It took a long time before they could see the faint line of the river in the distance. Seeing it was a great relief, because they were starting to get weary of so much walking. They descended the hills further and further, and soon saw in the distance the rooftops of a village. Not long afterwards, they could hear the rushing of the water down below.
“Finally!” Cerys cried, rushing down the final slope of hillside.
Nashtra let her go, but he himself walked at a more leisurely pace. Himeko decided to walk alongside him. Peter’s sighed and half-rolled his eyes, and stayed behind them. Bayani, wanting to rush alongside Cerys, took Peter’s hand and tugged on it. Peter only shrugged.
All of them watched as Cerys hurried to the edge of the river and knelt down beside it, dipping her hands into the water. It was flowing hard, rushing by, probably fresh from its own descent down the hill. Shes splashed the water on her face, relieved for its cool feel. It took a few more minutes, but Nashtra and the others soon made their way down the hill to and over beside her, kneeling on the sand, dipping their own hands into the water. Peter and Bayani arrived last, of course, and Peter sat on a rock to take off his boots.
“We will make it to the village for supper,” Nashtra told him, seeing the weariness on his face.
“Please tell me that from there on, we will have horses to ride,” Peter begged him.
“That should not be too much of a problem,” Nashtra replied. “I should warn you, though,” he added after a moment of thought, “not to talk too much when we get there.”
“Why not?” Peterson snapped.
Bayani tightened his lips when he heard his boyfriend’s reaction, but didn’t say anything.
“You have to understand,” Nashtra explained, “the baron whom you know, James’s father, is not quite as popular out this way as he is back in Carawick.”
Cerys nodded. “I guess that makes sense,” she said, “after everything that James explained to us.”
“So what should we do?” Himeko asked.
“Follow my lead,” the elf replied, “unless I tell you otherwise. And if I am not around, go along with what the people are saying.”
“Should we play stupid, too?” Peter asked, contempt filling his voice.