Carling took a moment to gain control of her emotions before turning to address her followers gathered in the garden. A smile curved her smooth lips. “My dear friends, my heart is deeply touched by your loyalty and devotion to me and our kingdom. If we all work together, we will be able to put an end to the warfare once and for all. It is, and always has been, my dream that we will acquire the throne without any bloodshed. It is also my desire to unite our entire kingdom. I do not know what the future holds, but as your leader, I have nothing to offer but my blood, toil, and tears. I hope they will be enough to lead us to victory. Let us begin our preparations.”
The few words of encouragement Carling offered were enough to motivate the Centaurs, Duende, Fauns, and Fairies to gather food, supplies, and weapons in preparation for their trek to Mount Heilodius. By mid-morning, a large band of would-be soldiers marched out the gates of Minsheen and into the surrounding forest. Carling, riding on the back of Púca, was in the lead, the Silver Breastplate she wore glistening in the sun. Each Centaur carried one or two Duende on their back while Fauns ran alongside and Fairies flew overhead.
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