Seran had a look of shameful awkwardness as he walked over to his father, who was already smiling. "You did something amazing again, didn't you, Seran?"
Khloe and Seran were both blushing, with the latter nodding as he said, "Yes..."
Etienne shook his head with a grin, "Well, I'm glad nonetheless. Lady Khloe never had the opportunity to join in our festivals, so I'd be thrilled to have you join us."
Khloe agreed quickly, "I'd always wanted to be a part of the festival... all I've been able to do is watch from the spring... Now I can join in."
The chief turned to the very inquisitive and confused villagers to speak, "Everyone, I have great news. Thanks to Seran, our guardian spirit can finally join in our festival!" A chorus of happy and curious sounds came from the crowd, which was then cut off by Etienne as he walked over to kindly place a hand on Khloe's shoulder, "This is Lady Khloe, our guardian spirit. She's one of us, as she always has been."
Before anyone could say anything, Fenmore and the other kids tore over to gather around her, nonstop talking about how pretty she was, how cool she is, and asking questions about what it's like to be a spirit. Khloe was overwhelmed at first but quickly calmed down. Being lonely for so long, it was understandable for her to enjoy true company for once. This made the villagers all smile before giving her their best wishes and heading back to their work, knowing the children would be too distracted to help.
Seran could only smile and follow after his father, who was also heading back to the festival field to finish up the major preparations. With the help of the crows, along with several Golems, most of the heavy work had already been completed, leaving only decorations left undone. "This is going to be one awesome party," said the boy as he began helping hang up lanterns.
"Seran, you'd better get that last field done! There's only an hour until the festival starts!"
"Ah, shit! I forgot! I'm on it, dad!" The white-haired lad bolted off toward the last unharvested field, using his skills at parkour to shorten the distance faster than he could on the ground. After the wildly fun day of preparation yesterday, almost the entire village was completely ready for the festival. Only, Seran had fallen asleep before finishing the last field, which Etienne had just kicked his behind for.
As he hurried to the field, he spotted Fenmore playing with the other kids, with Khloe still surrounded by happy kids. Storm had shrunk down to perch on Fenmore's head, as protective of the odd-eyed boy as ever. Seran could only smile at the scene before hurrying onward.
Fifteen minutes later, as Seran was cutting down the last stalks of wheat to bundle, he heard Fenmore charge over with huge eyes and an excited look on his face, "Big brother, the elves are here!"
"Already? Shoot, I'll be right there. Go on ahead, Fen, big brother will catch up!" He began to bundle up the last stalks himself, as two large Golden Crows took the previously finished bundles to the storage house. As Fenmore hurried back to look at the elves, Seran put the Golems on standby outside the village before using his parkour skills to speed to the storage house as well. He could already hear the festival getting ready to begin, and he spotted several pointy-eared beings entering from the north.
Little did he know that, while he was making his way to the storage house, a male elf with dark grey hair and blue eyes spotted the white-haired lad's abilities with interest. Watching Seran's nimble movements, along with sensing his enormous power, surprised him. He'd come the previous year, and this boy had certainly not been here then. Of course, that wasn't all he noticed. Several powerful Earth Golems and pureblood Golden Crows were undoubtedly what he saw first.
Whilst the elf was contemplating the connections between Seran and the village's changes, the boy in question had just put up the last bundle of wheat and was heading to the festival. Seeing all of the villagers in their best outfits, as cheap as they were in such a poor village, along with the huge smiles of joy on everyone's faces, only made him happier knowing he'd helped to make such an event possible. When he reached the festival field, everyone was already having fun, with several people already drinking while some were cooking over the firepits.
Etienne was talking to a blonde-haired female elf when he saw Seran running on the rooftops to the field. "Oi, Seran, come here for a minute!" As the boy expertly jumped a good 24ft (7.3m), with a front-flip, and landed beside his father, the chief said, "Seran, I want you to meet Lady Layla. She's the leader of the visiting elves, and she often spends time chatting with Nan."
With a big smile, Seran bowed to her overdramatically, "My pleasure to meet you, Lady Layla." His cheeky behavior earned him a knock on the head from his father, making the boy stick his tongue out at Etienne with a playful look.
Layla had a slight grin as she looked at the pair, "Quite a charming lad, he is, Etienne." With a kind nod, she said, "Layla Moontears. Pleased to meet you as well, Seran. You're very impressive for your age."
Seran giggled just a bit, "Hopefully not too impressive. Any more than usual and Nan would knock me senseless."
This statement made the elf lady's smile widen, "That she would, indeed. She's always been a strong woman, Eleanor. Takes a lot to rein in two hot-blooded men, let alone the many villagers she does now."
"At the risk of sounding rude, did you know Nan when she was younger?" He asked very cautiously, knowing how dangerous it was to ask a lady her age.
While noticing Seran's nervousness from his question, Layla laughed, the bright sound mingled with the sounds of the festival, "Yes, I have. From when she was no bigger than you. She was just as hot-blooded as her kin then, but she had better control over it. I've seen her give her father and brother more than a dozen knocks to the head. Of course, that was before she was blessed by your guardian spirit. After that, she spent more time throwing them into the river that runs not far from here." The elf lady had a reminiscing look in her eyes, recalling many interesting moments involving Eleanor.
Etienne shivered a little, "I've experienced her river-throw enough times to not want to endure it again... That river is cold year-round, so it's quite shocking to the body."
As Seran and his father both started to overthink things, Layla shook her head with a smile and was about to continue when a little figure squealed and tried to tackle-hug Etienne. Since the chief was lost in his mind, he didn't react in time, but thanks to Seran, the little trouble-maker was caught in a big hug. The odd-eyed boy was halfway between giggling and pouting, "Big brother caught me again..."
"Fen, I know you like to give big hugs, but right now isn't the time, okay? You don't want to embarrass dad in front of everyone, do you?" Seran nuzzled his little brother's hair softly, knowing it would calm him down.
"No..." mumbled Fenmore, who looked very sad all of a sudden.
"Don't worry, you can give dad big hugs later. Right now just isn't the time." He set his little brother down on his feet and said, "Fen, this is Nan's friend, Lady Layla." He gestured to the elf woman, who still had a grin on her face.
"Hi, lady. You're very pretty," the odd-eyed boy was always good at voicing his thoughts, which brought peals of bright laughter from the elf.
With a small blush of embarrassment, Seran introduced his little brother while ruffling his hair, "This cheeky little bugger is my little brother, Fenmore."
Layla smiled at the little boy, "Well, aren't you an energetic bundle of giggles?" This only earned a big grin from Fenmore, who then heard several children calling for him to join them, so he ran off to play after saying goodbye. "He's just as lively as Eamon was."
"He's a special boy, Fen. He's been through a lot. Having lots of energy is the best thing for him." Etienne could only watch his youngest son play with the other children, a spectacle which attracted the attention of many villagers, and just as many elves, all of which were at least slightly smiling at the sight.
The elf lady also watched before shaking her head amusedly; the sight of giggling and happy children was too pure to not enjoy. She was planning to continue talking about something else, but she noticed a male elf with dark grey hair and spectacles making his way over to them, a glitter of interest in his wise blue eyes.
Woo, got it done in time! Just a head's up, tomorrow's chapter might be a bit delayed. Having a hurricane evac drill this afternoon and I don't know how long it will take. Hopefully not 3 hours like that one time...
I'll still manage to get a chapter out somehow, I just don't know when!
[Word Count: 1517]
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