((This is the last chapter under this story. Another one will be started up soon, called The Children of the Four. Because they all were children of Sandry, Briar, Trisana or Daja. I hope those who read and enjoyed this story will go on to read that one because it will continue with the same basic characters. Thanks!))

"Aunt Sandry!" Nikan called from the alleyway he had gone down. "Aunt Sandry there is a trail of magic here!"

Sandry turned, her twin braids whipping against her head, and ran down to where the young mage knelt. She inhaled sharply and called for Lark and the others. When they got there she showed them the thin trail of magic. "Obviously what happened here is Lissien used her magic for some reason or another," Sandry reasoned. "Why we don't know but it leaves an obvious trail as to where she went."

"So we follow it?" Steel asked.

Lark nodded. "Yes we will follow this trail. It is the only obvious way we have to go."

Silver was frowning as she fingered the ground where the magic was. "This is a decoy trail," she said suddenly, standing up. "This was made for the purpose of luring us away from where they are really going."

Sandry went down on her knees and somehow picked up the strand of magic. Irritation flitted across her face and her small nose wrinkled. "Silver's right," she said and handed the thread of magic to Lark. "Feel it."

Lark did so and her eyes went wide. "It's a part of a ball of thread-magic unrolling off to the north. How did she do that?"

"I don't know," Sandry said. "I never...wait. I did teach her that one. But I never thought she would use it against me. I am her own mother after all."

"They didn't want to be followed," Steel pointed out. "So she used what she thought would work. If Silver hadn't checked it out we'd be heading north right now and I guess they're heading south."

Sandry dusted off her dress and took the thread from Lark. She concentrated on it and it vanished. Then she rubbed her hands off and started off in the direction of the docks. "Any wharf rat would tell if he saw the children for the right price." The others followed behind her.

Ten minutes later Sandry was talking with one of the dirtiest people that any of them, except for Lark, had ever seen. She smiled and handed him a gold coin before turning to the others. Her cornflower blue eyes were seething with rage. "They left yesterday afternoon aboard a boat called The Teal Lioness."

Lark sighed and passed a hand over her eyes. But then she removed them and her eyes were twinkling. "I love traveling by sea," she said to Sandry. "And I'm sure Silver and Steel will love to feel a boat beneath their Trader feet."

Steel and Silver looked at each other then flashed identical smiles at Lark, warm brown eyes delighted. "Of course we would love to be on a ship!" they said together.

Nikan rolled his eyes and his face was a pale green. "Aunt Sandry is there any other way to follow them. Other then a ship?"

Sandry gave him a wicked smile. "Sorry Nikan, you have to board the ship. Your father was always queasy around them as well." Then she started off to talk with the captain of a ship. When she came back Nikan looked as ill as the others looked excited.

"So when do we leave?" Lark asked.

Sandry sighed. "We leave in three hours. Aboard the Silver Wind. It's the fastest ship in port and can catch the Teal Lioness within a few days at least."

((There's the last part on that group of people in this story. Read the next one to find out what happens with them and everyone else!))

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Lissien grinned as she stood at the prow of the ship. Her thin braids whipped against her face as the salty wind sprayed her. "Come up here Tristan!" she called delightedly. "You'll love it!"

Tristan glared at her sister and threw up over the rail. "Shut up Lissien," she said. "Let me get my sea-legs and I will have more fun then you, being so close to the water."

Bronze laughed as he clambered over the ropes like a small monkey. He hung by his knees, dangling right in front of Tristan. "This was one of the best ideas ever!" he declared before scrambling off again as Tristan lunged for him.

Copper was up in the crow's nest her dozens of beaded braids clicking as the wind whipped them. "This is almost as beautiful as stone is!" she called down to Lissien. "Almost but not quite."

Kynara looked up at Lissien from where she sat. Her black cloak was drawn up and hid her face. "You mother will follow us," she said. "She will know the magic line is not what it seems."

Lissien sighed. "Well if she follows us then we can make her not take us home. And let's not worry about that right now. Let's just worry about having fun!"

((Ta-Daa! There's the end of this story. I'll continue on later of course. As soon as possible actually. Thanks to all of those who reviewed and gave me idea names (coolcatjenny). I hope you all will continue to review the next story when it comes out. The title is Children of the Four. Bye!))