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Captain of the Guard: A New Companion

September 16, 2019

Cedric looked at all three of them, “Oh no, I intend to free you, after you promise not to attack me, or anyone in the kingdom.” The wizard touched Cedric on the shoulder, which he ignored.

“And by people, do you mean the citizens of the kingdom?” Pookie’s voiced purred. “Take for example,” Pookie paused and turned his head toward the Travelers and gave them a hungry look that made them back away slightly, “them.”

“Any people.” Alstone tugged on his arm now.

“Do cows count as people?” Pookie asked carefully.

“No, but I would rather you not kill any livestock either, wild game is fair enough.” The charlatan was now pulling on his arm trying to get his attention.

“Wild game? Any animal that is not a person?” Pookie gave Whisper a calculating look.

“Pookie, stop that.” Emile snapped. “Captain, I assure you that we will not harm any intelligent beings within the kingdom in return of our freedom.”

Pookie barked a couple times, “Define intelligent. I know plenty of stupid people that wouldn’t be missed, or if they were, only in the general way relief comes when a burden is suddenly lifted.”

“Again, not helping Pookie,” Marious said in exasperation, “I swear it is as if you want to remain in bondage.”

Pookie shrugged, “I shall never be free until I’m rid of the two of you.”

“You really are ghastly.” Emile reproached.

“And I find you repugnant, denying your true nature. Makes me want to cough up my last meal and eat it again.”

Emile shuddered.

Marious looked decidedly unhappy, “I really hate this continual bickering.”

“We offered to aid, the hero,” Emile suggested, “we should repay our debt to him before he frees us.  A measure of our good intentions, we help him on his quest. . .”

“Task.” Cedric interjected. Alstone stopped tugging on his arm.

“Whatever. We help you and then when your task is complete, we are free to leave and free to be ourselves, with a promise that we shall leave your kingdom without harming anything. You were tracking a hero, we are excellent at that.”

Pookie snorted.

“Look we haven’t time for this,” Cedric said, “Come with me if you wish, just don’t harm anything.”

“Done.” said Emile joyfully, “I have always wanted to be on a quest, instead of an obstacle in one.”

“Agreed.” said Marious.

They both looked at Pookie expectantly.

“Like I have any real choice. The sooner we pay our debt the better.”

“Very well.” Cedric wondered how badly he was going to regret this as he removed the silver cord from the hound. He was amazed at the heat that radiated off the animal’s huge body.

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