We woke up quickly when we heard loud voices and glass breaking. Some people of Astatik were standing around the house and throwing rocks at the walls and windows.
"Go back to Insomida, princess!" some of them yelled.
After we quickly got dressed we met all the others in the living room.
"What's going on? Doesn't this village have any countermeasures against crazy people? Like, death penalty?" the princess mumbled.
"Shut up," Tartek replied, carefully looking through one of the broken windows.
Somebody knocked at the door. We all looked at each other. Carana's parents didn't move, her mother sobbed in her father's arms.
Tartek grumbled, walked to the door and opened it. "What!"
The King and the Queen of Astatik greeted him with a warm smile. "Good morning! May we enter?"
Tartek just nodded, waited until the king and the queen slowly had entered the house, took a glance outside and closed the door again. Carana's mother quickly ran towards the royal couple.
"It is an honor to have you in our humble house," she said, quickly shaking hands with both of them. Carana followed her mother, holding her arms from behind, whispering something in her ear.
"Don't worry about the damages," the king said. Another window got crushed on the second floor and everybody looked at where the noise came from. I had serious problems not to grin. The king cleared his throat. "Princess of Insomida, I presume?"
The princess slowly walked to the king, who kissed her hand. The queen watched every movement very carefully, I suppose to make sure everything was formal enough when her husband kissed the hand of a young woman.
"I'm sure you have noticed, the folk of my village knows of your presence here," the king continued.
"No kidding," the princess mumbled. I saw Sereliaen, Carana and Tartek frowning. Carana's mother covered her face behind her hands.
The king laughed. "I do apologize for their rude behaviour. They are just angry that you took the liberty of intruding my castle without my permission."
"Wow, I wonder what they would do with people who kill you," the princess said, rolling her eyes.
"I hope you are not eager to find out," was the king's reply. The princess wanted to say something, but Carana made a loud hissing sound and stared at her.
The queen sighed. "Honey?"
"Yes, I know." The king moved his arms behind his back. "I sent two guards who will guide you to Insomida. A carriage stands ready as well. It's an open carriage, so I hope the rain has sympathy for you."
"Thank you, my lord, thank you so much," Carana's mother said with folded hands.
The king bowed in her direction and continued. "I also sent one of my messengers to reserve rooms in Mirnda's Inn. And this is a message to the King of Insomida." He handed a scroll to the princess, who was about to open it, but Carana quickly ran towards her and took the scroll out of her hands, smiling at the king.
The princess crossed her arms, as another stone hit the house. "Why are they throwing stones at a house in which their king and queen are standing in?" the princess asked.
The king ignored that question and smiled. "It seems that you should hurry. Everything is prepared for your departure outside. I wish you a pleasant journey and a warm return to your home."
If he knew.
"Thank you very much," Carana said.
The king bowed and the royal couple left the house.
We started packing covers and hides. When Carana and I were alone in our room she suddenly closed the door, threw me backwards on the bed and jumped on top of me. I wanted to tell her that this wasn't the time, but she quickly shook her head.
"I'm worried, do you think I should stay here with my parents?" she asked calmly, while stroking through my hair.
I blinked. "Well, I..."
Carana sighed. "You don't need me. There's Tartek and the two Astatik guards."
"And the princess and Sereliaen need to be protected," I added. "And I'm not much of a fighter either, I still think it's a miracle that I'm alive. Or, maybe I died when that Insomida guard sliced my body into halves and this is actually a dream or something."
"You don't need me as much as my parents need me. I believe that they can't even buy food without getting yelled at the next few days," she explained. I closed my eyes and sighed. Her body was so warm... I embraced her tightly with my arms and kissed her. "You will come to me when everything is fine again, okay?" I asked her.
"I will miss you," she said and rested her head on my shoulder.
A few moments later Sereliaen, Tartek, the princess and I walked outside the house with our luggage. Carana and her parents were standing in the door and waved. Two Astatik guards waited on their horses next to our carriage. A lot of angered people were still standing around the house and the carriage. Tartek helped his wife onto the carriage and followed her. I threw my bag on the seat and offered the princess a hand to help her, but she refused and quickly jumped on. One last time I looked back to Carana and her parents, waved and got on the carriage as well.
"Good day," the coachman said sitting on the raised coach box at the front, turning his head in our direction. "My name is Jaim, I'm a true Astatikan. I hear I have very honorable travelers today." He took off his hat and bowed towards the princess.
"You stink of horse sh-" The princess got slapped by Sereliaen. For a moment the girl blinked and held her cheek. Tartek chuckled and smiled at the coachman.
"Let's get going," one of the Astatik guards said, nervously looking around.
The coachman nodded and quickly shook the reins until the horses started moving.
"Finally!" someone yelled.
"I hope you won't ever return!" was pointed out by another one.
"Tell your king to keep his ill-mannered people to himself!"
"Here are some provisions for the road!"
A stone hit Sereliaen on the head. Tartek quickly embraced his wife. Her eyes were closed, but there was no blood. Tartek took the stone from the ground of the coach and threw it back at the people of Astatik with enormous force, hitting a man on the chest so hard, that he was thrown back.
"Stop it," one of the guards behind our coach said to Tartek. The other guard rode back to the people, probably telling them the same, or looking at the one that got hit by Tartek, and came back to us a few moments later when we were already in the woods. Tartek softly stroke his wife's head.
"Is she unconscious?" Jaim said over his back.
Tartek didn't say anything. I saw the princess' mouth forming the beginning of a sentence she probably would have regretted saying, so she remained silent.
"No, I'm not," Sereliaen moaned.
"Shhh." Tartek continued softly caressing her head, his eyes filled with anger and love at the same time.
"I don't have any idea why the people of Astatik show such a reaction," the coachman said.
"I suppose they just don't want anybody disturbing their peace," one of the guards behind us answered.
"I didn't disturb anyone's peace, I just wanted a bed where I could sleep!" the princess explained. "Is that against the law? There's no reason to throw stones at people's heads just because I ask a king for a bit more comfort!"
I felt that what she had said that moment actually started to make her even less likable, and I think she for once noticed that as well. The princess looked down on the grass that was passing by under the carriage.
The remaining hours until we reached Mirnda's Inn were spent listening to random chatter between the coachman and the two guards. Tartek kept stroking Sereliaen's hair until both fell asleep, and I started writing this entry.
I'm now sitting in one of the rooms that were reserved for us. Mirnda had greeted us personally and had told us that there were three rooms prepared, one for the two guards and the coachman, one of Sereliaen and Tartek, and one for Carana, the princess and me, but we quickly changed that. Carana wasn't here anyway, so we told the princess to sleep in one room with Sereliaen, and Tartek and I would take the other one. The princess at first insisted on having a room completely for herself, but after seeing Sereliaen's swollen forehead she was si-
Dear reader of this journal,
Antaran doesn't let me sleep. I won't give him back his journal until tomorrow morning.