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Erlen started to shake her head, but hesitated. “I suppose I could try. But do you have any gold for me to use?”
“Not here,” said Gild. “I’ll need a spinning wheel.”
“And I’ll need a loom.”
“How long will this take?” boomed Tyrr’s rough voice. “Weaving this tapestry.”
“Days, if not weeks,” said Erlen. “Depends on how big it’s going to be. Bigger works tend to have more detail, and details give more information.”
“But the wild hunt rides even now, hunting for Wyrdith,” said the god. “Hunting forme, once Erlkönig knows I have escaped him.”392
“What else can we do?” said Gild. “We have no way to fight them. They’re immortal.”
“It would seem to me,” said Tyrr, “you already fought Perchta once, and you won.” They crossed their broad arms over their chest. “I do not rememberyou, young prince. But I remember the arrow that struck Perchta’s heart, tethering her to the veil until Velos could claim her. It was averygood shot.”
“Er, thanks,” said Gild. “Did you have anything to do with it?”
Tyrr smirked. “I only gave alittlehelp.”
Gild sulked. “Thought maybe it was all me.”
“It wasn’t the precision of your aim that defeated the huntress,” said Tyrr. “If any arrow could so easily entrap a dark one, they would not be nearly as formidable. So I wonder, whatwasthat arrow?”
Serilda gasped. “Gold! It was a golden arrow!”
Gild blinked at her. “It was?”
“Yes. Or at least, a gold-tipped arrow. Just like the arrows the Erlking used to tether our spirits, and capture the gods. His arrows must be god-spun gold, too. I would bet anything that the arrows he uses were yours once. He probably stole them after he cursed you.”
Gild started to pace. “So … if we had hundreds of golden arrows, we could shoot every dark one and send them all back to Verloren?”
“In theory, yes. If Velos was free to take them back.”
“This is a lot ofifs,” said Erlen.
“But it’s not impossible, right?” said Serilda.
Gild heaved a long sigh. “Thread for a tapestry, gold for arrows … it will take time. Where do we find a spinning wheel?”
“Adalheid,” said Serilda. “You’re mortal now. The people there will welcome you with open arms—their own Vergoldetgeist. Plus, there’s already so much god-spun gold in that city thanks to all the gifts you’ve given them over the years. Maybe you can use some of them.”
“But if it’s indestructible,” mused Erlen, “how do you change it into arrowheads?”
“Gild can mold it into whatever he wants. Right, Gild?”393
He nodded. “Easy enough. But … Serilda.” His eyes darted toward the clouds, where a faint halo from the full moon was shining through. “When the veil falls …”
He didn’t have to finish. As long as Serilda did not have a mortal body, they would be separated.
That is—unless the Erlking succeeded in having the gods destroy the veil, but that would cause far more problems that she didn’t want to think about.
“I’m not staying with you,” she said. “You and Erlen will go to Adalheid, and I will try to find Wyrdith.”
“It’s not the Endless Moon,” said Gild. “What if Wyrdith can’t grant your wish and put you back in your body?”
She shrugged. “The baby is due soon. If I wait until the winter solstice, it might be too late.”
Gild dragged a frustrated hand through his hair. “You can’t go alone. The wild hunt is probably searching for Wyrdith as we speak.”