The bell above the front gate to the Manor grounds pealed the fourth chime, and Carys, my sister Morna and I raced down the hall from the kitchens toward Madoc’s rooms. We arrived out of breath to find my brothers and Kerr already there to hear about our expedition. With only two chairs, we all stood.
I frowned. “Does this mean we'll have to lay the fire the first night?” Madoc told me the last to arrive at this meeting would have to.
“I'm sure these gallant young men will help you ladies gather wood.” Madoc smiled at us.
“Yes, while you watch.” Kerr folded his arms across his broad chest. The Duke's older son was going with us as a condition for the Manor's resident wizard leaving so soon after his last trip.
Madoc ignored him. “I'll start by warning you, our journey will be long and sometimes quite arduous. Blane, Carys and Nissa can testify to the rigors of travels in unknown lands. We cannot predict what perils we'll encounter. Know this, though, we’ll rarely sleep in a comfortable bed, or eat a meal like the wedding banquet we ate yesterday.”