Swamped Chapter 32 Page 10

You decide to follow Strings, and wait for her to arrive in her quarters. You slip out, slowly, so she has time to recognize you.

“So I take it things didn’t go so well,” you say.

“The book wasn’t there,” she says. “And Claws caught me.”

“I overheard that part. What do you mean, the book wasn’t there?”

“I think someone beat me to it. Probably wouldn’t have been caught if I hadn’t tried looking so hard for it… well, not much I can do about it now except plead to the Council,” Strings sighs. “I guess you’d better tell Rider.”

“Now hang on a minute, I can’t just leave you here…”

Strings smiles weakly.

“I appreciate the thought, but it’ll be fine. I can talk my way through this. And if I can’t… well, I’ll just have a month or so of unpleasant jobs. Nothing I can’t handle.”

“But it was my idea to get you involved in the first place…”

“Look. Rider came all the way back here for that book, and he’s planning to leave again. I don’t know his reasons, but I know it matters to him, that’s reason enough to help. Don’t worry about me. Just tell him the book’s gone, he might have a guess as to who could have run off with it.”

Ugh. Everything she’s saying is right, but you just can’t stand the thought of abandoning her just to clean up your mess.

You want to help her… but you can’t just brush off Rider, not after he took so many risks to help you get back.

What can you do? What can you even say?

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Might as well fill her in on the details about messing with the costumes and dressing Rider up as a ghost, then head back toward the imminent rift.