Once they were in the room, Raelle shut Gavin and his clothes in the bathroom, and in a few minutes the cooked food in his belly triggered the transformation back into human form. Gavin emerged reclothed.
"Sooo...." he said, searching for something meaningful to say, "Sunny Wystbough. Nice little town, from what I've heard."
Raelle looked at him with an inquisitive face. "And what have you heard?"
"I, er, ah, that it's a nice little town?"
Raelle turned away, looking at the window. She was used to this sort of helpfulness from Gavin. "I don't suppose, Mr. Famous Treasure Hunter, that you know where in this town we can find someone to tell me how to fix the amulet?" She turned back looking at him with a wry smile. "You did say that you knew nearly all of them, right before you turned into a raccoon."
Gavin put up his hands. "Hey, I just said I knew where the towns were. I don't really know anything about the mystics or priests who might be in them."
Gavin sat down on a bed, and Raelle shrugged. "I suppose they can't be too hard to find. We can probably ask Bri."
"Assuming she doesn't try to rhyme any answers she gives us," Gavin responded. Raelle smiled briefly, but Gavin saw it.
Raelle pulled out the amulet and studied it for a moment. When had it happened? It had been normal when Gavin had given it to her. She thought about her punishment, when Tanuki had pulled her strength from her through the amulet. Her shame began to fill her mind, but she pushed it away. She had to find out what was wrong with it. She knew that it did not normally turn brown after draining someone's energy, as it was regularly used to defeat Tanuki's opponents in battle, so she did not think it had changed then. What else had happened that night?
Gavin cleared his throat, breaking her focus. She turned to him, "Yes?"
"I was just wondering... why did you leave everyone back there without saying anything?"
"Because..." she started, but she paused. Because it was dangerous? I can't say that, not now. Then I'd have to explain, and I shouldn't have to tell /him of all people./ "Because I have what I came all this way for," she said, holding up the amulet. "I didn't need to stick around. Tanuki has been patient long enough."
"Ah, I see," Gavin said, disappointment in his tone.
Raelle flushed, frustrated that he would judge her, and that she couldn't tell him the truth. "What about you," she returned angrily. "Why didn't you stick around back there?"
"Well... if I'd gone back to say goodbye, you would have gone off and I probably wouldn't have been able to find you."
Raelle jumped out of her seat, finger pointing, a smile of victory on her face. "Ah hah! I knew it! You were following me!"
"No I wa... well, ok, yeah I was! But hey, you can't even pick up a weapon anymore. What happens if you get killed by some roadside bandits or something and they send another priest after me? When I tell them you had the amulet and went off to return it, you think they'd believe me? Would you?"
Raelle folded her arms. "You do have a point."
"Yeah, so I have an interest in getting this thing back to your temple too. Don't forget that."
Raelle pocketed the amulet. "Fine then. Let's get moving then. Come on, let's go find a mystic."
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