Nar spent most of the journey as a raven perched on Megil’s shoulder, telling him how he’d been travelling the kingdom when he came to the hall. He’d watched as the last of the people dived into the icy waters of the pool, to appear days later among the laughing people below. He’d often been tempted to dive in too, but decided against it when no one ever returned.
When they reached the home of the elves, they were taken straight to the tree where Meleth lay. They found Arduial and, much to Megil’s surprise, Gul standing on either side of Meleth, chanting.
Meleth herself was lying completely still on a small bed in the centre of the room. Her skin was so pale it was almost luminous, and the fairies that surrounded her gave the impression that she was really glowing.
Arduial and Gul stepped back from the bed and welcomed the boy and the pictsy. Arduial spoke swiftly to Nar in the language of the fey, explaining what needed to be done.
Then Gul, the Elf, and the Pictsy encircled Meleth and joined hands. Nar started up with a melodic chant that vibrated up through the floor and filled the room.
Megil watched as the three of them began to faintly glow. As the chanting got louder, the glow intensified until the whole room was lit.
Then suddenly, the light went out and they stopped. Arduial sighed.
“There’s nothing we can do for her.” Gul said sadly.
“There is one more thing we can try.” Arduial said softly, “True love’s kiss.”
“I’ll try!” volunteered Nar.
“No, dear cousin.” The elf lady said, smiling softly, “I think Megil should try.”
“Me?” Megil asked, troubled, “I’m not sure.”
“Go on, boy, try it.” Gul said, “If you don’t, she could die.”
“Just kiss the girl!” Nar pushed him forwards toward the bed. He looked down at her, lying there as if she were dead. He closed his eyes and kissed her, his lips gently brushing hers.
For a moment, it seemed like nothing would happen, then her eyelids flickered open and the colour slowly returned to her cheeks. She smiled, and as she reached up, he kissed her again. He bundled her up in his arms, and she whispered softly in his ear.