They walked in silence through a birch grove between two arable fields and approached the outskirts of a village but nobody could be seen.
Not many birch trees retained their white bark, as the villagers probably needed as much as they could get. The black earth was already ploughed in the fields which would soon be covered by snow and ice. It was cold and it began to rain. Luna and Midar must find somewhere to live fairly soon.
The trees thinned out in front of them and they came to a wide gravel road. Midar was afraid of meeting any soldiers and wanted to go back into the forest, but Luna said that they could easily get lost there. If they followed the road they could at least be certain to get somewhere and perhaps they could ride with a farmer.
The road was steep and undulating and they could see the small village.
"I wish we had a warm cottage to go to", said Luna.
"Now I understand how life is for all tramps".
They continued on their journey and left the village behind them. Soon they came to a schoolhouse and noticed that the flagpole, which was an important symbol of patriotism, had been cut down and the classrooms were empty and appeared unused. It was obvious that the emperor didn't want children to attend school and be educated.