Carpe Diem, Page 39

The next morning you wake up near noon. Everyone else had departed already. You, on the other hand, slept like a rock.

If prior experiences have taught you anything, it’s that this will somehow lead to another punishment. You groan. Time to face this hell again! you think to yourself as you get ready and don your gear.

After you’re ready, you depart for the captain’s quarters to receive your daily assignment.

No sooner than you’ve knocked on his door, he calls out, “Enter!”

“Good morning, sir. I’m here to receive my assignment.”

“You’re late!” he barks.

“I’m sorry, sir! I have no excuse!” You snap to salute, thinking you’ll probably get off lighter if you just admit to the misdeed.

“At ease,” grumbles the captain.” The baron witnessed your escapade last night. He has requested a personal audience with you. You better get going soon; the baron hates to wait.”

“Yessir! I’ll be on my way,” you answer.

And with those words, you depart from his quarters and make your way to the baron’s manor on top of the hill as quick as you can.

Once you reach the gates, it’s repeat of last night. You call out, “Open the gates!”

A head pops up from behind the battlements, more swiftly this time. “Oh, it’s you! Fine, I’ll open them now!”

And after a few short moments, the gates open. On the other side in the courtyard itself, you see a tall man standing directly before you. You approach him, saying, “I’m here to see the baron. Do you know where he is?”

“Right in front of you.”

“Oh, I’m terribly sorry!” you say, as you kneel down on one knee.

“No need for that. Get up.”

You rise from the ground and look him in the eye. At that moment, the same chill hits you that had possessed you the night before. You realize that the man staring out of the window was the baron himself. Looking into his eyes, you see a malice that you cannot explain, yet, at the same time, there’s an irresistible charm. “You wanted to see me, m’lord?” you ask.

“Yes, I did. I witnessed your performance last night. I was fascinated by your quick thinking. I need someone like you: someone who sees things that others don’t.”

“How can I help?” you ask.

“I’ll be summoning my retinue soon, and we will be departing for the mountains to deal with our bandit problem once and for all. I want you to march beside me.”

“Certainly, sir!” Despite your misgivings, you can’t help but think that this is finally it! It seems you’ll be earning your pay and your freedom, sooner rather than later.

“Excellent,” says the baron. “You are dismissed. Tend to your duties for the rest of the day, for we march tomorrow morning.”


With that exchange over, you return to the barracks and go about whatever duties the captain throws your way. Even though they are menial, likely in punishment for your sleeping in, you find your spirits are impossible to dampen. Tomorrow you will finally earn your freedom!