As Ægir passed the pond, you called for him to turn to the left a little so that you could walk down between the ponds, closer to the waterfall.
“Come in,” you requested of him and he turned to the left, heading down in between the spaced out waters.
“We could maybe try something a little faster?” you thought, seeing that you had plenty of room to trot in between the pools.
Clicking your tongue and nudging his side with your heels, you urged him into a trot and held on as best you could. He had quite a smooth gait so it wasn’t too much of an issue but you were keen to go a little quicker as the trot was a tad bouncy.
“Come on, Gir,” you called, nudging him with your heel.
He jumped into a slow canter and tucked his head in, holding himself back as his hooves thundered rhythmically along the soft earth and you grinned from ear to ear as you passed another pond.
“Gee off,” you called as some rocks around the base of the waterfall loomed ahead.
Ægir slowly veered to his right and headed off alongside the waterfall, the spray misting your vision as he calmly cantered along.
Excitement bubbled up inside you until you couldn’t hold yourself back anymore and you let out a loud cry of delight.
“Wooooo!” you hollered out into the empty level, grinning at the water beside you as you raced on by, watching your reflection keeping pace with you.
You cantered on, winding your way down between the ponds before you pulled Ægir up beside a smaller stream and jumped off.
“I’m just going to take on one more whisper, then we can see what’s in store for level 6!” you said, walking away from him and closer to the waterfall nearby.
He dropped his quivering nose to the ground and breathed heavily, panting a little from that short run. Then, with a small snort, he started pulling blades of grass out of the soft earth to eat while keeping one eye on you.
Looking from your horse, to the waterfall, you walked into the centre of the billowing spray and waited, watching in the corner of your eye for any whispers.
It wasn’t long before you saw the telltale signs of a mist being and you waited until it was well and truly fixated on harassing you then you pointed your toe and slid it out to the side.
“Move!” you called, missing your fist attack but then nailing the second one and exploding the whisper into crystals.
You turned back to Ægir and walked over to him, a proud grin on your face.
“I think I’m getting the hang of what to do,” you said to him as you patted his watery shoulder, “I don’t want to get too good though because Hansu is going to get suspicious if I can suddenly defeat them easily.”
Ægir looked up at you, then turned his head back over his shoulder and flared his nostrils, sensing something on the breeze as he lifted his head higher.
He snorted and let out a little warning noise, widened nostrils quivering as he looked off into the distance.
“What is it?” you asked him, looking in the direction he was looking, but not seeing what he was seeing.
He let out an agitated noise and you felt like something was wrong.
“Ok. Let’s go,” you said, tapping his leg so that he would stretch it out an you could use to the clamber aboard.
Once up on his back, he turned and started heading alongside the stream, his head still turned in the direction of where he felt a presence.
Even from up on his back, you still couldn’t see anything but thought it best to play it safe and get away from the area.
Letting Ægir lead, you headed off between the streams, making your way in the general direction to level 6.
Now feeling a little uneasy, you kept glancing over your shoulder but nothing seemed amiss on the perfectly quiet level.
“I wonder what he saw?” you thought, urging him on to a trot, then canter.
Once you started moving faster, your cares were left behind, allowing you to feel a little better and enjoying the scenery as it rolled by.
As you got closer to the other end of level 5, the grassy sections became more dirt based and ahead loomed a long naturally formed rock bridge that spanned across a deep ravine.
To your left was a giant waterfall, the top of it remaining unseen as it spanned up into the heavens and your eyes followed the water as it fell from the sky and dropped past the rock bridge and down into the ravine below.
As you approached it, the roar of the water got louder and Ægir cantered up onto the start of the bridge, heading across to the other side. As he moved purposefully forward you looked down into the ravine and shuddered.
“Wouldn’t want to fall in there…”
Looking back up, you saw you still had a way to go to get to the other side and decided to let Ægir have his head.
Leaning forward, you called for Gir’s attention and watched as his ears flicked back towards you.
“Go on,” you growled out, making a hissing sound to encourage him to go for it.
It was almost as if he had been stung on the backside by a bee and jumped forwards, his head and neck stretching out as his body clicked up the gears to an all out gallop and you leaned forward and lay your top half down, keeping your head low to his neck to prevent wind drag.
“Go, Gir!” you shouted, urging him yet faster.
You could feel his muscles binding and stretching powerfully with each stride and it felt like he was ever increasing in speed as his hooves thundered loudly on the rocks beneath him, carrying you effortlessly across to the other side of the ravine.
He was now at top speed, the wind whipping tears into the corners of your eyes as you gave yourself to the unbelievable raw power beneath you and you could hear him blowing hard with each breath- yet it felt like he was getting stronger with each stride.
As you got across the bridge, you sat up a little and called for him to woah and he reluctantly pulled back from full gallop to extended canter then to a slower canter as you hit the dark trail to level 6.
From their vantage point, two ominous eyes had watched you and your powerful stallion explore the level and they grinned maliciously when they saw you heading to the next level.
“It will only be a matter of time before they get to our level…” the disquieting figure thought.