Unexpected Adventure, Part Twenty-seven
“It’s a bargain chip,” I repeated flatly. Regis nodded. I pressed my fingers against my forehead. “How is an insanely evil object a bargaining chip?”
“I’m betting that Fate will want it,” Regis said. He began walking, away from the coffee town.
“But she’s Fate! If she doesn’t have it, she can’t want it. And why would she want an insanely evil object?”
“Because she’s Fate.” Regis took my hand in his left and started walking. I didn’t resist.
My mind struggled with impossibilities. Fate wasn’t evil. At least, I didn’t think so. She was just…there. In the same way the sun was. We might be able to dethrone her—which we would, I was sure—but that wouldn’t change the fact that…that…
I jostled Regis’ arm. “Auuugh, my brain hurts.”
“Adventure will do that to you.”
That cheered me up a bit. “Yeah, adventure. Speaking of which.” I let go of Regis’ hand and clambered onto his back. I hugged his torso with my legs, then pushed myself up so that I sat on his shoulders. “I want to see it before we get to it.”
Regis considered tipping the elf onto the ground. He thought better of it and let her be.
He fingered the amulet in his pocket. At least, he felt like he was; it took him a minute to remember that his other hand was gone.
With a shiver, he rubbed the stump on his right arm.
A faint presence—Peter—brushed against his mind. The amulet he’d gotten from Skong worked perfectly; Peter couldn’t get a hold on him.
Then, another presence joined Peter’s. Just as familiar, it was cold, bubbly, and excited. It completely bypassed the protection the amulet provided.
Oh, you’re finally coming to me.
“Fate,” he said aloud.
Cloudwillow leaned so that her head hung in front of his. She gaped. “Oh my gosh, you’re actually talking to her?!”
Do you know how worried it makes me, darling, when my people run away? It very nearly drives me sick. Or mad, depending on how you look at things.
Cloudwillow cocked her head. “She’s talkative.”
“You can hear her?”
No she can’t. She just sees an impression of my voice through your eyes. She’s a doll. You should have seen her when—
“Don’t tell him!” Cloudwillow squealed.
Regis cocked his eyebrow. “You look like you’re going to fall.”
“I will if she tells you!”
Oh, hush-hush, I remember. She doesn’t want anyone knowing about her fifteenth birthday bash. It made quite a stir among the elves for a while.
Regis was curious, but had no wish to hear gossip. He brought to mind the Pocket-watch of Et’ena.
Fate’s voice went quiet, a shocked sort of quiet.
I see. Well, I can’t keep you waiting, can I? Come inside, and we can talk over lunch.
Abruptly, the area changed. They were no longer in a forest, but on a black drawbridge. In front loomed a white-and-black castle, with guards dressed in gold patrolling the walls.
Cloudwillow tumbled from Regis' shoulders and landed in a sitting position. While she gaped, Regis said, "Welcome to Fate's castle."