The woodlands began to give way to gardens and Kyera sighed softly. Perhaps the trip was nearly done. She wasn't sure how much longer her shoulder could tolerate the weight. Though the child was next to nothing compared to most the things she had carried, pain had started to dig deep into her chest.
Raina had fell asleep hours ago, holding lightly to Kyera's soft fur. She didn't mind, glad the child was resting as she picked her way through the forest. Soon she saw the forest trees giving way to smaller trees and vines, pretty flowers gently tended to form a oasis of safety and order. Years of tedious tending was evident in the fragrant blooms beside the beaten trail.
The smell of warm herbal tea and warm cooked meats floated on the air as if someone was having tea nearby. Kyera's stomach growled as the smells of spices and cooked meat reached her and she involuntarily walked toward it. At first she went to chide herself and stop, but then again… where there was food and tea there would be humans. She needed to get the baby out of the cold air as soon as possible. The child didn't need to get sick. After realizing this, she went ahead and headed toward the tea table.
Kyera began to realize this wasn't the cold palace when she came upon the table. A old woman, late in age and draped in elegant silks sat at the table. The crown on her head was old and had a pretty petina from years of wear. Her hair was swept up in a black swirl on top of her head, some strands falling from the careful arrangement and cascading over her fair skin. Soft wrinkled hands swirled a tiny spoon in her tea, dispersing the honey into the warm liquid. A sense of sorrow and worry in her silver eyes as she sat alone in the forest.
A maid, a sweet older thing walked forward and bowed to her. "Any word?" The older woman asked and the woman shook her head slowly.
"I'm Sorry My lady Dowager. There is no word about our little Raina." The maid replied setting a plate of stew and sandwiches on the table for her mistress to enjoy. The old woman sighed deeply wringing her hands.
"If I get my hands on that son of mine!" She growled angrily, a sound filled with sorrow. Kyera smiled softly, realizing they were looking for the lady she had found. Figuring it was safe, She began to walk out of the shadows. She chuffed softly, but the sound was more pain than she had hoped to sound. The Two woman looked over and went to shriek when the Dowager stood, her eyes wide with surprise.
"Help…" Kyera whimpered as her shoulder began to give out. The little girl on her back seemed to wake from the jolting motion of her moving cradle.
"Call for Clovis, Now. We have found Raina!" The Empress Dowager called to the guards before rushing forward to the pair. "Lea go get Lady Mally, I think this one will need tending." She added to the maid before gently helping Raina off of Kyera's back. Raina smiled at the Empress Dowager sleepily, before turning to see Kyera laying on her stomach, panting as the pain slowly ebbed and flowed through her body.
"Moon?" She questioned moving to her knees by the tigress. Kyera sighed as she felt Raina's soft hand tracing over her forehead. It was oddly soothing to be stroked like that. With a bit of effort, Kyera bumped her head into the little girl's hand to make her feel better. "Great grandmother, will Moon be okay?" She asked looking back at the Empress Dowager who nodded slowly, looking Kyera over contemplation in her eyes.
"Yes, I think the tigress will be just fine." The Empress Dowager soothed her Great Granddaughter with a smile. "Thank the heavens your safe my darling."
"Thanks to Moon. She found me and brought me home." Raina added with a smile, wanting to make sure they knew Moon was a good Tigress. The Empress Dowager grinned and ran her hand over Kyera's neck and down her shoulder. Her eyebrows furrowed as she felt the heat gathering in her shoulder. The muscles were swollen from hours of agitation.
"We will have to see to it she's well taken care of then." The Empress Dowager stopped petting her, realizing there were places that could be worse off than the shoulder. Afterall hours of carrying the child had to be painful for such a beast.
Finally! I get to Introduce the Dowager!!!! I really hope you like her cause she will show up quite a bit more. I wonder, does anyone have thoughts on Kyera and Raina's relationship?
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