Component 22 - Decisions, Decisions

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COMPONENT 22: DECISIONS, DECISIONS

After the meeting of the Wise ones of the Woods, Angon realized he had taken in a single word. They were afraid of the Blood Tomb. So? Who wasn't? He didn't care, for according to Buster, the passive elves offered little to no advice as per usual, and that was why dwarves rarely spoke to elves on topics of politics.

"Sorry that didn't go so well..." Gavin apologized after leaving the meeting chamber in the center of Windale.

"Aye, all our time here has been a waste!" Buster grumbled. "Ye apologize for yer sorry kind, but they don't feel it, elf! They won't even be feeling it till the Blood Tomb come knocking on your door again!"

Angon trudged ahead, with his shoulders slumped. All he wanted to do was see Lavina again, but she had left after speaking of her engagement. The stunned forge hadn't been able to speak a word to her after he realized what she meant. And inside he felt a turmoil of feelings; anger, sadness, fear, loneliness, and even hatred, where in fact no hatred should be do. Lavina had chosen Daneel, after all, and not the other way around.

Gavin and Buster continued gabbing behind him, and he could care less what they had to say, for Angon felt the worst he possible could. Finally, unable to take another step, he collapsed, crossing his legs beneath him.

"Angon?" Buster asked, rushing over. "Be ye okay, forge? I think we be needin' ye to walk on yer own if we're to be making it north to Angel's Outpost."

"I can't go on!" He wailed, and began to sob. Liquid metal tears fell from his eyes and evaporated as they splashed onto the wooden boards.

Gavin and Buster looked at each other knowingly; the forge wasn't going to move until they could get Lavina to come and speak with him, for she was the only one that could make Angon understand the pressing issue of time; time they did not have.

***

With her pack emptied on her bed before her, Lavina put her hands on her hips, and gave a great nod or approval. She had everything she would need for her journey. She had a compass stone, magic scrolls for emergencies when her own spell power ran out, healing and mana potions, and she even had managed to snatch the magic shawl that would allow her to confuse any of a weak mind into thinking she was not there.

"I don't think I need anything else." The half-elf girl murmured. "Oh! But I do!"

Lavina cracked open her bedroom door, and peaked out into the hall. Her father, En-Marcuso, was nowhere to be seen. Pulling the shawl over her head, she tiptoed to the dining room and right up to the table.

Sitting in one of the chairs was a gnome she knew very well. This gnome, with scraggily red hair, and tanned skin, was the housemaid, and had done a great deal in taking care of Lavina as she grew up. The half-elf wrapped the shawl around her head even tighter, and reached up across to grab the bowl of juca berries.

"Little girl, don't you dare." Pina-Loo-Too snapped.

Lavina froze. How had Pina seen her?

The gnome housemaid turned her head to Lavina and wagged a finger.

"You think such a trick would work on me?" Pina said. "For I was the one who crafted that shawl you wear around you!"

"Sorry, Loo-Too." Lavina sighed, and pulled back the magic shawl. "But I need to leave."

"I know you do." Pina said as she reached to the middle of the table and plucked a handful of juca berries. "But you do not need this entire bowl for your journey."

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