The trip through the snow had been grueling. Daffak had bitten down his objections to his sister scrying. He’d only been half mollified by her assertion:
“So what are you going to be spying on?”
“Myself. I do this to clear my head. Usually I don’t do it where anyone can see because some of the images are embarrassing
I couldn’t see it. I can’t scry
I can scry hard enough that anyone can see it. And that’s the way it always goes if I’m doing this. I have to let my mind wander
Isn’t that what all scrying is? Wandering?
No, most scrying is very focused. If you don’t keep it under control it wanders and doesn’t give you anything useful. Useful for predicting.
So this doesn’t predict
No, and it doesn’t look far away either – it just stays around me and shows me some of the things that I’m thinking
Don’t you now what you’re thinking.
I know what I’m deciding. Some things you don’t decide, you just assume. Sometimes you don’t even know that you’re assuming it. It’s deep down stuff that you don’t think about in words.
Like father not being a relative
yes, like that. that’s what I’m going to start thinking about. then I’ll relax and maybe I’ll see something pertinent. If I see something that I think is actual, I’ll scry for it the regular way later.
So they had traveled on, making miserable time. The next day a cloud settled around the mountain and they couldn’t see more than ten feet ahead.
Morganzer used one of the empty jars to scry a compass to keep them on course. Occasionally she’d stop and do a look ahead at the tops of their heads, to see if they’d go over any cliffs in the next hour or so. She needed to be stopped for that, but the compass was easy to keep up, at least until the water froze.
It was an interesting day in a lot of ways and Daffak didn’t complain about the scrying for the rest of the trip.
On the third day he asked how long it was going to take.
“About a week, she said. Five days to reach to top of this finger and then two more on the sled’
“The one that’s going to meet us at the top of the peak. Every time I look, it’s there. There’s going to be someone waiting. I think he gets there a day or so early.”
“It’s a dog sled, right?”
“Yes. How do you now about sleds?”
“Easy. I talk to the older boys. Some of them have been to Farside and back. They have sled dogs there.”
Morganzer was miffed. None of the girls were allowed to even think of leaving the valley and here the boys got to come and go. That was so not fair.
But they were always too tired to get really annoyed. and even when they were, Lillibell was having such a bad time in the snow that they didn’t have the heart to do anything to upset her, even a little.
So they walked and they melted snow and cooked with a little pot that had a spell stone in the bottom. It was an easy enough stone that all three of them could turn it on. They took turns carrying it when their fingers got stiff.
They slept in a pile with their clothes on. They drank as little as possible because excretion was so painful. And five grueling days later, they reached the peak of the finger. Just two more days to go.
Morganzer was miffed when Daffak walked up to introduce himself, as if he were the leader of the pack.
“Hey, he called back. I thought you said we’d meet a boy. This is a girl, here.”
Morganzer hurried up. as she did she caught.
“No, I’ve got no trouble with girls. It’s just that my sister thinks she’s such hot stuff at scrying that it’s fun when she misses something.”
“Hi, I’m Morganzer – did Daffak introduce us properly.”
“I didn’t have time to, creep. And that’s Lillibell. We’re all leaving the valley because we’d die if we stayed. But you probably know that. Even Felt was going to die, he said and pulled out to puppy for introductions
“Oh, what a sweetie! She almost looks like a dog.”
Morganzer noticed Daffak’s face setting only because she was his sister, but the stranger went on.
“You’ll have to get Merk to give you tips about raising her. She probably only has a few wolf traits, but you have to be ready for them, in case they come out.”
That relaxed him. A girl who could drive a sled of dogs and she approved of keeping wolves. This was a big improvement over the valley girls.
“I’m Klee, and I’m here to escort you down. The old ones were miffed when I broke into their meeting, but once I offered, they couldn’t get anyone else to come.
Lillibell can sit in the sled, you’ll have to use the brake, but that’s arm work, not leg work. Is that ok?
yes yes yes yes yes
I’m going to wear skis, she said, holding one up, and I’ll scout up ahead because I’ll be fastest. These are for you two.
she handed out snowshoes . You’ll be slower, but you should be able to keep up with the sled once you get some practice in.
We’d better start out as soon as possible. they’re seeing a storm coming in and we need to be down at the overhang for tonight.
So do you know why we’ve come Morganzer asked
not really. I’ve heard a little, but the old ones are tight lipped. I just came to check you out – she poked Daffak’s middle.
why would you check me out.
cause my granny’s scrying says that I’m going to marry you and I want to check you out to see if I want to or not.
everyone hurried to settle their gear for the trip, pretending not to notice. but in the grueling two days of walking, Morganzer cherished the memory of her brother’s jaw dropping in blank faced stunned stupor