My mother lived in Moquel for a couple of years, as you surely know. She believes it a little, but mostly, she says it’s overstated. In her opinion, it’s a way for the noble Moquels to keep the others cowered. They might know some things but less than they pretend to. At least, that’s what she said.” Rabin shrugged. “Like you explained before, maybe they just figure things out.”
“So, you’ve got no superpowers?” Del asked. “That’s a damn shame right now.”
“I guess the weirdest thing about me is my reddish hair and the fact I’m a bit smaller than average for my age for a twelve-year-old boy up here in The Hills, and that’s not all that weird.”
Even as Rabin spoke, he wondered if he told the truth. But no, even the Old Race had flashes of intuition. Even though he hadn’t liked Del’s assessment of his own possible future, he had to admit it sounded logical. Blending logic and intuition hardly made him a sage. His mother had always said that just made him more like a Grandtree and the grandson of the chief of The Hills.
“Your eyes sort of glow in the dark,” Del pointed out. “That’s kind of weird and creepy. It’s like you’ve got a wolf’s eyes. None of the other kids are sitting there glowing in the little thread of moonlight.”
“I can see in the dark better than purebred Old Race folks,” Rabin admitted. “It came in sort of handy when I had to try to train in the dark and keep up with you.”
Del nodded. “I always wondered what your secret was. I could never move in the dark at your age so well. I knew you were fast for your age, but I have to admit that I felt pretty aggravated when you started to beat me back to the training base. As you said, you’re a little small but deceptively strong and quick.”
“I was just trying to do my best like your father told us to,” Rabain responded seriously.
“Yeah, well that’s nothing to worry about now.” Del paused again. The older boy had kept his voice level and quiet. Stii, in the silence, Rabin believed he could feel Del’s anxiety cut through the dark. “Maybe it wouldn’t hurt for you to carefully poke those glowing eyes out of the cave entrance for a second,” Del said. “You might be able to see down the slope and into the village.”
“I probably couldn’t see past the treeline in the dark,” Rabin said. “It’s not like I can see through a stand of oak and pines any better than you.”
“It’s hard to understand why nobody’s come to fetch us yet. Gatekeeper or not, I can’t just sit here in this cave forever. At least, we could find out if the gatebreakers have left or not. I guess I can trust you to decide if you can scoot down to the treeline to see into the village. Papa always said that you were clever enough.”