Tales around Mirateia 11

It had been 4 days since they had left the inn and were now making their way to one of the larger towns in the southern empire, Emitlestar.   It was getting late in the evening when the two of them decided to roll off the road and make a small camp. The area they had chosen to make camp in was a relatively open space, not something Azran liked but it was the best they could find before it got too dark, and the area didn't have any reports of neither monster nor bandits in a long time, so while Azran didn't like the open space, it did make him feel a bit safer and glad that he read those noticeboards in the last village they passed.   He had not noticed that he was starting to drift away in his mind, but was brought back to reality when Ira placed an arm on his shoulder.   "What are you thinking about?" Ira said before removing her arm and walking back to the campsite.   "wait what? oh nothing special, just the last few days"   Having said that, Azran walked back to the camp where he placed their small pot on the fire Ira had made while he was drifting off, putting some water in the pot together with some dried vegetables and some small pieces of the dried meat that he had brought back at the inn. While waiting for dinner to cook, he took his sword from the front seat of the wagon and sat down with it, ready to give it it's daily cleaning after dinner.   It was during dinner when Ira had just gone for a second bowl since she was pretty hungry, not having eaten any lunch when she heard a familiar voice in her head.  
Not able to hold off any major search any more, would recommend either coming back home or staying out of major towns.
At first, she was really confused but it quickly hit her, the message was from her dad and it could complicate things for them in their future adventure.   Ira looked up at Azran who had just gotten up after having cleaned his bowl and was about to put it back in the storage when she called for him to return.   Azran looked back at Ira wondering what it was and noticed that she did look a bit more in thought than usual, having placed his bowl in the storage he walked back to the fire and sat down.   "What is on your mind, Ira?"   "My dad"   "Oh, what were you thinking about him?   "No Azran, I quite literally had him on my mind, he sent me a message"   "Oh, what did he say?"   "That he is no longer able to hold back any search for me any longer and because of that, he would recommend that we either returned to Pearlhal or that, and I'm surprised that he would suggest this, but he said that if we or I guess wished to continue that we were to avoid the major towns."   Azran sad there for a minute or two thinking about what Ira had just told him, this would change everything for them, with possibly the entire empire searching for them they would not be able to make use of any of the inns and taverns in the towns they passed and possibly not even the remote ones along the roads. While they had been careful not to cause too much attention to themself and avoid the towns along the major roads there was still a chance that whoever was being sent after them would be able to track them down within a few days or weeks.   "Azran I need to hear what you are thinking about our options"   Azran looked up and rubbed his eyes.   "well two things, one, It does complicate things and it would make it easier and maybe even make sense if we returned to the capital"   Ira was just about to interrupt but Azran raised a finger.   "Hold on I'm not done yet, two, I have a feeling that you have not seen enough of the world to be even remotely satisfied with returning now"   "What about you, I mean you have your place at the Imperial Guard and the responsibilities that follow, you can't just give it up to follow me around on something I dragged you on to"   "Well Ira, true I have my place there but I see it like this, I reached my childhood goal of becoming a member of the guard and remember the guards must protect the royal family and that's one of the reasons I'm here, another reason is that I quite frankly enjoy it, so your highness I'm going to follow you as long as the trip takes."   Ira rested her head in one of her hands and when Azran finished, just shook her head but smiled.   "What have I done to deserve someone so crazy like you?" Ira said chuckling.   "Well, it's your fault really, remember? you came to me back in the Kingsway Inn, I'm innocent in this case" Azran said smiling.   Azran stood up and went over to the wagon and took a bottle of some wine and went back to the fire where he poured some in his cup and handed the bottle to Ira who took it and poured some for herself.   "To a continued adventure your highness" Azran said with a smile raising his cup towards the horizon.   Shaking her head but raised her cup as well.   "to a continued adventure, dumb human"   having had their toast, they both relaxed a bit and while Ira got lost in her thoughts, Azran began his daily ritual of cleaning his sword and making sure his armour was in as good a condition as possible. The next morning came and Azran was the first to wake up so he was as quiet as possible, which was not that quiet because of the old wagon, crawled out of the wagon to light a fire to cook some breakfast. It didn't take long before Ira came out of the wagon as well.   "Sorry if I woke you up," Azran said while pouring some water in the pot together with some vegetables and some small pieces of meat.   "It's fine, I was already awake don't think I got much sleep last night, was just thinking about where we could go next"   "Oh, and where would you like to go?" Azran said looking around towards the south   "how does a trip to Grand Duchy of Ved sound?"

Cover image: by Gayle Porter Hoskins


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