Rogue hoped they wouldn’t meet the witch. The witch’s lair had been a horrifying experience, and Rogue didn’t think she could take on the witch once more. The witch was a powerful person who could mess with minds, and Rogue didn’t want to mess with her.
Rogue held out the map in her hand. “The tunnel isn’t too far away guys, almost a day’s walk from here.”
Eris and Aerys followed her.
“If only we knew about it while making our way here.” Aerys groaned.
“Yes, it would have saved loads of time.” Eris muttered.
They made their way across the forest, carefully, avoiding any movement and keeping a watch out for the king’s soldiers or the witch, but until now nothing had interrupted their forward march. They seemed to be making progress, and when they stopped at noon they were almost there.
“What if the warrior is unable to make it to the outskirts of Ashanti?” Eris wondered.
“We should trust the warrior; he is our only hope. He is a man of great mettle, and I don’t think anything will stop him from reclaiming his homeland.” Rogue said. “Then why didn’t he do it without us?” Eris asked.
“Maybe he needed you angel” Aerys replied, and it was true. The warrior had shown great interest in Eris, and that was something that even Rogue had noticed. The warrior had personally trained Eris, and something was fishy there. But Rogue decided to let it pass as there were more pressing things on her mind. They had to locate the tunnel entrance, as it was somewhere around here.
They searched and searched but there was nothing. Had Rogue read the map wrong? She handed the map to Aerys.
“This seems right.” Aerys said.
“Guys here.” Eris shouted at them from behind some bushes.
“We have to go in there?” Rogue gasped, staring down at a black hole beneath them.
“Don’t worry, we’ll use torches.” Aerys said picking up a stick and wrapping a cloth around it. He soon had three torches and handed one to each one of them.
They went into the tunnel, warily at first but soon they realized that there was nothing to harm them. They went on and on, soon they were tired but they had to make it out of the tunnel.
“I’m tired. Should we rest here?” Rogue complained. She could barely walk and she was dragging her feet behind her. She was tired as well as sleepy. “I don’t know how much more I can go.” she muttered, and collapsed only to be caught by Aerys.
“Woah there. We can rest now.” Aerys said and handed her some water. Aerys and Eris went about putting up a tent while Rogue watched exhausted.
That night, they went to sleep in the tunnel, and Rogue hoped nothing bad would happen to them. She wondered how they would wake at the right time, but she was too tired to do anything about it.
Rogue was shaken awake by Eris after a while. “We need to get moving.” he said to her. She walked out of the tent, into darkness.
“Where are the torches?”
“Coming up.” Aerys said, and Rogue saw light in front of her.
The trio set about finishing the journey, and they were soon there. Rogue’s heart leapt as she saw the light at the end of the tunnel. Finally.
The moved out of the tunnel to find the sun high up in the sky. It was almost noon.
The three sat down to rest, it would be a while before they set out to find the tribals.
“How do we find the tribals?” Eris asked.
“I will track them down.” Rogue said. She suspected it wouldn’t be that hard as the tribals were many in number, and she would find them quickly.
After an hour of rest, they set out again, but at a leisure pace this time. There was no hurry as they had ample time. They had quite a while to find the tribals and ask them to assemble their army.
Rogue looked around her as she walked, hoping to get any clues as to where the tribal clearing was. It was not too soon before she saw what seemed like an area on which many people had tread on. She followed the path, and soon before her was the clearing with the tribals. Rogue could make out the chieftains hut from the distance, and she walked towards it.
“Finally you arrive.” the chieftain said in a greeting to them.
“Yes, and we need your help. The valley is fighting against Ashanti, and we need the tribals to help as well.” Aerys said.
“I will call on other chieftains, but you will have to wait a day or two.” the chieftain said.
“That’s okay, we will wait.” Eris said. They had finally got a complete army.
The three of them walked towards a hut where the chieftain had asked them to wait. “The quest is finally getting somewhere at last.” Rogue said. They had an army, and they were ready to attack Ashanti. Atleast they would be in a few days’ time.
“Yes. And we go home at last.” Aerys said.
The three of them were in good moods as things seemed to be working out. That night, a banquet had been organized in their honor, and Rogue looked forward to attending that. She wondered how the banquet would be as she had never been to one before, and it felt good to think of something as normal as going to a banquet. Finally, something other than the king was on her thoughts, and Rogue felt thankful for that.
Thankful for having something normal to think about at last.