Finding themselves at a river, Alton and Revanth ask the naiads for help. The women are nieces of Velda’s, understandably a bit hostile with Alton. However, they promise to help the men, if Revanth will agree to mate with them.
“In exchange, we will tell you what we know of the puka, and the lands beyond the hills,” the second said.
“The thing is, ladies….” Revanth cleared his throat nervously. “I’m as good as married.”
“So? This is mating for young. Your almost-wife cannot object.”
“In point of fact, she can, and does.”
“How? She isn’t here. How will she know?” the second naiad said.
The expression in their eyes turned hard, their faces tense.
“We can see how we fare without their help….” Alton began.
“And if no one else knows? Or drives an even harder bargain? Then what?”
Alton said nothing for a moment. His body slumped slightly…
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