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❝ ʀᴜᴜɴᴇ ❞


Aiya rode in the leather saddle of Kinnon's horse, Kinnon leading the horse along on foot. When they had left that horrible place, he had rode in front of her on the horse. For whoever reason, he dismounted a while back and began walking at the side of the horse, leading him by the reigns.

Upon leaving the place, even through her groggy eyes, she watched as he dug through the saddle bags of the other horses and found a shirt to put back on. Part of her was happy that he had done so, but the other half still hoped that he had forgotten the question she had asked him earlier. An innocent question, but one that she had internally wished that she reworded.

The black horses ears swiveled around occasionally as they walked at a leisurely pace through the woods, though she didn't recognize them. Of course, before all of this, she had never left the walls of Gisben. So how could she recognize anything?

Her head had begun to pound back and forth like a hammer banging on a piece of wood, causing her thoughts to scatter and not make any sense at all. She reached up and grabbed her forehead, resting it in the palm of her hand.

Kinnon looked over to her and then back ahead, clearing his throat shortly after. "Are you alright, princess?"

"I'm fine," she quietly answered, not even lifting her head from her palm. "It's just a headache."

He nodded, remaining silent. 

There was a chill in the wind as it softly blew by, it being colder than it was a few days ago. But it wasn't a normal sort of cold that flowed around them—it was different. "Where is that chill coming from?" She looked to the rocky wall to her left as they passed by it. It seemed out of place in these woods, traveling up and above the trees.

"Ruune Mountains." He answered. "We're closer to them than I had thought. Apparently they traveled at a decent speed with few breaks, other wise we would have never made it this far in such a short time." He explained. She had noted that when they were taken hostage that they had taken only one or two breaks. She remembered thinking about how tired the horses must have been.

She gazed ahead, noticing a rocky wall ahead of them and towards her right. She looked around and saw that the grass was patchy and muddy, meaning it wasn't the regular forest grass that you would see normally. She looked back ahead and saw a large, open, entrance to a cave on the rocky wall. On both sides of the entrance were torches that were lit with flickering flames, the same kind running down the walls of the inside.

They entered the cave and traveled down the inside of it, her ears suddenly being filled with the sounds of choirs singing and many instruments being played. But it was a different type of music, almost as if they were each battling against each other for the dominance of the ears.

She could smell the sweet aroma of baked goods and fresh picked spices and herbs, surrounded by the sounds of laughter and joy. What was the place?

 At the end of the long tunnel they were suddenly in a extremely large space that was filled with hundreds of tents and wooden stands, crowded with people visiting each stand. The fabrics of the tents were brightly colored, the same as the clothing that the people wore.

"What is this place?" Aiya asked.

"Ruune." Kinnon asked, offering a hand to help her down. "The ancients carved out the inside of the mountains to make a place for people who didn't belong anywhere else."

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