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   Chapter 139 No.139

The WeatherMaker Hearts Desire By Lady Lilium Characters: 5047

Updated: 2018-07-11 12:02


'He sounds like quite a character' Annabel said uncertainly. 'What makes you think he will help us?'

'Because he is my friend' Arlen said. 'I am one of the very few, that he truly trusts in this world.'

'Then how will we find him?' Annabel asked with a hint of worry in her voice.

'He's retired' Arlen replied. 'He stays in one place now.'

'Why?'

'He's been retired' Arlen answered, 'ever since his son was born.' He glanced sideways at Shawn and Annabel beside him. 'But that's supposed to be a secret' he told them. 'As far as either of you two are concerned, he doesn't have a son. Can you remember that?'

'Sure' Shawn replied. 'But why?'

'He is a dangerous man' Arlen repeated, 'his enemies would use his loved ones against him if they could, that's why he keeps his son hidden and away from him. Most of the time he doesn't even dare to visit him, but that boy is the most precious thing in the world to him. He loves him more than he does his own mother.'

'And you know where his son lives?' Shawn asked him.

'Yes.'

Shawn nodded thoughtfully to himself. 'He must trust you a lot then, if he is as you say he is.'

'Yes' Arlen replied solemnly. 'He does.'

That evening they slept uncomfortably on thin mats rolled out on a relatively flat piece of earth, away from the road and hidden from view for safety beneath the open sky.

Annabel in the middle of the night woke abruptly at the sound of a shrill screeching coming from nearby, sitting bolt upright and gazing all around her for its source.

'It's ok' Shawn whispered as he lay beside her. 'It's just a sand-crawler.'

'You mean one of those freaky owl-like creatures' Annabel replied. 'I could never get used to that, what a horrid noise.'

Shawn sighed deeply, reaching out to take her by the shoulder and pushing her back down to lie beside him.

'Don't worry' he said to her. 'They don't like the taste of people.'

Annabel breathed deeply to calm herself, blinking slowly and staring up to the cloudless yet warm sky above.

'Just try to get back to sleep' Shawn muttered to her.

Annabel shuffled closer to him, grabbing his arm and laying it across her body as if it were a blanket.

'I won't get any peaceful sleep until we're indoors' Annabel whispered back to him.

Shawn's heart skipped a beat as she had moved closer and taken his arm. He watched her, the light from the moon in the clear sky above made the night bright around them, and he saw her clearly, thinking of how beautiful she was.

Shawn held her close to him, nuzzling into her and resting his chin against her shoulder. He glanced across at the sleeping profile of Arlen nearby. The strange calls of the foreign creatures in the night had not seemed to faze him at all, and he appeared to sleep peacefully.

Shawn allowed himself to relax again, holding Annabel and feeling her body heat against his. He closed his eyes, trying to sleep.

Beside him Annabel glanced back at him and smiled, closing her eyes too. She slept peacefully the rest of the night by Shawn's side, feeling safe beneath his arm. The next she heard a cry of a night creature, it didn't bother her so much. She felt safer now.

The next morning, Arlen woke with the light. He ate what little food they had brought with them, and waited for Shawn and Annabel to wake.

When the sun was fully above the horizon, he decided to wake them himself.

'Hey' he said loudly, shoving Shawn with his boot. 'Get up.'

Shawn blinked in confusion, waking suddenly, then glared in annoyance up at Arlen as Annabel rose to stand. 'Alright' he said in exasperation. 'I'm awake.'

'We're not far now' Arlen told them. 'Just a few more hours ride. Eat then we can go.'

Arlen waited patiently while Shawn and Annabel ate their meagre portions, then rolled up their sleeping mats and readied the horses to go.

'Ready?' Arlen asked as they each mounted their own horses.

'Ready' Shawn replied.

Arlen gave a nod of satisfaction, tapping his heels into his mare and sending the beast into a trot, heading back to the road and to relatively even ground.

Behind him, Shawn and Annabel exchanged a look before following. Annabel grinned at Shawn, as he kicked his horse on to follow Arlen's.

They reached their destination, a small village immediately on the outskirts of a large city. The city known as Darktonian. It was an unusual layout. Before them was a thriving city with stone buildings built atop of stone buildings and masses of people between, bustling and called out to one another as they walked upon the stone streets. And immediately on the edge of this city, separated as if by an invisible wall were wooden houses with thatched roofs, built spaciously around paddocks of sheep and goats.

'Do you know where this man lives? Shawn asked Arlen as they walked on foot beside their horses. 'Does he live in the city?'

'No' Arlen shook his head as they lingered on the border between the stone and wooden buildings. 'His is one of the houses on the edges.'

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