The days at the castle were exciting for the company. Everyone seemed to loosen up in the comfortable setting.
Ivan practiced archery and sword play outside with Winda. Hilary spent most of her time in the library and sometimes came out to try to fight with a sword. She looked completely ridicules and Ivan and Winda were often left laughing on the ground with Hilary pouting somewhere near.
But soon even Hilary loosened up a bit and started to give a little smirk whenever Ivan and Winda would laugh.
Kiara still felt left out so she just ended up befriending a professional archer who offered to teach her all his tricks. Ivan and Winda challenged her to a competition and Kiara gladly accepted. After half an hour of hard intense competition Kiara was announced the winner. Ivan marveled at her skill and shook his head laughing silently to himself. Winda walked away upset but she seemed to get over it later on that day.
During those days, Casper was barely ever around. They only saw him at the supper table but never at breakfast or at lunch.
Kiara felt strange without Casper around. She felt very vulnerable and almost lonely.
After around 2 months the palace began to feel home. One night Winda and Kiara decided to have a sleepover in Winda’s room. Just for the sake of being nice they let Hilary in. Kiara was doing Winda’s hair in a fancy French braid and Hilary was doing Kiara’s hair in a plain but complex up do. Winda was the story teller. She told them about the first time she robbed a bank all on her own. It was pure genius. Even though Kiara didn’t like the idea of stealing she thought the story was intriguing. Just as Winda finished her story Casper knocked politely on the door and peaked his head in. “You need to come with me.” He said to Kiara. Kiara got up from her kneeling position and followed Casper.
Casper led her out of the west side and into the main hall. Kiara looked eagerly at the east door. And to her dismay and excitement Casper led her there. Kiara’s stomach churned nervously. She didn’t ask but she thought for sure she was going to meet the King. Casper opened the door and continued to lead the way. He let the heavy door go just as Kiara stepped into the door frame so that she was pushed forward against Casper’s back. Casper pushed her off of him and didn’t say anything. They rounded a corner and suddenly it was pitch black. Kiara could hear the soft dripping coming from the damp walls. The smell of mold filled her nostrils. Kiara couldn’t see where she was going; all she could hear was Casper’s quick steps in front of her.
She tried her best to follow the sound of the footsteps but as time went on Kiara found her mind wandering and her feet growing weary. She slowed down and soon was too lost in her thoughts to notice that she could no longer hear Casper’s footsteps.
Kiara wandered blindly through the passageways thinking of everything there was to think of.
Then a mouse scurried over her foot and scared her back into the present. Kiara screamed and leaped away. She sprinted down the hall and smashed into a wall. She groaned and slid to the ground putting a hand on her head in an attempt to ease the pain.
Then Kiara remembered that she was supposed to be following the guiding footsteps of Casper. She listened and then very sharply, felt her heart drop to her feet. She tried again to listen intently but heard only the soft dripping. Kiara quickly stood and screamed in panic, “CASPER!!” The echo of her shout came back to her, she sunk to the ground. Kiara sighed and put her head in her hands. She couldn’t believe what she had just done. After a while of sulking she stood and started walking, feeling the wall as she went.