The next week goes by quickly. Isobel is able to sleep without any dreams and feels stronger than she has in a long time. A big part of her attributes that to Austin. They haven't been able to keep their hands off each other, much to their parents' chagrin. Their mums had shown up on Wednesday and happened to walk in on them.
After a short period of embarrassment, they explained what had been happening and their plan. They weren't very thrilled at the idea, but what parent is?
Saturday morning arrives, and Isobel and Austin are waking up early to meet Daniel before heading to the Tree. Isobel spends the 5-hour drive focusing on preparing herself.
She doesn't totally know what she's walking into, so she focuses on the different skills she's learned over the years. Making sure she isn't rusty will enhance their chances of success.
They get to the national park that the tree is in, finding a parking spot before starting their hike to the center. It takes them almost an hour but then they come upon the massive 100-foot-tall oak tree.
"It's still alive. She made it so the tree would never die. That's why she chose the tree as the anchor for the curse." Daniel crosses his arms across his chest.
Isobel looks between him and the tree before moving towards it. She puts her hands on each side of the trunk and closes her eyes, opening her mind to the magic of the tree. Before her eyes flashes the life of the tree.
"What is she doing?"
"I'm not entirely sure..."
"I'm watching the life span of the tree. I can do that with any of nature's creatures. The more complex the creature, the more magic it takes, but trees are simple creatures. They live, and most die." Isobel turns back towards them. "Daniel, how many nature fae have you brought up here?"
"Every single one I came across that didn't think I was crazy. How are you able to do that?"
Isobel shrugs, "I've always been able to do that. I used to not be able to control it, as I grew though, I learned how."
Daniel nods, "Fascinating. I've never met another nature fae who was able to do that. And that's saying something. We need to find her castle though. The faster we figure out which curse it is, the faster we can break it."
Isobel nods, turning north. "It's this way."
It's just a short distance away from the tree. "Are you able to see it?"
Isobel watches as Austin and Daniel look around in confusion. "I'll take that as a no..." she chuckles, taking their hands. She opens her mind to them like she did the tree, imagining ivy wrapping around their joined hands.
"I can see it! Oh my God! I can actually see it!"
Isobel laughs as she lets go of Daniel's hand, squeezing Austin's. They make their way to the entrance, pushing the heavy wooden doors open. On every wall are shelves after shelves of books. "Let's get to work."