Chapter 28
by grlnxtr

QL: Why? Because. That "glowing red thing" on his forehead? Trust me when I say it's bad news.
Warteen: Why?
QL: Which part of "trust me" do you not understand?!
Bartender: How would you even know what they put on his head?
QL: (looking at her feet) I helped create it, alright? I know exactly what it is and exactly what it does and if we don't get to him soon, there's not much point in getting to him at all.
Erronius: I believe I've heard of this object. A Cerenecare, yes?

QL raised her head quickly, regarding the old man with a trace of suspicion.

QL: How would you know that?
Erronius: I know much more than it would appear, child.
BtN: Erronius knows all!
QL: If you know about it, then you know why standing here arguing is an extremely bad idea. Bartender, I need a container full of hot water and a spoon that you wouldn't mind losing.

As QL snapped her instructions, the Bartender hopped to do her bidding. Boiling a small amount of water, he brought her the last spoon in the place, as the customers had an interesting propensity for chewing on them. Pouring the water into a heavy mug, he placed it in front of her with a flourish.

QL: (smiling slightly) Thank you.

QL removed from her pockets a small piece of cloth, taking out three of the glowing blue flowers from inside of it. Pulling off every other petal, she placed them in the still-hot water, stirring gently with the spoon.

QL: You guys might want to stand back a little bit.

Chanting quietly, she removed her hand from the spoon, tracing it with her eyes as it continued to stir. As her words sped up, so did the spoon, until she abruptly stopped, sending the spoon flying across the room and into the opposite wall, where it stuck.

Conjuring a lid out of the air, she covered the mixture and made a mad dash out the door.

Everyone else stood, slightly confused and looking at each other until she came back.

QL: Are you guys coming or not?
BtN: I can show you where, Raine headed with him. He might still be there.
Warteen: And I'll get the werewolves, should any show up.
Erronius: Zzzzz...

The ever-growing group hurried to the point that Bob had last seen Raine and TGC. Chattering loudly once they got there, they attempted to decide which way to go next.

(All speaking at once:) Warteen: I think we should spread out, each taking a different path.
BtN: I will not leave Erronius!
Erronius: Zzzzz...

They glanced at her, surprised.

QL: Just let me listen, will you? Geez...

Closing her eyes, she turned in a slow circle, cocking her head as though trying to pinpoint a far-away sound. Once she faced south, she opened her eyes, peering into the thick cover of the trees.

QL: This way.

She directed them through the forest, Bob and Warteen ahead of her, clearing a path with their swords. They stumbled into a clearing, surprised by the sudden lack of foliage.

QL: I don't understand it, this is the place...
Bartender, pointing up: Up there.
The group looked up as one, finally noticing the sleeping caged Chad, barely concealed behind some hastily moved branches.
QL: She's always got to do things the hard way.

From the right of the group, the branches parted as though they were wheat, revealing Queen Raine and a winter sprite.

QL: Hm. Speak of the devil.
QR: And she appears.

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