Chapter 2 Part 5
For a long while they discussed and debated. Dusk began to fall and they decided to continue the conversation and planning back at the camp the human party had set up. At first, it was like any other first meeting plesantries were exchanged, stories told, even a song or two sung and the mood was light and pleasant. Ardinia quickly realized that Maggie was all but infatuated with her; from the prospect of ancient elven magics to her beauty, grace, and no doubt exotic nature. Brother Marcis was very interested in them, and Helix told them that he had been to Elventree in the past and had met several of their kind.
As the evening went on, however, Ardinia began to become aware of the fact that, without even thinking about it, the two different races had subconsciously separated to other sides of the fire, excluding Maggie of course, who sat next to her. Ardinia watched the humans intently and wondered about this. There was the smell. It seemed humans produced a thousand different oders all at once, and not a single one of them overly pleasant. This was not to say that they ‘stank’, but rather…just not overly pleasant.
There was the noise. The humans spoke to those sitting right next to them as if they were shouting across a great distance to one another. They clanked and clunked and banged and slammed and both elves were soon developing headaches.
Then they prepared dinner. The massive and not overly bright Karza had the duty of cooking, and while his fellow humans praised him ceaselessly, the ‘meal’ he produced was pungent and not overly appetizing. Half way through the preparation, Arthon and Ardinia offered to go collect fauna and fare for their lovely interracial well meeting feast. As they wandered and collected leaves, ruffage, herbs, fruits, berries, mushrooms…suddenly they both stopped and looked at each other. Without a word, they sat down and almost as one arranged their fare in between them. In silence leaves we set and Arthon separated their bounty. As he placed them on separate leaves, Ardinia would arrange and adorn them. In moments they had a spread that was both mouth watering as well as aesthetic. Both baffled and both utterly in tune with everything and simply doing as the wind or sea would, they sat in silence for a moment and bowed their heads, Arthon whispering a prayer to Rillifane and asking a blessing from Aerun. Then, still without a word, they ate.
The whole affair took all but half an hour. Having only eaten a tiny portion of what they had, they both picked up what was left and still in silence, began walking back to the camp. Arthon looked over at his sister and saw her look away, she was crying.
“What is wrong?” he asked, already knowing the answer.
“Nothing.” She did not look at him.
He knew exactly what was wrong. He smiled to himself as he thought about meeting the two humans the other day, how Ardinia was almost to anger that they had even dared bring their horses onto an Elven pathway. She was saddened because they were watching their homeland, their country, their friend and loved one, being raped and murdered before their eyes. And these humans were the face of it, if not the culprit.
They returned an hour after they had departed, to the loud and obnoxious, “Hey!”s and “Well, there they are!”s
“Here we are” Arthon mumbled as he forced a smile.
“Ah!!” Karza exclaimed as he saw the food, “Lovely, in deed!”
Then, they ate. They talked and they laughed. They were not evil, no of course not. But they were on the verge of revolting. Ardinia was coming to genuinely like Maggie, and Irma was quiet and unobtrusive. But the men were something to behold. And the way they ate was bothersome enough, throw in what they ate and Ardinia had to make it a point to not look at them for fear she would wretch right there. It was bloody and sloppy and it ran down their chins, and smeared the backs of their sleeves. It sprayed from their mouths as they laughed and talked.
So uncomfortable were the elves, that each could sense it in their sibling. It was almost unbearable. Neither wanted to be rude and they ate lightly and smiled and listened. They learned that humans already had opinions about them, for example, they thought that all elves refused to talk to humans out of a sense of superiority. Arthon insisted that this was not the case, but had to admit to himself that perhaps it wasn’t that far off. He had no idea what they would do the following night, or what excuse they would make to not have to spend another evening with the smelly, gross, loud bunch…but some excuse was a necessity.