• (Read Ch.1 An unexpected visitor. This is Ch. 2 An act of Courage)

    Ed just stared at Oliver in disbelief. How could he be prince? All of his memories were from here in Autzra. “You must be mistaken. I can’t be a prince.” He said still not believing him.

    Oliver just stood there with a small smile on his face and began to walk out of the tavern. “That sword is all the proof I need but if you want more, come out here.” He called back before walking out.

    The sword went back in its sheath as Ed dashed out after this somewhat loony mage. Once outside, he could tell something was wrong. The normally busy main street through Autzra was now deserted. It was a kind of eerie silence that sends chills through you body. Oliver was pointing to the entrance of the village where not too far away, several soldiers were approaching. They must have come from the capital but they held the flag of Aldea, no Erusea.

    “They know you’re here and are coming for you. If you want to live and bring back Erusea, you should follow me before those men get here.” Said Oliver before he ran around the corner of the tavern.

    Ed quickly strapped his birthright to his waist. With one last look at the advancing troops, he headed after Oliver. They made their way out of the village and up a nearby hill over looking Autzra. A few trees gave them cover as Ed watched the Aldians spread out and search each of the stores and homes. Out of the buildings returned the soldiers pushing the citizens out into a group at spear point. Some buildings were even lit aflame when someone resisted.

    Ed looked away in disgust. Even though they were a conquered people, it just seemed wrong by what they were doing. Was this really all over trying to capture him.

    Oliver was the one to break the silence between the two. “Yet another village is consumed in the flames of war.” He whispered to Ed. The smile that was on his face earlier was now replaced by one with no emotion. “We should leave…now.”

    “Are we just supposed to do nothing about this?” Ed protested.

    “Yes, now let’s go. I need to get you to Apartheid.”

    “If I’m prince, then I will defend my citizens.” Ed said making a dash into the nearest cornfield before Oliver could stop him. He was thankful for this originally being a farming community. Many fields of crops surrounded that village, allowing him to slip behind the tavern without being spotted. Slowly, his mind finally began to accept the fact that he was prince as he drew his new blade.

    From the shadows, he leaned out slightly to watch what the soldiers were doing and to find the right moment to strike. There were about 40 soldiers surrounding the villagers. Each citizen was being interrogated at the tip of a spear or sword about where this prince they had never heard of was.

    It looked like Aldea was about to leave their village when one soldier came out of a house on the opposite end of the road with another hostage. “Hey guys.” The Aldian called out. “Look what I found!” Its one of those beasts from the South.” Every soldier turned to look at this new victim and laughed to themselves. “Guess it wasn’t a waste of time after all” The one soldier called out. Aldea was well know for its hatred of Apartheid and took great pleasure in slaying any furry they could get their hands on.

    Ed took the risk of peeking at what poor soul had been caught. It looked like a white cat wearing a light blue tunic and matching pants. That was Lily! A thousand thoughts raced through his mind instantly. Why didn’t she leave? She knew trouble was coming but still stayed.

    Time started becoming an issue as two men held her still as the rest moved closer to watch. The one that found her had his sword drawn and was raised to deal a lethal blow. Lily was crying hysterically and struggled futilely at get free. The soldiers only laughed more at her efforts to resist.

    Ed burst out from the shadows and charged forward with blade in hand. Time began to slow down around him in his dash though the group. Before anyone even saw him coming, her would be executioner lay crumpled on the ground. His blade was glowing a faint green color as the two that held Lily fell as well before they could defend themselves. He was using an ability that few had called Astra, allowing him to move at almost inhuman speeds.

    Lily fell to the ground only to curl up in a ball. The poor girl was too afraid to understand anything going on around here. The Aldians on the other hand wasted no time in readying to face this new threat. Five men behind Ed charged forward with spears posed to skewer him.

    Before they got close enough, the men were enveloped in a whirlwind and were ripped to shreds. Farther down the road stood Oliver chanting from a spell book in his hands. On the other end of the road, stood a second swordsman dressed in a yellow shirt with a leather vest over it. A breeze blew the orange robe that they had over it. Their tan pants and boots lifted this swordsman at incredible speed at the Aldians to join the fray. This swordsman clearly had been trained by a master as they weaved almost effortlessly between attacks. It was actually a girl as her long blue hair glistened in the midday sun. “Always lost in your books Oliver. I thought you were supposed to take the prince to safety.” She called mockingly as she slashed apart each foe coming at her.

    Oliver struck a foe coming behind her with a lightning bolt as a few sparks flew around him. “What have I told you about watching your back Mia?” Between the three of them, it quickly became a rout as the Aldians started fleeing knowing they were outmatched.