Chapter 4: Stepping Backwards

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Chapter 4: Stepping Backwards

I pause at a stream halfway through Salavadis, the elven country, en route to Calador’s southern border with the country. I bend down and start washing my hair clean of the tomato juice that was stuck in my hair, courtesy of that devil Alexander.

After a long five minutes of washing my hair, it finally comes out of my black hair. I pull a towel from my pack and quickly dry my hair, wanting to resume my travels as soon as possible. A small twig snaps, and I pretend to ignore it, while I slowly scan for the source.

A bush rustles, and a Valgarin charges me, but I already have my twin swords swinging, and I cut in him in two.

“Those creatures don’t ever take a break,” I grumble.

I clean my swords, and then sheath them and continue on my way. Traveling through dense forest and vast plains, I speed the progress of my journey with brief flights, only in the open plains. Soon the forest grows more sparse, and younger. I come to the edge of the wooded elven lands, and break out into a vast, endless plain. Fields of tall grasses ripple like waves as a gentle breeze blows across the plains of Calador.

Scattered far and near, the towns and cities of humanity are far different from the industrialized Fairywoodlands and the grace of the elves.

They appear as grey blots of stone from a great distance, and doesn’t strike the eye as our own would.

I continue through the countryside, flying much more in my desire to reach the capital of Yashin’s realm. I soon come in sights of a much greater, larger structure than the small, isolated ones. I come on the largest city and fortress of humanity, Solven’grand.

While no appealing to the eye of an average person, one who has the eye for strategic value would call the place a work of art. Built on a mesa that rises up from the rest of the plains, which is also ringed by a massive river carved canyon, the fortress would be virtually untouchable by rivals to Yashin’s throne. Nature itself seems to provide a mighty counter to the city’s enemies. Surrounding the canyon is a massive outer wall protecting a long ring of farmland which traverses the length of the fortress. The city’s inner walls are several times thicker, and the inner city’s design makes it perfect for archers to attack intruders.

Yashin truly built his seat of power to last. I can’t help but marvel at the dedication to the protection of the throne. I gradually descend at the outer wall’s south gate, where two heavily armed guards watch my approach with open distrust.

“Identify yourself,” One calls out, his voice muffled sharply by the thick helmet he wears. Their armor is black with the marking of Yashin on the chest piece, a white eagle.

“My name is Danica Crown; I’m the princess of the Fairywoodlands. I wish to speak with Lord Yashin about an issue. Will you permit me to pass on through?” I ask politely, hoping they wouldn’t give me a hard time. The two silently look at one another, as though not sure how to answer.

One of them eventually makes an effort to speak.

“Erm… umm… Well you see… Darn it Raulf, we’ll have to send a messenger, I don’t know if the lord would…”

His partner Raulf smacks him. “Man up will you? Oi! You there!” He yells at a passing messenger.

“Yes, is there something you need?”

“I need you to go to the king and ask what he wants to do about Danica Crown’s request.” Raulf barks sharply at him, and the messenger departs immediately towards the Inner City.

He turns to me. “Sorry for the inconvenience, but we are not allowed to let anyone of diplomatic status in without Lord Yashin’s knowledge or approval. I hope you understand, Miss Danica- erm, Lady Danica.”

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