Thieves: Chapter 12
Jovlin was beginning to think that they were lost when something finally moved across the sky. The sun was beginning to set, and she was relieved to see a possible destination drawing near. Her eye ached in the dim red light of the setting sun, and she could barely make out the creature in front of her. Or perhaps it was not a creature at all, but a floating castle. This seemed impossible, but there were doors in the side of it and a few windows scattered across whatever it was. Still, she had seen many strange things happen over the past day, and she was not going to rule anything out.
As she drew closer, however, Jovlin’s suspicions that it was indeed a creature seemed to be confirmed by the sudden motion of the huge metal-like beast. It was slow at first, like a snail moving across the sky, allowing her to come alongside with Mayli.
She identified it as a machine like a carriage of some sort when she saw that there were indeed windows along the sides, and the interior held large stacks of boxes. Jovlin couldn’t see what was in the boxes because the machine began to move faster. She looked for a way in, but couldn’t find one. There was a loud slamming noise as Mayli came alongside one of the doors and they were not able to open it. Beginning to panic, Jovlin and Mayli flew along the side to the machine, struggling to keep up and it began to speed through the air. They had made it to the fifth door before they started to fall behind, but they could not get in anywhere. As the machine picked up more speed and began to rocket into the sky, Jovlin briefly caught a glimpse of a black dragon inside the machine, confirming that the Mask was inside, and that she had been left behind.
The machine quickly faded from view as she gave up her pursuit, bursting out of sight completely as it broke through the atmosphere, sending a flash of blinding light bouncing through the now dark sky. When it was gone, there was no longer any light in the world around her, except for the dim light cast by the moons above her. She glanced up and wondered what she should do now. Jovlin had no place left to go except forward, but there was no were to go in that direction. Even if she wanted to return to her safe library in her safe, if cold, world Jovlin knew she would never be able to find her way home. Perhaps Mayli would help her, but she didn’t know how to make her way back through and out of the Mask’s lair.
Sighing, Jovlin decided that going back was better than going nowhere and asked Mayli to take her home. Like before, the dragon simply nodded her head and turned back the way they had come. Or at least, the way Jovlin thought she had come. Perhaps the dragon had misunderstood Jovlin’s request, or perhaps she simply hadn’t been clear enough. Maybe, it was possible that Mayli knew where Jovlin would really find her home. Whatever the reason, Jovlin was not being taken back to the city from which she had come, but to a place which she could not remember.