Axra and Lilly found the rooms that Lysara and the others were staying in without any trouble. There were two of them, side by side. There was no answer from the first so they moved to the second. Inside, they found Velvet lying on the floor with his dogs surrounding him. The canines promptly rose and moved over to Lilly.
“That didn’t take too long,” Velvet muttered.
“We’re leaving in the morning,” Axra said. “Be ready.”
“What a hassle,” Velvet said.
“Ummm, where are Lysara and Bonnie?” Lilly asked.
“They’re at a local tavern. The Quail’s claw or something,” Velvet answered. “Reginald is resting in the room right now.”
“Who?” Axra asked.
“The elf who helped us while Velvet and Bonnie were away,” Lilly explained.
“Oh, right,” Axra said. “I forgot about him for a moment.” She shrugged. “Well, you and Reginald can prepare the supplies. Lilly and I will go fetch Bonnie and, I guess, Lysara.”
Twila and Fang arrived just in time to meet Reira and Lexine on their way out.
“Wow, you finished your research much faster than I thought you would,” Lexine said.
“Our young Twila’s a smart young woman,” Reira stated. “Let’s see… oh my, that is bad.”
“I just came to thank you,” Twila said. “For all your help.”
“Are you going to need help against Eritos?” Reira asked.
“Don’t worry about Eritos,” Twila answered. “I’ll think of something.”
“Well, if you change your mind you know sending spells,” Reira said.
“Just once I wish you’d let her explain so I know what’s going on,” Lexine said. “You’re always like this.”
“And yet you never stop loving me even for a second,” Reira said. “Don’t worry. I’ll explain later.”
“Well, I should be getting back to the others,” Twila said. “I wish you both well with your travels.”
“And we wish you and your companions well,” Lexine said.
“Hold up,” Reira said. “About this difficult decision of yours. Sometimes, the best choices aren’t the most obvious.”
Lysara played her lyre while singing a melody for the tavern’s patrons. Several stopped by to drop coins in her bag while she worked. She finished her set and went to grab a drink when a young nobleman approached her.
“You have a lovely voice, Dear Lady,” he said. “Perhaps you’d care to ditch your bodyguard and grant me a private performance?”
“No thanks,” Lysara said. “And Bon isn’t my bodyguard. She’s a friend.”
“oh yes, I see,” he said. “Well, it’s disappointing but I understand.” He dropped some coins on the counter in front of her. “The songs were lovely. I do hope you’ll continue performing.”
He walked away whistling happily.
“Thought I was going to have to break his arm,” Bonnie muttered.
Lysara laughed. “Oh, Bon. Not everyone who approaches me is a fiend who needs to be beaten back.”
“I’m just looking out for you,” Bonnie said.
“And I appreciate it,” Lysara said. “You want a drink?”
“No,” Bonnie said. “And don’t have too much. I don’t wanna have to carry you back to the room again.”
“That only happened once,” Lysara protested.
“And we’ve only been waiting a few days,” Bonnie said.
“Bonnie!” Axra called. She and Lilly hurried over. “I’s a good thing we found you. That idiot told us you were at the Quail’s Claw.”
“How do you even confuse that with the Falcon’s Feather?” Lysara asked. She looked around. “Where’s Twila?”
Bonnie turned and saluted. “Ready for orders, Highness.”
“Where’s Twila?” Lysara asked.
“I don’t have much for you in terms of orders,” Axra said. “Just be ready to depart tomorrow morning.”
“Understood,” Bonnie said.
“Hey, where’s Twila?” Lysara asked.
“She… she went to see her aunts real quick,” Lilly answered.
“That stinks,” Lysara muttered. She pouted for a moment and drained her glass. She hiccuped and fell over. Lilly moved over to check on her.
“Request permission to take her back to the Inn,” Bonnie said.
“Go for it,” Axra said. Bonnie knelt down and cradled Lysara’s sleeping body in her arms. She then managed to get her lyre under her right arm.
Axra looked over at Lilly. “Well, that was weird.”
“She… she doesn’t seem good at handling her liqueur,” Lilly observed. “I hope she doesn’t have a really bad hangover.”
“If she does I’m talking super loudly,” Axra said. “Come on. Let’s go meet up with Twila and the three of us’ll get our own room.”