With Eiliandir’s wounds treated and new clothes in the works, the two set off into town. Adros suggested that since he needed to get a few things, he would also buy some things that the elf wanted and/or needed. The freckled boy did his usual decline but Adros was stubborn on his offer.
There was so much to see, so many different types of shops to look at. Eiliandir couldn’t wait to see what the city had to offer.
“Ye there!” the two heard, stopping them in their tracks.
Looking over, they were met with a tall, long haired dirty blonde man.
“Do ye want to acquire this archery set?” asked the man, pointing to a bow and a quiver full of arrows lying on the ground.
The boy did need a new one since it was left in his burning hut. He looked up at Adros, silently telling him that he was going to do it. The blonde knew that they were only talking to him because he was injured and clearly new to the area however he didn’t doubt that he could do it.
“Be careful, people like these can be devious,” he whispered before speaking normally, “And try not to aggravate your injuries Eiliandir.”
Giving a reassuring smile, the silver haired elf followed the show-person to a light brown haired elf next to a target.
“Alright. Now, all that ye ‘ave to do is hit that target. Ye ‘ave three tries and if ye miss then ye get to add to the pile of goods!” he explained, pointing to a small pile near the target. He eyed the elf up and down, rubbing his chin in thought, “Perhaps that satchel of yers will suffice?”
Agreeing to the wager, he handed the boy a bow as he placed the crutches on the ground. As an archer, there was no way he’d miss. He wasn’t sure what the bow was made of since he had never seen a wood so dark, but the sight-window and the arrow rest was made from a Thany tree, which had a more plain brownish wood. How did they put two different types of tree together? It was a little heavier and longer than his old bow and plucking on the string proved it to be a little tighter than he’d like; typical with a new bow. The blonde man gave him an arrow. His first shot was a test shot, barely missing the center of the target. He looked at the bow with approval. It handled nicely. Whatever it was made out of was flexible but not too flexible to be useless. Handed another arrow, he quickly drew it back and released it. It would have landed dead center but the man next to it pushed the target with his foot at the last second. Stunned, it took him a second to figure out that had just happened.
“I do not appreciate that sir,” he said sternly.
“That is ‘ow this game is done! With each try it becomes ‘arder!” laughed the blonde.
So that’s how it’s gonna be. The brown haired man stood behind the target and picked it up, and started moving around. Narrowing his eyes, he drew the last arrow back. This was just like hunting an animal. Even if you may not be able to tell right away, all of them move predictably and if you couldn’t figure it out then you weren’t eating. The show-person noticed his concentration, stance rigid, ready to strike.
“So, that man said ye name is Eiliandir huh? What kind ‘uh elf are ye?”
Distractions? How petty. Not like it would work anyway.
“I am of mixed race; Moon and Catena.”
“Catena huh? I ‘ave never ‘eard ‘uh them before!”
The man continued to ask questions, Eiliandir answering every one as he concentrated. He probably thought that the boy was breaking concentration since he was taking so long to shoot but he was waiting for something. The elf holding the target could only keep up that movement for so long before he got tired. Not only that but he wasn’t exactly moving randomly, making his pattern extremely easy to figure out. People had begun to crowd around them, watching to see if he could do it. The wounds on his back were starting to hurt from the strain, the pain in his foot becoming increasingly more uncomfortable.
“Waeysey nu ‘eui ‘qsey ‘eui’krir u’krey?” (Where do you fare young one?)
“Ilyeththaes,” he answered just as he let go of the arrow.
The arrow struck the bull’s-eye, partially going through the target, scaring the elf who was holding it, “Q’kr auom’qwaeyn yaumm’qirey. (An isolated village) In fact, today is my first day outside of its boundaries.”
The blonde man looked on in shock. He must’ve been thinking that there was no way that Eiliandir could’ve hit that target. The boy couldn’t have cheated either since he was watching him the whole time, the showmen was at a loss. The man sighed.
“To be ‘onest, if it were not for yer friend currently glarin’ a ‘ole in me ‘ead, I may ‘ave not kept me word, but a deal is a deal,” muttered the blonde as he walked away towards the brown haired elf.
He grabbed the few things in the ‘goods’ pile and a quiver full of arrows, practically dumping them onto the freckled elf.
“These are yers now. Congratulations.”
The two elves left (quite angrily) as well as most of the crowd however before he could walk back over to Adros, someone pulled on his tunic. A small girl stood there, a nervous expression on her face. She looked like she was younger than his cousin Echiel.
“Um… excuse me,” she called softly.
She opened her mouth to speak but quickly closed it, traces of fear mixed in with her nervousness.
“Is something in here yours?” Eiliandir asked, carefully crouching down to look up at her, “Would you like it back?”
Her face lit up, shaking ‘yes’ enthusiastically. She explained that her great-grandfather had tried to win the set for her but failed and as a result lost his stone necklace which was a family heirloom. Upon hearing her words, a small shred of anger flowed through him. Those guys went after an old man knowing that he would fail. Rummaging through the small pile, he quickly found it and handed it over. The girl smiled brightly, hugging him before running off. He smiled softly as he watched her run off. He honestly loved children. He’d love to have some of his own one day. A few others approached him before that thought could go any further. He only wanted the archery set so he didn’t mind giving everything back.
Finally making his way over to his lover who was leaning against a wall, he slid the straps to the quiver over his shoulders, carefully slipping himself between the wood and string of the bow to keep it on him.
“I had a feeling that you would do that,” Adros said, referring to the acts of kindness.
“I had only wanted these,” he stated as he shifted his weight on the crutches.
Noticing the shift, the dragon asked if his feet hurt. He replied that it did, caving and asking to be carried at least for a little while. Once they started moving, their conversation continued.
“And you were correct! They do play tricks! Why was he giving away these to begin with if he did not wish to part with them?”
“Most people have traded archery for the efficiency of magic. I am surprised that the elves in your village are still so skilled in it.”
“That is simple! We cannot use magic.”
Adros looked back at him in confusion explaining to him that every elf can use magic, even subspecies like Catena, and Moon elves are masters in it. His words severely confused the boy. Could he actually use magic? And if so, why would everyone say that they can’t? If he ever saw his village people again, he would definitely make sure to ask. As they went, Eiliandir spotted a small curved footbridge and asked to go on it. Adros, of course, agreed and once they were on it, the boy couldn’t help but to look down as it crossed over a small waterfall that poured into the ocean on the side of the city. It was so enchanting to watch it fall. Before he could get too engrossed in it, the two continued on.
Already back on his own feet, Eiliandir looked into the window of nearly every building that they passed just to see what kind of shop they were and when they went inside he became even more enthralled. There were restaurants, cobblers, jewelers, so many shops! But there was one thing in the window of an accessory shop that made him stop to look at it. On display was a small wooden ocarina necklace. From his perspective, it looked to be playable.
“Did that catch your eye?” asked the dragon.
He nodded his head in response.
“When I was younger, I would play my father’s ocarina. But then a friend of mine thought it be funny to throw it into the river.”
“Would you like it?”
Eiliandir paused. He had already bought so many things for him…
“N-No… I was only looking...”
Adros chuckled. It was so obvious that he wanted it. Placing a gentle hand on the elf’s back, he brought the boy into the shop with him. The old shopkeeper, who was reading, stopped to greet them happily. The blonde asked the owner about the necklace in the window.
“Oh, that old thin’? In the past 150 years, no one ‘as ever paid attention to it. I am surprised that ye want it,” they spoke.
“I had an ocarina when I was younger,” Eiliandir said shyly, fiddling with his short hair.
The shopkeeper nodded their head, closing their book before walking over to the ocarina and pulled it off of its display.
“’onestly, I ‘ave always yearned to hear this played as I am not good with instruments,” they admitted, handing the boy the necklace, “If ye play somethin’ I shall let ye ‘ave it.”
“Are you certain?”
They nodded their head, a small smile on their wrinkled face. Leaning further on the crutch for support, he gave a quick examination of the wooden object in his hand. A six-hole, beautifully crafted. It’s a shame that no one before him had wanted it. Giving a quick sound test to get a good idea for a tune, he closed his eyes and began to play. A slow, high pitched tune filled the shop. He used his fingers and tongue to create flutters and cooing sound, mesmerizing the other two in the room. He only stopped when he hit the wrong note, throwing the entire song out of grace, his face flushing red at the screw up. The shopkeeper smiled, saying that it was worth the wait for someone to want it since they got to hear that beautiful song, even if he did mess up towards the end. After a bunch of thank yous, the two left the shop, ocarina around the elf’s neck. Adros had commented on how well he played and would love to hear him play it again.
Continuing on with their journey through the city, the blonde suddenly shifted their conversation to ask if he wanted anything sweet. As a sucker for sweets himself, he was hoping that the elf would say yes. Agreeing that, yes, he could go for something sweet, Adros led him to a small kiosk to their right. The cart had 6 rectangles on the surface, a cold chill emanating from the different colored substances in them.
“Which flavor would you like?” Adros asked, pointing to a glass plane above the colored rectangles, “They are written on that.”
It did, indeed, have something written in multiple colors, however…
“What does it say?”
The blonde’s face dropped before filling with a mild irritation. He ran a hand through his hair. At first, Eiliandir thought that his irritation was directed at him…
“I had a feeling but when you ignored Vyalan’s writings in the drafts to ask for the color but I was hoping that I was wrong. To think that they did not teach you how to read,” he sighed, “Remind me to purchase a few books for you while we are here. Perhaps you will even learn some magic from them.”
…but instead it was at his village. Eiliandir wasn’t illiterate per se, since he could read Airuri, but now that he thought about it, he was never taught how to read the universal language. Which, when you think about it makes sense; why would they need to teach him something that is mostly found outside of the village when he was never supposed to leave it? Adros told him all of the flavors that they had though he was still unsure of what they were getting. He eventually settled on strawberry, since it was the one that he was most familiar with. The kiosk worker took a large spoon and scooped out the flavor into a cone-shaped object before handing it to them. Eiliandir looked at it wearily. Whatever was in the cone was something between a solid and a liquid and looked like it had an odd texture. Adros urged him to try it. He brought it up to his mouth, the fragrance of strawberry wafting up to his nose, and when he licked a good section of It to keep it from melting on his hand…
“It is cold!” he exclaimed after swallowing, “But… it is also good!”
“’Tis frozen custard. I knew that you would like it.”
Everything that Eiliandir had eaten had been hot foods. The only thing that was cold was foods that were left out. It was definitely a change of pace having something that was meant to be served cold. Adros bought another for himself before paying the kiosk worker for both of their custards. They walked around a bit more as they enjoyed their snacks, the blonde informing him that the cones were edible as well, surprising the elf. Eventually, the sun had set, wooden poles containing light magic illuminated the walk ways, people still roaming about as if it was still daytime. This place was so weird.
They were on the opposite side of the city from his parent’s shop by the time Adros suggested that they head back. He had an idea though but refused to tell him what it was until they reached their destination. Helping the freckled elf up a bit of stairs, Eiliandir was surprised to see a waterway being held up by large pillars, one of those long boats waiting for someone to ride them. The person standing at the back greeted them, asking if they wanted a ride. The blonde replied they, yes, they do, before helping his lover and himself into the boat. The person standing started the magic motor and they began to cruise along the waterway. The town looked so much different at night, especially from this height. Many building windows were flooded with light, the walkways were also lit up, the people on them looking so much smaller than they actually were. The rivers flowing through the city were dark from the lack of light and the moon shining on the ocean opposite to the cliff illuminated the water and smaller islands. It was absolutely amazing! The boat ride came to an end much too soon but Adros assured him that they could ride them a lot more if he wanted. It was a short walk back to the clinic from there.
Gwínaer and Duvaimes had prepared a rather lavish meal for the four of them to celebrate not only seeing their son again but also meeting the one that he had chosen to spend the rest of his life with. His parents were just as embarrassing as his own but they were nice people. He was glad to call them “step-parents”.
Once dinner was done and everything cleaned and put away, the two went into Adros’ old room and set up for the night. With the two of them alone and no chance for someone to see him, Adros took off his shirt and released his magic, tail and wings springing from his backside as well as his other draconic features. The blonde stretched his back and wings, moaning about how good it felt to move them, causing the elf, who was sitting on the bed, to chuckle.
“What is so funny?”
“Oh nothing,” he continued to chuckle, “But do hurry and come to bed.”
“That is something a wife would say,” laughed Adros, causing the elf’s cheeks to redden.
Nevertheless, the blonde walked over to the bed and sat down only to be tackled by the silver-haired boy, arms around his neck and halfway on his lap. Taking it a step further, the dragon pulled the elf completely onto him so that he was sitting perpendicularly to him.
“Thank you for today… or rather everything that you have done for me,” he thanked, “I have not had that much fun in ages.”
“You do not need to thank me. Seeing you happy is merit enough.”
Eiliandir’s cheeks further reddened, a small pout on his features. Adros lowered his head to touch his forehead with the elf’s.
“Must you always spout such embarrassing words?”
“Of course. I love you.”
He smiled, a small chuckle escaping his lips.
“I love you too.”
With their stomachs full of food the two bid the old couple farewell, at least for now, before moving on to their next location. Duvaimes made sure to give Eiliandir a type of walking aid called crutches to help him alleviate the pressure on his stitched foot before they left since he refused to be carried around. The thought of people looking at him while being carried made him nearly faint with embarrassment.
After walking down a few flights of stairs and past a bunch of buildings at a fairly leisurely pace due to the awkwardness of the crutches, Adros turned to walk up a small set of doorsteps, carefully helping the elf up. Reaching the top brought them to a fenced in landing that surrounded a reddish stone building. The building wasn’t very wide but what it lacked in width it made up in length. It had a few semi-circular windows and two floors, as most buildings here seemed to have. The blonde climbed the two steps that led to the door and opened it.
“This is the place.”
Entering the small building to the sound of a bell, Eiliandir looked around in awe. This was a clothing shop! There were tunics, shoes, and leggings as well as dresses and also basically any type of clothing out there on display somewhere inside. And there were so many colors! Deep purples and bright reds, other hues that he’s never seen before.
“Please wait jus’ a moment!” they heard from a room in the back.
Eiliandir, who had never been to a store, was hobbling around looking at all of the fabrics, incredibly tempted to touch them. A tanned woman carrying a basket of clothing walked out from the back, her ice blue eyes scanning the two of them. A deep green hood covered most of her short brown hair and the thin, fibrous markings, similar to Adros’, that started at the bridge of her nose and up onto her forehead. The boy looked at her in awe. Actually, it was more like he looked at her attire in awe. He had never seen a belly shirt before let alone a belly shirt with a hood. And her moss green pants! They were incredibly baggy, almost to the point of looking like a skirt, but the cuffs at her ankles said otherwise.
“Welcome to Caesura! What can I ‘elp the both of ye with today?” greeted the fair skinned woman.
“Ava’yorn Vyalan,” greeted the taller man.
The woman paused, looking at the man intently.
“Adros!” she exclaimed, eyes lighting up, “What a surprise! To what do I owe the ‘onor?”
“I have come to purchase some clothing for my partner,” explained the man as he looked back at the boy who was once again lost in the sheer amount of clothing.
But could you blame him? His knowledge of the world was severely restricted due to circumstance. There was so much that he needed to discover. Eiliandir was startled when he heard the woman scream. Whipping his head to the side, he saw Adros holding out a bag, Vyalan, pointing at it in excitement.
“I-Is that…a shark?” she asked, practically drooling.
“When did you acquire a shark?!” Eiliandir asked, flabbergasted.
“I merely went while you were asleep in the clinic,” explained the blonde nonchalantly.
Before he could say anything else, Vyalan snatched the bag, giggling like a madman.
“Ye can ‘ave anythin’ ye want! Ye may even take most ‘of me stock! And ye!” she exclaimed, looking at the elf, “Follow me!”
The brunette ran into the back room, the sinister giggling not stopping. Eiliandir looked at Adros skeptically, silently asking him what just happened. He had never seen someone so excited over something like a shark.
“Well,” the man started, crossing his arms, “Bronze dragons do enjoy shark.”
“She is a dragon?! I could not tell! Magic truly is an amazing thing.”
Vyalan stuck her head out from the doorway, urging the boy to hurry up. Giving one last look to his lover for reassurance, he followed her to the back. If Adros trusted her, he supposed that he could too. It was a small room, a set of stairs leading to the second floor in the back corner of the room. There were pieces of fabrics of different sizes and colors scattered around the ground, large spools of thread stacked messily on shelves that lined the room. Considering that she had just brought out a box of clothes, he could only assume that she had recently finished making them.
“I ‘ope ye will forgive me for behavin’ exceptionally foolish in the other room, I ‘ave not ‘ad shark in ages,” she apologized, the bag of meat missing, “Me name is Vyalan, ‘tis nice to meet ye Eiliandir.”
“It is nice to meet you as well.” he smiled, “I must say, I may have never been in a shop before but your clothing is nothing like I have ever seen!”
“Ye ‘ave never bean to a shop?” asked the brunette as she walked to a shelf.
Eiliandir briefly explained his situation and how he wouldn’t have even know this place existed if it weren’t for Adros. She nodded her head as she returned to his side with a piece of paper and a writing utensil as well as a long, thin paper-like strip with lines on it. She explained to him that she needed to take his measurements so that she could make sure that everything would fit properly. She also asked him to describe himself so that she could better understand how much wear he puts on his clothes. Out of all the things that he said, clumsy was the one she kept coming back to. Clumsy meant constant tears. The clothes would need to be reinforced with stronger magic.
After writing down all of his measurements, Vyalan looked at Eiliandir’s attire. Humming in thought, she told him to wait there as she ran upstairs. The woman came back down only minutes later with a pile of forest green and black fabric.
“I am sorry that this actually qualifies as women’s clothin’ but it would look better on ye than that oversized thin’.”
“Either way, thank you.”
Vyalan left the room, leaving him to put on what she had given him. Dropping most of the fabric to the floor, he started with the green one, which felt oddly soft. Briefly wondering what type of fabric it was, he held it out to examine.
‘What an interesting tunic,’ he thought.
Instead of being uniform at the bottom, this one had two flaps, each end starting at his hip and going down to his mid-thigh in the front and his knees in the back. The sides were held together by thin strips of black leather, giving it a corset look and showing off his skin. The sleeves were cut off and the collar was large, easily reaching the back of his neck, and curving outwards towards his chest. Once the tunic was on, he picked up the black cloth on the floor, obviously, it was a pair of leggings, but something brown slipped out from underneath them. Bracers! It had been so long since he had worn something like this! Slipping them, the leggings, his shoes and hip satchel back on, Eiliandir slowly walked out the room with his previous outfit crumpled under his hand between the crutch handle and back to where the two dragons were.
Vyalan was laughing hysterically at a red-faced Adros and when he questioned what had happened, Adros looked at him, eyes pleading to not ask.
“I ‘ad asked if ye two ‘ave done the dirty yet.”
Eiliandir’s face heated up in embarrassment. If it was possible to for someone’s head to steam from their face getting too hot, then the elf was certain that his would be at that moment. Adros cleared his throat, trying to change the subject.
“As brazen as always Vyalan,” he mumbled, “That tunic looks very nice on you Eiliandir.”
Muttering a thank you, Vyalan walked over to him and patted him on the back, though it was more like a slap. Thankfully it just barely missed his injury.
“I am feelin’ extra generous today. Given yer measurements, none of me current stock will fit ye properly since ye ‘ave an interesting figure… except…, “ she paused, “I do believe that I ‘ave some shoes in yer size. Ye can ‘ave a few pairs of those. I will make… hmm… ‘ow about 4 tunics fer ye? Ye can also pick some leggin’s or pants for yer tunics,” she offered, hand on her chin, “I am assumin’ that ye do not own much so ye can also ‘ave one accessory of ye choosin’. Anythin’ more and ye will ‘ave to buy it,” she offered with a smile, “And ye can ‘ave the stuff that yer wearin’ to, no extra charge. I ‘ave been attemptin’ ta sell that particular tunic for quite some time now.”
“Is it really alright for me to have all of that?”
“Yes! And ye can thank yer partner ‘ere for that delicious shark. And because I feel like it is a fair trade, I will not take no for an answer! Is there anythin’ ye ‘ad in mind for yer tunics?”
Eiliandir stopped to think. There wasn’t really much that he had in mind. He typically wore a plain-old, normal tunic, nothing like what he was wearing currently. He actually liked the fitted feeling of how this one felt though. He hummed in thought before telling her what was in his head, giving her complete creative liberty. She nodded her head, eyes closed and arms crossed in thought.
“Alright then. I am goin’ to go upstairs and think of some patterns,” she informed, “Now, ye can select everythin’ else out now while I go and do that –I am fairly quick with me clothin’ sketches if I do say so –or wait until the clothes are done. ‘Tis up to ye.”
Vyalan walked into the back room again, leaving the two alone. Since she was making the tunics, picking out the leggings/pants would have to wait since he didn’t want the colors to be too off. The most he could do right now would be the shoes and accessory. There was so much to look at, he didn’t know where to start. Adros placed a gentle hand on his hip, making the elf look up.
“Thank you,” Eiliandir blurted before the blonde could say anything.
“What for, if I may ask?”
“For doing this for me. You did not need to bring me here and buy… or rather… trade goods for me.”
Adros cocked his head to the side in confusion.
“Why would I not do such a thing? If you are going to be staying with me then you need to have belongings to truly make it feel like you live there too.”
A soft smile graced the freckled elf’s lips as he carefully stood on his tip toes to plant a small kiss on his lover’s lips. Sometimes it was hard being so much shorter than your partner.
“Either way. Thank you.”
The two stood there for a bit more before separating to look at some items. To be honest, if they weren’t in a public space, especially Vyalan’s space, Adros wouldn’t have let the elf go, opting instead to ravage his mouth. It’s a good thing that his self-restraint is fairly good. Looking at the small stock of shoes –actually, why does a seamstress have shoes? –Eiliandir eventually picked out a pair of knee-high dark leather boots similar to the ones that he had on since they needed to be replaced and he liked the style of them. He also picked black leather sandals that had strings to wrap around the leg up to the mid-calf (his feet get hot in the warmer months), the other two pairs were a variation of slip-on boots and loafers. To be honest, Eiliandir felt a little guilty for taking a good portion of Vyalan’s stock even though she said it as ok but it wasn’t until he was looking at the last pair of shoes that he threw that thought out of the window. There was a celadon green hooded caplet hanging on the wall. It was longer in the back, had a jagged bottom, and was decorated with fabric of various shades of green to resemble leaves. He had to have it. Adros noticed the intense want in the boy’s eyes.
“Do you want that?”
“Well if ye want it, it can count as an accessory.”
Vyalan had wonderful timing, walking in just as he spotted it. She asked if he had picked out anything as she handed him a few pages of paper. She told him that these were the rough sketches of potential tunics but it was up to him to pick out colors. Eiliandir looked at Adros, silently asking for help with the color pallet. Even though it had been a long time, Adros had seen Eiliandir in a multitude of colors. Of course, the colors came nowhere near the vibrancy or shades as most of the clothes here but the man did know what would look good on the elf and what wouldn’t. They were all so nice. One of them was long –the notes pointed at the knee, signifying knee length –with short, flowy sleeves, Eiliandir suggested a purpley color since one of the fabrics in the store had caught his eye. Another one was a faux-sleeve, front-tying corset tunic that had a little bit of embroidery on it that made it look like a leaf. He thought about the colors of leaves but none really stood out so he asked her what was her original thought. She looked at him a little funny but replied nonetheless with a burnished amber-like color and after asking what that was, he decided to keep it. The third tunic was similar to the one he currently had on in terms of the lower half except the collar was much shorter and it had sleeves and flower-like buttons. Eiliandir eventually decided for a bright blue with light pink accents and black sleeves. And the final tunic had baggy sleeves, a hood (both with a trim), and a waist belt that tied with a long piece hanging down with cut out shoulders and a long, tapered back down to the thigh. Adros suggested a darker shade of red with a black trim.
Satisfied that they got the hard part out of the way and the green light to start working, Vyalan suggested that they pick out the leggings too so that she could make or alter them. He picked out some from the section that she said he could fit, he didn’t want to overwork her. Giving a quick look, he picked out a super dark red pair that was jagged at the mid-calf like a pair of pixie pants, a black pair and a purple pair, and a brown pair that had braided slits up the side of them seemed to work the best.
She asked if he had everything that he wanted and after telling her all of the things that he had picked out, she nodded her head. After writing everything down, the brunette asked the two when they were leaving in order or make sure that the clothes were ready in time. Eiliandir wasn’t exactly sure but Adros said they were leaving in a few days. The dragon assured that since she uses magic to make clothes, they should be done before that. Thanking her, the elf smiled warmly. Even though Vyalan seemed to be a little on the crazy side, she was a very nice person. He was glad to have met her.
After a scare of Eiliandir nearly falling off the boat in his excitement, Adros parked the boat at a port without incident. The blonde stepped out of the boat before helping his lover out of it while asking asked if he wanted to be carried. When asked as to why he would want to be carried, the dragon replied with the fact that his feet were injured and that walking would most likely irritate the wounds on them. Eiliandir assured the man that he would be fine but should they start hurting, he would definitely accept his offer.
The two walked out of the wooden port and onto the stone ground of the city. There were a lot of people here. He had never seen so many in one place before, it actually kinda scared him. Eiliandir grabbed a hold of the man’s hand to make sure that they didn’t get separated. As they neared the city interior, he noticed two people stop walking and turn to face them.
“’ello Uialdor! We ‘aven’t seen ye in forever!” greeted one of the people, “Do ye think yer too good for us?”
Their accent was extremely similar to Adros' but a bit more archaic.
“And who is that ye ‘ave with ye?” asked the other one.
Eiliandir looked at the blonde. Who was Uialdor? Was it an alias? After Adros introduced the men to him and a quick chat, they walked further into the city and up a set of stone stairs. The elf’s face lit up like a kid given a new toy. Everything looked so new, like the entire city had been recently built. This place offered so much to see, so many places they could walk, it was almost overwhelming. As they went along the stone pathways and stairs, many people stopped to talk to the man briefly or said hello as they walked by.
“You seem to know a lot of people Uialdor.”
“Adros is much too crude of a name for an elf,” hummed the blonde, “And I should know the people here. I do fare from these lands.”
“You do? Hmm… that would explain your brother’s manner of speech, but yours is not as prominent as the people here.”
“On the other side of the cliff is dragon territory. Because of the natural barrier, our dialect is not as pronounced as the people here and since I have lived away from the island for over 100 years, it has mostly dissipated,” explained the dragon despite his own accent, “Xilon on the other hand, does not socialize much due to his explosive tendencies which is why his way of speaking is very similar to this area.”
The two continued to talk as they walked about, looking at the various sights that the city had to offer. Some buildings were dining areas with tables outside, people eating various meals at them. There were small carts with people next to them selling small things like trinkets and snacks. Small rivers bled through the city below, thin and long boats travelled them with a person standing at the rear. Eventually, they reached a small stone cottage near the top of the city. The view from up there was amazing.
“Before we go in, I would like to inform you that the people inside, although they may seem quirky, are very trustworthy. I owe them my life for taking care of me when I was but a child,” he started quietly, “Other than you, they are the only non-dragons to know of my identity and not seem to care about what I am.”
With those words, the man opened the door, holding it open for the elf before walking inside himself. The inside reminded him of Nestor’s hut, herbs and vials of powders on shelves that lined the walls, pots scattered about and makeshift beds everywhere, but this place had stone walls instead of wooden ones.
“Now, please be sure to apply this every ‘alf of a day for five days,” they heard an old woman inform.
Walking deeper into the cottage, they saw an old elven couple talking to a young man. The old woman’s long ears pointed out from her gray bun. The old man looked at him, long gray hair swishing ever-so-slightly at the head movement.
“Oh! Uialdor! What a surprise!” he said.
According to Adros, the man speaking was named Gwínaer and his wife was Duvaimes.
His wife looked over and gave a quick greeting with a smile before wishing their patient a good day. She turned towards the two.
“Oh ‘tis so nice to see ye again! We ‘ave not seen ye—“ the door to the cottage closed, signifying that the patient had left—“IN AGES ADROS! WE ‘AVE NOT SEEN ‘EAD NOR TAILS ‘UH YE AND YE COME BACK WITH A RANDOM BOY! WHO IS… quite adorable actually…” she gasped, eyes blinking curiously, “Could ye be? Are ye Eiliandir?”
Her sudden change in demeanor scared him. He didn’t know what to do.
“Dask, you are frightening him,” chuckled Adros as he placed his hand on the boy’s shoulder for comfort.
“Forgive ‘er young one. Me wife is a very fervent individual,” laughed Gwínaer.
“I-It is alright. She reminds me of my mother,” he nervously replied, “And yes, I am Eiliandir. I am pleased to make your acquaintance.”
The old woman pinched his cheeks like a grandmother would to a child.
“Adros was right about ye! Ye really are adorable!” she complimented before noticing the bandages peeking out from his tunic, “Oh! Yer injured?”
Eiliandir hesitantly nodded his head as he rubbed at his sore cheeks.
“That is one of the reasons that I have brought him. I was hoping that you could give a better treatment than I did.”
Gwínaer nodded before asking Eiliandir to follow him. They walked a little deeper into the cottage behind a wooden screen as Adros spoke to Duvaimes. He asked the boy what his injuries were and after telling him, he asked him to remove any clothes that covered them (which was basically all but his shorts) and to sit down on one of the many beds, and walked away. While he was gone Adros walked over and sat down on the bed next to him. The old man came back only moments later with a cup of tea and a basket full of hand-sized leaves.
“’ere ye go,” the man said, holding out the tea, “’Tis made with the leaves and bark of the Zum tree. ‘Tis great for all of yer swellin’, but it might make ye tired.”
Giving the tea a sniff, it smelled a lot like camellias and tasting it proved no different. He let out a breath that he didn’t know that he was holding. No offence to Adros but that thyme tea was awful. Gwínaer explained that the leaves in his hands were from the Eethacia tree and they also helped with inflammation, infection, and pain, but putting them on will burn a little. ‘A little’ was a lie; they actually hurt, a lot. Now he understood why Adros had decided come over, rubbing at his thigh for comfort. Eventually, the old man finished with the application of the leaves and took the empty cup and discarded bandages from the freckled boy. He was basically covered in the leaves since he had so many injuries. He and Adros spoke but after a while of that, he was finding it increasingly difficult to keep his eyes open and focusing on the blonde’s words which were quickly turning into a garbled mess. Eventually, the stinging on his body and all of the noises around him to faded into blackness.
Awaking to the sound of someone calling him, Eiliandir opened his magenta ringed eyes and looked down towards the foot of the bed at Adros who was running his hand through his silver locks.
“Hello sleepyhead,” greeted the blonde.
“Hello,” he smiled sleepily.
“If you are hungry, Opsola and Dask have made us a late breakfast.”
His ears perked at the word ‘breakfast’. He sat up, groaning as the blanket around him fell to his waist. Everywhere ached. Was his body healing that fast because of the medicine? He had bandages on so they still must be pretty bad. His foot had also been bandaged. He must’ve gotten stitches.
“Opsola and Dask?” the boy repeated, still fairly disoriented.
“It means father and mother,” he smiled, a small huff of air coming from his nose in amusement, “I was referring to Gwínaer and Duvaimes.”
Adros got off of the bed, holding out a hand for him to take. Eiliandir didn’t want to walk and instead held out both arms, silently asking to be carried. Turning around, the man crouched down, back on the bed until he was between the elf’s legs and grabbed onto them. Once Eiliandir’s arms were on his shoulders, he pulled away and grabbed the boy’s tunic off of the bed before standing and walking up a set of stairs in the back of the room. The stairs led to wooden floors and rugs. There were candles hanging on walls as well as trinkets, most likely from places that the old couple had visited. A table with a bench attached to it sat against a wall next to a fireplace that doubled as a hearth. Adros walked over to the table and sat the boy down before sitting down himself, handing the elf his shirt. On the table was some type of circular thing with triangular pieces missing and a bowl filled with cubes of something orange covered with a coating of something dark brown.
“What are those things? Are they edible?” he asked as he carefully slipped the tunic on.
Adros looked at him incredulously. Did he say something wrong? Without a word, the blonde took a fork and stabbed one of the orange cubes, holding it out to the boy’s mouth, urging him to taste it. Stomach growling at the sweet smell coming from it, he opened his mouth.
“Oh! That is good!” he swallowed.
“That, was an igepaya. Opsola likes to chop and cook it with molasses and sugar to make them sweeter.” he explained before motioning to the circular object with the fork, “And that is a glivaple pie.”
“It is a pome that grows on trees. It is bitter and essentially inedible but when baked it becomes soft and sweet. The pie is typically served as a dessert but it can also be eaten for breakfast. Igepaya is a gourd that can be eaten in any form,” he explained, “Do feel free to eat as much as you like.”
As hungry as he was, he couldn’t bring himself to eat anything. His world suddenly felt so large. Noticing his weird behavior, Adros asked him what was wrong.
“’Tis only that… by being here, I understand that I have lived a very sheltered life. I had thought my village to be the standard… that everywhere one would go would be similar. But now I see that I was wrong. There is so much that I have not seen.”
Putting down his fork, the blonde gently placed his hand on top of the elf’s head, rubbing his silver locks soothingly. In any other moment, his actions would have been seen as patronizing but right now, it felt reassuring.
“Worry not. You have the rest of your life to explore to your heart’s content. And if there is anything that you do not understand, I will be there with you to help you through it.”
A small smile graced his lips. Never in his life would he have imagined that there was someone out there that would bond with him so closely. Someone who would love him unconditionally even though the only world he knew was his own small one, patient as they watched him slowly discover the world.
He was grateful to have fallen in love with someone like Adros.