Day 17

Kimber opened the door. “May I introduce to you the Elder! Elder, here are the children Tipper and Perceval found.”

“Please, you may all take a seat,” said the man who must have been sitting in the room’s only incredibly large armchair. Alastair blinked, taking in the sophisticated room with a curiosity he thought he was too stunned to muster. There were too many items for Alastair to account for at that moment, but he gave it a go anyway. He saw glimpses of silver painted shelves pregnant with so many books, papers, notes, and bobbles, his senses became overwhelmed.

On his left were glass cases of books that looked to be over three hundred years old and some far older. Thick and worn, his hand twitched to touch their spines to see if they could come to life. The novels and tomes to Alastair’s right seemed to be free for anyone to read. They were piled on three mahogany desks in heaps of browns, burnt reds, and deep oranges.

The children shuffled around an elaborate hand woven rug of sprites and castles and scooted past one of the tables that carried an outspread map. They all sat down on a couch that circled around the large armchair painted in all colors of the rainbow, and some colors they couldn’t name like how they couldn’t recognize the color of the sky. Tipper stood at the couch’s edge with his usual bored expression while Perceval sat at Lila’s dangling feet.

“My goodness, what do we have here?” Asked the severely aged man in the many colored armchair. He was a fox humanoid like Tipper and Kimber, but he was at least over a hundred years old. His long hair that reached to his waist was the purest of white, so were his fox ears and feet. His eyes, still slit like the others, were white as well. The children assumed that because of this, he was blind, but he stared at them with such intensity that there was no way he was not able to see. Although he was old, that didn’t mean that he was frail. The Elder was well built with meat on his bones and muscles to spare. The only mark of age besides his hair color were the wrinkles under his eyes, cheeks, chin, arms, and hands.

“Elder, today I began my journey to complete the prophecy bestowed upon my shoulders since birth,” Tipper said in a completely different manner than the children were used to. Lila patted Perceval on the shoulder and gave him a confused frown. Perceval shrugged, which was so against is fox-like nature that she couldn’t help but giggle. Tipper spared a quick glare at her, and she covered her smiling mouth. “When reaching the Network Prairie, Perceval and I immediately encountered these five children. I believe that my prophecy directed me to protect them and aid them in whatever way possible.” Tipper paused and then added. “They may be half Lived Beings.”

“Ah,” said the Elder in a good natured tone. “Tipper, my dear boy. You have done well to encounter the meaning of your prophecy.” The Elder leaned over his knees and stared at the nervous children. “You all look famished, little ones. Would you like some cookies and tea?” Their rumbling stomachs answered the Elder’s question. “Kimber, dear. Could you please fetch some refreshments for our guests?”

“Yes sir!” Kimber saluted, paused, and then curtsied. The girl ran from the room in top speed. The Elder waited until the door closed completely before turning back to his audience.

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