Seth tried to put his upcoming trial out of mind, but the Singing Sisters kept nagging in the back of his mind. A wraith he could do, he could give them Vasilis, but he was anxious about not knowing the final object. Seth had learned over the past year that there were lots of things that he could not do.
He sat in the back of the minivan parked out front of the house and waited for his friends to join him. The satyrs had wanted to come, but with the treaty up again, they couldn't leave the preserve. Newel told Seth he would be wanting souvenirs (Spray cheese, a Sponge Bob T-shirt, and something shiny) and Doren had wished him luck and seen him off this far.
The door car door opened and Vanessa climbed into the front seat and put the key in the ignition, the car roared to life. Warren and Bracken walked towards the car, packs on their backs and weapons at their sides.
Seth relinquished the passenger seat to Warren when the two reached the car and slipped into the back seat with Bracken.
Warren buckled his seat belt and grinned, "I'm all ready to meet these Singing Sisters. Let's go!"
Vanessa started driving, steering out of the Fablehaven gate, "Last time Seth was the only one to meet the Singing Sisters, I think it's best to keep it that way."
Warren sighed, "One less tourist attraction it is then."
Bracken leaned forward to Warren who was sitting in front of him, "It really is dangerous to be dealing with the Singing Sisters, do not make light of this."
Vanessa nodded as she drove quickly on the deserted road, "For once I agree with the unicorn, don't joke about this Warren."
Seth shrugged, "I don't mind if he does, and I already know what I have to do."
Warren glanced nervously back at Seth, "The contract wouldn't have had anything to do with ending the life of a wonderful person such as; I don't know… someone named Warren?"
Seth didn't smile, "No," In his mind he replayed the memory of being offered to kill a friend, a relative, and an enemy. He was glad he turned it down, but at what price?
Bracken looked over at Seth and smiled empathetically, he reached out and nudged Seth's shoulder, "You'll do fine, whatever deal you managed to strike was the right one."
Seth smiled back at Bracken but his mind quickly went back to the task at hand. His back contained his emergency kit filled with firecrackers, potions that Tanu had given him, and the leviathan. Vasilis rested in its scabbard at his hip, hooked onto his belt. He gripped its hilt and frowned, giving up Vasilis was going to be hard, the sword had taken to him and he felt like it was a part of him now.
The chatter from Warren brought him out of his reverie as the Knight of the Dawn cheerfully explained his plan for lunch stops. "I thought we could go here, it's on the way to the Singing Sisters, so why not? They have killer sandwiches by the way…"
Vanessa sighed and gritted her teeth, "It is true, Warren, that we have time to spare. But that does not mean we are going to stop at every. Single. Restaurant. On. The. Way. There!"
Seth grinned, "No, Vanessa, that was the Saytrs, Warren won't do that. He's much more mature… I think."
Warren sniffed and mocked indignantly, "Seth! You know that I am the very model of maturity! The very peak of sophistication."
"Oh, please." Vanessa snorted and slammed on the gas. Warren and Seth were thrown back in their seats while Bracken sat perfectly still and looked out the window.
Seth found himself looking studying Bracken's profile and wondering what it would be like to be immortal and seeing the world move on while you remained the same. Bracken caught him looking and smiled at Seth,
What is it? Bracken's voice echoed in his head through the magic coin.
Seth shrugged and thought back, I don't really know… Just wondering what it's like to be a unicorn, I guess.
Bracken looked up at the car ceiling, formulating an answer. It's very peaceful, incredibly tranquil. Almost emotionless compared to a human and their feelings. It's different.
Oh. Seth thought back. It must be hard to not change and watch your surroundings evolve. The people that surround you grow up. I don't think I could do that, honestly.
Bracken nodded, leaning back in his seat and brushing his hair back with his hand. Yes, it is. It can be painful, even. To let go of the ones you love, see then age and eventually die.
Seth felt saddened by the Unicorn's speech; he empathetically put a hand on his friend's shoulder and cracked a smile.
The Unicorn didn't smile back this time; instead he turned back to the window. But you are wrong; we do change, just like you, but we deteriorate on the inside. And though I still feel young, it is beginning to wear me out as well…
Seth bit his lip and slumped down in his seat, he wanted to comfort Bracken, but he didn't know how. That boy on the seat next to his, who looked just a few years his senior, was a magical creature who had seen and endured a lot of pain over thousands of years. What could he possibly do to console him?
Warren turned around in his seat and noticed the two depressed-looking boys in the back seat, "Did you two get in a fight over your magical intercom system, or what?" He asked. They both glanced at him with pained expressions. Warren read the mood and turned back to the front and continued listing possible food options.