Unheard and unseen, yet aware and listening like a ghost, Zacharias stood far enough from the group to not be easily noticed or spoken to, but close enough to still hear part of their conversations. The speakers were mostly the self-absorbed she-paladin, who appeared to have finally calmed down and become more agreeable, Jaelnec, and the outlander who identified himself as Aemoten. The two men had quickly cast down Annabelle’s attempts at lecturing them like school boys, and after that their conversation became much lighter. There were even little jokes to be heard at some point. Eventually the paladin walked off to share some words with another two people who appeared to wanting to join the group, one of which the assassin recognized as the inexperienced spearman whose jab he almost absentmindedly deflected. The party consisted of so many people that Zacharias’s presence almost felt redundant, but he did promise the rune mage that he’d see this through, and he would not break his word. Not this soon.
Last preparations were made, and Zacharias saw fit to call upon his horse again as he would undoubtedly need it. The moment that Jaelnec left to look for a cart, Zacharias quietly distanced himself from the others, nobody noticing his disappearance (or having acknowledged his presence in the first place). Like a shadow he waded through the people in the streets and past volunteers who helped to carry off the corpses from the marketplace. Eventually the buildings stopped and the stream of people lightened up, and in the stead of browns and grays of the city he beheld greens and rusted leaves. Knowing that he could not stay away for too long, he made for the border of the forest with a light jog. The wind blew his hood back, but as a loner amongst trees and stones, it did not matter. Once he arrived by the first trees that lead into the autumn touched forest, he sat on a nearby flat rock and whistled a strange melody audibly. His stallion was trained to follow this particular resonance. Zacharias still remembered where he became acquainted with the horse. It was in the beautiful glades of Anaxim forest. He had spent his fair share of years in the duchy of Anaxim, because he could find peace there. The forests were almost untouched and gave him everything he needed to survive. The humans that lived there were not a nuisance, and rather accepted him the way he was because he respected nature just like they did. Yes, he would even go so far as to call a handful of human rangers his friends.
After about ten minutes, Zacharias heard the approaching gallop of a horse as it riled up piles of dead leaves and stomped wet grass. The assassin stood up and stroked the dark brown fur of the horse; the color of wood.
“We’re going to spend time with people. You don’t have to be frightened of them, however. They are mostly harmless to us,” he spoke before dexterously mounting the animal. Then the two of them rode back down the slope towards Borstown.
When Zacharias came back to the market, he saw that a cart, pulled by two horses and loaded with the bulk of the party, was already departing, flanked by none other than the paladin and her minions. Without saying a word, but simply nodding when eyes fell on him, he joined the escort on the side which was one rider short.