Please at the Cottonee's quick obedience to his command, Trick tossed his mane and held his head a little higher. He'd successfully driven off both the ghost and the fairy- but of course he had. Still, it was nice that after many moons of things just not quite going his way, things were starting to get back to normal.
The Ponyta watched as his human gathered up her things and righted herself, brushing off a bit of the dirt that she had accumulated while crawling about on the ground like a slug. He rolled his eyes at her, stomped his feet impatiently, then began trotting away. They were finally on their way out of this disgusting forest, and he did not want to postpone their exodus any longer.
Cynth, luckily, was of the same opinion. The thick air had never felt more oppressive to her than it had over the past month or so, and she was glad to be on the move. She was sure that once she had been out of the city and the forest for long enough, she'd miss it, or at least remember it favorably. But lately... everything had become too much. She needed to be gone.
The duo walked in silence all through the long and dark night. Cynth stuck close to Trick and his illuminating flames; Trick didn't object, not even when Cynth's arm would accidentally brush against him. Cynth thought back to the first time they'd met, the first time she'd touched him, and how he'd burned her in response. Had their relationship really grown and improved since then, or was he just in a good mood now? Either way, she was glad that he didn't resist her company, her presence. She was sure grateful for his.
Their steady, rhythmic pace kept them warm and kept them moving. Cynth found herself getting lost in the muted beats of the Ponyta's hooves against the moist dirt.
Just as the morning began to creep in, Cynth retrieved some of their supplies from her bag, and pulled ahead to walk closer to Trick's head so that she could feed him bites of their rations of food and water. The proud pony was hesitant at first, but then decided that if he could eat and walk at the same time, thus not slowing their progress, he could deal with being fed by the human.
To Cynth's surprise and gratitude, nothing so much as rustled a bush near them as they meandered along the path, which was slowly becoming less and less defined as they made their progress. Still, it was there... faint, but there. Still, a gnawing nervousness caused her to check her map and compass often. She wasn't completely sure how to use them effectively, but she had a general idea, and hopefully these objects combined with her diligence to the faint path would keep them from getting lost. Hopefully.
It was impossible to track the sun's movement across the sky, so Cynth found that she had very little concept of time as they plodded along. As they kept going, the nervousness and electric excitement that she had felt upon first stepping into the forest along this path returned by degrees. They had been moving for so long. It felt so real now. She wondered how long it would be until she'd see the Plains that had been told were on the northern side of the forest. A couple days at most, is what she thought she'd been told.
Cynth went back and forth between being so excited that she picked up her pace, and feeling the exhaustion settling into her muscles and slowing her back down again. By the time the summer sun was finally beginning to set- Cynth knew not because she could see the sun, but because the forest was beginning to get a bit dim again- the young woman was walking along with eyes half-lidded and with feet dragging in the muddy dirt.
"Trick. Trick," She had to say the equine's name a couple of times before he snapped out of his stupor and turned to look at her. She cleared her throat, which was unused to speaking as they had gone over 24 hours without much conversation. "Let's stop for the night. Stop," she repeated the main word of the sentence, held up her hands and stopped in her tracks by way of translating and communicating the word to the horse.
Trick responded with a soft snort, but without objection. He, too, stopped, and waited to see where Cynth would choose to rest. He was unsure what sort of shelter the human might need. Humans almost always slept in those tall wooden nests they built out of trees; would his human be fine sleeping in the dirt out here, or would she require something?
All Cynth did to prepare for bed, since she lacked a tent, was gather some broad leaves off of trees and bushes to lay beneath her, to keep her off of the moist and cool ground. She wasn't afraid of the air growing cold and brisk, not in the middle of summer in this rainforest. But the mud could be cold, and anyways, she wanted to avoid arriving at her destination completely coated and matted in dried mud.
Thin blanket of leaves made just barely off the side of the path, Cynth knelt down on it. She set her crutch off to one side, laying it parallel to the direction she would be laying in, and then set her bag where her head would be. It was an uncomfortable pillow, being more full of things like potions and berries and a compass than the softer things like her extra pair of clothing, but it would do.
"Good night, Trick." Cynth stated as she laid herself down, wiggling a bit to try and find the most comfortable spot. She certainly was going to wake up sore, after walking nonstop for so long and then sleeping on the hard ground.
She found herself watching Trick as he moved around. She'd never been with the horse at night, had never seen how he slept, and thus she was curious about his nightly routine. He moved around a bit, and nibbled at the sparse grasses and certain foliage that was nearby. She kept expecting him to lay down, but he never did... and she dozed off before she could find out if he ever would, falling quickly into a deep sleep.