No matter how careful, there was always something left behind. An indent of grass, a scrap of parchment forgotten, a broken tree limb, or shrubs stomped by horses. There was no way for an army of any size to move through the jungle without leaving a trace in some way.
Tim glanced over her shoulder at the clearing behind them as they finally made their way forward. It seemed like it had been years since they had last moved. Years steeped in death and tension and paranoia and enough uncertainty to make her head hurt before she even first laid eyes on the hazy twilight of dawn that filtered through the jungle trees to the ground below.
It was certainly apparent where they had made their camp, now that the tents were removed. The shrubs the army had used to camouflage their temporary homes were cast aside, left to rot like bodies on the mossy jungle floor. If it weren’t for the cape around her shoulders she would’ve been up on the roosts that were now fodder for the jungle, or the enemy, to reclaim.
But, it didn’t matter now. Now they moved with the force of the Empire Solaris. Their ranks were fat with soldiers from Soricium and there would be no way some ragtag Northern clan would be foolish enough to attack so many. Black Legion Firebearers fearlessly led the way, burning through the brush without a care for leaving an obvious trail. Tim watched them with appreciative eyes. Eyes that had never really paid them much heed prior.
She clenched her fist in her gauntlet and wondered, not for the first time, what it was like to feel magic. The village elders had bemoaned the existence of magic for as long as Tim could remember. They had bemoaned it for the Knights and fools it brought through Mosant in hunt of the caverns. But, she’d found herself developing a fascination for it after the sandstorm – after she’d first truly seen the might of the Windwalker.
Tim focused on their northern headway, trying to put the questions from her mind. She’d only ever really spoken to one sorcerer in her life. But, Tim knew the crown prince wouldn’t be answering her questions ever again.