Prince Arlin whistled a happy tune while he walked through the castle halls. Soon he found himself in front of Gaston’s door. He knocked twice and waited for the door to swing open. Gaston’s grimace turned to a smile when he saw the prince standing there.
“Good morning my friend,” Arlin chirped as he pushed into the room.
“I expected to see you strung up by your thumbs this morning. How did you avoid a fate worse than death?”
“I have my ways. However, this means we must vacate the castle for now and miss the siege.”
Gaston’s face returned to a grimace. “With no time in battle I won’t be able to prove my worth as a defender of the kingdom. If it is the punishment we must take for the failure last night then I’ll serve my time. Where will we be sequestered?”
“One of the country villas. We will meet mother there, along with anyone deserving to be hidden away. All of us from last night are sent there, for our protection.
Gaston whistled, “Even those two elves and the dwarf? Impressive.”
“We will prove Catheldor is a peaceful kingdom who would be a worthy ally.”
“When do we leave?”
“As soon as the horses are saddled and the group is together.”
“Excellent,” Gaston began to load supplies into a pack. “A breath of fresh air away from this castle might wash away our failures. I’ll ready the horses if you wrangle up everyone else.”
“Why don’t you stop ordering a prince around and get the horses ready. Some servants will wrangle up the rest. At least someone around here will do my bidding.”
Within an hour all of the young men were riding through the countryside away from Catheldor castle. Prince Arlin and Gaston blazed the trail. Firae rode aside Miirik and the two discussed politics and differences between their kingdoms. Jarik and Thothen took up the lead embroiled in arguments over who crafted the best weapons.
A flock of robins soared overhead. It would have been a picturesque vision of young adventurers setting out if it wasn’t for the countryside being on the brink of war.