Author’s Note: In case you’re wondering, the navigation buttons will always be done ahead of time. This basically means that if you see the latest chapter linked to a non-existing post, it’s because I’m trying to save myself the effort of logging back on. You are, in fact, not going crazy.
Quincy groggily lifted her head. “Do you two have to loom over me?” she muttered, before letting her head fall back.
I kicked her foot. “Get up! We have to come up with a plan to deal with Jack.” I looked at Lethia. “She’s told you, hasn’t she?”
Lethia bobbed her head with a little shrug. “After some wheedling, yes.”
“There is no plan when it comes to Jack,” Quincy intoned. She stared forlornly into space. “The only power we possessed that could have possibly resisted him was Tonatiuh, and he was destroyed in the spirit realm.”
Lethia leaned on the stall post. “You’re forgetting something.”
Quincy snorted and curled up into a fetal position. “What’s that?” she asked sarcastically.
Lethia pointed at me. “Kali and Nyx are champions of Lacertli.” The girl blinked at me. “At least I assume you both are? Technically he chose Nyx, but I suppose since you both occupy the same body…?” she winced as she trailed off.
I gave her a sour look. “Of course I have all the same powers as my sister!”
Lethia smiled and waved a hand as if to say, There you have it!
“Just because I’m a champion, doesn’t mean I have what it takes to go up against a Legend.” I argued. “Jack has far more experience than I do! It’s why he’s a Legend with a capital L!”
“Exactly,” Quincy said flatly.
I hissed at her, my cheeks burning. “You needn’t agree so quickly!”
“Do we have to fight him, though?” Lethia asked. Her head tilted to the side and her green eyes turned up. “We’d only need to if, for some reason, he found our dealings punishable in some way. But haven’t we done enough to earn a fair hearing, at least?”
My eyes turned down as I considered this. The girl had a point.
Quincy muttered, “First of all, it’s not like we’re going to be given a Higashan court hearing—”
Higashi is the only country with a judicial system that assumes the accused is innocent until proven guilty, Nyx chirped eagerly.
“Second of all,” Quincy continued, “Jack is the champion of Njord, god of wind. Njord’s domain includes a father’s wrath.”
Quincy paused to let loose an unrefined burp before resuming weakly, “Elmiryn has done enough to earn such wrath. And when Jack finds out about me being involved with you all…” Her expression took on a look of disquiet.
Lethia’s eyebrow tilted up. “Njord’s demesne also includes change—”
Demesne. For mortals, it refers to property, usually of an estate, but for gods, it refers to—
My face twisted in irritation. I don’t need play-by-play for everything! Our knowledge is shared, remember?!
I could feel Nyx wilt. I was just trying to help…
I tuned back just in time to hear Lethia say, “—Our collective efforts have cleared obstacles that kept many parts of the Sibesona stagnant. Those places are starting to flourish. Shouldn’t that count for something?”
I waved my hands, impatiently. “This is stupid conjecture!” I reached down and grabbed Quincy’s foot, pulling her off the hay bed roughly.
“Hey!” Quincy shouted as I dragged her into the middle of the barn. Her azure eyes became large circles as she dug her hands into the dirt and tried to sit up. Her fingers left deep gouges in the ground and her unkempt hair shed hay with her struggles. “Let go!”
“Get up!” I snarled back. She kicked at my hands and I finally released her. “Until Jack gets here, we must assume he’ll be aggressive!” I pressed hotly. “If he is, we need a plan!”
“Fuck you!” Quincy spat, crawling pathetically back to the stall. She moaned and collapsed back onto the hay bed. “Stupid crazy cat…”
I spat a hiss from the back of my throat, my hands curling like claws before I stalked forward—.
Lethia blocked me with her body, her head shaking quickly.
“She needs time,” she whispered. Then she grimaced. “And she needs to finish sobering up.”
My lip curled. I paced in front of her a few times before I growled and stomped back to the barn entrance. The girl followed me.
Once outside, I turned and asked, “Did you at least take away the gods-damned bottle?”
Lethia nodded. “I did. I poured what was left of it far out into the field.” She glanced over her shoulder before asking me seriously, “Is there any more?”
I sighed. “Yes. Two. Some wine and absinthe.”
Lethia’s look darkened. “Kali, we must get rid of it. All of it.”
I gave her an annoyed look. “Obviously!” I sighed roughly and crossed my arms. “I would have done so last night, but… I was tired.”
That wasn’t actually the reason. I could feel Nyx squirm with discomfort.
Lethia waved a hand behind her. “I’ll work with her.”
I nodded. “Do that. Meanwhile, I think I’ll go relieve the boy. Paulo needs rest.”
We started to part… But then I saw Hakeem running out of the tower. My eyes narrowed. What now?
He ran up to us with a deathly serious expression. “Is Quincy well enough to stand?” He asked in a rush.
My stomach clenched.
Oh no… Nyx murmured.
“What is it?” I asked.
Hakeem pointed back toward the tower. “It’s Elmiryn… Paulo told me she’s having a heart attack!”