Nox sighed, he was sitting on horseback. Riding through the midway forest, slower than he would like. But the horse was not only carrying him. The still unconscious was sitting in the saddle in front of him. Trying with his arms to keep her there. But also he was getting tired, they were riding for three whole days. And it only took him one day to travel to Volubteam, in gallop. The horse lifted it's head, his own home was near. What meant the Red River was also close by.
"Can you bring use to the river, my high-spirited friend. After that, you can go back towards your family." The horse nodded, and even started to pick up the pace. The crashing sound of the water came closer with every step the horse took. Nox took a deep breath, he was almost safe. They were almost safe. Safe to live their lives as they pleased, as long as they stayed on the island that he called home. The horse stopped at the shores of the Red River, the waters of the wild river rushed past them. It was because of these waters that nobody could reach the island, which made it kind of save. He dismounted and just caught Raven in time, before she fell on the ground. "That was close." Nox looked at the horse, and bit his lip softly. He had grown font for this horse, but he was sure that his family would miss him too. "Go, my friend, I am sure that they are glad to see you again." The horse nodded and galloped away. Nox looked until the animal was out of site, and then took a deep breath. It was time to call another high-spirited friend, only with this friend their friendship was not neutral. He laid Raven carefully on the ground, and reached his hand into his travel back. In the mean well, he kept his eye on the rushing water. His hand found what he was looking for, and slowly he drew the strange item out. The item looked a lot like a normal flute, that musicians use on parties. But this flute was somewhat different. He brought the instrument to his mouth and started to blow in the eighteen pipes. The air filled itself with the most beautiful but haunted tone. It was enough to create goosebumps on Nox's skin every time he plays on it. The water in front of him started to whirl and turn. Still, he kept on playing. A giant explosion burst up from the water, and a creature appeared between the jumping water.
Nox lowered the flute, and took a deep breath. The creature in front of him was known as one of the monsters of the river, a sea serpent. The monsters of the river were used as beasts of burden by his ancestors, until a sea serpent named Sukex revolted. The sea serpent, the dark brown scales, shimmered in the late sunlight.
"Good evening, Sukex." He had named this serpent after the one that revolted. Sukex did not talk to him like the horse had done, but still it was better than nothing. "I am back, and I want to cross the river." He put the flute to his mouth and played again. Sukex growled softly, but the vibration of the sound made some waves in the water. Nox nodded and picked Raven up. "Let's go then." Sukex presented his back to Nox, and he stepped on it. The serpent sliders to the water, as always Nox had a difficult time to keep his footing. He was glad to set his feet on the shore of the island, he turned to Sukes. "Thank you for your help." Sukes growled once again, before he disappeared under the water. Nox was always relieved, when he did that. He had no illusions about this creature, he only controlled the monster with the strange flute. He sighed when he walked from the shore towards the mansion on the hill. Nox did not have to look around to see the ruins of the city that once stood here. The Midway Forrest had overthrown some walls, and some plants used the stone walls to climb towards the sky. The only house that had stood firm against the test of time, was the mansion on the hill. He opened the door and stepped inside, and blew out another breath of relief. He was home and they were safe.
He laid Raven in the bedroom that overlooked the garden. He praised himself, because he had the habit of washing all the sheets in the house every two weeks. Even he did not use them, so now Raven had clean sheets to sleep on. He looked at her, she was still beautiful. Even when her snow-white hair was full of tangles, little twigs and leaves. Her dress was torn and dirty, he definitely needed to look for clothing for her. And maybe some stuff for her hair too. He sighed, never in his wildest dreams he had believed that he was required to share his home with another. Not only that, now it was necessary to wear his mask in house. He sighed, but what was he supposed to do after he had learned about Leonidas and Raven's sister's plans. He couldn't let her be disgraced and murdered, he shook his head and left the room. The basement of the house was some kind of treasure trove for him, every time he made his way down here, he discovered something new. He opened a few crates made from a special kind of wood, he only did not know which kind. He found a silver hairbrush with a matching mirror, in the silver of the items was the image of a raven engraved. He laid the items on top of the crate he found them in, so he had his hands free to look for dresses.
Nox was relieved when he had found a crate all the way back in the basement. The dresses were maybe a little out of fashion, and he hoped that she wouldn't mind. He took the heavy crate upstairs and put it down in what was now Raven's room, and went back to get the brush and mirror. Whipping the pearls of sweat off his forehead. Without any reason, he looked towards the window. A white raven sat on the other side of the glass. Nox looked good at the creature, it had on it's wings a strange red patron. What was even stranger, Nox could swear he had seen this bird before, in Raven's rose garden. The bird looked at him, and flew away. Nox walked to the window, and looked at his garden. There were not many plants in it, only three pomegranate trees. A soft groan made him jump up, Raven had turned over. Hopefully this meant she was going to wake up soon. She would be starving if she did. He could better pick some of those pomegranates, so she had something to eat. With this thaught he left her room, the sun was still up when he picked the first pomegranate. If he hurried, then maybe there was enough daylight left to check on his traps. Or maybe he had to that first, and pick the fruit later. He didn't need the sunlight to do that. But it was not wise to wander around over this island in the dark. He had learned that the hard way on his first night. He laid the pomegranate that he already picked on a piece of cloth and descended the hill.
Nox was in luck, well kind of. His fish trap was empty, but his trap for birds and small gain had caught a rabbit, and a pigeon. Both were still alive, so they were not in it for long. After a quick check if they were healthy and off the right age, he snapped their necks. His grandfather had taught him that he needed to respect the surrounding nature. A very young animal was needed to procreated, and an animal too old had not enough meat on it. With the animals in hand he climbed the hill. Glad that there was something more on the menu, then only pomegranate. He had tried to grow something else, but no other kind of crops had survived. He picked the two more and went back into the house. It was time to clean those animals and put them in a stew.