Quinn cocked his handsome, finely-shaped head and shaded his brilliant green eyes: the sun was now high enough to create a few splashes of sunlight across the trail where the shade of the trees thinned a little. At this time of year, it wouldn’t get much higher, he guessed. But Darius, the nearest to a local, would probably know for sure.
“About mid-day, would you say, Darius?”
Before answering, the hard-bitten axe-man cast a measured look around. It seemed a long time that Celo and Bardic had been taking, scouting ahead into the Pass. Over by the line of tethered horses, Theodora was standing guard, though Darius had noticed that she was spending some time feeding her own mount and petting it, as well as watching the undergrowth. Kilp was polishing his crossbow and checking the vanes on each flight. The “big guys” were debating the route. Again.
“Just about. Keep a sharp ear out, Quinn. Where we can’t see, our ears are our best friends.”
“And no singing,” Morath added from over at the other group.
Quinn was about to make a joke about Darius being the boss, but on Morath’s interjection, changed his mind. The Zamorian had an inscrutable sense of humor, and a great many throwing knives.
A hollow deep rattling sound echoed down from the cloud-decked peaks. All present turned and strained their ears. Other than the wind soughing through the trees, nothing more could be heard.
“What was that?” Quinn asked, of no-one in general.
“Thunder… bad weather in the ranges,” Kilp answered, beginning to fuss through his saddlebag for a canvas cover for the crossbow. “Didn’t you ever camp near mountains?”
“Not to speak of,” Quinn replied cheerily. “My home’s in the south, ah, the blue lake vistas… and funnily enough when I traveled in Nemedia, we spent most of the year along the river. O ye Yellow bosom-friend, billow me longingly…”
“Can it, Quinn,” Darius cut in curtly.
“Mitra! Will you dogs quit your yapping! I can hear something!” Somehow, Theodora managed to make them all feel in the wrong.