“Poisonous mushrooms, to begin with,” Lord Ridley told her. “You might not want to touch anything, really, unless you are certain that it’s safe. Once we get to the villages, it is a bit less dangerous.”
“They prefer to have some measure of safety between them and the human world,” James added, “so out here there are plenty of things that could hurt you… or have other strange effects on you.”
Cerys and the others agreed to stay on their toes. Nashtra scanned the edge of the forest, which was thick with brush and vines, not to mention the tree branches, and turned the group more towards the north. They walked on until he found a break in the foliage, and paused there. No path led them inside, and unlike Vathalloín, he did not need to ask permission to enter. The elf peered inside, as though making sure they would be able to get through, and then turned to sir Carter.
“This will do, ” he told the knight. Cerys also noticed him glancing towards king Leonars.
“Let’s keep moving, then,” Carter said, though he frowned when he looked at how think the bushes were. It made Cerys wonder whether he was worried about thorns and rambles, or about the darkness the was very quickly falling.
Lord Ridley and sir Carter followed close behind Nashtra, and then the teenagers, and James went in last. It was not the most comfortable passage, and some of the branches from the bushes slapped against their legs– Cerys especially hated it, having less between her skin and the plants than any of the others– but after a while the trees opened up and the party stepped onto a path.