Red branches of blood have surrounded his eyes, focused somewhere beyond the table. The moment he watched the grand priest of his city being executed still flashes before his eyes. His breath is fire, his chest is hardened. Neither he can hear the conversation over the table, nor he can feel the soft hands of his beloved woman who is squeezing the tension on his shoulders away. Her attempt may be no use on him. More than the touch of her hands, it is a dolor anxiety that she is filled with and he can feel it. Sourcing from the presentiment of the current disaster, thereís like a dark dungeon down her throats. Her breaths can barely escape. He can feel it and it burns him at the stake of responsibility. He casts his eyes on her paled face. It pains him to see how bad he got her stuck in a situation this dangerous. In the middle of his cluttered thoughts, it is the voice of the dukes, earls and viscounts who share their thoughts and discuss their options to find a way and deal with the mad princess. Poor suggestions, useless solutions. For the first time he sees his court below the standard potential, unable to solve the problem. Some try to remain calm and think wisely, some cannot hold and spew their opinions angrily, some even prefer to say nothing at all. But then suddenly a man calls the attention of the prince to himself. The Earl of Tally, the Mounted Merchant who travels a lot. He has seen many places and so many strange things. Things that he speaks of are usually dire and dangerous but the same time could be effective. "My lord, Iím afraid that this court is incapable of solving this problem. Our army is in a state below the qualities of matching the legendary army of the north. Our walls, though have lasted long but today will fall. If our allies hear the name of the crystalline army, they will never be willing to help. We are trapped inside the walls of our own kingdom." He rises from his seat and says. "Men like you make me want to leave my armor." The commander of the Bronze army says and snorts uneasily. "We can manage some special tactics. We have strong walls. They need to gather their attack on the gate. That will help us focus our attacks on one point. We can defend this city and we will." Without a doubt the commander would prefer a battle to any methods of compromising. He is a man of battle who speaks with the edge of his sword. But the prince knows that a battle results only a lot of deaths, and also the fall of his kingdom. The name of his kingdom and his own name may erase from the land if he ever listens to his stubborn commander. So he lifts his sights and listens to what the Earl, the man who has seen the world has to say. "That might be true, commander. But how long can you protect the gate?" He asks him and continues. "Our enemy is not stupid. Underestimating your enemy is the first key to lose in battle. However it is impossible to assume, but even if we win this war, the hereditary of the north will not leave us alone." He says and makes the men around the table think. "What do you suggest, Earl of Tally?" The prince asks. He wants to get an answer worth listening and getting into use. "My lord, this may sound stupid, but I know a person who can handle this situation alone." Says the Earl. "You speak nonsense. How can one person solve a problem that an army canít solve?" A noble man from the courtiers asks him. "Just as the tyrant king died with a bite of mosquito." The Earl answers then looks at the prince. "My lord, a woman inhabits the forests of the north who will give her life for something more precious than wealth. She is a witch and apparently our only hope to survive this situation." He says and they rise their protesting voice. The belief that a witch is an unholy being who neighbors the devil aggravates them desperately. As they go criticizing him, the prince thinks about it. Time has proof that the Earl always suggested effective solutions. No matter how stupid or dangerous it might look, he trusts him and for that he tends to silence all of his advisers. "Silence!" The prince yells and palms the table hard. His woman gets strongly distracted. She holds his arm as he continues. "Our cleric is murdered. The woman that stands out there with her army will not hesitate to burn the entire city with us. You saw her act. I know her better. If I need help from evil to get rid of evil, I do it!" He says with consistence. "Find the witch and give her my message."
Somewhere in the gloomy heart of the forest an animal groans, a howling hears out, an owl utters a creepy hoot, bats spookily chirp, stranger voices whisper through the trees. And in this heart-melting place no man dares to walk, but a lone woman in red. She strolls around and listens to the screechy symphony all night. Renewed from her last bath, she is now heading for another destination. Her path is not direct. She doesnít know the way. The forest, that to people is the devil's origin, is her home. She steps past the trees as she would walk past her hall. Lonely but not quiet. Once she begins to hum, the entire creatures of the night become quiet. A humming so chill, as much as it could make any man creep. And it does! The lead of those that are sent to find the Red Witch feels his legs frozen to the sides of his horse. He is afraid to make any inches further. But he doesnít have to. The witch is coming their way. Even though they donít know her to be the witch or just a passenger, his men grab their weapons firmly, and as their hearts punches onto their chest from inside they try to remain steady. She wonders the pack of armored horsemen on the road. She comes closer anyway. They make no move. So she stops as well. "Hold on, woman. Do you live in this side of the forest? We are looking for the Red Witch. They say she lives around here." The man in lead asks her. No matter how hard he tries, he cannot hide the stress in his words. "I am the only one who lives in this place. And I am wearing red. Are you hunting her?" She gently asks him. She wouldnít even need to grab her knife. Only a gesture of hand would be enough to make them all fall from their mounts. He swallows. His horse begins to show something of a fright. Her tone might sound soft but her form is surrounded with darkness. He imagines a chamber of horror under her hood. "We donít care about what she does. We are not hunting her. It is her abilities that we seek her for." Says the man in lead, dictated by the Earl beforehand this meeting. "What for?" She asks. "We need her to save our kingdom from a mad princess." He answers. "The red witch has no intentions of helping throne men." She replies. "Our prince knows that the witch fancies no money. He is a generous man. He wants to offer her a great reward, only if the witch accepts to free us from the siege of the mad princess." He says. "What would be your lord's proposal?" She asks. "Blood." He answers.