As the sun sets, we make camp off the road. Damin tells me in no uncertain terms I need to recover, but I feel now how time is pressing upon me.
The three men and two women who earlier drew our attention join us. There is safety in numbers.
All are from Alarn, and are aware of the threat from above. Marica is a small, slender man who apparently saw Mirlin’s map, listened to the warning to head south and prevailed upon his friends to join him.
“Most ignore the threat,” he tells us. “They say it will pass us by as in the past. We choose to risk this journey in the event it does not.”
“Wise,” Damin murmurs.
Marica gazes at me. “We heard of a lady able to control the elements, a Healer also. Forgive me, but you mentioned Arc. Are you that lady?” He touches his eyes, a reference to my different colours.
“Lyra is our lady,” Damin says when I do not respond.
The thumping fear in my body causes me to speak then. “We need go faster, Damin. I cannot see safety for us if we first deal with Porlese, then the fort before marching to Arc. We should fly directly there, now, tonight.”
Damin takes my hand. “Talk to me. I understand the urgency, but there is more, isn’t there?”
My fingers dig into his palm. “I need time in the safe zone. It isn’t enough just to get there before it hits. There is something at Arc that requires time to deal with.”
“I know!” I wail.
The older woman - Hanna - says, “You need a swift horse and a guide, lady. You should go on as fast as you can, alone. I can guide you and I know where to find the best horses.”