Imminent danger is suddenly and surprisingly gone, and the two girls just climbed up a hill after tumbling down a rocky slope. In what felt like one of Tolkien's little eucatastrophies, the unexpected escape was followed by laughter.
The world is silent but for the wind and trees, alive and sleepy and peaceful. The next stage of their journey to find the King beckons.
They have no map. One is blind, the other has lived below ground all her life.
Virginia cleared her throat. "Rehtse? Are we lost?"
"Shh," Rehtse said. "I am waiting."
A moment later, Rehtse lowered her hands, gathered her skirts in one hand, and tucked her other hand into Virginia's elbow. "Come," she said.
"Do you know where we are?" Virginia asked.
"No," Rehtse answered.
"Did the King answer you?" Virginia asked.
Rehtse hesitated. "Not - that I could hear."
"Then where are we going?" Virginia asked.
Rehtse smiled. "All paths in this world belong to the King. If he can use the Blackness to deliver us from wicked men, then he can turn even wrong steps into right ones. We are seeking him, so we will trust the road to lead us to him. But he cannot guide us if we don't move."
by Rachel Starr Thomson