The next day when I brought another human to the King even he looked suprised and slightly amused at the increased disturbance of our people.
'Well well well, another human.' I retreated to my spot against the wall and watched Naria's face. The way she had interacted with the other human had shocked me slightly, although I would have done the same if my instinct had told me not to.
'I am searching for a friend of mine, Ramin, he should have passed through here a few days ago at the earliest, but your friend,' he gestured at me, 'said I was the second human to come here in the last two days. Who was the other human?'
'I believe it was the man you are looking for,' the King said slowly. 'He called himself by the name Ramin. We gave him new weapons and some food and sent him on his way.'
'If it may please your Majesty I would ask permission to follow him. I am worried for his safety and if I am only a day behind him then I may be able to catch up with him if I leave soon.' The King inclined his head showing his consent.
'Would you care to have a look at our armoury too?'
'No thank you your Majesty. I am not a man of particular talent with weapons of combat.' He bowed to the King and I escorted him out if the palace.
As I watched him ride away on his horse a hand grabbed my arm and pulled me towards the trees. 'What do you want this time Naria?' I crouched next to her, behind the tree.
'I want to follow him.' Excitement was burning in her eyes as she looked hopefully at me.
'No way Naria! You are the princess and very valuable as the heir to the throne.'
'Don't remind me Armes. Everyday someone tells me how precious I am and just for once I would like to do something different and exciting. If Vilhelm is who he says he is and he's trying to find Ramin then we could help.'
'Why would we want to help a human? It is not in our customs to meddle in the lives of mortals.'
'He's going on an adventure Armes.' She was almost breathless with excitement. 'A real adventure of discovery, with battles and dragons and a destiny he wants to fulfill.' The look of longing in her eyes softened my heart and I had to give in.
'OK we'll go.'
'What do you mean we'll go?'
'Well you don't think I was going to let you have all the fun did you?' I joked and we ran off to get ready.
As soon as night fell and everyone in the palace was asleep, I crept out of my room, along the corridor and knocked gently on Naria's door. She opened it very quickly, dressed as I was, for riding. Putting a finger to my lips we silently slid down the halls and made it to the stables where our horses were waiting. I whispered softly to my horse, Sariff, before I attached my saddlebag to her saddle, checked my bow was on my back, my quiver was full and attached to the saddle, my sword was good and my knives were sheathed in the top of my riding boots. Only when all this was ready did I mount.
Looking at Naria to check she was ready I gently urged Sariff into a walk that quickly increased to a gallop as we rode out of the palace. I had bribed the guards earlier to keep the gates open for us. They had no idea the second rider was the princess.
We were well clear of the palace in about five minutes and Naria stopped to take one last look at her home before we caught up with Vilhelm.
'Are you sure you're making the right desicion?' I asked tentatively. Unlike me I don't think Naria has ever left her home before without her father. She didn't speak, only nodded and moved forward, riding in the direction Vilhelm had gone. She was laughing with the exhilaration of freedom and I couldn't help but join in, racing her towards the horizon.