“Mmmm,” came from behind a thick book.
“Xander, did you even hear me?” I asked walking behind him. “What language is that?” I added turning my head side to side trying to make sense of the script.
“Yes Arwen, I heard you. It is in the language of the ancients and before you ask, I borrowed it from the Abbey for some research. Now, about that buck,” he said closing the book while turning to face me. “I thought you sensed he was doing well. Has something changed?”
“No, I’m feeling a little restless is all,” I said while looking over his shoulder at the unfamiliar scrawl.
“Just make sure you’re back in time to prepare for tonight’s delegation,” he said.
“I wish father were here to handle it,” I said giving up on making sense of the book.
“Well, he isn’t and since you are next in the royal line, you are his representative tonight,” Xander said giving me a stern look.
“You needn’t worry, I’ll be back in plenty of time,” I said with a wave of my hand then turned walking out the door.
The forest was my sanctuary which I appreciated more after returning from the required one year earth training. It seems the ancestors and Odin decided after Ragnarock, where giants nearly eliminated the gods, that living among humans would help us understand their culture since our worlds intersect at times, even if humans don’t know it.
I did enjoy spending time with my cousin, Alexa, who was two years older than me. We had always been close, but she chose not to return from her training after falling in love and marrying a god. No matter how much I enjoyed our time together, though, I still didn’t equate car exhaust, nuclear waste, and being tied to a cell phone as progress. But I did have a renewed respect for the ancestor’s wisdom and for my world; specifically, the forest. The gentle breeze rustling leaves, air you didn’t choke on when you breathed, and a moss covered ground that felt like walking on a well-padded carpet, that was my forest.
The morning fog still hugged the base of the trees making visibility poor. My senses scoured the area and found a herd of does with young, but not the bachelor band I was looking for. Pushing my mind further didn’t turn them up either, but I did sense a familiar consciousness…Fallen. What is he doing here?
With a sigh I turned around retracing my steps. I knew the buck was fine; this excursion had been an excuse to get some solitude before tonight’s event. However, Fallen, like most dark elves, was mischievous and my curiosity became refocused.
I rounded a bend to find him digging in the soil while chatting with someone I’d never met before. Ah, one of Fallen’s partners helping him to deceive yet another unsuspecting human. I’ll put a stop to this, but before I could move the stranger’s head turned my way and our eyes locked. Confusion struck as I fought conflicting emotions. I somehow knew this person, but I’d never met him before.
Fallen turned to see me and smiled. “Turin, let me introduce you to my future wife, Daeris; daughter of our beloved king.”
The newcomer looked as shocked as I felt. “You have no right to introduce me in that manor, Fallen. The ancients…”
“When are you going to stop following the ancients and think for yourself? You can choose your own husband, Daeris,” he said cutting me off.
“Who I choose is none of your concern. What is in the bag Fallen?” I asked quickly changing the subject.
“Only some herbs for brewing tea take a look for yourself,” he replied innocently handing the bag over.
Looking into the bag I gave an internal groan. It contained a variety of mint, nettle leaves, and some berries; all ingredients for tea.
His hand caressed my face, “Trust me Daeris.”
Rage spread through me as I slapped his hand away. “Don’t you ever touch me in a familiar way again,” I sneered.