Elpis listened to the youngster tell of the humans and the older centaur that he’d encountered and knew just which centaur he was speaking of. It could only be Artesius, she thought. Then, he’s alive – safe. So many of her brothers and cousins, uncles and her beloved father had not made it through the massacre. Artesius, who’d been away from the herd on business as their emissary, had been spared.

A tearful smile came to her face. She could take anything as long as she could see Artesius again. She sent a silent prayer to the gods to look after the young stallion; to bring him safely back to her – even if he never saw her as more than a friend.