The Amulet Saga
Volume Two: The Traveler
Other stories in this series:
Ada eyed the amulet that hung around the king’s neck. A pale glow throbbed slowly, not bright enough to attract any attention but hers. The princess was in trouble.
The princess’s maid had sent a letter from the inn, saying the princess had fallen ill and was being cared for there. She sent another letter every day, saying the princess’s condition continued to improve, but she needed to stay at the inn. After a week, the king sent his personal physician, only to discover the maid had left a stack of letters and instructions to deliver one per day, while Anarosia and her maid had run off with the merchant caravan. The king had sent men, of course, but by the time they caught up to the caravan there was no telling where the girls were.
But now the amulet throbbed. The pulse of the kingdom, bound to the royal line, signaled Ada that something threatened the princess.
Ada hobbled across the great throne room and stood before the king. “A word, your majesty? In private?”
“Of course,” the king said. He stood and led the way to the private room just off the throne room.
Ada shuffled after him, leaning heavily on her walking stick. “You must let me go after the princess. She is in trouble.”
“What kind of trouble? How do you know?”
“I always know. I can attempt to See, if you would like, although my attempts in the past have been thwarted, but I know I can find her.”
The king shook his head. “I can’t allow it. I have men searching for her. I received word just this morning that she was sighted in a small village on the edge of Sunnland a few weeks ago, and she may be headed for Nynthavin.”
“Then that’s where I’ll start.”
“Ada. You know I trust your counsel, but you are not fit for a journey like this. You could be set upon by brigands at any point. You could fall off your saddle and be injured, or…”
“I assure you, I’m more fit than I look. Send with me a small company of soldiers. I will be fine. Your men will not find her. Only I can.”
The king rubbed his chin. “How?”
Ada pointed to the amulet. “It will lead me to her.”
“Are you sure? You can bring her home safely?”
“I can make no guarantees. But I can find her. She is still alive, but she is in danger. I must leave immediately.”
The king’s chest rose and fell with a deep breath.
“Very well. You may depart at dawn.” He removed the amulet from around his neck.
“I’ll expect you to bring both this and my daughter safely back to me.”
Ada bowed, as far as her stiff back would allow.
The next morning, just as the sun rose over the forest to the west, Ada and her company of soldiers rode out from the palace, making as much haste as they could, knowing they had several days of hard travel ahead.
After a few days, they came upon a small village in Kirland. While the soldiers asked the same questions as the soldiers before them had, Ada stood at the crossroads and held the amulet in her hands.
“The innkeeper said the caravan traveled west toward Cadalania and on to Zyan,” the head of the guard, Funda, said.
“We will travel southeast, toward Sunnland.”
“But, my lady…”
“Trust me. We travel toward Sunnland, with no time to spare.”
The amulet pulsed brighter the further southeast they went. It throbbed when they reached the first small village within the Sunnland border.
“The princess was here,” Ada said.
They spent the night at a small inn, and learned that two finely dressed ladies had traded their gowns for food and had stayed on as tavern maids for several weeks before leaving.
“One was a right good worker,” the innkeeper said. “I only kept the other because the first was so useful as to make up for the both of them.”
Ada smiled. “The other was not accustomed to labor. She was brought up to lead.”
They were just a few days from the capital city of Nynthavin when Funda brought his horse up alongside Ada’s. “I have received a dove with a message from the king. The princess has been found! The king’s men are bringing her. They’ll meet us on the road and we’ll all travel back to Legerdemain together.”
The amulet throbbed.
“We must make haste for Nynthavin. The princess is in even greater danger than before.”