7. Chapter Seven - C.K.
By midday I was packed, by nightfall I was out on my horse.
My grey mare trotted along the pathway out of the palace and into the world I was so unfamiliar with. Evangelique knew the kingdom in a way that I didn’t, so I made sure to check on her and ensure she wouldn’t be leaving until tomorrow.
I mean, if her horse is in the wrong stable then she wont find him till tomorrow, and she’s probably got her nose in some book right now and wont realise anyway.
I had discarded my long dress for something more practical, brown trousers and a faded white shirt. My saddle bag had a few things packed in them, food, daggers, an old map of the kingdom amongst other things. Strapped tightly around my waist was my dual blades, and across my bad I had a large axe, the only weapon I owned that required two hands to use.
I figured a dragon hide would be a bit tougher than animal hide, so I decided to bring my toughest weapon.
The sun had set slowly, dipping further and further down on the horizon until I was relying only on Myro to show me the way, he’d call directions out to me and warnings as we travelled, heading down towards the lower towns.
We moved slowly, not wanting to alarm anyone with a running horse, I didn’t need someone coming out and fussing when they realised I was the princess-come-queen. I needed to get on and do this before Evangelique could.
Myro hissed at me, landing softly on me shoulder and flapping me in the face as he settled.
“Yes I know it’s late, just let me get to the forest and then I’ll set up camp.”
He pecked at my ear and I grabbed his beak, holding shut as we rode along.
“I am not setting up in the village, I’d rather be in the forest where I can hunt down a rabbit rather than get one from royal favours.”
He ruffled and I released his beak, letting him nip my ear one more time before pushing him off. I sniggered as he flapped about before smacking into my mares backside and onto the floor. I slapped a hand over my mouth to keep my laughter from bubbling out, he cawed mockingly at me before he took to the skies one more time.
The forest was in my sights now, and I urged my mare on just a little faster so we could set up camp. No doubt Evangelique was happy in her bed with a book to devour but I preferred the outdoors.
We didn’t head too far into the forest, just far enough in that we’d be out of sight of any passers by but so I could still see the smoke rising from the village houses. I found a nice canopy and set up, laying my mare down and curling up next to her in the warmth, we were having an unusually cold spring this year but I knew by dawn I’d be sweltering.
Myro fluttered down softly and pecked around for a few minutes, pulling up worms and gorging himself on them. I shuddered and rolled towards my mare, no longer able to see him eating those things.
I knew he was a bird, but, ew.
He hopped up onto my arm and I rolled slowly so her could wander onto my chest and park his feathery backside down there, curling up so he was resting in the crook of shoulder and neck.
“Myro, wake me at first light.”
He squawked and fluffed up his feathers, tickling me softly under the chin. I reached up and lazily smoothed his feathers down, feeling the softness run between my fingers as I stared up at the canopy.
My mare huffed, laying her head down after nuzzling my hair softly. Myro tweeted almost silently into my ear and I hummed.
“I told you, learning horse is a lot harder than learning bird. Give me a few more months and I may be able to hold up a conversation with her.”
“You love translating, makes you feel important, so stop complaining and go to sleep.”
Myro was silent and I sighed, letting my eyes drift close and I simply listened to the forest, to my own breathing, to my companions breathing. I listened, and then I slept.