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 Magus Potentae

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Sun Sep 27, 2009 1:39 pm

After what seemed like hours, Cal came back into the room. He looked completely drained.
"He's disowned me," he said simply. Narrel didn't know what to say. Since Cal was an only child, the king had just cut off his only heir. She shook her head. The man really was insane.
"I have to report in an hour to receive my bracelet." He winced. For years, he had been able to keep this a secret. If only he hadn't have been so careless, all this could have been avoided.

"I-I'm going to run," he announced, staring at the floor. "I can't become my father's slave. I just can't. I want to take you with me." He looked up at her. "You're the only friend I have here. Please." Narrel could only stare at him, open mouthed.

"Your Highness," she began. Cal shook his head. "I'm no royalty anymore. Although it won't be official for another hour." Narrel bit her lip, and continued. "Cal, even though I want to, I can't. You know the bracelet makes it impossible to escape."
Cal shook his head.

"I already thought of that. When I was a kid, the King's Advisor told me how to remove them. I think he thought I was asleep, either that or I was too young to remember. Either way, I think I remember how. If you'll trust me." Narrel thought for a moment. The lure of freedom was strong. And it was unlikely that she would ever be able to change the kingdom now.
"Do it."

In less than an hour, the two were sneaking out of the castle. It wasn't hard. Narrel put on her official robe, and clothed Cal in a beginning Magi's outfit. Nobody would question why she was going out into the city. They packed extra clothes. Once they left the castle, they would need to become invisible. Narrel looked around once they got out. They needed to find a place to sneak into, and change clothes.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Sun Sep 27, 2009 1:52 pm

Taiju was just about to give up yet again and head back out of the city, deciding to shove away his guilt and get on with his life, when he noticed two figures descending from the castle. They were faint blurs, and he couldn't recognize them coming into the city, so he decided to risk three seconds and put on his glasses. When he could recognize the faces of Narrel and Cal, he was momentarily surprised. What were they doing out? It probably didn't matter. It didn't.

He put his glasses back in his pocket. Narrel was supposed to be in the cell for a few more days, according to Cal. That meant that she shouldn't be out now, which in turn meant that something was wrong. The tyrannical excuse for a king wouldn't have let her punishment end early, Taiju could guarantee that.

He hesitated, then eventually dared to casually make his way over and approach them. If he could do anything to help, he would. He was bound by his own sense of pride to do something instead of sitting to the side. He just hoped that he knew what he was doing and wasn't about to get into something he shouldn't.
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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:06 pm

Narrel could hardly believe her eyes. Walking towards them in a makeshift, but not completely effective, disguise was Taiju. She shook her head ruefully. The guy just couldn't stay out of the city, could he? But at the moment, she couldn't have been happier to see him. She motioned for him to fall in line behind her, hoping that the guards at the gate would simply think she had sent for him before her departure. Once they were out of eye shot of the castle, she turned to him.

"I don't know what you're doing here, Taiju," she said, "But I'm really glad you are. Do you know of a place we can go to to change clothes? We need someplace that won't bring suspicion."

She realized that she was asking a lot without giving much explanation. But right now, they were pressed for time. In about ten minutes, the king would realize what had happened. They needed to be on their way out of the city. Preferably far away. There would be plenty of time for explanations later.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:16 pm

Taiju took a brief glance around. "Judging by how that's the first thing you asked me, I can only assume you're running and that's something I approve of," he said lightly before looking back at Narrel. "Alright, explanations later. There's no building you're going to be able to go in and out. Somebody will notice that you went in looking one way and out looking another." He looked around again, thinking quickly but otherwise calm. "Go change in an alley, behind a building. Most of the alleys connect with each other, so once you're done, walk down for a few streets and come out in a different place so nobody will make the connection."

He kept looking around, trying to keep thinking. "Then there's leaving town . . . I'm sure someone will come looking for you, so we'll have to go fast. Buy a couple of horses or something and then make a bolt for it. Can they still track you?"

Taiju certainly wanted to know what was going on, but he was not going to argue. He wanted to see Narrel out of the kingdom's control. With how much she agreed with his own feelings on the king, it just didn't seem right that she was a slave to him. Whatever it was was most likely a positive step in the right direction.
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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:39 pm

Narrel nodded, and smiled.
"I knew we could count on you. I don't know how you managed to be right where we needed you, though." She laughed, and proudly held out her arms to show her bracelet-free wrists.
"I'm finally free, if we can get out of here." With that, they went into an alleyway. She dragged Taiju along, not wanting them to be separated.

She found a small pile of trash that she hid behind as she changed.
"If I find either of you peaking," she warned, "You'll be very sorry." She changed quickly, trusting that Cal would find a similar place to do the same. The rough clothes scratched against her skin, but she already liked them much better than her silky smooth palace garb.

She looked around, waiting for Cal to finish. Her eyes found Taiju, and she smiled. She was still on a bit of a high from escaping the castle.
"Do you know where we can get horses for cheap? We brought plenty of money, but I'd prefer not to advertise that we have it."

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:59 pm

"There was someone selling horses near the entrance to the city. I don't know the cost, but with any luck it won't be too much. If the salesman asks, we'll just say that it was money we had saved to leave the city. I'm sure he won't question that too much, and it would be a logical explanation." Taiju looked down at the ground and closed his eyes for a moment. He couldn't wait to get out of the city so he could put his glasses back on. His disguise was meager at best, and he knew it, but it was better than nothing--particularly when he was helping two fugitives escape.

"We're going to have to ride hard and get as far from the city as we can without stopping," he added in. He was continuing to plan ahead, and seemed to know what he was doing. "Pass by any towns nearby. That way nobody can say that they saw us, and if we don't leave any trails close to the city, they're more likely to either give up or redirect their search."

He sighed and looked back at Narrel. "Cal told me about the punishment you received for helping me," he said in a lower tone. "You're alright, aren't you?" It felt a little strange, asking someone about their well-being, but Taiju genuinely wanted to know when it had been his fault. It was half the reason he was even doing this.
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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Sun Sep 27, 2009 3:20 pm

Narrel nodded.
"That sounds great. I can't thank you enough. I don't know what we'd do without your help." She smiled sincerely. When he brought up her punishment though, her face fell.

Her back was still burning from the punishment, and the memory of that dark and lonely cell would stay with her forever. None of it was really his fault though, so there was no reason for him to know everything. She quickly put the smile back on her face.
"I'm just fine. They went easy on me, I guess." She forced a laugh.

Finally, Cal was done changing. He glanced at the castle, glad to see that the guards had apparently not been notified yet. They still had a few minutes to get out of the city.
"Okay everyone, we need to go. Lead the way, Taiju. Take us to this horse peddler." Cal didn't even realize that he was giving an order. He was just so use to every one following him, that he automatically tried to take charge.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Sun Sep 27, 2009 3:33 pm

Taiju wasn't sure how much he believed Narrel, but he decided not to press the issue. Whatever it was, it most likely wasn't worth talking about and was better to be forgotten. He had no reason to keep asking anyway. As long as she was okay now.

He gave Cal a slight frown of disapproval when ordered, but chose also not to comment on that, either. There was no time to argue. He just gave a simple nod and started down the dark alleyway, away from where they had entered. After a few streets, he turned back out into the lit center of the city and made a direct beeline for the gates.

Near the entrance was the promised stalls where an older man was selling his horses. He looked upon the younger group with slight interest but didn't question them. Money was money. Taiju went on to choose a plain black mare after only a brief glance at the limited options, knowing there was no time to waste on something as petty as aesthetics.

"How old is this horse?" he asked the peddler, while digging for his money.

"A few years."

"Has she ever been lame?"

"No."

"Good." Content, Taiju handed over a couple of the coins Narrel had given him before. The man looked surprised that Taiju had come to such a quick decision. "That's it on my half, then."
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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Sun Sep 27, 2009 3:47 pm

As they were picking out their horses, Cal couldn't help but think of the beautiful mare he had left behind. He couldn't risk bringing her with him; she was too recognizable. Regardless, he would miss her. He choose a wild looking chestnut that looked strong. He quickly checked her teeth and legs, and decided it would be the best he could find here. He looked over, and saw Narrel looking confused. She had obviously never chosen a horse before.

He quickly examined a small, reliable looking brown mare. She wouldn't be the fastest horse, but she looked like she could ride forever. With the horses out of the way, the group was ready to leave the city. Unfortunately when they got to the gate, it was apparent that every party was being searched. Cal let out a muttered curse.

"It looks like my father noticed we were missing," he whispered. "What do we do now?" He looked at his two companions for advice. There had to be another way out of the city.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Sun Sep 27, 2009 4:01 pm

Taiju hesitated. How were they going to get out? It would be easier to sneak out if they hadn't just bought their horses. Taiju knew he could get past customs, as he had nothing to hide and looked like nothing more than the average traveler, but someone would recognize Narrel and Cal.

"I don't know," he confessed. "We could try to distract them . . . set off something in city, maybe? I doubt the two of you will be able to simply get by without questions because someone has to know who you are. Otherwise, I haven't got a clue."

Taiju hated to admit he didn't know what to do from here, but he had never had to sneak two runaways past guards before. Only himself, and he was average enough that nobody asked questions. This was one of the few situations he hadn't earned experience in. However, that wasn't goig to stop him. One way or another, they would get out.
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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Sun Sep 27, 2009 5:17 pm

Narrel smiled.
"I think you just gave me an idea, Taiju," she said quietly. She closed her eyes, and reached deep inside her for her Magus. She then searched the city wall until she found the gate opposite the one they were at. With a great deal of concentration, she worked to break down the wall next to it. A cloud of dust rose from the mess she had created. Of course, the guards at their gate noticed, and rushed off to help. They figured that the fugitives were trying to escape there.

This left the gate they were actually at almost completely unguarded. Narrel swayed a bit, before getting her head back where it belonged. She smiled, pleased that her plan had worked.
"Okay everyone, ready to go?"

They would still have to fight their way past a few guards, but they had left the newly trained ones. And none of them were Magi. What luck.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Sun Sep 27, 2009 7:56 pm

Taiju mounted his horse, thinking it would be a faster escape than leading it as he had been. "Alright then," he said as he looked ahead toward the city gate, where only a few guards remained. "From here on, I doubt we'll even have to fight. Let's just make a charge for it. I bet they'll scatter." A smirk upturned the corner of his mouth as he thought about it.

He glanced back at Narrel and Cal to see what they thought of the idea. "Especially if we all make a break at once," he added. "I don't think anyone would want to be in the way of things that could trample them into the dust, would they?"

He went back to watching the gate. There was one last party that the guards were checking before allowing them to go. Once that party left, they could safely make their escape attempt. No need to involve any other civilians.
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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Sun Sep 27, 2009 8:15 pm

Narrel and Cal both nodded. They mounted their new steeds, ready to follow Taiju. She hoped that he was right. She would feel horrible if she trampled one of the guards. She shook her head. They didn't really have a choice. With a yell, the three charged forward. The guards were caught off guard, and jumped to the side as the horses thundered past.

Narrel's heart soared. So this was what it felt like to be free. She hadn't know this feeling since she had been uncovered as a Magi at age five. She could have laughed with exhilaration. But then she looked over at Cal.

The boy was obviously fighting against his feelings. Although he had never loved his father, or his life in the castle, it was all he knew. He couldn't believe how upset he was to be leaving. But then, he had always hoped to become king someday. That way, he would be able to do something with his life. Now, he would be lucky if he got to be a farmer someday. So much had changed in so little time. . .

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Sun Sep 27, 2009 8:28 pm

Taiju couldn't help a somewhat sadistic laugh as they charged past the guards. It was amusing to watch them scramble for cover to avoid being trampled under the horses' hooves. Even the soldiers with more experience would have wanted to run. And now they were free.

For a moment, Taiju forgot that he was leading a band of now convicts. It felt good to be out on the open road again, now with no moral obligations tying him into one place. The wind rushing through his hair and throwing his cloak out behind his shoulders, the rhythmic pound of his mare's hooves against the dirt road, everything felt like it gave a sense of freedom and moving forward. He smiled widely as he looked ahead toward the horizon, eager to go.

Eventually, though, his mind trailed back to the reality of the situation. He was helping a registered Magi and . . . a kid, whom Taiju didn't really understand the connection to, escape from that castle. The kingdom would know his face. His smile declined as he thought this. If he had been a wanted man before, it was nothing as to how it would most likely be in a few hours. But it was his decision to help them, and in spite of the implications, he didn't regret it.
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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Mon Sep 28, 2009 8:27 am

The three kept riding until they were fairly far from the city. Narrel was the first to bring her horse to a walk. She was afraid to push the poor beast too much, and sweat was already beginning to form on its flanks. She looked at her two companions, worried. The guard would surely be after them soon enough; there was no way the king would willingly let Cal escape. There was no way they could out run them on these discount horses, either.

"We need to get off the main road for a while, I think," she said, looking over her shoulder. Although there was no tell-tale could of dust to signal anyone's approach, she was sure it was just a matter of time.
"Do you know of any side roads we could take?"

"We also need to cross water of some sort, probably," Cal added in. "My father will probably use the dogs." Unconsciously following Narrel's example, he too looked over his shoulder at the silhouette of the castle they were fleeing.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Mon Sep 28, 2009 9:34 am

Taiju brought his own horse down to a trot, then a walk, and followed the same example as everyone else by glancing back to ward the castle fading in the distance. When he still couldn't see more than a faint gray blur, he took his glasses out of his pocket and replaced them on his nose. "There's probably something . . ." he said slowly as he looked around the area they were in, reaching up a hand to take out his ponytail at the same time. He'd never liked pulling back his hair.

"Alright. It's a little more of a hike, but I've been this way before. We'll turn back for a short ways, then cut through this grassy area." Taiju made a gesture to the plains that the had been riding alongside since leaving the castle. "There should be a river on the other side, and by turning back, we'll hopefully throw off the trail a little."

He turned his horse back around with the intent of going for at least a few hundred feet the way they had just come. "It'll be nighttime soon," he added. "Once it is, we keep going. I doubt they'll keep up the search in the middle of the night. But then again, I don't know exactly how determined the king will be. Whom," and he cast a look at Cal, "I'm assuming by now is your actual father?"
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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:19 am

Cal and Narrel turned their horses around to follow Taiju, as Cal silently cursed. He had meant to keep his former identity a secret, but he hadn't been very careful. In hindsight, he probably should have said 'the king' rather than 'my father'. He sighed. But it was too late to do anything about that now.
"Yeah," he winced, "unfortunately, you're right. He found out something he didn't like, so he banished me." That was a simpler story than the truth. And right now, he didn't really want to talk about his family.

Narrel cleared her throat, hoping to change the subject.
"So Taiju, you said you'd been this way before? I guess you have to travel a lot, don't you? Where do you suggest we go? Is there anywhere that escapes the king's grasp?"

She knew it was a long shot; the king's power was felt everywhere. She still had to ask though. If there was a chance that they could go somewhere to live peacefully, or at least plan a way to return Cal to the throne, she wanted to know about it. Right now, she had nothing else but hope.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:30 am

"I see," Taiju said lightly when Cal confirmed his suspicions. "Well, alright then, glad to have that cleared up and all. Now I can continue life without thinking about it. Fear not, I think my approval went up a little bit or something." He smirked a bit as he set his horse into a trot down the dirt road. "But that aside . . .

"As for a place to go . . . that's difficult," he continued. "There's not many places to go that the king won't think to look. I know there's supposed to be a few places where rogues band together and hide out, but unfortunately, I don't know the locations of any of them. There's one place I know of that the king never seemed to acknowledge but . . . I'm not too fond of going there." He awkwardly cleared his throat. Cal might know where he was speaking of, but Narrel, not having been treated to Taiju's history, wouldn't.

"For now, we have to keep on the move. Whether we go settle or not will have to wait. There won't be anywhere we can stay that isn't days' worth of travel from where we are." Once he was sure he had given sufficient explanation, Taiju fell silent again, staring ahead at the road.
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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Mon Sep 28, 2009 2:35 pm

Narrel simply nodded. There wasn't much to say anymore, and Cal's foul mood was beginning to spread. She had been looking forward to this day for so long. She just wished that it didn't have to come at her friend's expense. She wondered what the place was that Taiju had mentioned. Someplace that the king had overlooked? The strange part was, that he had glanced at Cal when he said that. Those two must have talked more than she expected when she had Cal drop of his things. She shrugged. She figured that she would find out soon enough. And if not, then it didn't really matter in the first place.

Cal raised his eyebrows at Taiju. Was he talking about his parent's place? He supposed a small out of the way house like that wouldn't be on his father's radar. The real question was though, would Taiju be willing to take them there? And would he be welcomed if he did? He sighed. It wasn't really any of his business, he supposed.

The three rode in relative silence for a few more hours, and finally reached the river. They slowed down, and began crossing carefully. All three of them looked back simultaneously as the baying of dogs could be heard in the distance. So. The hunt was on.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Mon Sep 28, 2009 2:45 pm

Taiju absentmindedly moved the water aside in the river for their horses to cross, allowing progress to move on. His mind was still on other things. The only place he could think of where the king would most likely not look was his hometown. It was such a small place that few ever even recognized the name. However, he ran the risk of seeing his family there, and he wasn't sure how much he was looking forward to that.

Then again, Taiju wondered if he would be so selfish as to use that as an excuse when it would mean safety for Cal and Narrel. If his town could genuinely offer safety, perhaps he would just have to put aside his family issues and go. There was no reason otherwise for them to not go.

He pushed the thought to the back of his mind. Right now, the hunt was too close for his liking. He needed to focus on getting them farther away from the castle. The ride couldn't be much longer, though; the horses were going to be too exhausted to move if they kept it up. They would have to rest. Taiju snuck a look at his watch and decided that one more hour of travel was probably manageable, and they would rest afterward.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Mon Sep 28, 2009 5:55 pm

Narrel smiled as Taiju moved the water out of the way. She hadn't even though of that. She was so used to only using her Magus as instructed, she never even considered using it in such a causal way. She still had some things to get used to. Getting the idea from Taiju, she quickly instructed the earth behind them to move. This both scattered their scent, and covered their tracks. That should help, a little.

She glanced over at Taiju, not sure what to say. She was so grateful to him. But in reality, she didn't know him that well. She felt like they should be talking like old friends, but she had no idea how to start a conversation. She signed.

Cal was beginning to get uncomfortable. The effect of Taiju's Magus was clear, and now he could feel Narrel using hers as well. He still hadn't gotten used to not hiding his abilities, and he wasn't sure how he could help in this situation, anyway. He decided to experiment a little. He gingerly reached for his power, and used it to touch the three horses. He couldn't fight the silly grin that appeared on his face as he realized that he could transfer his energy to the animals. They snorted and tossed their heads, feeling refreshed. Cal shook his own head, feeling a bit dizzy. He couldn't do that too often, it would seem.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Mon Sep 28, 2009 6:30 pm

Taiju gained an expression of confusion and looked over at Cal. "You're a Magi?" he questioned. He'd felt the power radiating off the other male but, for some reason, had never been able to tell before. Then again, that was probably understandable. The prince most likely went through trouble to hide his abilities from his father, who obviously disapproved.

Just like his own father.

Taiju clenched his jaw when he caught himself thinking about it again. Ever since explaining to Cal about his history, he was unable to stop thinking about it. The mere thought of his father brought a certain amount of rage. Unfortunately, he was in no position to stop and spar to let out the stress, so he would just have to contain himself for the moment. Still, his muscles were tense, and he had to force himself to relax.

He inhaled a deep breath and let it out slowly, forcing his body to loosen and the thoughts away again. It occurred to him that he would have to explain this all to Narrel, however, because she didn't know yet while Cal did. He groaned to himself when he realized this and hung his head.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Mon Sep 28, 2009 7:00 pm

Cal blushed, and looked down at the saddle. He had forgotten that sensing the Magus went both ways.
"Yeah, I guess I am," he said quietly. He laughed. "That's pretty much the reason we're running. My dear-old dad wanted to put me in bondage like he had Narrel for so many years.

Narrel moved her horse a little closer to Taiju's, and put a comforting hand on his shoulder.
"Is everything okay?" she asked quietly. "You got tense all of the sudden. If there's something you need to talk about, we're both here for you." She smiled, and squeezed his hand. Then she remembered that he didn't like to be touched, and yanked away. "Sorry about that," she whispered.

She looked over at him, wanting to make sure that he wasn't mad at her. She hadn't meant to over step any boundaries. In such a new relationship it was hard to know where she stood.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Mon Sep 28, 2009 7:15 pm

Surprisingly, Taiju didn't react badly to Narrel's hand on his shoulder. If anything, it seemed to make him relax a little more, though he gave no obvious sign of it. He wasn't going to openly admit that it was any sort of help having someone around. Pride got in the way too much.

"It's fine," he said lightly, both to Narrel's inquiry and her apology. "I just haven't given my own dad much thought for a couple years or so. He's not my favorite person in the world, in case you can't tell. Since explaining it to Cal, it's been on my mind how long it's been. That's all."

He sighed deeply and gently nudged his horse into a quicker trot. "Get Cal to explain it to you if you want to know," he said flatly. "If I keep explaining my history I'm going to feel like I'm asking for pity from everyone." He was slightly aware of how foolish that sounded, but he didn't care. While he was fine explaining it to Cal once, now he just wanted to avoid the subject for a little while.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Mon Sep 28, 2009 7:49 pm

Narrel nodded.
"We can discuss that some other time," she said lightly. There was no need to bring it up now. The subject obviously upset Taiju, and they still had a lot of time on the road. She looked up at the sky, noticing that the sun was beginning to go down.

"Should we stop soon?" she asked, turning toward's Taiju. Thanks to Cal, the horses were still fresh, but it could still be dangerous to ride in the dark. Especially since at least two people in their group had little experience with riding at night. She shivered a bit as a cool wind blew in their direction. She wished she had have panned ahead more; she hadn't though to bring a cloak for the cold evenings.

Cal watched his two companions with a pang of jealousy. It was hard to see Narrel and Taiju getting along so well. It was hard to see how easily she had made him relax. He wasn't about to just watch though. He moved his horse closer to hers with a smile.
"If you get cold Narrel, I can help keep you warm," he said quietly.

(thought we'd add in a bit of a triangle here. x3 )

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