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Chapter 128: Music Teacher

“It’s fine with me,” said Charlie that evening. “And I’m sure Francis will be happy to see you again. But I’m sure you’ve noticed that not all the others are that fond of you.”

Corrie shrugged. “That’s fine. I just want to ask them if anyone is interested in teaching music to some faeries. It’s just a quick question, and then I’ll be out of their hair. Or fur.” She grinned.

Charlie shook his head, not even seeming to notice her joke. “You can’t walk back by yourself. It’s too dangerous.”

Chapter 127: Mind Reading

It seemed to take a lot longer before anyone said anything than before; Corrie decided that was just because she wasn’t trying to do anything other than hold an image in her head. Her mind did wander a little bit, though. She hoped she wasn’t making it harder for Dawn.

Finally, Professor Lal told them to make their final guesses, and Corrie opened her eyes. Dawn was frowning and there was a line of concentration between her eyebrows. “Were you thinking of a four-leaf clover?”

Chapter 126: Focus

“Were you predicting the future?” Roe asked Professor Lal with some interest.

Chapter 125: Predictions

Monday, December 8

Chapter 124: Disheveled

“Don’t be ridiculous,” said Mardalan, but she turned back toward them with a small frown. “I’ve done nothing to my sister. Why would I wish to? Neither insult nor injury has persuaded her to join me. If they are insufficient, perhaps now is not the time, and I will bide mine.”

“That’s not true,” said Edie. “It can’t be. She’s hidden herself away—they said she’s hibernating. In Faerie.”

Chapter 123: Bargain

“You cannot stop me,” said Mardalan, pursing her lips at Corrie.

Corrie shook her head quickly. “I wouldn’t dream of even trying. But I have an idea that might be more interesting.”

“All right, go ahead,” said Mardalan, waving a hand at her.

Chapter 122: Trade

Corrie heard a thump and looked up to see Mardalan dropping Belara’s body to the ground. It lay prone. Corrie wondered if she was really dead and decided not to bother asking.

“Your new queen will make sure you all get what you want,” Mardalan shouted to the crowd, which was now cheering. “Every one of you. Life will be easy, it will be comfortable, and it will be happy.” She raised her arms in apparent triumph, then gestured. “Just a taste of what’s ahead.”

Chapter 121: Greater Good

“How dare you!” cried Feloc. His voice didn’t seem to be a bit diminished by the fact that Corrie’s weight should have been compressing his lungs. “Humans! Traitors!” He struggled, but it wasn’t nearly enough to dislodge them. He could still turn his head, though, and he did, looking at the crowd. “Help me! Protect your king!”

Chapter 120: The Killing

Corrie was stunned. That explained why the magic had been coming back into the things they’d bought on campus. These faeries were actively working to bring it back. And now she feared that she couldn’t even trust her own emotions. She’d checked her poster that morning, but maybe something had changed since then. Or maybe it had somehow picked up a new sticker, or was changing her emotions without the sticker. She didn’t know what it could be doing. She resolved that, if she got out of this, she was going to burn the poster. There was no point in risking it.

Chapter 119: Clever

Corrie stared at the faerie rulers. All her other questions had gone out of her head. They’d been planning this for… years? But what exactly had they been planning? And, perhaps more importantly, had they succeeded? Because whatever their plans were, if hurting Dawn and screwing up their magic with bad information was only part of it, it couldn’t be good news.

Dawn managed to ask first. “But what have you been planning? What’s the purpose of all this?”

Belara looked at Feloc. “Shall we tell them?”

“We might as well,” said Feloc. “They’re not going anywhere.”

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