I MET FASHION MODELS AND WEIRD CREATURES
Light entered my eyes through the window. I forgot to close the curtains last night. I wonder if anyone was watching me sleep through that window, it’s like I can’t trust anyone anymore. I’m not sure if the conversation with the mysterious man last night was real or if it was just a dream, it’s feels too realistic though. And the Archdruid, is he really a traitor? If that’s the case I really need to be careful. I hid my books under my bed and placed some boxes to cover them. I went to the kitchen to eat my breakfast, I need energy to start the day which I have a huge feeling that it is not going to be a good one.
The bus thankfully was not as crowded as the one we took yesterday, it has plenty of space and feels more comfortable. I headed to the antique store the man told me to meet him. It looks the same as the first time I went there, though they have a bunch of customers now, mostly tourists wearing expensive clothes. I met the eye of one of them, it has a golden pupil. She has a blonde hair and is wearing an expensive coat made of animal fur and a bunch of jewelries, like the supermodels in a fashion show or something. She then turned to one of her companions, a middle aged man wearing a purple tuxedo and sunglasses. He looked at me for a moment then talked back to the woman wearing the fur coat.
Then someone grabbed my arm, I was about to scream but decided against it. “Come with me,” it was the Ronald.
We went inside the stockroom, he closed the door and press some runes on a stone pedestal. In an instant we were in the same place in my dream, though it looks bigger now. I can hear the clanging of metals louder now, sparks are flying everywhere. Then some device caused a small explosion twelve feet away, right in front of us and a bunch of shrapnel almost hit us but was blown away by a huge line of concentrated red light. I looked at the direction where the laser beam came from, and there stood a dwarf about three and a half feet tall holding futuristic gun that looks like a giant tube larger than the dwarf who just used it. He started to walk towards us.
“Aye, sorry lads there have been some little miscalculations but at least you haven’t peed yourselves or screamed like little girls.” He patted Ronald on the back and the other dwarves around started to laugh.
“Very funny,” Ronald turned to me and gestured to the dwarf beside him, “Alvin, this is Delsaran Oakenfinger, the best of all the dwarven blacksmiths and craftsmen.”
“Yes indeed!” He puffed his chest.
“Nice to meet you,” I extended my hands but he just laughed at my gesture.
“Ha! I like this one.” He slapped my back then started to work on the machines again.
Ouch! That really hurt. I followed Ronald to a more organize workshop with creatures smaller than dwarves but looks scrawny. Like dwarves, they have very long beards but was not styled into braids. They are wearing oversized shoes, T-shirts and pointy caps. They are also working on some kind of machine, a small version of a helicopter with runic inscriptions.
“Gnomes,” Ronald told me like he predicted what I’m going to ask first, “they are very much like dwarves but focuses more on utility devices and accessories than weapons and armors.”
“Don’t compare us to those barbarians,” one of the ‘gnomes' noticed and headed towards us, “we are clearly the better craftsmen and our technologies a far more superior and advanced compared to their pieces of junk.”
“This is Rupnert Woodwacker, one of the best steampunk engineer, inventor and tinker of Tinkerfort, the clockwork city of Gnomes.” Ronald took a small flask of wine from hi pocket and took a sip from it. He whispered to my ear, “Don’t let the clean and tidy workshop fool you, they are a lot more disorderly than dwarves and always do mischief.”
“I’m Alvin, nice to meet you.” I extended my hand nervous that he will also slap my back like Delsaran which still hurts like hell. But instead he reached for my hands and shook it.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you too Mr. Alvin.” He gave me a mischievous grin and I realized that his hand has left grease on my hand. I just smiled and pretended to ignore the disgusting slime. I wish I have listened to Ronald’s advice sooner.
“Rupnert, where’s the device I told you?” Ronald threw the flask away and took another one. I wonder how many bottles of wine he is hiding inside his pockets.
“Oh right, just give me a minute,” Rupnert browsed through the boxes made of metal, “here it is!”
He handed me a small cube made of a dark purple metal of some sort, it has many runes inscribed on its front side that serves as a keypad. The runes symbolize letters of the Velaronian alphabet. I turned it upside down and saw a huge rune below.
“Press that to start recording conversations instantly.” Rupnert told me.
Rupnert spent the next few minutes teaching me about operating the futuristic gnome magical utility device. I learned that it’s not only for recording, it can also be used for a variety of things such as playing super realistic 3d holograms, calling other people through magic even if they do not have the same device, flashbang pills, flashlight and a disco ball. I’m serious about that last one.
“I thought you wouldn’t give me holograms,” I turned to Ronald.
“I actually didn’t see that device before,” he put the flask back to his pocket, “I thought they were going to give you the old one.”
“Well this is the first of its model, actually it’s just an upgraded prototype that I just finished a while ago.” Rupnert started attaching a gun that looks like a giant trumpet on the small helicopter, “The other ones are already out of stock, and we can’t rely on them any longer since mage’s academy already discovered a more advanced way of creating wards and developed more efficient detection spells.”
“So you’re going to give him a prototype that could start malfunctioning anytime while he is on a very important mission that could affect the entire operations of the rebellion?” Ronald said in an angry tone, but he just sighed and calmed down after a few seconds.
“Easy there,” Rupnert connected the helicopter wires into the gun, “yes it is just a prototype, but I can guarantee you that you have nothing to worry about. After all, most of our prototypes are as good as the final product.”
Rupnert pressed some buttons on the helicopter and the end of the trumpet gun started to glow with very bright light, then he pulled the lever beside the helicopter’s control wheel. The gun sent a massive shockwave filling the whole cave with light, disabling all the magical devices and runes. I felt dizzy and drained out of energy and judging by the looks of the others, I can tell that they are affected by the shockwave too.
“The shockwave disables all magic and incantations, including machines that use magical energy as fuel.” Rupnert explained giving the people around a mocking smile. The others, especially the dwarves, gave him a dark look. Then they started working on their forges again.
“That’s pretty powerful,” Ronald seems amazed by the gnome’s invention.
“That’s the lowest setting, it could create more powerful waves,” the gnome checked the weapon’s wires, “it is just a prototype after all.”
After a few more minutes the magical machines started to work again. The cave was filled with light again by the glowing runes filling the workers with vigor. The clanging of metals is echoing throughout the whole place. Sparks are flying everywhere. I saw other people working on some sort of cannon, it looks like the ones used by pirates and such, but the cannonball is glowing red due to extreme temperature. They fired the cannon on a very thick slab of metal—about the size of an ordinary wardrobe—in which the cannonball shattered into a hundred pieces. I wouldn’t want to be hit with that.
Ronald escorted me to the teleportation room where we came from, but the area started to glow and in an instant, a crowd of dozens of different creatures stood there. I recognized the sophisticated woman with golden eyes, but now instead of wearing a fur coat she wears a very elegant and luxurious gown, fine silk linens with golden lines creating some sort of unique pattern like it was made by a fashion designer from Italy or something. Her gown touches the floor and leaves a trail of bluish light, like a snail leaving slime, and disappears slowly as she walk. Her ears are pointy and she stands upright with head raised high and proud like royalty. It looks like the other elf is not here.
“High elves,” Ronald took a sip from his flask, clearly disinterested at the guests, “I wish they will leave sooner.”
An old man walked towards the elven lady, I recognized him, Sneg the old shopkeeper of the antique store, but he is wearing a different kind of clothes now, like the ones in a tribe. His old and fragile body is covered by tribal tattoos and accessories made out of skulls of different creatures, some are of humans which gave me goosebumps. He also looks tall, as in seven feet tall, with grayish skin.
A skinny high elf wearing a fine silk robe, stepped forward to introduce the lady, “Snegbried Vludthorne, may I introduce to you Lady Adelinda of the House Elysia, duchess of the Ivory Valley, the Golden Enchantress and Prince Oberon’s bethrothed.”
“There are some rumors that she is a hybrid of a high elf and a sun elf, thus the golden eyes.” Ronald whispered.
“Where is Oberon?” The old man asked the skinny elf, “I don’t see him anywhere.”
The elf cleared his throat, “The prince has some urgent matters to attend to, he will not be able to attend the meeting.”
The woman, Lady Adelinda, didn’t move and showed no interest at the introductions. In the crowd, I can see other elves, mostly high elves and wood elves but there are also other kinds of elves that looks different from the rest. Some of them have golden skin and eyes, with a sigil of an eye inside a golden sun on their shiny white breastplate. One of them also stepped forward.
“May introduce, Prince Razriel of the Sun elves, King Azariel’s firstborn and heir to the Sungaze kingdom.”
He motioned to the very tall and well built man. The is very muscular but slender looking, he is wearing the same white breastplate as his subordinates and a large golden cape that illuminates his surroundings. He raised his head up high and proud.
The next few introductions were less tensed and the next people introduced are more friendly than the first ones. I saw things such as the river sprites, called Naiads, wearing some sort of fish scales, dryads wearing leaves like wood elves except they have skin with some kind of wooden texture, but they look beautiful, and creatures over two and a half feet tall that looks exactly like humans called halflings based on my knowledge about folklore. Uncle Sneg led them to a huge door in the farthest corner of the cave, the crowd followed him.
Ronald started the teleportation device, and in a blink of an eye I'm back at the antique shop.