Chapter 70: Market

The war against Azseldo Kingdom was in the planning stages and this included Damario looking over the soldiers that would fight in the war. At first glance, Damario immediately noticed that the number of soldiers was insufficient, so he made note to increase the number of soldiers using the farmers. As he continued to overlook the soldiers, he suddenly noticed that someone within the ranks was missing.

“Charnak?”

“Yes, your majesty?”

“Where is Molech?”

“The captain has left to guard the priestess.”

“He went to guard Lady Nira?”

Charnak nodded and added, “He also took another soldier with him.”

Damario rubbed his chin wondering why Molech would chose to guard the priestess instead of training the soldiers for the war, but then a thought dawned on him: who was the soldier that accompanied Molech.

“Charnak, do you know the name of the soldier that went with Molech?”

“…I do not, but I seem to remember that Molech does favor him.”

With those words alone, Damario realized that the soldier was Grian, the soldier that Molech had high hopes for and the soldier who was the first to discover Lady Nira on the shores of the kingdom. He didn’t fail to remember that Grian was also the one that Lady Nira seemed to favor, especially when she vanished for a short time before becoming priestess. Damario clenched his fist with his form slightly shaking. He wanted to rush where the temple was to strike Grian from Nira’s sight, but he knew that he just couldn’t leave when in the presence of the soldiers and he believed that Molech would keep Grian in check. He just had to be patient.

Damario looked back to Charnak to order him to at least keep an eye on Molech during his guard duty, but then noticed that Charnak had vanished without a trace leaving Damario in bewilderment.

Meanwhile, Yanira was in the market gazing at the stands with excitement in her eyes. No matter how many times she saw the market, she still found it to be a wondrous place. She approached each of the stands making sure to greet the owners with a warm smile before buying an item from the stand.

As she shopped, Grian watched her with a smile and then looked at Molech saying, “Thanks again for allowing me to watch over her.”

“You’re welcome, but I expect you to be aware that any romantic feelings toward the priestess must be discarded.”

“I already said it is not like that,” Grian stated with a sigh, but Molech still seemed unconvinced.

“Grian, Captain!”

Both men looked in Yanira’s direction and saw her waving toward them, urging them to come over. They walked in her direction and felt their eyes widen when they noticed cats around her feet and one was even draped over her shoulder. Yanira giggled in delight as a ginger cat rubbed against her chin and then caressed the cat’s head.

“These cats gathered just as I was about to buy some trout.”

The cats meowed in unison competing for Yanira’s attention. Yanira knelt to the ground and began to caress each of the cats making them purr in satisfaction. The sight of Yanira surrounded by cats brought smiles to all the people, but the moment was cut short when Molech said, “We can’t stay out long, so you should continue shopping.” Yanira nodded petting a black cat and then stood up wishing the gathering cats a soft farewell.

Yanira went to another stand to order some spices, but as did so, Grian glanced at molech saying, “Captain, you should let Lady Nira have some fun when she is here.”

“Not when she is one of the most powerful people here. The danger of her being kidnapped is high and with the news of his majesty wanting to propose, I wouldn’t be surprised if she was kidnapped right this second.”

“I won’t let that happen,” stated Grian, but Molech just shook his head finding Grian’s thoughts naïve. Molech and Grian suddenly caught a waft of honey and saw some sweet buns being held in front of them by none other than Yanira.

“These are for you,” stated Yanira as she palced the sweet buns in their hands, “The Stand owner was really kind and mentioned that the sweet buns are the best in the kingdom, so please enjoy.” Grian nodded giving his thanks; and began to munch on the sweet bun with a satisfied look, but Molech stared at his own for a short while before wrapping it and placing it in his belt pouch.

“You don’t like it?” Yanira asked with a puppy like look, her gaze not leaving Molech.

“I will eat it later, Lady Nira,” stated Molech before urging Yanira to finish her errands in the market. Yanira nodded, but seemed a little saddened this time to Molech’s bewilderment.

When Yanira’s back was turned, Grian glanced at Molech with a smirk saying, “She wanted you to enjoy the sweet bun.”

“I’ll eat it later,” Molech said without any form of regret making Grian sigh and remember that Molech was serious when it came to his assignments, which in this case is guarding the priestess from any harm during her market trip.

Yanira approached a stand selling rice of many varieties and began to order, but paused in her words when the owner of the stand asked, “Is it true that his majesty proposed to you?”

Yanira glanced at the woman of the stand asking, “What do you mean?”

“Word has it that his majesty proposed to you, Lady Priestess, so is it true?”

Yanira shook her head and stated, “Those rumors are false. I haven’t even seen his majesty for a long time, since awoke from my coma, let alone heard him propose marriage.”

The woman sighed saying, “That’s a shame. It would be nice to hear that our darling priestess would soon become queen.” Yanira was silent for a short while, before smiling and continuing her order of the rice.

As the woman poured the rice into a sack, Yanira began to wonder why such a rumor surfaced. Damario hadn’t spoken a word about marriage to her and even if he did, she would refuse, since her engagement with the king of Azseldo Kingdom still stands. Remembering Azseldo Kingdom’s king sent shivers down her spine. She knew she must marry him, but the thought still made her stomach turn. Yanira shook her head and grabbed the bag of rice from the woman saying her thanks.

Yanira turned back to Molech and Grian to say that her errands were completed, but the moment she took five steps in their direction a dark violet symbol in the shape of a wolf materialized under her. Light flashed from the symbol making Yanira gasp and shield her eyes; and then a gust of wind burst out sending sand and objects hurling through the air.

“LADY NIRA!”

Grian ran to grab her, but the people around began to panic at the increasing light and wind; and scattered blocking Grian’s way. Molech, on the other hand, shoved through the panicked crowd and managed to grab Yanira’s wrist pulling her to him.

“Captain?” Yanira muttered as she grabbed the armor upon his chest. Molech held her close saying, “Stay close.” Yanira nodded as she followed Molech through the crowd.

Yanira suddenly heard the cry of a baby and saw an infant wailing as it was flung in the air. She pushed Molech away making him gasp and grab her wrist, but was shocked when he saw Yanira grab the infant from the air with her free hand and hold the infant to her chest. She then returned to Molech saying, “Let’s get this little one to safety.” Molech glanced at the infant, who continued to cry, and then nodded determined to get Yanira and the infant to safety.

Another gust of wind suddenly burst from the symbol and then it began to absorb everything around it like a vacuum. With the sudden increase of pressure from the surroundings Molech lost his footing as did Yanira and they were both sucked into the symbol. Only a small cry of a baby could be heard before the symbol vanished leaving everything in the surroundings in silence.

Grian was the first to emerge from the crowd with wide eyes as he stared at the place where the symbol was before and clenched his fist with his form beginning to shake.

What happened to Captain and Lady Nira?

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