Orel dumped me on the neck of a horse and quickly mounted it then the horse took off as I tried my best to stay on the saddle. That should be impossible to achieve and I don’t know how he did but I was too busy trying to remain in the saddle to worry about it.
Orel’s palm landed on my back which meant that he kept just one hand on the reins and the horse was moving so fast that I am sure it was like an arrow flying through the air. “stop struggling, you will not come to any harm, not under my watch.”
“that is nice to know but you keeping one hand on the reins is not very reassuring sir.” I bit out with a sarcastic edge, I was purposely antagonizing him and he knew it… his reaction was what I was hoping to help me survive in the minefield I just found myself, better a minefield than death I suppose.
Orel chuckled again as if my biting words were that of a jester to make people laugh. ”Stormpacer is an intelligent beast. He knows the way, I don’t need to hold his reins to guide him.”
I did not know that it was possible for my stomach to drop but it did as everywhere went blurry at his words. If I had anything in my stomach, it would be threatening to make a reappearance now but there was nothing there. “please, do not let go of the reins.” I begged as he released a burst of laughter, the sound was rich and full so much that it shocked me to turn and look at him the best I could.
“Don’t worry wife, I don’t plan on scaring you into old age, I plan on sharing your bed with you while you are still youthful,” Orel said as I snapped my eyes down and kept my mouth shut. Saved or not, it doesn’t change the fact that I am going to be r***d. For the rest of the journey, I was quiet, thinking about my fate and I think that Orel had noticed that I was thinking because he did not’t bother me to offer with conversation which was surprisingly considerate of him.
Close to the settlement, Orel took his hands off Stormpacer reins and my heart jumped to my throat when the horse increased its speed and within minutes we were at the other end of the settlement. I tried to keep my stomach from revolting but there was nothing I could do, it refused to settle. As soon as Orel came down, I started moving restlessly on the horse and he was forced to remove me quickly from Stormpacer back, as soon as my feet landed, I wrenched myself out of his hold and fell on the ground just to dry heave, there was nothing more in my stomach.
“Orel” a voice boomed close to my left that had me jerking in shock. “welcome back.” A large man with the voice said as he clasped hands with Orel then drew him into a back pat, between two of them, it looks more like punches to the back.
“it is good to be back Elison,” Orel said with his voice warm with happiness.
I must have made a sound because the large man's gaze turned to me as he eyed me with an ill-concealed interest, not a s****l interest but more of a strange little being.
“and who is this?” he asked as Orel grinned as he replied the man.
“what do you mean your wife?” Elison asked his friend who seemed to have returned with a gentle-looking doe for a wife instead of a glorified nag who is never pleased with anything and cannot keep her mouth shut to save her life. “have the stress of having such a shrew as a betroth gotten to you?”
Orel released a smile at his friend's words, best friends since the cradle, the two of them were practically twins but from different parents. “I mean exactly that. The only woman whom I am required to spend my life with is in my tent calming her mind and wondering how she is not dead yet.”
“where is she from and what is she that she canceled out your arrangement with Lady Estrid without much controversy? Something you have been trying to do for the better part of a decade,” Elison asked as he pours some ale into a goblet for his friend.
“oh there will be controversies but nothing we can't handle, I don’t know where my bride is from or what is even her name, what I do know is that she was a maiden at the hunt,” Orel said as the goblet fell from Elison sudden loose grip.
“Have you any idea what you have just done?” Elison thundered at Orel.
Orel calmly looked at his friend straight in the eyes and answered without any doubt in his voice. “yes, I do”
Elison started to pace around the room ranting to himself in low tones, certain that his friend will be the doom of them all. “of all foolhardy stunts for you to pull to try and get out of bad situations, this by far, is the most idiotic one that has ever graced your mind. Why will you be playing with the edict of fates in this way? The prophecy has been there for ages and it doesn’t speak of all things being good and wonderful, I don’t know why you are in such a rush to make it come to pass.”
“Eli.” Orel thundered as Elison paused in his pacing to glare at his friend. “I did not’t just do it to escape Estrid, I went to witness the hunt when she started pestering me about when the wedding will take place, then I saw her, her spirit was not broken yet she has accepted her fate, she was kneeling in front of men who were calling out taunts and offensive words yet she had the bearing of a queen. Why will I settle for a noblewoman when I could have the queen?” Orel grinned and when Elison looked ready to bash his head into his neck he continued.
“Something pushed me to join the hunt, Estrid thought that it was a way for me to release s****l tension since she has warned all women away from me unless they want to suffer for the rest of their lives. She was like a doe Elison, running without stopping or giving up, she outran all of us, including me, the only way I caught her was when her leg got tangled because of some roots and I had to jumped and keep her down with my weight lest she would have taken off again and eventually got away. She was going to be the first maiden in 400 years to get away, you know what that means don’t you?” Orel asked Elison who was suddenly white as if he had seen a ghost.
“if the white doe gets away, the Dar empire will fall. With her help, it will continue to thrive.” Elison whispered under his breath, a small piece of the prophecy that foretold of the hardest times in Dar history.”
Orel nodded grimly. “somehow, my wife will save us all, we know what threatens to fall our empire.” He looked toward the direction of his tent, “now we also know our salvation.”