Considering she was the smallest one in the room and without a doubt the weakest, Sylvia felt little choice but to place the pendant into the pale fingers before her. For that matter, the queen hadn’t done anything to suggest she might not simply give it back after a moment’s curiosity.
“After searching so long, how strange this should end up in a random girl’s possession,” mused the queen, slowly tracing the pendant’s edges with a fingertip.
“Is it one of the missing pieces, Your Highness?” Deigen leaned in closer as though he were looking at the object for the first time.
“I believe so.” Her finger ended its journey at the point where the chain ran through. “You pierced a hole in it?” She shook her head in disapproval.
“I didn’t,” argued Sylvia. “It was like that when I found it lying on the floor.”
The queen held the pendant up, letting it dangle by its chain. “And you have no idea what this is, do you?”
Sylvia shrugged. “A piece of jewelry.”
“No, dear.” The queen lowered her arm. “This is no simple piece of adornment. It is part of a puzzle, one which if made whole again, can be quite powerful.” She cocked her head. “Have you tried magic while wearing this item?”
“I had it in my pocket both when I summoned the dragon-”
“Tiny fire-breathing lizard,” interjected V.
Sylvia rolled her eyes at him. “And when I cast the protection spell on Seth.”
“What was the spell you used?” the queen asked.
“Undead creature hunger no more for those living on land-” Sylvia wrinkled her forehead trying to remember the words she’d come up with out of the blue. “Um-”
“For the pain you acquire shall be greater than you can stand.” Deigen spoke the last line in a bored sing-song fashion. “I’m still surprised that worked at all.”
“It shouldn’t have worked,” agreed the queen. “It’s not really much of a spell.”
Sylvia crossed her arms. “But it did work!” Her pout turned into a gulp, realizing snapping back was neither proper etiquette nor the best way to not appear childish. “Your Highness.”
The queen gave a reassuring smile. “Sylvia, I believe one day you will be the great magician you aspire. But you are now young and inexperienced. I do not think your spell would have turned a zombie from his nature without the pendant’s assistance. Still-” she twirled the pendant in her hand, “-this is only a fragment of the larger piece.”
“My word, you mean she actually does have some real skill in magic?” asked V with exaggerated surprise. Sylvia shot him a dirty look but received a wink from the vampire, letting her know he was joking.
The queen’s brow made a simultaneous rise while turning her head toward an indoor koi pond. The corner of the room where it resided maintained a peculiar amount of curiosity for the group’s zombie companion. “Seth, what happened to my fish?”
“Fish?” He peered into the pond innocently, ignoring the bones and mangled remnants of koi floating along the water’s surface. “What fish?”
The queen sighed and directed her attention back to Sylvia. “You say that quick spell caused him to be harmless to those living on land? I believe there’s a slight loophole.”
Seth’s face lit up like an exited child who just found one last treat in the cookie jar. He plunged his arm into the pond’s depths. “A snail!”