Nov 2008

Chapter 55Avoided

The morning arrived smoothly. I was glad to have slept well for the last few hours. The dreams were not forgotten but no longer a burden on my mind. I woke Deirdre up with a kiss on her cheek. The morning was all the better for her smile. She blinked a few times to wake up.

"Did you manage to sleep?"

I nodded. "What did you mean with 'Air to water, one sister remains'?"

She blinked again and yawned. "I said that?"

I answered simply with a nod.

"I can't remember. Why did I say it?"

I smiled. "Well, I had another dream. I was flying through clouds until I ended up in rain clouds and drowned. In a sort of bubble of water."

She smiled. "Oh yes, I remember you said that. But I can't remember giving you that answer... I'm sorry I don't know anymore."

"We'll figure it out. Shall we get up?"

She gave me a swift kiss on my lips. "If we must."

We got up after that, got dressed calmly almost without looking at each other. We knew it would be a good hour ride to the house so we took all our weapons with me, just to be sure. When we arrived downstairs I saw it was mostly the same as yesterday. A few patrons, nothing more. We didn't even have to nod to the barmaid, she delivered us a simple breakfast almost as soon as we sat down.

Quite decent breakfast too.

More stiff bread and this time even some goat cheese. While some boiled water would have been nice, we got some thin meed that fitted well with the rest. I felt quite satisfied after I finished my share and hoped Deirdre would feel the same. I wasn't quite sure what kind of day we would have ahead of us, but at least it started out well.

We headed to the Castle of Light to retrieve our horses and were surprised by some sort of fight among the stable-boys. There had been a break-in of sorts and they were each holding the other responsible.

"Stop!" I exclaimed just as they saw me.

They all stopped fighting and looked at me. "Tell me what happened."

One stepped forward. "Well, Fred here", he pointed at one of the other stable boys, "was on the late shift and someone broke in."

"Anything taken?"

The guy hesitated. "... Well... Eh, not exactly."

This sounded interesting. "Show me?"

The guy led me to one of the stables and showed me a letter, pinned with a small knife. It was the stable with my horse in. From what I could see the letter was empty, save for a sign I'd seen before. Way back in the inn in Bleakfield. "Is this all?"

The guy nodded. The one named Fred in the background spoke up. "I tell ya, I just heard a strange sound. I think I chased whoever got in here away when I started looking."

The other stable boy scowled at him. "After you woke up, you mean."

Fred replied fiercely. "Don't ya start!"

I had to interrupt them. "It's fine. No one is hurt, nothing is stolen. And as this is my horse it seems as if someone wanted to leave me a message. Did you tell the Masters?"

All the stable boys hung their heads. The guy who spoke up initially, spoke up hesitantly. "Eh no. They can be real mean over stupid stuff like this. It ain't worth getting whipped over."

I took the knife and the note and shrugged. "It looks like someone playing a game on you guys. I'm not going to say if you aren't."

They all looked quite relieved. The one called Fred looked at me questioningly. "Eh, sir?"

I smiled. "Yes?"

"Did you want your horse?"

I nodded. "We're going into the country for the day. We'll be back by nightfall."

"Of course, sir."

After that it was the boring matter of allowing them to get the horses ready. Most of the stable-boys were 'forcing' us to let them do it. They felt truly relieved that they would be safe from any Master's wrath. It made me smile though. Everywhere there were rules enforced, people would try and get out of them if they could.

The horses looked glad to see us and happily carried us out of town and through the forest. We took the west gate, which looked practically identical to the south, and headed west. Deirdre said it would only take us an hour if we pressed the horses. Which we did. The horses actually looked like they were enjoying the galloping quite a lot. Almost racing against each other as we covered the distance.

Deirdre had to warn me for an unexpected right when we went to a smaller path, that would lead up to the house. As soon as we got on that though, we knew something was wrong. It looked like it hadn't been used in a month or so, nature was fighting to retake it. The path was very short, soon we ended up in front of what was once the gate. By what was once a mansion.

It was a ruin now.