"It's almost hard to be angry at creatures so cute," Cindy commented as she, Sally, and Adam walked through the Secret Path. The Lilais turned out to be squirrel-like in their original form as well, except furry, with floppy ears, and a long, curly fur tail. But their cuteness did not mask their earlier actions.
"I'm not finding it especially difficult," Sally said. "You're just vain."
"That's just rude," Cindy said.
The three of them became concerned as they approached the others.
"Are you guys alright?" Adam asked in alarm. Both Watch and Amy were soaked in blood, and Bryce and Tira were somewhat bloody themselves. As he looked closer, Adam noticed Amy's wrist was bandaged and both hers and Bryce's shirts were torn.
"More or less. It's been a rough adventure," Bryce said, leaving Amy leaning against a red sports car in the middle of the graveyard. That would need some explanation. Adam thought about how they didn't have the money to pay the owner back for damages.
Bryce patted Adam on the shoulder and gave Cindy a hug. "Man, have we got a tale to tell."
"You haven't heard ours," Sally scoffed.
"So it's over?" Cindy asked.
"Naia and Saline are rounding up the last of the creatures and plants," Tira explained, gesturing to the south end of the graveyard. Naia and Saline were both meditating. The bags beside them were full of seeds and uprooted flowers. "So it's over for us. The rest is up to them."
"And what about Van de Ryn?" Watch asked. "I assume Jarethcomb is safe?"
"The duke's in jail and he'll definitely be found guilty at his trial tomorrow," Sally explained. "Good riddance too."
"And for the most part the Aulorean government feels that will fix things," Adam added. He sighed. "But some think that steps should be taken against Jarethcomb as well."
"That's troubling," Watch said.
"I don't think such ideas will be put into action though," Cindy insisted. "The government is being run by a capable man."
"At least for now," Adam muttered. "I feel like we've solved nothing for Jarethcomb."
"Not to depress you further, Adam, but we don't solve a lot of things," Bryce said. "We know there will always be another adventure – another problem that will threaten the world's existence. Or ours."
Sally crossed her arms. "Blowing up a facility full of a shape-shifting race trying to take over the earth seemed to solve something," she argued.
Bryce looked at her. "But you know what I mean," he said. "We can only solve the immediate problem. The future is still going to be full of problems no matter what we do. The Jarethcomb creatures will have to defend themselves again one day."
"Oddly enough that's somewhat comforting," Adam said. "And at the same time horribly depressing."
"Speaking of immediate problems," Sally began. "How are we going to get Ted and company back here?" she chuckled. "And without them finding out about the Secret Path to boot."
"Even if they are still unconscious, there's no way we can drag that dead weight back here through that forest." Cindy said.
Tira lowered her head. "Okay, apparently it's not over for us," she said.
"It never is," Watch said, taking a seat on the barren ground.