| "Are you serious?"
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The Great Secret is the thirty-ninth chapter of Gunnerkrigg Court. The chapter can be found
Annie and James are crossing the bridge to Gillitie Wood. James is wearing his ornate armour, but Annie tells him he does not have to wear that outfit every time they go across the bridge, as its inhabitants don't really care for formality. He responds by noting he can tell by Annie's causal attire- a plain shirt, sweatpants and simple shoes. She justifies it by saying she's not the medium yet and it is more comfortable for climbing.
James says to Annie that considering what has happened in the past few weeks, the Court has been going easy on her and are unhappy she has been skipping out on her detentions. If Coyote had not directly summoned her, the Court may not have let her come at all. Annie replies that she appreciates his concern, but if the Court really wanted to stop her, they would have, and then tells James to excuse her.
Before entering the woods, Annie decides to make herself at home. She smiles and kicks her shoes off on a whim, deciding to lose them and free her feet. Feeling the grass under her bare feet, she feels much better now that she is going barefoot. She notices Ysengrin is waiting for her from afar, whom James also notices with a little bit of surprise. She rushes over to Ysengrin, who extends his arm into a branch she can climb on. Annie nuzzles his head and stands atop his back, perched on branches he has made for her to ride on.
Ysengrin tells Annie she smells like the Court again, which he does not like. Annie, aware of this, says she missed him too. She grins and points to a small branch, which Ysengrin plucks off a tree for her. Annie then peels off a small strip of bark and uses it to tie her hair back in a ponytail as she asks Ysengrin if they are going to the village today. However, Ysengrin tells her no, reminding her Coyote wishes to see her.
Inside the woods, Annie walks up to Coyote's den, where he sits with his back turned. She tries to playfully spook him by yelling, "BOO!" However, as soon as she does, Coyote's "head" whips around- it was just a lure made from his tounge that she unwittingly walked right up to. He has shapeshifted into the literal mouth of his cave and snaps his teeth down, causing Annie to tumble away in shock. Assuming his normal form, he replies "Boo to you," while a now-disheveled Annie gives him an angry look.
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