PART TWO: THE RESCUE
Maude stood her ground with as much confidence she could muster despite her sense of foreboding. Word had already been sent to Wintria that she knew who had kidnapped the lost prince of Wintria and the Prince had immediately called for a meeting with the Sacred Order of the White Cloak representatives including her…
As suspected, the Prince did not want to meet with her in Wintria. The previous year’s events had led the coldest country in the Third Plane of Existence to take drastic measures and even so, the Order of the Black Cloak had overcome the security measures in place with relative ease and so the Prince would not risk the safety of his nation again.
Prince Alyan met with the Sacred Order at a safe location near the border between the Second Plane of Existence and the Third that were connected through the Budding Lake. The entire location was surrounded by elite forces and the most potent wards were put in place to ensure the safety of the Prince.
The Prince himself was rather shy as compared to his more confident mate and Protector, Thea. With them was a stunningly gorgeous woman in uniform suggesting that she was a part of an agency similar to the Protectors’ Agency. The woman took an intimidating stance and observed all Sacred Order members with great scrutiny.
“We received word that you know who took our son?” Thea asked aggressively, directly cutting to the point.
“Yes, we do,” stated their leader.
“How did you come to learn of this information?” the red-haired femme fatale type woman asked them seriously.
Their leader responded confidently, “We have a secure means of spying on our wayward sisters-of-sorts and have gained critical intel on them. We have the coordinates that will lead you right to your missing son as well as a well known stronghold of the enemy’s agents.”
The woman frowned and shook her head, displeased with the answer.
“Give us the coordinates to my son’s location and we shall take care of the rest,”
“Very well. Maude, please give the requested coordinates,” the leader stated.
Maude nodded and did as instructed.
“Are you certain that these coordinates are correct?” the woman asked, her intimidating stare piercing straight to Maude’s soul.
Maude nodded, quivering in terror of the woman.
“Then you wouldn’t mind tagging along with us, right? I mean, you need to ensure we don’t get lost along the way or anything of the sort,”
Maude bowed respectfully. “It is my honor to accompany you, my lady,”
The woman’s frown deepened even as Maude bid goodbye to her sisters and joined the Prince of Wintria’s party. Plans were made over the course of seven days to ensure proper planning for the raid. During that time, Maude remained under the watchful eyes of the Wintrian soldiers. The gorgeous woman was also almost always there, constantly casting suspicious looks on Maude’s way making her fidgety.
When the day of the raid finally came, Maude hang back as the Wintrian Soldiers covertly secured the location once they had unraveled the complex Magical Wards in place. Once secure, the soldiers swept through the rooms one after the other saving hostages and clearing floor by floor until only the Top Floor remained.
The Top Floor held the most dangerous rooms. Each room held booby-traps galore which made sweeping the rooms even more challenging. Maude was thankfully able to give real-time information that saw to the safety of the Wintrian elite force. The femme fatale woman was even more suspicious of Maude and how she possibly knew about all the booby-traps set in place.
“My intel on this is rock solid, Miss… um…”
“Protector Alison,” the woman corrected.
“And how do we know that this is not just some elaborate trap you and the other Order members set up? How can we possibly trust that you are on our side?”
“Protector Alison, I am a force for good. I want these children to be freed and returned to their homes as much as you do,”
“Maude Harrington, I have done my homework on you. I know you had a Shadow Twin yourself and that she was kidnapped by the same Dark Seer that kidnapped Thea’s son. Are you hoping that we shall spare your twin’s life in gratitude for all your help?”
“My sister is beyond help. Do with her as you please Protector Alison,”
The woman stared deeply into her eyes and Maude gulped as silently as she could muster. Protector Alison scared the hell out of her.
“So if we kill your twin sister tonight, are you saying you would be content with that?”
Maude nodded. “She made her own choice,”
“You expect me to believe that you would so easily watch your sister die?”
“I am a White Cloak, Protector Alison. We do what we must to ensure justice prevails,”
“Don’t talk to me about justice! The White Cloak Order is just as bad as the Black Cloak Order. You think being a vigilante ensures justice prevails? That is just a fantasy. The only ones who ensure true justice are the hard-working men and women in legitimate security agencies. You and your kind often times get in the way of justice and inadvertedly end up making bad situations worse with your misguided notion of heroism…”
“If you or your comrades legitimately wanted to do some good in the world, you would join any of the respectable law enforcement agencies in the world but you want to become a law onto your own hands and then claim the glory of being a force for good when in actuality you are not. I need not give you statistics showing how you and your band of ‘heroes’ wind up committing more crime in the name of justice,” Protector Alison ranted.
Maude remained silent after the Protector’s angry rant. She was used to law enforcers being angry at the Order and knew nothing she could say would change the Protector’s mind.
Several moments of silence followed punctuated only by Maude giving the occasional word of caution to prevent harm to any of the Wintrian soldiers. Eventually, they had the Dark Seer cornered and captured but there appeared to be no sign of the lost prince in the building. The Dark Seer smirked even as she was apprehended and taken away.
All eyes remained on Maude and she felt the weight of their accusations press heavily upon her shoulders.
“Thea, ask the soldiers to retreat. I have a feeling that this was a planned ambush all along,” Protector Alison stated angrily turning to face Maude.
“It wasn’t an ambush but by all means; keep an eye on the Dark Seer. She must be up to something,”
“And we are just supposed to keep trusting you? You led us on a wild goose chase. Why don’t you really tell us the truth? Are you allied with your twin sister?”
“Of course I’m not… I… I know where they are! They must be hiding in the Shadow World. That is what happened,”
“If you are unwilling to confess to this being an elaborate ruse to hinder our progress in finding and securing the lost prince of Wintria, we will find ways to loosen your tongue,” Protector Alison threatened.
“Your lack of faith astounds me, Protector Alison. You were willing to trust in my word all the way up until now. Everything I said to you has happened accordingly all up until the present moment and because of this small fork in the road, you are going to discredit everything else that I have successfully predicted? And what do you take me for anyway? Would it make sense for me to bring you straight here and expose my base of operations if it were all some kind of trick?” Maude asked her flabbergasted.
“You know very well that we cannot enter the Shadow World and therefore cannot authenticate whether the lost prince is really there so this may very well be what I purpoted it to be-“
Maude closed her eyes for a moment and listened to the words Sven whispered into her heart. She then opened them once more and stated, “To prove my word to you, I shall bring the lost prince directly to you.”
“How’s so?” Protector Alison asked flabbergasted by her statement.
“I shall secure a means of traveling to the Shadow World and bring the child back to his mother,”
TO BE CONTINUED…
And thus the Saga of a budding new heroine continues. Haven’t met Maude yet? Worry not. The link to the previous entry in the intriguing tale is listed below;