- 4th day of Hanotë -
Part 4 - Preparations
“Are you sure that this is what you want?” Selina insisted but all she had to do was look at her, at her unwavering expression, to know the answer.
“It’s fine. Thank you for everything. You can go, now. I’m sure you have more interesting things to do than hanging around in my room. I’ll just go and get some rest.”
“You’re sure you’ll be all right?” the other girl still asked and Allana smiled, nodding and planting a kiss on her cheek.
“Don’t worry. Just go and have fun while you can. Soon enough you’ll have to get used to Leips’ Court.”
“Well, if you’ll be all right I did leave three wonderful specimens waiting for me … and you know how it is. There are plenty of huntresses roaming around in this palace,” she told her, smiling mischievously, and Allana sighed, shaking her head in silent disapproval.
“Just go already!”
And so she did. And as soon as Selina was out of eyesight she rushed downstairs, to the kitchen and out the door she so often had used, and that led her straight to the Knight’s grounds. She had a lot to do before nightfall, she thought as she made sure no one saw her. But first and foremost she had to get some decent clothes!
Even though she had tried her best to go about her business as fast as she could, when she finally returned to the palace the sun was already slowly setting on the horizon.
She rushed through the lamp lit corridors and into her bedroom, stopping once more by the door. She hated that room, she thought as she watched the ceiling suspiciously. But right now it was the only place she could call her own and where she could gather all she needed without being found out.
After locking the door, and still gazing up at the ceiling, Allana walked towards the bed and dropped on the fine velvet quilt all the things she had gathered. There were two cadet’s uniforms, one black cloak and a pair of ridding boots she had taken from one of the armories. There were also two blankets and flask of water taken from one of the Knights’ dispensaries. And also three different kinds of maps she had carefully chosen from the scrolls kept in the Knight’s library.
She went to her wardrobe and searched it high and low for what could be useful, and ended up choosing three warm tunics and a leather jacket lined with fur.
She needn’t bother with weapons, she thought, kneeling down and pulling the wrapped bundle she kept under her bed. Inside she’d hidden the sword her father had forged for her and a dagger, one like the many used by the Knights and that she’d taken with her when she’d returned to Everlyn. In the bundle were also her Royal belongings, the ones that Selina had insisted that she should take with her, but those she wrapped again and returned them to their hiding place. She was no Heir to any Throne anymore. And from then forth she would simply be Allana, and follow her own will and no one else’s.
“Let’s see …” she thought out loud as she looked at what she’d gathered. “Still need food … which will be easy,” she contemplated, thinking about all those rooms constantly filled with some of the best delicacies available. “And some money …” But where would she get that? And then she knew as she turned towards the dresser, where all the fine lady-like accessories were kept. She smiled as she grabbed a gold necklace with small ruby flowers, and a tiara filled with shiny diamonds. “Guess this will do fine,” she decided and begun packing some of the smaller pieces, including two hair combs and a hand-mirror.
The sound of someone knocking on the door stopped her midway and her heart jumped into a frantic run.
“Allana …?” she heard someone call and instantly recognize Dana’s voice, which somehow calmed her down.
“Yes?” she answered in a sleepy tone, pretending she’d just woken up.
“Aren’t you getting something to eat? It’s getting late.”
“Oh, yes. I’ll be there in a second. Just let me get dressed,” she answered, knowing that any other reply would just annoyingly extend the conversation.
“All right, then. We’ll be waiting for you.” Dana replied and then silence returned.
Allana quickly packed all her things and hid them under the bed. With a last thought she stopped before a mirror to straighten her hair, and then left to join the others for the evening meal.