It was Guerin who spoke first, and he ignored both of them and looked directly at me.
“What in all the Nine Hells just happened?”
He didn’t expect an answer, of course. It was just one warrior to another, the creation of a kind of alliance based on the certain knowledge that another fighter could be trusted, whereas the priestly could not.
“I think,” said Eardith, unbelievably matter-of-fact, “we had better go. We don’t want to waste what daylight is left.”
For a moment I was almost elated. I hadn’t wanted to come here to begin with, after all. But then, something in me rebelled.
“No, “ I said. I caught Arlais’ eye. “We came for something. Let’s find it.”
Arlais shook her head. “Eardith is right. We should go.”
“Really? Almost a whole day given for a moment’s worth of a look-see? You must be far more observant than I, to gather so much out of so little.”
“Caoimhe. Leave it,” said Eardith sharply.
“No,” I said. “No. You dragged me up here. I want to know what happened. I want to know how three wolf carcasses can just disappear without a trace. I want to know why three children died to no purpose. If there are answers here, I want them.”
“You won’t find them poking around here,” she said, “and you wouldn’t understand the answers if you had them, anyway. But we would do better to be home before dark – I promise you, this place is not one that you should linger in.”
“Oh, I’ll grant you all of that and more,” I said, drily. “But you are the one throwing magic about like poultry feed. I’d like some kind of explanation. Hells, I’d settle for a decent lie.”
“Caoimhe,” said Arlais, and now there was just the slightest thread of urgency in her voice, “We will tell all we can. But not here. Not now. Please.”
I looked at Guerin, who shrugged.
“Whatever they will say can be said as easily in Rhwyn as here,” he said, after a moment. “And, truthfully, are you so eager to stay?”
— from “Casting In Stone – A Novel of the Averaine Cycle”
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