(Link to Part 25)
When we walked for maybe an entire mile without being attacked, I turned to Davis. "What does it mean to be half fae?" I asked.
"You might, or might not, inherit the fae powers," he said, then gave a shrug. "You've shown sign of having inherited at least some, so I think we can assume there might be others. Fae come in clans, though, and different clans have different gifts."
"There's a Protector Clan?" I asked.
"No. The Protectors can be born to any clan. They have special abilities which help them protect others in danger. They usually only appear when there is a serious danger that threatens the fae lands."
"That's not good," I said and felt another chill. "I don't know what I'm doing. I don't even know what I am."
"We'll help you," Maggie said. "At least now I know why Edmond had the vision and knew I had to save you and get you into Elsewhere."
"Unless I'm supossed to be helping the humans," I said. "Didn't you say there might be were infestation? Werewolves?"
"Were come in all types. The larger mammals are the worst, but hordes of smaller ones can dangerous. Usually we figure it out before it spreads very far," Davis said. He shook his head. "I have the feeling of things out of balance, though. Edmond? What can you tell us?"
Edmond had been walking beside Lord Snow, both of them keeping a curious look around the cobblestone streets. I could see a few faces peak out here and there, and not many of them human. Fae. I had the feeling, though, that our passage had been marked and people were doing their best to stay out of the way.
Edmond moved up beside me and gave me a quick, curious look. "I didn't see much in the visions," he said. I had forgotten the visions. "I had the feeling Mark really, really would need to be on this side of the gate. At first I thought I was going to need his help -- but the more I thought about it, the more it seemed as though everyone needed him."
"That's not reassuring," I said. "What can I do that the rest of you can't?"
"We aren't fae," Davis replied. "Not even half fae for Maggie and me. So the question doesn't really apply to us. We need to get to the fae court and find out what they think."
"There has been a singular lack of fae around," Maggie added. "That's not usual. We've dealt with just about everything but one of them."
"They're worried about meeting me?"
"They're worried about something," she said. "I can't be sure what it might be."
"Fate, perhaps," Davis said. "The one thing the fae fear the most is that they might fall into some trap that fate sat along the way."
"But how do they know what they're doing now isn't the part fate sat out and they'd be wiser to come out?"
"They don't," Davis said and smiled. "But the logic is that if they are doing something they think about, then fate isn't involved. The fae had a very skewed idea of logic."
"That comes from living with magic," Maggie added. "When you can change the path of nature with a wish and a wave of your hand, then you start seeing logical conclusions as superfluous."
Davis laughed. Maybe it was a joke, but I couldn't tell. I needed more information. I needed to know what anyone expected of me.
"Why are we going to the court?" I asked.
"We need for the court to agree to your status," Maggie said. She couldn't quite hide her worry, which meant this wasn't going to be a simple act of showing up. "I've worked with them for years now, and I'm a messenger of the court, which gives me some powers and protections, which may be part of the reason no one has tried to stop us to talk. I am sure they're curious. But the reason we're going to the court is if they sanction you, then we can call on some allies to help against whatever is trying to kill you."
"But we already have allies, right?" I asked.
She nodded. "The Ice Dragon isn't someone the others are going to want to upset. Lord Snow's presence with us is a sign, and I'm hoping it's enough to get us to the court. However, there are others as powerful as Lord Ice who might see this as a challenge to their power base, even if they don't know anything else of what's going on."
"Ah," I said. Of course I couldn't hope for calm and quiet now.
"We are being watched," Lord Snow finally said, his voice a soft growl. "And there is a build up of power not far ahead. I can't tell why or who."
"Maybe we better find out before the two legs walk into a trap," Edmond suggested.
Lord Snow gave a rumbling whisper of a laugh. "Yes, you're right, daring little brother."
I watched the two of them slink off around the next corner. We were in the midst of several interesting buildings and arches, the ground laid out in a lovely mosaic pattern of stones. A pretty place, I realized. I was glad when Davis and Maggie slowed. I would have liked it better if they didn't look so worried.
"How far?" I asked.
"Probably several miles," Maggie replied. "It depends on how far into Forest Street they've gone. And why they've gone there. I don't --"
She didn't say more. Something growled, soft and menacing behind us and we both spun, but I only saw a shadow slipping behind a wall. Maggie put a hand on my arm and nodded the way we had been going. Davis moved up beside us, worried.
And then we heard the yowls of cats, large and small. . . .
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