Hornberry had not seen Hannah Bell’s for three years and several months since she has left Gonaim during the archer contest in which Hornberry had taken part leaving a revolving reminder to all that watched. It was the first time they had began to know one another, despite that they were still strangers, in the secrets of their hearts love had grown roots and waiting for the sun to nourish the fruits. Latter on, the third year, she had longed to see him again, her father had forbidden her. Instead, she wrote a long longing letter pleading him soon to come to Naim. He wrote back assuring her that by the moment his letter would arrive, he would be on the way.
And so it happened, the day he got the chance, he didn’t hesitate at all to take the road and make dust. He bides farewell to Nimbo, his grandfather and Bella; his loved little sister, then mounted his horse Cassandra and made dust on the rumbling thick woods to Naim. After two uncomfortable nights, he approached Naim. It was dark by then, but his horse seemed to sense the way forward, following the main narrow mainly used road and avoiding potholes, stumps and stones.
Now he was riding towards the Roots without acknowledging the place he was. This he realised when he was on the thickest part of the woods, “The Roots!” he said to himself adjusting his arrows which were dangling gently in the pouch against his back, the bow across his right shoulder, with a nice short polished sword in its holster tightly by the waist, his grandfather Nimbo, a blacksmith had made it for him. These were tools of the trade he knew best and respected, especially archer, Lord! They knew him to be an excellent arrow man back in Gonaim.
As he went on further in the thick woods, he saw a light emerging through the creepers; it was illuminating inside a building. Each and every gallop of the horse it became prominent, eyes focused fighting not to blink much, the light was being blotted with trees, as he came very closer. Watchfully, he realised it was an inn entrance where the light was passing through, in other view it looked as though it were a castle but small to be called one.
It looked old like an abandoned building, with deformed weathered bricks, creepers sprawling over the wall heavy with fruits that looked like black berries. The thatched roof was a fraying grotesque and pale, windows were thick Squared and framed in old bamboos.
He stopped the horse, reached for his skin bag which contains the water he had drawn at the stream he had came across last night. It was still fresh; he drained it all in one gulp and made a face. He was hungry and exhausted; he could hear how his intestines were reacting inside, he could feel how sticky was the sweat all over him. He licked his lips and they tasted sweat, he spate and pulled along the reins, Cassandra moved forward. The light was still emerging. It was blinding every time a glow of it could shine through his eyes.
He was sure that in this building he’ll have something to eat, of course he had enough money for ale or anything to drink he might find. Perhaps have a good night sleep and wake up the following morning to proceed.
There wasn’t a building in the Roots since he left Naim, but things changes, don’t they? He thought, the wind blowing his hair backwards, “Hurry, Cass!” He whispered to his horse, dust was rising up on his face, blinding his eyes. He wept it off with his right palm and again tasted the sweat on his lips. Where he had came from was far and still where he was going seemed the same, and he had forgotten hunger he had tried to solve last night by hunting all because the food he had carried along had dropped somehow from his bag. He yearned to sleep and a take of bath; his flesh was totally exhausted and only kept his mind straight and positive otherwise he might just drop and made such a nice meal for deadly animals within.
Before he had came, Nimbo afraid of what he might got into through the dangerous wood of Naim, he has told him to be accompanied with someone else, a trusted friend or himself, but resisted that idea and told the old man that he would be fine. It wasn’t his first time to travel alone and he knew this won’t be the last time.