A light in the forest

Ieyasu knew something was wrong when he returned from the castle and she was not in the palace. He had searched for hours up to that point thinking maybe he had just missed her. He knew now that was wrong and he was now just wasting time. He didn’t want to lose, so he began to write a note to be delivered to the castle and inform them of her disappearance, but he would be already out searching. He put the whole household on alert. For some reason now that her abduction was apparent in his mind his chest began to hurt. He pushed his anger and fear for her safety off to the side and had to focus. His horse already saddled by a well-trained vassal was waiting for him in the front of his palace. He never had a super urgency before, but he knew every minute now counted. He had to find her and soon.

No one had seen her for hours and what he could place only one dray had gone out of the town with two men the people in town had never seen before. It was now dark as he rushed down into the forest to see if they passed through that way. He knew Masamune had a troop out here somewhere. He was now searching when he saw a movement through the trees. “Lord Ieyasu?”, was the question asked.

“Yes, you’re one of Masamune’s scouts correct?”, he nodded curtly.

“Aye, that’s us.”, the young man said now standing before him.

“The Princess has been taken. Did some people pass through here in a dray? A few hours ago?”

“Yes! We noted it only because this sort didn’t look like the farmer type. They weren’t samurai but had nice swords.”

“How long ago?”

“Not more than two hours. They were moving slow.”

Without a backward glance, he took off and kept his eyes peeled for the tracks now in the moonlight. He could see them, and if they lead to her, he would follow into hell. He settled his anger into his familiar way to help with his strength and ability. He would find her. He had to find her.

As he rode he could see the tracked from the worn out dray begin to sway back and forth then he saw why. The dray was now abandoned. He looked all around the vehicle for evidence of her being there. He then saw a piece of her outfit tiny enough but the same fabric she had been cloaked in this morning when he kissed her goodbye. He started looking for tracks and found two sets. They must be carrying her. He began to follow as he came upon another small piece of fabric. Then another. And another. She was leading him to her. She must be in a clear mind and not knocked out. His anger was near the point he could not see straight-any longer he was beyond his position of control. The people if they touched her or left any marks he would decimate them.

He crept along the path for some distance when he came upon an old rundown shack. He could see a faint light thru the boarded up windows and the creaks and crevices throughout the sides. He crept quickly up to the shack to peer inside to locate her and found her sitting off to the side with a look of irritation he could hardly believe. She glared at her captors openly. He didn’t wait. He could barely stop himself as he rushed the door.

Soon he was carrying her outside carefully. As he undid her gag and the ropes binding her, she smiled at him. His anger was receding slowly. She was a light in the dark forest as she threw her arms around his neck happily, grateful to be in his arms. He carried her to his horse a ways back. She insisted she could walk, but he insisted that he carry her. He would never let her go now. Ever. His vassals would have a new task of watching her. She stayed here for him, and he will keep her safe. Forever.

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