"So we're just going to walk into an ambush?" Adah asked.
"We don't have much choice," Drinian said. "We need the boat to get to the ship."
"Besides," Caspian said, "we don't know their intentions. We did land on their island with an armed force without so much as a, 'Hello.'" He paused. "I think we had cause, I remember the last time we came ashore without armed guard, and if we could have seen them we would have made diplomatic contact, but I know that if an armed force came onto Narnian shores without making their intentions clear I'd have a call to arms too." Another pause. "Hopefully we can parlay."
Adah sighed. "Some things were easier as a Serpent. So we just walk into a place where we could have knifes to our throats without even knowing it."
"If they were that close," Reepicheep said, trying to be reassuring, "I'd smell them."
"I'd try to find a position I could cover you from," Iisha said, "but I can't shoot what I can't see."
"I'm sorry," Restimar said to Caspian, "that I used your title."
"There's nothing to be sorry about," Caspian said. Letting a potential hostile force know they could capture royalty was potentially catastrophic, but who could be blamed for not seeing that an invisible enemy might be listening?
"Let's face this," Caspian said to everyone. "Lucy, Iisha, nocks on strings--"
"Susan used a bow," Lucy said. "I've always faced combat up close with a dagger." After a pause she added, "Learn your history."
Caspian said, "Iisha, ready your bow, everyone else draw your weapons or be prepared to." Caspian then led the way making a point of not drawing his sword. Only Reepicheep joined him ahead of the others.
Even though Reepicheep was actively sniffing hard he wasn't picking up much. A breeze that would be pleasant if not for its infuriating scattering of scents was blowing steadily seaward. The Mouse could tell that something dwarf-like had passed this way, but his knowledge ended there. He never picked up a scent strong enough to be coming from something that was still around and so was as surprised as the others when a voice said, "No further, masters, no further now.”
Lucy noted the use of, "Masters." Deferential words from people who clearly had the advantage over them. Slaves or servants was her guess. That meant that whatever these people's disposition, there was almost certainly a problem on this island in need of fixing.
The voice continued, “We’ve got to talk with you first. There’s fifty and more of us here with weapons. Talk would be in your best interest, it would.”
“Hear him, hear him,” came a chorus of voices. “That’s our Chief. You can depend on what he says. He’s telling you the truth, he is.”
Reepicheep hopped to Caspian's shoulder and whispered in his ear, "They're downwind of us, there could be 15 or 500. We've got only their word."
Caspian spoke in the direction of the voice, "We wish to talk as well. It was not our intention to invade your island and we would have greeted you and explained that had we been able to see you." Caspian motioned for weapons to be put away.
Iisha removed the arrow from her bowstring and returned it to her quiver, but kept in mind the direction of the Chief's voice. The other's sheathed their weapons, though likewise kept in mind the location of any voice they had been able to locate.
The Chief spoke again, "We have a request. Something your king can do for us."
"If it is truly a request, not a demand, then you have no need of weapons," Edmund said.
"We have put ours away as well," the Chief responded, to a chorus of affirmations.
"Meaning no disrespect," Reepicheep said, "but we can't see that."
Weapons appeared as they were dropped on the beach before them.
"They trust us, apparently," Eustace said.
"Or they're very desperate," Adah said.
"What is your request?" Caspian asked.
"Well,” said the Chief's voice. “It’s a long story. Suppose we all sit down?”
"If it's all the same to you," said Eustace, "we'd prefer the short version."
“Well, then, to put it in a nutshell,” said the Chief's voice, "we want your king to go into a place protected by magic spells that only royalty and the magician who made the spells can penetrate, find a magic book, and read the spell that will make us visible again, so we do."
"I may have been wrong," Eustace said. "Perhaps we should have the long version."
[And then explanation about how, while royalty can penetrate the spells certain people can be kept out via spells specifically directed at them which is why the chief couldn't read the invisible making spell (magician assumed that the daughter was useless and thus not making a special spell for) but since then there's been an anti-her spell added so none of the locals can penetrate the spells to get to the book and stuff.]