Leonard stared out into the darkness. There he saw nothing. He found nothing.
From the answers to life's questions, to simple sleep, he could find neither in that darkness.
"What am I doing here? I should just have her turn us around. I'm sure everyone would understand. Even if they don't, I could make up an excuse. I could be really convincing. They'd feel sorry for me. They'd think I missed out on what I was hoping for. I could get away with it. It could work. Why don't I just tell her to turn us around," he stayed there on the seat, alone in the dark, thinking to himself.
He had thought along these lines for a few hours straight, but he did not act on these thoughts. He just let the carriage keep rolling down the rocky, rarely traveled, dirt road. It was well in his power to stop the carriage. He could do it with just a few words. He just had to poke his head out the window, and call out to the driver. She might not even have questioned him. Even if she did, he could have just ignored her. She'd still have to listen to the order. If not that, he could make up a simple lie.
He could have told the truth, too. He could have told her that he was afraid and uncertain. He could have said that he feared for his life and mortal soul, that it was a sin to murder your fellow man, and that he didn't have the heart to be any part in it.
He could have confessed his weakness and begged for mercy, but instead, nothing. Nothing.
He just laid there alone in the dark as the carriage rocked down the trail. He let it carry him along the path others had set out for him. Just like he always did.
Suddenly, he heard a knocking from the driver's seat outside the carriage.
"Hey, come take a look... We're almost there!" the cheery, familiar voice called out to him. She was so young, so full of hope and wonder. Still very much a girl, and not a woman, and yet she too wanted to be a part in all of this. She too wanted to take up arms.
He did not respond. Earlier, he had told her he would try to get some sleep. Though, even if he wasn't lost in thought, he probably wouldn't be able to sleep with the carriage rocking so much from the crude road. If you could even call it a road. Still, he could pretend to be asleep. He didn't want to answer. She might hear his voice crack and tremble, if he did.
"Aw, come on... You sleeping? Ya just got to see this! It's huge! Bigger than the estate... Bigger than the castle, even... Bigger than the biggest- ...oh hey look! A big pig!" she called out to him again. Of course the Ridgar keep was bigger than the castle of the small fiefdom that they were from. After all, it had its famed tower, the Star's Rise, but what was she saying about a pig? He sat up and dried his tears, as he pulled back the curtain. The light caused him to wince, as he shielded his eyes, but they soon adjusted. There he first saw the keep in the distance. Magnificent. Breath taking.
"Big pig! Big pig!" she cheered, whipping up the reins as she did. The celestial warhorse drawing the carriage complained with a snort, but the majestic beast had long gotten used to the antics of the childish woman. The man in the carriage peaked his head out the window to take a look, and sure enough, there was the big pig... Er... a large boar... On it, a dwarf rider.
He could say it to her now. Turn us around. It'd be as easy as that. She'd complain and question for sure, but she'd do it.
He said nothing.
"Aww man, that's a big pig~" she looked back to him with a smile. She might notice that he had been crying. He became self conscious, but if he went to wipe his eyes now it would just draw more attention to it... So he just forced a smile onto his face... Though weakly.
"Y-you're bored... Aren't you?" he asked trying to sound friendly. Trying and failing. He hoped she didn't notice his voice tremble. She probably noticed.
"...Ya could tell?" she responded with much forced enthusiasm. It had been a long uneventful drive, and she was close to losing her mind from boredom. He retreated back inside the carriage, instead of having a conversation with her.
The celestial warhorse began to overtake the boar. Its shape was that of a mighty steed, but if you were to look upon its body, it would feel like you were star gazing. The mystical creature's form was made up a semi-transparent dark blue mass and all through out its body were many countless stars. Or at least what looked like stars. Its body was like a window to the cosmos, and yet it otherwise seemed to function like a normal horse, pulling a carriage. The carriage itself, was painted black with gold accents. The sharp contrasting details, screamed decadence. On its four corners of its roof, it had four small lanterns hanging on it. So it could be properly seen, and admired, even at night while moving through the busy city streets. It was destined for high society and night life, not roughing it in no man's land, besides a boar. It certainly should not have been driven by a child at the very least.
The driver was a young woman who was tall and thin, with not much curves to speak of. If you brought it up, she would argue that she's still growing, even though she was already seventeen. Her skin was fair, which was a nice way of saying pale. Her hair was dark black, like a raven or a duck. A black duck. More so like a duck. She kept it short and manageable, in a bob cut. She made up for what she lacked in terms of maturity, with an overabundance of cheer and spirit. She wore a royal blue uniform with a plated skirt and a big blue, silk bow around her collar. She waved with her entire arm to the big pig, and the dwarf riding on top as they passed. The passenger inside the carriage had already drawn the curtains shut.