I heard one of my companions get up and leave the room, the door closing behind him.
"Let's get ready to leave," Rodan told me.
"I'm not ready for this," I said.
"That's alright. We'll get you bathed, dressed and fed."
That wasn't what I meant and he knew it.
"I'm sorry about lying to you," I said.
"Did you lie to me?"
I supposed I hadn't. "I've allowed you to think that I was someone called Merran. That wasn't true, and you needed to know that. I'm sorry I didn't tell you."
"No harm done."
Many, many questions were going through my head. Had he known that Jared would be here? It was clear that the two of them knew each other. Were there other people here? Where were the innkeeper's daughter and her grandfather? Why hadn't the soldiers shown any sign of surprise when we found Jared at the gate? What was the plan? And when and where would I be handed over to the King?
"I've been here before," I said.
"Is that so." He took my arm and helped me up. "Do you know where you are, then?"
"I believe we are at the Inn," I said.
"You believe?" He began to lead me forward.
"Before we left, someone told me we would be spending the night here. Also, I've travelled the path between the prison and the Inn a number of times. When we rode here, it was as I remembered."
"Exactly as you remembered?" He led me through a door into some larger space, possibly a corridor.
"No, of course not," I said, and then I started thinking. Of course it had been different this time. But still, the similarities had been sufficient for me to recognise the place.
We passed through another door into the outside air and I found myself smiling, stretching out my hands to catch the warm rays of the sun.
"Yes," Rodan said. "The sun on your skin. The ground under your feet. Your weight, feeling its way into the earth's core."
And the blood on my hands, I thought. All those dead people following me everywhere I go, tearing holes in my soul.
"Stop it," he said. You're letting your memories guide you again."
"Memories are all I have."
"You don't know what you have." We stood still, and I could hear him take a deep breath. "I'm sorry," he said.
"It's alright." We started to walk and I could smell the stables, this time with horses in them.
He made me stop again. "Tell me where you are."
"Outside. I'd say a courtyard, but that's partially based on what I remember about the Inn."
"Walls on four sides?"
"Yes." To my surprise I could feel their mass.
"How far away are they?"
"The one behind us is about three yards away." That one was easy, since we'd just passed through the door. I thought about the others. Left, ten to fifteen yards. Right, about five. Forward, some twenty yards. And then I started to wonder, how do I know this? Do I? Do I know anything?
I took a deep breath. Feel your centre, I told myself. Feel the ground under your feet.
A horse snorted. Of course, one wall had the stables behind it, and I had heard and smelled the horses when we stepped out onto the courtyard. That left the wall in front of me and the one to my left.
I clapped my hands. Rodan chuckled, but I paid him no attention. Yes, twenty yards would be about right. I turned to my left and repeated my action. Closer to ten yards then to fifteen.
"Your overdoing it," Rodan told me.
"Ten, twenty and five," I said, pointing at the walls.
"You knew that. You have to learn to trust your senses."
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