Changeling’s Choice by Rachael Ashdown

changeling75x99Vote at the end of this episode!

In the previous episode, a handsome man found Linnea and Soren in the swamp and he told them he could get them out again. As the readers suggested, he will attempt to get on the good side of the Troll King and Queen by taking Soren and Linnea to them.

Episode 14

“I don’t mean to be rude,” Soren interrupted, sounding particularly rude as he did so, “but what exactly are you? No offense, but we have had rather poor luck when it comes to meeting the magical people that live in this realm.”

“Oh, do forgive my rudeness!” the man said, in a much kinder voice than Soren. “I am Aksel. I am one of the water spirits that live in this swamp. There is no need to fear. I swear, I will bring you safely out of this marsh.”

“And we are supposed to believe you why?”

“Quiet, Soren,” Linnea snapped, earning an outraged glare from Soren who was both annoyed at being ordered into silence and at being addressed so informally by the scullery maid. They may be in the middle of a magical swamp, but he was still a prince!

“Oh, it is quite alright,” Aksel said with a gentle smile. “I understand your hesitance, my dear boy. But I am afraid you have little choice but to trust me. This is my home and I know it well. As strangers in this land, I can assure you that you will never get free without a guide. Please, allow me to assist.”

“Of course! We would love your assistance,” Linnea gushed sweetly, forgetting that she was coated in slime and mud as she watched Aksel closely with a face of utter bliss. Soren dearly hoped that had not been the look on his own face when they had been cornered by the huldra Dania. This thought triggered something in his brain. That look was not normal. That was the result of magic. The gears in his brain began whirring, desperately trying to put the pieces together, to determine exactly how much trouble they were now in.

“Excellent!” Aksel continued, oblivious of the inner workings in Soren’s head. “Here, let me assist you. I must confess, I do think that this arrangement can work out quite nicely. You see, as guests in this realm, you must be brought before the King and Queen to seek permission to be here, and I have need to seek an audience with them as well. Perhaps together we shall be able to speak with them. I find they are often far too busy to waste their time on such an ordinary spirit.”

“You are not ordinary,” Linnea said as if this was an awful thing to say. “You are the first kind face we have seen since we began our journey. Do you think the King and Queen will be able to help us on our quest? You see, we need to find the Trolls, but we simply have no idea how to seek them out.”

“Oh dear girl, that will be no problem at all!” Aksel said with a charming grin. “The King and Queen are Trolls. And I am certain they will be most interested to speak with you.” Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.

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