I Trumped Random. He said that the kids were fine, along with
making a snide comment on my still-pointed ears. I had hoped that Aelle
would have returned while I was getting Laughter settled, but, of course,
I had not been so fortunate.
I passed the time by throwing the cards, and got more or less what
I expected, nothing. I learned a long time ago that nothing was that
easy. If I wanted useful information on Laughter's spy, I would have to
find it the hard way.
I waited for Aelle or Benedict to return. I waited so long that I
fell asleep in the parlor. I was awoken by a blood-curdling scream.
Apparently the servants didn't recognize me without my natural coloring,
and with pointed ears. I opened the window and climbed the trellis I
found outside. It took me to my bedroom window, which I quickly opened
and then climbed inside of. Sometimes it's good not to be so big, I
guess. I doubt the trellis would have held Claudio's weight. I wasn't so
clever as to not have woken Laughter up, however. I grinned and explained
that her household staff was currently after me. She was disgusted that I
still looked like a na si, but more disturbed by far by the fact that she
seemed unable to retrieve Sequence. That meant someone real had him.
We discussed my appearance, and how I didn't want to go running to
Kaedric for favors, especially not now. Then we discussed the wizards,
and how we were going to dispose of them. I was pleased that she used the
word 'we.' Laughter is a proud woman. I would not let myself help her
with her war in Foil until she asked. Now that she had, I was pleased to
help. She talked me into turning magic back on, as she still needed to
complete the barrier against shifting between the three realms. We talked
of her spy, and how she had met Calamus' half brother.
We ate breakfast under the wary eyes of the servants. I think
Laughter was unnerved when Caitt smiled at me and said she had always
liked na si men. Laughter's general came in with information for her.
She reviewed the troops afterwards, and I followed along under cover of a
large cloak. I spoke with Sand while Laughter reviewed her troops. She
was of the opinion that a na si body would be acceptable. Aelle was
suddenly standing beside me. Laughter was engrossed, so I held my finger
to my lips as I looked at Aelle, and gave her my hand. She was away
quickly after she had finished, and I kept my new form hidden, as Laughter
had not noticed anything amiss.
I followed her to the stables after the troop review was done, and
she threw the talking bones to see if she could discover Sequence's
whereabouts. She had no luck, and Ulysses would not answer his Trump.
She decided to deal with all of this by taking a nap. I followed along,
and gave her a rather pleasant surprise when we reached the bedroom.
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