Excerpt from Lunamae: Chapter 13

We began with the trot. Since it is the gait which can be easily done over long distances, it was the most important to learn. Lunamae had issues with balance as the horse’s body dropped and would tousle her a bit. We started out slow without the bouncing and worked our way up once I felt Lunamae was comfortable enough.

Then the alarm sounded. I saw riders on the horizon and my stomach flipped in fear and my mind went back to when I was sixteen. I wanted to dart back to the safety of the keep, but I knew better. I couldn’t, in my state, travel that fast.

Suddenly I was pushed and looked over to see Lunamae next to me. I didn’t even realize she had ridden over to me and had been talking to me. “Are you all right?” she asked.

“Yes. I’m fine. We need to get to the keep now,” I told her.

“You don’t see the banners from here?” she wondered, putting her hand over her forehead to block out the solis. “Most definitely they are banners.”

“It’s too soon for the emissary to be here, isn’t it?” I asked her, knowing full well she wouldn’t be able to answer such a question.

“You don’t suppose the messenger was dawdling?” she asked me from the seat of her horse.

“It’s entirely possible,” I admitted. There were a variety of things that could detain a messenger, and I wasn’t about to go into detail with Lunamae. Generally, as long as they were ahead of the message it was all right. We’ve only had a day.

“Still, let’s get back to the keep.”

“But Muirenn,” Lunamae started, “you said we’d ask the emissary about Marcus.”

“It’s not safe,” I said to her.

“They are riding so fast.”

I know. I didn’t want to tell her. We wouldn’t make it to the keep with my walking. But why would an emissary travel so fast? My eyes started to tear as I wondered if these would be the last minutes spent of my life and I’d never be able to see the face of my unborn child. I shuddered at the thought. I braced myself as the rider came within sight. He was obviously Kyrian, but in more than just plain robes. He was armored. Why? Perhaps to brace himself in case he came into contact with the Wuriven?

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