The first couple days of travel were quiet and long. The horses trotted with a quick pace, slow to tire. They were Vintar’s best steeds, proving as such.
Slowly, morning turned to noon, then from noon to evening, and from evening to night. Each day passed as such as they traveled north to the three corners of Avestitia, Brinn, and Trindal-VinCar. It seemed that they would never reach their destination.
One evening, Kiaran and Cyrin were the only ones left awake. She lied with her feet at the fire, watching her shadows dance softly in the night.
Cyrin fiddled with a little puzzle made of silver, gold, copper, and bronze. He was supposed to arrange it somehow, but Kiaran had lost interest in his instructions after a few minutes. The orange light cast strange colors across Cyrin as he worked with the metal.
“Davin will be fine,” he said lowly. Her eyes met with his and he repeated it. “He’ll be fine.”
“You say that as if you believe it,” she replied.
“How?” she demanded, keeping her voice hushed as not to wake the others within their tents. “How do you believe it?”
“You can make anything happen. I’ve watched it,” he answered, his eyes back on his puzzle. “Anything can happen...Just. You. Watch.” Suddenly, he let out a laugh, revealing his finished puzzle: A perfect cube, constructed of the three different metals. “I knew I’d figure this out.”
“Aye, well, make sure you save some wit for when we really need it, yes?” she replied with a bit of dry humor.
“As you say, your Majesty.”
"...Cyrin?" He lifted his gaze. "I want...to thank you," she forced out. He cocked his head at her sudden statement. "You've worked with me, even through all my stubbornness. We all know I'm...difficult...to work with."
He smiled very small. "It wasn't so bad."
"No. It was," she sighed sharply. After a short second, she smiled as well, finally locking her gaze with his. "You've been a friend...I don't have many of those."
"...I think you have more than you believe," he responded.
He moved to sit beside her, each of them watching the fire dance across the branches above them. Stars tried peaking through the orange-lit leaves. Kiaran's heart dipped deeper into despair, her brows creasing under the weight of heavy worry.
"You know. Maybe I haven't expressed myself well enough. I rarely ever do, actually," Cyrin spoke softly. "I'm not so good at making friends either. I'm usually too frank with others. People don't like that."
"No," she half-chuckled with him.
"Speaks to why I appreciate your company. We're quite similar, Kiaran." He handed her the block and she began to examine the details in the metal. "I like to think, despite our differing positions, you being royalty and all...we can call each other friends."
"Aye," she whispered against the pain in her throat. She blinked a couple times, nearly forcing the block back into his hands. Clearing her throat, she said, "We should sleep. We've got plenty of travel to come."
"I agree," he nodded. "Sleep well."
The next morning, Ryker and Petre spent many hours debating on the best usage of spells and how often they should be cast. As they spoke, Stella decided to get to know Cyrin, asking him many questions, most of which he answered rather vaguely.
“You answer like someone who doesn’t want to give answers,” she finally said.
“And to think you didn’t see that earlier,” he replied. She narrowed her eyes at him and he smiled. “At ease, woman. I simply just do not have much family to dote on and for my taste in food? It is unspecified. I’ll eat about anything so long as it’s cooked.”
"So you have no favorites, you have no family, you have no desires, passion, or anything of interest for that matter?" Stella huffed. With a saddened expression, she said, "What a sad life you lead."
"It's not so bad," he shrugged.
That evening, Kiaran pulled Petre aside. The fire stood in the distance, cooking what food Stella had hunted. “Do you know of anyway I could contact Davin? I know it is improbable, but I had read on a few things...I know nothing of magic,” she paused, feeling that she was rattling on. “But could I send him a message somehow?”
“What do you want him to know?”
“That we are coming. That he is safe...I don’t know,” she whispered. “I want him to have hope.”
“Hm...” he rested a finger across his lips as he pondered. “Do you have anything of his? Or anything of sentiment that is tied to Davin somehow?”
“I do,” she nodded. She rushed back to her tent and rummaged through her pack. Finding her shattered flower, she brought the shards to him. She held her hands cupped together, revealing the fragments within a small, velvet pouch. “...It used to be a flower before it broke.”
He smiled a little. Cupping his hands over hers, he muttered a quiet spell and a green light glowed between their hands. A prickling feeling danced across her palms. Removing his hands, she saw that he had mended the flower back to its original state. She stared in awe at it and thanked him.
“You are welcome, Queen Krutia,” he smiled. “Now take this.” She held the flower by the stem and he held a hand over top of it. “You must know exactly what you wish to say to him, for you will only have but a short moment to deliver your message.”
“Will this work? How does he get it?”
“He will hear our voices and see nothing. If you are not careful, he will think he is simply losing his mind.”
“Well, that is probably very likely,” she muttered.
“Are you ready?”