The time has come to rescue you guys from the cliffhanger I left in Through the woods (part 2). If you’re totally confused as to what I’m talking about, chances are you haven’t read part 1 as well. Go ahead and read the previous parts if you haven’t and if you have, welcome to Part 3.
Ivaan woke with the wind howling in his ears and the tree branches snapping at his face. It took him a moment to get his bearings. Apparently, he was riding on the back of a lion. Then it all came back to him- being foolhardy enough to venture into the forest at night, the lion carrying him away, the forest ranger shooting at it in vain. His memory had only just come back that the lion leapt up into the air. Ivaan clung on to its back for dear life. His grip was so tight that his knuckles went white. Then, as the beast descended, he heard a splash and felt his own body drowning after a second.
The animal had jumped straight into a lake! Its intentions were completely incomprehensible to him. No terrestrial being with half a brain cell would dive into a lake in the middle of the night and not attempt to swim. Yet here he was, clutching the fur of the lion and about to drown with him. His reflexes told him to breathe, but he held out for as long as he could. But eventually, instinct trumps reason. He opened his mouth and was just about to take in a gulp of water when suddenly, he found himself sprawled on dry land. He coughed and spluttered, wiping his eyes with his hand, and took a look at his surroundings. The lion hadn’t surfaced in the forest because the environment was unfamiliar. It was night still, but he wasn’t on the woodland floor as he’d expected. Instead, he was lying on a low pavement beside a road, bathed in the light of a lantern hanging high above.
He blinked his eyes to make sure he wasn’t dreaming. The surroundings didn’t change, so he probably wasn’t. Presently two men dressed up like medieval soldiers approached him and the lion. The lion got up and the soldiers bowed. The men and the lion conversed in some unintelligible language and the soldiers, pointing their swords at him, said: “Better come quietly, boy.” There was no need for that. Ivaan was too tired and baffled to protest, so he’d have gone nevertheless. He got up and walked away with the men and the beast, little knowing that this was only a small one in the series of surprises to come.
What is this place and why have the soldiers captured Ivaan? What surprises are to be seen? Wait till the next part to find out.