The world is as it was back in the Medieval Ages, with the exception of a few devices from the 21st century that were simple enough to be preserved. They are no longer in the making though, so whatever technology is there is it. Everything was converted to solar power, so electricity is no longer used. There are no solar panels on buildings, only gadgets, since buildings were destroyed in the attack of 2050. Gold, silver, and bronze pieces are the new currency. Bronze being the lowest at a value of 1, silver at 5, and gold at 10. Guns are of short supply, not to mention ammunition, which is all but extinct. The most common weapons are daggers, swords, great-swords, and bow and arrow. The streets are made of cobblestone, and buildings of rock or brick. Clothes are made of cheap fabric, and are no longer skillfully made. It is not uncommon to spot blacksmiths or merchants tending to their stores, neither is it uncommon to see skilled thieves pickpocketing a bystander. If you want to travel you go by foot, wagon, or bareback. There is little justice held in the cities now. Cities are responsible to appoint their own guards, most of which are lazy and careless. The most they will usually do is catch you and ask for money. If you don't cough up the coin, they might drag you off to the prison, or merely kill you.
"Father, how much longer?"
"Only a few hundred yards till we have to dismount, Rosealynn", said my Father.
I nodded to my father, signifying my understanding. We were on our way to The Avversario camp on the mountain top. Well, one of them anyway. The largest. Since it was my tenth birthday I could finally tag along with Tilton Silas and my father, Allistair Caldwell. My nerves were terrible as we climbed the mountainside. I didnt know what to expect. My training was excessive and detailed, so my skills weren't the problem. I didn't know what to expect at the camp.
The plans are to sneak through the gate outside the fort and make our way to the tent of the Captain. Our goal is to assassinate him in the hopes that maybe The Avversario would fall apart without their leader. But how easy would it be to sneak through the camp of our enemy? And with only the three of us? I was doubting our trip the entire way, but never voiced my concerns. Father knew best. He's been operating The Vendicatrice for thirty years. The Vendicatrice's most successful thirty years at that. In my mind I knew he was capable of doing this. In my gut, I wasnt as sure.
"Dismount here", my father said as his feet touched the ground. Tilton and I followed close behind him, into the brush on the side of the road. All of my training in sneaking kicked in and I made sure my steps were light and I watched the ground for any leaves or twigs, yet still scoped my surroundings. The main gate to The Avversario camp was no more than 100 feet away now, unguarded at this late hour. The sky was pitch black and the only light was of the constantly lit torches lining the road to our right. Our mounts whinnied behind us. I didnt dare shush them. That would be even more unnecessary noise.
"Halt," ordered my Father in an urgent whisper. Tilton and I stopped immediately and strained our eyes ahead. Two Avvesario guards were exiting the fort. What were they doing out at this hour? The three of us ducked down to hide as they passed. We waited there in silence for at least ten minutes, daring to breath the whole way through. Every noise we made seemed to be too loud. "Advance". We followed close behind this time. As the gate approached, my heart began to race. It just didnt feel right to me. The Avversario fort had no other entrance but the main gate. Or so we thought. As my Father touched the gate patches of the ground lifted up like doors and out came The Avversario soldiers. The first one out came straight towards me. I panicked. I pulled my dagger out of its sheath and pointed it at the man, my arm shaking. "Run Roasealynn! Go!" My Father shouted at me. He sounded so far away. These things...these snakes came at me from the sides. They were quite round, and their color was a bright red. One of the creatures got up and started swaying like a cobra when threatened. I froze in my spot. Never before had I seen these. They weren't in any of our books. I had read them all. Were they poisonous? I didn't get to ponder the question before it lunged at me and clung to my arm. My dagger slipped out of my hand. It burned, but also felt like ice flowing down my veins. When it got to my legs I fell and started screaming.
Tilton took me from under my arms and lifted me up. He flung me to the side, out of the way of the Avversario man that I had forgotten about and was only feet from me. I hit the ground with a grunt. The snake was still attached to my arm, biting harder. Tilton cursed when he saw that flinging me didn't solve the snake problem. He decapitated the snake, and its fangs loosened its grip and slid off my arm, revealing two holes the size of bronze coins. My breathing had slowed and my chest started to lunge, like when you're about to hurl. I tried to get up using both arms, but the one that was bitten buckled under the weight. The other arm was starting to feel more normal so I rolled to that side and lifted myself up to my knees. I wish I had never turned around. Tilton had overpowered the man but my Father wasn't as lucky with his opponent. Another man had him against the wall, sword to his neck. Then my Father was gone. I screamed and turned, lifting myself up to my feet and running the other way. Tilton followed close behind me, into the woods. We ran for miles. What would we say to the Vendicatrice when we returned? That their leader was gone and the only heir was ten year old me? I began planning my run away attempt on the way there. But that's not what my Father would have wanted. From that day on, for the past seven years, my life has been focused around the goal of giving The Avversario what they deserved.
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