The next day I met my mother in the woods where she had picked a special spot just for Lottie's resting place. When Lottie could still walk, my mother brought her out here to pick the most beautiful spot in the forest seeing as Lottie always said she wanted to become one with nature after she passed on. It was a beautiful spot indeed. Perfect for Lottie.
It was a beautiful oak tree. Very big and stood tall over this little clearing. Almost like a protector and it was watching everyone around it. Lottie was cremated and her ashes were spread around the tree. This beautiful piece of nature would watch over Lottie and I could come visit her anytime I wanted. It would be no issue finding it.
Esteldir and Casey had joined us in our gathering. Amlugion sat in the tress above us. Even Godknocker had cleaned up and joined us to pay his respects. He wasn't a bad little fellow at all.
After my mother spread the ashes, Casey waved her wrist and flowers grew from the base of the tree. Lilacs. Those were Lottie's favorite. They were beautiful and wherever Lottie was now, she was smiling over us. Just like this tree was watching over us. "I love you Lottie," I whispered underneath my breath.
As we all went our separate ways, I pulled aside Godknocker to talk to him and figure out the missing part of the story that no one could answer back in Casey's tree house. "Godknocker, how did you know where I was?" I asked.
"Two pretty little elves came into town. They were going around asking if anyone knew a bard named Bellynn. As soon as I heard your name lassie, I spoke up. They said you had been beaten to near death and found your body in the woods. When I asked them where, they had vanished. So I went in town, yelling for your dragon. He found me and led me to you," Godknocker responded, "How did you get yourself in that situation lassie? You scared ME near death!"
Underneath all the disgusting habits, dirt and grime, did lie a very big and caring heart. "It's a long story," I said, "And I'll tell you all about it when we travel to the next town. But you had no idea where the two elves went?"
Godknocker shook his head, "I'm sorry lassie."
"It's alright," I said looking over towards Esteldir, "I have a feeling I'll see them again."
There was a moment of silence. Esteldir was talking to my mother. They could be talking about business matters between the two families or just talking as friends. It really could be either one. "So who is that lad anyway?"
I shook my head and looked down at Godknocker who was giving me a wide grin. One of those, 'I know what's really going on here' grins. "What?" I asked.
"That lad ended up following your dragon and I to you. Said he knew you. So who is he?"
"That's Esteldir," I said, "He's a good friend of mine."
"By the way you're looking at him lassie, I would say you're more than friends."
"No! You don't understand-"
"You're not hiding anything from me lassie!" he said, "I know there's something going between you two."
"There used to be," I corrected him. I looked back up at Esteldir. "But things weren't meant to be. Now we're just friends."
"Whatever you say!" Godknocker said as he waved his wrist, "I'll play along."
I smiled and knew I wouldn't hear the end of this as long as he was my traveling companion. So I would just have to change the subject whenever he tried to bring it up. "I'm going to pay my condolences to Lady Spelloyal over there," Godknocker said gesturing to me to lean down to eye level.
"You look an awful lot like her. If I didn't know any better, I would swear you two were related lassie!" he whispered to me.
I laughed a bit and said, "Well thank you. She is a very beautiful woman."
"Aye, she is," he said wobbling away, "Well don't wander off without your dragon again!"
"Don't worry, I learned my lesson!" I said after him.
I would have to tell him the truth later. I trusted him enough. But for now I just wanted some time to think. "Don't let me wander too far alone," I thought to Amlugion.
"I got my eye on you," he thought back.
I took a deep breath and walked away from the little gathering a few hundred feet. I closed my eyes and just tried to clear my mind. Think of positive energies. "Bellynn the Bard?"
I opened my eyes slowly and kept staring straight ahead. I didn't care who it was at the moment. But I recognized the voice. "Guenevere," I said, "Glad you could visit."
I heard footsteps approaching from behind me. Two sets of them. Which means Lunadin was here too. "Can we talk?" Guenevere asked.
I turned to face them. The two were holding hands. I kept a straight face as I nodded. "I suppose you want to go someplace a little more away from everyone?" I asked.
"We would prefer it," Guenevere said.
Lunadin kept a straight face and remained silent this whole time. I started walking more away from the small group at the oak tree. I snapped my left fingers and pointed to the direction we were heading. "Amlugion, these elves were trouble the last time I ran into them. Stay close by," I thought to my dragon.
Right after I heard an eagle screech and looked up, seeing a giant eagle with black and green feathers with purple talons flying over us. He sat in the tree above me, watching my conversation between the elves and I. "How can I help you?" I asked.
"We just came to thank you," Guenevere said.
I was a bit shocked. "Thank me?" I asked.
"Yes. To thank you," Lunadin said finally speaking up, "And I would like to apologize for killing you. But I see that wasn't an issue apparently."
She was still Lunadin... I sighed. "It would have been if someone near and dear to me didn't give me some of her life even though she was on the brink of death to begin with," I said, "But thank you. I forgive you."
"I'm surprised you're taking it so well," Guenevere said, "I thought you'd be mad at us."
"I understood the reasoning behind what you did. I'm not mad at you for that. The only thing I'm mad at is that you did let me die instead of just being near death," I said, "And if I didn't die, perhaps she would have lived a little bit longer."
"We were nearby and heard what happened," Guenevere said, "And we would like to apologize for your loss."
"Thank you," I said keeping my straight face, "She thought the story between us was very interesting and exciting."
The couple nodded and then there was silence. We just stood there looking at each other. "I'm glad to see you two are together," I said.
"And once again, thank you," Guenevere said laughing.
I gave her a nod. "Is this all?" I asked, "I might want to head back. They're going to start wondering where I am."
"Actually," Guenevere said as she looked at Lunadin. The wizard smiled back. "We were wondering if you could give us one more thing."
What more could these two possibly want? "What is it?" I asked.
"We would like your permission to travel with you," Guenevere said.
I was a little flustered and surprised. "Wait, what?" I asked.
"We would like to become your travel companions," Lunadin said, "We would provide you full protection and help you with anything you needed."
"But why?" I asked with firmness in my voice, "How will I know you won't keep doing what you're doing?"
"The reason to why we do the things we do is to actually help the poor. The misunderstood. The unaccepted. We still want to do that but we realize being roadside robbers isn't the way to do it. We want to travel! We want to see the world! And we can help those in need by traveling with you. You chose to use your last breaths to say something I refused to say and use your last moments to bring other people happiness even though we were the ones killing you. You used your last moments to help others instead of yourself. You have a kind heart and we can learn from you," Guenevere said.
I couldn't believe it. I could believe that they were actually helping the ones who needed it but now they want to change their ways and travel with me? I couldn't believe it at all. I started shaking my head. "We understand you may have a hard time believing us," Guenevere said, "Which is why if at any time you feel like we aren't helping, then you can tell us to leave. But please, give us a chance."
I took a deep breath and looked up at them. "Alright," I said, "But any peep of who I am or any sign that you're not doing what you say you're going to do, I will not hesitate to make sure you learned your lesson."
They knew I meant hurt them. Lunadin laughed and both her girlfriend and I stared at her. "What's so funny?" Guenevere asked.
"How would you exactly make us 'learn?'" Lunadin said making quotations with her fingers.
Oh. Good ol' Lunadin. But I figured it was probably best for her to know. "Although I appreciate the protection, I already have some," I said with a laugh.
I clapped my hands twice and Amlugion dropped to the ground in his full dragon form behind me. A huge grin on my face. Lunadin's eyes were wide eyed and shocked. Guenevere's were just full of awe. "If you're going to be traveling with me, I figured you should know my companion and protector. This is Amlugion."
The two nodded as Amlugion flared his nostrils. "Any questions?" I asked.
The two shook their heads. They know not to mess with me now. "Good. Let's start heading back," I said.
I walked back with my two new traveling companions. I met my little group at the oak tree. They were about ready to go look for me.
I introduced Godknocker to the hunter and the wizard. And officially introduced my mother to Amlugion. "He's beautiful!" my mother exclaimed.
"You are to protect her anytime she needs it too," I said.
"Of course," Amlugion said in both my mother's and my head.
We all said our good byes. Esteldir gathered me in a hug and kissed me on the forehead. "Until we meet again," he said.
"Until then," I said.
My mother gathered me into a big and we confirmed the date for the next lunch.
Casey and I said our good byes and they all went their own ways.
The wizard, the hunter, the dwarf, my dragon and I headed out on the road and to the next town. What adventures waited for us next?