Both Twila and Axra slept late, emerging from their respective tents to the smell of something cooking.
“Go… good morning,” Lilly said.
“Ahh, my lovely ladies are finally awake,” Reginald greeted them. “Your humble, and ever so willing, servant has cooked you a breakfast worthy of a Goddess.”
“Bon,” Lysara sang “Say ahh.”
“I’m not eating off of your fork,” Bonnie said.
“Oh, come one,” Lysara said. “Please.”
“No,” Bonnie stated. “I’ve got my own. I don’t need yours too.”
“Then give me some of yours,” Lysara said. “And I’ll give you some of mine.”
“There’s no point to it,” Bonnie said.
Lysara put her fork down and looked away. “I just wanted to feed you,” she muttered. “Then I wanted you to feed me and we could call each other pet names. It was gonna be romantic.”
“Fine,” Bonnie sighed. “If it means that much to you.”
“Really?” Lysara asked. “That’s great!”
“Did I miss something?” Axra asked. “When did those two start… getting romantic?”
“Oh… umm they… they went off to talk while you and Twila were resting,” Lilly said. “W… when they returned they were… like that.”
“Good for Bonnie,” Axra said.
“Disgusting,” Reginald whispered.
“How so?” Axra asked.
“Oh, not the lovely ladies, of course,” Reginald said. “Bad timing on my part, I’m afraid. No, I was referring to that insect.” He gestured.
“It’s just a beetle,” Axra said. “Albeit a really big one.”
“It’s also hairy and that face,” Reginald said. “Yuck.”
“I… I think it’s kind of cute,” Lilly said.
Axra laughed. “You would.”
The group finished eating, packed up and moved back to the stone wall. Once more, Twila cast her phasing spell and the group moved through the stone and back into the previously lost city.
“I don’t suppose you’re going to bridge us over the gaps this time,” Velvet said.
Axra hit him in the back of the head. “We can jump it. There’s no need for her to exhaust herself.”
“Jumping’s a pain,” Velvet muttered. He shrugged his shoulders. “Oh well, if I must.”
Axra turned to Lilly. “Don’t worry. I’ll carry you again.”
“Y… you don’t… I mean… I… I can,” Lilly was trying to be brave, Axra knew. She put a reassuring hand on Lilly’s shoulder.
“Don’t force yourself,” Axra said. “It’s not a problem. I’ll take you over the gaps.”
Lysara linked arms with Bonnie. “Bon, let’s jump over them together.”
“It’s fine by me,” Bonnie said. “But keep an eye out. If those reaper things return we want to be ready.”
“No worries at all,” Lysara said. “I’m very observant.”
“Who do you suppose sent them anyway?” Axra asked. “Did someone follow us down here?”
“Not closely,” Bonnie said. “I would have seen them. If they did follow us, they waited until we had a very wide head start before coming through. Could the psyrens have sent them?”
“That is possible,” Twila stated. “If some reapers were left down here they could have been being controlled by the psyrens in a bid to keep the dark elves down here. However, one thing bothers me about that theory.”
“What’s that?” Axra asked.
“Well, nothing happened after the reapers were destroyed,” Twila said. “Psyrens can survive the destruction or deaths of the bodies they inhabit. If they were responsible, it’s strange that they’d give up without trying to possess anyone else.”
“Perhaps you’re over-thinking things, Dear Lady,” Reginald said. “Just because they can survive doesn’t mean they will. Perhaps we were fortunate and all of them were slain.”
“It’s just so… improbable,” Twila stated. “The odds of any given psyren surviving something like that are roughly 65%. The chances of a large number all being killed are very remote indeed.”
“Maybe the ones way don here are less resistant,” Lysara suggested. “I mean, no one resisted them for a while, right?”
“I suppose it’s possible,” Twila said.
“Well, we’ll deal with it if more show up,” Axra said.
The group continued their downward trek. Fang shifted between flying in the air and resting on Twila’s shoulder. They eventually stopped to rest at the same spot they had before. All of them kept their eyes out for any threats, but none were in sight this time.
“Things are going smoothly this time around,” Lysara said. “Isn’t that great, Bon?”
“Not particularly,” Bonnie said.
“Don’t tell me you want to slice things open,” Axra said. “I didn’t think you were that type.”
“I’m not,” Bonnie said. “However, Princess, there’s an old military saying. ‘there is such a thing as a potential combat zone that’s too quiet’ and I think this may be one of them.”
“You think someone’s watching us?” Velvet asked. “While we’re on these not particularly wide steps with nothing in sight?”
“Twila,” Bonnie said. “Do you sense any magic at work?”
Twila took a moment to cast a quick detection spell. “None.”
“Feel better?” Axra asked.
“I should,” Bonnie admitted. “But I can’t help but feel like we’re being lulled into a sense of security, before a major attack.”