I am sorry that it has taken me this long to post the next part of the story. I do not have internet at my house at the moment. However, I hope soon to get internet again. Okay, without further a due, part two:
The deep dark was fast approaching on the grove half full of travelers. People began to build a big fire in the middle that would be used by everyone. I had heard such stories as people using the same fire instead of having one of their own but tonight was the first time that I could see it for myself. There was safety in numbers and most people took advantage of the other company at night. I was not so sure I would be seeking anyone’s company this or any other night. A meal of dried meat, bread, and water from the skin would be the best meal in days. Thank the gods for the coins found, two days ago, in the saddle pack. At first I thought someone from the castle might have known that I was leaving without permission and had helped out when I didn’t know. But that thought soon passed, since no one had come looking for me that I knew. The coins could have just as easily been left by mistake from my last trip.
Most of the other people had finished their hot meal before any started talking with others about what news they heard on their journeys. One piece of news told by an old man caught my attention more than the other news.
“They say that the Queen’s Mage is missing. No one can locate her with the mirror nor have there been any sightings of her since two days ago when someone caught a glimpse of her in Trimble Hollow. The Queen’s army is out looking for her. They think that she is traveling this way, since it is the quickest way to reach the sea. I don’t think that Mage Errigal would take this way to the sea. She is too smart for that. Maybe the person who thought they saw her was mistaken.”
“Come on, William, you know better than that. Mage Errigal is one of the few that have hair of the truest black which it is nearly blue. That was her. She should take better care if she doesn’t want to be found. Of course they can’t find her with the mirror. She is the only one who can keep people from finding her. Some say that she is the strongest mage since Master Mage Gerald and we have all heard the stories about him and his deeds. There was even rumor saying that Mage Errigal was soon to be a Master herself. Well that is before she disappeared”
“James, for a man your age, I would think that you knew better than to listen to idle women’s gossip. There has not been any good that has ever come from listening to gossip instead of listening to the truth. Mage Gerald was one of the best but he lived long ago. Yes we can thank him for many of the improvements that he was able to give to all who travel the improvements to our cities, and the less than wealthy people. Now stop this talking like a fishwife, we should get more news from others since there are a good number here.”
Could I have been so careless to let someone get a glimpse of me? I thought as I began to gather up my things, there could be no stopping for the night even though the rest was much need especially by my horse. I had to change the route before anyone caught up with me. Naturally, I was using the quickest way to the sea because it would take weeks less than other ways. Plus, no one would have thought I would take this way if I had not been seen. The way