Once upon a time, in a land far away, the torches of soldiers lit the forest road as they traveled at dusk. Cargas and Lemet, two of the King’s best cavalry, led the search party for Wilby, who lived in the village of Hdora. As they neared the Great Open Space in the forest, Cargas paused to rest.
“When the rain comes, we can go home,” Lemet said. “Until then, we have to keep working.”
Cargas grunted. “Now there are only dark clouds, thunder, and lightning.”
“It has been years since I’ve last felt the rain,” Lemet said with a sigh. “Things were so different then, with the green grass, the abundant crops, the colorful flowers, and the Rainbow—”
“Stop!” cried Cargas. “You know that we are under strict orders not to recall its name.”
“Sorry, so sorry,” apologized Lemet.
The two scouts became silent as they continued their journey through the Great Forest. Their lamps reflected from the dusty road, sending shadows across the Great Open Space. This was so alive once with green plants and flowers, thought Cargas. It is a shame to live in such a barren land now.
As night fell, the sky was cloudy, and no stars were shining. But at the other end of the Great Open Space, pinpricks of light shone steadily at the horizon.
There are the lights of Hdora, thought Lemet. I’ve never been there. I remember the stories about the grand borders and beds of flowers that once grew here. Hdora was once the prettiest village in Eregon.
Lemet and Cargas rode on in silence and approached the gates of Hdora. Cargas dismounted, walked to the entry porch, and rang the gong. “Open up, for the King!” he shouted.
A watchman appeared from the tower and hailed them, “Who is there? What do you want?”