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While we were walking towards the temple, Mia made some small talk,
“Sir Victor, you might not know this but Elder Hugo is older than our great grandfather.” (Mia)
“Oh really. I didn’t know he’s that wizened meow. I didn’t even though he was that old.”
“Well, elves like Elder Hugo live to at most five hundred years. I think he’s just a little more than 300.” (Mia)
“Meow! That’s amazing.”
Then, I noticed Felix smiling wryly before saying,
“Elder Hugo also has a lot of stories about our parents. Some are about their childhood and some when they were active adventurers. He has a lot of stories about the past.” (Felix)
Felix looked at the distance before continuing,
“Since Elder Hugo is the only pureblooded elf here there is no one who can share those stories with him. There were once more elves and other races here but—” (Felix)
“Brother! Let’s not talk about that. You know Elder Hugo doesn’t even talk about that. We should do our best to keep him happy with the time we have with him.” (Mia)
I was quite surprised by Mia’s insight on Elder Hugo’s feelings. I thought she was just an impulsive and joyful girl who deeply cares for a lot. Realizing this is quite a discovery. I feel myself looking at a girl with sensitivity and not just honesty.
“Heh. So, you being a brat in front of Elder wasn’t you just being yourself huh?” (Felix)
I couldn’t help but chuckle at Felix’s retort.
“Muu. Brother and you too Sir Victor. I am a lady now. I am not just going to remain as a child you know. Hmph!” (Mia)
Mia looking a bit peeved strutted and walked in front of the huge tree. Both Felix and I looked at each other before following her sister.
While looking at the gigantic tree that has a trunk as thick as five full-grown men, Mia spoke to me as she placed her palm against the rough bark.
“Sir Victor, this tree was said to be a gift from our God Alamid. The elders have said that when the first villagers, a group of wanderers, set foot in the Dao Forest before it was called that, there was no place for them to live. The forest was made up of skinny gnarled trees and the whole place was full of monsters. There was nothing they can consume. While they were crying out to the skies calling for the Goddess, they heard the cry of a cat. Then a miracle happened the trees beside them grew big and lush. Fruits appeared and ripened in an instant. The smell of the ripe fruits was carried by the wind and all kinds of birds and animals came. Suddenly they had food and a place to build their homes.” (Mia)
She paused and stared at the canopy of the massive tree before continuing,
“They noticed that on one of the branches of the tree was a black cat with golden eyes that were looking at them. But before they could call out to it. It leaped to the sky and vanished with a flash of golden light. The villagers knew that cat was the God Alamid. So they built a village here and made the place their home.” (Mia)
Mia then faced me before bowing her head and saying,
“It’s like the God Alamid sent you to us when brother and I were in danger. I’m thankful to both God Alamid and Sir Victor from saving us.” (Mia)
She then turned towards the Temple, walked forward while grabbing both mine and Felix’s Hands, “Let’s go!”
The temple was not as grand and huge as the ones on Earth, but the temple here has a certain air around it. It feels as if you are truly entering a sacred place. The building is a wood and rock building plastered with clay. It should have been crawling with termites, but the place seemed to be impervious to such insects. I don’t know much about medieval architecture on Earth, but this building looks like those old buildings.
There are no chairs inside just an altar and some furs and pelts scattered here and there. Only one statue stood out, a young woman petting a cat-like beast by her side. This must be the Goddess and Alamid.
The jovial Mia and the serious Felix walked towards the statue before kneeling in one of the furs. Both had an expression of serenity and contentment on their faces as they closed their eyes while clapping their hands and praying. I kneeled beside them and prayed like both siblings.
As I quietly prayed with my eyes closed, a fluffy object landed on my lap.
Opening my eyes I saw,
“It hasn’t been long, but you should really rub my belly.” (Fluffy Object)
The fluffy object spoke in an impatient tone. It was my cat Fluffy. The one who started it all.