chapter twelve;

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The morning sun had filtered in through the blinds, casting a warm glow over the three curled up on the bed. Mumbling a small complaint, Darryl shifted a little, moving a hand up to cover his eyes from the sun's blinding glare. Despite having a decent rest he still ached with the amount of travelling they had done in the few days previous, blinking open his eyes after a moment or two and sitting up, yawning. In all honesty, he wished that they could stay right here forever, though that was to remain merely a fantasy. They had things to do, after all, a kingdom to fix, and a rebel organisation to bring down.

Neither seemed like an easy task. Oh well, he was certain that they were good enough to do it anyway. They made an effective team despite their ups and downs, and Darryl was certain their teamwork would only improve from here on out. At least he hoped so - they were his friends, after all, it would be nice to be able to be an effective team, even if it wouldn't last long (and Darryl was sure it wouldn't, he doubted the King and Queen would let Zak run around with him once everything was fixed). They were perhaps the only good thing that had come out of this entire troublesome situation. If they hadn't been forced together as a team, Darryl doubted he would have made the effort to get to know them better and, well, he's glad he did.

Making sure he was careful so as not to wake up either of the two, Darryl stood up from the bed, moving to get things ready for when they'd need to leave. He assumed it would be sooner than later. They couldn't stay in one place too long no matter how much they may want to. It would be too risky. 

"Why are you awake so early?"

Zak's voice cut through the morning silence, words accented with a sleepy lilt. When Darryl turned, he could see how the prince had sat up and was gazing at him, seemingly confused. As though they had all the time in the world to rest if they wanted. Thankfully, Darryl knew better. 

"We can't stay here forever," Darryl replied calmly, continuing to check their supplies to ensure that they had everything they'd need for the day's journey. Where they were going he didn't know. Away from here. "We need to get moving soon to avoid any potential complications." He paused for a second, voice softening. "You know that."

Zak let out a tiny hum, as though it took some consideration. Then, almost dramatically, he fell back down on the bed, staring at the ceiling. "Still. I wish we didn't have to travel again. Let's just stay here."

Darryl sighed. He couldn't lie, he'd quite like that as well. All three of them could just stay here and not have to worry about anybody coming after them. In an alternate reality somewhere, maybe that was the case. But that was not their reality, and their reality was the one that they were forced to live in and adapt with, something that Zak would simply have to understand. 

"We can't stay."

This time it was Vincent who spoke up before Darryl could. He must have woken up while Zak and Darryl had been talking and had remained quiet until a convenient moment to contribute to the conversation. The astrologer had seemed tired and Darryl couldn't blame him, he'd hardly gotten a break and had ended up being dragged along on an adventure that was never his responsibility. Darryl had been responsible for not protecting Zak from injury, and Zak had been the one who had decided to go out, tying both to the events. Vincent, on the other hand, had only been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Darryl felt bad for him. He had been so close to becoming the main astrologer, and now he didn't even have a place to stay most nights. 

"I know," Zak replied quietly, glancing over at his friend. "So when do we leave and where do we go?"

Darryl grimaced. They hadn't exactly had time to think this through. "Away. As far as we can. Where the rebels can't find us."

Although this seemed like the only option to Darryl, Zak was shaking his head as though it was the least smart thing he'd heard all day, something that irritated the knight a little more than it actually should. They needed to stay calm and level-headed with each other, after all. The last thing they needed was infighting in the group. 

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