Chapter 23- where there is smoke

Gulliver paused after seeing his sister and hearing her speak to the elf. He didn’t mean to eavesdrop on them, but it happened nonetheless.

He was in fact looking for Dramix, but he found her instead. He turned over to leave to find another person there with him. Dramix had his arms crossed while listening. 

“You heard that as well?” (Gulliver)

He nodded.

“I have decided to be with her after this journey. To what or where though I don’t exactly know, but she will always be a knight. I know this, as I know that I will always be a tailor’s son. You should also know this for a fact, but I have been outcast for going against the great master of my house.” (Dramix)

Gulliver looked at him both surprised and saddened. 

“That’s a hard blow.” (Gulliver)

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Dramix sighed.

“The house of Thimus. They knew about me getting captured and escaping with you. They thought that when I got you back to your hideaway, I would return home. They allowed me to follow my whims because they thought that I would bring Naleeit back with me for their own musings.” (Dramix)

Gulliver grabbed his new vest. 

“You wouldn’t dare!” (Gulliver)

Dramix then looked him in the eye. 

“Why do you think I was outcast? I have seen women choose death over that abuse. I granted such an escape to a person that I respected. I don’t have the heart to see another person I respect meet the same end.” (Dramix)

Gulliver let him go while ashamed.

“Of course. You will make a good husband to her.” (Gulliver)

A voice then came from behind him. 

“Say what now? I never agreed to such such thing.” (Naleeit)

Gulliver turned in surprise to see his sister behind him. 

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“Naleeit! I, uh, well….” (Gulliver)

Dramix sighed again. 

“We were discussing me being outcast from the drakan as you have been.” (Dramix)

Naleeit looked at him suspiciously. 

“I take it that this isn’t a regular occurrence?” (Naleeit)

Dramix nodded.

“I have cast my name out of the house of Thimus. They asked for a price that is way too high for me to give. I have been gone for a long time, so I feel that my duty to them is less than they deserve for the price. In order to save face, I must one day return with a tribute to all the great ones to share a piece of it. If in this journey, people singing songs of our success for years to come comes to pass, even a small part of it will be the part that I played. We people that have dragon blood in our veins enjoy a good boast more than most. Besides, when Gulliver here rebuilds his kingdom, he will need people to work. He will need food to feed the citizens, and iron to forge tools and buildings. He’ll even need the occasional lady too….” (Dramix)

Gulliver hit Dramix in the gut with an elbow when he said that.

“My wiles are none of your business.” (Gulliver)

Naleeit then crossed her arms. 

“Remeber to say that when I and Dramix become soul joined.” (Naleeit)

Dramix paused in surprise after hearing her say that. He barely knew about the ritual she spoke about.

“I’m happy for your sister. I truly am. He’s a good partner for you.” (Gulliver)

Naleeit smiled. 

“And a friend to you.” (Naleeit)

Dramix took Gulliver under his arm, and then Naleeit under the other. 

“I heard a legend once. A legend of a drink made of sap. An elven wine is sweeter than any other. Let us take a small journey in search of such a legendary drink.” (Dramix)

Gulliver pointed forward before energetically speaking.

“Onward, my fellow champions!” (Gulliver)

Their journey ended in failure, but they enjoyed a cider drink until dusk and decided to retire in the tree given to them. Dramix laid on his back in thought while looking out the doorway for what seemed like hours. He had no future now. Not unless he received an unexpected reward at least. It was something he wasn’t seeking in the first place though.

As he stared, through the doorway, he heard a voice. 

“Dramix, are you awake?” (Gulliver)

Dramix turned to see Gulliver sitting up and leaning against the tree. 

“Yes.” (Dramix)

Dramix moved over and leaned against the tree as well.

“I have heard legends of the elves and their armies of old. This isn’t what I was expecting. There are a few warriors that are worthy, but they concern themselves with their day to day lives rather than preparing for war. I fear about what will occur when the armies arrive.” (Gulliver)

Dramix closed his eyes. 

“They’re confident that the armies will not even reach here. It must mean they have plans set in motion that we don’t see. However, it’s rather suspicious that we three will be the last ones in their trees when the time comes.” (Dramix)

Gulliver looked at him in surprise.

“A foresight of the future again?” (Gulliver)

Dramix shook his head before asking a question.

“How did your father lose?” (Dramix)

Gulliver paused. 

“It was because of my father’s most trusted general. He was a man that he knew since they were boys.” (Gulliver)

Dramix looked out the doorway again. 

“How did he do it?” (Dramix)

Gulliver paused.

“I’m not sure.” (Gulliver)

Dramix closed his eyes. 

“We must tread carefully. We have to second guess everyone we know, even each other. We must also move with certainty from now on.” (Dramix)

Gulliver looked at Dramix in surprise. 

“You surprise me even more Dramix. You sound like Towward.” (Gulliver)

Dramix smirked. 

“He was the one you looked up to. As old as time, Naleeit called him once. I am honored you compare him to me, and I am honored to call you my friend.” (Dramix)

Dramix then opened his eyes. 

“Something isn’t right.” (Dramix)

Dramix raised up and grabbed Zwilander, then tapped Naleeit’s foot. She understood instantly by seeing them armed what was happening. 

Gulliver looked at him cautiously.

“What’s wrong?” (Gulliver)

Dramix moved over to the doorway before speaking.

“The smell.” (Dramix)

Both Naleeit and Gulliver took a huge whiff of the air. He only smelled some smoke, so he was really confused.

“I only smell smoke from a small fire.” (Naleeit)

Dramix nodded.

“Exactly. The elves don’t burn wood. They use sun ovens and drink from leaves. There should be no smoke.” 

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