Sannier held up her rough hands when the group settled onto a cracked patch of earth. She waved her right hand in a diagonal motion, up, down, and then up again. Her left hand scooped the air while her fingers arched towards the orb hovering above them. The land at their feet rumbled like a tiger growling before it pounced onto its kill. Alastair instinctively took Lila by the hand. Perceval lent her his back in case she tumbled over. Lila felt like she was being mollycoddled by her parents. She wriggled free of Alastair and only let Perceval’s tawny fur barely touch her leg. She was nine and almost as tall as Zane. Lila did not need to be babied.
Zane shared different thoughts. The rocks underneath their feet shuddered until a piece of the earth uprooted itself from the mountain due to Sannier’s magical administrations. Zane was too far to huddle with Ginger and Gabbie, and so he dove for Glue Pot’s front left leg. The centaur patted the boy’s head as he huddled close. Zane wanted to thank his friend, but remained silent when he saw that Glue Pot was as green as broccoli. He supposed that it would make sense that centaurs would be afraid of heights. He peered over his shoulder at Adriei. The guard was trying to avoid looking down by speaking with Agile. Zane mulled over that thought. Tried not to look down. The boy knew that they were moving, just not where. He gingerly looked over the lip of the piece of rock the company stood on.
Thanks to Zane’s extremely religious and diligent calculations, he could safely assume that they were really, really, really high up. He felt his stomach churn around with jerky and water. Zane clutched at Glue Pot’s leg even tighter. Glue Pot in turn patted Zane’s head with more vigor as they shared in their fear of heights together.
“Wow!” Gabbie cheered. “This is fantastic! Hi everyone!” She ran around on the chunk of rock, waving at the bewildered elves going about their daily business. “Hi! Nice to meet you! How’s your day going?”
“I don’t know her,” Ginger sighed when the elves stared at her for some sort of explanation.
“Mother, we took in lunatics,” Silverskin said. He tugged at his mother’s tunic. She ignored the elf boy, too focused on her task of taking the company up to her dwelling.
“Looks like we’ll be right next to sub-queen Faeley,” Digitalis mused.
“I think our host is a minor royal guard herself,” Tipper wheezed. He leaned his shoulder on Digitalis. She absently supported his weight.
“We’re meeting all of the top notch people now, aren’t we?”
“That’s what happens on prophecies.”
“You mean on Crisis Points.”
The two glared with humor at one another and broke into a small fit of laughter.
“Ah, there we go! Come now, lovelies. This is our stop,” Sannier called out. The rock platform was level with a residence’s ledge. Sannier’s hand were held out straight in front of her chest. “The door should be open. My husband’s out on patrol right now, so there’s no worrying about frightening someone.”
“They frighten me,” Silverskin said. He trotted with ease onto the landing of his house. “Come on, come on. Just don’t fall. We can’t catch you if you do.”