Immediately one of the guards runs off and as he does I can hear him yelling for the warden. While he is gone the cleric casts an anti-poison spell and a healing spell on me. Keeping up the act I stop moaning in pain after the spells are cast and I slowly sit up just as the warden arrives.
Warden says "What happened here?"
Cleric says "He was poisoned, and it was a fairly nasty one. A human would have died before I could reach him."
'That was a nasty poison? Really?'
The warden immediately orders one of the guards to find whoever delivered my food and bring them to him. Then he orders me to be moved to a VIP cell and for my guard to be doubled.
Warden says "Cleric, you can detect poison, yes?"
Cleric says "Of course!"
Warden says "Then you will also be on guard outside his cell. You are to check all food before it is delivered."
Cleric says "Understood!"
Warden says "Can you stand? Or do you need to be carried?"
"I can stand."
Warden says "Just so you know, I don't care if you are guilty or innocent. I will never allow a prisoner under my care to be killed."
"I can respect that."
Warden says "Good. Then don't cause any trouble."
"I don't intend to."
With that the warden leads me, surrounded by guards, from my cell to a new one. The new cell is about twice the size, has a bit bigger bed, and is much cleaner. It doesn't really matter to me, but it is good to know that the warden is an honorable man.
"If you manage to find out who tried to kill me I would very much like to know."
Warden says "I guess it couldn't hurt. Alright, I will tell you what I find out."
With that the warden leaves and I am locked into my new cell, with four guards and the cleric stationed outside. It looks like the warden is taking the attempt on my life as a personal insult. I shouldn't have to worry about any more attempts on my life, not that I was really worried.
Although, I kind of hope someone tries, if nothing else it might shift the warden more to my side. Either way I guess it doesn't really matter, it will all be meaningless once the invasion starts. Just as I am about to start meditating again I hear voices outside and then the door unlocks.
One of the guards comes in and places a stool down and then Zimmy comes in. As the head of the adventurer's guild I figured she would be far too busy to come and visit me. Especially now with the invasion looming and her knowing about it.
Zimmy says "Hi, Ash. How are you holding up?"
"I'm fine, thanks for asking. How are things outside?"
Zimmy says "My scouts found the army but it hasn't crossed the border yet."
"How bad is it?"
Zimmy says "About as bad as it can be, honestly. The scout reported around twenty thousand orcs and goblins with more still arriving."
"That is more than I was expecting."
Zimmy says "It is enough to wipe this kingdom off the map. What are we going to do?"
"Did you already report the situation?"
Zimmy says "Yes. Roland came to see me not long after I received the reports. He has sent out the military's scouts to verify the reports."
"Good. Once the military verifies the invasion and starts moving I want you to make sure the information is leaked to the people."
Zimmy says "That will cause a panic!"
"Yes, it will. Once the panic starts then I want you to leak the information that I am the one who paid for the defenses to be repaired and hired the mercenaries to fight the invasion."
Zimmy says "What good will that do?"
"Don't underestimate the power of the people!"
Zimmy says "Are you trying to start a rebellion?"
"No. The one who will start the rebellion will be the king himself."
Zimmy says "Is this really the time to have a rebellion though?"
"How long, once they cross the border, until they would get here?"
Zimmy says "Depends on their march speed, three days at least. Maybe four or five."
"Do you think the king and his court can organize a defense during that amount of time?"
Zimmy says "Not an effective one. No."
"Can you think of any other way to get me released so that I can fight?"
Zimmy says "Couldn't you just break out of here?"
"Oh, easily! But then I would be a fugitive and no one would listen to me."
Zimmy says "The adventurers and mercenaries would. So would some of the captains."
"That wouldn't be enough. Everyone is going to have to work together if we are going to survive this."
Zimmy says "Okay, I will trust you. What else do you want me to do?"
"For starters, set up some quests. The army will need food, so they will send out advanced foraging parties. Have the adventurers hunt those parties. Also as soon as the military confirms the invasion, tell Roland to evacuate everyone in that quarter of the kingdom. They should burn anything they can't take with them."
Zimmy says "That is a tall order, but I will do what I can. Anything else?"
"No, that should be enough for now."
Zimmy says "Alright, then I better get to work!"
"Tell your people to be careful. It is better they run away and live to fight again than to kill a few extra monsters."
Zimmy says "I understand."
"Alright, I will see you later."
Zimmy says "Oh, by the way, I got your items from Raindrop. You are going to love them!"
"Oh, I can't wait to see them!"
Zimmy gives me a smile as she stands up and knocks on the door and waves just before she leaves. Then the guard comes in to retrieve the stool before closing and locking the door again. Finally alone, I settle down and enter meditation and go back to trying to improve my meditation skill.