I slipped off and pulled my horse around, calming her down. I silently healed her arrow wound, and then looked around to see Jadir pulling up. I looked down, embarrassed that I hadn't been able to stop her sooner.

"Naria are you ok?" I nodded. He smiled at me, and then helped me back on to my horse. We rode back the way we had come, and soon found the others cantering towards us. Ramin came over to me.

"Are you alright?" I smiled and nodded.

"Where are the bandits?"

"They gave up after we injured too many of them."

"I don't understand why we didn't hear them."

"Perhaps they used magic?"

"Perhaps. Anyway, this detour has led us closer to the nearest village, although we must be careful. The inhabitants are mostly wizards, and they do not take kindly to intruders."

"Very well." I rode next to Ramin again, this time keeping a wary eye out for any more bandits. He was silent and pondering, and I wondered if something was worrying him. He seemed to hear my thoughts. "I wonder if the bandits were after you?"

"Why would they do that?"

"Well I hate to remind you, but you are a princess." I grimaced.

"Well alright, but how would they know it was me?"

"That's what worried me most."

"Well it is nice to know I am being looked after."

He smiled, then pushed his horse forward in to a gallop. I followed him, laughing. The others were shouting but I didn't care, I was racing Ramin, and that was all that mattered. He beat me to a clearing, leaping off his horse, tethering her to a tree and then running in to the forest. I followed his example, laughing at this new found freedom. There was a moment where I lost sight of him, and then felt him knock me down. We rolled in the grass, laughing, and then stopped. I stared up at him, my hair tangled with grass and my cheeks red. The sunlight was shining brightly around us, and it mde it difficult to see his facial expression.

The End

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