Silver glanced around her, at the swarm of mud men pouring in. She was already at her perch.
The plan wasn’t working. However much they tried, they couldn’t get the humans into one place. It was impossible. Rather it looked like Holly, Loken and Piper were the ones hoarded into the same spot. This was impossible. Better call Retrieval. Silver took out her communicator. “Foaly,come in. Darn, where the heck is he? Foaly, come in!”
She heard a human shout. Apparently she’d been spotted, and all was over.
Zidan smirked. “Ah, my old enemy,” he said, dramatically. It had taken eight of his men to restrain Loken, and just two each for the others. “We meet again.”
Loken grinned. “Try me.”
“Take that stupid smile off your face,” growled the human.
Zidan’s stare drifted towards her. He sighed. “Bring the elf here.”
“What, gonna interrogate me?” she asked, sarcastically. “Won’t work.”
“Interrogate?” asked Zidan, faking surprise. “Oh, no, much worse.” He leaned in, face inches away from hers. Holly scowled. “I know what you’re thinking and it’s not going to happen. Dream off, pervert.”
He nodded at the two musclemen holding her. “Take her to my room. I’ll be back shortly after I kill this pathetic whelp.”
Loken sneered at him with burning hatred in his eyes. “Talking about yourself, I presume.”
“We’ll settle this, Loken. Take the two elves to the dungeon.”
“I’m half sprite,” spat Silver. “Dungeon. Very dramatic. And I suppose you mean basement. Believe me, we’ve seen it. Super lame.”
“Go on,” challenged Piper. “Retrieval is going to kick your butt.” She paused, glancing at Silver. “You did call them, right?”
The elf/sprite shook her head guiltily. Piper groaned.
“Release him,” ordered Zidan. The eight humans did as they were told, immediately leaving with a low bow.
He faced Loken, sword at hand. “Do your worst, elf,” he snickered. “This is a fight to the death.”
Minerva sighed. “I’m sorry about this, Holly. But around here, you do what Zidan wants you to do.”
Holly scowled. “Look, since we’re familiar and all, why don’t you just let me go and help Loken kill that freak?”
“That’s not an option.”
“Why not? You’re not still mad at me about the No1 thing, are you?”
The Mud Girl sat beside her, breathing deeply. “No. I just can’t. Just like you said, Zidan is a freak. When he was appointed General, he searched the planet for talented humans who could contribute to him winning the war, and found ways to make them work for him. He kept their families hostage and I’ll only get to see Papa and Bobo if this war ends, and if he wins it.”
Holly stared at her, horrified. Now it all made sense why these humans were so dedicated to their leader’s every word.
“If there was any other way, I’d do anything possible to make him lose it,” she continued. “Though I still can’t believe how Zidan managed to get every brilliant mind on the planet and missed Artemis.”
Holly smiled slowly. “That’s because he and the rest of his family are on our side.”
“This is one of the only times I wish I was Artemis.”
The elf laughed. “I’m glad you’re not, because otherwise I’d be in love with a girl.”
“You are gross.”
“I only said that to freak you out.”
“Did you say you love Artemis?”
Holly rolled her eyes. “As a friend, yes. What did you think?”
Minerva smirked. “Because Beckett told me–”
“How long ago was this?”
“The bottom line is still the same.”
“Never believe what a Fowl says,” warned Holly. “Artemis promised that he’ll stay behind and not fight, but I think he’s going to do the exact opposite.”