Chapter 10

Cassandra gazed out into the new world - new to her, at least - with eyes hungry with curiousity. Why she had never truly left the confinement of the palace gates or the city walls she didn't fully understand. But it didn't matter now, for she rolled over the countryside, through roads winding over emerald pastures, passing towns filled with strange, unfamilar faces, with eyes as inquistive as her own, trying to catch a glimpse of their young Princess as she passed them by in her grand procession of a carriage and royal guards.

By day her magnificent parade would march forward, horses high-stepping and determined, and by night she would bunk in only the finest of places, Lords and Ladies, Dukes and Duchesses opening their homes to Princess Cassandra for her comforts to be tended. Each evening as she escaped by the hand of the coachman, she found herself weary with stiffness, her arms and legs aching from remaining stationary for hours on end. She looked to her royal guard with a slight envy, wishing herself could be out in the open air, free to see in whichever direction she desired and feel the refreshing breeze of the country breathe gently into her face.

Yet the journey was faster than Cassandra expected, the weather fine and the roads dry and well-conditioned, and it was not long before she entered her mother's home country. Gherion was a place which seemed not so different from Aedryn, at least at first, or from what she noticed or saw. Through towns, she was surprised to see the streams of people following after her carriage, leaning out the windows high above and waving jubliantly down to her, expansive crowds like she had not seen before gathering to see her. She was a daughter to their own lost, beloved Princess, and thus she was theirs as well, among the only remaining pieces of their aging King.

There was one more stop before they reached the capital city of Aramis and her waiting Grandfather - a luxurious estate of a prominent Lord, who entertained his guest lavishly. As much as Cassandra enjoyed his great party, the feasts, the entertainment, her host's good jokes, she retired early, bedding with a head heavied by fine wine, the fuzz of drink mingling with the buzzing, anxious thoughts of King Lander, the meeting tomorrow would bring.

The End

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