Raven nodded, but she glanced at the man who had told them and could tell by the way he was looking at her that something was still up. She decided not to press it at the moment, and turned her attention back to Henrie. "Of course, we can set off at once"
Nodded and started to follow her. He shot a look at Grover. Grover showed Henrie a small dagger he had ready to throw if Raven did try to hurt them.
She could sense distrust in the air. She was rather certain they knew something, but kept her mouth shut as she led them through the trees. Soon they reached what remained of the village, although everyone who had once lived in it had all left. Lupin did secretly live there, but he lived in a secret room attatched to a basement where no evidence of someone being there could easily be found.
When they reached the village, Raven turned and faced them. "Look, just because this is where I was born and raised doesn't mean I'm the one doing all this, and I find it slightly offensive that you'd assume I would just based off my ancestry." She said, crossing her arms. "I assure you, if I could cause and control such a beast, I wouldn't use it to harm people or their homes."
Henrie looked at her, but didn't speak for a moment. He was debating his words. As a prince he had been trained to speak like every word he said would be used against him.
"I never said you were, but it would be a foolish to throw the option out of the window so fast." Henrie turned to his three men, "Lark and Baxter, you two search together. If you find something or run into danger signal us."
Henrie looked up at the sun's bright light then he turned his attention back to Raven, "You and Grover will scout the area with me."
He moved forward without waiting for her answer. The ruined villiage wasn't too large, but if they were to search it well it would take them most of the day. They had to start now.
She sighed and rubbed her eyes. "Just it's annoying that people have to treat me different when they learn my family history." Raven muttered, although she said nothing further on the matter, deciding it would do her little good.
She bit her lip as she looked around. "I know which houses are most likely to contain books on spells that might point to a spell that would cause these current happenings. It's possible someone is turning themselves into this beast at night, or that there is some sort of curse on someone that can be lifted instead of simply killing them."
Henrie stopped walking and looked back at her in surprise, "You're saying that the beast is a person?"
He felt shocked- no, even that word was not enough to describe what he felt. Jarred was probably a better one.
"But...why would someone turn themselves, or someone else into a monster to destroy the town?" His mind was whirling on a whole and new train of thought. "It's not like they are asking for money or a sacrifice of some kind..."
"What about teh women? Raven said that the beast sometimes got the women. Maybe it was doing more than just killing them...."
Henrie shuddered. "Hurry. Take us to the houses."
Raven nodded and led the way. "It's a hunch. The towns around here, decades ago, gathered and came against this village, trying to weed out all the witches. Those proven uncapable of magic were spared, but their offspring carefully watched. Every few years a witch was still born, and that witch would be killed in the years of childhood.
"It's possible someone has survived, and wants revenge. That would explain destroying the towns, especially targetting the one that led all the others in the first place. And it might be that the spell requires some sort of sacrifice. Or maybe since the beast is male, it's merely for his own entertainment."
Henrie followed after Raven. He had a bad feeling about this town. He had spent some time with his father's navy last year and ever since then he had become more superstitious. The thoughts of revengful witch spirits hanging around sent shivers down his spine.
He cleared his throat and spoke in a firm tone, "What is your story? YOu are a witch they say. What happened to your family?"
Raven slowed, then stopped, facing him. "This is sort of my history...I come from this village. It was inhabitted still when I was younger. And then..." She sighed. "A pair of twins were born. One was a witch. The towns wanted to kill both of the children. The parent's didn't even want to give up one."
She gestured around. Area's were burnt, others were seemingly torn and beaten at. "The twins and their family, were all killed by the fire set in their home." She gestured to where the house had been burnt to the ground. "After all that, everyone scattered. My parents had been friends of the family and had gotten killed at some point in the night. I was carried off with an uncle, and was subject to countless tests before the towns would accept me. My uncle turned out to be a witch as well and was killed. That's my story. I've been tested up and down. There's only one test ever been missed. I assure you, I'm not a witch, despite what some of the people believe."
Henrie sighed, "I'm sorry I have to be so...untrustworthy." he looked around, "The King ordered me to fix the problem, therefore it is on my shoulders and every death that happes now will be on my shoulders."
He awkwardly patted her shoulder. "I am sorry for your loss and and in your debt for your help in solving this mystery."
She simply shook her head, turned, and started walking again. She went into the largest house, which was partially burnt and really questionable as far as structural stability. She slipped between rubble and winced at the sight of charred human remains. "The way to the library is blocked." She said in frustration, seeing that part of the floor above had caved in.
Henrie growled. "Is there another way in?"
He looked around. Maybe there was another door...?
"Well I know there are a lot of secret passages all through the village and that what we need is actually in a secret room off the library..." Raven looked around. "I remember...a door in the floor..." She snapped her fingers and weaved through the wreckage into the parlor. She paused and whimpered at the remains of some great grandmother of hers. "Henrie?"
Henrie poked his head around her and noticed the old skeleton. He glanced at Raven's pale face. He wasn't sure if she didn't like dead bodies in general or if this one was familiar to her.
"Grover would you please go and burry her?" Henrie nodded to the body. "Witch or no, she's still a human and deserves some respect."
Henrie gently touched Raven's arm. "C'mon. Let's go."
Grover moved forward and began to tear an old curtain down from a window to move her with.
Shaking her head, Raven took a few deep breaths to calm herself. "Look, there where she was, there's a trapped door that's only meant to be opened from the inside. I know because when me and my cousins would play hide and seek, he's always hide in there and no one could find him. He just said 'look in the library' when we asked him how to get into the passage so if we can get into the passage from here, we might be able to get into the library."
He nodded. "LEad the way."
((Sorry for the short post. Busy >-< )))
Raven shot him a look like he was stupid. "Only meant to be opened from the inside." She repeated. "You need to figure out how to get the door opened from this side."
Henrie ran a hand through his hair. "Great! Is nothing ever easy to figure out anymore?"
He looked around. Was this a sort of riddle? Or was he over thinking things? His father always told him that he wasn't very bright when it came to these things.
He shook his head, "James would be so much better at this than me."
Of course he would, James was always better. That was why his father didn't love Henrie as much.
Raven shook her head, sighing and taking his sword right from it's sheat, walking over to the area of the trapped door. She fit it in the small crack between the door and the rest of the floor and pried it open enough to use her hands. She uesd a hand to hold it open, holding his sword out to him. "Here."
"Oh," Henrie blinked his surprise. He had to admit when she yanked his sword out he was about to draw his hidden dagger. "Clever."
He grabbed the door from her and peered into the library. It was dusty and smelled very musty and old. It was also very dark.
Henrie pulled out a small rock that had been given to him once. He blew on it and it started to glow. He stepped inside and allowed its light to shine over the bookshelves.
"Where do we start?"