Chapter Twenty-Four : You fool!

Calista and I soon left the house, walking quietly, hand in hand, we walked to the inn and entered. Music played in the corner and people danced fast, changing partners every now and then. It was warm in here from the roaring fire. I didn't sit Calista at the bar, I found us a table along the side. We sat, sitting across from each other. I held her hands and looked into her eyes, smiling. "Are you hungry?" I asked.

She nodded, "I am…" came her answer. "But, I'm not sure what they serve here."

"Nor do I. Shame Pyrin isn't here, he'd know." I teased. "I wish he talked more of his past." I muttered. "… Is there any food you wish to have?"

"Lamb." Calista answered after thinking. I raised a hand to brush some hair out of her eyes.

"Lamb it is then." I smiled, glancing to her stomach, thinking about having a child. I wouldn't let anyone harm this baby. It would be ours and nothing would tear us apart. I wondered if we would stop slaying… stop killing? What would we do for money?

I stood and walked towards the bar. I still had my thoughts though, where would Henrick go if we stopped? What would happen to Pyrin? But I knew in my heart that Pyrin wouldn't stop. He'd carrying on until he died. I leant forwards, resting an arm on the bar, waiting for the attention of the bartender.

"Can I help?" he asked. Walking to me, he looked dirty, a large man and growing a black beard, his little eyes looked at me.

"I was looking for some food." I answered. "Have you any lamb?"

"Chops with vegetables." he answered.

"Perfect." I replied. "Two of them, please." I said and then pointed to our table. He took note of this and shouted in to the kitchen. I waited there, looking at the others at the bar. They all looked dim and lifeless, just sat there, some had cloaks and hoods covering their faces. One smoked a pipe, my eyes watched the smoke float forwards, when the smoke cleared though, my eyes landed on another sight. I froze to see a man drinking. A man that had messy ginger hair, and when his eyes looked from his glass to me, my heart skipped as I saw he smile… Henrick. "My God…" I smiled.

"You took your time!" Henrick shouted and laughed. "Where have you been?"

"Where have I been?! Where have you been?!" I asked and laughed, making my way around to him. Hew set his drink down and hugged me as I got close. I wrapped my arms around him and smiled. "We searched the forest, we thought we found your body… God, you're alive!"

Henrick smiled widely, "I'm as alive as you are." he told me, he winced a little as I patted his shoulder and moved away, waving Calista over, she gave me an odd look, but started to come over.

Calista almost screamed, she covered her mouth and hugged Henrick tightly, "I knew you were alive!" she shouted at him and a tear ran down her check as she looked at his messy hair, smiling. It was then, the moment that she had hugged him that I noticed he winced.

"You okay, Henrick?" I asked. Looking to his shoulder.

His eyes looked at mine and he nodded, but it didn't look like he was sure. "I'm okay…" he replied.

"Henrick…" I said quietly, "What is it?"

Henrick shook his head. "It's nothing, calm down, okay?" he said and turned his head, picking up his ale again. Calista looked at him, then glanced at me. She took my hand. She also thought that something was wrong. I wanted to find out what, but I let him stay quiet for now.

The night passed on, Calista and I both ate and Henrick ordered a lot of food, it was amazing to watch him eat it all and not really stop. "Henrick… how can you be so hungry?" Calista asked and smiled.

"I haven't eaten in a while…" Henrick answered and looked to me next. I said nothing, only gave him an odd look, his eyes left mine now as the doors opened and in entered Pyrin. He looked around and stopped, looking at us and then Henrick, his eyes wide a little wide, but he came over calmly and put a hand on the top of Henrick's head.

"Now, now, now… looks like I found a little ginger." Pyrin whispered and smiled a little as Henrick raised his head to look at him. "Where the hell have you been?" he asked and sighed. Blood was on Pyrin's shirt.

"I just… well, been here, waiting." Henrick answered and smiled. Pyrin sighed again and shook his head.

"Did you find the body?" Calista asked.

"I did, I brought it back…" Pyrin answered. "A few men took it to look at it. And, I can safely say that Henrick is alive." he teased and ruffled Henrick's already messy hair.

Henrick smiled and yawned a little. "You guys tired?" he asked and looked over us. After getting an answer of 'yes' we paid for three rooms for the night in the inn.

I stayed next to Calista and watched her sleep for a long time. I didn't want to close them and lose sight of her, but, there was also something else on my mind, Henrick had been acting weird… well, weirder than he normally was. His shoulder seemed to be hurting him. I thought about maybe he had broken it, but he seemed to be using it well enough.

A feeling grew inside of me and my arms shook lightly, cold. It became so cold, so soon. I held the covers over Calista and myself a little tighter now. My eyes became heavy. I closed them, and before I knew it, I was asleep.

When morning came, Calista was no longer at my side. I glanced around the room, but she wasn't there, only an open window. I was still cold, but not as cold as I had been in the night. "Calista?" I called softly, but there was nothing.

My door opened and Pyrin walked in fast. "Adalardo, come, put your shirt on and take a step out side."

My heart skipped a beat for a moment, something was wrong, I slid out of bed and pulled my shirt on, quickly doing the buttons up, then putting on my boots, I walked with Pyrin through the empty bar. He pushed open the door and I saw that Henrick was outside, tears running down his face as he stood holding the reins of Lasso and Griffin.

A crowd of people around the town's square. I walked on and gently walked through the people to see that on a building, six people were hung. There blood dripping to the ground from cuts on their legs and arms. I stepped back slight.

"One man, one woman and four children." Pyrin said, putting a hand on my shoulder. "And, a note."

"A note?" I asked. "Pyrin, where's Calista?" I asked. "Have you seen her this morning?"

Pyrin didn't answer my questions, he pulled from his pocket an envelope, this had been sealed with hot wax, a print of a bird on: a crane. I looked over this print and raised an eyebrow. Then I turned to the front to see fine black writing: Adalardo. I carefully broke the seal and pulled out the note inside. I read on my own:

Dear Adalardo,

I hope I haven't scared you, for that was not my intention. My intention was to open your eyes to the real world, so far, you have failed. You disappoint me, young man.

I question your love for your young lady. As I write this, she is just waking up now. She is unharmed, and will remain unharmed until I chose otherwise. I bet you are searching your mind for who I am, yes? Let's just say that I'm the one that started your little quest.

So, does this not mean that I'm your friend? I killed your wife and children, Adalardo. You have betrayed them and fallen in love with Calista. I must add that this hurts your son to see. He has been a good son to me while you've thought him dead. Dear Tegan…

Do not worry about the dead people hanging, they are gypsies, scum, dirt of the earth. But, I am here now to test your lost for this young lady. Do you dare search for her?

You'll find her were sailors lay,

Where scales aren't just on dragons,

Where at night you'll hear a voiceless cry

And when it rolls onto the gain, it dies

This is where she and I wait and lay

Under the moonlight, never in day.

So, Adalardo, search and you will see

That the monster there, will not be me.

Best wishes

Your friend

I stared at the letter, then held it to Pyrin. He took it and read it, "Where scales aren't only on dragons?" he asked, puzzled. I shrugged slightly, also lost. "Grain?" he questioned.

"How can something die when it's on the grain?" I asked sadly. My heart filled with pain and sorrow. "And, if he's not a monster, what is? Calista's not."

"No. Calista is an angel." Pyrin muttered. "A true saint, that's what she is… Get on Griffin. We leave here." he ordered, walking back to Lasso as the crown of people watched us, but they didn't say anything, I think that they would be glad to see the back of us. I knew they blamed this on us. And so, we left this little village. I rode Griffin, with Henrick sitting behind me, Pyrin lead us on as he rode Lasso. But, the little riddle played over and over in my mind:

You'll find her were sailors lay,

Where scales aren't just on dragons,

Where at night you'll hear a voiceless cry

And when it rolls onto the gain, it dies

This is where she and I wait and lay

Under the moonlight, never in day.

So, Adalardo, search and you will see

That the monster there, will not be me.