“Well,” Peter snapped, “it would have been appropriate to tell us about it before whisking her off without a word, you know!”
“This we could not. The risk was too great,” Lohxnahr replied with a lilt in his voice, almost like he was singing.
“And that was—” Conomorg began.
“Because we were no longer clear on who was untouched,” Lohxnahr interrupted.
“Meaning us, right?” Amy asked, her voice betraying the growing fear she was beginning to understand.
“Yes, of course.” Lohxnahr launched off the boulder he’d been perched on during this conversation and hovered a few paces in front of Danielle and Ita-Mudak.
“So, does that mean someone was touched by whatever?” Amy blurted.
“Uh, OK, I’m getting lost here,” Peter grumbled. “Can you just tell us plainly, Lohxnahr, what this is all about? What’s going on? Who has been ‘touched,’ and what difference does it make?”
“We needed Danielle’s vision to confirm what we feared to be true. Zarentil suspected that a hybrid gargoyle, like that which attacked you not long ago, had infiltrated our clan. But elusive this creature is. It is as if he can know our thoughts and melt away before we are able to identify him. Diligent we have been. Dedicated. Deliberate. But craftier is our foe.”
“Oh, Great One,” Conomorg intoned. “What did your taking Danielle to visit Zarentil provide in the way of insight? What knowledge did her dream-state give you?”
“That Zarentil is dead. The hybrid has killed the ancient Mystic and taken his form.”
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