Chapter 7 - The Elfin Village
Chapter 7 Brothers
I noticed a slightly older elfin boy was following us at a distance. He looked like a slightly older version of Zeek, but not as beautiful looking.
"Arvin, stop," I said softly, "There's someone following us. When I look back he quickly hides but I know he's there."
"It's probably my brother Zac," said Zeek, "He tried to warn me that the orcs were looking for me and when they came he tried to stand between me and them but my father pulled him out of the way."
"ZAC!" I yelled, "Stop hiding and come forth."
The boy came out from behind a tree and walked cautiously towards us. Zeek slid down from Arvin's back then ran to his brother. They embraced I could see Zac's eyes wet with tears.
"Oh, Zeeky! I'm such a coward! I thought the orcs would kill you. Then I thought the dragon would kill you. Then I thought the dragon was going to eat the human. I am such a coward! I should have fought father. You're my brother and I love you. I don't want to be a coward anymore," cried Zac.
Zac looked towards Arvin and I. "I will stand with you Gladimhere and although the dragon frightens me I will trust him not to eat me and standby him," swore Zac.
Arvin roared with laughter, "Eat you! You wouldn't even make a decent dessert, too skinny! We need to fatten him up."
I rolled my eyes. Zac paled and nearly fainted. Zeek laughed, "Zac, he's joking. I promise you."
Zac seemed to relax. Arvin continued to chuckle as he led the way through the woods back to the cave.
When we got back to the cave we ate, namely, because I was starving. Arvin kept messing with Zac which made Zeek and I laugh. Zac finally realized that Arvin was just messing with him meaning no harm. I could see the friendship building between the two.
After a very short rest to let the food we consumed I said, "Okay guys, time to get going down to the training field."
"Where?" asked Arvin.
"Hot Springs, that'll serve as the training field."
"Yes, especially F.A.D.," laughed Zac.
"F.A.D?" I asked.
"Yeah, fat ass dragon," he smiled.
"That's enough out of you, SB.," said Arvin. I looked at him questioningly. "Skinny butt," laughed Arvin and so did the rest of us.
When we got to the training field I moved to the center as the others followed.
"Okay, Zeek and Zac scamper up onto Arvin's back." Once they were on his back I addressed Arvin, "Okay, dude, unfurl your wings and hold them out parallel to the ground."
"Zac crawl out on to the left wing and lay flat. Zeek do the same on the right wing. Arvin keep both wings parallel for as long as you can. I could see it was an effort. "You're doing good," I encouraged him but after ten minutes his wings lowered and both boys slid to the ground. "That was good. Take a break while I put these guys through a workout."
I put the boys through a twenty minute routine that consisted of squats, pushups, crunches, leg lifts and a fast jog with me around the whole field twice. They were sooo out of shape -- Zac worse than Zeek. We returned to the center where Arvin was resting and I told them to scamper back up onto Arvin's back.
"Wings out!" Toward the ten minute mark Arvin's wings were quivering. I kept encouraging him and he managed to go to almost twelve minutes before his wings dropped.
I increased the boys and my workout to thirty minutes. When it was over they barely made it up Arvin's back. Arvin passed the ten minute mark before his wings dropped.
"Okay dudes, swim time."
Arvin went in first because he didn't have any clothes to take off. I was second. Zac was pale pink from embarrassment when he disrobed. Well, he was the last in and Arvin was teasing him. He looked much the same as Zeek just a bit bigger in the privates which he was trying to hide and that just encouraged Arvin.
"Come on Zacky! Show us whatcha got," chuckled Arvin.
Zeek and I looked at each other and giggled. Neither of us missed the term of endearment the dragon used.
I couldn't let that go by.
"Oooo! I heard that `Zacky'? Isn't that cute, Zeek? Has he ever called you Zeeky?" I teased.
"Oh! Never! Pretty soon I think we're going to hear `Arvy' coming from Zacky," laughed Zeek.
What followed was a water fight -- Zeek and me vs. Arvin and Zac -- Zeek and I lost.
We played in the water for an hour and then back to exercising on the field. By the time it was time to return to the cave all of us were worn out. We had some more to eat as we sat outside the cave.
It was starting to get dark. We were fairly quite namely because we were exhausted when I thought I heard someone crying, "Did you here that?"
Zeek and Zac's eyes widen and they bolted to the forest. A few minutes later they emerged from the woods with another elf who was shorter than them. He was another duplicate in features of the two brothers which meant he was Zen the youngest brother. He seemed quite happy and smiling as he walked between them holding their hands.
I stood as they approached. Arvin stayed lying on the ground. I think he was trying not to look too scary.
"He is real, isn't he Zeek? I think he's the most beautiful dragon in our world. Gladimhere, the human says he's magical. Are you magical, Mr. Dragon?" asked the smaller elfin boy.
I think Arvin's heart melted to a gooey mess as he softly said, "For you little one, I'd be anything. Can I have a hug?"
Zen ran to the dragon and hugged Arvin's neck. I swear the dragon made a purring sound.
"Well, I know where I rank," I said in a half laugh.
After he hugged Arvin the young elfin boy came over to me.
His cute smiling face grew serious as he approached me, "I want to learn to fight the orcs. Will you teach me to fight and make me magic?"
I had not expected to be teaching anyone as young and small as this boy. As he looked into my eyes I knew there was another gooey mess before this young elfin boy. As I stood looking into his big blue eyes I heard, "Only if I get at least one hug a day from you" as the words seemed to flow automatically from my mouth.
I got my hug. It was so sweet and beautiful.
"Zen, your magic is in here," I pointed to his chest, "I can feel it in there. Can you feel it?" He closed his eyes, concentrated for a few moments and then excitedly said, "Yes, I can feel it!" I pulled him back into a hug. I truly felt it strong, powerful and growing.
"Arvin, you said goblins rarely show up here. Do you think we could all watch the sunset and maybe stargaze for a short time?"
"Yeah, I think it would be safe as long as we stay together."
Zeek and Zac looked a little apprehensive but Zen blurted out, "A real sunset! Can we? I've never seen one before! Orcs said sunsets were ugly so I know they must be really beautiful! Let's go Arvin. I will sit next to you and you will protect me in case there is a goblin about. Won't you?"
The gooey mess called Arvin said softly to the little elf, "With my life I will protect you."
I knew it was his word and his bond to that little elf.
"What about us?" asked Zac.
"Gladimhere will protect you because he loves Zeek and Zeek would be upset if a goblin gobbled you up."
"What and you wouldn't be upset?" queried Zac.
"Nope," said Zen but then he laughed.
"Eat him!" said Zac to Arvin.
Arvin just laughed. He was a very happy dragon. The power of his magic was growing. I could see it flowing from him and into him.
It was the most awesome sunset ever I think as two of the three elfin boys saw their first sunset.