Twila sat still, thinking. She had her link to Fang, but the little dragon wouldn’t turn back when she was in danger. Even if she ordered him to. He was surprisingly stubborn in that regard.
The defect wasn’t strong enough to get a normal message out, they’d really planned this out. She glanced at Reginald. How dedicated was he to this cause, she wondered.
“You seem like a reasonable man,” she began. “Why are you fighting for this mad cause?”
“The cause isn’t mad,” Reginald said. “You haven’t noticed, have you? The effect you and those like you have on everything. Take the quest your father and uncle undertook to retrieve the gauntlet of Zeus. The hybrids in the group drove away their strongest warrior and the result was disastrous. Nervius was leveled and many lost their lives.”
“By the strongest warrior… what do you mean?” Twila asked.
“The great elf Erron,” Reginald said. “The hybrids were uncomfortable around him and they drove him away. Now… now all the stories spread the lie that he was an incompetent fool. They paint him as a joke.”
“The man broke his hand punching a golem while shouting that he was a man,” Twila said. “When he left to return to his people no one was concerned because he wasn’t helpful. I don’t think anything would’ve changed with him there.”
“Lies!” Reginald cried. “My father was a great man and that… trash turned him into a joke. It left him bitter and broken.”
“Your father…” Twila muttered. “I see, that’s what this is about.”
She kept silent after that. What could you tell a man who was convinced that his family had been wronged? Obviously, he knew how all the stories portrayed his father and that clearly wasn’t enough to persuade him that his father had not been a great warrior.
What else could she do? Maybe she could send information to Axra and the others using her link to Fang. She concentrated, trying to send a message into his mind. She stopped after a few minutes. There was no way she was going to be able to connect their minds long enough to send any substantial method.
“Think, Twila. Think. There has to be something… Maybe… maybe I could use Fang as a conduit. I couldn’t get a long message out but if I performed a sending spell to someone attuned to mental links I might be able to manage a short one. I only need one word.”
Twila allowed herself a short smile. There was one person she might be able to reach. She gave herself a moment to rest before making the attempt.
Axra watched the little dragon flying in front of them impatiently. If only she knew where Twila was then she could get there so much faster. As it was, she had to watch this tiny dragon flap his way forward. Would Twila be okay while they were stuck going this slowly?
In the rear, Bonnie had her own concerns. Reginald had enough of a head start to reach his destination, that was certain. Fang looked fine, so Twila had to still be alive, but what was her condition? Further, how many enemies were they looking at? Could the five of them really manage it?
“Lysara,” Bonnie said. “Can you do me a favour?”
Lysara moved her horse alongside Bonnie’s and reached over to hold her hand.
“What do you need, Bon?”
“I need you to go back and apprise the underground of our situation,” Bonnie said. “Maybe the matriarch can send us some reinforcements.”
Lysara studied Bonnie for a moment. “Okay. How will I find you guys again?”
“Well…” Bonnie paused. They hadn’t left a trail and even if they tried to leave one starting now the path they were on wasn’t uncommonly used. Any physical sign they left would almost surely be trampled. Anything they left would be taken by other travelers.
“Never mind,” Bonnie sighed.
“You mean, you hadn’t thought of something?” Lysara asked.
“Sorry,” Bonnie said. “I guess I just wasn’t thinking of that.”
“Did you think, perhaps, that my love would carry me to you?” Lysara asked. “I didn’t take you as the type to be that romantic.”
“I didn’t think that at all,” Bonnie stated.
Lysara laughed. “You’re really cute when you’re embarrassed.”
“Hey,” Axra said. “Can you fly faster?”
Fang looked back at her and let out a tiny roar.
“He… he’s going as fast as he can,” Lilly said. “He… he’s small and all.”
“Dammit,” Axra muttered. She glanced at Lilly. “Can you understand him well enough to follow his directions?”
“Yo… you mean if he was telling me instead of leading the way?” Lilly asked. “I… I might be able to.”
“We’ll try it,” Axra said. “Fang, ride with Lilly. If she misunderstands your directions you can always fly away from her, right?”
Fang looked from Axra to Lilly. He let out a grunt of agreement and landed on Lilly’s shoulder.
Lilly moved her horse to the front and sped up, listening intently to the dragon’s grunts and turning accordingly.
Axra watched with some small satisfaction. This would work!
“Hang on, Twila,” she whispered. “I’ll definitely save you.”