Gabrielle walked out of her hut and asked her guard "Where is the Regent?" there were fresh tears on her face.
"In her hut last I saw . . . Is everything ok my Queen?" the guard asked
Gabrielle did not respond and headed to the hut, outside she called out "Ephiny?" as she walked up the steps, the door was open only a curtain was hanging in the doorway, "Ephiny?" she said as she pushed it aside and went in. There were 12 arrows on her desk, "I thought you said there were only 6?"
The regent looked up "6 in the last month, 12 total" she paused "all the same a scroll with a kiss and nothing more"
"I spoke to Artemis, she is in Tartarus"
Ephiny interrupted "Oh my gods I'm so sorry!"
Gabrielle continued "No no no, she's alive, and could be badly hurt so she does not want me to see her" she paused "Artemis did not know how she is, she has not actually seen her" She looked at the arrows. One caught her attention. It had blood on the head and the kiss was on the tail. "I thought you said they were all the same" she picked it up and showed Ephiny.
"I should have hidden that one" Ephiny thought. "Remember I got hit hunting last winter?" Gabrielle nodded "that's what hit me and I don't think it was an accident" Ephiny said.
"where is the scroll?" she looked at Ephiny, "please"
Ephiny was quite as she reluctantly pulled out a box from under the bed and went through the papers. "I know she loves you with all her heart. And she respects Artemis' rules. I can prove it." She handed Gabrielle a scroll. She read it.
E- I will not be back before Artemis' moon. Do what you must. –X
"The moon I am to be joined by" Gabrielle thought as tears started to fall. "Artemis' moon is next week. I can't be joined to you, not with Xena alive." She said through her tears.
Ephiny hugged Gabrielle "The council already knows, they have known from day one . . . Xena is your first choice, we all hope Artemis will stop the joining."
"Do you know anything about why she left? Artemis left before I could ask." She paused "she is hiding Xena from Aries, if he finds her . . . "she let it go unsaid.
Ephiny heard Artemis in her ear "Don't she does not need to know."
"But I don't even know why" she silently answered the Goddess.
"If I knew I would tell you" she told the Queen as she changed the subject "About the last arrow, Theo saw a young girl shoot it, she thinks she was on Argo."
Gabrielle looked up "Witch way did she go?" she paused "get Theo, we are going to find this girl."
"Amphipolis," she answered and called out the door "Guards send for Theo and get 3 houses'"
"Yes Regent" and her guard ran off.
"No Guards for the Queen?" Gabrielle asked with a laugh.
"No guards, if we find the girl I don't want to scare her" Eephing paused "No need for them with Theo. Besides she found more than half the arrows"
"Half? How many times has she seen the girl?" Gabrielle asked
"Nine to be exact, Only this time." Sighed Ephiny.
Theo came to the door "You sent for me?"
"Yes, the three of us are going to Amphipolis to find the girl you saw today" Gabrielle said
Theo looked at the Regent "She knows?" Ephiny nodded "I'm so sorry I should have waited . . . "
Gabrielle stopped her "5 came in a short time I was bound to find out. Now tell me about the girl." She demanded.
"I don't know much I only saw her today. I thought I saw Argo too. They went to Xena's hometown." Theo looked out the door "the horses are here"