The Statue of the King
The autumn air felt nice against my skin as I walked through the streets of Jamestown. The high buildings towered over the upper tier’s town square where the statue of King Bertran stood. Its harsh features looked as though it were judging every citizen of the kingdom as they passed, reminding them, it seemed, of their place in the world.
I spotted Gerdy standing in an alley on the north side of the square. For all her talents, remaining inconspicuous was not one of them. She wore a brightly colored skirt made of linen that moved very little as she paced from one side to the other. I shook my head as I walked straight for her.
“Max!” she called as I approached.
“Gerty, you need to learn to be quiet and hold still,” I said as I pulled her deeper into the alley. “You stand out like a wart on a princess.”
“There’s no need to be rude,” she shot back as she pulled her bag around to the front. “Did you bring it?”
“I did,” I replied, producing a small glass ball from inside my cloak.
“What? Were you expecting something larger?” I asked.
“I figured something that held an elemental would be larger, that’s all. Is it in there?” she asked.
“That’s what I understood when I bought it,” I replied.
“Are you still sure about this?” she asked as she looked toward the far end of the alley.
“King Bertran is a tyrant. His statue doesn’t deserve to be here,” I said, letting the hatred for the king into my voice.
“So what’s the plan?”
“We just throw the orb, say a few words, and when it lands the elemental will be freed,” I said. “Then we run.”
“Then we run,” Gerty said in agreement.
“Did you bring the tools I asked you for?” I asked.
Gerty nodded as she opened her bag.
Inside I could see the crowbar that we would need to open the sewer grate that led to the lower tier. I knew the elemental would rampage through the square as soon as it was released, but I didn’t want to stick around to watch it.
“Perfect,” I said as I pulled the crowbar out. “Let’s get the grate open, I want you waiting for me when it happens.”
“But I want to-”
“No buts!” I scolded. “This thing is dangerous, I don’t want you getting hurt.”
I walked up the alley toward the square and found the grate I needed. I pried with the bar, forcing it to come loose with a metallic pop.
“Get down there, I’ll be back in a few minutes,” I said, “Do you know the way back if things go bad?”
Gerty nodded, “Be careful, Max. I don’t want you to get hurt.”
To be continued…