Episode 6 Chapter 6

“You want monsters to defile the Mother’s sanctuary?!”

Theo sighed. This was the third cathedral he had brought them to, and this human in funny white robes was even angrier than the first two. Oboe was glad she didn’t have to wait outside this time, though. Human temples were interesting, with all their colored glass, domed ceilings, bells, and the big round table. It wasn’t as nice as the ones in the Fairy Circle, but it was still pretty.

 “They aren’t monsters,” Theo said. “They’re citizens of Laien, same as us. Plenty of ghasts worship the Mother of Magic. Barghest and Lola are a sweet couple, and they just want a blessed wedding like you perform all the time. As the Ranger Deputy, I vouch for them.”

Oboe knew there was nothing she could do to help. Bickering humans didn’t like hearing the opinions of fairies. She stepped back to get out of the way, and watched the argument.

“I’m sorry. I have a responsibility to my parish. Even if you trust these creatures, I cannot risk a ghast placing a hex on this sacred place. Find someplace else.”

“I told you they’re harmless!” Theo said. “Please listen to me!”

The human priest held his hand up. “I’ve made my decision. Now if you’ve any respect for the Mother, you’ll take your fairy and leave this place.”

Theo stormed out the cathedral doors. Oboe tried to keep up, her hands wrapped tight around the canvas bag containing the sword. She could feel it pulling at her magic, tearing. It left her feeling tired, even sick.

“Wait!” She was already out of breath. Theo stopped, and she sat on the steps of the temple. “What’re you going to do now?”

Theo covered his face. “I don’t know. That was the last chapel that was willing to see me today.” He pulled out his notes and crossed something off the list. “There has to be a chapel somewhere in the capital that will host the wedding.” He shook his head. “I don’t think I’m going to make any progress on this today.”

Oboe stood up. “Where are we going next?”

Theo’s smile came back. “Where would you like to go?” He stuck his notes back in his pocket. “You still haven’t told how you want us to celebrate.”

She looked down the hill, overlooking the sprawl of shopping arcades and garden parks. A week ago, she would’ve been excited to explore. Now all she wanted was to bring this awful sword home so she could spend time with her brothers and sisters.

“Don’t worry about me,” She said. “You should get your errands done.”

“We have plenty of time,” Theodore said. “Don’t be like that.”

She stomped her hoof. “I said don’t worry about it!” Why were humans always so stubborn? “You have a job to do—“

Her throat seized, and she doubled over in a coughing fit. She slumped against the stairs, feeling faint. Theo bent down, looking concerned.

“You should let me carry the sword,” he said. “It’s making you sick.”

“No!!” Oboe said, stifling a groan. She got back onto wobbling hooves. “I can handle it! It’s fine!”

Theo steadied her. “It’s not fine. Thistle said that thing is poison for fairies. I can hold it without any side effect. You don’t need to do this.”

Oboe didn’t want to let it out of her hands. What if it disappeared? Grandmother would take her name away again. Oboe would rather die than go back to that life.

“Stop it! Let me do my job!” She said, surprised by the anger in her own voice. “I’m your assistant, right? That means I need to help you! I’m carrying the sword!!”

Theo frowned. He looked hurt, and it made Oboe feel guilty. “Okay,” he said, backing off. “But don’t be afraid to let me help. Being my assistant doesn’t mean you should suffer.”

Why did he have to be so nice all the time? Humans were always so awful and mean. It wasn’t fair that she had to keep secrets from the only good one. She clutched the sword tight to her chest. “Can we just get back to work? We’re wasting time.” She wanted this trip to be over with.

Theo checked his pocket watch. “Well. It’s a bit early for the appointment, but I suppose we can go ahead and get the sword analyzed. Maybe it’d be for the best. I think it’s affecting your mood.”

“Yeah,” she said, staring at her knees. “Probably.”

The trolley rolled into the station as they arrived. Oboe wondered how long the visit to the university would take, and when she would get to go home.

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