Crofton was delighted to see his apprentice alive and well if a bit dirty. The other prisoners and the Prince were taken to the large tent that had been set up to look after the wounded. The prisoners that weren't injured cleaned themselves and then set off to find their family amongst the throng of villagers. Or rather, tried to. Crofton would not allow it.
"Injured or not you all need a rest!"
And so he arranged a huge meeting of all the villages. Each person stood in front of the crowd until they were recognised by a friend or family member who'd be able to take them home. The Prince was steadily getting better in his separate tent. He had been very lucky and was only hit by a small part of the stinger. If he had been hit full on the results would have been fatal but he hadn't and the village doctors had the cure for his kind of injury. James had been to visit Howard after getting his award in front of the villages for amazing bravery and cleverness.
"My my! You really are becoming a hero aren't you?" praised the Prince. "Wish I could say the same about me. I just barge in bravery and all hoping for good luck." He added wistfully.
"Nonsense!" replied James. "Sure you might not think about things first but there's always room for change. Plus you'll always be stronger than me, no doubt about that!" Howard smiled. "Besides, I've got a surprise for you so don't go all mopey on me." He brought out a shining trophy from inside his coat. The Prince took it and examined it in amazement. "Crofton says you may not have stood a chance but you were braver than all the villages put together. See! You had bad luck so what?"
"You know I'm due to get out today. Apparently there's a new baddie hiding in the village itself!" James raised an eyebrow quizzically. "I hear things! Plus it's the perfect way to keep fit after this huge lie in. Come on. Just like at the mountains?" James smiled and agreed.
People told stories of the inseparable Prince and his assistant for years to come and people like me still do now but who was really the hero? The Prince or the assistant? It just goes to show that things are not always as you expect.