Castor was lead to a dimly to a room filled with soldiers and instructed to sit on an uncomfortable stool. A middle aged solider holding a book and pen sat on a chair in front of him and slowly opened up his book. Castor noticed the other soldiers glancing at him from the side of their eyes. The older soldier had several medals pinned on the breast of his uniform. Castor was unfamiliar with ranks in the Saxon army but suspected he must be a Colonel or have some other equivalent rank. The soldier cleared his throat to get Castors attention.
“So?” replied Castor.
“What is your name?”
“Oh right…. Castor Atsu Al-Malik,”
“That’s quite a name.”
“Yes- they are all from different countries.”
“Where are you from?”
“Er…Pyropolis is the city and Apophis is the country.”
“You’re far from home is see.”
“What are you doing here? In this country?”
“For what reason are you traveling?”
“Can’t one just travel for traveling sake and to see the world?” replied Castor with an awkward laugh.
“One can, but I feel like that is not your reason for traveling.”
“Um… well I don’t know if you will believe me even if I tell you the truth.”
“Does this truth have anything to do with the brawl you got into earlier.”
“Then the truth.”
“Well… I am a prince,”
“Is that so?” remarked the soldier making notes in his book. Castor was agitated with the hint of sarcasm the soldier spoke with.
“Yes. So the fortune teller claimed that I should be the next king and not my older brother. This was very upsetting to my father so he sent me on a “quest” to get a rose in bloom from his country. However..er… that was a ruse to… uh… have me killed to get me out of the way. So right before we reached the land I jumped out of the boat and swam to land. Then we walked through an obviously haunted swamp, climbed a mountain and got a rose branch. Rode with a group of caravan for over a week during which the caravans where attacked by bandits who I fought. I stopped them but they left with a broken rib. Then we arrived here to get a boat to take us back Pyropolis but them got ambushed by Pyropolis soldier who, I assume were ordered by my father to kill me.”
“Who is we?”
“You said ‘we’, who is your travel companion.”
“I…er… don’t have one. I just misspoke.”
“Is that so?”
“The other men had your brawl with, who stabbed you- we let them go.”
“Well, for fighting in public it is only a four crown fine and they paid their fine and left.”
“If I pay the fine will you let me go as well?”
“Under normal circumstances I would but-”
“Unlike them this is not the first time you got in trouble. A few weeks ago we received a report from a village not to far from here about a foreigner with a magic knife who threatened to attack them, resisted arrest. This man was your approximate height and approximate skin tone.”
“Oh yes. Once is an accident twice is criminal offence.”
“But that time I did not even do anything. They just assumed that I was a thief and a smuggler because I am a foreigner.”
“Well it was suspicious. You were traveling with a lot of money and very expensive decadent knife. A well-to-do man, like you claim to be would not be traveling alone. You had neither guards or entourage.”
“I did have guards but they were conspiring to kill me.”
“So you claim…”
“I claim nothing! It’s the truth!” cried Castor in frustration. Silence followed his outburst and all the soldiers in the room stared at Castor.
“Yes. Well, we unfortunately cannot simply take your word for it.”
“How am I supposed to prove myself?”
“Um.. yes. Do you want to know what I think?”
“What do you think?”
“I think you are lying.”
“Lying about what?”
“Everything. You story about being a condemned prince is fine and all for a fairytale but things like that don’t really happen. I think that you are a thief. I think you were traveling with you rich master who you killed and robbed. The money you carry and the knife you wield were both stolen from him. I think the men who attack you, are your old masters guards trying to catch their master’s killer.”
“Why? What in the wide world makes you think that is more logical than what I said.”
“Well, that is what the Apophis soldiers said and unlike you they have their identification and paper in order. So, Castor- what is the truth?”
“What I said is the truth! I am the prince! They were trying to kill me!”
The old soldier sighed, “Son, I cannot help you if you do not tell the truth.”
“I am telling the truth.”
The old soldier turned and called a younger soldier to take Castor back to his cell.
“Wait!” shouted Castor as he was being pulled up from the stool. “What is going to happen to me now?”
“Since you have two incidents you will be presented before judge who will decide what to do with you. The Apophis soldiers wanted you to be given to their custody and I would recommend that the judge when you see them.
“If you do that they are going to kill me!” shouted Castor as he was being pulled out of the room.
A loud crashing sound from outside reverberated. Everyone was quiet, even Castor. Everyone turned to look at the door. Another loud thudding sound was heard. Shouting of loud but unclear voice followed. Two of the soldiers got up and went to find out what the commotion was. More shouting of more voices.