Part Four.

Amala swallowed a crust slowly. Vuissance was staring at her from across their fire in the middle of a forest that they were strangers in. Amala slowly gulped. She tried to wipe away the image in her brain from that morning, but it did not seem to want to leave her. Sobs rose in her chest once again, yesterday morning, all that she once had, seemed now lost forever. Her father had given his life for hers… but why? Why would the ogre’s prefer him to jewels and gold? Why would such a thing happen? He was a king, could not he have just have led an army against the ogres?  How could he have left his many subjects?
It was all because of herself.
Stealing a look at Vuissance she just about burst into tears again. Vuissance sat with her legs clutched to herself, tears silently streaming down her face; she had hardly eaten anything of her breakfast. It did not look very appetising, but it was there only food.
“We should get going if we’re going to go back…” Amala staggered up, and walked to her horse.
“A-Amala, what are we going to do when we get there?”
How could they tell the kingdom that their king was dead, because of her? “I do not know, but I am hoping that it will come clear when we get there,” Amala tightened her girth and then got her bag packed up, and fastened it to the horse. Amala slowly looked around their campsite, making sure they had not forgotten anything, he eyes lingered on her fathers grey horse.
“Amala, what about the kings horse?” Vuissance voiced her thoughts. She walked over and hugged him around the neck, he nickered softly.
“We’ll set him free, for him to roam.”
As Amala prepared to leave, Vuissance took the grey stallion and undid his bridle and saddle, leaving them at the camp and bid him farewell. He grazed awhile around them, but soon walked off through the many trees of the forest.
Amala and Vuissance mounted and rode off, each filled with their own thoughts.

Riding, eating, sleeping, waking, riding, eating, sleeping…  Amala rubbed her eyes, the tears just wouldn’t stop. Her sholuders felt so heavy with the dread of getting to the castle she once loved, but yet she spurred her horse onward wanting to get there as quick as possible.
This was their third morning of straight riding, they would get to their home at about midday. As Amala stared up at the great blue sky with a tiny lone white cloud she felt almost happy. But how could you be happy when ignoring your true feelings? 
“Amala, did you hear that?” Vuissance said, her eyes widening.
“What?”
“I think someone may be following us, I can hear hoof beats!”
After straining her ears for some moments, she found that Vuissance was correct, in the distance everynow and again a faint hoof beat could be heard.
“Why don’t we gallop a bit?” suggested Amala. Vuissance answered by spurring her horse onwards.
As they neared around a bend in the road, they came up on top of a tall mountain the protected their home from the world, the kingdom lay in a protected valley-  but as Amala looked down she realized something was terribly wrong.
“Vuissance, look!”
Vuissance peered down the valley for some moments, then shuddered.
Ogres were invading.
“How could this have happened??” Amala watched horrified as the ogres rammed themselves against the walls of her home.
“I don’t know, but Amala, look how many ogres are there!”
Why were ogres attacking? Ogres had been around for centuries, and they chose to attack now? Amala had a uncomfortable thought that somehow the ogres were waiting, lurking in the outer world around the kingdom until the king died. Why would they be so interested in a castle?
“They want the treasure!” Amala’s eyes widened. “Vuissance we have to do something!” Somehow, maybe if she helped and the ogres were beaten off she would be accepted into the castle, maybe she could still make her home there. Maybe the villagers would never find out she had been the reason of the ogres in the first place.
“No amount of deeds will win you love, my dear.”
Amala gulped. A horse snorted behind her, slowly she looked to Vuissance who was still gazing at the castle.
The horse nickered.
Amala caught it out the corner of her eye… surely not????? Flinging around she found herself in her father’s arms. She wept with so much joy she thought she would burst at the seams. Soon, Vuissance also enjoyed the embrace.
“Now, my dears, to the castle we ride!”
“But, father… how??” Amala felt the tears run down her cheeks but she was smiling.
“I told you I would be back, I am now alive, I was dead. But we must now ride to the castle,” he handed the girls each a short sword. Then he mounted his grey horse they had set loose in the forest.
“Father, I…the comb, I’m sorry. I never want it again, please forgive me,” Amala held her breath for a moment. The kings eyes grew misty.
“You have died with me, my darling, and now live in a new life alongside me…
…..you are forgiven.”

I hope you are enjoying my story! I have one more part of the story to write. Thanks so much for reading!

Blessings,
Meggie

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