The last day of travel was quiet and passed in the blink of an eye. Finn and Nix were obviously relieved to be so near the end of such a long journey, Ryder was unreadable and Draven was in a bad mood. Honesty, I was trying to avoid Tyce. I just didn't know what to say, so I didn't want to say anything. When we stopped that night I took a very long soak in the river.

We were going to cross the border... back into that place. I just didn't know if I was going to be able to deal with it. I didn't want to go back to that place, I really didn't. Only I made a promise to these brothers, I was going to get them into the North Nation.

I changed into my silver wig and ruby red dress. I couldn't wear the purple wig at night there, I couldn't risk it appearing black even though the silver was more visible. Still, I was sure that we could get across with no problem. We ate a small dinner of whatever we had left and packed everything up again.

"Ready to go?" I asked around.

"We're ready," Ryder told me.

"Let's go," Draven told me. We went.

We rode for another twenty minutes before dismounting and leading our horses through the trees. It was illegal to move from nation to nation without permission, but the boarders weren't as strongly monitored here as the Black Boarder. We'd only run into trouble if we were extremely unlucky.

As quietly as possible, we came to the thin red light that ringed the trees that made the boarder. I had the brothers stay back as Draven and I crept forward.

He went left and I went right, slinking silently through the trees and undergrowth. I was hugely relieved that it was summer and not autumn so there weren't any dead leaves to worry about.

I went far enough out until I was satisfied that we could get by without being caught, so I headed back. When I got back they were all stalk silent and still. I got the hint and crept over, staying perfectly silent. My brother pointed to the left and held up two fingers. Two guards close by. Great.

We stayed stalk still and silent for a long minute before the footsteps came into earshot. One of the men was quiet and stealthy. I could tell they were men by the heavier footfall. The other man was drunk, even if I couldn't tell by his shuffling feet, I heard his singing.

'E-eyes of green and lips p-pink!

Skin s-so white and hair l-like ink!'

"Shut up Kar!" the other one hushed furiously. "If a Roy hears you we're both screwed!"

Damn that meant there were royal guards were out here. Royal guards weren't just guards who were posted at the castle, royal guards, or 'roys' are just extremely well trained top of their class guards. We really did not want to run into them.

"There aren't any of those dicks here!" Kar yelled back. "Come on sing with me!

There's a girl I'm thinking of!

She's fair in every way!

Our beautiful queen or would have been!

If his highness hadn't chased her away!"

"I said shut up!" the other guard hit Kar as they walked past where we were standing back. They didn't even notice us as they went by and soon it was silent again.

When they were far enough away I took a deep breath and forced myself to ignore what had just happened and started walking forward. The sooner we got to this town the sooner we got out and away from this place.

We passed the boarder easily after that and walked our horses quickly and carefully, as fast as possible. I had to be careful to make sure that there weren't any guards stationed a few miles in from the boarder to catch any intruders, but we made it through safely.

The Emerald ThiefRead this story for FREE!