According to Ramin and the elves, the last leg of our journey to the elf city was going to be a perilous one, so we stopped to rest.
I was sitting on a rock on the bank of the Amu a little downstream from the massive waterfall. I had taken my stockings and shoes off, allowing the water to flow between my toes. I lowered my feet into the gritty sand of the river bed, and the flow of water combined with the sand massaged my feet. I sighed in relief. I was not accustomed to this much travel.
Aileah walked up to me, stopping a few feet away. “The women are done bathing,” she announced.
“I’m sure the men will be pleased to hear that,” I replied, sighing again as I stretched my legs out straight.
“Is there something wrong?” she asked after hearing my sigh.
“No, nothing. I’m just an old man. That’s all.”
She found a nearby rock, similar in size to the one I was sitting on. She sat down and said, “That is what is strange about the elves. I hear that when they grow old and nearing the end of their immense life, they feel no pain as humans do.”
“Have any died from old age since you have been with them?” I asked, truly curious.
“No, even the oldest that I have met are at least a thousand years from death. It is strange to think that in less than a hundred I will be dead.”
I laughed. “Well, at least you have many years to come. In human standards, that is.”
Aileah changed the subject. “I’m curious. What is Ramin looking for?”
“Have you not heard?” I asked. After she shook her head, I continued, “Ramin is a lost man. He is trying to find himself.”
“Why does he think the elders will be able to help him?”
“Well, first because I told him to, but second because the elders are the oldest intelligent creatures around. Of anyone, they would know something, something more than I can tell him.”
My answer obviously confused her. So, I added, “Why don’t you ask Ramin?”