When Julius came round, he found himself tied in strong ropes that it would be pointless to attempt to break loose, even if he summoned all the strength he had. About an hour ago, he had been caught far beyond the bamboo forest after the Caroline lake, the boundary between Albion and Sathaneu. The outcome of the brawl between him and Harputh’s army was that he passed out. And when he woke up, he realised that he had enjoyed a free ride on one of the army’s horses to Harputh’s palace.
Julius looked up to see King Harputh’s angry eyes; the contempt in them only merged the height of the smoke that wreathed behind the King’s castle. The soldiers who caught Julius had been around the fire for warmth. The only knight with the king was Putith, the army commander, armed with a sword that shone with death and destruction. The sight of the king’s seal on Putith’s belt nauseated Julius, hadn’t he sworn never to have anything to do with it again?
King Harputh spat on the ground before Julius. It made Julius look up and shoot the king a deadly look. He would not respect such kings as Harputh whose taxes only burdened the people of the kingdom. His hatred for Harputh not only bordered around the King’s heavy taxes, but also on his horrifying corruption.
“I will make you pay for others, you thief” Harputh said, moving behind his throne and placing his head on his clenched fists.
“I will watch you do it” Julius dared the king. He would have none of Harputh’s threat. He would rather have his tongue cut than keep quiet. He spat towards the king.
“You will not disrespect the king, you…” Putith furiously charged towards Julius before the king stopped him with a wave of his hand.
Harputh felt defied. A suspended thief had just spat in his palace. It meant only one thing; Julius didn’t fear death. Harputh would make him curse the day he was born.
“How dare you spit in my palace?” Harputh growled and took a threatening move towards Julius. When he got to him, he delivered a heavy blow on Julius’ face. Julius fell flat on his face, hands tied behind him. He struggled hard to turn himself but he failed.
Two months ago, Julius’ banishment from Albion resulted from an accident. On one of his aimless frolicking around the castle, in a time when Putith had led the knights in the hunt against an enemy, he had caught Harputh with Putith’s wife and much as he would have wanted to gain the king’s trust and confidence, he failed, for should Putith know, Harputh’s reign would be a history told in agony. Putith’s wife had advised the king against killing Julius. She would set Julius up and his banishment was sure to come. How she would do it, the king never understood but even the king was dumbfounded when his golden goblet was found in Julius’s hut.
Julius recovered from the effect of the king’s lethal blow and looked at his side to see Putith who had already whistled in his knights to take Julius to the dungeon. Julius pitied Putith, betrayed by Putith’s palpable oblivion to the king’s betrayal and his need and power, rather than right, to overthrow the king.


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