“How difficult can it be? Just give us directions and we’ll be on our way.”
“We do not know if this Rift was vastly spread throughout Soielle or if was localized within the prairie area. In either case, this could be dangerous for the citizens of this world.”
“How so?” Alastair asked. He leaned next to Lila, and she laid her head on his lap.
“Fifty years ago, there was a very powerful seal cast upon the world of Soielle to block each and every possible Rift that could occur. For fifty years, the seal has held true. Nothing comes in and nothing leaves. And yet, here you five are.” The Elder poured another cup of tea. “An anomaly. In short, I do not know how to get you home.”
Alastair felt his heart squeeze painfully. Not go home? How could he not go home? His parents were expecting him and his sister to come back hours and hours ago. The Parishes had trusted him with looking after the twins and their brother. What kind of guide was he to walk into their backyard forest and then take his entire crew to another world altogether? Alastair could not and would not accept what the Elder said. Before he could conjure a remark along the lines of, I object, the Elder continued.
“I do not know how to get you home or how to understand your sudden appearance, but I know who would.”
“Who?” All five children and Tipper asked.
“The Queen, Inana.”
“The Queen as in the Queen?” Tipper gasped.
“What other Queen is there?” Perceval asked.
“There are the sub-queens, you moron.”
“Enough. Settle down, dear ones.” The Elder rubbed his nose with his pointer finger and shook his head. “Yes, Queen Inana herself. She is the one who cast the spell, and so she is the one who knows of the spell’s most intimate secrets. You. Five must travel to her castle to the East in order to find your way home.”
“All the way there? That’s a dangerous journey to go all alone,” Tipper gasped. The children looked at Tipper with large yes of surprise. Since when did Tipper care about their well being? He huffed and then said, “I mean, they’re weak little babies. How can weak little babies brave the Mountain Circle?”
“Because, Tipper and Perceval, you shall be taking them.”
“WHAT?” Tipper yelped. “Why me out of all people? There are a bunch of others who can babysit them.”
“Tipper, this is your prophecy. If you want to be considered an adult, then you have to see this though.” The Elder narrowed his eyes disapprovingly. “Even if they had nothing to do with the prophecy, then you should at least have a shred of decency in wanting to keep them safe.”
“Ooooh,” Perceval chuckled. “He has a point, buddy.”
“Stay out of this,” Tipper hissed.”
“You can’t make me,” Perceval teased.
(add something here about trek)
“NO!” Ginger yelled. Everyone’s attention flew to the girl. “I’m saying NO! What is wrong with you people?!