When William awoke, he hoped to see Katherine waiting for them, but she was nowhere to be found. The children were given fresh clothes and he decided to try and check in on her. However, he found Tristan guarding the hut where he had left her and refused to let William inside. “I’m still not convinced you are a friend and I won’t let you near our lady when she is vulnerable.”
William sighed, already tired of dealing with the suspicious elf. “We are not her enemies. I’m just worried about her.”
Meredith laid a comforting hand on his arm and smiled at the elf. “It’s clear that you really care about Katherine and I understand your concern, but my friend is very worried about her. Perhaps, you could just have the healer come out, for a moment, and assure him of her condition.”
Tristan considered her and relented, a bit. He stepped into the hut and came back out, soon after, with another elf.
The elf nodded to the children. “I am Galen, chief healer. I am told you are the group that was found with our lady.”
Meredith nodded. “She was guiding us to the Blue Palace and protected us when we were attacked. We wanted to make sure she was going to be okay.”
“She will be fine,” he assured them. “However, she used a lot of magic, so there is no telling how long it will take for her to wake up.”
William frowned at that. “She said we needed to get to the palace, quickly. Isn’t there anything more you can do?”
Galen shook his head, sadly. “Any attempt to wake her may just make things worse. I’m afraid you will simply have to be patient.” He offered them a smile. “Have faith, though. She is strong and will certainly be awake in time to take you where you need to be. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I should return to my work.” He gave them another polite nod and slipped back into the hut.
“Are you satisfied, now?” Tristan asked.
William frowned at him, but chose not to respond. He decided that he didn’t like Tristan very much and walked away. Josie took his hand and smiled up at him. “Katherine’s going to be okay. Don’t worry.”
He returned the smile and gave her hand a squeeze. “Come on. Let’s walk around, for a bit. It’s not every day we get to see a real elven village.” He had no intention of wasting such a rare opportunity, especially since it didn’t look like they were going anywhere, for a while.
They wandered around and found some elves weaving on looms. Henry was fascinated and convinced one of them to show him how to do it.
She smiled, always happy to have a new student, especially one who was a friend of the guardian. “You just have to glide the thread in and out, like this.” Her deft hands moved quickly across the loom. “The trick is to not do it too tightly or it will pinch in the middle.” After a few more demonstrations, she allowed him to have a try.
Henry was not nearly as fast as her, but he had a few rows done before long. “This is actually pretty fun.” She nodded and showed him how to make patterns. His hands weren’t as skilled as the elves, but they were better than most humans and he had the basics down in no time.
“You’re quite good at this, for a human, at least,” the she-elf told Henry. “I would be happy to have you helping as much as you like until our lady heals.”
Henry beamed at the compliment and nodded. “I would really like that, too.”
Not wanting to be left out of the fun, Jake talked another elf into letting him try. However, he did not have nearly as much luck as his brother. Even when trying the simple weave, his was too tight and caused the piece to warp inward. The elf politely took over it, again, and undid the damage before continuing his work. Despite being identical on the outside, the pair tended to be rather different when it came to personalities, as well as skills. Jake started to pout and William decided it was time to move on.
“You can come back, later,” he promised Henry, knowing Jake wouldn’t leave without his brother. They discovered an archery range in a clearing away from the buildings. The elves practicing there rarely missed the center of the target and the children had to admire their skill.
“Wouldn’t it be great if one of us could shoot like that?” Meredith commented. “That way, we wouldn’t have to depend on Katherine to protect us all the time.”
The others nodded their agreement, still worried about the unconscious girl. An elf turned to her. He held out a bow and smiled. “I could teach you, if you like.”
Meredith stared at him, in surprise. “Are you sure? I wouldn’t want to be any trouble.”
He shook his head. “If it may help our lady, it is no trouble, at all.” He walked over and handed her the bow. “I’m Theron, by the way.”