Throughout the three day journey to Pentsmont, one would observe that we had an uneventful sojourn and arrived tired and excited to meet the Lord and court of the region. In truth, however, I felt the trip to be tense and foreboding. Each day I rode in the company of Ella and Agatha, learning much from the women, encouraged to see my sister so open and flushed with energy. By evening, however, after we ate and all retired to their tents, I found myself anxious and unyielding to sleep.
Since Father’s passing, I had made it my responsibilities to head over the guards and Knights under our employ. Many of these men were ones that I had trained with, and trusted almost as friends. As much as a Prince was allowed to have friends, at the least. And so I busied my restless spirit by checking on those guarding the camp, and listening to the ever-energetic servants as they completed one day’s duties and prepared for another day’s travels. It amazed me with each circuit of our elaborate travelling party how many items our group really needed for this sojourn. Fleetingly, I even worried about the cost of such a party, but did not dwell long on the issue.
Despite my worry and restlessness, each guard reported little to no activity to be concerned about, and I became filled with self doubt. On the last day of our journey, I found Ella at one point looking back over her shoulder, and I wondered if she too felt that we were being followed. As I was of yet not comfortable seeking her confidence, I realized that I may never know what she was thinking in that fleeting moment before she turned back to the trail and smiled at me sweetly.
Percy had been mysteriously absent during much of the daytime traveling. When he did ride in our company, he appeared a tad less jovial, and often wandered off during a conversation as if he had much else on his mind. I knew that our family often married for convenience and under contract, and that Percy and I had always been instructed and expected to follow suit. Was he now doubting himself? To my knowledge, he had not met the Lady Adrianne, and perhaps he wondered for their happiness. It also added to my uneasiness to see my brother this way, as I had always looked to him as a strong and sensible character. After all, the fate of our kingdom was constantly on his shoulders.