“But we can’t do that, Zarentil!” Danielle cried. “We don’t have our loved ones back yet—I’m sorry, Bettina…you know what I mean, right?—and they may have something important to report to us. Desperately important!”
Freida nodded vigorously, with Tiny’s head propping up her hand.
Anders nodded but felt very conflicted. No words came. While he had loved ones everywhere, he knew that his cousin and aunt were at grave risk and intervention was needed immediately. He could only hope that the others were all safe, but the urgency for rescue was immediate.
“Trust, we must,” Lohxnahr hummed. “In Providence, we trust. Easier this is, with this unexpected revelation of oneness between the sister and her brother. Insight it provides. Timely, yes, but gossamer-like. Transitory. Little time to tarry. Go, we must. Trust, we must.”
With a foreboding she couldn’t explain or shake, Danielle consented to the guidance of Lohxnahr. It was easier to do so because of Anders diagramming, as best he could, where they’d be going and what they might face. She was also encouraged by the change in Bettina. While she’d already seemed bolder and more confident after her inward journey with Zarentil and Lohxnahr, now that she’d somehow connected with Paign, her attitude was intense and focused.
Anders scurried around quickly, gathering up his weapons retrieved a day earlier with the help of Lohxnahr.
As he did so, Tiny sensed the energy shift and suddenly splayed his front paws out low so that his chin nearly touched the ground while his tail stood proud. Beginning at Freida, he growled and then ran around to each of the other kids to announce his readiness for action.
The moment had come. Lohxnahr, grinning so wide it tilted his horns, reached one hand out to Danielle and the other to Freida. Anders worked Tiny in between him and Freida. Bettina clutched Danielle’s free hand. Zarentil waited until all were ready and in position before stepping into the gap. Both Anders and Bettina leaned down awkwardly to reach his hands. Zarentil reached up in turn to take their hands, then nodded slightly to Lohxnahr.
They were gone. The desperate mission to rescue Paign and his mother, from the very stronghold of Kahrnahrgx, had finally commenced.
There would be no diversionary assault, after all.
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