Everything was right so far.
I now could propperly train Reliquitur, who by the way was making astonishing progress. Lieutenant was still around us, so I guessed she was good with my new voice and our extravagant party.
Remember when I said that geography hadn't changed a lot?
Well, it certainly had here, a day travelling Northwest from the capital. The scenery was a complete chaos. Rocks here and there, boulders growing from the trees, scripons hanging from the ceiling of some of the rocks, fungi growing all over the place... it was a surrealistic view. Luckily enough, the suns hadn't changed much since I saw them for the last time. The three of them were in an equilateral triangle: it was summer. That meant we'd be facing the last days of autumn by the time we get to the tower. In case we made it in time to Reliquitur's former training temple. There, he said, we could resupply and get a cart to make it in time. Otherwise, crossing the Galateic river would be hard.
However, the gods happened to have a different plan for us. Few hours into a woods I didn't remember, we encountered a party of dwarfs. High dwarfs, to be more precise.
-Halt! The captain of the group shouted-You are entering territories under the control of the SDLG confederacy! Identify yourself or perish, outlanders!
Reliquitur identified himself and introduced Lieutenant, who seemed to be enjoying the sight of the undersized group of defenders. I then thought it would be wise to talk and avoid being stabbed by an elvish steel.
As before, I hummed and they understood. They didn't look scared, just impressed I was standing and speaking on my own. The tallest, who happened to be the boss, frowned and came closer.
-Kneel, undead. I want to test you.
I could feel something wrong within his words. High dwarfs weren't precise mages, but they had a certain something that helped them identifying things and distinguishing materials.
I did as he asked, and he looked me dead in the eye for what felt like an eternity. Satisfied, he took some notes and let us continue.
-You look like legal people-he grumbled- but be aware that we will respond upon any sign of hostility. Carry this badge as a show of the permission I gave you to wander around here. I hope we don't have to see again, creeps!
He gave me the badge and left with his people in a blink. Interestingly rude fellow, honestly. Looked like he'd seen way worse.
The rest of the day was uneventful, but not boring. It looked like the horrible landscape slowed us down, with the winding roads and sharp mountain edges. Carts or horses wouldn't have been able to take us any faster through this terrain.
Wished I could've honored the name, though. "Landscape"...
Because you escape from the land you were in before when you get to it?
Probably, but completely useless to escape. Just a coincidence in the wordbuilding, if I had to guess.
Anyway, we still were about a month ago from our destination. Our journey had barely started.