Rad'en' delayed the journey until he believed Taisia was strong enough. Those five days would cost him dearly as it also gave the renegade Houseborne, those not already aligned with Kanabulan, time to gather and plan a reckless attack near the border of Belaurii. There were a group of less than one hundred when they set out, but as they continued on, there numbers grew. Atleast three hundred and fifty of the men under Tironik's charge deserted to join their brothers.
Meanwhile Rad'en', Misha, Taisia and Ussati were inseparable and well-guarded. The journey neared its end and they were camped about a days ride from the Belaurii border. After an uneventful supper, Misha continued amusing Taisia with stories from Rad'en's childhood. As Rad'en' was already quite smitten with the woman, his usually quick temper against his nemesis was greatly subdued. Taisia, on her part, was grateful to be going home to Belaurii and hopeful that her aunt would welcome her into her court.
Early the next morning, before daybreak the renegade Houseborne surrounded the camp to retrieve Misha. Fighting erupted and Misha took Taisia to safety. The two of them were quickly met by the Belaurii escort and taken onward to the capital with twenty men. The remainder of the Belauriian troops joined the fight. The Belaurii first fought the Houseborne, greatly diminishing their numbers, then turned against Rad'en' and his men. Rad'en', Ussati and roughly half of their men survived the fighting. He wondered why the Belaurii wanted him dead on Eltesnian soil, if not by his king's consent. He had done nothing wrong yet he had become an enemy of his own country along with Misha and Nalev. He gave his men an opportunity to part company, which they all declined, and they rode with the remnant of the Houseborne back to Gelassi to meet with Tironik, the truth of Misha's words echoing in his head.