I am relaxing with Felixa and Athelstan in the main living area of Sherly's house, when Cal and Desideria burst in, looking urgent.
"Where are the others?" Cal asks quickly.
"In the woods I think... Or in their bedrooms.." I say vaguely, wondering what all this fuss is about.
"Where in the woods Lyra?" Cal asks, her voice taking a more urgent note.
"I don't know, around. Calm down, its not like it's a matter of life or death!" I say with a smile. From the look that Cal and Desideria exchange, I realise I have said entirely the wrong thing. "Fine, I'll help you look. Wait, Athelstan, can't the wind tell you where they are?"
"Probably..." Athelstan says, getting up and opening a window. He closes his eyes, and a look of concentration passes onto his face. After a few moments, his eyes snap open. "Shadrach and Trinnean are just a few metres from the back of the house, and Benevolio is sleeping in the bedroom."
"Thank you." Desideria says quietly, and she and Cal rush from the house.
"Wake Benevolio!" Cal calls back to us. Still somewhat perplexed, Felixa, Athelstan and I do so, and we are all sitting in the living area when Cal and Desideria come back in with Shadrach and Trinnean. Trixie, Trinnean's witch friend, has gone back to her well.
"Sages," Desideria starts seriously. "We need to move. I have been contacted by the spirit of the former Water Sage-" I look up, taken aback. Why would the former Water Sage contact her? Why not me? I am the current water sage, after all.. "-She says trouble is coming, sooner than we expect, and we need to go to the Undine forest, where we will meet someone who will help us train our powers. We must leave immediately."
Instantly, chaos breaks loose. Everyone is chattering, asking questions, looking ever worried.
"HUSH!" Comes Sherly's voice. "If Desideria has seen the spirit of a former Sage, the news must be urgent. I will help you all pack."
A waterfall of motion begins. Everyone gets up, and rushes to their bed, to collect all the special things they cannot live without, hurredly stuffing spare clothing into bags. There is a rustle of travelling cloaks being draped about shoulders, and the click of their clasps. I pull my own blue travelling cloak about me, breathing the scent of home, and Raethor.
When I get out of the house, Sherly has saddled up all the horses she can find. Athelstan is strapping on an odd pair of wooden wings, which are obviously his mode of transport. Shadrach, Felixa, Trinnean and Benevolio did not have horses. But this did not matter, as Calathea and Desideria had to ride together to stop Desideria's horse from dying, so Shadrach shared Fluffy with Trinnean, and Felixa and Benevolio shared my horse, Whirl. I have decided to travel by water. The others have agreed to ride by the stream. I run to the river and dive in. The water curves about me, making a perfect bubble which protects my clothes from dampening. I poke my head out of the water in time to see the others ride up on their horses. Athelstan is already high above, whooping, revelling in flying once more. Sherly follows slowly behind the horses, holding Felixa's hand.
"Now, you all be careful. And visit any time. I love you Felixa. I love all of you." She says, tears in her eyes. Felixa hugs her fiercely, then climbs onto Whirl's back. The three horses, each with their two riders, stamp and paw the ground, snorting, eager to get going.
"Lets go!" I cry, and arc above the water, before diving back in, and rocketing away at a pace equal to the horse's canter.
Our journey has begun.