Several days after we arrived at Westington, we all had noticed that the guards were starting to leave town. They were giving up on finding Nathan here. Joshua and Jessie were able to get Nathans backpack from the hiding place. We had to set it out on the back porch to dry, due to a rainstorm we had one night. And, Joshua and Jessie promised us that theyd take us to the Valley of Borea in their car. Good news for me. I wanted to get the quest overwith, and walking takes too long.
Unfortunately, things werent quite right. I had noticed that on the day before, Auras Jewel had been used. The brothers had previously promised not to use it, but one, or maybe both of them were. I was a little surprised that they started using it again, especially considering the little problem that it has. The jewel didnt work on clothing. The brothers knew this, though, so I suppose that they were able to get around the problem. I could have told Nathan that the jewel was being used, but I didnt. I was hoping that the continuous use of the jewel would help my skills. Though I could sense when the jewel was used, I couldnt tell where.
Dragon, you have got to see this. Nathan had been looking at the newspaper, seeing if there was any info on the alleged murder of King Rechin. I couldnt hold the newspaper, and I couldnt read the print because of how small it was, so Nathan read it to me:
One week ago, on Nora 17, King Rechin II had been murdered at Castle Durhia. The only witness to the crime was the General of the Army, General Blaque. Blaque had tried to protect the king, but was overpowered by the intruders firepower. And then, the intruder killed King Rechin. He fled the castle with a priceless blue jewel from the kings treasury. General Blaque quickly recovered, and he and his army soon gave chase. Somehow, the intruder was able to allude the army, and killed General Blaque in the process. The Second in Command, now the General Wyte, took over Blaques role, and sent troops to nearby towns to search for the intruder. Now, one week after the murder, the troops are withdrawing from those towns, assuming that the intruder has already made it past these towns. General Wyte has offered a reward for anyone who can find this man, and an extra reward if the jewel can be recovered.
There was more to the article, but Nathan didnt read the rest. Apparently nothing more needed to be read. We didnt kill Blaque. Im sure I heard him yelling after Aura had healed you.
I heard, too. Somebody apparently did something to him after we fled.
Yes, but who? Maybe his Second in Command killed him because he felt Blaque wasnt doing a good enough job. Oh, there it goes again!
Joshua and Jessie. Theyre using Auras Jewel. Theyve been using it since yesterday.
And you didnt tell me? Dragon, what if a guard sees them changing? I need to stop them before its too late! Nathan quickly got up and went looking for them. I suppose I should have taken it more seriously as well. After all, I was the guardian of the jewel. I was told not to let anyone use the jewel, good or bad. I lost sight of that somewhere, and thought that as long as Joshua and Jessie knew that the risks of getting caught were high, they would be careful. But I decided Nathan was right. I had to take my duties more seriously, even if the guards were leaving.
I left the house and flew up in the air to keep watch. I quickly noticed a guard walking through the alley behind the brothers house. He didnt appear to be in any sort of rush, so I didnt think much of it. But later on in the day, I noticed something some distance past the edge of town. I flew a little towards it, and saw them. A line of cars and trucks. It was the army.
I quickly flew back to the house. I rushed in to find Nathan, Joshua, and Jessie eating at the table. Nathan, the army is heading into town. Theyve found us!
What?! Are you sure?
Yes, there is no other reason why there would be such a large amount of vehicles coming this way!
What, whats going on? Jessie had responded to Nathans exclamation.
Dragon says the army found us.
Unfortunately, we hadnt planned well for this. We had assumed that as long as we kept a low profile, wed be able to get out of the town without any trouble. We needed to do something, and we needed to do it fast. Joshua quickly thought up a plan. Nathan, get your stuff, and get in the car. I probably couldnt have thought of anything better. We probably could have used Auras Jewel, but I had again forbidden any use of it for any reason.
Nathan quickly got his backpack, and rushed to the car. I slipped in as well. I had to get in an awkward position. The floors and seats of the car werent meant for a dragon to stand on, and though I was a ghost, I had to sit in a position so that Nathan wouldnt have to look around me. I stood facing the back of the car so I could see what the army would do. The garage door started opening. Come on, open faster you darn thing, Joshua said. Some of these modern conveniences are just made by lazy people, and it wasnt very convenient for us.
When the door opened enough, we screamed out of the garage in time to see the army approaching the house. Had we been able to leave a little sooner, we might have been able to get out of sight before the army saw us. But they did see us, and quickly started giving chase.
This is all my fault, said Jessie. Being a hawk was such a thrilling experience, I just felt like I had to keep doing it. I was carrying the jewel in my talons so I would know how to fly. A guard must have seen me walk into the house with the jewel in my talons.
Dont worry about it. This whole thing started because of me. Had I not been so interested in shapeshifting, and told the kings council what I was going to do, none of this would have happened anyway. I couldnt quite tell if what Nathan said had cheered Jessie up at the time. Just then the army started firing at us. Fortunately the brothers had a fast car, and were able to keep away from them. The back window was hit several times, but nobody was hurt. Nathan was ducking in the back seat, while the two brothers were sitting low in their seats.
There was trouble ahead. It couldnt have been more than terrible timing. The crossing gate was being lowered, and the train blew its horn as it came near the crossing gate. Punch it, said Jessie.
Jessie explained further to Joshua. Let me put it this way. If we stop, the guardsll catch us, and were dead. We speed up, well either die or escape. And we started speeding up. We broke through the crossing gates, and a second or two later, the train crossed in time to stop the army in their er, tracks. See, we had plenty of time! Nathan and Joshua sat silent. I could hear their hearts pumping.
That was fast. I saw the train end as we started around the next curve. The train was short. The army will soon be back on our tail.
Then I have no choice. I looked at Nathan. He had been considering one of his options. One that he was hoping he wouldnt have to make. Joshua, Jessie, thanks for your help. Its been great staying with you. I hope well meet again.
Joshua looked in his mirror, and Jessie looked behind him. They both asked, What are you going to do?
Nathan rolled down the window, then took Auras Jewel out of his backpack. I dont care what you say, Dragon, but the only way we can escape is if I use this. The jewel made its usual blue glow, and within a couple seconds, Nathan had become a wolf. He shook off his clothes, and looked at the brothers. Good luck with the army. I hope you find some way out of this. He took the jewel into his mouth, and leapt out of the window. I quickly followed him.
Nathan rolled on the ground, using the jewel to prevent any injuries from jumping out at such a high speed. Then he quickly took off into the small forest. I stood there, watching as the army sped by, chasing after the two brothers. I, too, wished them luck.
I knew that Nathan had some regret of his actions that day. He left behind everything. His backpack, his supplies, his clothes, his friends, and possibly, his humanity. The only things he had were myself, Auras Jewel, and his life. Though I suppose life as a wolf would be a lot better than no life at all. I quickly caught up with Nathan. After deciding which direction to go, judging by the position of the sun, we again started our trek west. And again, for the first time since we left Castle Durhia, I felt as though we were being watched.