Chapter 13 - Part 2

The stars came and went, the sun a little reluctant to wake the elves and their four-legged feline from their deep sleep. He allowed them a while longer to dream, to rest, to draw comfort from the act of simply breathing. The seconds he allowed them became minutes, then, thirty of them passed and he wondered whether he should wake them. As fifteen more passed, he began to fret, allowing them in total an hour extra to completely restore themselves. They were thankful for this, and it was obvious in their refreshed skin, their wide eyes and smiling mouths that it had been well-enjoyed.

They prepared themselves quickly, wolfing down their simple breakfast and washing in a rush. Once they were ready, they thanked the landlady and left the inn, before taking the road east to the high walls and thick gates about a mile away from them. As they neared Raiholt, a wave of excitement swept over them, as they realised that they were about to take part in the sort of event they had trained long and hard for. Aveyna turned to Telthar’rion, a red hood in her hands.

“Put this on. You need to pretend to be Alceren or we won’t be allowed to help.” Grumbling, Telthar’rion did so, firstly removing his tall circlet; as he removed it, his hair sunk slightly, no longer held so rigidly in place - Aveyna stifled a laugh as he placed it tentatively in the bag she offered him. He lifted the back of his long robe, tucked his hair beneath it and placed the hood over his head, his eyes now masked and his hair, for the most part, appearing normal. Alyxandra gave him her bow and sword to hold, she instead bearing his staff when they entered, just to make sure that they adhered to each section of Alceren’s description, with Aveyna finally asking him to hold the letter.

They eventually reached the gate, myriad emotions shifting between them; there was the ever-present fear of being found out, intermingling with the excitement of the prospect of helping to defend a town from attack, a possible act of heroism for which they all waited, and a final feeling of peace and relief at having reached their destination.

They were met by two guards, dressed in chainmail and tall helmets. One of them stepped forward, asking authoritatively,

“Identify yourselves.” Telthar’rion, unsure of the correct answer, winced quietly, then remained silent. Aveyna, thinking quickly, began to speak.

“My name is Aveyna L’Renzia, one of the fighters that you asked him,” she pointed to Telthar’rion, “to send.” In a last attempt to convince them, he silently showed them the letter. The guard took it from her roughly, and studied the handwriting, before nodding to his comrade and saying to the Blades of Twilight before him,

“Welcome to Raiholt - we have been expecting you.”

The End

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