A day had passed since Diaval had left to search for Raven. It had been an awkward goodbye, where they had only muttered something inaudible. Now she thought back to that moment, she still felt uncomfortable and she wasn't sure if his departure was a relief or a loss.
She'd slept all night. The day before had worn her out, to such an extent that the many impressions she'd gotten couldn't even keep her awake. After waking up, watching the treetops had been the first thing she'd done. Raven however hadn't been around. It worried her, especially now she knew the bats had been out to hurt her. Would someone want to take out Raven, so she had one less ally? And what about Diaval? Was he now in danger too?
She bent over to tie her shoes. She had to move on. Raven meant a lot to her, but he lived in these woods. He knew how to take care of himself, better than her father. The longer she was here, the less she understood why he hadn't returned. She was unable to deny the beauty of these lands, but that couldn't be the reason he was still here. No matter how beautiful nature was, it wouldn't make him forget about his daughter, right?
Alesana pulled at her shoelaces once more and got up. She still wasn't sure where the path that she had been following would lead to. She tried to trust her heart to be her guide. Today however, that was harder than other days. The message that creatures wanted to hurt her, finally seemed to land. She kept wondering what they wanted from her and whether it had something to do with the search for her father. Were they trying to keep her from finding him? Were they — whoever they were — behind his disappearence? The fact that she couldn't share her thoughts with anyone frustrated her. Even though Raven had never responded to her long speeches — not with words, at least — every monologue had offered her relief. Now however, she was confronted with her loneliness again. That feeling stayed, even when she tried to convince herself that loneliness wasn't a bad thing. It was better to be alone than to be surrounded by enemies.
Alesana just crossed a stream when she saw red shapes in the distance. With both feet on a different stone, she stood in the middle of the running water. She froze at the realization that two creatues were walking towards her. Were it the same ones she'd seen yesterday, when she'd been at the top of the tower? Actually, she'd believed she'd imagined them, as a result of the magic surrounding the ruin.
She turned around and crossed the river again, in the direction where she'd come from. Once she was back on dry land, she peeked over her shoulder. Right through the trees she saw the red shapes, as if their heat scorched right through the trunks. A shiver crept down her spine.
Her breathing faltered as she saw the same sort of shapes in another direction. Anxiously, her eyes flashed from left to right. She was surrounded. Was there a place to hide? Her heart hammered in her chest, so fast it hurt. Maybe her heart would give out before the shapes reached her.
She took a few steps back, until her back touched a tree. She took her bow in her hand and aimed an arrow. Never before, she'd shot at a living thing. Would she dare to let go of the arrow? Did she have it in her to kill someone?