We saw one other student in the castle on our way back to my room. While the hairs in my neck started to rise in preparation for probably a very nasty moment, the student showed himself to be everything but a danger. He was drunk. In fact, he was trying to be inconspicuous and try to avoid us commenting on his state.
It made me smile as well. We were so edgy that something this normal passing us in the corridor was just too ironic to ignore. At least it lifted our spirits somewhat. Enough for a smile even. By the time we got back to my room we were a little bit gigglish. We lit a little candle as soon as we got in and put some of our clothes away, like weapons and belts. And made ourselves comfortable for the moment.
I remained a little curious though. "How did you know it was poison?"
Deirdre smirked a little bit. "Part of our studies. A lot of poison in nature is based around Dark Magic in some ways. But it's dangerous to work with poison without knowledge."
Deirdre smirked a little more. "Well, that and I think those teachers really liked the idea of working with sneaky and dangerous materials. They taught us a lot more than was needed. One of them was seriously fascinated by poison in nature, especially deep sea."
She giggled. "I've just got a good memory for things like that. Now, will you open that letter?"
I smiled and got my trusty penknife out to open the letter. For just a moment I moved teasingly slow, looking at Deirdre to show it was just for her. I was impatient myself so I didn't make it last very long. I unfolded the letter and held it in the light of the candle, finding an angle to read comfortably.
I started to read.
Taran, we know what you are and some reports on your capabilities. We'd like for you to contact the forest spirits to spy on them. You should realize this is not a request.
The writing was instantly recognizable. It was the same symbol as in the inn of Bleakfield but this time accompanied by the word: Twilight. Of course the Cult of Twilight had a tendency to attract any dual Magic users they could. Being an outcast was never easy and their welcoming arms were usually appreciated. The feeling to belong and to be part of something that accepted you as you were, was very attractive.
It didn't really surprise me that they were power-hungry manipulating fiends.
I looked at Deirdre, she looked at me a bit hesitant. "Yes?"
"Are you thinking about it?"
I shook my head and smiled. "No. But you know how this game works. We'll need to do something quick to expose all of this. But to who?"
She looked thoughtful. "I don't know. But you're right, we should expose this. Before people will rally against the spirits."
I nodded. "But first, sleep. I'm really really tired and happy to finally sleep in a bed again."
Deirdre stood up and turned to me to say something but I interrupted her. "I'd love to have you next to me, but you're free to sleep in your own bed if you want to think."
She nodded thankful. "Thanks."
We both undressed carefully, giving each other a hug before we left for bed. Deirdre did choose her own bed, as expected. I could really tell she was thinking about a lot of things, like me. But it wasn't something I held against her. I pulled the blankets over my body and lay in bed shivering with worry.
There was a lot to be done where I had no idea how. Maeve and her companions, the Masters of Light, Dark and Twilight. Four completely different directions that seemed to oppose each other quite a bit. So why did I choose the spirits? Probably because they didn't actively try to seek more war.
And they saved Deirdre.
Is it all a game to them or do they really want to help us?
It was too much to think about. Too much I didn't know. I decided to try and sleep before the morning came. I had no clue what tomorrow would bring and decided that I'd at least try to be surprised about some possibly pleasant things in the future. Of course I had no idea what, but that was the point. Mindless optimism.
Maybe it would light my dreams.
I did, finally, manage to fall asleep.