Chapter 15 – Epilogue
The girl was safe, but not for long.
Fingal pulled the black cloth over his nose and mouth to protect himself from the cool night air as he rode. The wind nipped at an old wound on his arm, but he itched it away. He leaned back in his carriage seat and listened to the horses’ hooves against the gritty road, and the crunching of the wheels beneath him. The road was full of potholes, but fortunately he didn’t have to worry about jostling anyone in the empty carriage.
It had been a long three days, tracking down the bandits, extracting information and airgid, but it had been worth it. He’d been able to secure entrance to the capital. Passage papers had been the recent bureaucratic annoyance instated by King Ansgarid. They were required for anyone entering the capital. They had to be signed by the Chief Magistrate too, and Fingal knew there was no chance of that happening. Fortunately the bandits were cooperative, after some violent persuasion, and he’d secured suitable noble papers for him and the girl. They even listed Riona as his sister. A far better charade than father and daughter, or gods forbid, husband and wife. No doubt it wouldn’t be the last hurdle they’d face. At least this time, he’d thought ahead and handled this particular annoyance before entering the capital….