Eirian lifted up her skirt as she squatted to relieve herself. Others would think it would be difficult for a young girl of noble blood to transition to a life on the road, but Eirian wasn’t your typical princess. As the youngest, she’d enjoyed a freedom her elder sister’s evaded, especially with all of her half siblings running around, it was easy for Eirian to duck in and out of the castle. She’d made the decision to run away when she’d discovered her friend, Owen, was being sent to the mines.
Owen was the same age as her, a lesser born. His father had been working in the mines for years, and Owen had confided he would probably be sent there as well when he came of age. It hadn’t taken much consideration on Eirian’s part, rather she’d acted on impulse, and she refused to regret it.
A shadow appeared in the bushes, and Eirian recognised her friend.
“Owen,” she chastised. “I asked for some privacy.”
The people she had been living with were not accustomed to such things. In some ways Eirian liked the closeness of them, it was like a huge family where everyone was accepted. They had been trekking through forestland for days now, and because of the high fire risk, everyone bunked together. Eirian had learned a lot about how babies were made in those few days.
Owen appeared in view, his dark skin marked with dirt “Eirian, can you smell that?”
When Eirian had first joined the caravans to Iridia, she’d covered herself in mud, including her hair. Some aspects of her physical appearance indicated her as higher born, but after the first couple of days, the men guiding them had disregarded her as some noble man’s unwanted bastard.
“Not that, it’s something else.”
Eirian’s face was getting hot, but the scent Owen had detected was distinct.