Chapter Fourty-Four: Stable Boy

Ellnar would not arouse suspicion; she was already clad in the equipment that baptised her as a servant of The Eden. Jonrah, however, would not be able to get through the camp so easily. His armour was not that of The Eden, and was not even of Eastern origin. He would stick out like a sore thumb if he did not rid himself of it.

The curiously dark daylight would prove to be less of a hinderance here, shrouding Jonrah as he crept into his most dangerous destination yet. Jonrah prayed there was an armoury in the camp, where he could steal some armour and disguise himself. He was reluctant to leave his own armour behind, and after his experiences in skirmishes with members of The Eden, he was only too aware of the shabby construction of their armour.

The camp that awaited in the darkness ahead was carved into the mountain itself. It was sheltered from the snow by a large covering of rock that creeped overhead, and the path was able to continue straight onwards without having to wind around the small settlement. To the left, Jonrah could see the sheer drop down to ground level, but the jagged spikes that undoubtably waited below were covered by the thick fog that blanketed the mountain range. To the right, a little further ahead, lay the camp. Thinking it over, Jonrah preferred his chances with the drop off the mountain, but he knew Jodar would not favour such a decision.

The stables were the first small area of the camp, unmanned, allowing instant access to horses. Jonrah realised he would probably have to leave Ellnar with others of her own kind, so as not to attract attention. To lead a horse through the camp would arouse suspicion, and he could not just leave her out here - she would certainly be spotted, and Jonrah's presence would be realised.

Staying close to the mountain, Jonrah led Ellnar towards the stable, holding her reins, trying to hide himself behind her chestnut body. Although obviously a part of the camp, the stables were not enclosed in the rickety fence that enclosed the camp in rotting wood. Jonrah had no problem leading Ellnar into the small stable which was shared by four other horses, all tied up to the same post the held the roof up. Three walls shielded Jonrah from the path which went from west to east and the habitants of the camp. All that Jonrah could be seen by was the mist and the plunge down to the base of the mountain.

The horses shuffled uncomfortably as Jonrah tied Ellnar to their post, obviously angry that their space was being compromised yet again, but they quickly settled down as they realised that they were in no danger.

Peaking around the rightmost wall of the camp, Jonrah realised he would be within eyesight of the entire settlement as soon as he left Ellnar and the stable. He was not ready to risk his life so obviously just yet, and so as he sneaked around the back of the shed, once again hidden between rotting wood and the jagged rock of the mountain, Jonrah removed his armour, hoping that his undergarments were enough to make him look like any other member of The Eden.

Placing them on the floor below, half-hidden round the back of the shed that acted as a stable, Jonrah used some greying slushy snow to hide them completely, where he hoped they would remain undisturbed until he had left the camp, by which time, he would be just as much of a suspect as any other member of The Eden... The armour should serve its purpose. Not to defend, not to offend, but to disguise.

The End

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