From Dwf to Elf
Characters in this chapter:
- Cohen Kheda: The main character.
- The Grandmaster: Dwarf, the best weapon forging master.
- Manta: Son of the dwarf king, Rescued by Cohen from hunters at his youth.
- The Elf Queen: Queen of the elf clan, Winslet’s mother.
- Winslet: A she-elf, daughter of the Elf Majesty. Cohen rescued her from hunters at her youth.
Black steel was burning red and out of the furnace. I began to discuss our forging strategy with the GrandMaster…
Since we had a new mining method, the output obstacle was lifted. As a gift, the Master had promised me a best black steel sword. We worked from scratch, and the cost of forging and manpower was enormous. To make my weapon even closer to perfect, I made myself part of the project by adding any suggestions that came to mind. The Master too added his ideas based on his wealth of experience within the years. The prototype gradually took shape.
Folding was a new method I recently came up with according to my memory on Japanese Katana. It took me an entire night explaining it to the Master. He then melted the whole thing.
“I want to make it perfect!” He said, “You folding method is a good idea, though in this way your sword will be tight and sharp, however, the flexibility is comprised.”
“Then how?” I asked. Folding was something I read in a magazine, I’ve got nothing else except for that.
“Relax, I got it.”
After a month of hard work, my sword was finally done.
“Take a look!” The Master revealed my sword from a pond of milky liquid, “This is the final draft!”
A uniquely-shaped weaponed was presented in front of me, sleek body, without any blending. The blade was already sharpened. I could feel its potential destructive power.
I took it over and gazed at the black sword with mixed feelings.
“I folded the body thousands of times!” The Master looked feverish, “In the last folding circle, I tried the spiral method which just occurred to me. This way, your sword is both sharp and flexible.”
“Indeed! After the spiral procedure, the body of your sword will have a little swirl on the edges. This way, I was able to fold it without any sacrifice on flexibility. You’ll excel in all kinds of attacking! The back, as you suggested, I’ve added a string of little saw, and adjusted the fuller.”
I moved around the sword and grew excited like fire in my blood.
It will be my blade!
“Thank you, Master!” I said, “Only you can forge such a blade.”
“I can’t take all the credits.” The Master looked at me, “Such weapon is not a sword, so tell me, what’s its name?”
“I knew you’d ask.” I scratched my head, “It’s a machete, German Machete.”
“Yeah, it’ll be another item added to your fav list, right?” Accidentally I mentioned German, so I hurried and changed the subject.
“True.” He didn’t seem to catch it, “As of now the production is not a problem, and we’ll have more focusing dwarfs on the forging. Speaking of which, you design is impressive.”
Of course, it is. This model looked quite ordinary though every part of it was full of Germanic wisdom and inspiration. It was a standard weaponry in my previous life.
“This is a gift,” The Master handed over a dagger, “Same style!”
“Thank you!” I took it over, “I have one more thing to ask.”
“What is it?”
“Can you make me a few more swords?”
“Mo…re?” The Master was stupefied and nearly lost his balance, “I could die…”
“You misunderstood me!” I helped him to steady, “I meant regular blades!”
I tanned a piece of fish skin and carefully stripped it on the sword’s handle. I caught the fish from a nearby lake which meat tasted terrible while the skin was absorbent and anti-skid and looking good.
“Boss!” Manta envied, “Awesome! Is there anything you can’t do?”
“Enough?” I said, “Did you have the map I need? To the elf’s.”
“Here you go!” Manta had a map in hand, “But can you teach me how to stripe this?”
“Later perhaps after I come back from Winslet’s.” I put away the map, “I don’t have much time left. I need to head back to DC before my next birthday.”
“I’ll be sixteen by then,” I said, “titled and given land as a nobleman. I’m yet to know which land His Majesty will give me.”
“Better be this land,” Manta laughed, “then we can skip the tax.”
“Don’t be naive! I’m your boss!” I hid the dagger on my calf, “I have to go!”
The elf land was not far beyond though it took me more than ten days! I was not a lazy bone. Instead, Manta screwed up the map.
“Finally…” I lied on the grass and gasped, “Manta you are so dead…”
I stood up and found myself surrounded by several he-elves, who were ready to release their bows.
“Peace out!” I stood up, “I’m here to see someone!”
“Elves do not make contact with humans.” One of them said, “You are lying!”
“I’m not lying!” Under their thread, I held up my hands, “I’m looking for Winslet!”
“Winslet?” The elf said, “We have several Winslet’s here!”
“The one who came home recently!”
“You name! Identify yourself!”
“Liar! Kohen Kheda has black eyes!”
I didn’t have a choice and removed my lenses.
To my surprise, what elf’s place looked like was far different than what Winslet has shown me.
The elves built their shelters as tree houses interlocked by vines. They stood harmoniously without too many decors and looked peaceful. Such matched elves’ retiring personality I guessed.
Winslet certainly looked joyful. She talked a lot on the way.
“There’s my house up front.” She pointed at a large tree house, “Mom’s at home.”
“This?” I asked, “It’s so much bigger than the others.”
“That’s where the elders usually meet with mom.”
“Meet with your mother?” I didn’t get her, “You mom is one of the elder elves?”
“No!” Winslet said with a smile, “She… is… the… queen!”
“Queen!? Then, Winslet, you are… a princess?”
“Can’t I?” Winslet floated into the air, “Don’t I look like a princess?”
“En… headache…” To think that an elf princess has been playing with me for years and I’ve been unaware of, it was like a slap in the face. “Then Manta and Dimmock…”
“Manta is the son of the Dwarf king! Steven, he’s also the son of the winged-man leader.”
“What… gosh… they’ve kept me in the dark for years! Watch it!” I tried to grab her though she flew away.
“Ouch!” When I finally caught her, I fell into a door.
“Mom, Cohen is here to see us!” Winslet got away and flew beside the Elf Queen.
“Here you are, Cohen.” Madam Elf looked beautiful as ever. She offered her hands, “Are you hurt? Let me see.”
“En, don’t bother. I’m OK.” I brushed the dust off my tunic while dodging her hand. I was still a teenager though my two lives have made me far older than that. Being touched on the head by a gracious adult elf was something I felt uncomfortable, “How are you, your highness.”
“Huhhe.” She chuckled, “You’ve grown up, Cohen.”
“Winslet, on your way with Cohen, dinner is ready.” The Elf Queen said, “I have another meeting. You shall see me by tonight.”
Then I spent dinner flirting with Winslet.
“You stopped at Lvl.3?” After a thorough examination, Winslet’s mother asked, “How do you feel?”
“Indeed, I had no problem using any spells under Lvl.3.” I recalled, “Then because my mana is not growing I can’t release anything above that.”
“Are you having trouble doing Lvl.3?”
“Not at all!” I shrugged, “I could make several fireballs.”
“I see.” Madam Elf fawned, “Give me some days.”
“OK!” I said, “Take your time.”
Her Majesty left, then I exited the treehouse. It hurt not having a light walk after dinner.
“Where are you going?” Winslet appeared, “Care to see my friends?”
“Sure!” I was free anyways.
Winslet took me near a lagune with a proud look.
“Isn’t the lake you stayed when you were young?” I asked.
“More to that!” Winslet hurried and said, “One moment!”
I laid cozily on the grass and looked at the starry sky, “You are waiting?”
“Here they are, look!”
In the starry summer darkness, fireflies swung their dotted body out of the grass. Everywhere were filled with tiny lights.
“Shh.” Winslet put one finger on her lips, her eyes lit up and slowly moved to my side, “Don’t scare them out.”
I can’t deny that such view was indeed beautiful, but what’s more attractive was Winslet look. At this very moment, I sighted no sign of blue but joy and happiness.
“Remember the meaning of my name?” Winslet whispered.
“I do.” I said, “It’s those flying things.”
“Stop that. It’s firefly! They are my friends.”
“I know that.”
“What do you know, black eye?”
“I know,” I said, “Fireflies are you friends, the lake is your friend, the stars, the moonlight, and the breeze are your friends.”
Stunned by her look, suddenly I discovered, she was beautiful.
“I have a song, do you want to sing it with me?”
“What is it?”
“Dark sky dawned, starry night falls,
Fireflies, Fireflies, where’s your memory?
Where the star tears, rose grows,
Cold breeze, cooling breeze, where is my love?
Fireflies, flower dreams, two makes one.
Darkness breaks hearts
No what, nowhere…”
Winslet whispered her song and head on my shoulder, dreamed away.