This is the second part of a short story. If you haven’t already, please start from the beginning.
The horizon of shifting lights that marked the transportation slowly faded away, leaving Portia and her new squire, holding the reins of their horses, standing in a forest.
“Where should we go next?” she asked. “Your first task is to lead us to our proper destination.”
“As you command,” he replied. He drew a sign in the air, and suddenly a ball of light was floating before them. He put a foot in a stirrup and was immediately in the saddle. Portia followed suit. The ball of light moved slowly off through the trees, and she and Aaron turned their horses to follow it.
After an hour’s slow riding, they emerged from the forest onto a treeless plain. Far in the distance, a mountain jutted against the sky. Aaron clapped his hands, and the ball of light became a cloud of smoke that raced ahead. Portia touched her horse’s sides with her heels, and it broke into a fast canter. Aaron’s horse was moments behind hers.
When at last they neared the foot of the mountain, a shrill uncanny cry echoed through the air. The horses shied, and it took Portia the better part of a minute to calm her frightened mount. Two words from Aaron brought the cloud of smoke back to them. When her horse was under control, Portia leaped to the ground. Tossing her reins to Aaron, she strode lightly up the mountain.