The Bravest Princess

The Bravest Princess by E. D. Baker

Book: The Bravest Princess by E. D. Baker Read Free Book Online
Authors: E. D. Baker
first.”
    â€œYou can finish eating while I send word to the captain that we’ll be moving on sooner than expected. May I trouble you for some provisions?” he asked the king.
    â€œOf course,” said King Berwick. “Annabelle is family now that my son is married to her sister. Is there anything else you need?”
    â€œWe are short of arrows,” Liam replied.
    â€œReally?” said Cozwald. “Since I assume that you set out from Treecrest well supplied, you must have run into some trouble. What happened?”
    Liam glanced at Annie, then back to the prince. “We had a run-in with some crows. They’ve followed us most of the way.”
    â€œWhat kind of crows?” asked Willa.
    â€œI think they’re probably ordinary crows,” said Annie, “but a witch is controlling them.”
    â€œReally?” said Tyne. “What does the witch look like? Do you know her name?”
    â€œWe haven’t seen her yet, but we think her name is Terobella,” said Liam.
    The king and the queen exchanged glances. “We’ve heard of her,” said King Berwick. “She used to live in Montrose, but she moved away not too long ago. If she’sinvolved, you should be careful. She’s got a reputation for being truly malicious. Liam, perhaps you and I should take a look in my armory and see what else you might need.”
    â€œAnd I’ll go see about Digby,” Emilio said. “Under the weather or not, it wouldn’t be right to leave him behind.”
    â€œPlus it wouldn’t hurt to have another man along,” said Andreas. “I’m pretty good with a bow myself. I’d like to go with you to your armory, if you don’t mind, Your Majesty.”
    â€œOf course you may join us,” said the king. When a serving girl offered him fresh bread, he shook his head and turned back to Liam. “Would you like some of my knights to travel with you?”
    â€œI don’t think that’s necessary,” said Liam. “We brought guards with us, and with the princes and their attendants added to our number, we should have plenty of eyes to keep watch and strong fighters if we need them.”
    â€œCan we come, too?” asked Tyne. “I’ve never seen a real witch.”
    â€œAnd I hope you never will,” said her mother. “At least not an evil one like Terobella.”

    They left Grelia a few hours later with Liam and Cozwald in the lead. Digby, who still wasn’t feeling well,started out beside them but soon drifted farther back in the line. They formed a large party now, as each of the princes had brought at least two attendants with him. Like the guards who had come with them, both Annie’s and Liam’s horses were outfitted for travel, so no one gave them a second glance, but the other princes were all dressed like royalty and rode warhorses wearing their most impressive trappings. Waving, cheering crowds gathered in the road before the party reached the second gate. Riding farther back in the line, Annie could see how each prince reacted. Andreas was friendly, waving back to the people who waved to him. Emilio looked as if the attention made him uncomfortable, but Cozwald acted as if it was his due. When Annie looked behind her, she saw that Digby was enjoying himself, preening when pretty girls called out to him. Their progress through the city was slower than before, and Annie was relieved when they finally passed through the last gate.
    The road from the castle led across an open field, but they could see the forest less than a mile away, looking like a vast green wall. Heading west to Helmswood meant that they’d be traveling through thick forest most of the way. Although Annie usually enjoyed forests, she wasn’t looking forward to spending so much time in an unfamiliar one while a witch was after her. Even before they reached the trees, she looked around, waiting for something to

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