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It took a long time to get everyone organized and back to the castle. My Little Bunny was worried about everyone and wanted a full death count by the morning. That was going to be something else that broke her apart. She hated the senseless death of people like this. This was definitely not going to be a pleasant time for any of us.

When it was finally time for our group to head back, after all the instructions and orders had been given, I could see the exhaustion starting to hit my Little Bunny hard. She was going to be dead asleep long before the night fully hit. Was it a bad idea to talk about everything tonight? I didn't want to push her, but I knew that we all needed to talk about it sooner rather than later.

"You can lean on me." I told Little Bunny as we walked through the portal back to the central plaza. It wasn't that far from there to the castle, but then we had to walk all the way to the Queen's private office. I wanted her to save some of her energy and use me if she could.

"Thank you, Reece." She smiled softly and leaned her head against my side. I wrapped my arm around her waist and stealthily helped to carry her along. To everyone else, it would look like she was just walking along. But what they wouldn't be able to tell was that I was actually carrying more than ninety percent of her weight. It was the least that I could do for my Little Bunny.

I supported her all the way across the courtyard, all the way to the castle doors, and through every hallway that we came to until we were in Gloriana's private study. When we got inside, I pulled her along with me to the usual loveseat that we sat in and then I pulled her into my lap.

I wanted to feel her in my arms, to know that she was here and safe. I hadn't forgotten the fear that I had felt when I watched her disappear through the barrier and then the anger at not being able to follow her. There were still so many raw emotions in me that I needed to calm down and the only thing that would do that was holding her close so that I could feel her warmth and smell her familiar scent.

I was just glad that she wasn't trying to fight it either. She was here to calm me, but she probably needed me to calm her down a little bit as well. The only evidence to that though, was her exhaustion and the slight chill that was on her skin. She had been through a lot. She had earned the right to be a little vulnerable with me.

"OK, I think it's best to get straight to it and start talking about what happened. Trinity, will you please tell us what happened?" Gloriana opened the conversation.

"Before that, I have one other question that I want to have answered. Trinity, I think you told me that you would explain that." I said pointing to the sword that was still in her hand. Her left arm was dangling at her side so the sword, and the head that was stabbed through on the tip, were still there for us all to see.

"Well, I conjured this sword when I was fighting Solanum. I will start with that part of the story so that I can explain to you all what had happened while I was gone." Her voice was still strong and full of authority despite the exhaustion I saw in her eyes.

"You're referring to your time in the dark Fae realm." Gloriana asked which caused my Little Bunny to nod her head with a slight smile.

"Yes. I had constantly been scanning the battlefield for any glimpse of Solanum. I knew that if we took her out, the battle would end. I didn't know how I knew it, I just did. And I think I was right. When I finally found her, she was conjuring more of those beasts to attack everyone."

"Well, that explains why there were a lot less of them after Trinity disappeared. There were still some being sent out, but nowhere near as many." Trevor nodded as he spoke as if he were answering a question and not just making a statement.

"Yes, that would be why." Trinity didn't look at him when she spoke, she didn't look at anyone. Instead, she was staring at the fire that was roaring behind the grate. "Now, when I got there, I saw that it looked a lot like the field I had left, only different colors, and definitely full of death and decay."

"That is the lifeless part of the Fae realms, it was all that we left them when we decided to leave." Valerian didn't seem bothered by what he heard or said. 

"Yeah, I gathered as much. Anyway, I knew that Solanum was in there. She was hiding somewhere so I goaded her and forced her to give away her position."

"How in the world did you do that?!" Gloriana wondered with a smile.

"I screamed at her, repeatedly calling her Granny. She really hated that." That made everyone laugh. "Anyway, I found her, and she admitted to being able to influence people for years. She is actually the one that encouraged Hibiscus to follow through with her plans. I don't want to say that she made her do it, but she might have given her the final push that she needed to actually do it all." I saw that Gloriana didn't like hearing that, but there was nothing that we could do about it now. Hibiscus was already dead. "She also corrupted Grier and Curtis. She was trying her best to get someone to open the barrier. The closest that she got to it was a crack that Hibiscus put in it. And I am assuming that the information that Hibiscus had, like the layout of the dungeon, came from Solanum. She used to be a prisoner there, as well as a resident of the castle."

This was all starting to piss me off. This bitch had done so much, not just recently but in the past. She had really deserved to die.

"A lot happened while I was in the dark realm. I learned to water walk." Trinity smiled and looked at Valerian who was smiling at the words. "The water taught me how." That made no sense to me at all but I let it slide for now. I wanted her to continue. "I used this ice sword that I made after Solanum pulled a dark and steel blade out of the air. I needed something that was more powerful than the sword I had gotten from Alloy and Sterling, not to mention, I don't even remember where I had dropped it. As I fought Solanum with this sword though, It was freezing her. Eventually, she froze completely, but she was trying to run away at the time and so she fell forward, shattering herself. I brought her head back for proof that she was dead."

"Proof is always a good thing." Valerian said as he took the head off the end of the sword and walked over to the fireplace. "Now that we have all seen that the enemy is dead, there is one last thing that I want to do." With that, he threw the head into the fire, and I heard it immediately hiss.. It was probably just the difference between the cold magic ice and the flames, but it was unnerving and made my skin crawl.

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