Hi, everyone! I’m back once more, with Part Four of Knight’s Quest, a version that no one else has seen yet, despite the few times I’ve shown it to others. So, I’d really appreciate comments in this section. Not read the first few parts yet? Here are links to part one, part two, and part three. Now, on with the tale!
“He . . . He has pointed ears!” whispered Walter “He . . . He’s an elf!”
The elf had short brown hair, dark green eyes, and carried a bow, a quiver of arrows, and four knives. He was wearing gold armor and a green, brown, and gold mottled cloak. He stepped forward and bowed deeply.
“Welcome, strangers.” he said, his voice deep and melodious, “I am Sir Shaftson Blackwood, one of the best warriors in the arboreal city of Woodsrovia, second only to her majesty Queen Irene Swiftshaft. I am sorry if I startled you, but I’m afraid it was rather unavoidable. And, yes, I am an elf. In fact the entire population of Woodsrovia is made up of elves. And, being elves, we have excellent hearing.” As Shaftson Blackwood said the last sentence, he was looking straight at Walter.
“Sorry. I was startled. I just thought elves didn’t exist.” replied Walter, slightly taken aback.
“It is forgiven. Actually, we are rather used to it. It has, as you know, been accepted more or less as fact that elves do not exist. It is actually a lie started by Miran so that people wouldn’t come to us and find out many of his secrets.”
“What secrets?” asked William and Walter.
“In due time.” replied Shaftson. “Protocol requires that I first take you to meet Queen Irene, so that she may determine if you are worthy. She is a great judge of character. Follow me, please.” And with that, Sir Shaftson Blackwood turned and walked away, with William and Walter following close behind, though they stumbled quite a bit on the walkway of branches and boards.
Sir Shaftson Blackwood led William and Walter to a spot where the branches above grew thinner and a great amount of sunlight fell upon the lower branches. Here, in this sort of "treetop clearing", Queen Irene Swiftshaft held court. She sat, tall and proud, upon a sort of living throne, a branch that sloped down to make a seat. Her long, brown hair was swept back from her pointed ears, and she wore a flowing gown of green over lightweight, golden chain mail. A golden breastplate with a silver emblem covered her chest. She also wore a long cape, much like Shaftson Blackwood's and had a quiver of arrows slung over her shoulder. At her belt were two double scabbards with knives in them. She turned her gaze upon them and addressed the elf. "Shaftson, why have you brought these knights of Antuindia into our home?"
Shaftson bowed. "With all due respect, your majesty, they were being chased by scynths. I could not leave them."
The elven queen seemed to be satisfied, as she spoke now to William and Walter. "What are your names, knights of Antuindia?"
William and Walter bowed, and William spoke. "I am Sir William of Antuindia, and this is my friend and comrade, Sir Walter. We are-"
Queen Irene cut them off. "I know why you are here. You seek Miran, who kidnapped the Princess Ariana. I know this, as well as many other things. The elves of Woodsrovia are in no way blind to the goings-on of the rest of Alitene."
William and Walter both swallowed. "Would you be so kind as to tell us what you know about Miran, your majesty?" Walter asked.
The queen gazed at the two for a moment. "Humans have not been kind to the elves in the past," she said, half to William and Walter, half to herself, "but the people of Antuindia have never taken part in these dealings. Sir William and Sir Walter, do I have your word that you will not harm any elf, whether of Woodsrovia or another land, unless they first try to harm you?"
Sir William nodded. "On my honor as a knight of Antuindia, you have my word." Walter said the same, and Queen Irene nodded.
"You may know. Shaftson, please see to them."
Shaftson nodded. "As you wish." He bowed, then turned away. "Come, Sir William and Sir Walter. There are more appropriate places to talk than here."
What are Miran’s secrets? Will Sir William and Sir Walter be able to use them to defeat Miran, or will the dragon succeed with his plan after all? You’ll find out soon in Knight’s Quest part five! In the meantime, please comment and tell me what you think of this new part!