"Definitely no goddesses in the family tree," Rikku says. "That's something that would have been mentioned. I just come from a place where there's a lot more variation in hair color among humans."Tochtlea continuues to scrutinize her, getting uncomfortably close. "The curse must be broken," he repeats, "in the light of the sun. Alas, I cannot; I would trade for your blood, but those of my people who could break the curses of the owls died when the gods fell. It is a simple enough matter for one who knows the rites. The owl-curse is a magic like any other."
Xoco makes a clicking sound that you take to indicate amusement. "Not a butterfly," she says. "Ītzpāpālōtl is - was - a terrible skeleton goddess, mistress of birds, of fire, and of those that die in the egg. She would couple with mortal men; her children are the spirits of the wild, the faerees, as you call them. Her sign is the obsidian butterfly, and also the claw-winged bat."
"It may be that you are touched by Ītzpāpālōtl," Tochtlea says, eyeing Rikku. "She was a goddess; her reach was long."
"If they tried to harm you when you approached in peace," Rikku says with confidence, raising her fist in a defiant gesture, "then they'd have to go through me first. I'm the last Monk Sister of the Lotus Blossoms. Maybe I couldn't take them all, but I'd make them regret starting the fight.""Our safety relies on the city-humans? I do not like this," Tochtlea says. "How are you to hold them bound to any agreement? They are treacherous. Surely they will think this next world would be better without any Cueyatl, without any Cochotlacatl. What if they fall upon us and slay us when we approach them in peace?"
She lowers her fists, "Besides, the world is coming to an end. What's the point of holding onto old grudges?"
"You are strong in magic, chichi-Anna," Xoco says, staring at Anna and rubbing the cut on her scaled palm. "I felt your magic, like a fire within you. This thing you should be able to do."