The world tilted sickenly thousands of feet below, but the sea from this height fascinated Alakolas instead of frightened him. Riding dragonback had been something Alak had only dreamed of and now, with Rynn’s wings beating the air beside him and her neck stretched out to offer him the world of the sky, Alak still could not believe this was all real.
The Silvan Sword was sheathed against his side. Alak was quite taken aback once Thranduil gave it to him. The sword was as plain as a Human Blade, perhaps plainer. The blade was light but there were no engravings on it. The hilt was almost black with age. It was dusty and crude looking, having not been used in many millennia.
But Alak did not voice his doubts and confusion. He had faith in his grandfather. If this was the sword, then this was the sword. It was incredibly old after all, so of course it would look like it would crumble into dust the moment he touched it.
“Plus, it would discourage thieves from stealing it should I encounter trouble,” Alak told himself, and his confusion finally left him.
The eastern shore of Middle Earth loomed ahead in the distant horizon, and Alak shook with nauseated excitement. Countless daydreams whirled in his head, daydreams of the many adventures he’d have, the people he’d meet, and the things he’d see. He imagined himself doing fearless deeds, rescuing pretty damsels in distress, and the look of pride his father would have when he finally awoken. Alak’s name would be remembered for centuries to come, sung in songs in all the languages of the world.
Fame wasn’t Alak’s top priority, though it would be nice. He was young, after all. The need to travel and have adventures burned in his heart as it once burned in his father’s. Alakolas had the same desire to know that he, too, can change the world for the better.
* * *
Total and utter chaos came to the White City of Gondor though no one understood why. The atmosphere was tense and unnerving, as if a storm cloud floated above the city and decided to stay there.
Everyone could feel an incredible weight on their shoulders, but they didn’t know what it was. Businesses went on as usual without so much as a thought to the change.
The chaos existed in the population’s state of mind.
Serenity could feel the mysterious oppression on her brain as she read aloud a book of Elven philosophy written in ancient Elvish text. And she didn’t hear a word she spoke. Like when you school teacher asks you to read a passage from your textbook, and you do so, but also you toon yourself out because you really don’t care.
Not that Serenity didn’t care about her half-Elven heritage. She just felt that the princess of Gondor should be doing something more constructive with her time than dance lessons, learning how to play the lute and harp, magically shaping gardens, and reading texts in forgotten languages by authors who seemed to relish on repeating themselves and considered cutting straight to the point a heinous crime.
Plus, Serenity had nothing constructive to do because it wasn’t required of her. All that went to her two brothers, Theo, 25, and Kalyn, 21. Serenity was 17 and all that was required of her was to look pretty for the continuous stream of suitors that came calling.
To say that Aragorn and Arwen, the king and queen of Gondor, did not pay attention to their only daughter and youngest child would be as inaccurate as one could get. The royal couple loved Serenity dearly, naming her for the time of peace she was born into, and did not hesitate to shower her with affection. Serenity loved them just as dearly in return.
“I’m finished, Mother,” she announced, closing the thick book with a heavy thud.
She was just restless, that was all.
Arwen glanced up at her from her weaving. “All right. What is Galrondialis’s theory of the universe?”
Even the guy’s name didn’t have a point. Serenity sighed as recited, “Everything that exists, has existed, or have yet to exist, moves with a specific purpose, to a specific place, in a specific time.” She felt she would’ve been better off if Galron-whosits simply said, “There’s no such thing as a coincidence.”
Another reading textbook quirk: Even if you do toon yourself out, you always seem to remember what you read as though you had been paying attention all along.
“Very good.” Arwen looked up at Serenity with an understanding smile. “Love, I know you do not like studying Elvish philosophy. I didn’t like it myself when I was your age. But every child, be they elf or human, needs an education. Trust me, this will come in handy one day.”
Serenity didn’t understand how in the world Galron-whatshisname’s Theory of the Universe could come in handy, but she decided it best not to argue.
* * *
Rynn dropped Alak off at the edge of a small forest located at Gondor’s southwestern border.
“You mean, you’re not coming with me?” Alak exclaimed.
Rynn shook her head and smiled. “I am wounded, young prince, and therefore unable to shift. Also, you need to do this on your own. It is required. You will understand one day. And I am sure you will find help among the humans who dwell here. Good luck, Scarred One.”
And with that, Rynn spread her wings wide and took off into the air. Alak watched her with a sense of awe as she flew off into the western distance to report to Queen Aurora that her son had been dropped off safely.
Then a question formed in Alak’s mind, and he nearly slapped himself. He had forgotten to ask it in all the excitement of preparing for this adventure. And this was a pretty important question, too.
What the heck was a human??