Kestrel LeStarre stared at Ivy Animosity for a moment, as she climbed out of the window and into a conveniently placed tree. Ivy looked back at her, waiting for her to follow, and Kestrel shook herself. She sheathed her sword, which she had lowered to her side, and walked over to the window that Ivy had climbed out of, boots making muffled clacking noises on the wooden floors.
Ivy had already begun to climb, and Kestrel leaned out of the window, rain stinging her face, wind tossing her black hair into her eyes. Ivy reached the bottom, and looked up at her impatiently, gesturing as if to ask what was taking so long. Kestrel rolled her eyes and brushed her hair away from her eyes, and then reached out and grabbed the nearest branch.
It was fairly thick, thankfully, so Kestrel swung her legs over the windowsill and pushed off with her legs, swinging towards the trunk. She caught it with her legs, and released one arm to grab onto it. Her feet found a short branch for her to balance on, and she slowly began descending.
A couple of minutes later, her feet touched the ground. She was facing the tree, not Ivy, but she knew that Ivy was smirking.
“Shut up, Ivy.”
“I didn’t say anything.”
“Yes, but you thought it.”
“I’m the mind reader, not you. And right now you’re thinking ‘Wow, I’m really out of shape, I should practise more’, aren’t you?”
Kestrel had to admit that that was pretty much exactly what she had been thinking. Another, seemingly unconnected thought, drifted across her mind.
“Hey,” Ivy said, “I am not a trial!”
Kestrel turned to face her, and raised an eyebrow. Ivy raised a knife. Kestrel lifted her hands in mock surrender, and Ivy grinned and replaced the knife in its sheathe. Kestrel stepped away from the tree, and Ivy moved off to the side to give her room. They stood there, in the dark, in the rain, both absorbed in their own thoughts for a couple seconds before Kestrel remembered that they had more important things to be doing.
“So, Ivy,” she said, “have you spoken to Thrust more recently than I have?”
Ivy turned once again to face her. “Probably not. The last time I saw him was at that weird party he had for no apparent reason. You remember?”
Kestrel shook her head. “Not particularly. I remember that I wasn’t able to make it, though. D’you have any clue where he is?”
“Any clue where his house was?
Ivy didn’t say anything, but she held out her hand, which Kestrel took to mean yes. Kestrel took Ivy’s hand in hers, and her hand began to glow with a deep indigo light. Soon both of them were consumed by it, and disappeared. The same car that had passed Kestrel earlier, whizzed by once more, and the driver caught a flash of the light as they disappeared.
With a flash of indigo light they materialized in front of a ramshackle, run-down house that resided in a dark lane of ramshackle run-down houses. Kestrel stumbled forward a bit when she released her grip from Ivy’s hand, and she could feel Ivy’s smirk. The house was one story, and its windows were halfway open, with the door hanging off its hinges.
Kestrel stepped forward, and Ivy followed her. They were both acutely aware of the silence. Kestrel’s footsteps slowed, while Ivy’s quickened, and soon they were walking side by side as they crossed the street, muffled thumping from their boots making the only sound on the cobbled street.
They reached the door, Ivy now slightly ahead, and Ivy gently pushed it open. It gave a creak that seemed deafening in the eerily silent night, and Ivy walked in not even bothering to look back. Kestrel followed more slowly, noticing as she did the spots on the door that were noticeably darker, as if they had been splattered with liquid. She groaned.
“Here we go again,” she muttered as she stepped inside, closing the door behind her.