"So: the Black Knight, Champion of Teregor. On your way to raze the camp of the enemy?"
It was well past midnight, and Pallian had just come out of the stream on the enemy's side of the valley. He looked around the woods, but saw nothing; his armor, usually sensitive to the presence of enemies, found nothing either. "Just so," he answered softly. "And who are you, unseen to me?"
"I am the Shadow of Edrias," the voice replied, "sent to slay the sorcerer-prince Ravaj and as many of his officers as I can find."
"Well, Shadow?" Pallian kept his voice wry. "I don't see you, so I doubt I can keep you from your mission. Will you contest my passage?"
There was a momentary pause. "No," said the soft, echoing voice. "Will you ride back to give warning to the devil's monstrous son?"
"No," answered Pallian. He had his orders, he had given Ravaj as much warning as his brother should need, and there was no point in issuing a challenge when neither army would consider itself bound by the results.
"Then I bid you safe passage. If you bear slightly to the south as you leave the wood, you'll find a trail that will take you to the top of the ridge. It's steep in places, but I suspect your mount will manage."
Pallian considered that, but only for a moment; fair was fair. "I came down along a similar trail that lies straight back towards the ridge; follow the curve of the rock."
There was no reply, and after a moment he nudged his horse forward. Black carried him along, and a dozen strides later they emerged from the trees. There was movement, finally, behind them: something that had seemed a piece of one of the trees separated itself and slipped away towards the stream. Be damned, he thought, admiring. They must have passed within thirty feet of each other, and he hadn't seen a thing.
Notes: if you missed it earlier, Pallian was originally named Ingloris. Or, if you prefer, Ingloris has had his name changed to Pallian. And it looks like this is going to be a "write it now, clean up later" sort of story. Which... I dunno, I'm just feeling like I should get back into the habit of doing those.