Dare quest free the sl.., p.1
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       Dare Quest - Free the Slaves, p.1
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           Brian Smith
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Dare Quest - Free the Slaves
Free the Slaves!

  Dare Quest

  By Brian Smith

  Copyright 2014

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

  Glossary

  caliph - Muslim political or religious leader

  clad - clothed

  cur - street dog, bad guy

  dungeon - prison in a castle

  jester - clown, joker

  make or mar - success or ruin

  opulent - wealthy, expensive and comfortable

  portcullis - a heavy iron or wooden gate that can be raised or lowered at the entrance to a castle

  pukka - real, genuine, excellent, first class

  ransom - money that is paid in order to free someone who has been captured or kidnapped

  Saracen - the name by which Muslims were known in the Middle Ages

  sarcastic - saying the opposite of what you really want to say especially in order to insult someone, to show irritation, or to be funny

  serf - a person who lives on the land of a Lord and is owned by that ruler; i.e. a kind of slave

  thwart - prevent

  wont - usual habit or way of behaving

  Welcome to a new world...

  Did you think you had seen all the dangers that there are? That’s what Edward and Anthony thought too! But now they have to face fresh challenges and dangers as they are flung into a world of perils and evils. Why? Because Princess Geetu has given Edward and Anthony a new DARE!

  Will they rise up to the challenge on this quest? Little do they know, but they will also make new friends and allies. And there are some surprising enemies waiting to harm them. Can you guess who they are...?

  Read on to see how your heroes fare.

  1

  There was a sudden whirling of stars and with a thump, thump, thump Edward, Anthony and Geetu landed on a hard grassy plain. All around them was the air was filled with shouts and screams and the fast approaching thunder of horses at full gallop.

  “Watch out!” Edward yelled and quickly pushed the others out of the way. And not a moment too soon! A knight on horseback charged past them just inches away.

  The thunder of horses galloping

  They had landed in the middle of a battle in the Middle Ages.

  Geetu and Anthony were still stunned from the unexpected violence around them and Edward dragged the others to safety. When they reached a few bushes that grew beside a tree they dropped to the ground breathing hard from fear and the sudden sprint. When they had caught their breath again Geetu gave Edward a hug.

  “Without you we’d be dead now,” she said and kissed him on the cheek. “You’re my hero!”

  “Yes!” Anthony shouted and jumped up excitedly. “Edward’s a pukka hero and he saved us from that knight. He’s a bad man and I don’t like him.”

  And with that Anthony glared angrily at the knight who by then was engaged in a fierce fight with two other knights.

  Edward flushed in the face and quickly tried to change the topic away from heroes.

  “You don’t know that knight is a bad man, Anthony. It’s not his fault that we suddenly appeared right in front of his horse. It was just an accident.”

  “Well, I don’t like him anyway,” Anthony said stubbornly. He crossed his arms and turned his face away from Edward to show how serious he was.

  Geetu laughed. “Oh come on, you two. It doesn’t matter, and anyway, hadn’t we better get away from here? We’re right on the edge of a terrible battle and I don’t like the look of a lot of those men. They look like rough brutes capable of any nasty cruelty and I wouldn’t want them to notice us.”

  “Right you are,” Edward said and even Anthony couldn’t think of a reason to disagree.

  Anthony pointed to a nearby forest. “Let’s go in there,” he said. The knights won’t go there with their horses and it’ll be easy to hide.”

  The three children dashed across the open ground till they reached the safety of the trees. They hid behind the nearest large tree and looked back at where they had come from to see if they were being followed. Between them and the raging battle there was no one in sight and they breathed a sigh of relief.

  “Phew,” Edward laughed. “You had me scared for a moment.”

  Geetu didn’t smile. The first feeling of elation for being rescued by Edward had worn off and she suddenly realized that they were in a rather difficult and even dangerous situation.

  “I’m not sure I like this place,” she said quietly.

  “And who dared us rescue a thousand slaves?” Anthony asked feeling irked.

  Geetu was about to respond but Edward quickly cut in.

  “Let’s not argue,” he said. “It won’t help us in any way and we really need to work together if we want to get out of this mess. All we know so far is that we’re in the Middle Ages and we have to rescue a thousand slaves before we can go home again, so let’s sit down and talk about what we can do.”

  They sat down under the tree. On one side they heard the din of the fierce battle while on the other side there was the silence of a peaceful woodland.

  “But what can we talk about?” Anthony asked after a few moments. “We don’t even know where we are.”

  “Well, you’ve got a point there,” Geetu said, “but I still agree with Edward that we should talk things over. There is a reason why the Middle Ages were also known as the dark ages. It was a brutal time when people often lived very short lives. We already almost died in a battle…”

  “…and we don’t want to rush into things,” Edward added.

  “We could try to watch the battle from a safe place and see what happens. Maybe we’ll be able to overhear people talking and find out about where we are and what’s going on,” Anthony suggested.

  “Great idea,” Edward agreed. “Medieval armies were usually accompanied by a large number of followers who transported their supplies. Let’s find them.”

  The three children cautiously walked along the edge of the forest that ran parallel to the battleground. Ever so often they paused and looked about to make sure they didn’t run into anyone by accident. The air was filled with the clanging sounds of metal upon metal, the shouts of the warriors, and the yells of agony as men were wounded or killed.

  The sense of imminent danger weighed heavily upon the minds of our three heroes and it seemed like half an eternity to them till they finally spotted what they were looking for, even though less than an hour had gone by. A few minutes walk from the battlefield was the encampment of one of the warring factions. Heavy wooden wagons surrounded the camp in a protective formation. It was guarded by lightly armed warriors and within the camp was a large number of retainers and servants. The clothes of the servants were plain brown and made of rough material while the retainers were clad in brighter clothes or leather and chainmail.

  “Look over there,” Edward said and pointed to some bushes that grew right next to one of the wagons around the camp. “If we go through there no one will see us and we can hide under the wagon.”

  When they were sure no one was looking they dashed across to the group of bushes Edward had pointed out. Their hearts were racing but everything was quiet and they were quickly feeling bold enough to crawl under the nearest wagon. They hid behind the heavy wheel and looked around. There was a bustle of people walking about. There were groups of people talking loudly and excitedly and when a wounded warrior was brought back from the field of battle the excitement reached fever pitch as everyone was eager to hear news of the ongoing fight.

 
; “Let’s go over there,” Anthony said and pointed to three important looking men who were standing in front of a nearby wagon talking loudly. “We can crawl under the wagons till we reach them.”

  Edward grinned. “Good thinking, Anthony. They’ll never spot us down here.”

  They quietly crawled along the ground till they were less than three feet away from the men. They hid behind a wheel and Geetu put a finger to her lips. The boys grinned at her in delight. This was the kind of adventure they loved. They turned to listen to what the men were saying.

  “Got you!” one of them suddenly shouted and strong hands pulled the three children from under the wagon.

  The group of men turned round in surprise to see what was happening.

  “Spies, my Lord!” the man said and flung the children on the ground at the feet of another man who was wearing chainmail and a red tunic on top.

 
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