By then, they had walked a good distance into the forest. Something rustled in the bushes off to one side, and Cerys could feel something moving in her sleeve.
“Watch out!” a small voice, hardly more than a squeak, seemed to call out to her.
Cerys was on her guard right away. “What is that over there?” she asked James. “Just another forest animal?”
Sir Carter had a grave expression. “Not in this forest,” he said. “Few things here are ‘just another forest animal.’” He stood between the king and the bushes, peering into them warily.
“Is it very likely to come out?” Cerys wanted to know. She was starting to wonder why things didn’t just stay in the bushes, and keep to themselves.
“If it hears us,” Lord Ridley told her, “it will probably come out to see what’s here. No doubt the entire forest is wary of outsiders.”
“Not just the elves?” Himeko asked.
Nashtra shook his head. “This forest is not a place for just elves. They do not rule over it the way humans rule over their land. In here, every living thing is important and has its own role to play.”