- 4th day of Hanotë -
Part 6 - Night Escape
Night had already fallen when Allana, all dressed in the black of the Knight’s Order, made her way outside, sneaking from shadow to shadow, until she finally reached the stables. At that early hour the Knights should still be in the Dining Hall, which made her timing perfect.
Even so her heart beat faster while she quickly saddle her horse and silently guided it outside.
The night was cool, the sky filled with stars, and the only light that lightened her way came from the windows of the palace at her back.
After quickly tying her small baggage to the saddle, she easily mounted her horse and pulled the hood of her cloak over her head. She was probably about to commit the biggest act of madness of her entire life, she thought, making sure that her cloak not only hide her golden braid but also disguised her gender.
Taking a deep breath she listened to her own will once more. Madness or not, this was something she had to do … the only thing left for her to do, of that she was certain. And no doubts or regrets weighed her down when she urged her mount forward.
As expected, the Knight keeping watch near the inner gate signaled her to a halt as she approached him. She recognized him at a glance and, although during her previous stay in Mithir he had always been cordial with her, right then she couldn’t ask for anything more other than that he wouldn’t be able to recognize her.
“Hey, there!” he greeted her and she nodded in acknowledgment. “Where are you headed to at this late hour?”
“Just following orders,” she answered, keeping her voice down so it wouldn’t sound so feminine. “I was told to go to the outer fields and warn the people there that they should start preparing to move inside the walls.”
“Yeah, I heard something about that too. But I didn’t know they were supposed to move in so soon …”
Allana squeezed the reins nervously, considering her chances of reaching the last gate before being caught, should she just ignore the man and simply attempt to cross the city at full speed.
“Is something wrong?” A voice asked from behind her and the Knight keeping watch at the gate peered to see who approached.
“Oh, nothing much, I suppose. This boy here says he’s going to outer fields to warn the people that they should get ready to move in,” the man informed and the Knight that had just arrived stopped right beside her, looking up straight into her eyes, although he didn’t look the least bit surprised to find her there. “I guess they forgot to inform me.”
“My bad, Marcus. I’m the one who sent him. With His Highness leaving and with everything that’s been happening it completely slipped my mind. It’s important that we gather everyone inside the city walls where it is safe as soon as possible. We never know when the enemy might attack us,” he said and Marcus nodded in agreement.
“Go on then, lad. And good luck,” Marcus told her and she nodded.
“Thank you …” she whispered and spurred her horse into a gallop, finally crossing the gate into freedom.