Ned lay awake as the yellow and orange sunrise broke over the hills. The storm had cleared and there was no time to lose. His bag was packed and he had a quick bite to eat. He stood on the cusp of the valley and looked down. It was a mixture of heath and scree slopes, then an ascent on the other side. Taking a moment, he looked back over the moor. The forest over in the West was way out of sight now, which gave him some comfort. He set off along the edge of the valley, deciding not to lose height in the ground below. Ned circumvented along a ridge line in case the soldiers on his tail had made up ground. By the time the sun was high in the sky, he got to the foothills. And there was no sign of the Malaxians. With only a brief stop, he decided to go for the summit and struck upwards. At first, he moved at speed uphill, thinking it was at least a change from running. It was hard-going and his legs ached, but he kept moving.
On top of the first hill, Ned rested. He reviewed his progress on the map. Looking back over the moorland, he could just make out the forest in the distance. He took some time to look for movement. Scanning the line of forest, it was too far away to see anything distinct. He turned his attention to the moorland. The wide expanse was still. But wait… Something stirred. About a third of the way across the moor, a dark shape was heading in his direction. It was alone and could be an animal, but it may also be a Malaxian. Impossible to tell. It took Ned just over a day to get from there to where he was standing. But the weather had been appalling when Ned crossed the moor. If it was one of the warriors, he could do it in half a day. His heart rate increased as adrenaline kicked in. He knew the warriors wanted to kill him and the fear would keep him going. Ned focussed on the way ahead. There was a series of smaller hills. The forest beyond was not in sight yet, but it was on the map.