The snap of a twig had him reaching for his blade and turning at the same time. Moonlight shone bright enough that he instantly saw who had intruded upon his solitude and sheathed the weapon. “Maja.”
“I did not mean to startle you,” she said quietly.
“You should not be about by yourself,” Jorgen admonished. “Where is that cousin who usually hangs upon you?”
Maja smiled. “Probably looking for me as we speak.” She blew out a breath. “A person can only take so much being looked after.”
That's my ten. I'll add more below, in case anyone is interested. Didn't get to adding the new gallery yet, so hopefully that will be next week. Thank you for visiting.
“You seek solitude.” Jorgen nodded, understanding. “Shall I leave you then?”
“I thought you said I should not be by myself.” Maja stated with a hint of amusement in her voice. “Though I can tell you I know how to use a dagger. Shall I show you?”
Jorgen raised a hand and shook his head. “No need. I believe you.”
“Tell me, if you will, about Hilvard.” She requested. “I have never been away from Islak.”
“Life is much the same everywhere.” Jorgen began. “We work all year to make ready for winter, then huddle by our fires, drinking our ale and mead and waiting for spring.”
“Yes, so I have heard from others of their lands.” Maja let out an exasperated breath, wishing the pain in her head didn’t make her so easily annoyed. “I wish to know what is different.”
The king thought for a moment. “We have mountains in Hilvard. They rise up from the earth to the heavens it seems, until you climb one. In the valleys are lakes, some are quite beautiful, and the parts that are flat are flatter than most of Islak. The birds, beasts, and fish are much the same, though we have some flowers and berries that you have not.”
“And the people?” Maja encouraged. “Are the people much different from Islaker?”
“Perhaps a bit more rough, a bit less formal, but kind of heart, loyal, and brave…some of the bravest in the world.” Jorgen smiled to himself, thinking of his middle daughter, who he knew would one day put grown men to shame with her courage.