When I woke up, I heard a wagon rumbling nearer, and nearer. I gasped for breath, noticing that my fever was gone, and ran towards the woods alongside the road. I tripped and fell, tumbling into the underbrush as the cart came by. Watching and waiting, I lay, until it had passed.

When the trading cart had gone by, I stood up. I walked quickly through the underbrush towards the mountains, but, by the time I reached a bridge that crossed the river, I stumbled and tripped again, this time into the river.

I screamed, getting a mouthful of water. I had never learned to swim, so I struggled and struggled. I kicked and I pulled, trying to grab onto something sturdy and terrestrial, but I could not get anything. When I was able to reach the surface, I gasped for breath, and then I was swept under.

I struggled and I struggled, I tried to get out, but I was swept away. I thought that I was going to die; I was pulled out of the river but I strong, thin, hand. Grabbing my last mouthful of the cold water, I was pulled right out the rapidly moving water, onto the dewy grass.

Shaking with terror and exhaustion, I threw up a bunch of water. I started to shake violently, because the water was like ice, and the grass and the leaves were dusted with dew.

"Who are you?" the person who had saved me asked. "Wait," the person began again, "why were you in the river?"

I was not able to stop coughing enough to answer this person's questions. I only shook my head and coughed.

"Here, get up," the person grabbed my shoulders and lifted me up, so that I was sitting up.

"Oh, gods…" I gasped. "Oh, my gods…"

"Here sit up." The figure pulled me so that my back was against a tree. "Who are you? The person asked again.

"Ether, just Ether." I breathed out.

"No last name?" the person asked.

"No, it was taken." I muttered. "Who are you?"

"Aering. I have a good reason to believe my last name has been taken from me also."

The young man took up my hand to help me stand.

"Which city did you come from?" Aering asked as he pulled me up.

"Tirridenn's Midirron," I said. "I ran late last night."

"Yeah, I ran also," he began, "but I came from Corrid's Midirron, from on down the river. I came here when I was 15, 3 years ago." He took my arm and we began to walk.

"Why did you come here?" I asked. It did not make any sense why he would come here and not live right outside of his city.

"Have you not heard or read about the old world?"Aering asked me, looking surprised.

"What old world?" I asked; I had never heard of anything like that.

"Well," he began, as we entered the deepest parts of the forest. "Before the Midirrons took over the continent, there was a country, it used to be around here, there was a group of rebels, and they were led by a woman. They set up a "rebel city". And people from all over, come to join. They have been doing so for over 700 years. I am one of them." He did not face me when he was telling me this, and he led me into the city.