When I heard the bell tower I wished I had actually slept that night. I had tried, but unfortunately trying had been all I could do. I waited for Carana to wake up on her own for obvious reasons. It didn't take long and we were dressed in our clothes (in which we had arrived in Namtolan) and packed with our animal hides and some food given to us by the priests. Tartek and Sereliaen were arguing about something when the princess finally joined us in front of the tall statue of Vetar, the first.
"Good morning, princess!" Carana welcomed the princess.
The king's daughter just shrugged. Her wounded eye was bandaged and she was obviously very ashamed of it. She wore a red priest robe because the priests denied her to wear the clothes the princess was usually wearing. It would have been too cold, they said. Remembering what the princess wore - or rather didn't wear - on the day she left Insomida with a big parade, I could only agree.
Some priests, including Vetar himself, wished us a good journey and bowed. We tried to put up a smile on our faces, thanked them for their hospitality and left Namtolan.
The moment we lost sight of the gates of Namtolan, the princess yawned.
"Let's take a break," she mumbled.
"No," Tartek said. "We have to get to the cottage before nightfall."
"My feet can't go any further," the princess said, this time with a sharper tone.
Carana stopped, turned around and walked towards the princess. "Do you remember the claw of the bear that hit you in your face?"
The princess raised her eyebrows. "Yes? What does that have to do with the fact that my feet hurt?"
"Look around. What if I told you that there could be just another hungry bear out there?" Carana asked.
"So what? I've got four bodyguards. Are you saying that you can't stand up to a bear?" The princess crossed her arms.
"Princess, did you know that we had horses when we were on our way to Namtolan?" I interrupted them.
"No. What do you mean 'you had'? What happened to them?" the princess replied.
Silence. We waited until the princess' good eye grew bigger as she slowly came to realize what I was trying to say, turned around and continued our walk towards the old cottage. After a short while, the princess followed us.
I think it was afternoon when the princess started moaning again.
"My shoes are all soaked. I'm feeling cold, I think my fever is coming back." She made a few not even remotely convincing coughing sounds.
Carana sighed, turned around again, went to the princess and laid her right hand on the royal forehead.
"Cold as ice," Carana diagnosed.
"That's what I'm trying to say! My fever is so high because my body tries to warm itself up!" the princess explained. "Can't someone at least carry me?"
Carana, Tartek, Sereliaen and I looked at each other, looked at our luggage on each of our backs, looked at the princess again who was only carrying her own body and the clothes which she wore, shook our heads almost simultaneously and went on.
"Halt!" she shouted. "I order you to carry me! I can't go on like this!"
Tartek - again - turned around and imitated a roar of a bear so loudly that my shoes were vibrating. The princess got scared, she definitely hadn't seen that coming. She tried to cover her fright, but we all saw her reaction, so we all giggled.
The princess finally gave up, fumed and followed us again.
As planned we arrived at the cottage at night. To our surprise we weren't alone. A priest on his way to Namtolan was staying over night as well. When some small candles were already burning in the small room and we were eating some of our food, the priest told us that he had just finished priest school and that he was about to reach one of his life goals - to live as a priest among priests. He didn't recognize the princess or anyone else, so he probably didn't know anything of the Insomida incidents or the princess being an ethics pupil in Namtolan.
After the story of the priest's life in school, we all finally went to bed. Well, if you can call some animal hides a bed anyway...