There was hustle and bustle around the caravan as streams of villagers, at Sandru and Igmar’s direction, set to work assisting with the repairs. Dozens of chattering human voices tore at Theibar’s hears; so many questions. Gritting his teeth, Theibar did his best to answer as many as possible. Over the heads of the inquisitors, Theibar could see the edge of the woodlands just past the village. Measuring wind speed, distance, and obstacles, he was convinced he could volt over the throng and disappear into the forest within seconds. Deciding to take the more diplomatic approach, he quickly excused himself and gently moved through the crowd. As he expected, they began to pursue him. Glancing back, he remarked, “If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go.” He increased his pace.

“Where are you going?” “Can we come too?” “I bet he’s going to go do Elf stuff!” “Oh, I want to see Elf stuff!” chattered his pursuer.

Slyly, Theibar turned and while running backwards, he points towards the village. “Luthien, that female Elf, she is over there doing an Elf dance. I am sure she will show you some special Elf dancing if you ALL go ask her.”

“Let’s go!” “Yeah!” “I want to see Elf dancing!” “Me too!” shouted the group. Distracted by Theibar’s ruse, the group turned and headed towards the village.

Chuckling to himself, Theibar slowed to a walking pass. Looking for somewhere quiet to be in peace, Theibar headed towards a large bolder he could see in the distance. Edging around the outside of the bolder, Theibar was surprised to find Matsuro, standing in stance as his moved through an expertly executed Kata. Without disturbing him, Theibar removed his bow and sat on the ground, leaning again the stone. Matsuro had not noticed Theibar’s approach. He had inadvertently positioned himself atop a hill, which allowed Theibar to guide silently into place.

Once his Kata was complete, Matsuro turned. Startled by the appearance of the Elf, Matsuro raised his sword to strike. Casually, Theibar raise his hand in greeting.

“So this is where you have been hiding,” Theibar exclaimed.

“Oh, it’s you. I thought you may have been that horrible Gnome.” Matsuro replied, sheathing his blade.

“Which one?” Theibar reported. The two snickered.

“How’s the, um?” Theibar motioned towards his own eye. Drawing attention to the punch he had landed in Matsuro’s face a few days earlier. Matsuro remained silent as he rifled through his satchel.

“You know, I only hit you because you were being bewitched by the ghost woman. Either way, you managed to get your own in on me. It seems that the Kaijitsu kin like to pummel me while in a state of reduced mental faculties.”

“I can’t imagine you hitting my sister though.” Matsuro retorted, producing two apples, and throwing one to the elf. Theibar subtly inspected the fruit before biting into it. “It isn’t poisoned.” Matsuro teased, drawing attention to their first exchange of food, months ago.

Matsuro repositioned himself not too far from Theibar and the two looked off into the distance.

“Are you ready for Minkai?” Asked Matsuro. Theirbar was taken surprise by the question.

“I’ve been there. Though years ago. But if you are asking if I am ready for what is coming, I have to say no. And you?”


Theibar looked out towards the caravan. It seemed that the crowd of villagers who had attempted to follow him up here had made their way back to bug Sandru.

“Well, what more can there be beyond the crown? Snow witches, giant fire worms, hordes of zombies? We’ve seen all those.” Theibar reminisced.

“Elf-killing ninjas?” Matsuro chuckled.

“hmm… plenty of those, I would suspect.”

Matsuro’s attention broke from the conversation. Theibar turned to look at the human to find his eyes locked on Luthien, as she attempted to traverse the horde of curious villagers near the caravans, as they pawed and clawed at her.

“Someone’s going to lose an eye if they aren’t careful.” Theibar joked, watching Luthien struggle to keep her fans sheathed.

“Yeah.” Matsuro replied, dreamily.

“One piece of advice, my friend. If you find something in this world that you adore, seize the moment, as you may not get another chance.“ Such remarks came from Theibar’s own experiences as he grappled with falling into Forlorn. His gaze now fixed on the Minkai Princess, who sat perched on a Caravan next to Athebryn.

With a huff, Matsuro stood and collected up his gear. “I am not a child, Theibar.” He spat.

Theibar laughed, “I haven’t seen you as a child in years, Matsuro. You may think that those of us who are long lived always look down on you humans. But the fact of the matter is that we see life in relative terms. Though Koya may be near half my age, she is much older than I. While you are I, we’re equal. And soon, you will be older than I am. Life is relative, my friend.”

Matsuro swung his satchel over his shoulder and turned to look at the elf. Theibar got to his feet and stood before his friend and put out his hand. “Equals?” Matsuro grasped the efl’s hand and shook it firmly, not saying a word. He then turned and walked down towards the caravan.

“Good boy.” Theibar murmured to himself. Recollecting his bow, and headed towards the caravan. While Matsuro aimed directly for Luthien, Theibar made his way towards Ameiko.


Adelaide Jade Regent Wildhunt78 Pranachan