Amouraq III: The Secret of the Dagger, Chapter 1

He flipped through the newspaper eagerly. He realized how hopelessly old fashioned this method of information gathering had become, but he didn’t have much of a choice. He certainly couldn’t risk getting tracked through a technological device, and most of his potion ingredients had gone to a more prominent part of the project. For now, the printed press would do. Typically, he didn’t gather much from a source with such limited space, but he had a good feeling about it today! After several pages of fruitless effort, he finally found something useful! After a gleeful, celebratory clap, he gladly folded back the page to discuss it with the others.

He heard a knock on the door of his cavern office, and his cold, booming voice responded, “Who is it?”

“It’s Simeon, your majesty,” the man on the other side told him.

“You may enter,” he permitted.

A tall, nervous man timidly stepped inside, but he didn’t move much farther than the doorway. “Your majesty, your men have all arrived!”

He relished this update. “Excellent! Tell them I’ll be there shortly.”

“Yes, your majesty!” Simeon bowed and hastily exited.

After Simeon left, he quickly dashed over to a small mirror hanging on the wall. His jet black hair stayed smoothly in place, and other than his dark irises, his eyes didn’t show a hint of color. His formfitting tee shirt and loose khakis didn’t have the same commanding effect as his imported suits, but he found that dressing more uniformly swayed more people in their current situation. Some people may critique him for spending extra time pouring over his looks, but he knew all too well from his business experience that the right image played a powerful role in persuasion. Satisfied with his visage, he left the room.

Down the rocky halls, he could hear the chatter of a couple dozen men and women. He couldn’t make out what their topics of conversation centered around, but it pleased him to hear that they sounded excited. Keeping this in mind, he comfortably stepped inside.

The room fell silent upon his entrance. Simeon obsequiously announced, “Presenting… the future king of Amouraq… Xavier Ryder!”

After a brief applause, the room got quiet again as they gave Xavier their undivided attention. Xavier held his newspaper behind his back and stood before them like a general. “Good afternoon, everyone!”

“Good afternoon!” the room echoed back in unison.

Xavier firmly addressed them all, “Let’s never forget why we’re all here! Alexander’s original plan for Amouraq got stolen, and his reputation fell apart with all this nonsense about falling in love with the Nymph Queen of Good! Ever since he passed, each generation continued to take our land further and further away from his dearest ambition. After our previous sovereign, King Patrick, passed, our hopes for a brighter future got dashed when Queen Emily took the throne. Her radical ideas about quote end quote fairness and equality are doomed to failure, and if we want to save our country, we need to fight back against her insipid reign!”

“Here, here!” the room chimed.

“Now,” Xavier continued, “our secret allies aren’t due to arrive yet, and we’ll need their assistance to win against this wretched regime. I can see I have a talented group standing before me, however, the castle dungeons hold some people with invaluable skills that could help us expedite some of our efforts. We need to save them so they can help us win our noble cause! Normally, the castle is too full of workers and tourists to really pull off an efficient rescue, so we’ll need a massive distraction to keep as many people as possible out of our way, especially that good for nothing boyfriend of hers! Today, I think I’ve found a way to do that!”

Xavier held up the newspaper article, which featured a woman with coffee colored hair, golden brown eyes, and a curvy physique standing side by side with a man that had copper colored hair, deep, blue eyes, a strong jawline, and a fit body. The title of the piece read: “Queen Emily & Her Beau, Stephen, to Hold Ball in Celebration of Founder’s Day.” Xavier explained to everyone, “This is a huge event held every fall, and most of the kingdom will be celebrating all the lies they’ve been taught about King Alexander. Can you think of a better time to attack than during this event?” The room appeared to agree with him, and Xavier smiled maliciously.

“Stephen? Stephen!” Emily searched throughout the castle halls slightly miffed that she had to so much searching in her high heels and floor length gown. She sincerely hoped that when she found him that he would be dressed and ready to go! She saw a light in the lounge room, and when she stepped inside the room, she saw that the balcony outside contained the glow that she had seen. “Stephen? What are you doing? We’re gonna be late!” He didn’t reply, and she started to become annoyed that she had to all the way out there just to get some answers from him. She thought that he he better have important reasons for this or she would really get mad at him!

As soon as Emily went outside, a bunch of fairy lights illuminated the area, and Emily suddenly felt as though she had walked into a wonderland! Stephen’s heart beat wildly as he emerged in front of her, and she gasped as he got down on one knee! He held her left hand as he ardently spoke, “Emily, ever since I met you, you filled my life with unending adventure! I didn’t realize how lost I was until you made me feel like I found my true home. You’ve made me happier than I’ve ever been, and I hope you’ll do me the honor of becoming my wife!” As Emily’s eyes began to water up, he reached into his pocket and revealed a small, velvety box with a diamond ring in it! “Will you marry me?”

Once Emily wiped the happy tears from her cheeks, she croaked out, “Yes!” Her hands were trembling as he slipped the ring on her finger, and afterwards, they gave each other a passionate kiss. For a while, Stephen just held her and basked in the glory of the moment.

Later on, in the grand ballroom, several tables were set up with exquisite linen and porcelain plates. The guests all wore their finest as they mingled, and a string quartet played an elegant tune. A stocky, middle-aged man with a bushy mustache paced a bit as a plump, genial-looking woman and a gaunt, lanky young man tried to chitchat with him to calm his nerves. The room suddenly began to hus as Stephen and Emily arrived arm in arm. The pacing man grew relieved, and as Stephen and Emily took their place in the center of the head table, the man pointed to his throat and chanted, “Grandsomo!” His voice reverberated across the room as he requested, “Ladies and Gentlemen, please have a seat. We’re ready to begin!”

Everyone took their seats and gave the man their undivided attention as he speechified, “Before we enjoy our Founder’s Day feast, I’d like to thank all of the people who made this evening possible. First of all, thank you to my good friends, Yvette and Oscar, for helping with the decorations” He indicated to the man and woman who were talking to him before Emily and Stephen arrived, and the room applauded. “Thank you to Allison and her mentor, Alastair, for helping with the security details.” A pretty, thin young woman and a man with silver hair and a matching beard briefly waved their hands as the crowd acknowledged them. “Thank you to Penny Melrose and Bernard Andrew for the press coverage of the event.” A middle-aged woman with an outdated hairstyle and an ample amount of make up that failed to make her appear younger and a sharp, good-looking man did a half bow as everyone clapped. “I don’t want to sound anything less than humble, but our beloved queen wouldn’t let me go on if I didn’t take the time to recognize myself for cooking the food tonight.” Emily non-verbally communicated the truth of his words, and the crowd applauded for him. “And last but not least, I’d like to thank the hosts of the evening, Queen Emily and her boyfriend, Stephen!”

Emily corrected him, “Actually, he’s my fiance!”

She held out her hand to show off her ring, and the room buzzed with excitement. Penny and Bernard directed their camera crew to get shots of the ring immediately, and Penny asked Emily, “How’d he propose? When do you plan to hold the ceremony?”

Emily answered, “I’ll give you all of the details later. I’m sorry, Dagan, I didn’t mean to steal your thunder!”

“It’s okay, I understand!” Dagan delightedly grinned at them. He cleared his throat to refocus his attention to the last part of his speech. He waved his hands, and champagne appeared before everyone. “A toast, to the man who, without his effort, made this evening possible, King-!”

His words were deafened when the sound of an explosion erupted, and the vibrations of the occurrence shook the whole room! Some of the guests fell down from the force of the vibration, and a few people screamed. Stephen instructed to Dagan, Yvette, and Oscar, “Keep her safe!” He turned to Emily and promised, “I’ll be back!” He gave her a quick kiss and bolted away from the table.

“What just happened?” Allison inquired to her colleagues, who had sprang up and were ready to go into action.

“Let’s go find out!” Stephen replied. He drew out his gun, and Allison, Alastair, and the other federal agents followed him out. Xavier's New Plan

2 thoughts on “Amouraq III: The Secret of the Dagger, Chapter 1

  1. Wow, Part III already! You work fast, Dana! Fantastic!

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