All the color drained from Valna’s face as she realized the implication of the words just spoken to her.
“But… when… what… why?” her mind was racing hundreds of times faster than the words and thoughts could form into any semblance of intelligent speech.
“Be at ease, child,” Lucan interrupted, “it is not permanent. We require you to leave at first light and investigate these disappearances of elven-kind.”
“There are some on the council that did not feel you were the proper one to send,” the elder continued, Valna did not need to even begin to guess which of the council was against her, “but my vote holds weight. As soon as the reasons behind these disappearances are known, you must come back so that we can find a way of stopping them.”
Her breathing returning to normal, Valna was finally able to put thought into a sentence, “So, we re not banished.”
Laughter, without mirth, met her tentative statement, “Gods no, Child. I could never do that to your father,” the head councilmember confided, “but” he continued, the seriousness of the situation weighing upon him once more, “you must leave and return victorious.”
Valna understood the meaning behind his words. Prove hers and human-kind’s innocence or do not return.
“What do I tell Father?” she asked.
“Nothing, we will tell him that you were sent on an urgent message. It is not far from the truth,” Lucan reasoned.
“Understood,” Valna started down at her boots, “Thank you, Elder Lucan, for believing in me.”
“None are needed, Valna, daughter of my heart. Sehanine blessed our house with all males – you have always been a wandering daughter to me. Now, go. Prepare for your voyage.”
Lucan began to take the warding off of the council chamber but stopped short.
“And be sure to tell nothing of this to your halfling Sister until you are out of Elmwood. She has a way of mixing things up,” he finished with a chuckle.
Valna excused herself from the festival early, begging off a headache, to murmurs of how that must be a human trait, and insisted that Kithri make sure she went home safely.
“Of course,” Kithri announced loudly, the effects of the wine muddling her mind a bit, “You need my protection, I’m the most agile halfling rogue in Elmwood…” and the bragging continued until Valna had them both safely into their shared room.
“Sleep my good friend, morning comes soon,” the half-elf murmured, knowing not when they would have as safe a slumber such as this.