Chapter 16: Welcome To The Garden Of Pendragon

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'Alright, I am not letting you out of my sights, again, young lady,' Kiley scolded Ryn mockingly the next morning, as she followed her out into the streets. 'I will personally drag you around the city if I have to.'

Ryn couldn't hold back her laughter at the maternal expression on the other girl's face. Despite being only a few years older, she looked very much like a mother bidding her rebellious child into an acceptable state of obedience.

'Don't worry,' she said. 'I shouldn't be going anywhere.'

'Shouldn't be?' Kiley scoffed, eyes rolling as a grin spread across her face. 'Yeah, that's real reassuring, Ryn. I swear, if you fall out of another building and disappear for three days, I'll-'

'Hey, it's not like I tried to do it the first time. Things just.... got out of hand.'

'Uh huh,' she sent her a dubious look. 'That... is what they all say.'

'Alright, alright!' Ryn straightened her shirt; another borrowed, backless singlet with a cord tied around her neck and lower back, keeping it secured to her frame whilst simultaneously leaving an abundance of room for her wings, both of which she kept pressed tightly against her back to avoid any other incidents. It looked a bit dressy for a walk down the street, but both it's convenience and comfort kept her from complaining. 'I promise that I'll do my best not to get into trouble this time round. Happy?'

She appeared to consider for several beats.

'Alright I'll take what I can get,' she finally sighed.

As they walked past a telegraph pole – another commodity she hadn't seen in use before – Ryn noticed one of those 'Should we let the mutants roam free?' Posters, pinned up against the wood. With a rising swell of anger, she tore it away, crumpling it in her fist before throwing it into the nearest bin they came across.

'You do realise that if someone catches you doing that,' Kiley raised an eyebrow, 'then they're more likely to suspect that you're a mutant.'

'Well, they wouldn't be wrong,' Ryn huffed.

'True, but you're not supposed to let them know that. Especially not at a time like this.' She looked around wearily, as though expecting someone to jump out at the two of them.

'We can't just live forever, hiding who we are, Kiley.'

'Perhaps, but if we don't,' she replied. 'Then there's a chance we won't be living at all.'

Ryn fell silent for several moments, her wings drooping.

'Do you really think they'll...?'

'I don't know,' Kiley straightened, some of her earlier optimism returning. 'But whatever they do to us mutants, we'll pull through. We always have... Anyway, we're nearly there.'

'Nearly... where?' Ryn rose an eyebrow, only just now realising that she was unaware of their destination.

'Only my favourite shop within all of The Lights. I refuse to be down in a place like this. Come on!'

She grabbed her arm and all but dragged her around to the adjacent street.

Ryn's eyes grew wide as they landed upon the stone front of an old building.

Though only two stories tall, it mimicked the style of a medieval castle, with short stout turrets included on either side. The front was dominated with a large wooden drawbridge, motionless in its place in the wall, of course, with a much smaller set of double glass doors set into its centre, sliding open every time it sensed an approaching individual.

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