“So, we have a monkey-” Deigen waved a hand toward the bread thief, munching away at his loot, “-and a pigtailed little one who I hear knows magic tricks.” He rolled the hand in Sylvia’s direction. “My guess would be someone’s escaping the circus?”
Sylvia rolled her eyes. “We’re not runaway performers. Obmuj is my pet monkey, given to me by my father. My parents wouldn’t go to a circus even you paid them.”
“So you’re running away from your dull parents who never let you see a circus then?” asked Bastiick, eying Obmuj and sliding his bowl out of the monkey’s reach.
“Who said I have to be running away from anything?”
“You’re running to something then?” suggested V. He grinned and took a large gulp from his glass. “I like this game, it’s fun.”
“No it isn’t,” argued Sylvia. “I’m going to-” she paused, wondering just how much information would be too much to share with strangers she knew next to nothing about.
“Monkey got your tongue?” asked Deigen.
“I’m going to visit my uncle.” She decided that was as much as she truly needed to say on the matter.
“Going to visit your uncle?” repeated V.
“Traveling at night, through a perilous part of town with a cart full of women’s dresses in the back?”
Deigen shifted in his seat to stretch closer to Bastiick. “Her uncle must work as the bearded woman.”
“No one in my family is a circus performer!” Sylvia stamped her foot. “For your information, my uncle happens to be an inventor who lives in the East Desert.”
“The East Desert?” V’s tone sounded reminiscent of times when her father demanded to know why she had come home so late. “That’s a few days travel, likely a week in that poor excuse of a cart you have. You’re trying to make your way there alone?”
Sylvia nodded her head toward the monkey. “I’m not alone, I have Obmuj with me.”
“Oh yes, trusty Obmuj.” Deigen watched him straddle Bastiick’s now empty bowl, attempting to lick what remainder of soup he could from the sides. “He would certainly save the day, provided there was nothing to eat nearby.”
“We’ll be fine.” Sylvia pulled her spell book from the one of the secret folds in her cloak and held it up. “Remember, I happen to be a magician.”
Bastiick’s eyes danced from Obmuj to the book, finally landing back at Sylvia and her cloak. “Just how many pockets does that garment have?”
“And what is that?” V leaned over the table, pointing toward the book. Sylvia realized, however, it was not the book that caught his interest but the dangling pendant under it she had accidentally grabbed also.
“Oh that-” she quickly tried to unwrap the silver chain from around the book and tuck the pendant back into hiding. “-that’s nothing. Just pretty rock I found out by the house.”
V leaned toward Deigen, whispering in the other vampire’s ear. Deigen, however, seemed much less enthused.
“Come on, Vandalarius.” Deigen snorted a laugh and pushed his friend away. “Don’t get your hopes up, you know that’s only a rumor at best.”
Sylvia shook her head. “What is?”
“I believe your pendant is more than a pretty little rock,” said V, sitting back in his chair. “And I also believe you’ve also found yourself some additional traveling companions.”