When we had travelled a little while through the thinner woods we arrived at the silver waterfall that began the great Amu river. It is called the silver river because at night, the moonlight always hits it, making its waters glow. Some say that the waters are in fact enchanted and any that drink from such a place will be blessed. I had no belief in these stories however.
I stopped our company at this divide, for what lay beyond was the deeper forest.
The deeper forest full of monstrous creatures; foul goblins and orcs, mutated wolves and bears that have been corrupted by the darker magic, evil tree spirits that taunt and lead you to your death. This truly would be a perilous place, for a wrong turn may led your company to their death. Further more, the foilage was so dense the horses would have to stay here.
"We shall take rest here and gather ourselves for the journey ahead. We shall also say goodbye to our horses, we shall meet them on the way back from the elven city. Do not worry, they have water and food and shall be safe here," I whispered this mainly for my own comfort, for I would miss Raine dearly. I knew I would.
I set her there, my hand upon her muzzle as I stared into her deep brown eyes, "I'm sorry Raine, you cannot come further with us. But I promise you I'll be back,"
She looked at me for a moment, as if considering, before nodding and resting her head gently upon my shoulder. I patted her neck comfortingly and she moved away a little, lying down upon a small patch of grass. She looked up at me, then away to the dark forest. I knew she wished me well.
But before I joined her for our last slumber together for a while I found my duty to set up a fire again. I also brought back with me some rabbits, to which I diligently set about skinning and cooking. While the meat stewed I took out from my bag a knife, creating some sewing needles from the bones and then I took off my shoes, inlining them with the fur so as to keep my feet warm in the cold forest. I was resourceful and thank my mother for such tricks.
As our company settled and ate and began to talk merrily with each other I realised I had one last duty to the company. "Naria, may I talk to you? It is of the utmost importance, about the city of elves, please." I asked, of course I was lying but I hoped she didn't see.
She soon stood, walking over to a small gathering of trees away from the company, "Naria, I'm sorry."
"I thought you wanted to talk about th-"
I hushed her, taking her hand gently so as not to let her walk away, "my decision pained me so. Understand that, but you are a princess and not just that, you are an elf. You shall live for thousands of years after I pass, I could not live with knowing that my passing forced your heart to break. Perhaps, our bond is not love, perhaps only deep affection. But love I cannot risk. I am sorry."
I kissed her cheek softly, before smiling, "plus, look at me, I know I'm hardly a looker and I'm perfectly a mess! No person for such a lavish lady as yourself."
I paused, looking to her with a concerned face. "I do not want to hurt you," I added, as if reinforcing my point.