Refuge: Kurt's Quest

Refuge: Kurt's Quest by Doug Dandridge Read Free Book Online

Book: Refuge: Kurt's Quest by Doug Dandridge Read Free Book Online
Authors: Doug Dandridge
into the ice
blue orbs of Jackie, as the dawn light came through the windows to illuminate
the room.
    “I had a dream,” she said, a smile on her
face.  “The Goddess.  And she told me you would know what to do, and to follow
you, and stay by your side, no matter what.”
    Kurt kissed her on the nose, then lay back. 
“She did tell me what to do.  Or should I say she didn’t tell me what to do. 
She said to follow my heart and all would be well.”
    “And does that include me?”
    “Of course,” said Kurt, pulling her into an
embrace.  “Always.”  And he made love for the second time in over forty years,
and the second time that night.

Chapter Three
     
     
    The next morning they were on the move.  The
Duke had called in all his levies, his men and those of his counts and barons. 
Altogether there were three hundred cavalry on the road, and four hundred infantrymen
mounted on horses or riding in wagons.  Kurt looked over the small host and
felt his heart sink.   Too few , he thought, seeing the mailed cavalry.
    “Seems like a bloody lot of the buggers,” said
James Drake, riding up beside Kurt, Jackie along with him.  Jackie shook her
head.
    And he has no idea about warfare, except what
he has picked up in his short time here.
    [Can we take a kingdom with this group?] sent
Jackie over a private channel.
    [I just don’t know] he replied, trying to sound
like he had some confidence, and failing.  [Maybe they have more that will meet
them along the way.]
    “Hail, Kurt,” said the Duke, riding up to them,
his personal guard in tow.  “Are you ready to ride?”
    “That we are, my Lord,” said Kurt, looking at
the lightly armored mages and priests that rode behind the Duke.  [And probably
less than the king has as well,] he sent to Jackie.
    “And where is this marvelous beast we have
heard so much about?” asked the noble, craning his neck as he looked at the
forest around the town.
    “White Paw was up before the dawn and scouting
ahead,” said Kurt, forcing a smile on his face.  “Perhaps tonight, when we have
made camp.”
    “Then let us to it,” said the Duke, waving to
his standard bearer.  That worthy raised and lowered the standard several
times, and several dozen armored men started riding quickly down the road, the
advanced scouts.  The Duke rode toward the head of the column, his bodyguard in
tow, and Kurt and his companions followed, sure that they were expected to ride
with his Grace.  As they reached the front they continued on, and the rest of
the small army started off behind them.  The higher ranking nobles had the
position of privilege, out of the dust, while those of lesser stature would eat
it.
    [Everyone in charge is up here with us,] sent
Jackie, looking back at the column.  [If the head is struck, the body will be
without leadership.]
    [They are a medieval force,] replied Kurt in
agreement.  [No discipline on the move, probably none in the battle.]
    Altogether it was a pleasant day, for those who
weren’t riding through a cloud of choking dust raised by the horses.  Birds
were singing in the trees.  No other animals were visible, and it would have
been remarkable if they had been, with over a thousand horses on the move.  By
evening they were at a crossroads, and continued straight.  Two kilometers
further there were some road markers, and the scouts were waiting at this
landmark, facing off against several hundred horsemen under a different
banner.  The Duke called a halt to the column, and rode toward the markers with
his bodyguard.
    Kurt looked over at Jackie and Fenris, then
spurred his own beast forward, wondering who these people were.  When he had
gotten within earshot, he saw that the Duke was smiling and talking with
another man in ornate armor.
    “Ah, this is the man we have been waiting for,”
said the Duke, turning and waving Kurt forward.  “This is the Count Kurt von
Mannerheim, who has been prophesized to deliver us from the evil

Similar Books

A Reason to Stay

Delinda Jasper

No Time for Goodbyes

Andaleeb Wajid

Madness In Maggody

Madness in Maggody

Broken Heartland

J.M. Hayes

About Grace

Anthony Doerr

The Vampire Who Loved Me

Teresa Medeiros