We packed our belongings swiftly and rode out with Athelstan flying ahead with the light of Felixia to guide us. Desideria held on tight to me as the horses galloped at speeds we daren't think about. Lysandra was travelling along the river accompanied by Shadrach to protect her and Trinnean looked vaguely uncomfortable riding with the small body of Near cuddled sleeping to him as we hurried.
An owl swept across our path and startled the horses but with expert skill Trinnean and I held the horses strong our task. The forest grew darker but we followed the glow of Felixia and Athelstan in the sky like a guiding star. The trees twisted black and lifeless around us.
From behind the sound of what seemed a million crashing hearts pursued, the crunch of plants underneath hard hooves and the rough snort of stallion breath.
"They're getting closer Trin." I heard Desideria say. And we urged our horses faster. I need to think of a way to slow them down.
"Could you project a thought of death to the trees behind us?"
"So Trinnean can unearth them quicker and at least slow them down." I took a glance behind and heard the roar and snap of the life-force of the trees taken. the crash of their corpses on the ground. The thump of horses behind seemed slower and more distant.
"Good job guys."
"Cal, what about creating a wall of trees?" That was a great idea. I thought hard and from behind I heard the rush of soil explode as trees and vines towered and crashed into each other. The mash of bark and stiff wooden branches could hold them back for way while as I thought the wall out to the sides through the dense forest.
"Can you propel a very strong wind at them?" Trinnean was thinking fast, used to fighting and quick reactions.
"Get a bit ahead then or you'll be swept along too."
We pushed the horses more, gaining precious headway and Trinnean's horse was waning. I lean over and touched his sinewy neck and he picked up. There was a strong gush of wind behind us and it ripped trees and whipped the earth into a flurry of splintery black. I heard our followers stop.
"Keep it up all the way Ath."
"Got it sorted Trin."
We continued in silence savouring the time to think. I continued to grow the trees as the blew in the air and grew in the ground, walling us and adding fuel to the mass cloud. Desideria was gripping tighter and tighter to my cloak and Trinnean was exploding the trees mid air to create sharp projectiles.
I heard the heartbeats behind us stop.
"They're all dead." It was solemn yet satisfying to know we were safe, for now.
We continued to protect ourselves as we sped along the path. Unknowing of who or what might find us again. All we knew was that at the heart of the Undine Forest was a haven we could protect and train in until we were ready.