Day 87

“I don’t want to learn how to use my powers. I want tog et back home,” Ginger said. She was apparently awake, too.

“If we learn them, then we can find a way back ourselves,” Gabbie pointed out. “Besides, why would the Elder want us to see her if she wasn’t going to help?”

“Didn’t you see how those elves thought we woke up all the monsters? What’s to say we haven’t? Do you think that he had the best interests in mind for us, or for his people?”

“Ginger…” Alastair said. She did have a point. Why would the Elder help him out of the kindness of his heart?

“If it will put your mind to ease,” Perceval chirped from his resting place, “The Elder wouldn’t jeopardize Tipper’s prophecy. There’s more at stake when a Kitsune can’t fulfill one than being considered a proper adult.”

“Even if I didn’t have the prophecy, I’m willing to keep you all safe,” Tipper agreed. “I think I’ve grown to like being your nanny.”

Alastair saw Ginger’s embarrassed blush.

“We won’t let you chicks come to harms way, neither,” Digitalis chimed in. She gestured to Glue Pot with her shoulder. “I think my Crisis Point is more than just finding out what happened to Pottsville. I want to see this whole thing through.”

“If we’re going to keep you all safe, then I think we need to improve your archery skills, Zane,” Glue Pot pointed out. “They always fell flat.”

“Excuse me for not going out of my way to be an archery queen in my past life.” Zane fiddled with the wooden bow. “They make it look so easy in movies. The hero picks this thing up and boom, they’re suddenly an expert.” He attempted to stretch the bowstring and his arm visibly shook.

“You need to improve on your arms strength is all,” Glue Pot said as if improving arm strength was something Zane could do overnight.

“I’m not very good with my knife either, Zane,” Lila offered. She wiggled her stiletto between her fingers like one would do to make a pencil look like it’s rubber. Lila put it down when she saw Alastair’s warning. Don’t play with sharp objects.

“The only one of us who has got better is Ginger,” Gabbie commented. Was that a tone of envy there in Gabbie’s voice?

“That’s because I’ve become a walking target,” Perceval huffed. “Knives everywhere. I can barely keep my guard down.”

“I wasn’t much use for my parents.” Silverskin whispered and yet everyone could hear. He refused to speak after the first day of their travel. He would only have fleeting talks with Gabbie. Now he watched the palms of his hands tremble. “No one liked me in Rockestel except for my parents, sub-queen Faeley, and Opale. I couldn’t do anything useful like my father being a guard, and so I was just a burden. I his behind my sub-queen Faeley’s protection and did what I wanted without improving what I could do.” Silverskin scraped a hand across his face. “I don’t want to be like that again. I’ll help you all until we reach the Queen. I’ll deliver my message, and if she can’t send you home, I swear I’ll stay with you until the day you can find your way back.”

“Silverskin, you don’t have to go that far,” Gabbie said.

“I do. I made a mess of everything. I need to make this right again.”

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