Exodus: The Windwalker Archive: Book 3 (Legends of Agora)

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Book: Exodus: The Windwalker Archive: Book 3 (Legends of Agora) by Michael James Ploof Read Free Book Online
Authors: Michael James Ploof
of scholarly dogma. I now regret my earlier ideology. The truth is that I cherish my curse, for it has given me a sense of mortality, which has also helped me to understand the plight of the short-lived.
    “In short, I did it because it was the right thing to do.”
    Talon’s guilt washed away as he listened to Azzeal’s explanation. He let it go, replacing it with a sense of pride that had been growing in him for some time. The feeling was new to him, but he liked it.
    “In all your visions, have you ever seen us together when I’m older?” Talon asked.
    Azzeal flashed a mischievous grin that exposed one long fang. Feline eyes smiled. “Some things should remain unknown, or else where is the fun in surprise?”
    The remainder of the day, Azzeal guided them through the city, showing them so many wonders that Talon once again found himself mystified and overwhelmed. The lights from the pyramid connected to one another and other buildings as well, illuminating the streets, bridges, overpasses, and waters with such wondrous but soft light that Talon felt sure he was walking through a dream landscape. The elves appeared both young and old; there were children, though few it seemed, and those who appeared elderly did not seem frail, but rather wise and incredibly strong. The children too seemed as though there were years behind them.
    When they came to a walkway that ended with no bridge, Azzeal walked out onto a lily pad as long and wide as a wagon and turned with a smile to invite them on as well. It bore their weight without so much as dipping its curved point in the water and carried them slowly across the short pond to the landing on the other side.
    Here, fireflies the color of the setting sun lazily swayed and danced in the twilight. Large, knotted trees with moss-covered bark and long green webbed lichen growing from swirling branches swayed in the soft wind. The sound of wind instruments and chimes came from the north end of the pond, and Talon marveled to see that a large assortment of long reed-like plants were the instruments, and the performer was the westerly wind.
    Talon found himself wishing that the elves would take them in. He could easily imagine living here with Akerri.
    How could he spend his days lazily walking about with elves when she was still out there somewhere, going through gods knew what? He shook off the numbing effect of the elf city and stared at his feet for a while, wanting to sober his mind and prepare for the inevitable departure.
    “Would you like to return to the tower for dinner?” Azzeal asked, no doubt noticing or “hearing” how Talon was feeling.
    “We would like that very much,” said Gretzen.
    Talon noted that she had been more well-spoken as of late. The stroke that she suffered years before Talon was born had left her without speech for a year, and she had always spoken plainly, using only those words needed to get her thoughts across. She had once told him, however, that when the stroke came, her ability to speak with spirits increased dramatically.
    Soon they were back in Azzeal’s tower of vine on the river and eating shellfish and mussels drawn in golden butter, accompanied by a salad with more greens, fruits, nuts, and berries than Talon had seen in one dish.
    Talon and Azzeal shared stories, and Gretzen quipped in now and again with an anecdote or two. They laughed and they ate and they talked long into the night. Talon tried to take it all in, to remember every word and every laugh. The night suddenly seemed fleeting, and his fear and anxiety grew. He found himself so reluctant to say farewell to Azzeal that he ignored any conversation or gestures toward sleep and the late hour.
    As a result, they stayed up all night long and into the morning, and sat on the balcony above the rushing river, watching the sun come up. The last star disappeared, and Talon made a wish, hoping that this was not the last time they would all be together.

Chapter 13
The Wisdom

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