"We are set to go Nathaniel," I said after saddling Firelight and ordering the rest of the party to lined behind us, ready to search for Courtney. "Have you given a thought as to where might Courtney be?"
Nathaniel seemed to ponder on his answer before saying, "she must be home."
"Home?" I asked in disbelief, "but this is her home. Whatever you are talking about?"
"I meant the home of her kinship," Nathaniel replied, "in Damby City, that is the only place I can think of that she might go to. Besides, it takes at least three days to reach it and this is her fourth day gone." Nathaniel mounted his horse and patted it, whispering instructions to his ears.
"Damby City," I imagined the somewhat faraway land, always famous for their medicinal herbs and natural ailments for diseases. It made perfect sense that Courtney had return home, somewhere she knew with people she might trust. "It won't take us more than half a day to reach it if we make our trip non-stop." I walked around the cavalry, "men, we will stop only briefly to let the horses rest but we shall continue our trip and attempt to reach Damby before twilight."
The men nodded and readied themselves for the long and tedious trip. I watched Alexandria, Aislinn, and Lucas at the steps of the castle, wishing us a safe trip. I promised Alexandria I would be reunited with her by tomorrow and I was keen on keeping that promise to her. I placed my foot on the stirrup and mounted on Firelight.
"Thanks for coming with me," Nathaniel said.
"We are friends," I replied, "everybody deserves a happy ending, I will make sure you have one by tomorrow."
Nathaniel smiled and we started our journey, leaving the castle behind with a promise of coming back as soon as we could.
It was midnight by the time we reached the rustic town, the moon was wavering between sheets of clouds in the windy night. We stopped twice for the horses to rest but quickly continued with our trip. The various shops and stalls were already closed and few candlelights were on in several houses.
"We should probably found an inn or something," Nathaniel suggested, "we all need some rest." His voice was wearied because of the long trip but felt grateful he had arrived Damby. He felt closer to Courtney that way.
We entered an inn, with a groggy man behind the counter, he was drumming his fingers on the countertop. He yawned and saw us enter.
"Hello good sirs, and welcome to my humble inn, what can I do for you?" he greeted us.
"We want some food and rooms," I said, taking some gold coins out of my pocket, "please make it quick, we are tired."
"Immediately sir!" he exclaimed, rushing into the kitchen to prepare a meal for us. Then he came back with some keys for the bedrooms upstairs, "anything else?"
"We need a stable in which we can leave our horses, we want them fed and well rested for tomorrow," I continued, then chanced a glance at Nathaniel, "we would like some information as well."
"Some days ago, a young lady came to this town seeking something, a medicine or sort, do you have knowledge of this?" I asked, playing with another gold coin in my fingers.
He watched the gold coin in trance then answered, "there was a very pretty young girl who came to town four days ago. But she is staying across the street at Bartholomew's place." He pointed at the dark house across from this inn. "They must be asleep now."
"Do you know his relationship to her?" Nathaniel asked, somewhat annoyed that Courtney would be spending her days in the house of a stranger rather than her family.
"I am sorry, but that is unknown to me," he said as I placed the coin on the counter. He took it quickly and cherished it, before entering the kitchen to get our meal.
"Nathaniel," I said, placing a hand on his shoulder, "don't think about that now, Courtney is very smart, she must have good reasons. Don't doubt her when you are just steps from the chapel. Wait for tomorrow, we need rest."