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Journey to Corus
by Lady Christianna
e-mail: animalangel@cutestuf.com
(I named it, not the author)
    
    Alanna the Lioness sighed as she rode her warhorse, Darkmoon.  Why had she even agreed to come? Jonathan would probably act like an absolute prig to her!  She had known the answer even before she asked herself the question:  Whether or not they were complete prigs or idiots, they were still her friends. Technically, she didn't even have to come to the palace (as she had told them she would find work elsewhere)…. except that Jon had finally ordered her to.  She had even refused to come, but Jon had then sent some men to take her to the palace and make sure she went there. Ever since Jonathan had declared that Alanna wouldn't be able to see the girl page, Keladry, Alanna had been majorly pissed at the King.  One of the men `escorting' her was a particularly arrogant, huge guy and happened to be the one who was leading her war horse in a too-strong tug o' war with the lead rope (a thing Alanna found very stupid, considering she'd ridden in plenty of wars before!)  .  Alanna glared at the man who was so rudely handling the grand-colt of her now-dead old horse, Moonlight.      "Stop handling Darkmoon like that! And I don't give a Goddess-Blessed thing about how many people you've killed in wars! So shut up and let go of Darkmoon!  Otherwise I will go right back to the Swoop and not talk to `His Majesty' at all. Try telling the King that you're the reason I didn't show up today!" Alanna burst out.
    The obnoxious man in front of her only glanced at the bulging muscles of his arm, and then at the short woman in the saddle before giving a mocking grin, "You wouldn't be able to go to the Swoop if I, or any of my men, had to carry you- You wouldn't even be able to wriggle out of our grasps!"  
    Alanna shrugged and in a minute had jumped down from her horse, punched the man in the stomach and was calmly holding onto her horse, scratching his cheek as the horse whickered happily and ate the sugar she had given him.  "I could leave right now if I want to, you know.  As your `leader'-if you can call him that, mocked me and was abusing my horse.. I'll say Good Day to you." She lept onto Darkmoon's back and laughed as the stallion broke into a flying canter at her urging.  She rode for a bit to the Swoop, and then headed back in the direction of the Palace.  

                                                                  ****
    When she finally was nearing the Palace, she noticed Jon was having an angry conversation with the obnoxious man she had ridden away from. She almost laughed aloud. But whether or not Jon was her friend, she was still angry with him and wanted to make sure he knew so.  Darkmoon's hooves were hitting the ground, producing an announcement of their arrival.  Jon nor the man he was having a `talk' with turned her way.  She jumped lightly off Darkmoon and walked up to Jonathan.  "You wanted to tell me something, your `Majesty'?" Alanna asked him stiffly, voice cold.
    The King turned quickly and hugged Alanna, though Alanna remained stiff and didn't return the friendly greeting.  The rude guy seemed to finally notice Alanna and he scowled at her,"Y-Y-you little-!" Alanna smirked as the guy tried to find an appropriate word to describe her.  
    Before the guy or Alanna could continue, Jon quickly intervened. "You are dismissed. Alanna, follow me, please."  Alanna shrugged and followed.  As he led her to the council room, the change in his manner was abrupt. Jon was suddenly serious, "Err..Do you want to watch the Squire's training?  I think the girl squire is out there." Alanna stopped. "Jonathan, don't cover it up with icing if something's happening.  Why in Goddess' name would you want me to come in `contact' with the girl if you didn't allow me to see her before? There's a reason; and I'm waiting."  

Jonathan sighed, "I knew you'd say that, Alanna.  But I don't know.  In a dream, weird as it sounds, one of the Great Gods came to me.  He warned me of some trouble, saying that though I was not His Chosen, I still deserved to know that trouble would soon come.  He also said that the Goddess has been busy lately, and to tell you so.  He said that you are the Chosen of the Goddess and that you would be needed here."  
    "How do I know that you're not making this up?" Alanna asked warily.          "How would I know that you're the Goddess' Chosen?  Not to mention, you'd be a lot angrier than you were about the girl, Keladry, if you found that I'd been lying." Jonathan countered.
    Alanna raised her eyebrows, "First, I probably told you about the Goddess sometime or another. Second, you can't know exactly how angry I am about the girl."  Suddenly a Hurrok's cry tore through the air.  "Goddess! Why'd they have to come now-" She broke off as 12 hurrok's landed.  Alanna pulled her sword from it's sheath with a practiced hand.