The Followers - Part Four

“Kids, please don't run away like that again, you never know who you might meet here.” Limeh reminded the children as they met again outside the stables.

“I know, Mama.” Feuor grinned apologetically as he helped himself to another seed.

“So where should we be off to first then?” Chao-Li asked everyone as soon as they had all gathered.

“I have some orders I need to deliver.” Limeh said peering into the large bag filled with various Light Armors.

“As do I, I shall accompany you Limeh.” Naom'Chi added.

“Alright then it seems like it’s just you, me and the kids.” Feier'an said.

Limeh and Naom'Chi took a left at the next junction, heading briskly for the market place, where they planned to meet their customers. It was not just the normal Homins who appreciated their careful crafting, even the merchants were happy to snap up their wares. So, it was to the marketplace that they usually headed unless there was a request for a special delivery.

Chao-Li, Feier'an, Feuor and Nih'na headed off in the other direction as they had decided that they wanted to have a look at the town itself, perhaps have something to eat before they wandered around the marketplace. They walked through some small avenues, lined with booths along the narrow streets, the merchants each crying their goods for sale. It was one of the reasons they had chosen to take this route; for it was among these merchants that the rarer and more diverse items could be found. As they were walking slowly along the street, chewing the sweetened seeds now and then, they heard the echo of a booming voice carried on the wind above the normal cacophony of the stall holders.

Following it, they soon found a larger intersection where booths were set up in a ring around a fountain in the middle.

Beside the cool fountain stood a Matis man, holding some pamphlets. These he thrust into the hands of the bustling crowd, all the while shouting “They are weary for now, but they will retaliate, they will strike back. Join Defencia Academia today and do your part to keep the village safe.”

“What is this Academia you speak of?” Chao-Li asked the man as they came closer.

“It is an institute where young warriors, fighters, mages and magicians will undergo basic training.” He replied proudly as he held out a pamphlet. Chao-Li accepted the gift and gave it a good look.

“What's the requirement and who are you talking about?” Feier'an asked thinking that it was likely to be some crazy talk from a pale white skinned man whom might have had just too much sun.

“The Kitins of course, the Kitins are just waiting for their chance to strike back at us.” He replied with a look of pure amazement that these Homins were blithely unaware of what he considered to be the greatest threat to Atys. “But that is ancient history, The Karavan and the Kami drew them away. That is why we can walk safely on the surface here today!” Feier'an was slightly worried that the man would scare the children.

“Calm down, Feier'an. Even though he is exaggerating somewhat – there is still some truth in his words.” Chao-Li remarked as he finished reading the pamphlet. “It says here that the Defencia Academia will tutor any Homin no matter what age and help them find their abilities. But that it is only in preparation for what might come - you do not provide a full training?” Chao-Li asked the man.

“No, we can only harness the basic attributes of a Homin. To see what they can do and help them train towards their abilities.” The Matis replied as he handed out yet another pamphlet to a passing Homin.

“I see, so where can one register and when is a suitable time for this?” Chao-Li asked. Feier'an and the children just stood there looking at Chao-Li.

“Whenever the time is suitable for you good sir, and the place is not far away from here. Pass through two arches, then head left and you shall see the gates of the Academia.” The Matis man said, excused himself and walked away.

“Chao-Li, what are you thinking. You have that look again...” Feier'an said.

“Well, he is right and you know it. Perhaps it is what is best for our children. You do remember the way we met, don't you.” Chao-Li replied still looking at the pamphlet, his mind full of thoughts.

“Yes, you are right there... But the children? What about them?” He asked.

“I want to be a fighter dad; I want to wield swords and pikes!!” Feuor added all of a sudden. He had only heard parts of the conversation but in the little that he had noticed he realized his chance to live his dream to become like one of the town guards.

“Uhm...” Was all Feier'an could manage, before Nih'na interrupted.

“And I want to learn the ways of the magician father.” She said.

“I have practiced dad!” Feuor shouted as he grabbed the dagger that Feier'an had in his belt and started to wave it around.

Feier'an almost lost his jaw when he saw his son grabbing the dagger, but even he could see that the boy was capable of wielding such a small weapon. Feuor kept on swinging the dagger wildly, but one of his circles took him too close to the leaning walls and his hand connected with a crash, making him drop the weapon and hop in pain. Feier'an had barely picked it up and placed it back in his belt so that he could administer first aid, when Nih'na brushed past him.

“You klutz, you should be more careful. Let me see your hand!” She almost shouted as she took hold of it and placing her free hand above the small wound began to do something curious. Slowly a small blue glow formed and the edges of the scrape healed and smoothed. “Did you know of this ability Chao-Li?” Feier'an asked as they both looked at the children.

“No, I did not. But it seems as this is something that fate may have decided for us.” Chao-Li replied as they walked up to their children. “I see that you have inherited your mother's skill of healing, Nih'na.”

“Dad, I ... I just read in one of her old books...” Nih'na said, trying to excuse her behavior as she had not told her parents of what had happened that day when she had showed Feuor.

“Ahh, do not feel any shame Nih'na, you seem to hold a natural gift for the healing arts. Your mother will be pleased to hear this.” Chao-Li comforted her as he examined Feuor's fingers. “Feier'an your son is in good hands indeed, there is not a scratch is left.”

“Well, isn't that the twist of fate then?” Thank you Nih'na.” But what are your thoughts about this Chao-Li?” He asked.

“I think we should enjoy the rest of the day here as we intended in the first place. Then this evening we should all sit down and talk about this.” Chao-Li said as he folded the pamphlet and placed it in his side bag.

“Yes, that sounds fair. Let's enjoy it as much as we can. When we get back home your mother will probably bash me into a pile for even considering this, Feuor.” Feier'an said and laughed.

They continued their travel through the streets and alleys of the town, until they were eventually rejoined by the women who had sold all their goods and were looking for some bargains on their own account.

In this quiet way do the years roll over us all.

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