“Where in Jeriska are your aunts?” Bonnie asked.
“Do they run one of the hot springs?” Lysara asked. “We could totally stay with them a few days!”
“They don’t run one,” Twila said. “They’re just resting from their adventures for a couple weeks.”
“What kind of adventures do they have?” Lysara asked.
“They don’t have the kind of dangerous ones they used to,” Twila said. “they mostly just wander and help wherever they can.”
“Seems I’ve heard stories about that,” Bonnie said. “Two lady adventurers who help those in need… There was something strange about them, but I can’t remember what.”
“Well,” Reginald said. “I should see to our supplies while we’re in town. So, just go meet them without me.”
“Are you sure?” Twila asked.
“Absolutely,” Reginald said.
“Well, I may have to go for a while,” Twila said. “So, just meet up with everyone else.”
“You shouldn’t go alone,” Bonnie said. “It might not be safe.”
“Oh, yeah,” Velvet agreed, not bothering to move his hat off of his face. “I’ll go with him.”
“It’s a resort town,” Reginald said. “I very much doubt there will be danger, but I would appreciate the company.”
They dropped their horses off at a stable near the gate and proceeded on foot. Except for Velvet who stayed in his dog-drawn wagon.
The ladies headed for one of the Inns while Reginald and Velvet went off to get supplies.
“This is the one,” Twila said.
“I… it looks very nice,” Lilly commented.
“It looks expensive,” Bonnie said.
“Worried about the price?” Axra said. “Don’t worry, I’ve got it.”
“We don’t have to book rooms,” Twila said. “We can just go inside and talk with them.”
“But it’s so luxurious!” Lysara declared. “Can’t we stay here?”
“The inn across the street is perfectly fine,” Twila said. “And much cheaper. We should save our coin for important things.”
Twila was able to get instructions to her aunts’ room at the front desk and they went up the stairs to it.
Twila knocked on the door. “Aunt Reira, Aunt Lexine. Are you decent?”
The door slid open. A brown-haired half elf with a patch over her left eye stood there. She was wearing a simple tunic.
“Twila? We weren’t expecting you so soon.” She stood aside to admit them. The room had a very small love-seat with just enough room for two people if they sat very close together. It also had a short table with a steaming kettle sitting on it. Near the table was a small fire pit made with stones and a metal rack. The second half had a door leading into it. Currently it was slightly ajar. Axra could just see a heart-shaped bed inside. Near the entrance a pair of bagh nakh, a sword and a shield were propped against the wall. A set of armour had been carefully placed in the corner.
“We made good progress,” Twila said. “Where’s Aunt Reira?”
“She went to take a dip in the spring,” Lexine said. She looked over at Axra, Lilly, Bonnie and Lysara. “These must be your friends. Axra, Lilly and…”
“Lysara and Bonnie,” Twila said, indicating each one in turn.
“Of course,” Lexine said. “Good to meet you both. I was just having some tea, would you like some?”
She got some extra cups and poured some for each of the girls before putting more water on to boil.
Twila had started telling Lexine about her adventures when Axra heard very small footfalls behind them. She turned to see a petite woman, not quite five feet tall and wearing a robe. She had slightly pointed ears, greyish purple hair tied in a ponytail and bright green eyes. There was something very otherworldly about her.
“I suppose there is,” the woman said, as though reading Axra’s thoughts. “I like to think it accentuates my beauty.”
“Aunt Reira,” Twila said.
“Little Twila,” Reira said. “I see you’ve found some pretty friends.” She looked over at Bonnie. “No need to be so suspicious, Miss Calendula. No one here has any designs on your Mistress. Well, not any hostile ones at any rate.And no, Miss Hart, this isn’t some cheap magic trick. Why, the very thought.” She winked at Lilly. “Why yes, Miss Valvye, I can read minds. How astute of you to notice. And no, I won’t tell them that. I’m, not tactless.”
“Sorry,” Twila said, stroking Fang’s head. “I should have warned you all.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Reira said. “It’s more fun this way. So, you want to visit the Djinn and find out who this Gail person is. She does seem terrifying based on what you’ve seen of her. Although there is evidence to suggest that she’s not going to try to harm you, but who knows what could happen if she just decides to take Miss Valvye with her.”
“So, you now know our situation,” Twila said. “Will you…”
“Take you there?” Reira asked. “I will. It’ll be a quick journey if you’re with me.”
“Thank you,” Twila said. She turned to the others. “Sta at the Inn for a little while. I’ll be back shortly.”
“Wait,” Axra said. “Why can’t we come along?”
“W… we wouldn’t be in the way,” Lilly said. “W… we could even help.”
“I know,” Twila said. “But the place I have to go… It isn’t one that just anyone can access.”
“True enough,” Reira said. “But I’ll allow those two to come along,” she nodded towards Lilly and Axra. “I’m confident that they can be trusted to keep the secret.”
“Wait a moment!” Lysara demanded. “I…”
“Will tell anything that makes for a good story,” Reira said. She looked at Bonnie. “And you’ll report it to your masters as part of your duty.”
“If it’s something they should know,” Bonnie admitted.
“Then it’s settled,” Reira said. “I’ll get properly dressed, prepare the teleport spell and the four of us can be off quickly.” She moved over and kissed Lexine’s cheek. “Just wait for an hour. I’ll have them there and be back in no time.”