• What’s now, Eirik? One more dead end.

I hear a pure disappointment. Porir prefers the action nor the crosswords. Back in that village he was eager to fight, to test his strength and luck. Unfortunately for him we didn’t seek one more enemy, so he stayed put, but not so calm. I felt his power of nonhuman with just one aim, to tear, to break.

  • Why do you smile, Eirik? I thought, that’s bad news.
  • She is alive. 
  • And she is here.

I add after a short pause.

  • How do you know that?!
  • That woman is utmost smart. She managed to escape the whole villain’s clan without any help, not adding she was in a non familiar land. 

To my surprise I chuckle. I give her credit. That bastard had to be pissed off till death when she escaped. I heard so much about her, but I’ve never seen her in person. Everything I was told looked more unreal, more like one more myth, than truth. But now.. I chuckle again, shaking my head slightly.

  • She can be anywhere now. How will we find her?

I snap out from my thoughts. 

  • She will want to get home safely. Send a few men in the surroundings of Blacks. One day she will be back. We have to know that.
  • So we will wait?!

I hear Porir growling in disappointment.

  • Way is long and dangerous. She needs some places to hide.
  • As I already said, there is a dead end.
  • Hm..

I lean against the tree. I think as my fingers stroke my chin.

  • She will hold herself near to humans or she will try to reach her friends.
  • We don’t know any of her friends.
  • But we know where short-lived people live.

Porir sighs nervously.

  • Who knows how many people or maybe armies look for her. No doubts she is hiding. No one saw her. And you insist she is in one of polis?

I nod.

  • And that’s the better reason she will be close to humans.
  • Seems unlikely, but if you say so.. That means, we are going to.. ?
  • Gharnatah.

Porir’s eyebrows shoot up in seconds, eyes become more round.

  • Home?!

He jumps and turns 360 degrees in the night air without waiting for my answer. I laugh. I don’t remember when I saw him in such a good mood. Maybe during the last battle which we won. And definitely at our young age when we met and spent each day together training, hunting and partying. Right, that was a blessful time in Gharnatah!

  • Yeah.

I answer restrained compared to his joy. Gharnatah is one or two nights’ walk for us. It is the biggest polis in this area. If you want to hide or someone to disappear, it is the right place. It’s ideal oaze to get required shades from sun and heath. Between green woods and orange trees, surrounded lines of grey mountains live many creatures down there, among those humans.

  • She has to be there.

I smile with hope. She can’t hide forever, so I will find her no matter how slippery she is. She won’t escape me as she did for others.

  • Let’s race!
  • Porir, you never change!

I shake my head a bit to the sides as in disbelief and smile.

  • I’ll take the left way. 
  • ..and greet you in the palace!

I add teasingly and enjoy our brotherly competition.

  • No way!

We separate our ways and move toward Gharnatah. It’s not just polis to me. There is one not such a high peek in those polis-surrounding mountains. It holds one of my homes. It’s not a cave, it’s not a castle. It wasn’t meant to hide or withstand wars. We made it stronger now, but it’s still more an ancient palace. My mother’s or grandmother’s dowry. My father never wanted me to know. 

A stream of wild rain’s water meets my eyes and I quickly notice my mistake. Damn it! I forgot about it. I had to cross it earlier where it was narrow. Damn! I look at my way back.

  • I won’t lose the race.

My eyes find lots of stones in this mountain river. They lay calmly inside, just their tops peak. I put my foot on one of them. It looks stable to hold me. Then the second one joins the first one. I hold my weight stable. Here we go! I pick up speed and jump from one stone onto another trying to reach the other river bank. I feel a presence. Is it HER scent? Is it my angel? I hear brunch broking and turn my eyes to that side. My foot slips between the wet stones and I lose control of my body. My hands grab for any support, but it’s only air around and her sweet scent.

Continue reading chapter 17