The party moved through the air, confident that there wouldn’t be any more trouble now that they’d dealt with the last of the Hestial League members who had followed them.
Save for Bonnie who was watching the ground carefully. Wondering if it was possible that there had been more in their group that hadn’t approached her. More who were still after them. She didn’t share her concerns with the others, though. She’d bring it up if she saw some evidence, otherwise they’d just call her paranoid. Still, she had to protect the Princess and she had no greater desire than to protect Lysara. A certain amount of caution was necessary for those goals.
Bonnie glanced over at the woman she loved. The woman who, against everything she’d dared hoped, loved her back. Lysara was floating near Velvet. Occasionally she’d turn to him and open her mouth as though she were going to say something, only to quickly close it again.
She thought about floating over, helping Lysara with whatever question she really wanted to ask, but she thought better of it. If Lysara needed her, she’d come get her. Besides, it might be a question that Lysara couldn’t really ask in front of her. So, Bonnie resumed her study of the ground below.
Axra floated over to Twila.
“You know,” Axra said. “It’s weird seeing your little dragon on your shoulder in mid-air.”
“Well, he can’t float as well as us,” Twila said. “And his wings do get tired.”
“Couldn’t you use the spell on him too?” Axra asked.
Twila shook her head. “Since dragons can fly under normal circumstances, using a flight spell doesn’t effect them. Unless you do it to a ground dragon or one that’s lost its wings. You could use magic to make one fly faster or otherwise enhance its flight abilities, but this kind of spell won’t do anything to a creature that can already fly. It would be like casting a water breathing spell on a fish or casting a darkvision spell on you, the redundancy makes it ineffective.”
“I get it,” Axra said. “Don’t need a spell for what we can already do. So, how far to the ruins we need to reach?”
“Well, we are going faster since there isn’t any rough terrain and the physical exertion is minimal,” Twila said. “If I had to make an estimate based on our current speed and accounting for the brief time it takes to land and recast the spell, plus stopping to eat…” She paused.
Axra noted that she pursed her lips and put a single finger up to them when she was calculating. It actually made her look really pretty. “I’d say that we’ll probably arrive tomorrow night. Assuming that we don’t have to stop to fight any more enemies, of course.” Twila chuckled for a moment. “And assuming that we actually have been resting at night. It’s impossible to tell down here.”
“Awesome,” Axra stated. “We can rest outside and then grab the…” Axra paused, not remembering the name.
“Zerstörelicht ,” Twila said.
“Yeah, that,” Axra said. “You really have a good memory.”
“Wh… what worries me,” Lilly said. Both Axra and Twila looked over at her. Axra wasn’t sure how long she’d been near them. “Is… is that we, you know, don’t know what it… looks like.”
“That shouldn’t present a problem,” Twila said. “I should be able to use a spell to identify any magic objects or weapons in the area.”
“Yeah, it’ll be a snap,” Axra said.
“I… I wonder,” Lilly said.
“Hey, Velvet,” Lysara said. “Can I ask you a quick question?”
“I suppose,” Velvet said.
“Why are you so defensive about your mom?” Lysara asked. “I mean, she was super nice when we all met her, but didn’t you go a bit far?”
“Well, I don’t think anyone should be going around talking bad about someone’s mum,” Velvet said. “Especially when she isn’t around to defend herself. Talking bad about me is one thing. I don’t mind that, but my mum was always there for me. She looked after me and my dad. She ran the business basically by her lonesome and had to come home and make us do the housework. She never said anything bad about anyone behind their back. If I do anything that helps anyone, it’s because of the way she raised me.”
“I understand,” Lysara said. “Still, wasn’t killing someone over it a bit much?”
“Well, I didn’t really mean to kill him,” Velvet said. “I just lose control of my strength when I get mad. It’s one of the reasons I keep calm, mosta the time.”
“Is that so,” Lysara muttered. “I’m surprised it hasn’t gotten you into serious trouble.”
Velvet shrugged. “Almost did, once. But King Axel said he’d deal with that if I put my strength to use for him for a while. Kind of a habit of his, really. Bringin people with a lot of strength or skill to serve him and pardonin them for their past. I think most of us who served the palace personally were like that. Except Lilly and maybe a few others.”
“I never knew that,” Lysara said. She glanced back at Bonnie. “Well, thanks for sharing. You don’t mind if I talk about your devotion to your mom when I tell this story, do you?”
“I don’t care,” Velvet said. “Whatever you gotta do.”
Lysara nodded and floated over to Bonnie. “Hey, Bon… I was just wondering, how did you come to serve Kings Axel and Zero?”
Bonnie stared at her, face blank. When she spoke, her tone was very controlled and emotionless. “I don’t remember.”
“Oh, were you really young?” Lysara asked. “You must have been super cute even then!”
“I said I don’t remember,” Bonnie snapped. “So just drop it, okay?”
“Sorry,” Lysara said in a low tone. “I didn’t mean to upset you.”
“I’m not upset,” Bonnie said. “Just… just forget it, okay? It’s been a long day and I’m a little tired.”
Lysara nodded, uncertainly. “Sure thing, Bon. I’m sure that’s all it is.”
They floated side by side. Neither one saying a word nor looking at each other.