Ira jumped off of his horse nimbly and gave a small silver coin to the elf at the stable, then sprinted off to find the army officer who was collecting names of elves willing to fight for the King.
Eventually he found the officer, and registered his name. The officer told him to come back the next day with essential supplies and he would be escorted to the barracks to be trained. Ira agreed then went back to the stables to collect his horse. He mounted it and rode home, his long, white-blonde hair flying out behind him.
When he got home he went into the kitchen for some wine and was taken aback to find his father sitting at the table. Ira asked what he was doing and he ignored him. Ira decided to leave it and went to talk to Euphrasia. He knocked on her door but she didn’t answer. He went in anyway but she wasn’t there, so he went to the orchard. She wasn’t there either. He didn’t find her in the cellar, or his bedroom, or the stable.
By this time, he was beginning to get worried, as she barely ever left the house, so he went to ask his father. He was still in the kitchen. “Where’s Euphrasia?” he asked.
“Her name isn’t to be mentioned in this household any more.”
“Because she is a traitor, and a disgrace!” roared his father. Ira put his hand to his mouth. He was afraid that she would do this. He lifted a crumpled piece of parchment from the floor and took it to his bedchamber to read it.
He already knew what it would say before he flattened it out, but reading it made him realise the enormity of the situation. Euphrasia’s words flashed before his eyes; “I have to do this, I can’t come back, it’s only right.” The rebel army; the only place where she could go that he couldn’t follow. He sat on the cold floor with his hands on his forehead and didn’t move all night.
In the morning he collected his things and went to town without a word to his father, and found the officer he had talked to the previous day. He was one of a few young men who had come and was stood next to them and made to state his name. He did, as did the other men, then the officer opened a portal and they all stepped into it, leaving their old lives behind.