Just...five...more...fucking...hours I thought to myself as I forced my tired legs to take just one more step forward. We had been walking most of the day and it seemed like the sun was being especially hot almost as if it knew that I would love nothing more then some relief from its constant assault on my person. What was worse than my tired legs and the copious amounts of sweat dripping down my hot face and onto the soft earth was the fucking fact Legolas didn't even look slightly winded by the multiday-long walk. How I wished I had his stamina and endurance.
"Oh for goodness sake drink this before you go and pass out on me". He said as he handed me a blue bottle of something. Seeing no reason to doubt him as he hadn't done me wrong yet I soon opened it and downed it in less then five seconds. In less than a second's time, I felt like I had just awoken from a good night's sleep and was once more ready to start a new day.
"You're welcome". He said placing it inside a bag that seemed to pop into existence a second before. Had I not been watching him when he had done the deed I would have missed it altogether.
"Did you just use magic? Magic exists here"? I asked him as my mind was already racing at the sheer implications of such a discovery. I could maybe walk on water or walls, turn myself invisible or even become an animal like in Harry Potter alongside a million more things that I was sure I would make the time to try and do.
"Yeah. It's a fairly basic spell. Anybody can use sealing magic. It's the other types that take any real time to learn and do". Legolas said as he started to explain the basic concept to me. I didn't understand most of it but I was sure going to try to learn this useful skill at the earliest opportunity. If I could seal things away I could travel with alot less weight pressing down on my poor back which of course meant I could carry weapons or tools on my trips around this new world.
The hours seemed to fly past and before I knew it we stood atop the hill that overlooked the massive walled city and the sight before us both was beautiful and awe-inspiring in equal measure.
"What is the name of this place"? I asked as I looked at the many tall stone towers and palisades whose small windows would allow an archer to easily fire their bows with ease without having to worry about a counterattack from any would-be attackers.
"It's called Tomalia. The king who lives inside that castle is nearly 112 years old. So be sure to bow nice and low. He is really big on upholding the old traditions and customs of ages past, at least the ones since the conquest of Lascivious Augustus 712 years ago. He was the first king of your race. Before him, the four noble races would have the honor of being called the king. My people are hoping our champion will win the upcoming games so we may have a vote on the new king when he dies". Legolas informed me as we walked through the massive stone archway. The armored guards paid us no mind as they walked down the street their armor clicking with each step they took as it reflected the light of the sun. Colorful banners flew in the wind as the many small children raced past us playing their mindless games. It felt so much like home. It was this fact that I felt a great and overwhelming feeling soon engulf me like a great wave of cold water. The knowledge that I would never be able to return to my old life and see my friends and family. Never again would I be able to go visit my family home and never again see my nieces and nephews grow up from babies to children, graduate from high school, get their first jobs, and have kids of their own. This feeling was nearly enough to break me then and there. It was thanks only to Legolas that I was able to hold back the many tears that were no doubt trying to fall down my face and it is this fact that I'm most grateful for.
The walk up the hill in which the castle sat was long but I felt no great need to rush. This world was my new home and my new life. As hard as it was going to be I would face it head on and overcome the many challenges and tribulations that would inexorably come my way. The two guards that stood on both sides of the long wooden/iron drawbridge only gave us both quick once-overs before signaling that we may continue inside the castle proper. The hallway that soon greeted me was innately decorated with a mixture of gold, red, and blue colored banners. I could already see a long set of sizeable portraits of kings and queens from many races lining both sides of the massive hallway though humans seemed to be the only ones for as far as I could see from the entrance. This made sense if humans had ruled for most of the past 712 years of this world's history. It was only when I had looked at the closest one that an older-looking elf walked over to me who seemed kind and happy.
"Helo lyth bhen jen are vavar bren noresh?"? A fellow elf asked to which I had no understanding. However, it seemed Legolas did and answered for me in what I guessed was Elvish. The fact that modern-day English existed here at all was a cosmic-sized mystery in and of itself but it was one I was happy to keep as such. I was sure that by the time I had settled down and started my new life here that would be the farthest thing on my mind. An hour later it seemed the man was done with his admittedly long conversation.
"You talk like a fucking woman you know". I joke to which he seemed lost.
"I'm sorry...what does that mean"? He asked looking completely confused at what I just said to him.
"I...uh...you know never mind it doesn't matter anyway. Let's go and see this king of yours yeah". I said wishing to just move past that uncomfortable exchange. It seemed that the joke that women talk forever isn't something that has yet to transcend any other dimensional barriers.
Meanwhile the king Alexander Von Hoser patiently awaited for this most unusual of visitors to enter into the great hall and address the royal court. The fact it was a human that existed outside the empire was only superseded by the fact that he wasn't even from this dimension. He would've been told had the goddess, Thalia saw fit to send down yet another of her messengers. The last one she had sent down had seen them become the rulers of the known world so this man was expected to be equally great. However, when their guest finally entered the room fell deathly silent. Before them was no great hero who would have songs written of their many deeds nor who seemed able to hold a sword or spear. Here before the upper echelons of high society was a man who seemed closer to a pig farmer than any true hero.
"This is he..is it not"? The king asked one of his many aids.
"Tis he my lord. He matches the description given to us three moons ago. It would be unlikely that he be not the same man my lord". The aid said before stepping behind his lord forgotten by his betters almost at once.
"Step forward and bow before me". The king ordered to which I bowed as low as I could. It was only when he seemed pleased did I rise and await what was to come next.
"It says here that you dropped out of thin air just outside of the western gate. Tis this true"? The king asked.
"Yes my lord. I did indeed fall from the air before the gate. How I got there I know not...my lord". I answered hoping that it would be satisfactory to the oldest human I have ever seen.
"Before you appeared before the gate what did you see"? The king asked seeming to be leading me to something. What that was I hadn't a clue.
"Black nothingness...my lord. Before I landed before the gate I saw a blue ball of light but nothing else". I replied to which he seemed most unhappy. I so feared for my life that I subconsciously took a step back.
"So you are saying here before me now that you didn't see the fields of Valhalla". The king seemed to yell while talking normally.
"I am my lord. I saw nothing but that ball of blue light. I know not about no fields of Valhalla nor anything else". I answered hoping I hadn't sealed my fate. It seemed their were expecting me to have seen something before my coming here. Sadly however whatever that was I hadn't nor ever would now that I was here.
"I...see so do you deny the holiest of all women our fair goddess, Thalia"? The king asked moving forward in his chair. I felt like this was going to be what doomed me. But I nevertheless answered honestly.
"I know not who that is my lord. I neither deny nor accept the existence of your goddess for I know not who that is". I answered. The king in turn only sat back. His green eyes boring into me like a knife cutting into the deepest parts of my soul. The court stands still as they also await the king's next move. He had seen many people say the same and he had sent them to the mines for such blasphemy and disrespect to the holiest of women. Yet he stayed his hand for this man. He felt no lie nor any attempt to deceive him. It was such a most unusual sensation that he was unsure if it was a test of his faith or not. His mind raced and thoughts flooded through him and he was unsure on what to do.
"You shall.....live". The king finally said after nearly a minute and at once I felt like a great weight had been removed. The whole room was soon abuzz with cries of blasphemy and such proclamations of injustice.
"I have ruled and I shall hear no more on the matter. He shall live for as long as the goddess Thalia allows. So I say and so shall it be". The king says before rising to his full height and eyeing me. I could feel he was considering me. I could only hope that when he was done he didn't reconsider his ruling. So it was a relief when he nodded his head and walked out of the room.
"Well you sure are full of surprises... now let us see you settled into your own place shall we"? Legolas said happily as he wrapped his arm around me and out we walked. My heart racing so fast I feared it would soon burst out of my chest and kill me.