"Thirteen, fourteen, fifteen," counted Arsinoe as the carriage made its way up the Great Stony Way. "Hmmm, sure are a lot of cows here."
Her sister rolled her eyes, and glanced at Semele. "So... what now?"
Semele shrugged. "We make our way to Rhea, pledge our service and then..." She sighed. "I don't know. We put so much into this... and so much just... got destroyed."
Leucippe bit her lip. "A lot of the others are probably going into hiding and destroying what they can. It'll take some looking to find them after this. One night has probably set us back twenty years."
"Twenty, twenty-one..." Arsinoe turned to glance at Leucippe. "How do you know that? You're... only twenty-four years old, Ippe. You really have no idea what the Necklace looked like twenty years ago."
Leucippe glanced away. "I... Armida told me. Stuff. Way back when."
Arsinoe continued to count the cows. "Twenty-three, twenty-four... She told me stuff too. But can we really trust anything she told us? I mean--she said this would work. And it didn't. It really didn't."
Semele chuckled at that. "Wow. You're not as ditzy as you let on."
"I prefer 'whimsical'," said Arsinoe. "And yes, I am, but that doesn't mean I'm stupid. Twenty-seven, twenty-eight..."
"Point," said Semele. She glanced at Leucippe. "Do you have any answer to that?"
The young woman grimaced. "To the thought that everything we've served might be a lie? No, not really. It's occurred to me before. It's occurring to me a lot right now. But... what else do we have? What else?"
"Thirty-three, thirty-four... ooh!" Arsinoe turned to the others and pointed. "Look, look, that one has spots that form an amusing, slightly obscene picture!" She turned her head. "If you look at it from the right angle, anyway."