Up the steps to the King's castle, Secrat realized he hadn't the faintest idea of where prisoners were kept. But somewhere about the castle was the safest assumption.
The Castle started at the complete other-side of Italina, the very end.
Copé was fortunate enough to find a coachman as escort by horse to the castle. It cost him almost all the coin he'd nicked from the Heavy Man at the Bell's Brothers Pub.
The steps leading to the castle looked endless, and to the left and right of them were decorative props. A fountain made to look like some sort of flower, the water falling out and down the petals. It was the closest anyone in Italina had come to seeing an actual living plant. The other side had a large granite sign, one with the same stone used for the walls. Carved in elegant letters, the sign decreed all the various rules Italina citizens were expected to abide by. At the bottom, it was sign with Livius Reid's name.
Copé went up the steps and felt immediate fatigue. Useless messenger boys for King Harries or not, the Knights deserved credit for navigating the steps on a regular basis.
Once Copé looked up and did see more steps, he felt relief. With all the sweating he'd done, it was a wonder how his armor didn't look more bronze than silver. Along with relief, he also felt thankfulness for the emerald colors instilled in him by the Aeonian. They, at once terrified him, and still terrified him on some level, but they had proved their worth, allowing him to more clearly make out figures that other-wise would have been hidden in the night.
Lined with a porcelain flooring, Copé expecting nothing less from Italina's King. Similar to the streets, the floor's shined without blemish, unscathed by dirt or grime, but as Copé walked upon the snow-white porcelain, the footprints behind him were clearly visible. They cleaned it THAT often.
His face shined on the floor, and through the reflection, he saw the dried mud and blood, a gash on his cheek he hadn't even noticed, and how the bags under his eyes told the tale of sleep deprivation and exhaustion.
The castle's size was gargantuan and consisted of far more than simply the King's Throne.
Acera's layout was far less complicated. Though, their castle did sit far off, floating in the Amisoic Sea.
The walls were painted glass, with hooded men, allegedly The Aeonians, and they were standing on a mountain. Presumably, the Mountain of Jalint. Knights and swordsman, and nobleman that Italina natives would surely recognize, but were lost on Secrat. It was all very immaculate but Copé did do his best not to be distracted by the scenery. He did notice though, of five hooded figures on the mountain, one of them had a painted emerald aura.
Copé rubbed his eyes. In the night, he could see green figures and the works, but it wasn't as potent in the lit scenery of the castle.
A dark red rug started up with gold little strings at the end of each side. To Copé's left and his right, he saw staircases, doorways that led up and down, but neither with signs answering where they led.
Before him, the rug went on and on, and stairs came, encompassing the whole room from then on.
The prisons would be downstairs, at least by Copé's thought process.
They'd be downstairs in a dungeon. All his Flux companions.
Secrat ventured off through one of the doorways, the one on the left-hand side.
He found a lie – an excuse, one that would work. 'The King ordered me to interrogate our prisoners.' That way if he was stopped by another knight, he could ask them to accompany and lead him.
Down the stairs, the thief went, slowly. The stuffy smell of nothingness in his nostrils. The scents of the town made Italina a city he had no further interest in visiting.
The end of the stairs assured he was on the right track, or at least, a right track. A large door concealed the end of the stairs, cracked open, he brought it open the rest of the way. It wasn't the prisons, but rather, a room of a different sort. "Their trophy room," Secrat whispered beneath his breath.
The Statue of Livius Reid was the first thing to catch his eyes. But there was more than that. Much more. Rivers of coin and gold in neat stacks. Nay, it was more than a river, it was an Amisoic Sea's worth.
His mouth was watery by the sight, but Copé swallowed his spit. None of this could be his.
He turned himself one way in the room and found himself face to face with a fellow knight. "What brings you down here?" The voice sounded familiar, but it could have just been his formal tone.
But, at the same time as Secrat, the Knight remembered him, while twirling his mustache between his fingers.
"It's you!" The Knight cried out, unsheathing the sword from his scabbard. The room was brightly illuminated by candle light, this was, indeed, The Knight from back at the Italina gates.
"Ah, fuck," Secrat said at once, looking around the room with some empty hope for a weapon.
His knives were beneath his armor, and nothing else he could see about the room looked to offer him any assistance. He backed away slowly, keeping eye contact with The Knight.
"Stop moving or, so help me, I will make you a puddle in this immaculate and historic castle." He had his sword readied on his shoulder for a swipe.
"And, I wouldn't want that," Copé said, still looking around the room, then, at a last whim, snatching a handful of coin, he threw a pile of gold at The Knight. It did nothing, clinging against his armor. True to his word, The Knight swung his sword fast. It missed Copé, who cowered to the floor. The sword slashed into a pile of the coin, bringing it down on The Knight, who quickly readjusted.
"Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck," Secrat mumbled over and over, capitalizing on the distraction, he fought to his feet and ran deeper into the room, but could clearly hear The Knight following behind.
The armor slowed him down, and with it, he would not be able to escape the castle. "Stop!" The Knight yelled, and Copé obliged, albeit because he was turning the corner to hide behind a large vase.
The Knight stopped on the other-side of the vase; it came at mid-height to them. He beamed at Secrat, who, on the other-side, was ready to run at any moment. "You people are all the scum of Maharris, you know that!?" The Knight yelled, cornering the vase to the other-side.
Secrat did the same, practically switching places with The Knight. "The King ordered me to interrogate the prisoners!" Copé yelled, breathing heavily. "Oh, you'll be seeing them shortly," The Knight yelled, swinging his blade over the vase.
He missed again. Swinging and hitting the Statue of Livius Reid.
"Terribly sorry, please forgive," The Knight said, patting the statue on the back as he continued his pursuit of The Thief.
Secrat ran back to the stairs, throwing chunks of gold and chalices in his opposition's direction. They never seemed to slow him down, however. Then. At once. The Thief heard the thud of something falling behind him.
It was The Knight. Having tripped over his two left feet. Secrat laughed. But when his eyes turned back to what was in-front of him, his smile left his face. Three knights, their swords drawn, staring back at him.
The Thief let a breath escape him, his body drenched with sweat, he took one last glance at the fallen guard, then back at the others.
"Thank God, you're here. This hoodlum was just found by me, trying to STEAL!" Secrat said seriously, then, in a whisper, added: "I think he might be the thief who escaped earlier."
Secrat found himself kneed in the stomach and in handcuffs soon after.
The Red Flux & the Wunderkind THief
Chapter One (1 - 2 - 3)