Gwendolyn went up to the room arranged for her by Kathering. Sitting on the bed was Snickers, who looked at Gwendolyn and made a funny little noise, as if to say "What took you so long?"
Gwendolyn nodded. "It seems that my identity has been exposed... but... can I still trust Kathering? She knows who I am now, but she's my friend, so maybe I can stay here?"
Snickers shook his head. He jumped down and rubbed Gwendolyn's leg, and stared up at her somewhat angrily.
Gwendolyn nodded. She removed the new shoes she had been wearing and the socks. Then Snickers rubbed against her leg once more, and seemed content. A single tear slid down Gwendolyn's face, but she smiled regardless.
"You know, you're right. If I am discovered, Kathering would be branded a traitor to the magistrate, and I simply cannot allow that. So, I'm leaving." Gwendolyn removed the dress Kathering had let her borrow, and instead found the rags she had been wearing when she lived in the woods, which she kept in case something like this happened.
"If I wore Kathering's clothes, she still may become involved in all of this... and this burden is mine and mine alone," Gwendolyn opened the window and jumped out, tucking and rolling at the last second in order to avoid injury. Snickers jumped out close behind.
Unfortunately, it was in front of the man who threatened her earlier.
"You again? Seriously, are we destined to keeping running into each other and have misadventures or something?" The man asked. "Get out of my way."
"My name is Gwendolyn," she answered, sternly, trying to act tough, but deep down she was terrified. "Since we keep running into each other, you may as well know my name."
"Roland, pleasure," he responded. "Now, how about we get out of here? Say... you look somewhat familiar..."
"You keep running into me."
"No, no... I mean... haven't I seen you before this whole mess started? There's just something about you that's... well..."
Suddenly a shout came from over the hedges. Gwendolyn looked and saw Kathering, running towards the bushes. She looked really upset with Gwendolyn.
"And where do you think you're running off to? You're the last person to have seen Soren, so I demand that you take me to him. AT ONCE." She stated clearly.
"I don't know where he is. We met only once, and he let me go. That's all I know." Gwendolyn answered, hoping the other guards hadn't followed her.
"Then I will go with you and see to it that we find him. Neither of you are getting off the hook until he's found." Kathering commanded, as if she was talking to a soldier rather than a bunch of rogue mages.
"Now, see here-" Roland began, but was cut off by Kathering's cold stare.
"Don't try me."
"Enough!" Gwendolyn shouted, and an air of nobility seemed to surround her. "The both of you! If we keep this up then we will be caught for sure and then where will we be? I will likely be executed, and the two of you as well for helping the Forest Witch escape the magistrate."
"Wait, wait, wait. You're the infamous Forest Witch? You?!" Roland asked, having heard the rumors of her himself.
"Yes, and if you all want to keep your heads, then you will shut up and run for it!" With that, Gwendolyn turned around and ran into the woods, Snickers close behind.
Kathering and Roland stared at each other. They shrugged and followed.