I recently started a fantasy romance, and this is the first scene from the second chapter. I'm using this scene because it has more dialog than the first scene of the first chapter.
by Shirley Martin
"You'll have to hurry, son. I'll explain the situation as you get ready. I've already ordered the stable boy to prepare a horse for you."
Inside his bedchamber within the palace of Airen Tir, Garth pulled on his trousers, all the while focusing his attention on his father. He wondered what the 'situation' was.
"As you know," his father explained, "we have a few spies planted inside the palace of Volanar. They act as servants of the palace, but they serve us. Now let me backtrack a bit. Have you heard about a cache of gold hidden inside a cave of Misty Mountain?"
"Misty Mountain?" Garth paused while pulling his linen tunic over his head. "I've always thought that tale was a myth. You think there's some truth to the story?"
King Treherne nodded. "I have reason to believe so. The story has persisted throughout the years, and my grandfather spoke of it in his last days, regretting that he'd never sent anyone to find the treasure. There surely must be truth to the tale." He leaned forward, his hands on his knees. "Yesterday, one of our spies was in the archives room of the Volanar palace--"
Garth fastened his belt. "The archives room? What was he doing there?"
"He followed Princess Olwen, clandestinely, of course, and checked the room after she left. First lighting a candle, he saw an open book that revealed a map of where the gold is hidden far to the north of Elucera in Misty Mountain."
"Wait a minute," Garth said, dropping several coins in a purse attached to his belt, where his sword already resided in its scabbard. "How do you know this?"
"A carrier pigeon brought the news early this morning on a slip of paper. A small map was included." He drew the paper from a pocket and handed it to Garth. "Study this map later, when you have time.. Another spy saw a young man he couldn't identify ride off in the middle of the night."
Folding the paper inside his tunic pocket, Garth sat to pull on his boots. "That still doesn't prove that the man was headed for Misty Mountain."
Treherne smiled slyly. "Remember I once told you about a hole drilled in the wall of the king's study, behind a painting? One of our spies heard the princess talking to her father about the hidden gold." Briskly, he stood. "Enough talk. I want you to ride as if your life depended on it." His eyes narrowed. "You need to redeem yourself, son. There is still your unexplained absence from the kingdom earlier this year."
"And if I arrive at the cache of gold the same time as this unidentified young man?"
"Why, you kill him, of course."
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