Elian and Laya rejoined Tsir and Shard in the camp. They were gathered around the fire, neither speaking to the other. Shard sat sharpening his blade, Tsir merely gazed into the distance, his thoughts on the girl no doubt.
They looked up as Elian and his sister entered, sizing up the newcomer.
“This, is my sister, Laya. She wants to join us instead of returning to our city, wherever it is. I said she would have to wait and see what you guys said”.
Tsir scrutinised Laya, taking her measure. Shard sat entranced, her beauty rendering him helpless. Elian saw her smile, she clearly enjoyed being the centre of attention. Tsir nodded having finished his examination of Laya. He had no problem with her. Shard continued to goggle, then snapped out of his reverie and nodded too.
“Yeah, of course she can. The more numbers we have, the easier it will be”.
Elian nodded his thanks, and Laya curtsied. The sat cross legged next to each other in the glow of the firelight. Laya arranged her skirts so she was sitting more comfortably.
“So Elian tells me you have a girl you need to rescue from the palace?”
“Well your best chance to break in would be a night time raid. That’s when the least security patrols the outer grounds. As for inside, I don’t know. I believe it would be best if we were to enter at separate locations, and then meet up once we get inside”.
“We?” Elian asked, “Are you sure you want to break into the castle with us Laya? Your reputation in these parts is good, you are well respected. Are you sure you wish to risk that respect?”
“Elian, I told you, I want an adventure! I do not want to return home yet, life will be much more interesting with you”.
“We shall move tonight”, Tsir said.
“Yes”, Elian nodded, “We cannot wait much longer. Aria could be in huge danger”.