***The City of Meldech, capital of the Kingdom of Nerfes***

The crowd was unusually lively the moment they woke up that day, when the proclamation of the Human Saint was posted on every square of every town and city of Chersea. It told the people about the confession of the former king of Nerfes, James Walter Reed II, on the disappearance of their hero, Lord Kuro of Arles. The post also detailed the names of the other nobles who conspired with him, and exhorts the common folk, and even the other nobles and royals, to help the Paladin Guards apprehend the suspects.

Several of the co-conspirators from the others kingdoms immediately surrendered, after facing the wrath of their subjects and overlords. However, as Nerfes was still in transition from their old king’s reign to King Simon’s, the suspects banded together in order to escape the pursuing Paladin Guards.

One of their safe houses was in Meldech itself. A small, run-down wooden house near the city square. Here, every noble who conspired with James and escaped from their pursuers, gathered. There were five of them, a far cry from their original numbers of almost to a hundred before.

“The Count of Lutz was captured by the Paladins on his way here and his army surrendered,” said one of the nobles, the Count of Hermon announced to his companions.

“So it’s only us five people left to escape,” another noble commented, “If there’s any place in Chersea we could escape to. Even the Emperor has joined the hunt for us!”

“If we can’t stay here, Baron Teves,” the Count of Hermon answered, “Then, we’ll march to the demon lands in Cherflammen.”

“My army awaits at the pass to the Desolate North,” a third noble, the Viscount of Heern, joined the conversation, “My men remained loyal to their lord, thus they’re willing to escort us to anywhere we shall head to.”

“That’s great to hear…some good news at last.”

“We shouldn’t let that idiot king, James, do the job for us,” the Baron of Teves exclaimed, “If it’s someone else with an ounce of head, things would turn out differently!”

“Hey, don’t fret about something that’s already done,” the Viscount of Heern rebuked him, “What we should be thinking is how to go past that throng at the square and escape with our men outside the borders of Nerfes.”

“Once the long sleep is here, Your Excellencies,” the Count of Hermon declared, “We’ll make good of our escape. Please get yourselves some rest; the journey would be long and perilous.”


When the long sleep arrived, the nobles then set their plan to escape. Leaving the city of Meldech was easy, for the sentries rarely check the people who passed by the gates. The nobles took a shabby cart, filled it with hay, and some of them hid under it. The least well-known member of their group was the one who took charge of guiding the donkey out of the city, where some of their men met with them.

Milords, your escorts to the border are ready,” a captain of their retinue informed the group, pointing towards the small force of cavalry waiting for them in the distance.

“Good work, Otto,” the nobles got off the cart, thanked the man, and continued on their way. However, just as they approached the cavalry…


“Arrest those criminals!” the lead horseman…or rather, horsewoman, shed off her cloak and displayed the shiny armor of the Paladin Guards. The nobles were frozen in their spots, as the Paladins bore down in their direction.

However, the Count of Hermon, Viscount of Heern, and Baron of Teves came to their senses and created a distraction by pushing off their other two companions towards the arresting knights. Not wishing to hurt the nobles, the Paladins veered away from them, giving the other three the chance to cast a smoke spell and ran off.


***The Holy Palatial Gardens***

It was mid-afternoon two days later, when Maddie received the news about the three nobles’ escape, as well as the other two who got arrested. She was in the middle of her tea break, and Lily was at her side serving her.

“Those vermin sure are slippery,” the Head Maid commented, “What if they try to escape to Cherflammen?”

“Relax Lily…” the Saint took a sip of her tea before continuing, “I’ve already seen through their plans. I informed the demons about the possibility of human rogues crossing into their territory, and they say they are willing to cooperate in arresting them.”

Oh? Good! You’re thorough with that, huh?

“Of course! You think I’d let those who harmed Kuro get away easily? I’ll hunt every one of them to the ends of Chersea!”

Maddie let out a laugh that unnerved Lily a bit. However, she just brushed it off and poured her friend another tea. But then, just as they were relaxing, a demon envoy suddenly teleported in the Palatial Garden’s courtyard and stood before the Saint.

“!!!” Lily and Maddie were both dumbfounded by her appearance.

“My apologies, Human Saint!” the demon envoy greeted them with a bow, “I was sent here because of the urgency of the situation at our crossing.”

Err…what happened?” it was Maddie who asked.

“The human rogues you told us about have fortified themselves on a small hill at our borders, and refused to surrender to us, nor to your Paladins. They’d attack anyone who tried to approach them, even under a peaceful intent!”

“What? They have an army?” Lily exclaimed.

“Yes, they have. It’s small, but their location was strategic, and we can’t dislodge those humans without committing a full army to destroy them,” the demon envoy explained, “But as we swear never to involve ourselves with your affairs, I’m afraid we have to pass the responsibility of fighting them to you.”

“I understand,” Maddie nodded, “Thank you for your information, ambassador. Please tell your army at the border to stand down; my paladins and I will deal with these humans.” 

Hans Trondheim Creator

Warning: Strong language