“Yorin. Find me someone from the city. A citizen. Don’t scare him but bring him to me. I want to see what the citizens know about the army.”
“I’ll see who I can find that may have useful information.”
Maroshek turned back to the battalion commanders as Yorin left the building. Each reported in on losses and last minute changes in battle plans. Maroshek, satisfied with what he heard, sent them on to their respective battalions. He then checked in on the one company left to guard the gate and tend to the battlefield just outside the city. When he returned Yorin was waiting with a man who looked older than the city itself. And, considering the capitol had been in existence for over seven hundred years, that was saying something.
“Good sir,” Maroshek crouched down in front of the old man seated on a stool, “Do you know where so many of the soldiers from the royal army have gone? Are they hiding somewhere?”
Maroshek furrowed his brow. He was about to say something when the man continued.
“They’re sick. Many of them are dead. It’s her.”
Maroshek blinked several times, “What do you mean?”
“Summer fever. Most of the royal army contracted it. Those who aren’t dead are still recovering. Only a few have managed to remain on the walls.”
“What about the rest of what you said?”
The old man grinned at Maroshek, “I know who you are Lion. You seek her. She did this. She gave them the fever.”
“You speak of Jaylen,” Maroshek fell back on his heels.
“I do. The Phoenix Queen comes. The summer fever protected those who believed in her and destroyed many who did not.”
“And the ones on the walls? How have they survived?”
“The Overlord protected a few. As many as he could.”
“Do you know if he is still in the city?”
The old man shook his head and studied his feet. Maroshek took a deep breath and stood. He clasped the man on the shoulder before turning to Yorin.
“What do you think?”
Yorin scrubbed his face for several seconds, “I’m not sure what to think. From what I’ve seen it makes sense. But really? It’s hard to believe.”
“Well then, please make sure this man gets back to his house safely and we’ll go check it out. There is most certainly more going on here than we know.”