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Lowenna 2: the Secrets of Light and Darkness. chapter 11
By
rbo

Lowenna 2: the Secrets of Light and Darkness. chapter 11

Lowenna heads to the auctions but what does fate have in store for her this sun

Chapter 11 The Queens Will Be Done

 

 

The sun was shining, and the sea birds were squawking at each other as Lowenna walked down the street. She had decided to keep her hood down and cape open, as she made her was through the city streets. The cape to flutter in the breeze, allowing her to enjoy the weather, as it was very early and there were very few people about.

 

She passed the weapon shop she had entered the last sun. She still planned on talking with the man who sent her down the alleyway. To her disappointment, the shop wasn’t open this early in the sun.

 

Lowenna had decided that she would head to the harbour this sun and ask about lost ships, but her mind kept wandering to the dream she had just experienced. This was the first dream-scape she had entered when she had been awake. She assumed it had been triggered by the picture, left by the old women she met in Penbrith. Deep inside Lowenna had felt there was something more about her than met the eye.

 

The old woman had known she was calling herself, "Lowenna," and had admitted to dreamscapes, but this was even more confusing. Had she known Lowenna was coming here, paid for a room for one moon and placed the picture which had either triggered a dreamscape or had been put there to show Lowenna that she knew what Lowenna was going to be dreaming about?

 

Lowenna kept walking towards the harbour when a voice called out, “Mermaid is that you?” Lowenna turned to see a large man carrying a box of fish under one arm, and a young boy on his shoulder, he was followed by two women, one was a little plump, wore a red dress and looked jubilant. The other looked thinner and more severe. She wore a simple pale brown dress and was holding the hand of another young boy.

 

“Quy,” Lowenna shouted, waving at the group.

 

“Pleasant sun to you Mermaid Wenna, may I say that is a different look for you,” Quy said smiling but the two women were looking rather nervously at the young woman in the black cape. “This is my sister, Darla and her son Jobe,” Quy said while passing the boy on his shoulder to the lady in the red dress. Her husband is one of the guards of the city. Sadly he won't be joining us today as he has been called to the palace to work.”

 

“Peased to meet you,” Lowenna replied with a smile, making Darla and Jobe both smile back.

 

“And this is Martha and Tiler her boy,” Quy continued.

 

“Pleased to meet you too,” Lowenna said still smiling, but Martha didn't smile back.

 

“We need to get a move on Quy, my husband should be at the market soon,” Martha said, walking past Lowenna not giving her a second look.

 

“Right...Well, we should go,” Quy said feeling a little put out but after a few moments of walking, he seemed to have recovered his good mood. “I rescued Lowenna from a watery grave. She fell off a ship, near where I was fishing, so I fished out a Mermaid and brought her to the city.” He finished his little story with a big belly laugh which made everyone laugh except Martha who was trying to hurry the group.

 

“That's very nice Quy, but we need to get to the market soon or don't you want to sell your fish?” she asked not bothering to look in his direction.

 

“It's just up ahead, and the auctions don't start till the bells ring, which won't be till the sun hits the spire,” Quy announced, again sounding a little hurt.

 

“Auctions?” Lowenna asked, before adding “Slave auctions?”

 

“Well yes, I'll sell my fish. Apparently, Martha's husband Kev has something to sell to, the last auctions will be the slaves and beasts,” Quy replyed.

 

Lowenna went silent, somehow the idea of slaves didn't feel right. Maybe from memory, or an experience now lost to her. She kept walking behind the others, staying quiet not joining the conversation until Jobe said rather loudly, “Look a lawman.”

 

Lowenna looked frantically around. Only Martha noticed, and a small smile flickered on her face. He was up on a roof looking over the wharf and auction area. He was very high up and was armed with a bow. Lowenna wondered if it was Azmil.

 

She pulled her hood up to cover her red hair, slipped her hands in the rings and closed the cape, so no one would know who was under it. The last thing Lowenna wanted was to be spotted by the lawmen. They try and apprehend her or worse but she was determined to see the auction and ask at the harbour about any ships lost recently.

 

As Lowenna wandered around, the area had filled up fast. Quy had already sold his fish to another vendor and very happily counted his coins. He had been given a good price for his large fish. Martha was standing on the steps looking out for her husband while the rest of the group were eating homemade scones. Lowenna had been offered one and had taken a big bite before putting the rest in her pocket, saying she had just eaten but intended to enjoy it later.

 

Suddenly a man shouted, interrupting everyone's activities, “The slaves will now be shown,” the voice echoed. Lowenna quickly through a glance at the Lawman on the roof, who had his bow in his hand. She was relieved to see he wasn’t looking at her. So she made her way over to the wooden stage with the covered cages. Moments later the tarps were removed, and Lowenna suddenly saw the slaves. Guilt flowed through her mind, even though it was nothing to do with her.

 

In the cages were several men and women. Lowenna recognised what some of them from the people who had unloaded the cages when Lowenna had arrived in hymdale. They all bowed their heads like their spirits were broken and all wore ripped clothes and rags to cover themselves. Metal collars with a gemstone in the front were around all their necks, which in turn, were chained to the bars of the cages.

 

Some of the people who were looking at them started shouting and making the slaves feel even more worthless if that was posable.

 

One young girl stood out to Lowenna, her head wasn't bowed quite so much, and her clothes were less ripped, but she had obviously been beaten. There was bruising on her cheek and arm, and her lip had been split. Her colour looked a little big on her, but there was no way she could slip it over her head. Lowenna felt very sorry for her, but what could she do? Make a scene? Try and free all the slaves? Buy her?

 

Another cage was suddenly revealed. This one had nonhuman slaves. Two orcs were shackled their hands and feet chained together and a sporn of Hydra, its hands and feet bound and its mouth clamped shut. Lowenna shuddered as she saw it remembering the first time she had met one of these creatures as she ran for her life through a jungle.

 

To the side of the second cage was a warg, some horses, a giant reptile creature with a saddle on it's back, and some large birds, with sacks over their heads to keep them calm. All had metal collars with crystals set in them which kept the creatures under control. Thay looked very similar to the colours around the human’s and Orc’s necks.

 

Lowenna looked at the slaves. She didn't know what to do, was she feeling this way because she used to be a slave? Had she owned slaves herself? The young girl in the cage suddenly looked at Lowenna. She had beautiful deep brown eyes, and her ears were slightly pointed. She opened her mouth to speak, but the man who had removed the tarps suddenly shouted, “The Slave Auction will start soon, all those interested make sure you have your coins as no credit will be given.”

 

The young girl in the cage bowed her head again, no longer looking at Lowenna, who now felt anger building in her. Why should these people be slaves? What makes their lives of less worth? What gives these men the right to sell people? Lowenna felt her crystal warming against her skin when suddenly Quy placed his hand on her shoulder. Lowenna spun around knocking Quy's arm forcing him to take a step back. “Careful Mermaid,” Quy said, rubbing his arm where Lowenna had struck him.

 

“Sorry,” Lowenna replied throwing the lawman a quick glance before focusing on Quy. The lawman was looking in her direction, but she was sure if he knew she was a Lowenna, he would have his bow pointing at her.

 

“It fine,” Quy replied with a smile, still rubbing his arm, “I was just going to ask if you fancied anything else to eat. A vendor over there if a friend of mine, and owes me a few dinars from some fish, I'm sure I can get him to give us some of his fruit.”

 

Lowenna suddenly felt a little guilty again, this time, because of Quy's kindness and the fact she had just hurt him. “Let me get it, I have a couple of nars, and you have been more than helpful and kind to me.”

 

Quy didn't say anything for a moment, while he thought about what Lowenna had just said. Finally, he smiled, “If that's what you want but there is six of us, seven if Lucus ever shows up.”

 

“That's fine,” Lowenna said with a smile before walking over to the fruit stand.

 

Lowenna bought seven apples and seven long things which Lowenna didn't recognise before heading back to where Quy and the others stood.

 

Only Martha didn't join the group as they ate. Lowenna kept her back to the cages pretending they weren't there, but there was something not right here, something other than the slaves. Just as Lowenna looked over to Martha, Tiler screamed.

 

Martha had fallen to her knees, her hands around her own neck, as she tried to stop the blood pouring down her top from her freshly cut throat. A man was walking towards Lowenna and the others as everyone else was backing away from him. His hair was untidy, and there was grey stubble on his chin, his Brown clothes and sandals now splattered with his wife's blood. In his hand was a small silver dagger. “Tiler, come to your father!” the man shouted, “Don't upset my queen.”

 

Lowenna grabbed Tiler, who hadn't moved and positioned herself between the man and his son, placing her hand on one of her swords.

 

Suddenly an arrow hit the man in the chest. Lowenna looked around to see the lawman on the roof drawing another arrow and let it fly. It hit the man again in the chest, but the man refused to fall. “You will not stop my charge!” he shouted as he started moving quickly towards his son, trying to run. Blood ran from the wounds and his mouth. Another arrow hit him, this one in the leg, forcing him to fall, as another lawman landed between him and Lowenna. “Forgive me, my Queen, I have failed you,” he said as he looked at the dagger in his hand, before plunging it into his heart. “May my death please you.” He toppled forward as his life ended, his blood slowly seeping into the ground.

 

Lowenna watched the lawman check his dead body, “Quy get the boy out of here,” she said without moving her eyes or taking her hand off her sword.

 

Quy and Darla grabbed Tiler and Jobe and left quickly without a word, trying not to let the boys see Tiler's dead parents.

 

Lowenna didn't move, as the lawman turned to face her, “What did he say?” He asked as another lawman covered Martha’s body.

 

“He said something about his charge and his queen and said he hoped his death would please her,” Lowenna replied, not knowing what was going on.

 

“The Queen?” The lawman asked, suddenly sounding worried. “Do you know what the charge was?”

 

Lowenna paused for a moment. The lawman seemed more concerned that the man had not carried out his orders rather than the fact he was dead. “He killed his wife and called out for his son. II believe he would have tried to kill him and anyone who got in his way.”

 

“Where is the boy now?” the lawman asked, looking Lowenna in the eyes, more lawmen were walking towards her. She didn't like this.

 

“He is safe,” Lowenna replied.

 

“That is not what I asked,” the lawman growled at Lowenna.

 

“He left with friends after his father fell, I don't know where they went.” Two lawmen were now within arms reach, and the crowd had backed away, Lowenna lowered her head so the lawmen couldn't see her face easily.

 

Meanwhile, the cages had been recovered, the man who had said the slaves will now be shown, shouted, “The auction will now be restarted tomorrow, due to an incident.”

 

A lawman dressed in red had joined the lawman who was questioning Lowenna and two lawmen who were behind her. “What happened,” he asked.

 

The lawman who had been questioning Lowenna answered, “He was on a charge for our queen, he killed the woman over there, and this woman believed he was to kill his child, but when Azmil shot him, he killed himself. Lowenna suddenly felt even more vulnerable and was very glad she had her hood up. It was Azmil on the roof, that meant Erkut, Nera and Zenith were close.

 

“I need to get going, I have an appointment,” Lowenna said, but one of the lawmen behind her placed his hand on her shoulder.

 

“You aren't going anywhere,” Erkut said, “not until we know what happened.”

 

Lowenna cleared her throat, and spoke with a fake posh accent, hoping Erkut wouldn't recognise her. “Like I said he killed his wife, and was going to kill his son, until Az... er the lawman up there shot him. He then killed himself.” she slowly breathed in and out before continuing, “I do have to go now.”

 

“You're not going anywhere Carinthia,” the lawman in red stated. He thought she was the woman who attacked her. Lowenna raised her head in surprise and saw Zenith and Nera walking towards her.

 

Lowenna placed her hand on her crystal, at the same moment Zenith’s eyes widened looked straight at her, “Lowenna,” Zenith shouted as Lowenna thrust her hand in the air. A blinding flash caught most of the lawmen by surprise, but Nera had turned away. Lowenna spun and ducked slipping out of Erkut's grasp and tried to sweep his legs, before turning to run, but Erkut grasped her cape.

 

“I don't fall for the same trick twice Lowenna,” Erkut stated, as he jumped back to his feet. Lowenna knew the other lawmen would not be blinded for long. Nera was shaking her head. The flash hadn't blinded her like last time either. Lowenna tried to kick Erkut to get away, but he was too quick, blocking her kick with ease, and pushing her back. Lowenna sought to pull her cape free, but couldn't break his grip. The others were all showing sign that their vision was improving, Lowenna was quickly running out off time. She jumped and while in the air and let two daggers fly, one aimed at Erkut's chest the other at his head.

 

Erkut took a step back, blocked both daggers but had to let go of the cape to do so. Before she had landed, Lowenna placed her two fingers on her crystal and swung her arms out, and as soon as she touched the ground, she jumped again. This time, she saw high into the sky, a pair of crimson wings, keeping her aloft.

 

“After her,” Erkut shouted, as he threw one of Lowennas daggers back at her. Azmil's vision had recovered enough that he could see her and let an arrow fly. Lowenna brought her arms in and started to fall, avoiding the dagger, but the arrow whizzed passed her nose. Lowenna had been lucky, that Azmil's vision was still not fully recovered.

 

Nera was now flying, gaining on Lowenna and Erkut had jumped onto the roof just below her. Lowenna thrust her arms out and started to glide away. Unfortunately, Nera was faster. Turning in the air Lowenna taped her crystal to summon the fire and pushed towards Nera. There was a new problem, she couldn't fly with one arm, and the flames flew off in the wrong direction, she couldn't aim in the air.

 

Lowenna cursed to herself as she pushed arms out to straighten her wings, swooping upwards trying to get away, but Erkut was still on her trail, and Nera was close, firing lightning from her gauntlet not having the same problems Lowenna was.

 

Lowenna turned and twisted in the air, but her wing colour was already fading. She went lower turning behind some tall buildings, trying to keep out of Nera's sight, but knew she only had moments before both Erkut and Nera would both be on her.

 

The temple with the gold roof was right in front of her. She went higher over its wall, turned and went behind it. Nera had seen her. “She is behind the palace,” she shouted, to Erkut who was jumping from roof top to roof top. Lowenna was desperately looking for somewhere to hide. She saw a garden with lots of beautiful flowers, trees, statues and a large water feature which led to a large pond.

 

Lowenna couldn't see Nera for the moment, she turned her wrists and at full speed headed straight for the pond, she slowed at the last instant wrapped her cape around her, held her breath and splashed into the water.

 

Nera was searching the garden from above. She didn't know if the Lowenna was here but there was no sigh of where else she could have gone. “Nera you see her?” Erkut shouted as he landed in the garden.

 

“No sign of her but she has to be close” Nera called back.

 

After a few moments the lawman in red catching up, “We should not disturb the queen's privet area,” he said to Erkut.

 

Erkut started to protest, “But the Lowenna could be here.”

 

“If we are caught the queen will be angry,” the lawman in red replied.

 

Erkut paused for a second, “Nera,” he shouted, “check the surrounding areas, stay out of the palace grounds.” Nera threw him a strange look but obeyed the order by flying away.

 

Erkut returned his attention to the lawman in red, “We will find her.”

 

“When you do, bring her to the queen.”

 

“The queen's will be done,” Erkut replied with a bow, before leaving the garden, followed by the lawman dressed in red.

 

 

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Copyright © © 2015 by Robert Stevens All Rights Reserved

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