They left the next day, each carrying their own additions to clothes and other items. Sylver had declined the offer of Dawn's heavy sword so the angel happily kept it strapped to his belt beside the small dagger. Gabriel shifted his pack slightly the thick bandaging making it sit uncomfortably.
“Serves you right” Sylver said seeing him moving it again as they reached the outskirts of Jord. Gabriel swore loudly at him, a few passers by looked at him nervously then hurried on.
“People are getting nervous” Gabriel said.
“Maybe they're scared of your foul mouth” Sylver said.
“Get bent” Gabriel snapped and Sylver smiled pleasantly.
“Too late” he grinned and carried on walking.
The mountains loomed in front of them and Dawn's eyebrows rose with every step they took, when they were at risk of vanishing behind his floppy hair Gabriel stopped.
“I think we should rest here before we get any higher” he said the ground around had become stony the grass replaced by dry mud. Dawn shivered as a chill wind cut through his thin clothes.
“I agree” Sylver said “gives us a chance to change into more sensible attire.” He sat down and noticed that Gabriel hadn’t moved, he had a frown on his face. “What’s wrong?”
“Isn’t there a path that goes through the mountains?” Gabriel asked
“I'm not sure” Sylver said
“I'm positive” Gabriel said
“Gabriel no” Sylver frowned “we don’t have a map of it and a tunnel could lead anywhere”
“That’s what makes it fun” Gabriel smiled.
“What have you done with my brother?” Sylver growled Gabriel glared at him. “I thought you didn’t like enclosed spaces?”
“I don’t but I like the cold even less” Gabriel admitted.
“Gabriel” Sylver sighed “is it really worth getting ourselves lost?”
“The Rannin's source is in the mountain” Gabriel said then he tilted his head his mouth moving as if he was silently talking to someone.
“Gabriel?” Dawn said the prince put a finger to his lips and then looking at them pointed up the hill to a large boulder.
“Move” he mouthed “quickly” he led them into the rocky outskirts of the mountains and the four of them climbed a small hill and ducked down behind the massive boulder. Gabriel looked around the edge of the rock and further down the hill a group of cloaked angels moved in the dim twilight.
“What do we do?” Marcus asked.
“We stay put” Gabriel whispered his eyes never leaving the dark shapes that stayed in the shadows of the sparse trees and numerous rocks.
“But they know we’re here” Sylver said.
“No they know we’re here somewhere but not our exact location.” The sound of whispers met Gabriel and Sylver's sensitive ears. Behind them Dawn gripped his staff tightly. Gabriel slowly drew his sword as the dark figures approached.
“I count ten” the prince said.
“Eleven” Sylver said spotting one who had stopped at the base of the hill.
“He’s a magick user” Gabriel said, Sylver growled.
“I’ll take him” he said, Gabriel nodded and saw Sylver's hands begin to glow Marcus got a nod from Sylver and his own hands began to glow with a deep blue light.
“Marcus aim for the group” Gabriel said “let Sylver deal with the mage.”
“Wait” one of the shadows said. Gabriel held his hands up indicating for Sylver and Marcus to hold there fire. The leader of the dark figures waited until his group were near him.
“Where did they go?” one of the figures said in a deep but clearly female voice.
“They’re here somewhere” another voice spat. Gabriel waved a hand and Sylver pulled his magick back telling Marcus quietly to do the same.
“What now?” the female voice said “we’ll never find them in the dark”
“Then we wait until daybreak and follow them over the mountain it’s the only way they could go.”
“What about the pass?” the woman said.
“The prince isn’t stupid enough to go through there” the leader snapped “it isn’t even charted.”
“That doesn’t mean he won’t use it Reehan” the woman said.
“Shut up” the leader hissed.
“Reehan?” Gabriel mouthed then he swore “come on this way and be quiet.”
“Wait” Sylver whispered holding up his hands.
“What?” he hissed. Sylver held up a finger to his mouth then cupped his hands and whispered something into them. Gabriel looked around the rock again the mage was just joining the small group. Gabriel flinched as he felt something brush past his ear then saw a small ball of darkness float down the hill, one by one the figures dropped to the floor. The mage fell last his protective barrier trying to fight Sylver magick.
“What was that?” Marcus asked quietly.
“They’re asleep” Sylver said.
“Then lets go” Gabriel said the urgency apparent in his voice.
“Which way?” Sylver asked not really wanting to know the answer.
“The pass” Gabriel said
“But they said it hasn’t been charted”
“I know” Gabriel sighed “and that means they wont follow us, people have gone though before and come out the other side.”
“You hope” Sylver sighed.