoulders. His bow and Lawman sword were strapped to his back. Even the way he walked oozed confidence. 

Lowenna kept her head down and walked just behind Azmil, as he walked up to the counter. He placed a small golden coin on the desk, “We need a room, top floor,” he stated.

The owner who Lowenna recognised from her first visit, grabbed the coin and bit it to check if it was real, “Certainly, for how long and how many girls.”

“Just one for now. A young new girl would be best,” Lowenna couldn’t believe what he was saying she looked up and instantly looked back down, as Gronger was staring at her. “The room needs to be large and have washing facilities,” Azmil continued, “We will need the room until first light.”

“Certainly,” the proprietor repeated, “I will make the arrangements.” he said before disappearing through the doorway behind the desk.

Gronger took a deep sniff, before walking over towards Lowenna and Azmil. “I know you,” he said as he towered over Lowenna.

Azmil suddenly stood between them, “You will forget we were ever here,” Azmil stated, offering Gronger a large copper coin, which he took.

Gronger turned his head to look at Lowenna again and growled, but this time, Lowenna looked back, and her eyes flashed with Magic.

Gronger placed the coin in his pocket, growled and left the room, “He doesn't like me,” Lowenna said to Azmil.

“You couldn't tell,” he sarcastically replied. “We will be safe this sun. He thinks you are a lawman now.”

The owner of the inn returned, “Top floor first door on the left.” he said, as he passed a key to Azmil.

“Thank you,” Azmil replied, before heading out of the room followed by Lowenna.

As they were heading up the stairs, Lowenna suddenly thought about what she was doing. She was heading to a room with a man she hardly knew. She had no clothes on except a cloak and was suddenly feeling very venerable.

They passed Darline on the stairs. She threw them a quick glance before returning to her room.

At the top of the stairs Azmil opened the room and entered, Lowenna paused for a second. She didn't have much of a choice, run or follow. She did need his help.

Upon entering the room, Lowenna noticed how big it was compared to her old one. A large bed dominated the room. Candles provided light as the drapes were closed, and off to the side was a basin, a jug of hot water, and a stack of towels and wash cloths. On the bed sat a girl. She wasn't wearing much, and there were bruises on her arms and ribs. She smiled at the two strangers, but Lowenna could tell it wasn't a happy smile. This girl was very young, “too young for this life,” Lowenna thought. She didn't know what was going to happen next, but Azmil took out a purse full of coins. He poured a few into his hand before tossing the purse onto the bed and turned slightly, so he wasn't looking at the young girl.

“Get dressed and get out, take the money and don't come back,” Azmil said. The young girl didn't move at first. Slowly and tentatively, she reached over and grabbed the purse full of money. “Get out of this life, return home. If there is nothing for you there, find a new one,” Azmil continued after the pause. Lowenna couldn't help but smile. This was closer to the man she had imagined. Kind, generous, helpful, but it still wasn't what she had expected. 

The young girl got dressed, threw Azmil and Lowenna a grateful smile before opening the door. “If the orc or the owner give you any trouble, just tell them, you are getting us some supplies. Don't show him the money, and don't say you aren't coming back.

The girl nodded before closing the door behind her leaving Azmil and Lowenna alone. Lowenna wondered if this was a good idea, but Azmil opened the drapes then the window and looked out before saying, “There's a robe over there, and there may be clothes in the cupboard. You need to wash and rest, whether you're ready or not, at sundown we head to the palace.” Lowenna nodded in agreement. “I need my cloak and mask back,” Azmil added. Lowenna blushed, she grabbed a large towel and wrapped it around herself before passing Azmil his clothes back.

Azmil looked at Lowenna for a moment, her long red hair, her bright green eyes, and her long slender legs. He suddenly realised he was staring and went back to the window. He fired an arrow into the dark empty alleyway. Lowenna noticed it was attached to some cord, which he tied quickly to the window frame. “Leave the window open, I will be back shortly, if you are not here when I get back, I will kill you on sight.”

Lowenna’s smile faded, “I will be here,” she replied cooly, suddenly wishing this man would leave. 

Azmil had nodded before he jumped out of the window. He used his bow to slide down the cord. Lowenna went over to the window and looked out, but he had vanished.

Lowenna walked away from the window and looked at the door. The first time she had come here someone uninvited had entered her room. She took the large chair and pushed it against the door, knowing that it would make it harder for anyone to get in that way. 

She removed the towel and poured the jug of warm water in the basin and washed herself using a scented soap. Then lowered her hair into the water, massaging her fingers through it trying to remove the remaining grime and slime from the tunnel. Rinsing it clean before wrapping it in a towel.

Lowenna now felt fresher and more decent. She opened the wardrobe looking for some clothes and instantly blushed. Cord, chains, and very skimpy lingerie met her gaze. This was not what she would have chosen to wear, not that she had much choice. The pair she put on was lacy. She couldn't see through them, but they still didn't leave much to the imagination. 

She took some of the cords and slotted the end through the metal clasp that held here crystal, then tied it around her neck. Now the crystal was back where it belonged.

Lowenna lay on the bed and pulled a blanket over her. It was comfy and warm. The best bed she had laid on since waking on a beach a few suns ago. She had lost count how many suns had passed. She closed her eyes hoping to rest, knowing the next moon was going to be full of danger again.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than storiesspace.com with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © © 2015 by Robert Stevens All Rights Reserved

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