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|Okay this follows from part 1. I'm gonna have to do this for a few of my chapters, as they're about 6-8 pages on average. Which tends to be a bit on the long side for online reading... So this in this part you get to see the Tunnel (so to speak) and some twists to the end...||
The Tunnel - Part 2
“Peter, thank you for coming.” Faber let Peter inside.
“I came as soon as I could, though I cannot bide here long. I am needed in the tunnel.” Peter answered. Faber had come to love Peter’s calm, soft voice. “How can I be of assistance?”
“Peter, my people ask me, ‘when we will see our new home?’ Yet, I have no answer to tell them. How goes the trouble with the Waterfall stair?”
Peter hung his head. “We sent a party around the mountains, know you of this? Yes? Well they have just returned today, with strange news. Come to the tunnel with me to hear the reports. For you will not believe me otherwise.”
“An enticing invite. I have a young Elf coming here soon, may she accompany us? She rather quiet. You may know her, she is named Jalithe.”
“Yes, I have heard about the poor child. Because of who her parents are, she does not seem to be accepted by all. By all means bring her if she wishes to come. Even so, I will ask her myself. She needs to feel special in a good way.” Peter was now set on a course of action. Nothing Faber could say or do would sway him.
There was a knock at the door. Faber answered and ushered Jalithe inside.
“Child, this is Elder Peter. He is overseeing the excavation.” Faber spoke gently to the child. Peter followed her lead.
“I am charmed to meet one of such beauty,” He winked at Faber. “May I know your name Milady?”
Jalithe blushed. “I am Jalithe sir, but I am no lady.”
Peter smiled warmly, and burst out laughing. “Ye look naught like a boy, so ye must be a lady. No arguments about it.” The girl smiled. “That’s better. Now my dear I need some help in the tunnel. Would you be willing to come along?” Peter finished.
“If it please you sir.” Jalithe’s eyes betrayed her calm voice. She was very excited.
Faber left a message for Jalithe’s parents, and they left for the tunnel.
The tunnel mouth loomed up before them. The Great River had a large portion diverted to make the excavation safer for those involved.
The three entered via a delicately carved stair with the river to their left. The light was a soft glowing radiance that shimmered greenish – gold. The lamps were set at different height intervals along the walkway, so as travellers could see the great workmanship that had been carved into the rocks. Everywhere the eyes fell, new marvels were revealed. Exotic pillars stalked the way like a stone forest. Detailed patterns lined each pillar in a new way. Different groves of stone trees appeared bearing lights in their branches.
The seasons also changed as the travellers walked on. Spring appeared first with the green and gold light. Every tree bore its own blossom. Either a light or a beautiful gem. There was rose quartz in the cherry trees. Emeralds lined the pine needles. Red rubies glimmered in bunches in the eucalypts, and many more.
Soon Summer bloomed and the light grew intense. The Fey had manipulated the fungi to shine an orange hue. The summer halls seemed warmer and the pillars had leaves carved upon them in thick clusters that chocked the walls. Small water features had been carved into the wall, where water issued forth to join the river. Here a bridge, covered in carved ivy, spanned the small channel.
Upon the other side, the season changed. Many colours glowed from the fungi, reflecting the many coloured jewels of countless kinds. The pillars showed less leaves than before, and many were of gems. The floor of Autumn had also been carved, and within it shone yet more gems.
Thus, it was that the travellers arrived at Winter. Fluoride glowed from the bare branches of the pillars. The light was to be soft here, but while the work continued, it had to be well lit.
“Peter!” Faber breathed. She was stunned. It was more impressive since she had seen it last. “Peter, you have been busy.”
“Indeed, we have worked hard upon this deed. As always we do. Yet, this time we asked for the Great One’s blessing. Feel you that it was granted?” Peter’s eyes, as ever gave away his pride.
“Yes Peter, these are hallowed halls”
“Here come those who needs must report. Good sir’s, shall we remove to the side chamber? Then come. Ladies, this way.” Peter bowed and led Faber and Jalithe to a small chamber beside the main way.
In the chamber was a great pile of papers. Some neatly folded, others crushed and thrown onto the floor. There were lights aplenty scattered throughout the room, throwing their light upon the visitors. There was also a table and several large stones, cunningly cut to appear as chairs. It was to these that Peter gestured to.
“Ladies, please be seated. Now gentlemen, what have you to report?” Peter asked as he pulled out parchment and quill and sat at the table.
“Sir, we have journeyed to the far side of the mountains as ordered, yet what we found there is a strange tale indeed.” An older Fey (though still young by Fey standards, without a streak of grey hair yet to be seen), Captain by hard work, was to give the report. He was known as ‘Curious Kit’, though his true name was Christopher. Kit earned his reputation by always going exploring and trying new things, which often caused him some injury. Peter was often at his side, during these moments of misadventure.
“Go on Kit. Don’t keep us waiting.” Peter urged.
“Well, Pete…” If Peter was using his keening name then so was he. “Pete, I know not if we should continue this venture. Beg pardon Lady Faber, but part of that wood is already inhabited.”
“WHAT!?!?!” A shared cry from the audience.
“Kit what do you mean? Speak plain.” Peter snapped into commander mode.
“Well Pete, there were… eh…” Kit fumbled with the words.
“There were what? People? Fey? Or Elves?” Peter was getting hot, both with agitation and anticipation.
“That’s just it, they be neither. I’ve never seen naught like them; they were small, indeed tiny. No bigger than a young sapling tree. Oh and they had the most exquisite wings, feathered as a birds. Yet there be not one man amongst them, or I am a fool!” Kit regretted his last remark.
“Well Kit, my friend, I guess you’re a fool. Fila can you vouch for what my foolish friend hath said?” Peter asked the Elder, Fila.
Fila was in his late second centaury and was well respected amongst the Fey. His thick grey hair was worn in a club at the back of his neck, his watery grey eyes matched those of Elder Cara, his sister.
“Young sir, what Christopher has told you is as I saw it. He speaks the truth. As an Elder I say to you Peter, do not finish waterfall stair until contact is established with these creatures. If they live there we cannot force them to leave. If they do not wish the Elves to stay with them, then Faber you must accept this fact. Until that time work must be stopped.”
|Chapter 11 Attack of the Gulls prt 1||Chapter 08 - The Scout, part 1|
|The Urisk||Chapter 09, The Hunter or the Hunted|
|Oceana's People - history||Chapter 08 - The Scout, part 2|