The Parting

They travelled on for two more days, hunting and foraging for the food they needed. There was no evidence that the guards or anyone was following them, though they did find some rather suspicious-looking trampled bushes. When they waited for their foe, though, none came, so they assumed it was just an animal.

Soon, it was the time for them to part. The woman who had first spoken up about the anti-revolutionists at the meeting smiled at them and held out her hand. Alexandria strode up and shook it confidently, smiling at her.

“Good luck, sister.”

The woman bowed her head. “And to you too.”

“May you travel safely and have a quick journey,” Alexandria blessed.

“And may you arrive safe and sound,” the woman replied. The anti-revolutionists were gathered behind her. There were only two nervous-looking people standing there, shifting from foot to foot uncomfortably. It was clear they were impatient to go.

“Well, we won’t hold you up any longer,” Alexandria. She stepped back and put her hand out in a gesture of farewell. The anti-revolutionaries turned and left, speeding up as they got further. Layke watched them go, their retreating figures finally disappearing over the hill. He sighed and turned around to survey their group. They only had a meagre eight people left. That wouldn’t be much protection against a gang of skilled bandits with weapons. What’s worse, if their enemies captured someone and held them at ransom, Layke was sure he’d want to go back for them; that was how well he knew them all.

“What’re you staring at, Layke?” Lucifer asked. With a start, Layke realised that his gaze was focused on Lucifer. He quickly averted it, choosing instead to stare at the leaf-litter by his feet. Lucifer grinned at him. “I’m irresistible, aren’t I?”

“You wish,” Linda grunted. Alexandria clapped her hands.

“Let’s get back on track, people.” She walked a few steps, and, seeing that no-one was following her, stopped. “What are you all waiting for?”

“We can’t just walk off in any direction and hope that that’s where we want to go,” Lucifer protested. Ella nodded.

“I agree. And anyway, I thought that we were splitting up?”

“We are, into groups of two,” Linda said. “Pick your groups, people.”

There was a general milling around as everyone hurried to choose groups. Layke ended up with Harry, who was standing shyly away from everyone.

“What happened to one strong person per group?” Layke said.

“You are a strong person,” Linda said, smiling at the expression on his face. “Don’t worry, you won’t have to pick up Harry. Just hide together, or worse comes to worse, flee.”

Layke sighed. “If you think that’s safe.”

“I think that’s safe,” Alexandria said. She was standing beside Priscilla. Lucifer was paired with Ella, and Sophria with Linda. Linda shrugged.

“Why not? You two are both speedy little critters.” Lucifer chuckled at the apt description of Layke.

“Little critter alright,” he said. Layke tried to glare at Lucifer, but a smile found its way to his lips.

“Alright, before you two start fighting, let’s go and find Waiye,” Ella said. “We’ll meet back here.”

“No, we should meet up further along, so we’ve at least travelled somewhere, and in the morning we won’t have to walk as much to search more areas,” Linda said.

“Fine,” Lucifer said. “Let’s go.”

The End

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