Page 42

His final question brought him to the porch front of his old home, he studied the beautiful hobbit hole for a moment before he knocked on the oak door. Almost immediately the sturdy figure of Barris Oakfoot swung the door open, still chewing a mouthful of supper. He glared at the old man for a moment, raising one eyebrow in confusion before motioning him inside. Returning to his seat he grabbed his fork and knife, clearing his throat before he spoke,

"Sorry, I wasn't expecting you... If you're looking for your grandson I'm afraid he took your advice and my pantry with him to the Kingdom of Anstia."

The old man took a seat across from him, pouring himself hot tea as he replied

"Unfortunately Balamor is not the reason why I'm here Barris, though his safety is certainly part of it... I was visited by a courier today, he came with a message from Gantis Jacs... I think It has begun..."

Barris quickly interjected before the old man could go on,

"Balamor... Is this why you told him to leave!? So he could avoid the fate his father tried avoiding? Because he is helpless out there if she —"

Farjadis cut in, his eyes were intense as he spoke, "She won't, she doesn't know about him Barris. As far as she is concerned I am the last Wisebeard, and that is how it will stay! Do not underestimate my grandson Mr. Oakfoot, he is our only hope..."

Barris looked down at his half finished plate, his appetite was gone at the news he had received. He knew the worse was still to come as he looked back at the old hobbit. His steel blue eyes stared at him with mixed emotions of fear, anger, and confusion.

"So what now? She knows where the library is? How did she find this out? Where is Gantis?"

The Wisebeard removed his necklace from beneath his shirt and handed it to Barris,
"Your questions will be answered soon enough. What matters most is that you take this, along with those old blank books in the library and leave the Rhael tonight. I am not sure where it is you will choose to go, but it is best that I do not know."

Barris felt his stomach knot at the seriousness of the situation,

"Of course... but what about you? Where will you go? You can't stay in the Rhael and wait for a certain death!"

"I must stay here Barris, Gantis will reach the Rhael in the next few days, hopefully before the green robed women. If that is not the case, she will have to seek you out to find the books and the necklace, if you leave now you will have enough time to escape her."

"What about the safety of this necklace and the safety of these precious books? What about my own safety?" Barris shouted in frustration,

"The ruby will keep you safe."

The End

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