First draft disclaimer: This narrative is a first draft, and is therefor subject to grammar errors, repetitiveness, lack of clarity, and other issues. Later drafts will smooth such things over, but for now they remain. Please be tolerant.
Alice had decided that they should go north. Finch had told her that there’s nothing up there except the N’Tarial, the Elken. To his dismay, Jealousy, who was with them, piped up.
“Well, there’s also the Dead City.”
And then Alice got excited.
And that’s why now, hours later, they were headed north. Somehow Jealousy had also become part of the group, and she had brought along Alice’s adoptive father, Jithin. Finch had a very strong suspicion that they were courting, but Alice seemed oblivious, and Jealousy hadn’t said anything so he figured he would keep his mouth closed.
The route they were taking would pass the hole, but continue north into the dark woods.
Crystal Jealousy was expecting to encounter Riley, but she wasn’t worried. Unlike her half-sister Chloe, Jealousy knew their language and could speak it without the accent.
They reached the hole without incident.
Alice jumped around at it, “Look! What’s that! It’s a big cave!”
Finch came behind her, “You really should watch out.”
Alice kept jumping as Jealousy said, “It’s dragon hole. It’ll take you to the Underside.”
“What?!” Alice’s eyes opened wide, “What is that?”
“Alice, it’s the other side of the planet.” Jithin boomed.
Jithin was a middle-aged man, around the physical age of Jealousy. He was bald, although Finch couldn’t tell if it was by choice or not. Like most bald men, he also had a full goatee. His face was wrinkled in all the places that moved when one smiled. He had had a mostly good life, apart from the loss the family he had before Alice.
Alice stared at him, expecting more, an explanation. He didn’t have one, he knew nothing about the Underside.
Finch, an educated youth, said, “That’s where the Lussa are. They’re like the Solune but more… diverse.
Alice’s eyes sparkled, and Finch got nervous again. He had the feeling that Alice was going to make a sudden and large change in their plans.
“Let’s-” She was cut off.
“We should find a place to pitch the portable house.” Jealousy said.
Alice, now becoming a little angry, continued her sentence, almost yelling it into Jealousy’s face.
“Let’s go to the Underside!”
Crystal Jealousy stared at her adoptive daughter for a long time, then shrugged.
“Fine, but it’s getting really unstable down there, politically. Last I heard the King died.”