Sannier stared at her feet as her husband rubbed her back.
“I am generally open minded. Not all humans were destructive, but that no longer matters now. I need to take care of my people. I need to rebuild. I cannot take care of human children in a state like this.” She waved her hand to indicate the warren. Behind her, other elves poked their head around corners, trying to listen into the conversation. Some of them whispered in terrier squeaks about humans and the cause of their home’s demolition.
“I do agree,” Tipper replied. “I was planning on leaving in as to not impose.”
“If you agree, then you must also agree on this.”
Tipper bit his lip as if he missed an important piece on a chess board that led to his losing. He sighed and inclined his head to indicate for her to keep talking.
“I need you to take Silverskin on your journey to meet with Queen Inana.”
“My queen,” Sannier exclaimed.
“As I understand it, the boy is the reason why the human girl made contact with the lake in the first place. There is a reason why there is a curfew. There is a reason why it is forbidden to get near the lake. He broke these vital laws, and he should be the one to bare the news to Queen Inana herself. The humiliation itself should be enough of a punishment for the boy.” The sub-queen sternly walked over to where Silverstood stood shivering. “This is also for your protection as much as it is a punishment. With time, Rockestel will forgive you, but seeing as you are shunned simply for how you look, this will be another stone you must bear against your fellow elves. I believe time away will cool their tempers.”
Sub-queen Faeley, despite her harsh words, was trying to spare Silverskin.
“I-I’ll do it!” Silverskin said.
“Good.” Sub-queen Faeley turned to Tipper and Perceval. “Again, I must ask. Do you accept the consequences of your charge’s actions?”
“Yes, sub-queen,” both Tipper and Perceval said. They respectfully dipped their heads.
Sub-queen Faeley then turned to Sannier and her husband. There were tears sliding down their cheeks, but they kept themselves composed.
“And you, my faithful soldiers? Do you accept your offspring’s mission?”
“Splendid. I need all of you out as soon as possible. It’s is of the utmost importance that you take a message to Queen Inana of what transpired.” With that, the sub-queen sat directly on the floor just like any person who had done too much would do. She undid her hair, letting the black waves fall to her shoulders and scrubbed at the back of her head. “Sannier, if you would prepare provisions for our guests, that would be most appreciated.”
The sub-queen, acting very much un-queenly, glanced over at the children.
“Just because I’m sending you away doesn’t mean I don’t like you.” The sub-queen shrugged. “Besides, I can only assume that you’d want to get to Queen Inana as fast as possible. Maybe to go home? To learn your magical afflictions?”
“Yes, we want to go home! Can Queen Inana do that?” Asked Ginger.
“If anyone can send you home, she’s the one to do it.” Faeley pulled out a strip of jerky from on pouch tied onto her belt. She bit into the hard meat and chewed. Loudly. The Royal Guard tried to cover their chuckles.
“And magic. The Elder said something about that, too. She can figure out what we can do?” Questioned Alastair.