and always speak in riddles! I'm still working on one that a river spirit told me ten years ago!"
"So you will help me?!?!" The boy grinned and the wolf barked happily.
"Now, I never said that did I-" But the masked man was already being dragged by the ragged boy away from the forest that had been his home for hundreds of years, and towards the unknown. He looked back at his abandoned tea pot, cups, and mat snapped with his free hand. They came hopping quickly on the path behind them and caught up, jumping into his woven bag one by one. The man sighed. The wind had picked up and the trees began to sing, as if saying good-bye to the man, and wishing him well on his journey. "So, let me get this straight. You want me to help you rescue your brother. Do you know who these people are or where they live? Just because I am an amazing and powerful sorcerer doesn't mean I can just fix problems with a wave of my staff."
"Oh no I know where they are! They live high in the mountains! They hate our village for reasons I don't exactly know... Something to do with a war hundreds of years ago, maybe you heard of it. I don't exactly pay attention in school. But they took my brother because he is the best warrior in our whole village! He was going to gather an army to attack them but... now he's gone and maybe they might kill us without anyone to protect us!" He wiped the tears from his eyes and reached out to pet his wolf. "Hera and I need someone to help us find him! We can't survive the mountains alone!" The boy smiled up and him. "And now we have you to help us! If you're really as powerful as the legends say, then you could beat those dumb mountain men until they hand over my brother and go crying to their mommy's!"