A/N: Do NOT steal my work, or you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Otherwise, enjoy my novel! :)
Kailene of Shallaette tugged roughly on the rope, testing it as she flung the rest of the it out the window. Kai sat on the stone sill and looked down. It was at least a 100-foot drop to the dark castle grounds. This was it.
Kai adjusted the saddlebags she carried around her shoulder and pulled up the sleeves of her newly acquired tunic. She had snatched a few pairs of training tunics and breeches from the page’s training ward along with provisions for her journey. She couldn’t go out in her royally tailored dresses, not for what she was having to do.
She took a deep, settling breath and then backed out the window, scaling the wall backwards. Kai was grateful that her palms didn’t get sweaty. That could have made her situation much worse. She shimmied down the rope easily, and soon, she was on the ground, hidden in the deep recesses of dark bushes. The only light she had to go by was the moon, and because it was cloudy and only a quarter of it showed, the area surrounding the castle was still quite dark.
Kai adjusted her saddlebags once more and moved quietly through the brush guarding the castle –her home, or what used to be her home. The closer she neared the stables, the more guards she saw. They were making their midnight rounds. Kai made sure to pick the time about thirty minutes before they were supposed to switch. She wanted the guards to be tired and less aware of their surroundings.
Kai was about to move out of the brush when two sentries with swords belted to their hips walked almost directly in front of her. She held her breath. The men were talking softly to one another, but immediately stopped when they got close to the bush she was using for cover.
“Did you hear something, Masterson?” one of the guards asked, looking around but not moving his feet from his position. She watched the scene from her filtered vision of leaves.
“No, I don’t think so, why?” Masterson asked curiously, his ears straining to hear a phantom’s footsteps.
“I thought I heard the bushes rustle,” the guard commented suspiciously, looking pointedly at the foliage that was concealing Kai.
Masterson gave a small chuckle. “It was probably only a rabbit, my friend,” he answered jokingly. “Come on.”
Masterson walked further on, leaving the other sentry to stare at the bush that he thought had rustled.
At first, Kai thought he may have seen her. The man seemed to have looked straight into her eyes, but after a few seconds, he went off to follow his comrade. When he was a couple of yards away, Kai let out her breath. Her heart was beating so fast, she wouldn’t have been surprised if it burst from her chest.
She waited a few more minutes and then shot from underneath the brush. She stayed close to the wall of the castle so that she wasn’t out in plain sight. The stables were about thirty yards in front of her, calling her name.
Once she reached the cover of the stables, she immediately gave a small, low whistle. A horse’s head popped out from a stall a few down from her. She jogged over to her horse, the saddlebags hitting her back to the rhythm of her stride.
“Hey there, Boy,” she whispered, softly petting his snout. “How are you doing?” Kai opened the stall gate and let herself in. The saddle and blanket was sitting in the stall in a boxed in area in the wall. She took out the blanket and set it on her horse, keeping her eyes peeled for burrs. She then put on the saddle, buckling and tying straps. She then attached the small saddlebag packs that she had been carrying to the saddle, strapping and tying it securely to each loop.
Kai could tell the horse felt her urgency and quick actions. He fidgeted slightly and moved his head restlessly. Her hands were quick as she took a double check of all the belts, buckles, and ties. She took the bit and reins from in the box that held the saddle and quickly made work of the small buckles, guiding the bit into the horse’s mouth.
Kai opened the stall. She cringed when it creaked slightly, but the sound just spurred her to quicken her pace. She jogged to the far entrance that was the closest to the forest, the gelding being pulled by the reins she held. She quickly looked out both ways to see no one walking the grounds. The only place she could be unsure that she was being watched was from the turrets of the castle. She would just have to gamble.
|Miranda Raison||as Kai|