Narice Arkline and the Seventh Element

Chapter 6

Narice looked at the spear tips. The elves seemed to be very organized. He was actually impressed rather than frightened.

“You are not welcome here Aqayan,” he heard a fierce one speak.

Narice looked at Terahawk- the bird seemed unconscious, which probably made it worse for him.

“Uh, that’s fine. Can I speak to someone about how to get out? Also my friend here’s been flying for ages now and is pretty tired from his long trek.”

“You’re deceptions won’t work with us,” a young elf that had spoken from amidst the group stepped forward. The others gave way as he walked.

“Send a guard to the chief,” the young elf spoke.

Narice looked at the entities that were pointing them. They were a little shorter than himself and pointed ears.

Were they what were called elves? He wondered. He’d read about them- but mostly from folklore of the past.

He wished that Terahawk was able to wake up, but there was no such luck as he looked at him completely dead to the world. He wanted to be mad at the bird, but there really wasn’t a reason to be… maybe he just wanted to take out his aggressions on his new found pet.

“Okay then, I’ll wait.”

Narice did one of the only things he could think of at this time. Since he was so tired, he sat down and took a nap.

An older elfa watched on as a young elfa rushed towards him.

“Leader,” he spoke, “some boy just came to ‘Safehaven’ flying on a tall bird- a huge dishonor to our allies of the forest…”

“Romani,” the chief spoke to another elfa that was standing behind against the wall, “What do you think about the young man?”

A tall elfa in stature, darker hair than normal spoke- “I like him.”

The chief nodded, “Very well. Tell Talaeyna that we shall let him inside. Treat him with care until he proves a reason not to.

Narice had been able to rest for a bit until he noticed some rustling between the elves. He looked up and noticed that the messenger the captain had sent out returned.

As the messenger whispered to the captain of the elves the captain nodded in response while looking at Narice.

“Men, lay your weapons down. This is a friend.”

The elves parted for Narice as he looked up.

“Well, this is unexpected…” Narice said… “Why the change in heart?”

“Forgive us,” the elf kneeled. “We haven’t met up with someone from the outside world since a century before i was born.”

A whole century?

Narice noticed the elves running up to the ‘Terahawk’ and taking him to their village. They were allies with the bird, but was there so much distrust that they were unwilling to come close to him in order to save the bird?

“He saved my life,” Narice said looking at one of them eye to eye, “please take care of him.”

The elf gave a nod.

Upon entering the village, the looks of curiosity and whispers arose among many of the elves.

While it was a throwback to perhaps the early eighteen hundreds as far as  technologies were concerned- there was the appearance of an established and artistic village.

The entirely of the forces that had been pointing spears at him had since dispersed. He was now led by three guards instead.

A fountain took the center of the path as it split.  Elves were walking in different directions as he passed by. It seemed there were shops to the left. homes and gardens to the right and forward.

As he looked around he noticed things unnatural to himself  -Self-watering plants, self-playing instruments, things that moved strictly by the motion of the elves rather than physical limits of mankind. It seemed they had an affinity for magic.

Overall this seemed like a peaceful village. Not only because of the cheery and established attitude- but he noticed that the wildlife also seemed to find safe harbor here as well as communicated with the elves.

He watched as a farmer seemed to be talking with an animal while petting it. The animal responded with a nod.

“So where did you come from,” said an elf that had come up next to him. Narice hadn’t noticed his steps at all. While he prided himself on noticing his surroundings- he was taken aback for a moment.

He got a brief look. Unlike the others he looked tall with darker hair and almost his own height. He had a friendly demeanor with his smile and Narice appreciated the friendly attitude of the elf unlike the others who’d simply been staring.

The elf continued realizing that Narice, hadn’t responded, “I’ve always been curious about the outside world.”

He wasn’t sure how to describe his answer, but he figured he’d use information that he thought was common knowledge.

“Well, i come from the western continent… I used to live on an island off of it’s coast then moved there after Ka’atra destroyed it.”

“Oh, i am sorry to hear that…” he said said sincerely.

“Well. That’s the reason I went on the quest to stop ‘Ka’atra’…” Narice replied with conviction.

“Oh?” the elf replied intrigued in thought. “how old are you?”

Narice wasn’t sure where the question was coming from, “fourteen.”

He wasn’t sure if the elf thought that age was an issue when he considered facing Ka’atra or if it were something else.

“You have a strong will,” the elf responded cheerfully “i believe you’d be able to do it.”

This elf seemed lighthearted and fun, while the ‘captain of the elves’ ahead of him seemed much fiercer. Narice considered the reason why this was. Perhaps it was taxing on the fierce elf to be in charge of the force.

“This way,” fiercer elf said as he guided them into the hut.

Narice saw a large structure for an elf- somewhat small for a human, but large for an elf. It was surrounded by a moving fountain that kept a garden as well as seemed to pump through the house, both powering and supplying. This was his first real glance at an elven home.

The house seemed open and vibrant. He noticed that there was no door to its entrance.  instead it was an archway that led inside to an large open room.

Two of the guards stood on the outside while the captain he’d spoken with ushered him inside. While tall for an elf perhaps, his head just barely made it inside. He wondered how difficult it would be for the elf he’d just been conversing with to grow up in a place that he was so tall.

The captain ushered him to an older elf. The captain elf walked up beside the old elf, and he noticed the elf who was beside him before had pulled up behind and walked to an adjacent kitchen area.

“Welcome to our village young sir,” the old man said. “You must excuse my subordinates- it has been many years since this village has seen influences of the outside realm. They are unfamiliar with social tact.”

“Err…” Narice looked at the fierce elf beside him who was sure the one to be taking the brunt of the insult.

“It is fine,” the elf spoke.

“Ah yes…” the old man had gotten up and was preparing a kettle on the stove while the other elf had been gathering teacups. The ‘chief elf’ was standing ready, not sure what exactly to do.

Narice watched them, sure that they were meaning to fix him something, but felt awkward while standing in place doing nothing. Upon their return he spoke,

“Uh, so how do you keep this place hidden?”

The older elf responded with a considerate look as if attempting to explain to Narice the best way, “We are at a place called ‘Safehaven’. It is distinct from the world you come from, we are separate from it- both in space and time…”

“Oh…ok,” Narice wondered how that was possible. The old man handed ahim a cup of tea on a plate with bite size treats.

“Oh but where are the introductions…” the old man said.

“This here,” the old man gestured to the ‘chief elf’ “is our third high elfa, Talaena. He is our ‘protector of the village.'”

Narice noticed the term elfa instead of elf, but decided not to mention it, “Third high…is there someone else above him?”

“He is only exceeded by Romani and myself.”

But who was Romani?

“Romani is right beside you,” Narice looked to the side to see the same elf that had snuck up on him earlier- bowing his head.

“Oh, so this guy handles the domestic stuff right,” Narice.

“Actually, he is the best fighter too… but yes, sometimes he handles domestic issues.”

Now Narice was surprised. The most relaxed elf was actually the best warrior in the village.

“And I am the chief ‘Shern’…-” the leader spoke with a bow and a smile, “but only because my age has convinced those around me that i am smart enough to lead them.”

“Leader, we all know it is because of your wisdom and courage in the face of challenges that you have our respect,” Talaena said.

Shern responded with a wave and a ‘pah’.  Narice wondered why the leader felt this way.

Narice felt that he should introduce himself and put his hand over his chest, “Thankyou for meeting with me. I am Narice.” he said picking up the lack of conjunctions, “I am an Aqayan. Uh… but i do not have an element.”

“An Aqayan you say?” The chief spoke and paused looking at him with more interest, “So what is the news on the outside world young sir?”

Narice wasn’t sure how long they’d been away from the world.

Narice features grew more serious, “Outside of here, the world is dark. Many nations are controlled by Ka’atra’s pawns. He’s trying to eliminate the guardians who would get in his way on his quest to control the jewels. I saw him first hand…”

“Ka’atra?” the third high elf, Talaena, said confusedly.

The chief’s face grew equally serious to Narice’s… “from the last i heard of him…”

All of them noticed his deep thoughts,

“Yeah… I’ve seen him twice now,” Narice replied, “once after he destroyed my village and once more before i barely escaped.”

Shern spoke, “It has been almost a hundred and eighty years since we last heard of anything from the outside, but for you that would be seven hundred years… We locked ourselves away from any conflict after the demon’kin war… and have heard nothing from our liasons in the outside world since seven hundred years ago….”

Narice was surprised by what they were telling him. Seven hundred years ago was when Ka’atra was first coming to power. That meant that they may or may not of heard about him and what happened in the past seven hundred years and realized that he would have to explain.

“Um…” Narice spoke. “long ago, there was a war… a man named Ka’atra led it… he was sealed away by Aarock.”

“What happened to Sardis?”

“Umm- who?” Narice replied.

“Sardis is the wife of Aarock and the one who created ‘Safehaven’ for us.”

Narice wasn’t sure what he was referring to, but if it was an elf.. then… that meant…

“I’m sorry…” Narice replied, “but all the elfa were killed in the war…”

All three of the elves had their own looked of surprise. The chief held a solemn look. “i see..”

Romani spoke next, “chief… if we had been a part of the-”

The chief interrupted cuttingly, “then we may have died too, Romani. We have a duty to uphold.”

Narice wasn’t sure to answer him, ”

The chief responded, “The purpose of ‘Safehaven’ is to avoid the conflicts that burden the outside world. But if it is true that he has escaped and already defeated the council – you will have our support.”

“Cool, then you mind if I stay here for a while?” Narice asked.

“That’s not what h-” Talaena returned.

The old man interrupted, “Of course. Romani- prepare our guest a room.”

Romani bowed.

“I’m going to see how Terahawk is doing now…”

“We will be having a bonfire tonight if you want to come to it…” the old man said.

“Ok that sounds good- I have more questions anyway.”

Narice walked out of the room… there was a lot he wanted to know, but being here for a little while he’d get to learn about it.

He went to the hospital room where they’d taken him, and the nurse told him that Terahawk went back to the field of bird’s forest.

He went to where they told him. It was relatively close, walking distance. It seemed the sphere covered a part of the forest beyond the village. He kept walking for a while until he found a little clearing.

Inside were a home of birds. It seemed the whole ‘bird sanctuary’ was filled with everything birds could want. There was flowing water, with a little fall, there were clearings large enough for birds like Terahawk.

He walked into it. For some reason, the birds here seemed more peaceful and less jittery, they barely paid him any mind despite him being an outsider.

He could hear chirps around him.

“Have you seen Terahawk?” he asked a little one. The little bird took a small flight away from him, Narice assumed that he was getting Terahawk.

He watched as Terahawk came over a ravine and swooped down to greet him in a clearing.

“How are you Terahawk?”

“Light as a feather… that exercise was exhausting, but now I feel great. Plus the magic from the elves and our own inherent magic here just makes everything feel better.”

“This place is beautiful, no wonder you missed it,” Narice replied.

“Yeah, it’s why I call it home. My family and I nest up in the tops of the taller trees. Besides that, this place have everything a bird like me would want.”

“Well, I guess this is goodbye…” Narice said.

“If you’re leaving, you’re welcome to come back anytime.”

“Thanks Terahawk… I’m going to spend a little more time with the elves and see if there’s anything i can learn about stopping Ka’atra.”

“They should know a lot… they are very wise when it comes to magic…”

Narice gave him a pat on the wing and then saw Ka’atrahawk take a dive into the pond below.

He decided to see what he could learn from the elves, so he went back to the village.

“You’re a tall one,” Narice turned to see a two-foot young female elf looking up at him.

They were all sitting around the bonfire, Narice watched as music was being played.

“And you’re an elf,” Narice replied with a smile.

She tried to stand on her tippy toes and reach her hand above his head.

“I’m almost as tall as you,” she said measuring her hand up to him, despite the fact that it wasn’t a very flat motion from her head to his.

Another female elf, an older one, brought him a basket that held some treats and gave him one.

He took it and she went on to the next elf. He could get used to this.

Narice sat back and enjoyed the fire for a while before a more seriously toned Romani walked up next to him beside the fire.

“I’ve wanted to change things- but I never had the chance. I’ve been training all this time…”

Narice was quiet.

This time he picked up a more serious tone, Narice could tell that he meant it when he spoke, “I’ve heard of many of the atrocities that Ka’atra had done. I feel I’ve been training for a while now and I’d like to join you.”

“Yeah, sure,” Narice responded.

“I can do magic, and I’m a good fighter, and..” he paused for a moment after realizing that Narice had agreed, “oh, okay then.”

Romani put together what Narice said and then started eating, light hearted mood coming back, “thank you, Aqayan.”

“But i get to call you Rome.”

“Haha, are you that lazy?” Romani looked at him with a sympathetic smile.

“I guess… Either that or Roman,” Narice spoke, “Romani’s just too long.”

“Fine, haha,” Rome acquiesced. Perhaps he was afraid of not being allowed to go- but in reality he probably was less concerned about a nickname.

They both went back to silence as they looked at the fire.

Narice had a more serious tone as he spoke sincerely.

“Yeah, I was hoping for a friend among this- I have no idea where to go from here, honestly…”

Rome was silently eating for a little, “How is your bird friend?”

“He’s well- where he belongs- with the other birds,” Narice said.

The old man came up to him.

“Narice… I have something to show you,” he said.

Narice looked at the old man and got up to follow.

Previous<—II—> Next


Author: jackpennnovels

Hey there. I'm a 28 y/o aspiring author - looking to inspire youth and entertain the masses with fantastic stories. i enjoy travelling the world and understanding different ways of life- and my second dream would be to help others understand what it's like to live in different parts of the world- in the hopes that cultural exchange can open the eyes of those who've had theirs shut for so long.

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