I hadn’t had much chance to speak with Ramin since I found him. The elves always seemed to be there. I didn’t trust them completely, but after observing several interactions between themselves and us, I was sure there was something going on.
Naria had taken Ramin away from the rest of the group. The last thing I knew was that they had climbed a tree. I guessed that either she wanted to speak in private or show him the landscape.
The forest and surrounding country was very beautiful. When I was a much younger man, I had traveled with a magic practicing caravan. I learned much from then, though I decided not to take up the magic art. On those travels I saw much of the land of Sojourn. I was glad to be traveling once again.
Naria and Ramin were gone for several minutes, but finally they returned. I did not get a chance to speak to Ramin until after the company ate. As Ramin was moving to his place to sleep, I took the opportunity to steal him, grabbing him by the shoulder.
“I need to speak with you,” I told him in a matter-of-fact way.
“Of course, dear friend.”
We walked away from the camp, far enough away that even the keen elven ears could not hear. I took a deep breath before I began speaking.
“I’ll get to the point. I do not trust the elves.”
“Why is that?” he asked, his expression one of concern “They have been most kind to me.” He paused, but I didn’t speak, for it appeared he had something to add. “They are nothing like the stories you have told me.”
I was very careful in what I said next. “I haven’t had dealings with too many of them, but they are just like humans in one respect. They are not all the same and can’t necessarily be trusted.”
“I trust Naria,” he protested, frowning.
“It is not she that worries me,” I replied. “And Armes seems honorable as well. It is the ones that the king sent to fetch Naria, especially that Jadir.”
“He is only trying to protect the princess,” Ramin said.
I placed my hand on his shoulder. “I know, my friend. I am not too sure about the motives of the king and of what his men might do. Keep a careful eye.” I squeezed his shoulder reassuringly.
Ramin changed the subject. “You never got a chance to tell me what you found in your research.”