Kasmira vociferated, “May I have your attention please?”
The pub got really quiet as everyone turned to her. One scary-looking villager leered, “Are you going to do a little dance for us, lamby lamb?” The crowd laughed in agreement, chanting, “Take it off! Take it off!”
Anthony drew out his sword and threatened the crowd, “This lady deserves your respect. So, at least listen to what she has to say.” They unwillingly bit their tongues, and Anthony looked to Kasmira to continue.
Kasmira went on, “Now, I’m sure you’re all familiar with the upsurge of the Blood Warriors…”
One villager opinionated, “Them townies finally getting a taste of their own medicine, eh?” The crowd murmured in agreement.
Halvor gave her an I-told-you-so look, but Kasmira didn’t give up. “So, you think everyone who falls victim to King Davidson agrees with the way you’re treated? Did it ever occur to you that most people have no idea the terrible condition our village is in?” The crowd was silent and stone faced. She took that as a sign that she got their attention. “Prince Orlando is the rightful king, and he does not condone the mistreatment of anyone. We are trying to put him into power, and furthermore, we want to stop them from turning the whole country into an Outcasts’ Village.” They remained quiet, and Kasmira knew she hadn’t sold them yet. Even though she didn’t believe anything good about her father, she decided since they thought he was a hero, she would use that as a selling point. “My father, Donovan, would have told you to help me. He had a plan to help both our kingdom and this village, so won’t you help his daughter try to make this world a better place for everyone?” Their expressions softened a little as she talked about Donovan. She concluded with, “You’re all so strong and brave, no doubt that our harsh conditions have toughened you. I know you are the best soldiers for the job! Fight for us, and we will fight for you! A lot of you are witches and wizards forced to hide here from the Blood Warriors; are you going to let all this happen to your brothers and sisters? This isn’t just a war between Blood Warriors and Rebels-it’s a fight to save humanity! Won’t you help us? Please!”
The room stayed quiet for a moment, and then one villager said, “We will…think on it.” The crowd seemed to agree with him. Kasmira looked at Halvor, who indicated that it was probably as close to yes as they would get. Kasmira sighed, and Anthony helped her off the bar so they could leave.
As they climbed back over the hill, Anthony complained, “We came all this way, and they’re not even going to come!”
Kasmira corrected, “They said maybe. We could’ve asked more villagers.”
“What good would it have done?” Anthony disagreed. “If they were the nicest people in town, we would have a better chance of convincing a brick wall to come! What a waste of time!”
“I don’t think so,” Kasmira argued. “They heard what we had to say, and a few of them may come eventually. I mean, when you first heard rumors of the Rebellion, were you keen on joining?”
Anthony decided not to argue. His mood elevated when their cottage was in sight. “Ah, home sweet home! We’ll be much better off help Holly and Svetlana than at that village.”
Kasmira said, “I’m going to go join Amberline in the aristocrat’s village.”
Anthony grinned and teased her, “Hoping to run into a certain prince so you could sneak off into the woods again?”
Kasmira blushed but disagreed, “Actually, I want to see if anyone knows anything about that thief.”
“You could do both,” Anthony joked. “That’s what I would do.” Kasmira laughed, and Anthony said, “Seriously, I would spend as much time together as you can while you can.”
“I’ll keep that in mind,” Kasmira told him. “I’ll be back before dinner.”
“Good luck,” Anthony said as he went into the house. Kasmira kept on walking.
The change in demeanor of the aristocrats towards Kasmira in her new clothes was completely drastic. They looked at her like she was a duchess passing through. She didn’t see any sign of Amberline, and she wasn’t sure who she could ask about the thief. She saw the nice man who gave her change and Joseph the mead. She knew he wouldn’t mind giving her information, therefore, she approached him, “Excuse me, sir!”
“Yes madam?” he said ever so politely.
“I was wondering if you could give me some information about a crime that happened here a long time ago,” she told him.
He looked a little uneasy, but he consented. “It depends on what crime you mean.”
“Well,” she asked, “Do you know anything about the theft and murder of the Gildenharts?”
AT the mention of their names, his eyes widened and he fled. Kasmira ran after him. He ran down a somewhat secluded road, and, fearing that she may lose him, Kasmira used her magic to make him trip and fall. He rolled onto his back with a great deal of pain. He chastised her, “I’m an old man! Surely you should’ve realized that something would break!”
Kasmira did not apologize. “I can mend your ankle, but first I must get important information from you.”
“Why is it so important? I happened so long ago, and I was so young…”
“I know, I-”
“I admit it! As a lad, I was a thief, and once or twice I had to hurt or kill to get treasure, but I was idiotically noble. I took from people with greedy souls, so I felt like I was doing the world a service by ruining their lives. I regret it now, which is why I try my hardest to give back to people who could use this treasure more than me! I don’t have much longer on this earth-are you really going to take me to prison?”
“Me? No. I’m not interested in the actual crime against my grandparents. I-”
“Your great grandparents? Then you want revenge!”
“No! Let me talk! I want to know who you sold the scepter to!”
He breathed a sigh of relief. “I wouldn’t have blamed you if you were angry, but I could see why you would want the treasures that were rightfully yours. I can give you gold if you would rather not track down all of the trinkets I sold.”
“You can keep your gold. No, really. I’ve never wanted it. Seriously, it’s not totally your fault they’re dead. We were cursed by Garlord, so if you didn’t kill them, something else would have, so stop feeling bad for me. Now, this is very important…who did you sell the scepter to?”
He thought about it for a moment. “Hmm…Oh yes, I remember him now. He was a nice young chap who said he had a problem with a wizard and he paid me all he had for it. I don’t think I asked him his name, and I barely remember what he looked like. He looked kind of like you, I guess. That’s all I know! I wish I knew more! I would give him his money back, if he’s still alive.”
“He is alive. I wouldn’t give him your money though, he’s a Blood Warrior.”