I’m posting from my current writing WiP, Song and Shadow, a prequel to Song and Sword. It’s a rough draft and I still don’t have an actual outline for it so it’s going to be a fun ride.
Picking up from last week.
“Tradition demands that I choose and name a Traveling Companion.” The older nobles stepped back, leaving the ones closer to his age to the front and Hierik forced himself to look at them. “Who among you would Travel with me?”
For a moment no one moved but then Pashevel stepped forward. “It would be my honor, Your Highness, to accompany you on your travels, and for you to accompany me on mine.”
“The honor would be mine,” Hierik replied quietly. He raised his voice. “I have chosen, and I name Pashevel, son of Vellindrin, Crown Prince of Alur’va’sia, as my companion on my travels.”
As Hierik spoke, Pashevel joined him on the stage, completely at ease in front of the crowd.
“Thank you, Prince Hierik, for the opportunity to travel your lands with you and to get to know my counterpart in the Human Lands. I feel sorry for those who hesitated to respond to your offer, but not sorry enough to turn down the invitation.”
There was a ripple of nervous and embarrassed laughter as the assemblage tried to figure out if they were being insulted or if it was just an attempt to bring humor to the situation.
A bit more to finish this section as I’m going to be changing gears a bit next month.
“I cannot tell you how glad I am that that is over,” Hierik murmured as he closed the door behind them.
“You don’t have to,” Pashevel replied. “I can see it in your body. How long will it take you to get your things?”
“My backpack is in my rooms, ready to go. I would like to change into something more comfortable,” he tugged at the high neck of his brocaded tunic, “but that will only take a few minutes.”
“Then we can be on our way before sundown.”
Hierik nodded. “But there is no rush. I told you that the tradition has it that we leave in the morning.”
“And when did that tradition start?”
“With Kurzel, my eldest brother.”
Pashevel nodded. “And he never returned?”
“No, none of them have. How did you know?”
“By asking questions, listening to answers spoken and unspoken, and asking more questions. Did anyone see him leave the castle?”
“Of course not. He left before sunup the next day.”
“Not even the gate guards?”
Hierik stopped and turned to face him. “What are you saying?”
“I’m not saying anything, Your Highness. Merely asking questions and listening for answers.”
“Spoken and unspoken?”
Pashevel inclined his head in agreement and Hierik shuddered. “Let’s get out of here.”