The Rescue of Her
By Nicole Marcina
Date: July 29, 2022
Ch. 4Three

I turned my head and saw that the arrogant guard had his eyes on us. His brows furrowed as his glare pierced right through my soul.

The man I was talking to quickly returned to his task, acting as if I wasn't there.

In no time, the guard arrived before us. "What's with all the talking here?" he asked, adding more volume to his voice as he towered over me once again.

I found it amusing that he still believed that his attempt to intimidate me would work on me. However, with all the years that I've spent alongside James, I would say that his presence had no effect on me whatsoever.

I cleared and answered in a low voice, "I was only asking about the business of trade. As you already know, I was sent here to learn everything about trade. And what better way to learn faster than to ask the men who do this for a living?"

"And you dare answer me with arrogance?" he snarled, abruptly turning me around to face him. He continued as he stepped closer, "Must I remind you that you're not in your kingdom and you're bound to obey the rules here?"

"And what are those rules, if I may ask?" I replied.

"You're not allowed to talk with each other in the middle of work. I don't care if you're an apprentice or some other kind of a pathetic low-life. But in this pier, our rules are to be obeyed," he spatted.

"Is there something wrong here?" his colleague finally arrived, stopping the broiling argument between me and his proud fellow guard.

"Your friend over here," I pointed directly at his colleague, "He has done nothing but treat me with impoliteness and aggression. I was only asking my fellow people about how they do their trade here. Then, he comes along with a rude impression and claims that we're not allowed to talk to one another," I continued.

He bumped the proud guard on the arm and gritted, "Can't you be a reasonable person just for once? These people have done nothing to us." He returned to me and continued, "My sincerest apologies for his behavior. He must have slept on the wrong side of the bed. But please believe me, I don't think it was his intention to treat you with hostility. It's just that the Crown specifically ordered that when it comes to trade, no one is allowed to speak with one another. They are only allowed to do that once the work day is over."

"But how am I supposed to learn if I can't talk with them while working?" I asked. "I can't simply stand on the side the whole day. That would kill me."

"If you're so delicate, why are you even sent here in the first place?" the other guard interrupted the conversation once more.

Keeping my focus on the kinder guard, I said, "If your colleague continues this hostile behavior towards me, I will file a report about it and have it sent directly to our king. I wonder what he'll do once he finds out that his people are being mistreated."

His eyes widened, horrified.

But my threat didn't seem to affect the other one. He stepped forward and remarked, crossing his arms, "And do you really think that your little threat is going to scare us? Our orders came from our monarchs, not from us. So, you have no right, no power to complain or tell your king lies about mistreatment."

I chuckled. "Yes, sir, it's a given that you're only following orders from your monarch. But I also heard that those orders came from your prince. Our protection comes from our king. Based on the hierarchy of monarchs, who do you think has more power over the other?" I asked.

I added, "Or should I tell your monarchs instead of your rude behavior? How you prey on people with lower statuses in life? That you use your position to belittle those who are beneath you?"

"Why, you little--"

"I think that's quite enough for the both of you," the other guard intervened, slowly pushing me away from his colleague, who was about to explode. He turned to his fellow guard and said, "I think it's best that I handle this situation on my own. Why don't you return to the port and take care of the incoming passengers and goods?"

The other guard glared at him. "Have you gone mad? For all I know, this hooligan can twist your mind for his benefit," he looked at me from top to bottom.

I sighed, shaking my head. "Gentlemen, I really have no time and energy for arguments. Shall I write a letter now?" I said as I entered the conversation.

"Oh, no, please, good sir," the kind guard immediately replied as he moved closer to me. He continued, "There's no need for that. Allow me to negotiate with you. My colleague will be returning to our post so there is no need for threats or hostile behavior towards one another."

"Have you lost your mind?!" his colleague spoke directly into his ear.

The kind guard sighed as he rolled his eyes. Turning to his companion, he spatted, "I don't have time to handle your tantrums. As of the moment, you're causing quite the stir on this pier and I will not allow that to happen. As guards, we were told to hold more security. However, we were also given instructions where we must keep the peace at all costs. If you're going to be the spearhead of unruliness, we might as well return to the castle."


"I don't want to hear another word from you. You already caused too much trouble and I don't know if I will be able to fix it if it escalates," the other guard replied. "Now, if you would be so kind as to cooperate with me and return to our post, that would be lovely." He then stared at him, pointing to the direction where there were still people waiting in line.

The arrogant guard looked at his colleague in disbelief and turned to me with anger. Frustrated, he shook his head and huffed as he walked away.

Meanwhile, the kind guard took some time to breathe. I couldn't imagine the amount of control and patience that he mustered to handle such an unruly friend.

Finally, he returned to me and said, "I am deeply sorry for his actions. I don't know what's happening to him today. He isn't usually that aggressive."

"It's all right, sir. Perhaps he was just tired, seeing that you're merely following instructions and some people might find it irritating. I just didn't like his approach onto me. It was as if I'm some sort of criminal in his eyes," I replied. I continued, "But no matter. Let us not focus on that. What we should focus on is our current situation. What am I supposed to do now?"

He thought for a moment before saying, "All I can say is that you may wait for them at where they always stay whenever they deliver trade."

"They have their own residence in this kingdom?" I asked.

He replied, "Not exactly that sort of thing. Our monarchies have designated specific living quarters for traders from across the borders. If you want, you can wait for them there."

"Will they finish their tasks a bit earlier for today? I do need to undergo mentorship in regards to this matter," I said.

"I cannot guarantee that they will complete their task earlier than usual, Sir Ledoras. Most of the time, the unloading and sorting of goods takes the whole day. And it even depends on what sort of produce were imported from other kingdoms," the guard answered.

I protested, "But I couldn't just sit in a room and wait for them the whole day. I would die of boredom if I did that."

He then stepped closer and whispered, "I will allow you to leave the pier and to walk around. Most of the time, we don't allow workers - ours or from other kingdoms - to simply roam around freely. But seeing that our recent rules and instructions won't permit you to communicate whilst working, I will give you the freedom to enjoy the city."

I looked around with wide eyes, especially to the direction where his colleague was. On one hand, I was delighted to be exempted from Benjamin's newly-enforced changes. I didn't want to stay here the whole day and do nothing. I especially don't want to stay here because the rude guard might come up to me again and could stir even more trouble.

But at the same time, what this guard was offering scared me a bit. His suggestion was against their instructions. I didn't want to cause any trouble because of that. For all I know, he could be summoned by his superior if anyone found out that he gave me a privilege.

Or worse, Benjamin could call for him instead. And I didn't want Benjamin to know that I was already in his territory. It wasn't the right time to make my presence known. I must keep a low profile before we could even encounter one another.

I then asked, "Are you sure that's a good idea? I don't want to put you in a tight spot because of my arrival. At the same time, if your friend over there found out about your offer, he may tell someone else. You can be put in a lot of trouble."

He briefly looked at where his colleague was before returning to me. "Don't mind him. I'll simply tell him that you're waiting at the workers' cabin," he answered with a reassuring smile. He continued, "It's only logical that I send you to the cabin instead of making you wait here, am I correct? And besides, it will be our own personal secret. An alibi that we'll use each time you're not here at the pier."

I remained silent for a bit before asking, "Why are you doing this? Why are you so kind and understanding even though I'm new to everything? Even in this place?"

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