The two walked together for a many days, with Dai telling the girl more and more about King Ansaldo. Soon, the land began to change. From flat land, dotted with trees to rolling hills with bright green grass and colorful flowers.
From atop a hill, Alene saw a small village, about the same size as Perierat. “Dai, what is that place?”
“My home!” He smiled at her. “It is called Campus. My father and seven brothers live here.”
“You have seven brothers?”
“Yes, and I am the youngest.” The boy picked up a lamb and laid it over his shoulders. He laughed at her shocked expression. “Come along, we can find a place to stay here. My wife and I will let you stay in our home until we leave for Coelum.”
She followed him. “You’re married?”
“I know I seem rather young… but her name is Abbi.” His eyes held a small sadness in them. “I do not deserve her. For I once betrayed her for another woman named Batsheva. But, I paid my punishment and she has forgiven me. But, no more on that. Let’s get to my home.”
They walked along the streets until coming to the largest and most beautiful of homes. “Is this where you live?”
“Yes, I am the ruler of this town.”
A woman’s voice spoke from the doorway. “Indeed, he is, child.” A young woman stood in the door before smiling down at Dai. “Hello.”
“Hello my dear. How have things been since the king sent me away?”
The woman, whom Alene believed to be, Abbi, giggled. “As well as always. And who is this you’ve brought with you.”
“Abbi,” he gestured to his guest. “This is Alene, a traveler to Coelum. But, she never met with Moss, so I offered to bring her there. Since I was going to leave tomorrow and she is traveling with me, I offered her lodging. You do not mind, do you?”
The woman shook her head, “Of course not. Offering lodging to a young lady who is in need, is exactly the kind of thing I would do.” Her gaze turned to the young girl. “I welcome you, Alene. Come inside.”
“Thank you ma’am, for your kindness.” She followed Abbi inside as Dai took the sheep away to their pen. “Your husband has been very kind to me. He has brought me here safely and he also saved me from a lion.”
“He is a very kind young man. And I am glad to have him as my husband. I have not seen him lately. We both serve King Ansaldo joyfully; he sends Dai to care for his flocks and to help people like you find their way to his kingdom. And I am glad to let you stay with us.” She turned away from Alene, before walking to the kitchen.
Alene sat down upon a chair and leaned back, exhausted from the journey. Her head fell back and she fell to sleep.
[Next Week: An agent of evil attacks the city.]