Author's Note: Well, I warned you. It has been exactly 22 days since I updated this, and I am very sorry to any people at there actually reading it...but I have chorus, and drama, and schoolwork, and four other chaptered stories to deal with, so please don't decapitate me or any other such violent activity. Honestly, I'm not worth your time.
As you may remember from our last episode, our heroes have reached (cue ominouse music) THE MOUNTAINS. This is an unfortunately short chapter, but this is a take what you can get situation, mind. -Kathryn Angelle, aka HER royal highness, the Queen of Procrastination.


"Erm. Well," said Geoff. "I suppose that's tha- Oof!"
"Come along, Prince Geoffrey dear," Erien imitated Queen Prudence. She had a fistful of Geoff's shirt. "Up we go."
"But shouldn't we-"
"But it's very-"
"But what about-"

The mountains were steep, jagged, rough, and in general extremely uncomfortable. A few places had buildings clinging pecariously to them, and there were numerous clumps of very tough looking trees. The higher bits had white draped over them, and poked at the sky in a menacing way. The main mountain, that is, the important one where the troll had set up shop, had a narrow path that wound up and around and around and around and around and around....Geoff, trying to follow it with his eyes, was getting steadily dizzier. "Um, Er-"
"Up, Geoff. UP."
And up they trudged. And up and up and around and around....the Narrow Path got narrower.
Erien, who was marching (or at least making her trudging look like marching) in front, and carrying her frying pan rather like a club or a mace, stopped, turned around, looked at Geoff.
Geoff eyed the frying pan. Erien had been irritable since it started raining. It wasn't, she had complained, supposed to rain during a quest. When Geoff asked why, she said it just wasn't. When he said he was terribly sorry, she threatened to hit him with the frying pan.
"The horses," he said, "don't like this path."

And they didn't. Horses, as a rule, except for the twittier, showier, fluffier headed ones, dislike quests (and even the twitter, showier, fluffier headed ones could be cured after going on one) and the king's warhorse had been on several, and Carrot was just the twelfth prince's mare. (Twelfth princes, as a rule, didn't go on quests. Neither did girls, but Geoff had stopped telling Erien that several frying pan wavings ago). But the two horses had put up with it all quite patiently, really, especially with all things considered, and most especially in the case of Carrot, and now they were not happy with the recent turn of events. The path was much too narrow, much too hard, much too rocky, much too steep, and much, much to high up for comfort.

"Hrm." Erien cocked her head. "What do you suggest we do about it then?"
"Go down again?"
"But we're halfway up already!"
"Well...we can't leave them here, and they don't want to go on."
"Then what shall we do with them, Prince Geoffrey dear?"
Geoff was saved from giving the wrong answer by a great herd of puzzy gray horned things that came hopping along the path, over and around and under them in a foul smelling wave. Behind the wave came a long limbed skinny scrawny and all around bony fellow with a strange floppy hat perched on his head and a large stick- which almost looked bigger than him- in one hand.
"'Ere now," he said. "What's this then?"
Everyone- that is, Geoff, Erien, Carrot, the warhorse, and a bystanding tree- were all standing still in shock (that is, Geoff, Erien, Carrot, and the warhorse were standing still in shock and the bystanding tree was just standing, becuase that is what trees do). The cause of the shock, all though it was aided and abetted by the boy's most interesting garb and appearence, was primarily the 'sheep'.
They were mountain sheep, and the distinction between mountain sheep and regular sheep is very important. The mountain sheep were shaped mostly like very small goats, with long gangly legs and pointy noses and sharp little horns that grew in all kinds of strange shapes. They were covered in long fuzzy gray fur, which was what they make extremely tough yarn and such out of, and they, instead of walking, literally hopped, all four legs and once, and would bounce around, going up and down mountains easily like a bunch of horned gray flees.
The boy, who was their shepherd, had a jacket of the gray stuff, and a plaid flannel shirt, and baggy brown pants, and large boots with big springs strapped to the bottoms. He bounced over to examine the extremely strange outsiders that his sheep had surrounded.
They were the same height, which was his protruding collarbone, and the one had red hair, and lots of it, bristling out of its braid rather like the tail of his auntie's bad tempered cat. Green eyes like the cat's, too, and freckled all over the upturned nose. The other one was brown hair and amberish brown eyes. His features were boring in that they were regular and fine and pleasant etc. with no really interesting characteristics. They were both extremely (relativaly) clean.
"'Ere now," he said again. "Who're you then?"