Watching the Wotan’s get closer, I thought about hiding and following them, but my legs couldn’t move. I wasn’t sure if it was by choice or not, but all I knew was that I couldn’t be away from Afakan when those bastards arrived.

My heart raced as I heard the mechanical sound of the robots’ limbs get louder and louder.

“We will make it out of here.” I pushed my legs to move closer to my Magical, “One way or another, we will make it out.”

I shifted my gaze back at the direction of the sound and saw the four robots approach me. One lowered to its knees as the rider raised the robot’s hand, aiming the gun at Afakan.

I moved in front of Afakan and faced the rider. “This is an act of violence.”

“You’re the one who is trespassing with a Magical.”

“I wouldn’t have if you didn’t send a ship to attack us!” I shouted.

“We did no such thing.” The rider turned its robot weapon on me. “In fact, you are the one who took down one of our research ships.”

I narrowed my eyes. There was no way I was going to win this argument, and I had to think fast. He clearly had no intention of admitting what they did.

I straightened my posture and raised my head to look directly into his eyes. “Let us go, and I won’t tell my kingdom about what you did.”

He pitched a high laugh and raised the bar securing him in place before he jumped out of his robot’s head and landed in front of me. He wore a white and green leather suit with two guns resting on his belt and a few foreign gadgets on his sleeveless arm.

His entire outfit appeared more technologically advanced than my faction had ever seen. Though we had our fair share of advanced technology, the Normans were obviously far more developed than us. I never understood, why with all of their science they never managed to ride Magicals like we have and had to result to building robots to match our power. But this was not the time to be thinking about all of this.

He raised one of his guns to my face. “You misunderstood, Miss. You are now our prisoner.” He paused and glanced at Afakan. “You and your beast.”

Afakan struggled to move so he could face the man before he opened his mouth, a ball of fire accumulating inside it.

“Calm the beast down. Even if he kills me, there are three other bots surrounding you that will open fire immediately, burying the two of you here and now.”

I glanced at the robots surrounding us and saw that their weapons were, indeed, aimed at Afakan. I may not have cared had they been directed at me, but I couldn’t let my Magical die because of my decisions.

I raised my hand, focusing on what I wanted Afakan to do before he closed his mouth and rested his head back on the ground, clearly still fighting the pain, which I felt every bit as much as he did.

“Two of the bots will now carry your beast,” the Wotani started. “I hope you tell it not to make any surprise movements. You will come with me.”

“Where will you take us?” I asked.

“To prison,” he said with a chuckle, “until the leadership decides what they want to do with you.”

I walked in front of him, with the gun pointing at my back as the two other robots grabbed Afakan and carried him out of the forest. As I saw them disappear in the distance with my Magical, I wished I had chosen to hide and follow the robots instead, however, it was too late for that.

As we marched through the forest, I realized there was only me and the Wotani. The other robots were long gone, and even his own appeared to have followed the others without a rider. I realized at that moment that I had a chance to escape, but I knew nothing of their kingdom. I didn’t know if it would be easier to escape now and try to infiltrate their land later on my own while I searched for Afakan, or if I should let the Wotani lead me to their prison, hoping Afakan would be close enough for me to control him and create a way out for the two of us.


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