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The Earl of Zerces: chapter 7
Immediately after Lang whisked out into the night, he suddenly remembered the incredibly thin ledge that he had to stay on and the chilling wind that had made it its goal to sweep him off that ledge. It seems that when one is a romantic state of mind, rationality and reason are woefully forgotten. Luckily for Lang, he caught himself before he had set both feet on the ledge, and all thoughts of Elena and running away dissipated from his mind as he concentrated solely on not falling off. Slowly, Lang made his way across the precarious path and back to his room’s window. As he grabbed the window, Lang prayed to God that it wasn’t locked.
Lang mentally cursed the window with every vulgar word he could possibly think of, which, as he was an austere royal prince, wasn’t actually that large an amount. But to the naïve prince Lang, it was quite a lot, and he felt quite cathartic after screaming in his head. However, this didn’t solve the problem with the window, and Lang’s relaxed mental state once again deteriorated to worry and wonderment on how to solve said problem.
The solution came unexpectedly, as Lia interrupted Lang’s thoughts by unlocking and opening the window, which surprised Lang enough to almost fall off. Lia sleepily managed to grab hold of Lang’s robes though, and balance was restored once again. Lia rubbed her eyes with her other hand, and started to pout in the way that young children do.
“You left,” was all she said.
“Um, yes I did,” Lang sheepishly whispered, careful not to wake the other tenets in the room who were fast asleep. “But I’m back now,” he said as he slipped into the room and closed the window.
“What were you doing?” Lia asked, looking like she wouldn’t be able to stay awake for the answer.
“I’ll explain in the morning,” Lang motioned Lia back into her bed. “For now you need to get some rest.”
“But I want to know now,” Lia sleepily protested. But it did her no good, as she was soon fast asleep.
Lang sighed and rubbed his head. So Elena would be going to the fields tomorrow morning, and then there’d be the demon to take care of. Lang didn’t think that would be a problem for Elena, as she was apparently a great Purifier. But then they would have to run away without everyone else noticing. Plus there was the fact that Lang had no idea how to even contact the Earl, much less get back to Zerces. Lang puzzled over it all, and failed to come up with anything good. Eventually, as he collapsed exhausted on the only free bed left, Lang decided that he would just have to wing it. To his sleep-desiring mind, that didn’t really seem like a bad idea.
Lang eventually woke up to the sound of people. Groggily he raised his head, wondering what was going on. Then Lang remembered.
“Elena,” Lang barely whispered, his mind now fully rested. Quickly Lang got up and shook Lia awake. Lia groggily rubbed her eyes for a moment, and then looked up at Lang.
“Are you going to tell me what’s going on now?” was the first thing out of Lia’s mouth.
“You bet,” Lang quickly grabbed Lia, who was still holding her sword, and walked quickly toward the door. As Lang battled his way through the crowds of excited people, he wondered if all these people had come solely to see Elena exorcise the demon. Oh well, if that was the case, then this made things even easier for Lang. This meant that Elena would definitely be able to exorcise the demon. Then a tiny voice in Lang’s head reminded him that a crowd of people would actually make things harder for Lang, Lia, and Elena as they tried to run away. Lang cursed under his breath.
When Lia and Lang finally made their way out of the Inn and into the town, Lang set out immediately for the fields along with everyone else. However, while everyone else gathered around a single spot on the fields’ outskirts, Lang and Lia snuck away into the heart of the fields.
“Where are we going? What’s going on? Tell me! Tell me!” Lia started to pound her fists against Lang’s chest as she raised her voice.
Lang immediately set Lia down and explained everything to her. Lia paused for a moment, taking it all in.
“You shouldn’t kiss until after you get married,” was the first thing Lia said. Lang blinked, unsure of how to react to this statement. What a strange girl.
Lia plopped down onto the ground and sighed. This seemed to be becoming a habit of hers.
“So go on,” Lia sighed. “Go quest your quest. I’ll wait here again.”
Just as Lang was about to give a chuckle, he suddenly felt a chill in the air. Slowly, Lang turned around, feeling the chill getting colder and colder, and the sky growing darker and darker, until a maelstrom of sorts started to form in the sky. A giant, billowing, staticy cloud of grey had formed, and as it blew great gusts of wind that almost knocked Lang off of his feet, it’s howl grew louder, and louder, and louder, and LOUDER until finally, a giant column of lighting shot down onto the ground only a few feet from where Lang was standing. It pulsated with power for a few seconds, emitting giant sparks of light and howling a great, moaning sound. Then, it immediately disappeared, all of it, the cloud, the column, the noise, as though it had never existed in the first place.
And there, where the column had shot down, with that stupid smile still on his face, stood the Earl of Zerces, holding a tall chair and a teacup.
“Hello,” the Earl waved to Lang in a sing-song voice.