Chapter 27

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LILY wasn't at the infirmary when Ada awoke.

She was, instead, at Arlo's house.

It was the morning after the attack, and Arianna had brought Lily over to Arlo's house. They hadn't seen each other all night—Lily had spent it in the infirmary, until the nurses told all of them to leave.

She'd met Arianna by the Matawa River, and then they'd gone to Arlo's large house. They were sitting on the chairs in front of the fireplace, Lily sipping from a mug of cold milk.

"So, you really never realized they were attacking?"

"No, we went all the way to the river, and when we came back—" Arianna's voice broke off as she stared at the floor, her tanned skin looking pale.

"We saw the bodies," Arlo said, wrapping an arm around Arianna's shoulders. "Thanks to you, there were many less than there could have been," he said.

Lily exhaled, shaking her head slightly. "It was just luck."

"Still, thank you. You saved everyone," Arlo repeated, giving her a grateful look.

Lily shifted in her seat. "Anyone would have done it. And this is my home, too. I wouldn't let it be destroyed."

"And we are very glad to hear that," Arianna said, a small smile coming to her lips. "I'm just happy it wasn't worse than it was."

Lily nodded. "We were lucky...but what if we're not lucky the next time?"

The question hung over them, and Lily wanted to take it back the moment she'd said it. They should have been celebrating their marriage, not mourning.

"We'll be prepared. Increased patrols, mandatory training for everyone," Arlo said, looking determined.

"We'll need to be prepared," Lily sighed, thinking of all the damage done and how much worse it could get.

"We will be. The Gongjensu won't know what hit them," Arianna said, her lips pursing in that familiar, strong look Lily had seen so many times.

"Lily! Arianna! Arlo!"

The three of them looked up to see Vena running in, hair a mess and cheeks flushed.

"What's wrong?" Lily asked, setting her cup aside.

"Ada's awake!" Vena cried, eyes bright.

Lily shot up, scrambling at the door, Arlo and Arianna right behind her. "She's awake?"

"Come!" Vena said.

Lily glanced at Arianna, who was limping forward faster than she'd seen before. Arianna waved at her. "Go! I'll catch up!"

Lily nodded before sprinting ahead with Vena, quickly reaching they infirmary. They rushed in, and Lily spotted Ada immediately, Iressa and Venix at her side. As well as a tall boy—her brother.

"Ada!" Lily breathed, running over.

Ada looked pale and tired, but alive. Very much alive.

"Hi, Lily," Ada said, giving her a strained smile.

"How are you feeling?" Lily asked, eyes dropping to Ada's midsection, hidden beneath a blanket.

"Tired. I should get better soon, though," Ada said, sighing. "Have—Have you met Brennon yet?" She asked, voice soft.

"No." Venix shook his head, eyes clouding over.

"Will we?" Lily asked, gazing at the others. Did they want to see Brennon? To ask why he'd betrayed them?

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