The shouting voices became louder and louder. A young soldier ran back to the room, looking disheartened and stressed. “S-sir, we have a problem,” he stuttered.
“What’s going on?” whispered one of the soldiers to another. The middle aged soldier, with medals pined to the breast of his uniform stood up from his chair and shut his book with a clap.
“What is the commotion?” asked the older soldier.
“Well, you see there is this person. They are making a fuss and we can’t seem to calm them down.”
The older man sighed, “really now.”
The thundering sound of heavy boots reverberated through the building as the mysterious person came closer. Castor on the other hand was thoroughly amused and if the soldiers had been nicer to him he may have attempted not two show his pleasure at that distress. A figure in a long dark coat appeared in the door way, with a large hood obscuring their face.
“By Fidim Castor! Why did you go and get yourself arrested?” proclaimed the figure in a booming voice.
The figure removed their hood and standing in the doorway was the most beautiful woman any of the soldiers had ever seen. Many of them gasped only now realizing that the loud and violent person was in fact a woman.
“Helen, what are you doing here? HOW did you get here?”
All the soldiers stared at Helen as if she were manna from heaven and they were starving in the desert. They were entranced by her deep dark eyes and glistening umber skin…..
“Castor, that is not important. What did you do to get arrested? And HOW did you get all these injuries?”
……until she spoke and they were swiftly snapped back to reality. They remembered that she had forcefully entered a military building. They remembered that she was loud, violent and rude but those eyes were a snare they did not want to escape.
“What did he do to get arrested?” asked Helen turning to the soldier who was still holding Castor by the shoulder.
“What- I um… uh-”
“What’s wrong are you having a fit?”
“No Helen. You seem to have forgotten that the sight of you knocks Muktaba out of the heads of lesser men.”
“What?” said the soldier furiously glaring at Castor and tightening his grip.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” replied Castor to his captor, “Muktaba is a god of wisdom and learning. One says ‘Muktaba has been knocked out of ones head’ if one is acting like a complete dumb ass.”
“Castor please stop angering the local military, we don’t want this to escalate into a international conflict. Though these men probably have as much influence in international politics as a termite in a chess game.”
“He was fighting in public,” said a voice in the room.
“Who was what now?” asked Helen who was only half-paying attention.
“That was why he was arrested,” said the older soldier and punctuating his sentence with a cough for good measure.
“Oh,” remarked Helen. “How much is his fine? I can pay it now.”
“It is not that simple,” said the soldier, “this is the second time he got arrested so he needs to have a judge look over his case.”
“Alright, what did he do the first time?” asked Helen nearing the end of her patience.
“He was in possession of a large amount of money and a magic jeweled knife. Items thought to have been stolen by him,” replied the soldier.
Helen sighed loudly exasperated and rolled her eyes, “Castor- how did you get arrested for stealing your own things?”
“I don’t Helen! The people here are mad and they won’t listen to a word I say!”
Helen turned to the older soldier and pointed to Castor, “you know he is a prince right? I don’t know if you WANT to be the people arrested the future king of Apophis. You know the Fidiom are known to be vengeful and bloodthirsty. Do you really want to insight the wrath of the people blessed by the gods?”
“He wasn’t lying about being a Prince?” sputtered the older soldier.
“Your gods gave you ears and brains. Why not use them?”
“Let him go,” said the older soldier.
“But what if she is lying as well? They might be accomplices,” argued the soldier not letting go of Castor’s shoulder.
“Well,” said Helen reaching into the pocket of her coat, “I, unlike my brother, actually brought proof of my identity.” From within her pocket Helen too out a gold disk with a delicate geometric emblem etched on it. “This is my emblem. You see the lion, that means I am part of the royal family of Pyropolis.”
The soldiers came closer and stared at the golden disk.
“I can’t believe they let you take that out of the palace,” said Castor just as shocked to see Helen’s seal.
“Well, I would not say they ‘let’ me take it. But I needed some proof of who I was and they won’t mind me borrowing it.”
The older soldier sighed, “let him go,” he repeated. This time the soldier quickly withdrew his hand and stepped back.
“Where are my things?” demanded Castor and a soldier scurried away to get Castor’s belongings. Castor walked over to Helen with a goofy smile. “Thank you for saving me udade.”
“I’m just glad you are alright,” replied Helen, gripping Castor’s forearm affectionately.