“I just wanted to make sure they were who they said they were,” the boy pouted.
“Hey, who are these people?” Gabbie whispered to Glue Pot. The group moved into the maze work of caves and Sannier closed the outcropping of rocks back up. Only the bulbs of floating light attached to the smoothed rock walls lit their way now. Gabbie had hung back, curious about their new hosts.
“They’re elves,” Digitalis replied in exasperation.
“What, really? The people you get confused for?”
“Now you see why I get testy. I look nothing like them.”
“And here I thought elves were supposed to be pretty with names like Arwen and Galadriel,” Gabbie sighed. “Why would the stories on Earth make them out like that?”
“Because we ARE pretty,” Silverskin interjected. Gabbie, Digitalis, and Glue Pot jumped. A jumping centaur is nothing but a hilarious sight. SIlverskin giggled into his hands. “Besides, we have the skill of persuasion. Half humans are highly susceptible. Which reminds me, you should really give me that silver ring. It’s done nothing for you, has it? So, you should just take it off and put it onto my hand.”
“Okay,” Gabbie agreed. Her fingers landed onto her silver ring.
“Silverskin!” Barked Sannier. “Just because she’s half human does not mean you can try and persuade her!” Silverskin tensed and then relented.
“She called us ugly, mother.”
“I did not call you ugly! I just said you weren’t pretty!” Gabbie said a little harshly. She was upset that she had almost given away her most precious possession without hesitation. Gabbie didn’t catch Sannier when she said that she was half human, but Alastair did. So the idea that there weren’t any full blooded human left in Soielle was so ingrained that others believed they were half human was more plausible than full, huh? That may become advantageous later.
“Not pretty may as well be ugly!” Silverskin retorted.
“Will you two knuckleheads be quiet?” Someone called out in an aggravated bark.
“She started the entire debacle!” Silverskin automatically defended himself.
“What? He’s the one who thought I was being mean! I’m not a mean person!” Gabbie pleaded.
“Can’t you two have the decency to let a poor, sick man rest In peace?” Tipper asked dramatically from atop Glue Pot. The centaur staggered on a few loose rocks, and then his face broke out into a joyous grin.
“Hey there! Feeling better?”
“Tipper, you’re awake!” Lila and Zane said in unison.
The Kitsune hopped down from his perch on Glue Pot. He nearly lost his balance, but Perceval was there to keep his friend steady.
“I’m awake, but still weak. I’ll need flames whenever we have time.” He smiled at his companions. “I just didn’t feel like looking like some fainting fool every time a Batal shows its ugly face.”
“I am truly happy that you are feeling up to walking,” Agile said. “You showed true bravery against so many foes.”
“It still wasn’t good enough,” Tipper sighed.
“‘Twas good enough to get your folk here to Rockestel,” Sannier tsked. “You should be glad of that. Now, if we make a turn here, we’ll be right ready to be taken up to the Heights.”
“Ugh,” Adriei shuddered. “The Heights…”