Gwilym entered the clearing and nodded as his charge stood to greet him. He was glad to see the boy was both safe and successful in his plan. “Gwilym,” Dwyn greeted. “Artesius needs to find others of his herd,” he paused and added softly, “if they survived.”

“Otherwise I’m all alone,” the centaur murmured.

“Don’t even think like that,” Gwilym advised. “If you keep a hopeful outlook, success will be more likely. Defeatist thinking leads to defeat.”

The centaur looked startled but nodded. He smiled slightly and gestured toward the east. “My herd’s pasture was that way. It would be the first place to look for any clues. I… can face it, if I’m not alone.”

“Then we’ll go with you,” Dwyn promised.

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