The graceful white haired woman sensed the arrival of a True Heart. She turned her head briefly and noted the angel as she entered the room, and thought with interest that this must be the one Tizzy had been so excited about the night before. She then returned her attention to the Major. Not long after the two returned to the table without Tizzy. The Lady graciously introduced the two newcomers to the rest of the party.
Tizzy remained with her Lady until they were finished their talk. Then she spotted the angel alone at her table, her breakfast just arriving. Checking to be sure her Lady was indeed returning to the table and not being left unattended with the Major, Tizzy zipped straight over to the angel. She was just coming in for a landing, passing over the pancakes, when the angel poured syrup all over her. Tizzy was immediately flattened on her back on the pancakes; she looked almost like breakfast!
"Help!" Tizzy squeaked. "Tizzy is stuck! Living Hair is better than sticky stuff! Yuck! Wrong kind of sweet! This sweet not come from flower; is pretend make stuff. Tizzy needs warm bath!"
She managed to right herself and standing in the middle of the pancakes, she looked up at the angel, "Angel came!" With that Tizzy launched herself into the air again, making a squelching sound as her feet left the syrup, and gave the angel a very sticky hug around her neck.
"I have to tell my Lady you are here!"
Tizzy bolted back to the table where everyone was now sitting. She hovered in front of the Lady and began excitedly to tell her about the angel across the room. The only real response Tizzy got was the Lady holding out her hand to her. On the palm of her hand appeared a small sapphire bathtub filled with warm, bubbly water; fragrant with some strange exotic scent no one else had ever smelled before.
"Tizzy, how do you come to be such a mess so quickly? You haven't even attempted breakfast yet. Are you trying to test someone else's for them?"
Tizzy looked at it, putting her hands on her hips she said, "Where is curtain? Tizzy cannot take bath without curtain!"
The curtain appeared and Tizzy went inside. For about three minutes the entire room was subjected to the sound of a Wind Sprite singing her favorite play songs while under water. The combined sound of Tizzy's childish, squeaky voice and the bubbly underwater effect was most amusing indeed. Roughly half the patrons in the room were laughing outright before she emerged, clean and happy.
"My Lady! Tizzy's angel is in room! She is over there... Alone!"
The Lady looked over to where Tizzy pointed, noted it was indeed the one who had entered earlier. She looked at her own meal, which was just then arriving. Rising to her feet once again, she excused herself and went over to the angel's table.
"Greetings, Truthful Heart. The Rarest of Treasures from the Sapphire Moon, Protectorate and Heir to the Staff is most honored to enter the presence of one such as yourself."
It never dawned on her to wonder if the angel understood the significance of her greeting. For one to be greeted by the sharing of one's full title was to bestow the greeted with great Honour and prestige. It placed the greeted among the most valued of citizens.
"I would be most honored to have you join our table for the remainder of your meal."
Angel watched as Tizzy flew up from her syrup bath and gave her a hug around the neck. Before she had the chance to say she was sorry, Tizzy flew back to the Lady.
"Tizzy was right. She is beautiful." Wiping sticky syrup from her neck, she started to laugh.
"She is such a sweet thing. I hope she does not get into any trouble. How can she fly with all that syrup on her?" Angel laughs once more and adds, "Now she is a sweety!"
She went back to her breakfast, not thinking that Tizzy would be coming back soon. A Strange song hung in the air and she noticed that it was coming from the Lady.
Or so she thought.
When the Lady turned and glanced her way, Angel noticed that the song was coming from a small tub that was sitting in her hand. She could see small bubbles coming up from around the curtain and heard water splashing. A heavenly scent crossed her nose, and made her sneeze. She giggled and started to place another bite of flapjacks in her mouth, when she noticed the Lady standing in front of the table.
She waited for the Lady to introduce herself before rising. 'Remember! She is royalty.' She takes a small bow, drops her head and crosses both of her arms across her chest in a X pattern.
"Good morning M`Lady. I am one called Angel. Servant to the one called Gelveren The Healer. I am Shar'kra'tar. I am what one calls in my country a Messenger and bearer of gifts." She hoped that this introduction was enough. Before Gelveren, she would have said, "I am Angel. Messenger and bearer of gifts from the kingdom of my great master Kalver the Great!" Even thinking about Kalver made her stomach turn.
"Thank you for the offer to join you at your table, but as you can see...," And she swept her arms open to reveal her outward appearance. The old coat hung on her like a rag. She closed her arms back across her chest and hung her head in shame. If she was not a sorry sight she didn't know what was. Even her wings sagged down at the thought of one so beautiful as the Lady looking upon her. She felt dirty and alone.
With that thought, the angel looked at the Lady's garment and then down at her own and, feeling humbled and inadequate, she explained that she couldn't possibly join them because she simply was not dressed to meet anyone. She explained the problem she was having with her clothing.
"They seem to have a mind of their own. My outfit was damaged in a storm. My master found some things for me but they did not fit as well as they should. I found myself...," She paused and wondered if she should go on. She was talking to royalty after all. Taking a deep breath, she went on. "I found myself in an uncomfortable position at times when the buttons of my blouse shot across the table and landed into my Master's stew."
She tried to hold back a giggle, but couldn't. She sat back down and offered the Lady to join her instead. "As you can see, I am not dressed to be around others at this time. I await my Master. My Master said that after he eats, we will go shopping for an outfit. I have one in mind, but I am not sure if he will have enough coin to pay for it. But thank you for the offer M`Lady. And please tell Tizzy that I am sorry for the syrup bath." Angel bows her head and places her hands in her lap. She knew better than to speak more than her title, yet she babbled on. She awaited her punishment for talking so much.
She looked at the angel's clothing and realized then that she wasn't wearing much more that an old trench coat. She smiled warmly at the angel.
"I believe I may be able to help you with that, Truthful Heart. If you would please rise to your feet?"
With that she held out hand as the angel stood up. She let her hand glide over the length of the angel's tangled hair: It became shiny, clean and well combed.
"It is almost a pity that my own hair is not so manageable as yours. Tizzy is going to love your hair."
She then looked discriminatingly at the angel's dress. She held out her hand from the neck down and a new dress appeared. It was a simple affair: A shimmering blue, but it changed colors as she moved, like a rainbow. It had a rounded neck that was tied at the front with a bit of lace, low enough to be intriguing but high enough to be unrevealing. The cloth was soft and warm, light weight despite the amount of yardage used. It fell snug but not tightly down to cover her full breasts, narrowing at the waist with another lace to tighten it, revealing the slenderness of her waist. From there the dress fell full circle to the ground, hiding the soft matching shoes the angel now wore; the soles of which would never wear out. Her wings were somehow quite comfortably outside the back of the dress. Later, the angel would discover that there was a panel at the back of the dress that was designed to lace up around her wings.
The Lady looked her over then ran her hand over her one final time, this time creating a cloak that perfectly matched the gown, including the full, rounded cowl that covered her head. The over all effect of the garment gave the angel the look of perfect and untaintable innocence.
"Will this garment be acceptable to you? If not, I would be pleased to try again. If it is acceptable, then I ask again if you would Honour me with your presence at our table."
She rose back on her feet and waited. Anytime someone of royalty would ask her to do something, she had to obey. It was the law of the Shar'kra'tar. She started to pull away from the Lady's touch, but if she did that, surely she would have been punished. She bowed her head as the Lady first touched her hair. All the snarls and split ends calmed down. It became shiny, clean and well combed.
"I, In turn would love to have hair as wonderful as yours M`lady. It is so... Alive."
She stood there and watched as the Lady passed her hand down her body and watched as the coat changed before her eyes into a beautiful gown. The fabric was so warm, and comfortable. She could feel it breath, bringing a new sensation to her skin. She felt her skin warm up and she knew that she was blushing. She was speechless for a few moments. She reached down and touched the gown, feeling every stitch. She could tell that it was tailoring made by a master seamstress. Each stitch was set in such a way that it felt like the gown was a living, breathing part of her. There was no binding, pulling or chaffing. Even her wings had room to move. She felt a pair of light soled shoes surround her small feet. She wiggled her toes and giggled.
When she felt the cloak across her shoulders she started to cry. The cloak was long and so soft. Almost like the rose petals she used to place on her bed of straw. The smell was heaven sent. It was dark blue with white trim. As white as her now cleaned wings. It fell between her wings, yet had enough room for her to be able to pull it completely around her and her wings. She noticed that there were two hidden pockets inside for her hands and what ever else she needed them for.
Trying to hold back tears, she opened her wings full and then dropped to her knees. Sitting on her legs and folding her arms across her chest, she looked down.
"M`Lady. Your gift is most wonderful. Yet I have no way to repay you. I have no coins in which to offer you. But ask anything of me, and if it is in my powers, I will do as you ask. The laws of the Shar'kra'tar tells me that I can offer you this for one day. But I must tell you that I am bound to my Master's thoughts and wishes. If he sees it unfit for me to grant this wish, then I must offer the gown and cloak back to you. It is the law of the Shar'kra'tar. I must abide by it's laws and my Master."
She sits there and waits. Her thoughts are on her master. ~ Will he let me keep the gown and cloak?~ She bites her lower lip and drops her chin to her chest. With a deep sigh she prays to her one god. "Please, awake my master and bring him to me. I am in need of his healers touch, his smile, his kind words, but most of all, his caring heart and soul."
She looks up when she feels the Lady's hand on her shoulder. Tears still fall upon her gown, but they fade as soon as they land.
"Forgive me M`Lady. The tears are of joy. Not sorrow." Her eyes were red under her mask, and she reaches under it and wipes away the tears from her eyes. Yet she stays on her knees and waits.
~Please Master. Awaken and hurry down.~ She didn't know that she was sending her thought to Gelveren.
"Truthful Heart, called Angel, do you not know that the gift I give you is my own thanks to you? Do you not know what a rare and honored gift your presence has give to me and to Tizzy? I had thought your kind gone from Life. A winged Child of Service has not been seen on my world in ten thousand years. We thought all were destroyed in the Great Battle against my ancestor. To even see one of your kind from a distance would be cause for great jubilation among my people: To stand in the presence of you is... Greater an Honour than being born under the Sapphire Moon. Would that I had already the Staff of my People I would heal your brokeness with but a breath, simply to be of use to you."
She looked at the angel at her feet and held her hand to her to lift her gently to her feet.
"Truthful Heart, you needs must offer me nothing for the gift. I ask only that you accept it and join my at my table of friends. Let your master sleep a while longer, for your need for his permission is waking him. Your presence in the same room as I is enough."
"Too late, he's already awake," Gelveren said brightly as he wandered across to stand beside the table. Though he covered a yawn with his hand and seemed a little tired around the eyes, the healer appeared none too exhausted for the pursuits of the previous evening. His clothing was rather wrinkled now, and was still damp in patches from the bathwater, but that concerned him little. He could always stop by the Healers' Hall, later, to correct such faults.
Seeing the change in Angel's garb, for one could hardly fail to mark it, he looked her up and down and smiled. "That becomes you, my Angel," he told her simply, still smiling, and found his eyes fixed on the sight. How his patient had come by this attire he was not sure, but she had a fine eye, that much he conceded without a second thought. For a fleeting moment he wondered what had become of the coat the stranger had given her the evening before -- for he'd seen her former garments had been left in the room and so presumed her to be wearing the coat -- but this served every part as well, even did he in that passing instant wish to have seen her in the other. Well, another time, perhaps.
Looking to Angel's companion then, he introduced himself with no hint of awkwardness, even knowing the sight he must present to the other. He'd not seen this one before, but stranger or no, he was heartened to know that his patient had found someone to talk to in his absence.
"May I?" he asked Angel as he pulled out an adjacent chair and sat beside her, with a meaningful look toward her breakfast.
"Good Healer, I am most interested to enter your presence. I have need of your gifts: But this can be attended to later, after we dine. I have invited the angel to join my table; you would be most welcome as well. I know Tizzy would be delighted also to enjoy your company once more. She was most enthusiastic about your meeting yesterday."
She gracefully motioned towards the table the rest of her companions were seated at.
"Oh Master! Can we join her? Please...?" She let the 'please' linger a bit before going on.
"She has been so nice. Look what she did to that old coat! She changed it to this!" Angel spun around and around on the tips of her toes and showed Gelveren her new outfit. She made sure that she held her wings in so not to hit anyone with them. " Isn't it the most beautiful thing you have ever seen?" She saw the look that Gelveren gave her and smiled. She knew it wasn't the dress he was looking at: It was her.
"I am glad you like it Master. It is wonderful, is it not! It feels so much better than the other outfit. And look!! No buttons. Now you will not have to dodge them as they pop into your stew!"
Angel giggled and blushed. Then she noticed that Gelveren was staring at her breakfast. She stopped spinning and looked down. A frown came upon her face.
She no longer smiled.
"Forgive me, Master. I awoke and was hungry. You were sleeping so peacefully and I did not wish to awake you. I know the laws of the Shar'kra'tar say that I must wait for you. But the Dragon in my tummy was growling. Please forgive me."
She bent down and placed her head on Gelverens lap. "I have ordered everything on the menu. Sera has a bet that I can finish it all, but Hugh doesn't think so. After last night..." She stopped and blushed and looked up at the Lady.
"After last night, I think I can eat anything. Please. Let us go over and talk to the other people. I want to see the little bird. She looks so cute. Please Master?" Her eyes glowed and she stuck out her lower lip. She knew he could or would not resist her. "And Tizzy too. Remember the little sprite that talked to me before?"
"Oh, if you like," he laughed, stroking her hair absently as she leaned her head against him. He trailed his fingers down her cheek and nodded to confirm those words, looking again toward the other table.
Aware though he was that Angel was counting on his inability to refuse, still he gave in with good grace; she looked so appealing, and it was not in him to deny her. But his motives were also otherwise: he had no desire that his patient be asking his permission for even the most simple things. Still less than content with 'master' and all that went with that, he thought it best to negate that where he could by allowing her whatever freedoms she wished.
Jumping up, she took Gelveren's hand and pulled him up and started over to the other table.
"Oh M`lady. My Master has the most wonderful touch. His touch is so warm and gentle. He can do miracles with these hands." She looked back and blushed a deep red. Pulling him close, she whispered, "Other parts of your body were just as healing as your hands. I have not forgotten to thank you for last night. I will show you how much later," and she kisses his cheek.
Finding their way over to the Lady's table, Angel stood there, with one hand holding Gelveren's, trying not to blush. She looked around the table and then down at the small bird that sat in the middle of the table.
"Oh my! She is such a cute thing!" Tilting her head to one side, she asks, "What is she?"
"She is a Spotted Snow Owl. Her name is Mysty." Rose stood up and held her hand out. "Hi. I am Rose Thorn. I am new to this group so please don't ask me to introduce the others. I am terrible with names at times." She noticed that Angel was about to ask her about the spots that Mysty had, or the lack of them.
"She has yet to be able to get her spots." Looking over and seeing the questions on the rest of their faces, she added, "It's a long story."
::No it's not! Don't lie to them like that. I just have not righted the right wrong. That's all!:: Mysty fluffed up her feathers, and looked up at Angel and Gelveren.
::You must be one that the small Fye keeps talking about. She is so much fun to play with. We played tag until Hugh over there told us to stop. Might I ask you a question Winged One?::
"Mysty, behave yourself. She is a guest of the Lady's. Remember that!"
::Yes... Yes I know that. I was just going to ask her why she is hiding behind a mask. Nothing more.::
"Yes, that question has popped up in my mind as well. Are you hiding something? Or from Someone?
::Maybe she is ugly or she has a scar that she is hiding!::
"MYSTY! That's not a bit nice. No one here is saying anything about your missing spots. Now are they?"
::No. *sigh* Please forgive me Winged One. But it is a question on everyone's minds. Ask them. I have checked.::
Angel laughs and then looks closer at Mysty. "she has mind speech. How cute." Standing back up, she smiled over at Rose.
"It is all right Rose Thorn. And I am called Angel. But if you prefer 'Winged one', I will not mind. I get many a looks when I walk by with my mask on. To answer your question Mysty, I am not what you call ugly. What ever that means. And I have no scars covering my face. It is my law, my heritage. I must wear this mask when I am around others. My Master thinks it hides my beauty. He thinks that I should show my face. I think he is getting spoiled."
"Spoiled?" Gelveren protested, although mildly. Feeling her squeeze his hand, he laughed quietly to himself, amused by the suggestion. How could he not be? Unable to repress the smile that threatened, he squeezed her hand in turn and nodded slightly. "Yes, my Angel, take it off if it pleases you."
She squeezed his hand and looked over at him. "But if my Master doesn't mind, and it is his will and his wish, I will remove it. For the time being, Master?" She knew he would say yes, but she wanted to see his smile.
Pulling the mask off, she looked around he table. "As you can see, I am not evil, or scarred. I am just plain, as is the rest of my kind." Placing the mask in her new cloak she waited to be seated.
After Gelveren had pulled chairs in for both of them, she waited until he sat down first, but she felt him pulling her down along with him. "Master," she whispered. "You know I must wait for you and the Lady to sit first. It's the law of...," yet she found herself seated.
"Let's change that law then," he suggested quickly to still her protests, as he drew her down beside him; and his grasp on her was gentle but quite insistent. "I'll not have you standing around when the rest of us prove slow. And," he added in a low voice meant for her ears alone, "you are anything but plain, my Angel."
Sera came back, with an arm full of plates and sat them down in front of Angel and Gelveren along with a fresh plate of flapjacks and more syrup.
"Here is the rest of your order Angel. Gelveren, I had Hugh's wife make you up a plate as well. You look like you need a little nourishment after last night," she winked.
"Oh my. Thank you Sera. Everything looks great." She poured more syrup over them and started to cut into her flapjacks when she looked across the table. "Oh, pardon me. Would anyone mind if I eat. I am so hungry."
The Dragon in her stomach agreed with her.
"Oh my...! Excuse me."
Between mouthfuls she asked, " M`lady, would you mind introducing the rest of your friends. Tizzy has told me so much about all of them. But I wish to hear more." She added that to be polite.
"If you chose to. I am not saying that you should..." She became quiet after Gelveren squeezed her hand.
She looked over at Gelveren and asked, "Master? Are you not hungry? Are you going to eat that? I would hate for it to go to waste." She reached over and started to spear a piece of meat but Gelveren smacked her hand away. She heard him laugh and she gave him a look.
"Hey!" she yelled and tried to steal another piece of meat from his plate while trying not to giggle.
The feud was on. Food started flying everywhere.
Seth sat there, looking at Rose and smiling, when the Lady walked back with two more strangers. He recognized Angel as the one that Tizzy had been talking about. He wasn't sure about the gentleman until angel called him master. "He must be the one called Gelveren." He stood and bowed, but she was too busy with the Owl, so he sat back down.
"Great first impressions", he thought.
Watching the two, he knew that she was deeply in love with her master. He wondered if they were coming along with them.
"Perhaps I need to go back to the spell shop for two more sleeping bags. Or one big one."
::No Seth Fye. They will not be going with us. Though the Lady might ask them to. I do not think that the one called Gelveren would leave. He is needed here. He is what some call a healer. The Lady has asked for his healing touch.::
"Is there anything I can do to help him? I know a few herbs and roots that can heal."
::No Seth Fye. She needs more than that. She will need the one called Angel touch, as well as her Master, Gelveren. But even together with all their powers they might not be able to help.::
"Let us hope so."
Seth hushed when he heard the Lady introducing everyone to Angel.
Seth stared at Rose and smiled.
"She is a lovely thing, isn't she?"
::Remember Seth Fye. All Rose's have thorns. Even the beautiful ones.::
He didn't hear her. He was to busy looking over at Rose. He didn't see the flapjack until it hit him.
Between stealing morsels from Angel's plate and fending away her like attempts on his own breakfast, Gelveren found his hands full. Which, alas, precluded the chance to consume his own breakfast in peace, but that seemed of little moment presently, with Angel's laughter bright and pleasant in his ears. At last, seeing that he would not be able to touch his food until this threat had been dealt with, he leaned in closer to his patient, laughing himself, and wrapped his arms around Angel to pin her arms to her sides.
"If I let you go," he asked her, "can I eat my breakfast, or will you still insist on stealing it all from my plate, Angel?" His eyes held hers, and he smiled, adding, "Was not the whole of the menu enough?"
Tizzy saw the beginnings of a food fight and immediately squealed with excitement.
"Oooooh! Can Tizzy throw food too? Tizzy wants to play too!"
With that she immediately picked up a bit of fruit and tossed it at Amarantha and then pitched one at Seth. It was the last bit of food she threw.
Before anyone else could get involved or retaliate to Tizzy's onslaught, the Lady raised a slender eyebrow and then raised both her slender hands to the air. All the food promptly rose up into the air and hovered there.
She looked for a moment at the angel, who had started the thing. The Moonbeam honestly had no idea what to think of the seriously undignified behavior of one, who to her, was a messenger of the Sapphire Moon: Bearer of the Crystal Seeds of the Crystal Forest. She tipped her head slightly to one side and studied the angel, then tipped her head to the other side. Then, finally, she understood. This glorious creature was not of the same people as she had thought. She felt a small wound to her heart at she realized that, although the angel's True Heart was indeed as she had seen it, she was not of the family of winged creatures that had been destroyed in the Great Battle. Angel was another species entirely. Although it saddened her heart to know that her assessment had been inaccurate and the race of Messengers indeed still deceased, she was pleased to see that some form of those glorious peoples still survived. She allowed her great sadness to reflect in her sapphire, elvin eyes before turning her attention to Tizzy. It only took a glance for the little Wind Sprite to settle back to the table. She was in enough trouble already and not willing to push her luck any further.
The silken haired woman then turned her saddened eyes to Gelveren, gazing at him ever so briefly. She sensed his feelings for the angel and understood that males in love tended to behave in an undignified manner at times. The trait appeared to be innate to all males, no matter their species. Most interesting. She glanced over at the Major for a moment and to everyone's great surprise, the calm serenity of her composure left her completely as she burst into uncontrollable laughter. The sound of it filled the room and echoed off the walls and ceiling; it could almost be seen rushing in a glittering wind in all directions, causing things to move and rustle. Knowing the Major would immediately think he had made another mistake some how, she covered her pale pink lips with her hand and attempted to control her laughter but it was beyond capture. She looked up and watched the crystal wind that had escaped her as it rushed around the room. If she didn't get a hold of herself soon that wind would begin to tickle the others in the room and no one would be able to escape from the infectious laughter. They would all be rolling on the floor soon, incapable of stopping until she got a grip on herself.
'Oh the contagion of Laughter,' she thought. 'Why did that have to be my Special Gift!'
Tizzy looked at her: At first with great amusement, for her Lady rarely laughed so hard, then with alarm as she realized that her mistress had actually lost control of her Laughter. She knew that soon there would be no stopping it until the relatively young Moonbeam had exhausted herself in the effort and simply collapsed into sleep. That could take days to happen and many more days to waken her again. Tizzy still remembered the last time it had happened.
"My Lady! Stop! My Lady has to stop! Oohhhhh...! Tizzy cannot zap her Lady here! Big Magic in place will not let her! My Lady! Please!"
Tizzy flitted rapidly around the Lady, trying to distract her from her Laughter. She could hear a few others in the room begin to start. She flitted faster.
The Lady looked up at Tizzy with incredible merriment in her large eyes. They were starting to light up with a dark sapphire glow. Her smile was lighting up her entire countenance. Then she closed her eyes and began to try to take deep breaths in an effort to control it. She began to focus her mind on her Soul Crystal. She could hear Seth beginning to laugh as the wind tickled him; the angel was right behind him in her laughter.
'I must get focused,' she thought, forcing her mind to strengthen it's focus on her Soul Crystal. It took a good while for her to regain control but she did it. Of course half the patrons in the place were rolling on the floor by then but they quickly recovered and were rewarded for their inconvenience by finding themselves feeling filled with a great joy that would last them for quite some time. Each of them found that they laughed easily for the next week.
Tizzy stood in the air in front of the Lady with her hands on her hips and a stern expression on her face, "My Lady should know better than to act her age at time like this! My Lady is on Great Quest! What made my Lady Laugh like that?"
She looked at Tizzy and then back at the Major. Her eyes immediately lit up again and she actually giggled and covered her lips with her hand again. She quickly looked away from the Major.
"Tizzy, just because I am only four hundred Full Cycles and just coming of age to be called fully grown, doesn't mean that you have to remind me of my responsibilities. Relax Tizzy! I am fine now."
"By why did my Lady Laugh?"
The woman sighed softly as she realized Tizzy wasn't going t let her off without a full explanation. She also knew that she owed the Major an explanation. She looked over at him again and smiled, feeling her eyes lighting up again with the urge to Laugh again. She looked away.
"I'm sorry, Major. I just... I was just..." She snickered again and closed her eyes, refocusing on her Soul Crystal once again. "I was just thinking about how males in love, regardless of species, have this strange tendency to behave in the most undignified manner at times. I looked at you and suddenly had a vision of you with a boyish grin on your face and Sticky Wind Howler sliding from your eye preparing yourself to fling a spoonful of Gooey Fluff. It was the most amusing thing I have ever seen or imagined in all my life! I think the vision shall amuse me for days! Please forgive me, Major. I could not stop it. It just popped into my mind's eye unbidden and refused to leave! I pray that I have not offended you too much."
At that point Tizzy made a strange ticking sound, as though softly chiding her mistress for such childish behavior. Then she pointed upward to the food, which was still hovering above the table.
"May we have food back now? Tizzy is hungry!"
The Lady looked up and made a small hissing sound, annoyed with herself for forgetting. She waved both hands at the food and it gently settled back on the table; all evidence of a food fight gone.
"Tizzy, don't you have some errands to run?"
With that, Tizzy grabbed a few morsels of the food and headed toward the open door of the Inn, hoping to reach it before it closed again. She didn't relish the thought of another introduction like the one she had the day before.
He had no reasoning as to why the one called Angel would throw a flapjack at him, but the war was on. With one eye covered and the sticky syrup dripping down his cheek, he could do nothing but sit back with a surprised look upon his face.
"This is not the way I ordered my breakfast" he called out and started to laugh. It started out as a giggle, then turned into a full belly laugh. Tears fell from his eyes and mixed with the syrup. Pulling the flapjack from his face, he placed it back on his plate. Reaching for a napkin, Seth tried to clean of his face. The napkin , being made of paper, only made matters worse.
He looked a sight with syrup and bits of napkin stuck all over his face. Mumbling, "Excuse me," Seth headed back upstairs to wash up. He only half heard the Lady as she was explaining the bits of laughter that filtered throughout the Inn.
Still giggling , and trying to see past bits of syrup and napkin, Seth made it to his room and found a fresh pitcher of water and a wash rag. Dipping the rag into the water, he maked quick work of the sticky situation. With his face clean once again, he headed down to talk to Amarantha about a few riding lessons before heading out.
The thought ran through his mind repeatedly as he watched the food fight.
Absolute disgrace. No troops of mine would ever...
The Major was forced to check himself: these were not soldiers, and they were certainly not under his authority. Straightening his form a little when the Lady's eyes were cast towards him, the Major stood awaiting her instruction.
Her unexpected explosion of laughter was not what he expected at all. Blinking in slight confusion, the Major merely gives a dumb, awkward nod when she explains the source of her levity.
"I...ah, will saddle the horses, madam." Spinning on his heel, the Major exits the Inn. His apparent urgency to do so seems almost an attempt to physically distance himself from the Lady.
Entering the common room, yawning still for a night spent tossing and turning in her chamber, for she was unused to the finery of a bed, the diminutive minstrel wandered over to the bar, requested a mug of wine in her soft voice. The lute was balanced artlessly on one shoulder, battered as any instrument could be; the tattered hat adorned her head, and the sack in which Strident stored her few keepsakes was clasped in her free hand, as she glanced about, looking for a sign of the Lady.
And there it was, she marked at once, the sound of laughter suddenly rising from a distant table, claiming the common room for a moment. Unsure, wondering if it were best to wait until after they were done with breakfast, she paused there for a moment in indecision. Gathering up her courage then, the minstrel marched over to the table, blinking in surprise to see numerous morsels of food floating in the air.
Then she saw the Lady, as the other waved her hands, and watched as the numerous items descended back to the table. She blinked, then walked around to stand beside her. "Good morning, my Lady," the minstrel managed, in a voice scarcely above a whisper.
"Child of Songs," she said merrily, "Good morrow!" She decided not to make reference to the tell-tale signs of a poor night's sleep. Instead, she waved a hand towards the food remaining in the community platter on the table, "Please, partake of our fine morning fare. The Innkeeper's wife is indeed a fine cook."
She took a brief moment to introduce Strident to the others and explained that she had invited the woman to join them on their quest for the simple reason that she enjoyed the sound of her voice in song.
"Ack!!" Beldon jumped out of the bath and threw his clothes on when he realized he had been daydreaming in the bathtub for at least 15 minutes. "The others are waiting! I'd better hurry!" he said out loud to himself. He smelled the wonderful lingering scents of breakfast at the Dragon's Inn and it made him hurry even faster. Feeling very refreshed after the baths (boy, did he need the second one!) he paused for a moment and took a deep breath. Then he made for the stairs at break-neck speed.
"Hey everyone, sorry I'm late!" he said loudly as he ran down the stairs. "Whoa!" Beldon tripped over his own feet and spilled down the last few steps.
Several patrons of the Inn could be seen rolling their eyes. "As if THAT weren't predictable!" they might have been thinking.
He picked himself up and brushed his clothes off. He then noticed that there were new faces at the table. He bowed as regally as he could and introduced himself.
"Hi all! My name is Beldon and I'm pleased to meet you!"
When Tizzy threw that piece of food at her, she saw the makings of a food fight and couldn't help herself. Since Sera still had not arrived with her strawberry pancake she summoned what was intended to be a spider-web fine stream of cream to squirt back at the diminutive sprite. Unfortunately, still new at summoning items, the stream turned out to be slightly larger, and for the second time that morning, Tizzy was coated in food. But it ceases to matter as yet more food is flung around the place. Soon she finds herself giggling, getting caught up in the spirit of things maybe, and having fun she supposed and thinks nothing more of it. The giggles turn to laughter that brings tears to her eyes. Now the food fight was certainly funny, but not that funny. What in all of the Celestia was going on here? Then she realizes that the Lady was laughing and knowing she was a magical being guessed that she was behind this. Looks like she wasn't the only one who had a magical blunder this morning.
The laughter soon dies down and she wipes a tear from her eye. Then, using her new skills cleans herself and the others as well, and got down to the much more serious business of eating breakfast. This Hugh's wife was quite the cook. Personally, her best effort at cooking had resulted in burning water. Her mother knew how to cook from her younger days as the High Fae maiden and apprentice mage, but she had long forgotten that skill.
She looked around the room at the others who were sitting at the table this day. An Angel and, judging from the blue aura, a Healer. The Angel was the more remarkable sight. What was she doing within the mortal realm? Those sort are usually within some service or in cloisters within Divine Palaces, such as that of Ishmael. They often guarded humans within the mortal realm, but never had she heard of one that was actually physically present and more to the point the lover of a human. Bizarre. She decided to keep quiet. Obviously there was a lot more to the story and, furthermore, it was likely be none of her business.
A young woman in a short skirt and boots, with hair as deep a red as any of the dryads of the deep forests, seems to have joined the group. Did I miss something here? Amarantha wonders. What she most definitely misses however is the entrance of Elite, who, for the second time since his arrival on the Mortal Plane had let himself into the Red Dragon Inn. The current forkful of pancake came crashing back onto the plate and the plate pushed back. She then buried her head in her arms on the table as the alicorn approached.
*Elite, I told you to stay in the stables! You know you can't come in here. This place is for humans!* she sent, lifting her head.
*Then how come you, that owl, the gargoyle, the elf, the Lady and the little sprite are allowed in? You guys aren't human.*
*True, but that's different.*
*How?* he asks, clearly insulted.
*We at least look like we are human. Well at least most of us.*
*How am I any different then?*
*You are bigger*
Realizing that Elite's presence at the table was a little strange she decides to introduce them to him.
"Uh this is Elite. Most of you know him already from the last time he decided to come in here. He seems to think it's okay for flying horses to come lumbering into have a drink or two as well. I told him to stay in the stables, but do you think he would listen to a word that I say? No!" She crosses her arms and glares at the horse.
*Look, I just came in here because I know we have to leave soon, and I need saddling.* Elite explained.
*Then why didn't you get the stablehand to do it?*
*He can't. And he's gone home anyhow.*
She narrowed her eyes.
*And why is that?* she sent her Mindtones icy cold.
*The silly thing broke both of his arms, and had to go home. It seems he isn't able to do his job properly with no arms usable.* Elite sent.
*And you wouldn't happen to have anything to do with that now would you?* she asked, now very irritated.
*Now would I go and do a thing like that?* Elite innocently asks. *Yes.*
*Now what are you going to do about saddling me? I know you don't like riding bareback, and you're likely to slip off if I have to fly.*
*Oh very well then*
She summoned up one of Elite's saddles that were in storage inside the bottle. A regal set consisting of deep red dyed leather, with gold and crimson tassels and rubies to boot. One of Elite's favorites, and he always managed to look very regal in it. Pity he never acts it. She then proceeded to cast a spell to curl his mane and tail. From what the other High Djinniyeh had taught her, these sort of spells were very similar to what they were within the Heavens, with just a few differences to get around the slightly less magical atmosphere of the Mortal Realm.
*HEY!!! Amarantha do you have any idea how embarrassing this is?* the great horse protests.
*I have a pretty good idea of how humiliating you would think it is. The way I see it now, you have two options: Stay here and bear with the embarrassment, or go back to the stables and wait there until we are ready to leave. Personally I think you actually look quite impressive with your mane and tail in loose ringlets. But its up to you.*
The stallion proceeded to send a barrage of obscenities that could be heard by everyone in the group.
"Watch your language Elite! The Lady might be offended." Amarantha can't help but smile. She'd most certainly had won this round . She turned towards the Lady, "So, when do we all leave?"
Watching Angel and Gelveren fighting over breakfast made her laugh. At first it was a soft giggle, but soon turning into a belly laugh.
::What is wrong with you? I have never seen you like this. Are you ill?:: Mysty turned her head around and noticed that the Lady was laughing uncontrollably as well. Along with most of the Patrons.
"No silly. I think the Lady has cast a spell over us. Look around the Inn! Everyone is laughing!"
::Well I am not! Goes to show you who has more smarts than you humans::
"You have no sense of humor, that's why you don't laugh. Everything to you is... is... Stuffy."
::Stuffy? Well I never...!::
Rose laughed until her sides hurt and tears fell from her eyes. Reaching for a piece of bacon from her plate, she noticed that the plate was gone.
Or so she thought.
Rose wiped a tear from her eyes and looked up. All the plates were floating above everyone's head.
::The Lady is trying to calm everyone. I heard Tizzy ask her to set them back on the table. The lady Hissed at her, I think::
"I don't think that she hissed at Tizzy. I think she was upset with herself for not placing them down sooner. Now hush! She's explaining why she broke out with laughter."
After hearing why she was laughing, Rose could picture the Major as fluff ran down his face and him stepping in and demanding justice.
She was surprised to see him excuse himself from the table.
::Who placed a fire under his butt? Did you see the way he shot out of that chair?::
"Hush! He feels embarrassed. That's all. All he was doing was sitting there, being a gentleman when the food fight started. It was the Lady's interpretation that upset him. He feels too proper to even think about getting into a food fight."
::I can understand that. With his upbringing and him being a Major in the Queen's Army. But you would think he would mellow out at some point in time. He must have some fun. Without fun, there is no life!::
"I think the Major will find the time to have fun. With this crew, something's bound to happen that will unstarch his shirt tails and turn him into a boy once more! You will be surprised to hear the Major laugh.
::That will be the day!::
About that time, Rose heard someone call out, "Good Morning!" and then heard a crash. Turning, she saw the one called Beldon stepping up to the table. He looked a lot better than he had after shoeing the horses! He was clean and fresh looking. Even his fingernails, what was left of them, were clean.
::He looks to be a bit clumsy. But lady luck is on this ones side. I would not play any card games with this one! You might end up with nothing. Or worse!::
::Like you might have to bed with him!::
"And that would be a bad thing?" She looked up and smiled at Beldon. ~ He is kinda cute, for a boy.~
::He is not a boy Rose. He is a young man. A young man with a hidden past. Watch this on Rose Thorn. He will surprise you in more ways than one.::
After Mysty said that Beldon excused himself to help the Major.
"You know, if they are headed out to saddle ALL the horses, they will meet up with Starr.::
"Oh my god! You're right. I forgot to warn them about Starr! We better make sure that they don't try to saddle him."
Rose stood, took Mysty and placed her on her shoulder. Looking over at the table, she smiled down at Angel and Gelveren.
"It was very nice meeting the both of you. I am sorry to cut this so short, but important business has come up. I hope to be back soon, and perhaps we could get together soon. I might need the touch of a healer once I return."
She gave Gelveren a shy wink and a smile, then walked over to the Lady.
"M`lady, I too must get ready. My horse, Starr can be a bit of a pain if someone else tries to saddle and bridle him. I do not wish for harm to befall anyone, so I must take my leave. I will be outside with the others. Thank you for breakfast. It was... enjoyable."
::Oh yes, M`lady, thank you. I look forward to being able to play with Tizzy during our trip. I think we will have so much fun. Tell her I look forward to a game of hide and seek. Her rules of course!::
As they walked past the bar, Mysty looked at Hugh and fluffed her feathers up.
::You're mean, Hugh Rogers! Not letting us play in here. I hope your ale turns to water!::
::Well!! It's his fault!::
"Apologize! NOW! Or the group will feed on Owl stew tonight and no bubble will help you once we are outside!"
::Ok.. Ok... Sorry... Gee, I was just having fun! Spoil it for me!::
"It's ok, Rose. I know how to stuff birds. Even unspotted Owls. Hurry back. And here is something for the trip."
Hugh handed her a large bag. The bag was full of dried meats and bread, wrapped in paper to keep it fresh. A brick of cheese and some fresh meat was wrapped up as well. It had Mysty's name on it.
"Why, thank you Hugh! You didn't have too."
Hugh laughed, "I didn't. The Mrs.'s thought you might need something to keep Mysty's mouth closed to keep her out of trouble. I suggest you try the cheese on her."
"Tell the Mrs.'s thank you. And I promise to share the wealth with the others." Throwing the bag over her shoulder, she waved and stepped out into the mornings light.
"Looks to be a great morning for a quest. Now let's hope that The Major has not tried to saddle Starr."
::Well I don't hear any screams. That's a good sign .::
"Yes, you're right on that account. Let's keep it that way."
Both headed to the stables.
"Yes, it's going to be a great day! You know, I think Beldon is cute. Don't you? But then there is Seth Fye too.!
::Don't even start it Rose Thorn...! Don't even start!::
Laughter could be heard echoing down the street. Sweet laughter and then the sound of someone cursing.
After she promised Gelveren that she would try to behave, she reached for another piece of meat from his plate, but found the plate, along with everyone's else's, floating above her head.
"Master! Is that nice? I said I would behave." She started to laugh and her laughter became more intense. Tears fell from her eyes and she took her wings and brought them forward, to try and contain the laughter.
"Behave, Angel?" the healer asked, and then looked around the table, bemused... it was not him, not him in the least, causing this strange occurrence. "Though it's not nice, agreed," he added with a nod toward the food floating above them, bursting out into laughter as he did, despite that the remark was none so amusing as that. Still, he could not help himself for some reason, and managing, barely, to look about the table at the others, saw that they, too, were reacting similarly. It was said that laughter was infectious, but in all his days as a healer, he'd not come on aught quite like *this*.
It only made her laugh echo throughout the Inn. Soon almost everyone was laughing. After a bit, she caught her breath and reached over and gave Gelveren a kiss on the cheek.
"Forgive me Master!" She said between escaping giggles, "But I do not know what came over me. It was as if a thousand feathers were floating about the room, tickling everyone!" She brushed a bit of hair from her eyes and smiled. Pulling her wings back, she took his hand and brought it up to her lips and kissed each knuckle.
"I can tell that you enjoy my laugh. I think it sounds like a horse crow at times." Angel blushed and watched as the plates settled back on the table. While looking into Gelveren's eyes, she reached over and took yet another piece of meat from his plate, and shook it in front of him , before she bit into it. Her plate was empty.
She was surprised to see the look in Gelveren's eyes, and the small bow like smile curl up on his face. All at once, he reached over and took the rest of the meat from her hand and swallowed it.
"Hey! No fair! I wasn't looking!" She started giggling more and then she blushed. She heard the Lady explaining why she was laughing.
"Did I ever claim to be fair?" he responded, looking quite satisfied as he looked at the empty plate, reaching out to lay a hand on her stomach, which was surely well content with such a grand breakfast. "I don't think so, somehow ..."
No, he decided, he'd never made that claim. In other ways, he did hold a certain sense of justice; enough to be uncomfortable with the idea of Angel as a servant or a thing to be owned and claimed, no matter that she seemed content with it. All in all, his was not a life marred with overmuch self-interest, which perhaps explained why he was content as a healer rather than attempting to make more of himself elsewhere in the world.
Still, however kind and gentle a soul he might be, Gelveren was possessed of a mischievous bent, which extended this morn to stealing the last of his companion's breakfast. Quite a choice morsel, which more than justified his pilferage.
"I can picture that on you, but not the Major. You would look so cute with fluff slipping down you face!" She stuck her tongue out to a point and licked her lips. She started to laugh when she saw Gelveren blushing.
She jumped when she heard a terrible noise, and she turned in time to see Beldon. He was starting to get up off the floor after he stumbled. She started to rise to give him a hand, but Gelveren held her hand and whispered in her ear that he was ok. She took in a deep breath and settled back down. Her feathers on her wings settled as well. After the storm she hated loud noises.
They were introduced by the Lady, and before she could say anything, Beldon left after the Major.
It surprised her when the Major excused himself and left the table. She started to pout and looked down at her now empty plate.
"Master? Did I do something wrong to make the Major leave? I hope he does not think bad of me for starting a food fight. I bet he thinks that I am a foolish girl with no manners."
"I wouldn't care to know what he thinks of me, then," he commented quietly, for her ears alone. He cared little, in truth, what the Lady's band thought of him; what mattered it, when this group would soon enough be taking to the road and leaving Montfort behind? Well, Gelveren had weathered a few less than pleasing opinions in his time, including from Brawl, no less ... and if one could endure the minotaur's scorn ... although, now that he thought of it, even the words of that horned brute were none so harsh.
Still, if only to reassure the other, he clasped Angel's hand and squeezed it, to let her know that all was well.
Her wings dropped and she became silent. She felt Gelveren giving her hand a squeeze, and this made her feel a little better. She no longer worried that Gelveren would ever punish her. But there was always that doubt deep in the back of her mind. It sprang up like a snake every once in a while. But only if she felt like she deserved it. After being treated by Kalver the Great she had to worry. Even the thought of that man made her stomach churn and it left a flat, bitter taste in her mouth.
She looked up and saw the worried look upon her master's face. Taking one hand, she placed it on his cheek and smiled.
"Forgive me, Master. Some thoughts of long ago still haunt me. But with your gentle touch and your warm kisses, they too will fade with time."
Looking around the table, she watched as the one called Rose stood and bade them farewell.
"It has been nice, Rose Thorn. Please come back and we can talk more. I wish to know more about the one you call Mysty. She is so cute. I hope she finds her spots."
She started to say something else when she caught Rose winking at Gelveren. As Rose turned, Angel swatted at him.
"And what was that smile for? Do you find her attractive? More than me?" Her eyes started to glow and her feathers started to fluff out.
"It's nothing, Angel," the healer answered her, ducking away from an attempt to whack him. As to why she'd winked at him... who could know? He could perhaps guess, but now was not a timely moment to concern himself thus.
[ Angel ]
Jealousy was showing in her eyes. But she soon calmed down after Rose left. Then her mouth turned up and into a wicked half smile. Kissing Gelveren on the cheek, she stood up and walked over to the Lady.
"Excuse me, M`lady. I see that you and the others are all headed out soon. Before you go could we talk?" Pulling her to one side, she glanced back and stuck her tongue out. Then she giggled.
"M`lady. If you have time, would you say a little blessing over me and my master? As you are of royal blood, can you do this for us? I have given my master a few special gifts, though he does not know it yet. One is my heart and soul. I have never given myself to anyone before, until now. He is my.... Shar'thr'ath. I have given him a part of my being as well. He has a set of silver wings now, though he does not know it as of yet. They are hidden from him until I can find someone that will bless us. They are larger than mine and stronger. They will be laced in black, and he will be able to hide them until he needs them."
She dropped her head. "I can no longer hide mine. When we are first born, we have the ability to hide our wings, but they sew up our flaps that hide them. The humans call them shoulder blades. We are forced to show our wings. It has been that way for ages. Some are lucky and escape the law and are able to walk around, looking human. I was not. Once I broke free from my egg, I was taken to the threader of skin and they sewed my blades closed. I can still remember the pain of the needles as they passed through my skin. I do not want my Master to feel that pain. Not now, not ever. But I will have to sew if he does not get a blessing from someone of royal blood."
Tears fell at the thought of sewing Gelveren's blades closed. She couldn't do it, but by law she must. She tried to fight the feeling but it didn't help. It was the law. A law she had lived with all her life. A law that was right, yet wrong at times as well.
Looking up, she wiped away tears and smiled. "For this , I have a special gift. It might help you on your journey. It may not work on the lost child, but it is worth a try."
Cupping her hands together, and closing her eyes, she started concentrating on the gift that she was looking for. Her thought brought her back to the Old One. His smile, his laughter, his sightless eyes. Her hand started to glow a bright yellow, then that of a soft blue. She heard his voice.
"Blessed be all the children that are lost. May they find their way home safely."
"This might speed you on your way. It is a gift from and old friend. A close and dear friend that had no sight, but could see as well as anyone. He always knew where I was by using this. It pointed where I was at all times. I have set it to point to the lost child. Now it might not work, but it is worth a try."
Angel opened her hand, and there laying in the palm was a small glass globe. In the center, floating in thick fluid laid a golden arrow. The globe was no bigger than an egg, but the arrow looked larger than the globe itself. It sat there and spun around and around. Around the bottom of the globe were small markings. It looked like a small map with lines leading away from a small, glowing star.
"As day becomes night, and as the moon glows down, hold it away from you and think of the lost child. If it works it will stop spinning and point the way. The star is where you are now. As you move down the paths, the star will move with you. When you stop to camp, it will show you where you are. The arrow will point in the direction of the child. You need not go as the arrow points. Follow the paths and the globe will do the rest." Angel took a deep breath and looked up.
"Or so I hope. Now take this and I will not take no for an answer. You have blessed us with your laughter. I hope that you will bless us as well. If not for me, then for my Master."
She looked back at Gelveren and saw the worried look on his face. "I must go to him. He is worried about me. I think I spoiled him." Placing the small compass in the Lady's hand and closing her fingers around it, she turned and stepped behind Gelveren.
"Once they leave, may we go back to the place you call the Healers' Hall? You need dry clothes and something to heal my bites and nibbles from your neck and chest." She reached down and started nibbling on his ear.
She whispered in his ear, "Master? Do we have time for..." And she saw a smile come across Gelveren's face. She giggled and added, "A bit more breakfast? The dragon in my tummy is still hungry!"
She heard Sera laughing behind her and watched Hugh as he dug into his pockets to pay off Sera.
Most of the patrons also gave suit as Sera went about picking up her winnings.
"Here Angel, I will share it with you. Without your help I would be working for free the next two weeks!" Sera handed her a small bag of coins and went back to the bar. There she held her hand open and waited for Hugh to pay up. She also whispered in his ear.
"She's WHAT? Where is she putting it all? What do you mean she has a Dragon in her belly? You mean she's...???" Sera started laughing and shaking her head no. Hugh took in a deep breath and slowly walked back to the kitchen.
Angel held the bag in her hand and then looked at Gelveren. "Master? What am I do with this?" She shook her head, and then handed it to him. "No Master. I can not take this. You take it! Take the metal and buy yourself a nice shirt or pants."
She bent down and whispered, "Something without buttons," and she started giggling once more. Then she added, "Something with flaps." She could not help but laugh when Gelveren turned and gave her a strange look.
"Oh Master. You are in for a surprise like no other!" Pulling her cloak around her she placed both hands on his shoulder and waited. All the while trying to hide more giggles as they escaped from her lip.
But it was a lost cause...
She looked at the small globe in her hand. This world did indeed hold the most amazing things: Dragons, gods and goddesses; including a goddess-no-longer, elves, snake-haired women and even living creatures carved of stone! This was indeed going to be an interesting and educational journey. She sincerely hoped that the globe would work, for her time was short and growing shorter with each passing day.
She moved back to the table where she watched with amusement the arrival of Beldon. She was already developing a fondness for this young man. She looked forward to knowing him more. She made quiet introductions once again.
She waited, then, for everyone to be finished with their breakfast before turning Strident.
"Child of Songs, have you had time enough to decide if you would go with us?"
Reaching out for a morsel or two from the centre of the table, as the Lady had indicated, the little minstrel looked to the other suddenly, blinked once or twice, and then nodded, quite emphatically. Then, wondering whether the Lady had taken this as a yes to her joining them, or a yes to having had enough time to consider the question, she nodded again, seeming rather more subdued this time. There was a certain irony, perhaps, that a minstrel, of all the people at the table, would prove to be the most quiet.
Covering a yawn with her hand, the dishevelled young woman wished she could simply wander back to her room and catch a little more sleep before they went gallivanting elsewhere; but it was not to be, alas. Still, it was a pleasant thought, she decided as she rested her elbows on the table and her head on her hands... and not a moment more before her head was resting on the table itself, and her eyes had closed and she had succumbed to the tiredness which had thus far been held at bay.
"Good morning, Sir! Definitely! What needs to be done before we depart?"
The Major ran a white gloved hand through his dark hair, thinking as he gnawed on a bit of provisions, made vague in origin by time spent in his pack. "Well, we'll saddle the horses, I suppose." With that, the Major speedily begins the task.
Beldon doesn't say anything, but goes to work helping the Major. It is apparent that, although he is abnormally clumsy, he has also had much experience in readying horses, packs, and journeying in general. One by one he helps get the horses ready.
The Major casts a horseman's eye towards Elite, shaking his head in resignation. Glancing at Beldon, the Major smiles a little. "We'd best leave the saddling of that one alone. Thing's as tough as a mule, and I suspect it's got the breeding of one too!" Opening the heavy door, the Major grins lopsidely at Amarantha, "Your mule is getting ansty."
Amarantha nearly chokes on a piece of pancake at the Major's comment and giggles.
"When is he not? I wouldn't try saying any of that within ear shot though, he'd be out for revenge any chance he gets. I'll see to him before we leave, it shouldn't take long."
Pleased at Beldon's efficiency, the Major claps him on the back in genuine gratitude for the aid as he walks back toward Inn. Opening the door and poking his head inside, the Major raises his voice a bit to be heard.
"Horses are saddled." Casting his pale eyes towards the Lady, he nods.
"We may depart at your pleasure, M'lady."
"A few more minutes please, Major. I must restore my rooms to their original state before out departure."
She then turned to Angel and Gelveren.
"I wonder if I could have a private word with the two of you in my rooms? I have a matter of personal consequence to speak of."