Trials and Treasure

“You brought two of your servants for protection?  Derek, I assumed you were above using your cooks and garden workers to do your heavy lifting.”  Olivia joked as she began to reach into a pack tied around her waist.

“Hold it right there, young lady!”  One of the robed riders belted out as the two descended from their horses. The rider who addressed Olivia pulled his hood down and reached for a long sword inside his robe.  The sword handle had an unusual engraving and Kaden noticed a small skull tattoo on the inside of the man’s wrist.

Avery readied his bow in response to the commotion and Kaden stepped between the stanger and Olivia.

“Everyone, please calm down.”  Olivia pulled out a small pouch that was tied from the top.  “I was only retrieving our payment.”  She began to pull away the tie from the top of the pouch and a bright red gem poured into her palm.  Everyone stopped in their tracks and the air was silent.  Avery placed his horn to his ear to listen in.

“Is that what I believe it to be?”  Derek suggested as he held his arm out to signal the tattooed stranger to stand down.

“The gemstone?  Yes, this is the Ruby Gemstone.  One of three royal stones that has become a family heirloom.”  Olivia sighed.  She knew her brothers would object to offering something so valued to them.  It was her only bargaining chip, and she desperately needed this arrangement to work.

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