Chapter Eight: Mysteries of the Orb

"The one called Miguel is no longer with us," said that nonvoice from the orb. Fam's eyes went wide, and Ihrie walked back to hug her.
"He's not gone," she said quietly, holding a finger to hush Fam's inevitable question.
Instead, Rasha asked it.
"Where IS he?"
The orb stayed silent.
Lyle coughed gently, walking up with a smile bordering on naivety. "Ask it politely," he said. "And change the question."
"Change it?"
"Think for a moment."
She did, taking most of the time to calm, and nodded.
"He is no longer with us . . "
"Correct."
" . . so who is he with?"
"He is now with Aeril."
"Who is Aeril?"
The nonvoice paused. "You should know."
"I do not."
The nonvoice quieted. "Then I must le - "
"No!" The nonvoice made a quiet vexed noise. "No," said Rasha more gently. "Where is Aeril?"
"He is immediately south of Reybart castle."
"Why?"
The nonvoice hissed. "You are not in your right mind, Rashana. Only Aeril knows."
"Rashana?" This time, it was Galuff, with more than a little suspicion.
Rasha hissed, now. "Only Aeril knows," she complained, imitating the nonvoice.
"Meet Aeril if you want to find out. You're not learning anything else from ME!"
The nonvoice grew quieter and quieter, muttering Rabaran expletives.
Once it was fully gone, Rasha whirled on Galuff in a flutter of white cape. "What's this about a Rashana?" rivaling a cobra's venom.
"Just a person I've heard - "
"You've heard -nothing- of Rashana." Galuff's eyes went wide, he gulped, and skittered away.
"Now," said Rasha as smoothly as her cape's turn, "Let's find Aeril."