It was during late Summer when things went wrong.
Jonathan was at home, curled up with Oceton in his lap.
The large phoenix would simply claim Jonathan’s lap or shoulder whenever he wanted attention; he enjoyed being pet, preened, and tickled.
Jonathan stopped when he noticed that Oceton was no longer playing along. “What is it?”
Oceton ruffled his feathers and perched on Jonathan’s shoulder. His ears were far more sensitive. He chirped to signal that he noticed something outside to check out.
“I know, I know,” Jonathan grumbled. He grabbed his sword and his coat, then headed out the door, into the dark forest.
The moon and nearby planets in the sky provided a decent amount of light in places that were not crowded by tall trees. Even among the brush and trees, bugs were constantly flashing yellow, white, or blue in an unsynchronized display.
The forest in the rural parts of the mountain were quite different from those nearby the village. Beasts avoided the village but hunted during the night in the non-human inhabited parts; usually they gave cabins a wide berth and only went for prey that was on its own.
Jonathan waited for his eyes to adjust before he walked further in. He followed Oceton, as the bird tracked the sound.
The sound led the two to the bottom of a cliff where large rocks were stacked on top of each other in piles. Cornered against the bottom of this cliff was a small figure mounted on a grey horse. They, at the very least, had a bow and were taking shots at the beats when they got too close.
The beasts hunting down the person were easy to spot. Two yellow and orange insect beasts with two pairs of thin, transparent wings. The large ones were known as Shilps and the smaller ones were known as Trilps. Shilps were somewhat similar to wasps, if wasps were the size of a human and filled with homicidal rage towards all other forms of life. The only exception to this rage were the Trilps, which had a symbiotic relationship with their larger cousins.
The person who had been cornered likely stumbled over a Trilp nest and was attacked by the Shilps in return.
Jonathan glanced over the situation once again. He would need to get involved to make sure the person wouldn’t die; the venom of Trilps were not to be underestimated. He just wasn’t sure what type of idiot would be travelling this early in the morning, when it was still dark.
Oceton took off into the air. He started harassing the Shilps with bursts of fire, driving them towards Jonathan and the ground.
Jonathan didn’t have anything long range. He pulled Liam’s dagger out of his boot and unsheathed his sword. He crept out of the shadows of a rock pile and stabbed the dagger through one of the wings of a Shilp. He stepped inwards to avoid retaliation and beheaded the beast with a swing of his sword. He had adjusted some to the difference of hilt, but he really needed to get a broadsword sometime soon.
The archer who had been cornered tried to shoot the second Shilp and failed.
Oceton wasn’t able to push the Shilp off course but did manage to burn the beast’s shell some.
Jonathan heard the sound of large wings and buzzing growing closer. The transmigrator turned around to see the second Shilp was barreling towards him. He pulled the dagger and sword from the corpse and dodged underneath.
Jonathan, as he was behind the beast now, slashed off the stinger first.
The archer managed to land a shot on the Shilp’s wing while the beast was turning around to fight Jonathan.
Jonathan drove his longsword through the beast’s eye, then his dagger. He waited for the Shilp to fall dead and rushed over to the archer.
The grey horse had been familiar to Jonathan for a reason. The archer was Tam. She had dropped her bow already and sat on the ground.
Jonathan cursed. He didn’t like how pale the girl looked.
Trilps belonged to the type of beasts which produced venom strong enough to kill humans. If Tam had been stung, she would need an antidote. The only sure source of an antidote nearby was the capital.
Oceton guarded Tam while Jonathan rode Tam’s horse back to his house. He didn’t have much time to plan, but he got Biscuit and his old satchel he used when he was adventuring before he rode back. Tam’s horse was dropped off at the village. The reason he made sure to get Biscuit was because the horse could carry both of them without issue.
The capital was a few hours long journey at a normal pace. Jonathan made it there in two hours.
It wasn’t hard to get into the city. The real issue was the castle. Tam was a squire that worked under the knights of the city and castle. She would be taken care of by them and they had the antidote for many types of beasts.
Jonathan approached the guards with the only things in his mind being an imaginary timer running down and a hare-brained scheme.
“Halt! Your identity?”
“I found a squire of yours in the forest. I think she’s been stung by a Trilp.”
“Your identity,” the guard who seemed to be in charge repeated. Him and his fellow guards made no movement towards the injured squire.
Jonathan sighed. He rummaged through his bag and pulled out the signet ring. “I’m Prince Millan—”
The head guard walked over and demanded, “Show me the ring.”
Jonathan held it up for the head guard to see.
“My apologies, Prince Millan.”
“I’m not Prince—” Jonathan’s protests were cut off by the rest of the guards at the gate loudly proclaiming the title and letting him in. The transmigrator sighed and slipped the ring on his finger.
“One of you, lead me to infirmary,” Jonathan stated.
The head guard pointed out one of his men and that guard split off and acted as a guide.
Biscuit was led to the stables.
Jonathan carried Tam and handed her over to the sick bay. He made sure to explain the situation to the two on staff. Trilp venom was the most likely option.
If it worked, it worked.
Jonathan had accomplished what he wanted.
He just needed to pretend to be Millan, or say he was the servant of Millan. If he did need to be Millan, his younger brother wouldn’t mind that much.
With any luck, Queen Deimena wouldn’t hear about this until he left. It was, of course, when this dreadful thought crossed Jonathan’s mind that a guard approached and said, “Queen Deimena of Alita, the First Princess of the Hrea Empire, wishes to see you.”
It’s been a long time coming for Jonathan to slip up. Let’s all hope this ends well.
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