We made it to Kri Town just before dark and we were all exhausted. I knew there was a few small rotting houses at the edge of town that were always for rent. I was just counting on the fact that they weren't all in use. Chances are they wouldn't be, Kri was only a smallish town close to the Black Boarder.
We dropped our horses off at the stable at the edge of town, then headed for the manor. The rich man of the town was the one who owned the rent houses. I smoothed my skirt out and brushed my hair, forcing the guys to do the same. We had to look presentable or he would turn us away instantly.
"How may I help you?" the butler opened the door of the manor.
"We need to speak to your master about renting his homes at the edge of town," I said sweetly.
"Certainly," the butler smiled down at me, then let us all in. He led us to a familiar man. Draven and I had spent two nights here once we'd escaped the forest
nations. Though I prayed that he didn't notice recognize me. I looked different, but there had always been something about his stare that let on he knew more than he should. It was like that too after we started running, it seemed like he knew our exact past.
"Who do I have the pleasure of addressing?" the old, sharp eyed rich man asked as we walked into his study.
"My name is Trent," Draven gave a respectful bow of the head. "These are my friends, Sarah, Ryan, Nick, Tyler and Fred. We are hoping to rent one of your houses at the edge of town."
"Are you now?" he looked at us, his gaze lingering on my brother, then me. I fought not to stiffen under that knowing stare. It's a good thing we were only spending the night here.
"Sarah?" he looked over at me. "You look like a musician. Do you play?"
"I-" did he guess it was me? No. When we were here last, I never played music. "Yes sir, how did you know?"
"I'm observant," he smiled. "I do love music. If you play me something I will rent the house to your friends and yourself."
"Thank you sir," I bowed my head slightly. "Do you have a violin?"
"Yes," he looked a servant standing by the wall. That servant scurried out of the room, then returned with a stunning looking violin. My heart tightened when I saw it. The only music I'd played since leaving the forest nations was singing with a lyre, though I really loved violins and the piano.
I picked up the instrument, wondering if I still remembered how to play. I raised the bow to the strings and took a deep breath.
"Wait." The man's voice, I never did find out his name, stopped me. I opened my eyes and looked at him. "I would like you to play a specific song."
"I might not know it," I told him.
"Jackson!" the man called. We stood there for a moment, then a young man, probably mid-twenties entered the room.
"Yes grandfather?" he sounded bored.
"Play the first minute of the duet," the rich man commanded, looking at him almost coldly. I felt sorry for the man. "See if Sarah knows it."
"Fine," Jackson said just as coldly, then sat at the grand piano beside the window. I went to join him, sending a 'what else can I do?' shrug to Draven. He
shrugged back, looking only slightly nervous, but hiding it well.
I stood and waited. After a moment, Jackson started playing. I don't know why I was so sure that he would be an average musician playing a song I've never
heard of... but I was very, very wrong. It was a stunning melody, one that I'd loved as a child and knew like the back of my hand. I half wondered if I should pretend not to know it, because it was written by a forest nation musician. But I wanted to play...
"Yeah," I laughed. "I learnt that two days ago."
"That's good," the rich man smiled. "I've been waiting for someone who can play the violin part."
"How much will this cost us?" I asked before Jackson restarted the music. "Money wise?"
"Nothing if you play well," he said, relaxing into his chair.
"Sounds good," I laughed again, taking up my instrument.
I watched Jackson as he took a breath, then nodded. We started playing at the same time. I'd forgotten how good it felt to play like this. I let the melody of his playing wrap around mine, we played perfect together. My eyes were closed, letting the music flow. (The song's youtube link is at the side, under the cast list
When the song ended, I felt somehow lighter, like a weight had been lifted from my chest. I opened my eyes slowly, seeing Draven first. His eyes were suspiciously shinning, like he wanted to cry. I looked away, not able to see him like that. It was my fault, I was probably making him remember when mom and I played like this.
"Payment fared," the rich man laughed happily. "That was fantastic."
"Thank you," I smiled, then turned to talk to Jackson, but he was already halfway out of the room.
"You may stay in the blue house," the man brought my attention back to him, he was talking to Draven. "It's the one closest to town, how long do you wish to
"Two days," Draven lied smoothly. It was a good thing on his part. If the man somehow realized who we are, then it's better for him to think he had more time to report us.
"Alright," the man smiled. "Have a nice stay."
"Thank you," we all said in unison, then got out of there before he could change his mind.
"That was a song I haven't heard in a while," Draven commented as we walked through the dark town.
"Yup," I smiled sadly, then quickly changed the subject. "Do we have enough food to get across the boarder then last a couple of days? We won't want to stop
in any towns near to boarder incase someone comes looking for us."
"We have enough each for four days," Ryder said.
"Me too," I said, looking at my brother.
"I'm good," he shrugged.
"Four days?" Finn complained. "Do you want us to turn into twigs?!"
"You'll survive," Ryder messed his little brother's hair. Finn muttered something rude and shoved Ryder away.
At the house, which was actually a little better than I remembered, we all bathed, changed clothes and settled for a good night's sleep. We were up and ready to leave three hours before dawn, which meant that we were all still tired, but ready to move.
I yawned, packing my bag. I left the orange wig and blue and white dress close to the top along with the dark blue eye dye, in case I had to change quick. We picked up fresh horses from the stable, only one each this time. We weren't going far, so they could carry our bags too.
With that, we galloped out of the city and towards the last place on earth I ever wanted to be.
YOU ARE READING
The Emerald ThiefFantasy
Esmeralda Stonegate has lived on the run for the past 2 years. She doesn't talk about why to anyone, not even her brother. She swore to herself never to cross the sea back to the land she's running from. She's about to break that promise. The Knight...