(Page 2 of 3)
As he walked Randon started getting hungry. He had cured meat and half of loaf of bread in his travel sack on the boat. Unfortunately he would not be eating this food anytime soon. He would have to hunt and kill the prey with his bare hands. Randon had not done this for a long time. He though about many meals he had in different taverns around the world. In every port there seemed to be a special tavern, spilled ale souring the air inside, roasting meat dripping fat juice on the hot stones, distant hum of conversation, laughter of serving wenches, heavy chairs crashing to the floor, sounds of fighting and sounds of dying. He would have rather been in one of these taverns right now.
The longer Randon walked, the more certain he became that there was something evil about this forest. With every step he took the sense of impending doom grew stronger. Bird cries now sounded like evil cackles, his own steps filled him with dread. He felt as if something monstrous was watching his progress. His hunger was forgotten now. He felt that his very survival was at stake. As he walked he started hearing whispers, which grew louder and louder, so he was soon able to discern actual words. "Strong" , "Guest", "Food", "Fool". When he could not tolerate the whispers any longer, Randon screamed, his hoarse cry tearing through the forest and silencing his tormentors. He started running, powerful chest rising and falling, strong legs pounding the ground. When trees suddenly gave way to a clearing he stopped and breathed deeply trying to calm down. Voices in his head stopped and the pressure eased. Randon gathered old tree branches into a pile and started a fire. When he managed to kill some small rodent with a single stone throw, he actually smiled.
They went walking through Laten Quarter in the evening of their last day in Sabron. Street vendors were selling roasted meat on sticks, various fruit ices, fresh ale and summer flowers. Rand's heavily muscled body was cutting through the crowd of revelers as a ship's prow through the stormy sea. The sword on his back and his companion's axe, much too heavy for a woman, were convincing enough to help the residents of Sabron and assorted guests accept violent jostling they received from the pair. They stopped at Grek fish merchant's stall and ate some baked fish and Landor tree roots. Now Alta was licking apple ice as she was shoving people out of her way. Young street tough and his crowd of looking for trouble young pups started turning in Alta's direction, but as soon as Randon made a move for his sword, they melted into the crowd.
The sound of lute was getting louder. It was coming from a street bar, one of many in Laten Quarter.