Departure

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Chapter 7

When the griffins cawed as they flew overhead we continued on our journey. The knight rode slowly behind me. “How are you feeling today?” I asked turning slightly.

“I am looking forward to a warm tavern,” he said.

“You mean sleeping under the stars, next to a crackling fire and the calls of the owls?” I asked.

“No, wrapped up warmly in sheets in a tavern,” he said, I turned back in the saddle looking between the ears of my steed. I rolled my eyes and chuckled. “What?”

“That’s just boring,” I said. “You’ll come to love nature.”

“Doubt it,” he said. The snow melted the more we travelled east I was saddened I knew soon my furs would be futile. We trotted across a river and hit the evergreen forest, it was humid and I threw my furs over the neck of my horse. I rode in just my leather armour, axe and sword buckled onto my back. “You can move better now,” he mocked me.

“Shut it,” I said. My tall stature shrunk as I felt naked. The knight caught up with me.

“Don’t let your confidence drop now,” he said.

“I just don’t like the heat,” I replied.

“Well, you’re going to have to get used to it,” he told me.

“Sadly,” I said lifting a hand from the reins and tucking a braid behind my ear. On the other side, I ran my fingers over the sidecut that had begun to grow back. I could see smoke rising from the top of the hill we now stood on, it was only a small village and was enclosed with a series of wooden stakes. “What town is this?”

“It’s the town of the humans, the ordinary folk. Farmers, peasants and mercenaries. All beings gathered here,” he replied. “Just stay close to me.”

“I can take care of myself,” I said and rode ahead of him.

“Okay,” he sighed. We walked through the farms. Most of the peasants stopped their work and watched us. Many gasped and pulled their children to them, things only got worse as we trotted through the town. People came out of their homes to stare, even the blacksmith stopped pounding on the anvil. I nudged my horse a little harder and I cantered away from prying eyes. I waited on the other side for the knight, most of the people retreated into their homes. “That’s why I needed you close.”

“Next time I will,” I said and we continued our ride. It became warmer and warmer, I had to stop more and more my Fjord needed to drink and rest.

“Welcome to my world,” the knight smiled as he stood next to me his steed also taking a break.

“How do you stand it?” I started to fan myself and even tied my braided hair up.

“That must be better no?” he asked.

“No,” I shook my head. I walked into the river soaking my leather armour and animal skin shoes. “Now it’s better.” I knelt in the cold water letting it cool me down.

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