I do not look back after taking to a path with three children upon Forest. The way the horse snuffles at the air causes me to believe he likes children, and I find myself astonished that something so small makes me smile.
Siri walks next to me. “They follow. Even Artur,” she murmurs.
Again I smile, but do not respond with words. It is time to allow Artur and the others to think they made their own choices or we will have trouble later.
Ahead, these highlands are flat. It means easy travel. The plateau, however, bites in before swinging far to the west again to assume the same line Normur occupies. This means lengthy travel. We cannot simply head south. After the bite, it will be south and west. Those heading south from Normur will have used the land bridges to cross the canyons. The weather will be temperamental upon this journey.
The flats teem with movement. The slaves too have made their choices, and a host now moves into the distance. For three days most of us and them will be hungry, for I doubt many thought about supplies in their bid for freedom. I have some, but it will not cover everyone in our team.
The fort will have supplies. Drawing a breath, I prepare for the three day march to it, knowing the children will feel it most.
Horin ambles with the other kids. I notice he keeps them entertained and motivated. The lad has wonderful insight. I notice too how Artur glances at him. The stonemason wonders if Horin can make good on his threat.
Again I smile. Despite Artur’s gruffness, he has a soft heart. I foresee young Horin receiving defence tips from the big man before too long. Artur likes the fighters.
“Where is Lyra?” Siri eventually asks.
“On her way to Arc.” By the stars, I hope Lyra is safe.