Horin’s revelations accompany me as we move deeper into Arc in the morning. He said more after telling me about his soul, and now I attempt to deal with what he revealed. So much so, I do not consciously notice Kay guide his horse to ride alongside Siri, although I see them riding.
Hanna leads with Joseph, while Horin trails us a fair distance behind.
The massive smiles that erupted on seeing the world in colours as we know it, has now abated. Despite the silence, I sense much relief. Neither Attis nor I said a word about Horin’s interference. It is better not too many realise how much power he really possesses.
Two days later we arrive at the same crossroads that set Lyra onto a different path. It is before sunrise and the moon is visible.
No one sees or hears or even senses the ghostly host Hanna told us about, but something else awaits us.
“That wasn’t there before,” Hanna mutters, staring at a cairn of white stones in the centre of the crossing.
Joseph gets off his horse to walk around the pile of rock. “It indicates direction. See there? The dark stone denotes the way.”
I see a line of darker stones on the facet facing the river. “We cross the river? Who would have left this here?”
Hanna gazes up at me. “Lyra, or someone on Lyra’s behalf.”
I twist my neck to see where Horin is. He is close enough to have heard us. “What do you think?”
“It’s Lyra,” he says quietly, and urges his mount forward to the river’s edge, crossing directly over without halting. The water is shallow.
Horin waves Joseph to him. “Can you track Lyra?”
The Messenger leans over the neck of his horse, and nods after a while. “She has left clear indicators.”
“She wants to be found,” Attis states.
I am not as certain Lyra leaves a trail, but I keep quiet. Let us see where this leads. I send Kay a look, and the westerner immediately understands. Others are able to read sings of passing also; we must be wary. Kay falls back to take up the rear.