Desmond searched the house making the last preparations for his trip. Travelling to the Upper Kingdom was a long journey and he didn’t want to find out midway that he had forgotten something important. His stomach quivered with a combination of nervousness and excitement. After all the hard work, all the studying, it was all paying off. Desmond was on his way to advance his training, taking his magic to a level he thought he would never reach.
Gunther was fussing over him like a mother hen, following his every move, double-checking his belongings, fretting over his clothing. Desmond couldn’t help but find the situation humorous. He had never seen his teacher display anything beyond mild amusement. Even then it would quickly disappear in favor of a harsher emotion. Today he showed a rare side to him. It was a proud moment for the old wizard whose apprentice would be leaving for a prestigious and powerful kingdom, adding to his own reputation as well. They would be holding a grand ceremony to welcome him in. Wild horses could not keep Gunther from being there.
They both walked outside still surprised by the luxurious carriage that waited for them. A coachman was busy settling in their luggage inside a compartment on its roof, while another was double checking the horses’ harness.
“I still can’t believe this is happening,” Desmond said to his teacher who chuckled in reply.
“Don’t be,” Gunther answered. “I told you from the very beginning that you have what it takes. It’s only going to get better from here. You just needed the right motivation.”
A twinge of melancholy rose in Desmond’s chest as he watched Gunther give the coachman one more bag. Gunther couldn’t even fathom what Desmond had to go through to get that motivation, or realize what a price it had entailed.
“Well, are you just going to stand there? It’s time to go!” Gunther’s waving snapped Desmond out of his thoughts. Satisfied they had gotten everything, the young man turned, locking the door to the cottage. It would be a long while before he saw this place again, if at all.
Desmond grabbed the carriage door. Pausing, he looking in the direction past his house towards the river. Hannah had stopped coming around after their last meeting. Several attempts at finding her yielded no clues as to the unicorn’s whereabouts. With him leaving it would be impossible to see her one last time. The realization made him let out a heavy sigh.
“You take care of her and her baby Alaric,” Desmond spoke under his breath so no one would hear. “And you take care of yourself Hannah. I hope you’re okay.”
Climbing into the carriage with his excited teacher, Desmond looked out the window, mixed emotions welling inside. With a sudden lurch, the carriage moved forward. He watched the cottage that had been his home for the past several years disappear as they started their journey to new lives of their own.
It was time to stop thinking about unicorns.