48. Mountain.

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Havillah sped forward making sure to keep low and out of sight from prying eyes by remaining just above the canopy. The songs of birds and flutter of wings was her constant companion. Creaking noises from the wind ruffling through the upper canopy. The ocassional pecking sound would make its way to her ears, a wood pecker she would think distractedly as  a mind continued to process the sounds that continued to flood her senses. She wanted to stop, to admire, to take in her fill of these wild noises but despite the enticing chatter of various woodland animals, Havillah managed to keep herself from stopping at almost every stage to admire the wildlife and the flora that filled upthe topmost parts of these forest branches.

Havillah continued volitating westwards even as the temperature around her began to drop drastically. The forest became denser. The air much colder and thinner as she proceeded onwards. The shadows on the forest floor increased and not just because the sun was way past its peak, but rather Havillah realised, because of the land's topography that was changing constantly.

How she had not realised it before, Havillah could not say, but she attributed it to the fact that she had somehow veered off southwards and the clouds had done a great job of hiding the mountain that had been standing before her all this while.
The mountain was not that high, but Havillah guessed that its altitude was high enough to allow a continuous cover of fog to form around its peaks. Either that or the cool moist air from the ocean was to blame for the effervescent covering that had formed around the rock fortress that now stood forbiddingly before the girl, blocking her path to civilization and the people that she so much sought. For when her Guide had spoken of helping, hadn't he meant that she had to find people? It couldn't have been animals right? Though Havillah still had her doubts seeing that the man in question was still not answering her calls.

Evening came and Havilalh's flight continued. The sun began to slowly descend behind the mountain as a deep chill settled in together with the seeping darkness. With the looming peaks still ahead of her, Havillah found that she had no choice but to stop and rest for the night. So she picked out a nice spot on a grassy valley, one that was scattered with a few shrubbery and the ocassional tree that stood out against the moorland. It had to be safe, she told herself even as she looked around just to be certain before putting down her knapsack at the base of a tree to begin setting up camp. The girl dropped down and slowly settled back at the base of the tree looking again at her surroundings even as she did so. Convinced that she was still alone, Havillah opened up her knapsack and began to inspect it. She did not have much left. She had a little water and apart from a single load of bread, all that remained was some fruits that she had picked up from her courtyard garden and some hard nuts.

She would have to forage, Havillah realised even as she capped her water bottle after taking a swig of the drink. At the moment, there was no river she could see but she hoped that with time she would find one soon. As for food, the vegetation seemed a little sparse mostly because sh was high up and practically next to a moorland that marked the base of a rocky climb. No, she would have to move further if she wanted to find something. She thought pushing back aside the negative sentiments that had arisen unbidden.

"There has to be a river here." She told herself once again, even as she placed the water bottle back into her knapsack which she then used as a pillow to prop her head with. She was lying on the ground. Today, there was no climbing needed as the trees were all really low and the branches not high enough or strong enough to support her full weight. All in all, her bed that night would be comfortable, as comfortable as the grass beneath her body could allow. Shielded from the strong cold winds blowing down the valley from the high mountain tops by the long blades of grass that grew high all around her. It would be a restful night, she knew it and as  evening fully gave way to the night and the crickets took over with their nighttime serenade, Havillah found herself slowly dozing off, too exhausted from the trek and the subsequent flight that had brought her there.

A yawn escaped her mouth as her eyes misted with the sleep that was slowly creeping in. This is too peaceful...she mused even as another yawn wracked her body. All around her the air and the sky glittered with stars and with fireflies that had come out and Havillah smiled at the effect it created above her. It was beautiful, enchanting and as her eyes finally grew heavy from all the staring, she closed them even and gave in to deep slumber only to be roused some hours later by the loud howling of a wolf that was passing nearby.

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