The people did not believe that the Princess of North Realm was there talking to them. It was something that Rin told her to do. Take the power from the organizers and talk to the people directly. Rin glanced over her shoulder and could see that Rikkard was furious. Sofia grabbed him by the arm to prevent him from following the two girls. She just shook her head and while she caught Rin’s eye and mouthed the word, touché. Rin smiled and took off her cloak and gave it to a young boy who did not have one. She smiled as she took her scribe kit out and followed Itami and started to take notes.
Food was a big part of the people’s complaints, which kind of surprised Rin. However, she was part of the ruling class, so food was never that much of a concern. There was very little arable land for farming among the hard scrabble lands of the Maarke and the people were complaining about the high prices for a single loaf of bread or a haunch of cudder. The bread was made with a flour that has a mix of soy in it as well as a native grain. Eave maybe a planet that provides much but for certain amino acids that a human need to survive. The Maarke had fish and the bounty of the sea to live on but for this simple fact that the needed the fortified bread that the flour from the Barony of Leavestonne made.
“I never knew,” Itami whispered to Rin. “Doesn’t House danAven handle most of the contracts to the Maarke?” Rin nodded her head. House danRahn ran the Barony of Leavetonne and it was the breadbasket of the Realm. House danAven controlled much of the shipping by airship. The Barony of Leavestonne was on the other side of the continent but still, they have not heard of any deficit in this springs planting to allow for this shortage in the market.
[Give Sir Hanar a codename in the last part of the chapter.]
“Copper,” she heard Sir Hanar call for her over the secure line. “Check your six. We have got four targets moving towards Silver’s location. We have got confirmation that short one without adornments on his cloak is part of an anarchist cell.” Rin casually turned to her right as if to answer a question and saw them from the corner of her eye.
“Copy,” she whispered into her throat mike. She moved a bit closer Itami and said a single word: mikka. Mikkas were the small, swift animals that the eladrin rode, akin to deer. Skittish animals, they used the word mikka, to denote trouble and that Itami should be ready to run should it arise. Itami missed a step and swallowed hard.
“Is it too late to change my mind?” she joked.
Rin excused Itami from the crowd for a moment and fixed Itami’s cloak. She could get a better look at the people that were stalking them. “Sorry love,” Rin said smiling. “Should it come to it, just like the way we practiced.” Itami nodded her head and Rin sent her back to the crowd of people to talk to them. Rin only kept sloppy notes as her attention was mainly focused on the four. She could see that there were three men and a woman creeping up on them from multiple points. Rin cursed herself in letting them get so far out into the square in the middle of this crowd.
“Hammer. How soon can you join Silver?” She asked in a whisper while guiding Itami over to the side of the plaza.
“I could be there is a manner of seconds. Faster if you don’t mind me landing on a couple of civilians.” Rin groaned and thought the joke was in poor taste. “I could be there faster if you moved more to the side or gave me a place to land.”
Rin spotted a fountain and maneuvered the Princess over to it. It measured some three meters in diameter and had an elfin like creature pouring out the water from a vase. “Make a speech,” Rin said as she helped Itami up to stand on the broad fountain. The princess looked confused. “We need some time Your Highness.”
She nodded as the people came up to fountain to hear what the princess had to say. “I can see why you are all here” she said boldly with her Princess voice. “You can be sure that I hear you all. Some of you may want democracy,” she said as she looked over to the stand on which the organizers where standing on. Someone in the crowd cried, aye. “But most of you just want a decent price on food. I do not know why food is so expensive, but I along with Lady Rin promise to get to the bottom of it and bring food to you all at a fair and decent price.”
“Why don’t we just take the land we need from the eladrin,” Rikkard called out from the stand on which he was on. “They possess over ninety percent of the land while we have to scrabble about the rocks and precipices.” Several consenting voices rose up to agree with him.
“We scrabble over the rocks and precipices because we have too. We cannot go against our allies, the eladrin. We do not want to go against them for we do not want to end in perpetual war like the Empire of Tulath is in.”
All the while they were talking Rin was watching the short man. He was about a hundred seventy centimeters tall, had long black hair and a scar that split is right brow in two. He was intent on staring at something behind the Princess which confused Rin. Then he was a blur of motion as he drew his blade and a pistol in both hands. Rin twisted her back and tried to bring the princess down. Behind her, Rin could see a second gunman and she cursed herself for her hubris.