“Strange,” Bonnie muttered. “Didn’t we agree to go non-stop?”
“We did,” Reginald confirmed. “Of course, they may have decided it was too strenuous. You know how those types are.” He gestured towards Velvet who had fallen into a light sleep propped up against the cavern wall.
“I really should check it out,” Bonnie said. “Will you two be okay while I’m gone?”
“I believe that I can hold this position adequately,” Reginald said. “I make no guarantees for him.”
“Well, he is stupidly strong,” Bonnie said. “He could really burn through the ranks if not for his chronic laziness.”
“Don’t need to go through the ranks,” Velvet muttered. “I’m gonna get rich off of my looks and do nothing for the rest of my life.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know,” Bonnie said. “I’ll be back as quickly as I can.”
She headed into the crowd, making her way toward the front.
“Here,” Lilly said. “Let me hold her for a moment.”
Axra moved over to let Lilly take over. “So, those herbs of yours are ready?”
“Oh, yes,” Lilly said. “I… I hope these will bring her fever down. I… I mean, they should… but it can be hard to tell if, you know, an ailment is brought on by over-using magic.”
“I just hope she comes out okay,” Lysara said, she was gently strumming her lyre.
“Hey, what’s going on?” Bonnie called. Lysara hurriedly moved to block her view of the others.
“Oh, Bon!” she exclaimed. “Did you come to find me? That’s so lovely of you!”
“I actually came to find out why we’ve stopped,” Bonnie said. “It has nothing to do with you.”
“Oh Bon, you’re so transparent,” Lysara stated. “I understand. You want to gaze deeply into my eyes and whisper sweet, sweet poetry in my ears. Oh, it would be a grand romantic moment.” She put a finger up to Bonnie’s lips. “But alas, such things must wait. We are, after all, surrounded on all sides by onlookers and such a romantic display should be in a more… intimate setting. So, I entreat you, wait, Sweet Bon, until this task is done and we can be alone.”
“I’m telling you, that’s not it!” Bonnie cried, her cheeks flushing. “What are they doing over there, anyway?”
“Oh, Twila is taking a nap,” Lysara answered. “And you know how Axra and Lilly are. They just have to keep watch to make sure nothing dangerous is coming.”
Bonnie looked around to make sure there was no one too close. “Twila collapsed, didn’t she?”
Lysara nodded very slightly. “Keep it a secret, okay?” she winked at Bonnie.
“Agreed,” Bonnie said. “Wouldn’t do to cause a panic. I’ll go back to my post.”
“Her fever’s going down,” Axra observed. “Looks like your herbs are working.”
“Thank the Gods,” Lilly whispered.
“So, how soon can we move?” Lysara asked. “It’s getting to the point where they’re starting to ask a lot of questions and I don’t know how much longer I can deflect them.”
“Well, you’ll have to keep it up,” Axra said. “At least for a while longer.”
“Th… that isn’t the only problem,” Lilly said. “Th… the darkvision spell is going to wear off soon. If… if it doesn’t get renewed you and Velvet will be the only ones who can see.”
The three of them were interrupted by the sound of Fang screeching overhead.
“And there’s another problem,” Axra said. “Lilly, guard Twila. Lysara and I will deal with them.”
“What are they?” Lysara asked.
It was a good question. One that Axra couldn’t answer. They looked skeletal with some throbbing veins stretched along them and bat-like wings keeping them aloft. In their visible sockets flashed eerie green lights. They carried an assortment of spears, tridents, maces and blades.
“Too many,” Lysara muttered. “There are definitely too many.”
“Fourteen to two,” Axra stated. “We’ll just have to do it.” She gave Todberührung a practice swing. “I definitely won’t let you bastards touch Twila or Lilly!”