Cassandra went to check up on her daughter as soon as she heard the news.
“How is she doing?”
“She’ll recover,” Susan answered. “She just needs some time to rest and recuperate. Artura found her before the fire could reach her.”
“And you say Courtney pulled the arrow out of her own side?” Cassandra asked.
“That seems to be the case,” Susan answered. “Artura said she was the only Amazon in sight and there’s no way anyone would have taken care of it and just left her there.”
“True enough,” Cassandra said. “And Artura doesn’t lie.”
“She’s a tough girl,” Susan said. “Probably gets it from her mum.”
Cassandra nodded. “I have to go greet our allies. I’ll be back to see her for a longer visit after I’ve got that sorted.”
“I’ll let her sleep until you return,” Susan said.
Cassandra was delighted to see the dryads, pixies and centaurs arrive. It more than doubled their fighting forces.
She was very surprised to see Caroline riding on a pretty, young centaur.
Didn’t know the old girl still had it in her,” Cassandra muttered.
She waited until Caroline was back on the ground before approaching.
“Let me introduce you,” Caroline said. She was blatantly avoiding looking Cassandra in the eye. “This is Nimble Lilac. She’s the acting war leader of the pixies appointed by Lady Rose herself.”
“Well met, Queen Klais,” Lilac said. “You can rely on our support.”
“I truly appreciate that,” Cassandra said, leaning down to look the pixie in the eyes.
“And this,” Caroline continued “Is Elkroot Thistle, appointed leader of the dryad soldiers.”
“We will follow your lead to the best of our ability,” Elkroot stated.
Cassandra couldn’t tell whether the dryad was male or female. She held out her hand. “We know we can count on you. Your people are among our oldest, most trusted allies.”
“And this is Ida Swifthoof, new leader of the centaurs,” Caroline gestured to the centaur she’d been riding.
“I knew your predecessor well,” Cassandra said. “And I know we can count on your people. Especially given your apparent relationship with my advisor.” She managed to refrain from laughing at Caroline’s clear embarrassment.
“Well, a lot happened during our time together,” Ida stated. She hugged Caroline from behind.
“So I gather,” Cassandra stated. “I’ll let you all get settled for tonight. The leaders of all our groups will have a conference at first light to discuss our next move against the Torlans. Rose and Rachel can show you all to the accommodations we’ve set up for you. They’re temporary, but they should serve you well enough. Although Caroline can show you to hers if you’d prefer, Lady Swifthoof.”
While the Amazons were welcoming their allies, so were the Torlans. The Pyre clan marched into their base camp, greeted quickly by Maximilian and Miranda.
“You must be Mistress Shauna,” Maximilian stated. He bowed deeply. “Thank you for cooperating with us.”
“There is no need to thank me,” Shauna stated. “I simply made a deal that should be in both our best interests. These are my unit leaders, Izuki & Reo.”
“Pleased to meet you both,” Maximilian stated. “This is my Vice Captain, Miranda Pienta.”
“Ah yes, I heard your name mentioned,” Shauna said. “So good to meet you, Miss Pienta,”
“Likewise,” Miranda said. “Janice has spoken fondly of you.”
“If it’s all right with you, I would like to meet with you and your commanders as soon as possible,” Maximilian interjected.
Shauna nodded. “Izuki and Reo will go with you. They can report back to me and I can make any final decisions. Everyone else can begin setting up their tents for our stay. Miss Pienta, if you would be so kind as to show me where Janice is. There are… urgent matters I would speak with her about.”
Miranda glanced at Maximilian. “Yes, I can show you to our medical tent. Janice should be there now.”
“Medical tent?” Shauna asked.
“I’m afraid she was injured during a scouting mission,” Miranda stated. “She’s in no danger, but she is resting to fully recover from her wounds.”
“All the more reason for me to see her,” Shauna said. “Please, lead the way.”