Fingal had warned her about Drohoven. He’d never said why they had taken pains to avoid the settlement. She’d have remembered specifics if they were mentioned—the fae had perfect memories, a trait she’d inherited from her mother—though after spending half an hour within city limits, Riona had a few choice guesses.
She remembered listening against closed doors to her mother’s strategists, who had told Queen Caetriona to forget about the southern half of the continent. The capital was the thing the Fae Queen desired most, and she had it, so why did she care about some backwater human settlements? Riona had never been able to catch a complete session, as her mother always knew when she was near and would send attendants and guards to distract her.
What Riona knew about travelling the continent of Drazanean from her time with Fingal was, when given the choice in sleep in an inn and the forest, they chose the forest every time. Unless it had been necessary to enter a settlement, they had existed on society’s fringes, running from the Imperials and the fae militia and anyone who was not sympathetic to her and Fingal’s cause.
She sifted through the memories of her earliest years as she sat trapped in a booth at the Tennly Coaching House and Inn, squished in against the window beside Connor, and across from an already flushed, excitable Ollivan. The two of them just had to bring her to this fae-hating place and act like they were doing her a favour. She had not spoken a word to Ollivan since they’d gone upstairs to settle in the room. Although cozy for the three of them—Evonne Tennly had made no fewer than three attempts to upsell them to a second room—Riona’s initial sense of dread had been dulled at the sight of the large bed. Their sleep in the forest had been fitful. Fear of being ambushed by bandits, the fae, or the Imperials had hung over her as thick as the boughs on the trees.
But they couldn’t stay. They had to keep moving...
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