2: A Stranger at the Festival - Part Five
Updated: Oct 18, 2020
A few more contestants had their tries, but in the end Jalek had won another championship and hearty congratulations. The crowd drifted away, many following Jalek back to his pub knowing how generous he could be when he was in a good mood. The way clear, Felanar approached the empty field and imagined himself a great archer. In his mind’s eye, he saw a crowd watching him intently as he too drew back his bow and paused. Wanting all to admire his form, he held his pose a little longer than required, and then released. As he pictured the arrow sailing true, he heard a deep voice behind him say, “Too high by a foot!”
Felanar jumped back and turned around to see the source of this judgment. It was the stranger, the High Man, and that made the boy feel intensely uncomfortable. It was bad enough that someone had seen him pretend to shoot, but to have his audience be someone of high station embarrassed him greatly. He stood there, red of face, and didn’t know whether he should look the man in the eyes, look down, bow, or run away.
“If you’re going to serve the Regent, you’ll have to do better than that,” the elderly man continued, this time in a softer voice.
“Yes, sir,” was all Felanar could say. Alak, who had been watching, didn’t know what to do either. He found this all very confusing, and especially talk of the Regent. What would the Regent want with Felanar, anyway? Kara just stared wide-eyed at the unusual sight, her glance flicking from Felanar to the stranger and back again.
“What is your name, young man?”
“Mmm . . .” said the old man thoughtfully, “Felanar is it? My name is Ravesfel, do you know it?" The last was said quickly with a sterner voice, almost a command that the boy should know the name even if he didn’t.