Yvette raced through the forest. She heard "headstrong and confident" commented about her all her life. It wasn't usually intended as a compliment. The memories raced through her mind as the trees past. Her father told her to cherish her strength. With that thought, she pushed faster through the towering columns.
Behind her, a group of farmers and villagers were following her. "Follow my steps." she called to them several times. "Speed is our ally tonight." The forest was a maze of small hills and roots. "There is a path, follow my steps."
Her Father moved her and her brother to the forest a few years ago because "they needed a chance to bloom and it is hard to do that where people talk down to you." The forest had its challenges now too. Over the last week she had not felt her strength. She thought she would wither. She almost lost her twin brother protecting the forest. Inside she felt she had to run away as fast as she could.
Lavani, the mayor of Montsilt, kept her close and got Jacques back. Now Yvette wanted to push forward. They needed information to prevent the forest from being overrun. She was running to near where her brother had fallen. She stopped outside the fields of Pale Gear. The remains of the village visible on the horizon.
The others caught up with her and doubled over to recover from the intense pace she had set. "Walk it off, You all did excellent." she said quietly to each one. Lavani had called her doubts a desert within. "The desert may always be there but it can bloom too." Her faith in Lavani and the forest had been restored. She felt it should never have waivered. The fast run was as much about testing herself as it was about the mission.
"Put on your gloves, gather samples. Horace, get the potions. We need to test each on the Winter Jasmine." Yvette got the farmers and townspeople moving. She scanned the perimeter for trouble. Artie watched the fields for movement. Yvette didn't need to ask him to do that, he moved in sync with her. They had been training with Ardelis' Arrows for weeks. Plus, Artie was here when they had to retreat from Pale Gear.
Horace looked at Yvette "Was there really a path?"
Yvette flashed a slight smile as she walked over to Artie.