“Avarron, do you know that you have wings?” she asked.
He blinked at her and opened his mouth to say something, but could not find any words that would make up a coherent response.
“Hee, you didn’t know?” Llaweyra giggled. “Well that explains something.”
He looked at the fairy sitting on his shoulder. “What on earth are you talking about?”
“Look, you silly knight,” she pointed at his back.
Avarron looked over his shoulder. The armour had extended itself from his shoulder into a wing-like shape, in the same rock-like colour as the rest of his armour. A glance over his other shoulder revealed that there was indeed a pair. He even found that he could move the wings, though not nearly as fluid as his limbs.
He focused on the fairy again. “Llaweyra…”
“I keep telling you, it’s not me. It’s your armour. You created those wings when you leapt at that smelly. Except that you forgot to actually use them. Silly knight.”
“Hold a moment,” Eleana interrupted their discussion. “Can we please start at the beginning?”
“I think you better explain,” Avarron told Llaweyra, already regretting his words as they came out of his mouth.
“Right, so Sir Silly here put me in his smelly pocket. The one where he keeps his special crest to hide that he’s actually a mighty wizard.”
Eleana looked at Avarron’s black crest. The green glow from it was fading, as well as from his eyes, which put her a bit more at ease. “That’s the one that was taken from your father?”
Avarron nodded. “Llaweyra put it on to replace the grey one I usually wear, while I was fighting the ogre. I don’t know how, but she used it to put some kind of spell on my armour.”
“No, you still don’t get it, silly,” Llaweyra interrupted. “Your armour was enchanted long before you came here.”
“That’s impossible,” Avarron told the fairy. “It has never done anything like this.”
“The crest activates the enchantment, doesn’t it?” Eleana asked Llaweyra.
“Hee, it’s good to be in the company of intelligence again,” Llaweyra replied, giving Avarron a meaningful glance.
Eleana approached Avarron again, placing her hand on the crest. “May I?” she asked the knight.
Avarron just nodded. All this talk of sorcery was horribly confusing to him.
Carefully, Eleana removed the crest from his shoulder. As soon as she detached it, the pair of wings folded themselves into his back and his armour returned to its familiar self of metal scales. She then pressed it against his shoulder again, and it gave a flash of green light, but then returned to its original state.
She looked at it for a moment and then said: “There’s a lot of untapped power here, but it’s strange. I have never encountered anything like it before.”
Avarron gave her a puzzled look. He had no idea what she was talking about.
“Sorry,” she gave him an apologetic smile. “I mean that frankly, none of my knowledge can say anything about this piece of art.
“Well, it adapts,” Llaweyra commented. “It became rock to prevent Silly from getting shredded.”
“And the wings? You said they were created when he jumped at that ogre?” Eleana asked.
“Yes, but that silly knight forgot to use them,” Llaweyra answered. “So I helped him out.”
“She levitated me and flew me into the ogre,” Avarron explained to Eleana.
“No, you silly! How often do I need to repeat myself?” Llaweyra said impatiently.
Avarron gave her a confused look. “But you did. I didn’t use those wings. I didn’t even know I had them.”
“But I knew,” Llaweyra said with a short laugh. “And unlike you, I do know how to use them.”
Avarron looked at the metal scales covering him. He didn’t like the idea of his armour making decisions on its own at all. “What more can this enchantment do?” he asked.
“Couldn’t tell,” Llaweyra answered.
“There is probably no way to tell, other than to try. I can’t even tell what it will do once we leave this place.” Eleana said thoughtfully.
“Speaking of which, we shouldn’t linger here,” Finn told them.
Avarron looked at the old hunter. There was something familiar about the man, though he was certain he had never seen Eleana’s guide before. Regardless, he was right. And not just because of the stench of the ogre. “Where do you propose we’d head to, Sir?” he asked.
The hunter looked around. “North,” he said.
That sounded alright to Avarron. After all, they had been heading north before they encountered the village.
“North is good,” Eleana agreed. She smiled at Avarron and together they followed the hunter.
“And clearly nobody cares about my opinion,” Llaweyra said indignant.
The hunter cast a glance over his shoulder at the fairy and snorted. “Haven’t had enough attention yet, Llaweyra?”
“Not having enough authority yet, Finn?” Llaweyra retorted. “Or are you simply forgetting something?”
“You two know each other, I take it?” Avarron asked.
“Hee, of course we do. Avarron, this is Huntsmaster Finneac Mac…”
“Just Finn. Pleasure to meet you, Sir Avarron,” the hunter said without taking his eyes off the path he had chosen.
“Ruining my fun, aren’t you?” Llaweyra asked annoyed.
“There is no need for long names,” Finn replied.
“Too long to remember, old man?” Llaweyra teased.
“Fine, I’ll bite,” the hunter sighed. “What am I forgetting?”
“Heh, assuming you still remember who rules the Witchwood, you know that nobody leaves without her permission,” Llaweyra said smugly.
Finn nodded. “Getting out is always harder than getting in.”
“Not the point I’m trying to make,” Llaweyra sighed. “I said permission.”
“It would help if you spoke clearly, for once,” Finn replied.
Avarron couldn’t agree more. He had not a clue what the fairy was getting to.
“Is it just you two, or are all men completely incapable of connecting the dots?” Llaweyra asked.
When it became clear that Finn would not even bother to respond, Llaweyra gave a very loud, exaggerated sigh and said: “This silly knight here is not just Avarron, just like you are not just Finn. Oh no, mister Maccaihl, this here is Sir Avarron Theryndonash.”
Finn suddenly stopped and turned around, casting a furious glance at Llaweyra. “How come nobody has told me before?” he asked the fairy.
“Hee, lost your patience, old man?” Llaweyra teased him.
“Here’s something you obviously didn’t notice: there’s a mist rising up,” Finn told her.
For a moment, all colour faded from the glow Llaweyra was emitting. “Sorry Avarron, nothing personal but I’m gonna sit on his shoulder now,” she said and flew over to Finn.