A Modern Legend- Page Sixty

The party that left the manor house around noon that day was quite different from any party they had ever imagined they would form. There was the bard dressed in various shades of blue– even his cloak was blue, in fact– a lute strapped to his back, his pockets filled with all sorts of trinkets, and an archer dressed in green and brown with his quiver full of arrows, and a longbow, because the short bow really didn’t have the type of agility that he wanted (he had asked for a crossbow, but there were none to be had), and a girl dressed as a warrior who seemed far too small for such a role. Not to mention the mage who looked far too young to have any experience in magic.
They were all on horseback, and leading them was a tall cloaked figure a sword at his waist. He had two guards at his side, but did not look entirely happy to have them with him. It seemed to them that this would be the most unusual journey that they had ever undertaken, far more unusual than the journeys that they typically took as gamers, or in the fantastical books that they read. Perhaps now that the journey was a literal one, everything seemed so much more out of the ordinary.
The sun was high overhead, and the leader of the group did not seem too keen on that fact. It was as though he had wanted to leave much earlier in the day. It could not be helped, however, and things were what they were. Cerys had needed training in using her magic, and everyone else had needed outfitting with their proper attire and weapons and, in Bayani’s case, instruments. It had been nearly lunch time were ready to set out, and James refused to have them sit down at the table for lunch. Instead, they brought with them things to be eaten on the journey, while riding on horseback.
They let the horses stroll leisurely down the road while the members of this adventure some party took their lunch of bread and fruit and wineskins that, given their contents, really should have been called watermelons. James wanted to have the horses galloping, but he knew better than to push his new friends to such limits. It would not do to have his new allies choking on or losing their food along way.
The journey was more series of patterns. Miles of road, mostly dusty paths formed by wagon wheels and horses over the many years that the kingdom had stood, then a small village, then farm fields, then more dusty roads. The horses liked the soft ground more than the cobbled streets of some of the villages, so it was just as well that they didn’t spend too much time in any one village. It seemed that the people in the villages were familiar with James, and that he was quite well liked, as well as his father the baron. It seemed to all of them that this was a good barony to be in, although they were starting to get the impression, as the day went on, the things were not quite so good beyond the Barony of Chadwick. James grew a little more tense as the sun passed over its zenith and began its slow descent back behind the distant mountains. Cerys, the empath that she called herself, was probably the first of the group to pick up on his sense of unease. He was unwilling to talk about it, of course.
When she asked him why he seemed somewhat troubled, he only shook his head.
“Is it those monsters?” She asked him. “Those strange things that come out at night? Do you think they will be out earlier tonight?”
James shook his head.
“Are we going to be inside by nightfall?” She prodded, “or will we still be on the road?”
James seemed less worried about this than about whatever else was on his mind. “I’ll make sure that we’re in the village safe and sound by the time it’s dark enough for those strange things to come out. I won’t endanger you without any need.”
“So then why do you seem so nervous?” She pressed.
“It’s a long way from the edge of Carawick to the capital city of Summerlay,” James told her.
“Are you worried that our guide will not be loyal?” Himeko added when she started to overhear their conversation.
This, too, did not seem to bother James. “He is as loyal as you could ask someone to be. I can guarantee that. He is somewhat known among the other regions, but anyone else less well-known would also mean a sacrifice in loyalty. This guide you will be meeting is the best one for the job. He will ensure that he is not so easily detected and that it is not so obvious that someone loyal to my father is traveling the land. He will not be taking the major roads that the other nobles ride on, so you should not be so easily noticed.”
Peter did not look happy about what he was hearing, either. He knew that when his sister sensed something that she was on the right track. She was known for being easily distractible, to be sure, but not for being wrongly worried about anything. If she said something was out of sorts, she was probably right.
“What other sort of danger are you getting us into?” Peter asked, his face scrunched up in dissatisfaction. Bayani laid his hand on Peter’s, but he was not so easily calmed down. “What is out there beyond your ability? And why should you be so worried that we are venturing out there?”
“You know what we have explained to You,” James told him. “We don’t like this sort of intrigue in our kingdom, and even less the fact that we really can’t do anything about it. Not more than what we are already doing, anyway,” he added.
By then, the orange glow of sunset was upon them, and James seemed eager to seek shelter. “We should ride faster to get to the next village,” he urged them. ‘I promised you that I would get you somewhere safe, and then we can stop for the evening,”

About Legends of Lorata

Eleanor Willow is the author of the high fantasy series Legends of Lorata, which takes place on a medieval-style world filled with elves, dragons, and faeries. There is also a fourth race, one that is rare and magical: the angelic Starr. Lorata is a distant planet watched over by four deities: good, evil, elemental, and celestial-- and there are plenty of legends about them all! One of the most important ones is the prophecy of Jenh's champion, Loracaz, who is promised to return to the realm whenever evil threatens to take hold. There are currently three books completed, and the first one can be read online. Book four is currently being written, and a fifth will most likely be in the future.
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