Return of Starlight

Sequel to Healing Starlight

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4. Kirma Kinta: (Part Four)

     "That is enough!" Robert exclaimed, with an almost shout, "Who the fuck are you? What are fuck are you? What did you do with Mimi and who is that in her chair?"


The elf could hear the snap of disbelief and confusion in his voice. He remained silent, sensing his anger and hostility there. He had lunged at the elf and everyone saw his hand flash to the blade at his side, resting a hand on it.


"It is Mimi… We healed her and gave her a new chance at life." Rijiin replied coldly to Robert's outburst, "Be at peace, she is unharmed, as you can rightly see. She just has been changed and her existence altered through time itself."


    "What I see is a lot of bullshit." Robert growled, eyeing John with a nasty look, "And you better not be behind it with him, you asshole."


         "They're elves Robert!" Becky exclaimed, blurting it out as she attempted to touch Mouse's shoulder. She abruptly pulled back her hand unsure and turned her head to meet Rijiin's neutral expression, seeing him slowly nod to her.

    Robert shook his head, with a sarcastic expression on his face and a look of anger in his eyes. He whirled on Rijiin to explode on him as Katherine was on her feet but the elf merely raised his hand. Something had told her to get to her feet and assist that there was going to be violence here. She did not know why but had jumped to her feet anyway. John had taken a step toward Robert as did Chris too.


    "See're, Katherine, everyone." He said solemnly and she paused, looking at Rijiin who nodded to her and to the others.


     "There will be no battle here, he cannot harm me."

    
    "Don't give me that double talk." Robert shouted, "Who are you people and don't give us that bullshit about being elves, or able to help and heal."


Although Robert, even with his limited mind could not say he was wrong what he saw Rijiin and Natil accomplished this morning. He had seen it done with his own eyes but even he was still skeptical, like many people around them. There was only three present, who could say what they saw was real, and the couple before them was genuine.


    "Robert, that is not a friend of John, I assure you he is not involved in this and does not know what is happening either, like the rest of us." Becky said in a soothing tone. She glanced at John who shrugged silently, raising his hands.  


    "Aye, as you wish, Robert but truth is truth." Rijiin quietly replied pausing shortly to sigh and his words seem to hang there for a moment. “As always he is unable to accept and open his mind to new things.”


Everyone around them heard his reply and so did the others around the table. All of them had a questioning expression on their faces and did not understand his reply to Robert's outburst. The elf and his wife obviously wielded a power that not everyone in the Dining Room understood and a power that had not been in existence in probably four hundred years. The couple had cured Mimi's Cerebral Palsy, the very affliction she had been born with, and had confined her to a wheelchair for over four decades. They had healed her of other health issues, and had done it willingly, effortlessly as-if it was second nature to wield such a power.


    "But that is impossible!" Becky said, rubbing her eyes as she peered at Mouse and then back to Rijiin who stood up now, having been bent over beside her, his hands on the table. Her head turned to the young Harper and Rebecca wondered where she had come from, and how Rijiin got involved with her. Becky glanced at Katherine who had reseated herself.


        "Rijiin please tell me… Please explain to me… I don't understand all of this…" Mouse sputtered, trying to find words for her question and Rijiin met her confused expression with a slight nod.


Taking her hands, the elf, with a small tug pulled at Mimi's hands. A low murmur echoed the table and the room.


    "Stand and be recognized Mistress Stewart." The elf said with a commanding tone. He glanced once at the others seated at the table, then to the room around him.

 

    Mimi dubiously looked up at him, not sure what he wanted her to do and immediately shook her head. She quickly realized, after a moment, he wanted her to stand up and walk with him on her own two feet.


"I can't walk, Rijiin… you know that… if you are truly who I think you are." Mimi replied as she shook her head and met his saddened expression. A look of curiosity appeared on her face, as did the others.  

    
    "Mistress Stewart," He replied sadly, "One would not know until they try. Remember you have been healed and no longer will you be confined to the wheelchair. You will be able to walk on your own power."


    "Whaaat?" Omar and Chris said with a gasp, both staring at Rijiin as if he were from outer space. Dave had glanced at the others before staring at the elf in surprise. They had not been expecting him to say that with such a serious tone.  


    "Bullshit." Robert snapped, "She can't walk Rijiin, her legs do not work normally, not with Cerebral Palsy."


    "No bullshit, Robert." Katherine murmured, "I think he means it."


"I am aware of her affliction, Ungai." Rijiin replied sharply, cutting him off, "Dina, Ungai!"


Robert frowned in annoyance as the others chuckled again when he had used Robert’s nickname.


Rijiin grinned at Mouse before he pulled at her hands and she put her feet on the floor. The young-looking woman rose up with some deliberation but she managed to succeed, standing on her own two feet. The elf held Mouse by her hands, steadying her as she staggered for a moment before gathering her footing. The pain in her body was gone and so was her Cerebral Palsy. Doubt was on Mimi's face as she looked down, but her muscular legs obeyed her.


    "Walk with me, my lady." Rijiin repeated, still holding her hands gently and he stepped back.


There was a low gasp by everyone at the table, and the surrounding people who stood watching the couple. A frown had appeared on many faces as she stood up, and even a few stood up to strongly object. It was especially around the table where Mouse had been seated.


      "But…?" Mouse started to reply but her voice caught as she looked down at her legs in surprise as they obeyed her command. She was walking.


    A hush fell over the Fireside Lounge as everyone present saw the once disabled woman stand up. People she knew on staff looked on in startled silence as something incredible and amazing was happening. Robert put his hands on the table, ready to get to his feet and prepared to charge Rijiin and his fiancé only to find Becky barring his way.


    "Let me go. She's going to fall." Robert complained and Becky shook her head slightly,


"He's going to hurt her. She cannot walk. You know that and what will happen!"


    "I know she could not walk before, but I think now it's going to be all right Robert." Becky told him, "Let's wait and see what happens."


She turned her head, looking upon Mimi and Rijiin nearby, gasping quietly as she witnessed before her eyes, her friend walking on her own power. Everyone was astonished by the sight before them, even though there were still a few on their feet, and the others around them postured themselves to move in on Rijiin and Mouse. The elf nodded slightly to the young maiden who peered at Rijiin in astonishment.


      "I don't WANT TO WAIT." Robert yelled and tried to lunge toward Mimi and Rijiin. He struggled and suddenly found that the small arm of Natil held him in place this time as she stood over him. She had sensed his hostility and his plan to intercede when it was not necessary and was on her feet quickly. Robert snarled belligerently at the Harper, and he proceeded to grab her arm. She looked at him, her blue eyes twinkling brightly.  


"I would advise you not try that." The Harper murmured quietly, and something in her eyes told Robert to sit back down and be quiet. He snarled belligerently again at the young Harper, his anger clearly showing on his bearded features. Around him, people sat or stood in the Fireside Lounge, watched as Rijiin and Mimi interacted. The elf was nodding in approval as she walked with him.
            

"You seem to know what is going on Becky. Come on. What is all of this? Stop keeping stuff from me." He whined and turning his head, watched Rijiin and Mimi walk together toward the door.


     "Be at peace Messier." Natil told him, "I assure you no harm will be to your beloved Mimi."


    He muttered a horrible curse under his breath, turning his head as a jealous rage fell upon Mouse and Rijiin. Robert showed his open hostility toward this upstart Harper who came with him.


"I wasn't talking to you lady." Robert snarled at the Harper, "I was talking to my friend."


     Rijiin, standing near the door, had flashed a grin at the table when he saw what was going on but he quickly turned his attention immediately back to his best friend. The elf walked backward as he pulled Mouse in front of him. Murmurs and conversation filled the room. Mimi tentatively took a few more smooth steps, and she looked down in amazement. Her astonished gasp echoed around her.


 Katherine, John and Becky looked on in silence, like the room itself, a hush had fallen over the interior. No one intervened or tried to interfere. Everyone around them just watched what they could only perceive as a miracle.


     "Oh my god I'm walking," Mouse exclaimed. She felt her legs move normally with each command. Rijiin let her hands go, and her arms and hands fell smoothly to her side. Mimi turned her head, breathing out sharply when realizing that she was walking away from the group and the wheelchair where she spent the better part of four decades. It was no dream for the now youthful woman, it was reality, and she was actually doing it.


    "OH MY…!" Mouse gasped, stumbling slightly and like lighting Rijiin was there to catch her.


    A murmur of conversation rippled through the room like wildfire. Dave, Chris, and Robert stood up quickly ready for action to assist as needed. The students and staff around her, watched in startled silence. They were unsure what was happening.


“Be at peace, Mimi is all right." Natil said, "As I have said no harm will befall her. She is in good hands."


The Harper shifted uncomfortably in the chair, having reseated herself. Here the maiden closed her eyes briefly gazing at the starlight in the darkness, letting it comfort her. The trio who stood grimaced by her statement and glanced at Rijiin and Mimi nearby.


    "Natil, can I ask you a personal question." Chris asked and the Harper opened her eyes and turned her head to nod slightly, "Where are you from and do you have a sister. You are really hot."

    
    The Harper frowned when everyone at the table laughed, including Robert and promptly some banter followed between them. She had been perplexed by the question, remaining silent, contemplating her answer.


    "Yeah, I totally agree with that." Omar agreed, "You are a fox, Natil, I hope you have sisters, I can bet they are like you."  


    More banter followed from the table, including Katherine, John, and Becky.

          
"I do indeed, several." The Harper replied, with a frown, "Does that make a difference?"


"Cool, where are they?" Chris said with a boisterous laugh, "…and are they young and single?"
    
    
    "They are in another time and place." The Harper replied quietly. "Alas, they are not in this world and if you count the time we are sitting in now, it has not been for a long time."

 
Everyone's attention, especially those seated at the table had focused upon the Harper with complete surprise when hearing her answer. Their laughter and banter had stopped, the room becoming strangely silent when she spoke. Her voice was calm, barely audible, an almost musical sound filled with the same strong and strange inflection that Rijiin had. Everyone's attention turned back to Mimi and Rijiin. Dave and Robert watched Mimi, their friend and acquaintance for a long time, walking on her own power before peering at Natil.


    "What the hell does that mean?" Omar asked, grimacing at the Harper, a puzzled frown appeared on the faces around them. Her answer had not been one that they had expected to hear.


    "This is all bullshit." Robert exclaimed, glancing at Becky, "No one has that power to do what you and Rijiin did for Mouse… unless it is god himself."


    His voice had been a half in anger and disbelief. Natil let the anger pass knowing it was his right to be this way. Mimi sensed Robert's fear of something strange and unfamiliar to him. The Harper sensed that with many people around them.


     "Aye, as it is possible by your god it was also possible by elves of centuries past, but no longer." Natil murmured, "There are only a few among us that have that talent to heal."


    No one moved in the room, likewise, did they lunge or riot toward Natil. They just looked on in silence at the revelation by the good-looking Harper. Mimi continued to stand with Rijiin and she saw her astonished expression again, catching the image of her face in a picture frame's glass that was a little clearer. A low murmur rippled through the crowd, seated and standing.


"I…" Mouse stammered, whirling on Rijiin with her hands still touching her face in wonder. "I want you to undo this…"

He calmly met her frightened expression, feeling her anger.


    "Be at peace, Mouse." Rijiin said simply, "I know you are afraid and I really understand. It will take time to adjust to your new form and you now have several lifetimes to do just that. The magic is still in flux, there will be some abrupt changes you will see immediately, but know this there are also a few gradual ones that will happen over time."


Mouse was shaking her head slightly.

    
"This cannot be!" She exclaimed, "It is impossible! I told you that I wanted to be as I am. I was happy with myself and my life."


Mouse's voice faltered, falling silent when hearing her new voice. It made Mimi feel so strange hearing it.


    "WHY did you do this?" Mimi whispered, "I cannot accept this… It's not…"


    "It is not human?  It is not, it is Elven. I did it because I am your friend, and I care for you." Rijiin interrupted, "I did it because you, Mistress Stewart deserve the same kindness as you showed me when I arrived here at De Anza. I had no one to talk to, brand new to this place. You and Robert offered your friendship without question or expectations. I always remembered and appreciated that. If not can say I love you dearly, as my best friend in this world."


The elf met Mouse's surprised expression, and they stood staring into each other's eyes in silence for a moment before the teenage looking girl nodded slightly in sudden understanding. Mimi had confirmed her suspicion by the statement he made, figuring out who Rijiin really was and it was true what she had seen a few moments ago when he let his awareness touch her mind.


The events she had seen were real and the elf was her friend, despite the major changes that he obviously had gone through. Mimi met his solemn gray eyes in silence but she also found herself shaking her head at the thoughts that she was having.


Mimi suddenly glanced down at her hand, turning it over to reveal the crescent moon and interlocked, rayed star pendant and gold chain she still held in her hand. It twinkled brightly in the fluorescent light. It was a reminder of what she had seen with her own eyes and where she had stood in person with the very essence of the Elves and their Creatrix. She found peace and transformation by the strange powers they wielded. She could not deny that it happened and on that very morning, she had literally traversed time and space. She gasped loudly.

           
     Rijiin had motioned to Mimi.


    "Walk with me, my kinswoman." He instructed.


    Both the elf and Mimi walked alone, far out of range of the table. Together they talked in low tones to each other. No one at the table ever heard Rijiin and Mimi's conversation or had heard what they had talked about between them. No one needed to know but was one conversation Mimi would never forget. She hugged the elf after a moment, to grin as he fastened the necklace bearing the pendant of the crescent moon and interlocked star that hung from the gold chain around her neck after the elf gently removed the other necklace belonging to Robert. The elf removed it, instead of allowing Robert to hurt her by yanking it from her neck.


    Together they returned to the table and Mimi, healed, sat lounging in her wheelchair. In her hand, Mouse held Robert's necklace. The young woman sensed his anger directed toward her as she placed the half pendant and chain on the tabletop in silence.
 
           
"Here is Mimi, I return her to you." Rijiin told the group. He spoke quietly, and his voice was thickly filled with the strange accent and inflection of the elves. "Human ways are not our ways and we must be going. We must return to where we belong."

 

    "Speaking of that, where is that Rijiin?" Becky exclaimed, "What do you mean human ways are not yours?"


All present were thoroughly curious about the couple who had graced their presence on this cold December morning.


"You seem so familiar to me. Who are you really?" She asked and there was a murmur of questions by everyone. The elf did not reply he merely grimaced as he stepped back one-step from the table.

    
    "Rijiin, do I look like the reflection I saw in the glass of that picture frame?" Mimi asked suddenly and he turned to regard the beautiful young woman before him. He met her aquamarine colored eyes in silence with a single nod of his head.


         "Mistress Stewart, you are not ill-formed by any means, and quite beautiful." He said solemnly, "Yes, you will look exactly as you have seen, perhaps even more so. The energy that you were subjected to is still in flux and there will be a lot more changes over time."


    "Yeah that's an understatement." Dave murmured meeting the nods of Chris and Omar who had heard him. Their attentions returned to Rijiin who stood nearby and all noted a change about the elf. Mimi's hand touched her cheek in curiosity as she stood up again and stared at a nearby picture frame. Mouse could see herself partially in the reflection, but the face in the glass was not clear enough to show her what really she looked like. She remembered there was a mirror in the Physical Education (PE) Quad in the locker room and made mental note to go over there to look.

            
     "There are going to be a lot of changes in the next few hours, perhaps even days. Our magic is unpredictable and can choose many different paths. It is hard to say exactly what path the power of transformation will take or what changes will happen. Only time will tell what you gain." He explained, "You have though, reached Arae ea oombra, which means the Day of Completion and for you, that day is today.”


The elf paused as he glanced at the other people in the room, then to the table to nod affirmatively.


“Furthermore for you, it is also Arae ea circa, which means Day of Beginnings, which for you Beloved Mimi begins for you today too.”


"Is it because of my healing Rijiin?" Mimi asked. Becky and the others present saw Rijiin nod affirmatively. The elfish words made everyone peer at Rijiin in curiosity then glance at Natil who was smiling. She nodded her head at him. The group present at the table had felt a jump inside themselves, like an electrical charge that passed through their bodies when hearing the elfish words. Katherine had understood the terms and gasped quietly.


"It is beloved, very much so. Arae ea oombra because your old lifeline as a human has ended as you know it and Arae ea circa, as you change more and more into an what you will become."


    "Are those holidays or something?" Chris asked formally, "I have never heard of that before. Those names sound important or something."


    "They are events in a lifeline, like the winter and summer solstice." John replied, "The elves use those terms to mark changes in a lifeline by their manipulation of energy.  Kind of like what you saw with Mimi.


    "It's not a Wicca thing is it?" Omar asked, aware that John practiced that ancient religion but John himself, shook his head.


    "No, but warlocks and witches do celebrate the solstices, and would be guided by the same markers when they manipulate energy like the elves." John replied, "Although for Wicca, we work in circles where elves do not. It is…"

    
    "It's bullshit." Robert interrupted, "You are so full of shit John, and you too, Rijiin. All that has happened to us, Rijiin has hypnotized us somehow and you used some of your pagan Wicca bullshit. That is not Mimi. It is someone paid to impersonate her. This so-called change cannot have happened, there is no such thing as elves or magic, it is all fantasy. You and your gay lover John are trying to pull a fast one on us, so spare us the horseshit and tell us where Mimi is really."     


    John grimaced at the insult and was about to reply in anger but his gaze fell upon Rijiin who grimaced at the banter between them, sensing the dislike between the two. The elf raised his hand silently and shook his head.


"Be at peace, he is not worth it. You spoke the truth." Rijiin murmured quietly, "As it is, truth is truth and for some they just can't handle it."


    John tilted his head for a moment, in half understanding before returning a nod.


     Rijiin understood what John was talking about and he was respectful of the young man's craft. He had dealt with witches like Roxanne, and Charity back in the fourteenth century. The elf had learned a thing or two from them. He learned to respect the craft (witchcraft), other people's feelings, the laws of nature, and perhaps some humanity that the elf had long forgotten over the course of a year.


The elf, still grimacing, turned his attention to Robert who continued to spew more disruptive comments. The elf hardly heard them as he turned. He coldly met Robert's bearded features and his hazel-colored eyes in silence. When he finally spoke, it was like a double-edged sword.

    
    "By our Lady, that is enough out of you. Dina, Ungai. Lle vanwa kolien usquentiri huan…" The elf snarled coldly.


    The others in the group, seated around the table, gasped when they felt the chill of the cold Elfish words spoken by Rijiin, "You otherwise will have trouble in your future if you do not. Do not think I will not act upon it, as it is a promise, not a threat. I have seen many things and battles in my travels.”


"Oh and boo hoo… You will call security." The elf replied sarcastically, "I honestly do not think you will have the chance Robert. I can take you out in a heartbeat. So remember that before you take the swing."


Robert's eyes had widened in surprise when Rijiin interrupted him and his train of thought. He had responded to what he was the disabled man was about to say back to elf in the form of an angry threat and what he planned in his head. The elf had been reading his mind, and looked ahead to see him become violent, throwing the first punch in a fight between himself and Rijiin.


However, his body language clearly gave away his intentions the most.


"Know this too Ungai, elves are creatures of peace and should not be provoked. We do make formidable opponents, however. I suggest, for your own good, you sit there, be quiet, and listen. You might learn a few things. However, there will be no battle here today."


The elf had turned to Mimi, talking quietly to her and had sensed the incoming fist toward his head. Rijiin, with little effort had dodged, letting the strike expend into open air. The elf quickly blocked two more swings at his head but not a third strike. He lanced out and struck Robert with an open hand, making him back up a couple of steps. The elf put a hand to his face as an expression of anger appeared on his fair features. Around them, gasps, ooohs, ahhhs and a low murmur from rippled through the crowd.


Mouse turned her head to see the expression of anger on Rijiin's face, and the bright twinkle of starlight in his eyes. Mimi had her mouth open, clearly surprised and shocked that her fiancé had struck him, seeing the blood on the edge of his mouth. Rijiin quickly connected to the starlight, and the motions of the dance the elves used for fighting. He saw feints, openings, and many possibilities that lay ahead of him. Robert moved in with another fist.


     The elf also could see that there was one possibility of swordplay that would take a turn for the worst, when Rijiin would have to slay him. He shuddered at the thought, wishing this could be settled in peace.


Rijiin glanced to the crowd when someone suggested going and getting security. The elf continued to dodge Robert's punches or blocking, using Aikido from a long time ago. He tried desperately to not harm Robert, easily able to injure if he so chose. Two students left the room and he sensed they were going to alert security, and the manager of this building. This whole incident would be an ugly mess. Robert bent backward to wind up intending, after grabbing one of his crutches, to use it as a club. The elf stepped back, letting the crutch whistle past his face a few inches from it. He ducked when the second crutch came in toward him, letting it pass his body. The elf's hand flashed to the blade at his side, un-securing it and allowing it to be drawn.


A look of sadness appeared on Natil's face when Rijiin unsecured his blade, knowing fully that he did not want to fight in this manner and have the possibility of hurting Robert. He glanced in her direction, seeing the look and the slight headshake of his traveling companion. The elf, she sensed, wanted this solved in a peaceful manner but because Robert took a swing at him, he would have no choice but to use force. The elf continued to dodge each crutches as they were swung at him. A look of frustration appeared on Robert's face when he realized they were not getting close to Rijiin.


The elf, sighing as he felt the futility of it all, drew the blade from its sheath with a metallic rasp, and there was a gasp by all. Sparks appeared as the elf's blade and the metal crutches connected, the elf easily parrying the attack. Rijiin stepped back again and he ducked into a crouch, letting one swing expend its energy over his head. Abruptly the elf brought his blade up and he cut a chunk of Robert's beard down to the skin. Blood trickled from the disabled man's chin after hearing a whistle of the blade pass him by.


"First blood, do not bother to yield." Rijiin exclaimed coldly, turning after following through and stood his ground. Robert stepped back, placing a hand up to his chin, and he looked down in with a grimace when he realized that Rijiin had cut him. He silently wiped the blood from his skin.


"Rijiin, please no more, that is not why we are here." Natil warned, as the elf stepped back, readying himself for another onslaught. Robert snarled as he thrust his crutch like a sword and Rijiin moved to parry easily. Without warning, the elf stepped forty-five degrees to the right and with his left hand struck him with an open palm in the sternum. The hit made Robert back up two steps and here Rijiin followed through to spin away from the disabled man, coming up, his blade finding its home on the back of the disabled man's neck making him freeze and the elf put it to his jugular vein. The battle was ended.


    "By our lady, what is that you seek Robert?" Rijiin demanded, "Is this what you are after?"


    The elf held the blade at his neck, and he grimaced at the sight before him. He realized what he was doing and relaxed his grip on the blade at Robert's neck just so. Rijiin managed a low sigh.


"If I would have chosen, you would have been slain here. However, in my travels I have learned some compassion and understanding for humans, despite what I have seen." He told him solemnly, his tone ice cold, "Thankfully you never will understand, or know of our trials. This battle ends, however, I suggest you go get a drink and cool off Robert, also clean yourself up. You should maybe even have someone look at that."


Rijiin, holding his blade ready, had stepped back. Robert stepped back away from him too. The elf thought the battle had ended. A crutch moved toward the elf when Rijiin had turned away.  


    "Watch out beloved!" Natil exclaimed, and the elf ducked letting the strike expend in open air, a few inches from his head. He felt the second crutch hit his shoulder, feeling a sharp pain. Rijiin's blade flashed, as the first crutch was already was coming in at him and he skillfully parried it. The elf backed off, and raised his blade waiting for the right opening. The elf realized he had no choice what he must do. Natil sensed what he was doing and the opening he sought.


"Here we go." Rijiin muttered, "Just one step and one parry, he breaks the parry and a quick cross body strike across the neck that is virtually not able to be blocked."


    Rijiin saw the opening and his blade flashed once to parry, locking the crutch behind the blade. Robert fought to break the hold. The elf was poised to let loose and his blade would execute the strongest move he had developed in his sword fighting techniques. A technique that he had sprung on Terrill and even with his skill could not parry or dodge. Robert broke the parry and Rijiin let loose. (He had taken from the movie Highlander) In the back of the elf's mind, he remembered that Robert had not been taught in the way of the sword that he was relying on street brawling using his crutches in an underhanded way.


    "Oh by our Lady, Rijiin don't do it!" Natil shouted. The elf maiden suddenly realized what he was doing, that he was about to take life unnecessarily. The elf heard Natil's shout, and pulled back at the last minute, realizing what was happening. Rijiin let the blade whistle through the air to cut Robert's beard and he realized what he had almost done. The disabled man, having started the fight, staggered backward with a look of fear in his eye having felt the wind of the elf's blade across his throat. The elf spun clear and he held his blade upright, knowing he had pulled back. However, if he had not, Robert's head would slowly be slipping from its shoulders onto the ground right now. The elf held his ground, holding his blade ready, straight up at his side. Mimi stood out of her chair and stepped between Robert and Rijiin. The elf was not breathing hard but Robert was.


    Rijiin glanced at the nearly empty room as people had bolted, scattering as the elf and Robert began to fight. He grimaced in pain, his shoulder aching where Robert had hit him with the crutch. He was glad that no one else was injured in his or her fight, even on accident.


    "Enough." Mimi firmly declared, holding up her hands, "This is not going to solve anything if you idiots fight. Bobby, go get us a drink as Rijiin suggested and cool off. Go to the infirmary and get your chin looked at. Rijiin, you sit down and let Natil check your arm."  


    "Shut up you imposter." Robert snarled, “Don’t tell me what to do.”


    He raised his crutch and the elf sensed he recklessly and needlessly was going to hit her for no reason. He swung the crutch and the elf was in front of her, blocking the strike and gently moving backward as if to push Mouse out of the way.

    
    "If I were you, I would try that again, or I will take your life." Rijiin growled, continuing to push Mimi backwards.


    "Jesus, that was close." Mouse gasped, "He really was going to try to hit me, thank you Rijiin."


    Robert screamed as he charged and the elf bent backwards, back flipping and his foot striking his opponent under his chin, knocking him to the floor.

    
    The elf landed on his feet, the group and a few people watching from outside had gasped openly. Natil had gasped the loudest, not expecting him to use his martial ability from this time in conjunction with the stars of their time.  


Robert sat on his butt, dumbly looking at the elf  landing on his feet like a cat.


"Jesus, that was amazing!" Chris gasped, "Holy shit did you see that? That was almost like Bruce Lee!"


Robert got to his feet as the elf sheathed his blade, and he stood in a fighting stance, connected fully to the stars, focused and ready.  Many events flashed in the starlight, as images of the battles to come and might bes flashed in the wisps of ether.  He motioned to Robert to come.


Robert snarled and left the room and the elf straightened.


"Ram en' templa" The elf muttered, and at the doors an energy barrier now blocked the entry to them.


    "You might have trouble with security." Mimi warned, "He is probably going to get them if they are not on their way already."


    "Are you alright Rijiin?"

    "Just like him to be so immature." Rijiin growled, turning his attention to the group. "I am not unwell, Mimitti. Be at peace. Fear not they won't be able to enter here."


    "What do you mean?"


    The group turned and they saw security and even students walk toward the open door, and hit something to throw them backwards.  They sat on their butts staring at the wall perplexed.  


    "It will dissipate when we leave here." Rijiin said, "Do not worry."


 "So Rijiin I have a question, when you meant changes, you mean I will be changing into an immortal elf then?" Mimi asked, "So I am clear on this."


He managed a shrug in reply to the question.  


    "Perhaps, if that is the path you walk and seek then you will become just that." He replied, motioning to Natil who had joined him at his side. The Harper embraced him, holding him closely. She had felt him flinch when she touched his shoulder. The elf returned the warm embrace anyway and leaned over toward her, kissing her on the lips.  


Dave, Chris and even Omar were grinning at the couple. Mimi sat with her eyes closed, and she stared at the starlight before her in silent astonishment.
 
    
"Rijiin, what am I really seeing?" Mouse asked. She sat with her eyes closed, gasping when she saw it, now very bright, uncomprehending its meaning as she had stood on the meadow and now in the Fireside Dining Room. Its power seemed to calm and refresh her.


    "I am seeing starlight." She murmured, and he nodded. "What exactly is that about? I saw it when I stood before the Lady too."


    "It is the healing energies that bind the elves, and their power." He said, "They are the lady, who is us, who made the elves."


    "Oh you mean the lady in blue and silver?" John had chimed in and Rijiin showed visible surprise at first, but he did not shake his negatively. He in fact had nodded them surprising them all. The elf leaned over toward Natil,


"It is time beloved, our task is complete. We can return home and to the safety among the trees." The Harper met his smile with a look of surprise but she also nodded, thankfully in agreement.
          
                                                                                                                                                                                                             "We must go now." Rijiin announced. Mimi, Omar, Becky, Dave, Chris, even Katherine turned in surprise as he bowed slightly at the waist. "Perhaps we shall meet again."

 
     "Whoa, you are leaving?" Becky asked, "You still have not told us who you are. We have a lot of questions for you two." Questions echoed around the table, and Rijiin met the grin of knowing on Mimi's youthful face.


    "Yeah, that's an understatement Becky." Omar commented. Chris and Dave nodded in agreement. They were perplexed today, by what they saw and wondered if they had imagined the whole thing that happened.

    
"I don't know how or what we saw today, but it certainly happened." Becky declared, "The proof is sitting here with us and I can't deny Mimi's appearance or change as anything else."


"And you would be right Mistress Mc Gough. Be at peace. Natil and I do not belong here. We must leave you all now and travel to the place where we have come." Rijiin declared with a nod, "We are as we are, but know this, what happened here has also affected all of you who sat with Mimi this morning."


He paused to scan the room in silence, shaking his head quietly. The elf felt uncomfortable here, realizing that he and his beloved Harper did not belong here. They did not belong in the modern age among humans as immortal elves from the Renaissance Age. He longed for the safety of trees and the forests of Malvern in a different time, lifetime and different dance.


The Harper when she heard his whispered words had raised her eyebrows in surprise but she also nodded slowly. Natil's face showed her acknowledgment of whom and what she was seeing. There was no doubt now that he was fully Elven and no longer human. He half turned to open the pouch at his side and he withdrew cards from the shop in Eastridge. Rijiin passed them out to the people he had called friends.   


    "Come to this place, there you will seek the answers to your questions." Rijiin told them and he nodded a couple of times, "It is here that you will find your way."


    "Aa' menle nauva calen ar' ta hwesta e' ale'quenle." He said aloud and Katherine, sitting at the table stood up and bowed formally to the elf.


    Aa' lasser en lle coia orn n' omenta gurtha.' Katherine said back, making the elves smile and nod.

    
    "What is this, a way to what, Rijiin?" Mouse asked, scanning the card, but when she looked up Rijiin and Natil had already gone.

         
 Becky’s reminisces faded when she felt a hand on her shoulder and she opened her eyes. On the horizon, the lights from the town called Salida, Utah are there and it is at this desolate oasis among the desert they would pull off for their second night out of California. As they pulled into the parking lot, Rebecca glanced at Mimi in the darkness, clearly outlined in lavender and purple colors, and then back to the dim lights of the small humble motel that they had spied while entering the town.


“Where are we?” Becky asked.


“Salida, Utah.” Mimi replied, stretching herself in the seat and managing a yawn. They had pushed over five hundred miles, managing to reach deep into Utah, crossing Nevada in record time. Both of them had risen at 6 AM, two days ago and already they had reached this far, driving straight through.


Grabbing her purse, Mimi hopped out of the truck, followed by Becky and together they stretched before walking toward the office of the motel. The motel itself is rustic, with a chalet type office and adjacent buildings that make up the rooms. Around them a zoo, makes up the surroundings with a restaurant adjacent to it. Mouse and Becky both smiled seeing the rustic setting amidst this desert setting. The air was hot outside but as they opened, a plate glass door leading into the office, a cool breeze blasted them both in the face. An older man sat behind the desk at the computer, dressed in a tank top and comfortable khaki shorts


“Can I help you ladies?” He asked politely, meeting the gazes of Mimi and Becky.


“We’d like a room for the night…” Mimi said, “Non smoking.”


“We have one available, for 36.99 a night.” He told them, and put up a form on the counter, “Please fill this out. I will get your key.” Mimi filled out the form quickly, and both signed it. She flipped him her credit card and he took it.


“Can I see your identification please?” He asked and Mimi smiled handing him her new driver’s license she recently acquired over the last two months. He nodded handing both back to her and she gladly took it. The office manager handed them both a key.


“Check out is at 11:00 AM, Restaurant is open all night.” He droned and both smiled, nodding their heads.


“With thanks.” Mimi replied, “Be at peace.”


Together Mouse and Becky adjourned to the room, a rustic set room with oak furnishings, a dark red shag carpet, yellowish tinged walls, and not very well lit with the amount of lamps that surrounded the room. The bathroom consisted of a marble tabletop counter with a sink built into it, bright shiny fixtures, a door to the right led into a walk in shower and toilet. The bathroom, brightly lit by powerful fluorescent lighting offered a heat lamp. It was rustic, but home for a night.


“Not bad for 36.99 a night.” Becky had muttered and they piled their luggage in a narrow alcove near the door. They hit the restaurant first, having a quick meal, entering the diner through a series of double glass doors and stood waiting at the sign that read ‘Wait to be seated.’


“Seat yourself anywhere!” A harried middle-aged server called out and Mimi grabbed two menus. The diner was as rustic as the hotel. A medium sized main room and two smaller rooms filled with a sea of tables. They sat on the far side of the diner close to the windows that overlooked the zoo, and after their orders were taken they relaxed.


“The way I see it, we fuel up here, we can easily reach Grand Junction.” Mimi said, “Or head north to Interstate-80 via highway-fifteen to Salt Lake and cross Wyoming and come down to Denver from the north. A few more miles out of the way but a safer bet than trying the continental divide in our Uhaul™ beast.”


“Whatever seems the easiest, Mouse.” Becky replied, smiling at the inflection in her voice, gained over two months. “We still have to cross mountains even on Highway-80 through Evanston.”


“That’s true.” Mouse mused and she thought a moment, “Either way it’s going to be a climb. I am unsure which would be easiest.”


“I wouldn’t worry. Let’s do that when we get there.” Becky suggested.


 “What do you think we’ll find, Mouse?” Becky asked suddenly, “We are coming to a high place to the east, at least from California.”


Mimi thought a moment, and shook her head, “I really don’t know. It will be good to know what we are getting into and if there is someone there to meet us though.”


    “Me too…” Becky replied with a smile, “And I hope heir names are Natil and Rijiin.”


    Mimi smiled at Becky and nodded as they chatted, making small talk as they made plans for the next part of their trip. It was right up until their food came to them, piping hot, and they ate in silence. After they were finished, Becky paid the bill then both stepped out into the night and gazed up at the sea of stars above them. A shooting star streaked across the night sky. Mouse and Becky both smiled when they saw it. The star-field reminded them of another place and a grassy meadow where they stood with the Lady.


When they returned to the room, both showered and lay on the two queen beds on their side. Both lay listening to the TV, and yet both had their eyes closed, staring at the starlight they saw in the darkness. Becky wondered where they were going from here, and where their destination lay. Opening her eyes, she glanced at Mouse, in the darkened room and clearly outlined in purple and lavender colors as she had seen in the truck. Blinking her eyes a couple of times Becky gazed at Mouse again, seeing the strange aura.


“Now this is weird.” Becky thought as she blinked her eyes again, then realizing that as an elf she could see in the dark. “It appears that we have another skill elves apparently have.”


Mouse opened her eyes and peered at Becky, her eyes shining in the dim light.


    “We can see in the dark.” Mouse informed her, grinning at her companion.  


    “Yeah I noticed.” Rebecca replied, “How much more and how many more abilities are we going to gain?”


    “I don’t know Becky.” Mimi replied, “But thus far it has been an amazing discovery as we move forward.”

    “That’s for sure. Mimi.” Becky replied, grimacing at her friend. “You look tired Mouse.”


Becky had made the simple observation as Mimi yawned, before looking over at her companion to shake her head.


“Hardly that,” Mimi replied, “This is going to be tough. I thought Elves slept. I feel energized after eating and that shower. I feel really strange right now, too wired to sleep.”


“I don’t feel tired either. I know the feeling about being energized.” Becky replied, “It must be these changes happening to us.”


“Maybe…” Mimi replied, “Let’s try to rest a bit anyway.”


They lay back, but in the darkness, Becky and Mouse both were wide-awake, their eyes closed, keeping the vision of the starlight as the hours the night encroached into the wee hours of the morning.


The next day, both dressed quickly, and together they put their bags in the truck. Together they stepped into the diner, was seated and ordered breakfast, Mimi and Becky took an hour and ate a hearty breakfast. After settling the bill, they headed to the service station nearby where they filled the Uhaul™.


Becky took first watch on driving duty, racing down Highway 50/70 at break neck speed as they set their sights on Denver instead of Cheyenne. They only had a few stops, at Montrose, Green River, and Grand Junction to fuel the truck, get food or to switch off the task of driving. Hours later, Mouse sat behind the wheel, as their truck crested the hill and in the dusk hours that her eyes, focused on the lights as they approached and saw Denver on the horizon.


She turned her head and looked up at her traveling companion curiously. Mimi noted Becky closed her eyes and she carried a strange aura around her.

            
 “Becky.” Mouse whispered, “We’re here.”

    
Becky turned her head as the lights of Denver grew closer and closer. A smile appeared on her youthful looking face. He cast a glance at Mouse who drove and who was smiling too. Both were glad to see Denver, hardly sleeping over the last few days to push far to the east and staring at wonder at their destination where they seemed to know that they were going to meet those people like themselves.  They could hardly contain their excitement on that fact and looked forward to tomorrow, their first day in Denver.

            
 “So we’re at Denver, as you asked, what do you think we looking for, do you think this is it?”  Mouse asked.  Becky turned her head to reply and only grimaced, to shrug her shoulders.  

    
“I still have no idea Mouse.” Becky replied, smiling quietly glad to see Denver on the horizon. She let out a silent breath as she cracked the window, letting the cool fresh air fill the cab.

           
“The goddess said they would be just like us, as if they are brothers and sisters.” Becky recited, “Seek a high place in the East. Rijiin said it too.”
 
    
“Well we made it this far.” Mouse replied, “The part about seeking a high place in the east, at least. The Rockies are high and east of California.”
    
    
“True.” Becky replied quietly, “I don’t know but I have a pretty good feeling what we seek will be here Mouse. We’d better stop for the night at least, it is getting very late.”

    
They stopped at the nearest Motel when they reached the confines of the city of Denver and there they rented a room. Together they had a quick meal in a local diner not far from their accommodations and when they returned, Becky lay on the queen bed near the far wall. She glanced sideways at companion, sighing quietly as she lay back. Both of them did not sleep. Elves rarely slept, and they both peered at the starlight as they lay with their eyes closed in their hotel room. They let the light sooth their senses and it seemed to energize them as before.


Unlike the first borne elves of Malvern, the starlight had faded over the remaining centuries, as did the elves themselves. Their magic, their ways had faded and Natil had been the last one, so she had thought, traveling throughout the realm, harping for those who enjoyed her music. Becky and Mimi saw the starlight, and both transformed with the same magic of the old ways. Despite the patterns of starlight, the ones they could see in the darkness, it is not the same as what the first borne elves could see.

Their abilities were far from how it was for the first borne elves.


The patterns had changed in the darkness becoming unrecognizable and both were unable to go to the Lady, the Creatrix of the Elves, as they had been able to before.


    “Rijiin I hope you are here.” Becky murmured, focusing on the unidentifiable patterns in the darkness. She wondered and hoped that was true, and they would find what they were looking for.


The next morning they were still awake when morning encroached on Denver and they had a hearty breakfast at a diner near the hotel. Together they panned a gaze about the streets of Denver, shadowed by the Rocky Mountains. Both of them stared at shops around the area, looking for a sign that would be for what they sought here in Denver.


“A people they would know as them as brothers and sisters,” Becky thought, repeating Rijiin’s words. She glanced at Mouse in silence as she took in the surroundings with her.


A sign caught their eye, one that read Watterston’s New Age Emporium. A look of surprise appeared on both of their faces. Becky recognized it from the magazine publications her boyfriend had received by mail. Mimi sensed a strange feeling as they stared at the sign.


As they walked toward the shop, they exchanged a glance before they entered through the plate glass door to find a large room dominated by a long counter with an enormous cash register sitting on top of it. At present, the register, as though impelled by its very size, was totaling up three-figure purchases for a milling crowd of women clad in various combinations of fringes, shawls, bead work, turquoise, silver plated tin, and imitation eagle feathers. Mimi and Becky both hung back by the door. Mouse could not help notice that at least three shelves of the bookcase next to entrance, crammed with books on Iridology. It was just as Natil had taken in when she had visited here and met Sandy Joy. Becky joined her and both peered at the books.


“Iridology…?” Becky said with a questioning tone. “That’s not Wicca I think.”


Mimi only shrugged in reply as they scanned the perimeter of the store.


“No Idea, Becky.” Mimi replied, “I don’t know Wicca, you know that.”


    “Yes I know.” She replied, “It’s nothing, trust me.”


Racks and shelves of books, in fact, filled with every free section of wall and spilled out into the middle of the room in double-side displays, but as Becky and Mouse strolled through the store, they narrowly avoided collisions with the milling customers, their fringes, and their imitation eagle feathers.


Both noted that Watterson’s New Age Emporium offered much more than books. In fact, it seemed to have one, if not several, of everything. The sections were overwhelming.


Scented oils with astrological correspondence, tiny suede sacks adorned with iron-on Nordic runes, Aluminum cards that attracted ‘Pyramid power’, Crystal Pendants, Feathered sticks, Little chrome balls that jingled mysteriously when shaken, Bags of incense specially blended to mediate the energies of the Solstice, Dark mirrors, Pseudo Native America Shields, pipes, headdresses, and amulets lined the shelves. There were also Talismans of Mercury, Mars, Ariel, Uriel, Jupiter, also several planetary and angelic powers that Becky did not recognize at all. Baskets of landscaping rocks were here, as was Lumps of clay, boxes of glass marbles, and large arrangements of copper wire and iron ingots that appeared to have something to do with ‘Channeling energy.’


Next to Becky, Mimi noted the fake Egyptian necklaces, oriental earrings, Celtic bracelets, museum replicas of ancient statuary. There were tons of mass produced replicas of modern kitsch, alabaster eggs, teak wood boxes, color-coded zafus, little pewter figurines of sorcerers and mermaids. Also present were large plaster images of satyrs and nymphs, chalices of stainless steel, brass, bronze, and copper. Wands of wood, stone and plastic were in separated baskets. Gourd rattles. Staves with carvings and without. There were bowls, incense burners, crude paintings of goddesses (breasts and hips prominent) and Gods (penises and horns prominent). Several Muslin robes and colored cord hung from a hangar, quantities of quartz crystals, geodes apache tears, jasper pebbles, moonstone beads and…


Becky and Mouse, overwhelmed by the displays found themselves split in two parts of the store, Mimi browsing the merchandise on the shelves. Becky found her way to the display in the long counter. Peering into the display, she saw magician’s caps, and other accessories used for Wicca. Specialty items and sales items also appeared in the display. Rebecca’s gaze fell onto a box containing black stones. She managed a grimace at the price tag with it. It took her a moment to identify what she was looking at.


 “Boji stones…?” She murmured to herself, ignoring the woman behind the counter who is dressed in a leather tunic and skirt. She has blue eyes, and her round cheeks almost matched her red hair. She smiled at Becky as she stood there watching her inspect the display and the many items for sale in the glass case.


“Boji stones for sixty bucks?” Becky gasped, and her attention turned to another box next to it held smaller ones.


“Holy crap, thirty bucks…?” She asked herself, “For small Boji stones? You have to be kidding and they look like charcoal briquettes.”


“Can I help you?” the woman asked and Becky politely shook her head as she moved along.


A man in a thread barren robe stood next to the register and from her position in the store, Mouse saw Becky head his way to have a polite conversation with him, which lasted several minutes. Mouse saw Becky smile politely putting up her hands to decline the sales pitch he was showing her and a few minutes elapsed before she walked toward Mimi in silence. She had thanked him for his information that was quite helpful to her, tracking down a possible lead of the immortals in Denver.
       

“Find anything Mouse?” Becky asked and Mimi shook her head.


“Well this is certainly not the place.” Becky declared in disgust, “The shop owner is interested in nothing more than sex and the greed of Wicca. However he put me on a couple of leads though.”


“What kind of leads?” Mouse asked, feeling something jumping inside by her statement.


 “Well he put us to a Kingsley College, where he thought two students currently attend.” She suggested, “He described two beautiful young women, a redhead and a dark haired woman who had come in here, searching for books on casting and books on the Wicca religion. They were searching for others like themselves.”


“That sounds like Natil.” Mouse gasped, “I wonder who the other one is. I know it can’t be Rijiin.”

    
“No, Rijiin had dark brown hair, streaked with silver.” Becky said, “He said an unidentifiable and very attractive female. The classes they offer here too are a joke, a farce…  He is a petty little man and a traitor who should call himself a Warlock.”


Mouse gasped when she heard her echo John Stack’s words, Becky’s former boyfriend only because she had left California with Mimi. She hoped one day she could tell John where she was and hoped he could share in this strange journey, also the same transformation. He was, after all, present when Rijiin and Natil had come to De Anza and had healed Mimi.


“Then let us leave.” Mimi suggested, “Perhaps we can find them at this Kingsley Campus.”
            

As they walked to the door, Mimi paused, bowing respectfully to the shopkeeper. Together they returned to their vehicle, piling in, and drove the streets in the city of Denver for a couple of hours. They saw the sign that would put them on the right path to get to Kingsley College and where they unknowingly would find Natil working as head groundskeeper. Mimi got off the highway and they soon arrived at the college, pulling into the parking lot.

           
“Okay, if we can find them, we should be able to get some information on where we need to go and also we can see about registering.” Becky murmured, making Mimi nod slightly.


    Nearby Natil had not been paying attention, working on a row of flowers in the planters as head gardener of Kingsley College. She had her floppy straw hat on, it being early spring she worked about the flowers packing the earth about them.


    The maiden suddenly felt strangely and looked up in alarm at the narrow walkway nearby, waiting and watching. She suddenly had felt a strange presence, one sense she had never known to have before. Looking down the Harper finished her work and glancing up again she stared across the campus that sprawled out around her. Natil did not see anyone near except a few students who walked together toward the Administration building.


    “By our lady, that was strange.” She thought, grimacing at the feeling of energy that surged through her body.


At first, Natil had seen nothing but the feeling had startled her. The Harper turned and had her crew take the empty flower carts to her shed and pick up fresh ones for another area on campus. The elf maiden had not seen the duo that arrived on this campus, people she could have called family after she and Rijiin had healed them, jumping through the winds of history to do just that. It is when the elves still existed in the forests of Adria and the last few remaining in the world of men. Natil had been with them near the free town called Saint Brigid, the last remaining haven for heretics and the immortals as the Inquisition still persecuted the last of their race from existence.
             

As the Harper worked, she began to reminisce back to the past, where well over four hundred years ago she had been in Malvern and thought of Rijiin, her beloved who had come from this time. A name she had not thought of in centuries, and the one who had loved her without question. Natil’s beloved who had on a cold morning, four hundred plus years ago, had vanished in the forest, saving the life of a young child and the common folk that was lost in the middle of a blizzard that had descended on the forest and the town.  


Natil and Rijiin had stood on the road. His last words had been, ‘Hey it’s a kind of magic’ and here, he had flashed a dazzling smile at her as he disappeared into the woods. He had succeeded in saving the lives of the townsfolk and the child they were trying to rescue. Natil had gone ahead at his direction, promising to catch up to her in the encampment. The elf had nodded to the rescue group as he made his way into the forest, heading for home.


When Rijiin had not arrived at his destination, everyone thought he had been claimed by the elements. The Harper was devastated for a long time after that, unable to come to terms with her loss. Natil had loved him dearly, returning the love he had shown her.

            
 “Wow, I have not thought of that name in a while.” Natil thought, and she peered at the two women who walked along the building’s walkway.  


Standing slowly, she took off her hat and her long, dark red hair, streaked with silver glistened in the light. Her face showed astonishment as she stared at them. The Harper had quickly recognized them from her and Rijiin’s travels into the future where they had helped and healed his friend. Becky walked with Mimi and their curious gazes moved to the surroundings. It had been a moment later, Mouse had sensed Natil, and her sharp eyes fell upon the Harper.


     “Oh my word…!” Mimi gasped, and her breath whisked away as she beheld the beauty, also familiarity of the Harper.


    “What is it Mimi?” Becky asked, turning her head as she too scanned the surroundings of the college, impressed by the very size of it. It reminded the young woman a lot of De Anza. Her eyes moved along the walkway and to the many flowerbeds that lay scattered with newly planted flowers. Her eyes glanced at the Harper who stood beside the largest one.


    “It cannot be.” Mimi exclaimed, “I don’t believe it but it surely is.”


    “My god is that Natil?” Becky replied sharply, doing a double take, gasping as she peered upon her, recognizing the Harper who came to De Anza with Rijiin. Becky had recognized her from their trips through the portal in the mall shop where they jumped literally out of time and space to the fourteenth century, greeting the couple at the encampment of the few remaining elves that lived in the area known as Adria. She let out a loud gasp.


    “Oh my lady… it is N-Natil.” Becky breathed, walking toward the Harper who had spied the duo and who dropped her hat. Natil was startled when she had seen them, her heart leaping literally upward into her throat.  She had recognized Mouse who walked toward her, followed by Becky.


    Both stood in front of her a moment later. She peered at them incredibly, unable to believe her own eyes. They were fair and beautiful, peering at the youthful face of Mimi who had not changed in the long time they had been apart. A long time had passed with the wandering of Natil through time and space, and she had not expected them to be here.


    “You dropped your hat mistress Harper.” Becky told her, handing it back to her. Natil stared with wide eyes, staring at what she thought to be a vision, a mirage.

            
“Natili, Na ta lle?” Mimi asked, “Ya ae llea atara?”


Mouse met the startled face of the Harper.  

    
Natil gasped as she bobbled her head in response to the question, just as Rijiin had taught them in Elfish a very long time ago.


“It is. I have a mother, and I am she.” Natil replied instinctively, echoing her words used centuries ago and when she stood before Paul Del Mari’s soldiers, displaced from Shrinerock Castle. The elf maiden had gasped loudly at the words and narrowed her eyes, desperately trying to place names and the faces that stood in front of her.

            
 “Mimi? Becky?” Natil asked, finally remembering the names “Is that you?”

            
 “Yes, we’re here!” Mouse exclaimed, and she raised her arms before embracing the confused Harper.

            
“I-I do not believe it.” Natil replied with a gasp, “H-how on Earth did you get here? H-how did you know to come to Denver? H-how did you know what time and I would be here?”
 
            
 “I don’t know, something told us to come here.” Mimi said. The Harper had gasped, as tears welled up from her eyes to embrace the duo warmly.


    “Strange, things never seem to change for the elves. We always seem to continue despite the world around us and have visions that result in strange journeys with no explanation.” Natil replied softly, “And I didn’t expect them to come here, or see them again either.”


Her blue eyes examined Mimi, and Becky, both transformed by the power of starlight from long ago. She saw nothing of what they had been during those times, the magic transforming them fully into elves and the scrap of soul that had been once human had vanished from them fully.  Mimi was still a young teenage elf maiden with long dark hair and aquamarine eyes. Her form still was thin and muscular. She was still as youthful as Natil remembered after she and Rijiin had changed her. Becky had become lean, curvy and had long dark hair that fell in curls around her shoulders. The Harper had gasped at them, astonished by their appearance.

 

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