Two Centaurs burst through the trees. Púca reared and whinnied. Carling and Higson pulled back their bow strings and took aim.
“Carling! Higson! It’s us, Bale and Dalt! Don’t shoot.”
Relief flowed through Carling and she felt her racing heart gradually go back to normal. “Bale! Dalt! You gave us quite a fright!”
“We’ve come to report on Xanbar’s army…such as it is,” Bale said.
“It seems you have caused quite a stir, especially among the Ogres,” Dale added.
“Yes,” said Bale with a chuckle. “We passed them on our way to finding you. They were scared to death.”
“What about the Cyclops?” asked Higson.
“Oh, they were shamed by their encounter with you last night. But they’re ready to fight again,” said Dalt. “They’re guarding the castle with Xanbar.”
“And the Heilodius Centaurs? What of them?” asked Carling.
“That is why we’ve come,” said Bale. “They are on their way, only a short distance behind us. Zarius is in the lead.”
“We snuck away from them when they were in the canyon,” added Dalt, taking off his black and silver shirt and tossing it to one side. “They can’t be far away. Prepare your army.”
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