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52 Chapter 13 Well travel the world together

 Darren's skin felt hot and sweat trickled down his neck. He gripped the leash firmly and his nails dug into his palms.

With every move Meg made, he got more and more terrified. He couldn't hear his rapid breathing, but he could feel the oxygen flooding in and out of his lungs.

"You're scared, aren't you?"

"No, I'm not" He denied.

"I can literally hear your heartbeat."

"Stop talking! You're making me more tensed!"

The hidden path faded as it led into the darkness of the woods, and the horse galloped the narrow strip of naked earth. They weren't prepared for the journey, and Artemis blamed Darren for their mishaps.

The prince underestimated the utter blackness of nighttime in the woodlands. From the paintings he'd seen, the moonlight would bleach the environment, but in reality, the moon that night couldn't penetrate the thick covering of trees.

They could barely see a thing. Their ears could only hear the small sounds of rustling bushes, and the howling of the wind.

Darren had to squint his eyes, and his horse, Meg had to stop. There was no telling where they were heading to. Artemis wasn't familiar with fire spells, and the muscle for brains beastman in front of her wasn't of any use.

"What now?"

"I don't know!" Artemis crossed her arms.

"Should we wait for morning?" He asked.

"I don't know."

Darren heaved, "Can you stop with the attitude" his voice fell into a faint whisper as he got down from the horse. Artemis did the same. She realized he had no plans, so she sat under a dense tree, and the chilly breeze continued to flow around her.

Soon she felt someone or something brush against her skin. It was Darren.

"What are you doing?"

"I'm cold."

"Do I look like a furnace to you?"

"Your cape" She moved somewhere else, caring so little about his demands. He had no survival skills, but he anticipated the journey to a degree she couldn't reach.

She was sure he'd die out in the cold before morning. The way he was shivering was hilarious, and she didn't hide her laughter.

"You're mean." He said as he rubbed his arms.

Artemis didn't respond. She'd already fallen asleep, and Meg did the same. He was the only one awake, scared of the quiet and dark place.

He tiptoed to Artemis's side for protection. It wasn't good enough, but his mind would be at ease.

***

The vibrant sun rays filtered through the leaves and left the day warm. Her eyes opened, and the first thing she detected was a red squirrel holding onto an acorn. One look at her, and it scampered up the nearest tree.

Her lips curved upwards, but a scowl followed once she felt something pressing against her arm.

"What's on me?" She turned her head, and she spotted Darren sleeping soundly, using her as a pad, and the finishes of her cape as a cover.

"Such disrespect!" She hissed before hammering her elbow on his head.

"Ow" His tears were forming and Artemis scowled.

For a slave, she was impolite. He wished he was more like his brother. He was strong enough to make her bow, but since he's the weak one with no powers, everyone but his father bullies and look down on him.

"Not even a good morning?"

Artemis ignored his words.

"Let's move," She stood up "I will ride your horse."

"Meg won't accept you!" He yelled, and to his rue, Meg didn't react much as the slave climbed on with ease.

"And you were saying?"

"You're so rude!" He clicked his tongue as he got on the horse, pondering deeply for a counter.

"Don't hurt your brain cells too much kid," Artemis  advised and Darren raised a brow "Kid? I'm older than you!"

"But you don't act your age."

He was dumbstruck. He bit his lips and was just about to talk when Meg trod at full gallop. "I hope you know where we're heading to?"

"Yes, I do...Luckily, the fox territory isn't so far from my clan's. Before sunset, we'll see the gates. Just keep riding down the dirt part, don't make any other diversion."

"You're not so useless after all." That was her way of appreciating his efforts.

The trees whizzed by as Meg's hoofs kicked up dirt behind them. Darren loosened his grip around the faux male, and he noticed something definitely was strange about the slave.

He started to wonder, but he didn't want to think too much about something that didn't concern him.

Artemis didn't like the contact, but since she was sharing a horse with him, it seemed inevitable.

They stopped for a break, and Meg moved to the glistening stream to drink to its satisfaction. When it was done, Artemis fed it a few carrots then turned to the jealous prince.

"Your horse likes me. I guess I've stolen your only friend," She stuck her tongue out, and he rolled his eyes "Whatever."

He didn't look like it, but he was hurting inside. He knew Artemis was stronger, but he never expected her to be such a bully.

"Do you enjoy making me feel bad? I've never felt this bad because this time It's different. It's coming from a slave. I've been downgraded enough..." He sniffled quietly, tears threatening to spill from his eyes.

Artemis didn't budge, "It's not my fault you're useless."

Tears spilled over the sides of his face, "I wonder how you were before you had powers."

That moment, she thought about how hard she was being on him. He somehow reminded her of how she was when she was ten. A powerless person, but definitely not a crybaby, and an over-pampered brat. Maybe calling him useless was wrong. Maybe it was not. She was just telling him the truth. No one like the truth, but still, he had to know he didn't have potential.

She found it difficult to feel bad for someone that wasn't human. She recalled when she was at the arena. His kind didn't care about how she felt, how her bones throbbed, and the tears that were welling in her eyes. She was punishing him for everything they'd done to her and the slaves. She looked at him, then turned away.

"Shit" She diverted her gaze back to him "Alright. I'm sorry! So stop crying already." She tried not to, but she couldn't help but apologize.

"I feel fulfilled now that you've apologized to I, Prince Darren." He wiped his tears away with the napkin he pulled from his pocket.

"Excuse me?"

"I was just testing if you had a heart, and it seems like you still do."

"So that was all an act to make me apologize?"

"Y-" Before he could reply, her fist collided with his face.

"Useless Moron!"