I bolted out through the main entrance the moment the librarian’s body hit the floor. I ran five blocks before I felt safe enough to calm down. I stared at the crumpled, folded note I held in my hand. After catching my breath I built up enough courage to open the paper.
“Giving you this is a death sentence for me. I know and accept that” the handwritten text said, with more writing underneath. “You are putting yourself at great risk if you continue your search. I’m going to guess you won’t listen so here’s a hint. To find your family, find the fifth house of Knights.” I read the last part several times. Our continent was ruled by four Knight Houses, each with the power of an element. Earth, fire, wind, and water. I’d never heard about a fifth house until that moment, but I silently thanked the librarian for the help that cost her her life.
I pocketed the note and took a leisurely stroll to my house while running down my list of acquaintances that might be able to help me learn about a possible fifth house. By the time I walked in I picked out a name from my past; someone I’d prefer stayed there. But I needed answers.
“Call Nate,” I gave my phone a command as I brought it to my ear. The ringing started by the time I got there.
“This is Nate, tell me something interesting,” Nate’s raspy voice said on the other line.
“It’s Miller, I got a question. What can you tell me about a fifth House?” I asked. Nate valued his time, and I knew better than to exchange pleasantries.
“They’re around. Waiting for their King to appear,” Nate said. Nate’s information network never ceased to amaze me. “Once the king shows, the fifth house is entitled to an equal portion of the kingdom. I’m sure you can see why the other houses don’t want that. Where’d you hear about it?” he asked.
“Doing some family research, the librarian brought it up,” I replied, hoping he accepted the explanation without any follow-up questions.
“Huh. Hang tight, man. If there’s a chance you’re the king I’ve gotta look into it. I’ll be at your place in a few.” Nate ended the call, and I sat down on the couch to let my mind catch up the possibility that I may be a king. I must have zoned out because after what seemed like only a couple of minutes I heard a quick, light knock at the door.
“Coming!” I yelled across the house as I made my way to the door. I opened it and found four men pointing guns at me. They were the last thing I saw.