Will didn't face her for a moment, and Rakelle chimed in, “Yes, is she a witch or what ever you called it?”
He turned around, and his face showed a little surprise, but much more worry. He replied slowly, “It's difficult to say, there are so many emotions going though your heart right now, even if there is something there, there's no way it would come out now.”
Sayumi sighed, and rolled over. “Great. I have no family except my elven father who can't come see me and Rakelle, a crazy witch-killer after us, and nowhere to go, and not even a plan of what to do when we get there. Lovely. Absolutely marvelous.” With that, Sayumi crawled under the covers and pulled them over her head. Rakelle glanced from Sayumi to Will, but Will just shrugged.
Sayumi woke the next morning to find herself in the wagon, and the wagon was clearly moving. She scrambled out of her make-shift bed, and shouted groggily, “Where are we? You guys took Kayo right?”
Will laughed and pulled the front curtain open and exclaimed, “Ah, you're awake! Good morning Sayumi!”
Sayumi was not at all amused by his cheerfulness. “Where's Kayo?”
Will pointed happily to the side of the wagon, saying, “He didn't seem too keen on pulling the wagon, so I tied him to the side so he could come with us.” Sayumi stepped out of the inside of the wagon, and hopped onto the ground to untie her beloved horse. Rakelle pulled her horse in step beside her, “I made sure we saddled him up, because I knew you would want to ride him when you woke up.” Rakelle seemed a little lighter than normal, like something good had happened. Sayumi asked, “What's with you? Did a cute guy talk to you today?”
Rakelle turned red as a beet to Sayumi's surprise. Rakelle pulled her hood on and trotted her horse next to the big draft that was pulling the wagon.
Sayumi mounted Kayo and cantered him up so she was riding alongside Rakelle. She whispered, “Tell me everything, who was he?”
Rakelle was still blushing, and she flicked her hair out of her face in the direction of Will. Rakelle blushed even more, and stared pleadingly at Sayumi, hoping she understood. Sayumi smiled, and added, “Well, he is handsome I'll give you that. But please don't do anything stupid, he is an elf after all. He is wiser and kinder than most, so I think I can trust my little sister to him.” Sayumi winked at Rakelle, and Rakelle lit up like a firefly in midsummer. Sayumi giggled, and kicked Kayo's right side, and he pranced around to the other side of the wagon. Sayumi trotted him so she was next to Will, and she closed her eyes. “You caught all that didn't you?”
He blushed a little, and Sayumi smiled. “She's a really nice girl, a bit of a handful at times, but she can't lie to save her life. Also, she is very loyal. Not to mention how beautiful she is.”
Will ran his hand through his hair, and he replied, “Oh, I have no doubts she is one of the most amazing girls I have ever seen. And I don't have any promises to any of the elven girls back home, but there's no way my father would approve of me seeing a human girl. After what happened with your father, relationships with humans has practically been outlawed. Heck, if it wasn't for direct orders from your father I wouldn't even be here.”
Sayumi asked with slight worry, “Um, about elves and humans having children, is there any issues involved, like aren't elves a different species?”
Will looked at her, and tilted his head towards her knowingly. “Don't worry; elves are more like a different race of humans than a different species. You aren't considered a hybrid like crossing a horse with a donkey and getting a mule. You actually may be more fertile than most human women, or at least having children will not affect your body as much.”
Sayumi was silent for a moment, then replied, “That was a little more than I needed to know on that subject... but one more question: is it true that elves live much longer than humans do? Does that mean I will have a longer life-span too?”
“No, elves don't live longer than humans. The only reason some elves live longer is that they have drank the wine of the forest faeries, which decreases the affects of aging almost completely, so they can live for hundreds of years. But a regular elf will not life longer than a hundred years usually, same as humans.” Sayumi was relieved to hear that; she hadn't even thought of the affects of being half elf until he mentioned the problems of humans and elves having relationships. Will smiled, and remained silent for a while as they continued down the road.
Around sunset they reached the first big settlement on their journey: Beauford. Beauford was generally regarded as a prison settlement, since the residents were mainly escaped criminals or criminals on the run, and each large kingdom took turns guarding the gates to make sure none of the convicts escaped. As they neared the turnoff point, Will murmured to them, “Now, for the time being your names are Minagi,” He pointed at Rakelle, “And Tsumi.” He pointed at Sayumi. “We are delivering this horse,” He pointed to Rakelle's mount who was tied to the wagon since she was riding on the wagon next to Will. “To a family in Repremendant. My name is going to be Yuki.”
Rakelle asked, “Why do we have to change our names?”
Will replied, “Well, if we have family in Repremendant we need to have Reprandese names. Sayumi normally wouldn't have to, except they may figure out that the princess of Feresat is named Sayumi, and is also missing. And we don't want that. So don't forget your names, and please respond to them when a person calls you that.” Sayumi and Rakelle nodded, and they trotted down the dirt road that led them out of the protective forest , and into the open plains where Beauford stuck out of the ground like a great big wart.
They approached the gates, and the two guards shouted, “What is your business here?”
Will tipped his hood to the guards, and he replied confidently, “My name is Yuki, and we are just passing through to deliver this horse to Repremendant.” Will put his arm around Rakelle, to make it look like she was his wife. Rakelle blushed profusely and held her hands tightly in her lap.
The guards quickly made sure there was no one hiding in the back of the wagon, and let them pass. Sayumi gasped as she and Kayo led the wagon into the most dirty, disgusting place she had ever seen. From where she was standing, she could see at lest three separate fights (not including the ones she could hear in the multitude of alleys she saw). There were no women that she could see, and that scared her.
Kayo accidentally stepped on a drunk's foot who walked in front of him. The man yelped and looked up at Sayumi. Even with her cloak, it was obvious she was a woman. The man's face lit up and he screamed above the din: “WOMAN!!”
Suddenly all eyes were on her and the wagon, and no one moved for a moment. Sayumi was so terrified she couldn't even breathe as the drunken criminals descended upon them. Kayo started to paw the ground nervously, and she glanced back at Rakelle and Will. Rakelle was clinging to Will, her eyes wide with fear. Will looked at Sayumi and gave her a curt nod. Sayumi didn't need more permission than that.
Sayumi kicked Kayo's side and cried, “Hyah!!” Kayo shrieked and reared on his hind legs. He started to lunge forward before his front legs even touched the ground. Kayo shoved a few drunks out of the way with his head as he galloped through the crowd. Sayumi dared not look back, she just held tightly to Kayo's neck as hands grabbed at her from all sides trying to pull her off. Behind her she could hear the cart rattling and Rakelle screaming as men started trying to climb in the back of the wagon. Will whirled around and held his hand towards them. A blast of air burst from his hand, and the men in the back shot out of the wagon like arrows.
The trio couldn't find a safe place until they had been chased all through the settlement, and had no idea where they were. Sayumi groaned, “Seriously? Nobody bothered to try to stop at a place where the south gate was visible?! Now what are we going to do?”
Rakelle was still clinging to Will, and Sayumi wasn't sure if it was because she was still scared or because she liked being so close to the handsome elf. Sayumi decided it was probably a combination of the two. Will replied, “Well, we should see if they have a suitable stable for the horses, last thing we want is one of them getting sick. We can sleep in the wagon.” Sayumi raised an eyebrow skeptically at Rakelle, who glared fiercely at her to stop. Rakelle obviously didn't think Will was very observant. Will smirked to himself and led them out of the the wide alley they had been hiding in, and back onto the streets, which were very quiet (because now all the drunks were either passed out on the sidewalks, or they were in the pubs drinking more and making an awful din).
Sayumi noticed now that if there weren't so many drunks and criminals in this settlement, it would be a normal place. There were shops, restaurants, even a bath house (it looked like the residents rarely used it). They found a stable near the end of the block, and found to their relief it was still open. Will and Rakelle went in, while Sayumi stayed outside to guard the wagon and horses. Will gave her his sword saying, “This is an elven sword, so it will be sharp enough to pierce any human armor, and will cut through steel as well. So be careful how you use it, try not to kill anyone in the middle of the street, that would leave a mess.” Sayumi stared horrified at him, and he just laughed as him and Rakelle walked into the stable.
Sayumi waited patiently for them to return, looking around to make sure no one was stalking her. One she was satisfied there was no one, she let out a sigh of utter exhaustion. She muttered to herself, “Wow. This is quite the development huh?”
Kayo snorted as if to reply, and Sayumi smiled. She leaned backwards on the wagon, and nearly fell backward into the cargo area. Suddenly remembering how people had tried to climb in there and that she hadn't checked there when she had been looking for stalkers, she crawled cautiously into the back of the wagon. She looked around, seeing only their provision crates and lots of hay, and the make-shift bed she had slept in. Sayumi still felt uneasy, so she pried open the crates, and on the very last one, something leaped out and Sayumi screamed... only to find that the mystery offender was an orange cat, who had stowed away.
Sayumi tapped the cat with her shoe, and muttered something angrily at it. Then a hand clamped onto her shoulder, and she yelped and whirled around and slapped the person in the face. “Ouch! What was that for? I told you to guard the horses, but you don't have to guard them from us!” Will rubbed his now sore cheek, and Rakelle giggled as Sayumi lectured Will, “When you are returning you say something like 'Hey Sayumi, we're back!' or something so I know it's you! You don't sneak into the wagon and scare me into shock! I thought that was common sense.”
After Sayumi's lecture, Will took the draft horse out of the harness for the wagon, and took him into the stable. Sayumi led Kayo and Rakelle's black mare in as well. Once the horses' tack was taken off and they were fed, Will and Sayumi returned to the wagon to start setting up beds. Sayumi announced, “Alright, me and Rakelle will sleep here at the front, and you will sleep at the back. Nothing personal, just better for the one protecting us to be at the back, where people are most likely to climb in.” Will grumbled a bit about how that wasn't true and they would come in the front first, but he obeyed Sayumi's command. At that moment, Sayumi was glad her father was a high-ranking general in the elven military- she could order Will around (and for the most part he listened).
Sleep never came for Sayumi that night; she couldn't stop thinking of all the things that had happened since she left the castle. She huddled up next to Rakelle, hoping her presence would ease her mind. But all she could see when she closed her eyes was Eliah, lunging at her with hatred and malice in his eyes.
The next morning, Sayumi shook Will awake and whispered, “Will! We should hurry and leave before the drunks come out and try to kidnap us again!” At first Will looked at her in utter bewilderment, but then understanding hit him like a slap. He leaped out of the back of the wagon and dashed into the stable to grab the horses.