Kreelan woke Kate from her nap. "The South wall needs a little mending, but everything seems to be holding up so far. The goblins don't seem to be too interested in trying to get in right now. Just waiting for us to give up, I guess."
"How low are we on food?" Kate asked. "Turn around, I need to change."
He turned around. "A week. Two, tops."
Kate pulled off her dirty sweater and grabbed the bowl of water and sponge waiting for her. She cleaned herself as best she could and put on the woven garment one of the women in the village had given her. "Okay, I'm done."
Kreelan turned back around. He handed her a tray he had set by the door. "Here's your meal." He lifted the cover revealing several vegetable dishes. There hadn't been meat for a week.
"I can't take all this. This is more than my share," she told him.
"But you have to keep your strength up. Your power takes a lot out of you."
"It's been getting easier," she lied. The truth was that she was exhausted. She felt like she could sleep for a week, eat herself silly and sleep for two more. But she couldn't do that. These people depended on her. She grabbed an apple off the tray. Give the rest of this to village."
"No, buts," she said. "Do it. I have work to do." She left the room taking a bite out of the apple. She finished the apple by the time she had left the house and was even sucking the juice from the core as she walked down the street.
She saw Regkor turn the corner and quickly chucked her trash. If he realized how hungry she was, he would give her his rations and happily starve himself. "Hi, Regkor. How is the excavation of your home going?"
"Slowly, milady, err, Kate," he said. "And getting slower. People are getting hungry and having difficulty working." He lowered his head and shook it.
"Cheer up. This siege can't last forever," she said.
"Right, we'll starve to death or surrender long before then."
She took hold of his shoulders and shook him. "No, stay positive. That's the only way to get through this. Trust in our ability to come up with something. "
"Okay, Kate. I trust in you." He clasped her shoulder. "I should get back to the excavating."
He left her. Kate watched him go and thought, "Now if only I could trust me, too." She stared at the ground more a minute. The apple core caught her eye. She considered picking it up and seeing if there was any more sustenance left in it, but she wasn't that hungry yet. Instead, she kicked it under a bush for the squirrels to eat and continued to the south wall.
It looked like the goblins had been busy while she had slept. The wall still stood, but had taken quite a bit of abuse. There wasn't quite a hole, but a section did let translucent green light shine through. She focused and the rose bush that made up this section branched out and grew thicker than before. The light grew dimmer as the spot filled in.
"Goblins," somebody shouted from East. "There are goblins in the camp!"
Kate looked towards the commotion and saw a young boy run towards her. "Princess Kate, come quick. They are inside. My father needs your help."
She had no clue who the boy was or who his parents were. She still knew only a fraction of the village's population. But she scooped him up in her arms and said, "Tell me where they are."
Kate followed where the boy pointed. She arrived at the East wall to find an elf backed against the wall. A goblin had his sword drawn and was shouting at the crowd that was gathering.
"This is what happens to traitors. This is what happens when you don't obey the law of Lord Zang."
"Hey," Kate shouted. “Leave him alone. Why don't you pick on somebody your own size?" Kate cringed when she heard herself say it. It was a ridiculous thing. The elves were taller than she and were nearly twice the height of the goblins.
The goblin turned to her. "Do you want to take their place?" He said. "Maybe I should kill you first and then make an example out of him." He took a step towards her. He raised his sword up and swung for her neck. Kate didn't act consciously. It happened with pure instinct. The tree branch of the mighty oak that was the cornerstone of this portion of the wall came down and knocked the sword out of his hand.
Kate dashed after and picked up the sword. "Who is going to make an example out of whom now?"
"Please, spare my life. I was just following orders."
Kate stepped up to him. She got within inches of his face. She could feel his breath coming out in short rugged bursts. "People have tried to use that to justify many vile things throughout the history of my people. It didn't work for them and it won't work for you." She reached the sword up. His whole body shook he began muttering something under his breath. Did the goblins have a higher power they prayed to?
"Go," she breathed. “I will not hurt someone who is unarmed. But you are no longer a part of this war. If you come back. I see you again, I will kill you.
She lowered the sword the goblins what does the breath that Kate had realized he was holding. Kate exhaled as well. The mighty oak wrapped a smaller branch around his waist and listed him over the wall the branch pulled back and released the goblin soldier flew off into the trees of the glade where Kate had first come to this world.
She examined the hole in the wall. The South wall had been just a diversion while they slowly act through the East wall until they reach the. She could see the goblin Army holding back, unsure of what to do after one of their own had been so forcefully ejected.
Kate took a deep breath and started to weave the branches and leaves back together. She stopped. They weren't defenseless anymore. She had a sword. The only way this was going to end is it they defeated the goblins. The goblins would not back down on her own.
She stepped through the hole in the wall. "This ends today." She raised her sword and charged at the nearest goblin. He – wait no -- the breastplate was shaped in a way that made Kate certain this was a female. "Well, score one for equality amongst the goblins, I guess," thought Kate.
The she-goblin quickly pulled out her sword and carried Kate thrust. The force knocked Kate’s weapon from her hands not, and it fell to her feet. Her foe swept up the sword and placed her own in her scabbard. She raised Kate weapon against her. "Well, this was probably a bad idea."