|A Little More Than Kin
Author: Tiffany T. Allen PM
In a mystical and hidden land called Glowänos, eighteen-year-old Cires Farmer, learns the truth of his ancestry.Rated: Fiction K - English - Fantasy - Chapters: 3 - Words: 16,227 - Published: 10-12-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3065111
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter One—The Closed Path
Cires Farmer emerged from the woods just as dusk was setting in. He had not meant to remain in the woods that long, but Cires had simply lost track of the hour. The setting sun was casting an orange glow to the formerly blue sky, and white clouds tinged with pink were sifting serenely through it, as Cires made his way back to his home village of Hilstock.
Hilstock was only a ten minute walk from the woods, and Cires entered into his house to find his family setting in around the table for supper.
"Decided to join us after all, did you?" Leran asked him with a smile.
"Sorry I'm late." Cires said as he took a seat beside Leran. "I lost track of the time."
Leran was only three years older than Cires, and while they were not related by blood, they were as close as brothers.
When he was younger, Cires began to notice that he did not resemble his parents or his siblings. They all had hair that was dark brown or black, where he was blond. His blue eyes did not match his family's hazel ones, nor were there any other similar features between them.
Cires questioned the matter one day and was gently told that he had not been born into this family. And details about his becoming a part of the family were relayed to him.
Cires had been distraught by this discovery and the need to find his biological family plagued him. He asked the other villagers, but none of them had any answers about his true parentage either.
He soon came to realize however, that while Ranor and Anri were not his natural parents,
they had taken him in and raised him as their own. Cires was never treated any differently than Leran, or his thirteen-year-old sister, Kresi. Both of whom were as close to Cires as natural
siblings. Ranor and Anri loved him like a son; they were his real parents as far as Cires was
concerned. He called them Father and Mother, just as Leran and Kresi did.
The question of his heritage was forever on his mind, but Cires hardly even took notice of it anymore.
And Cires had come to think that his actual parents, whoever they may be, they could not have loved him very much anyway. If they had, they would not have abandoned Cires in a basket on Ranor and Anri's doorstep. They would not have left him there with nothing more than the blanket that he was bundled in and a leaf of parchment with his name upon it.
"I wish you wouldn't go into the woods so late in the evening." Anri said. Cires heard the worry in her voice; he had also heard this remonstration several times. "Anything could be out there: bears, wolves, mountain cats...you could get hurt."
The woods were dangerous after nightfall, and Cires always made sure that he was out of them before darkness fell. He understood his mother's concerns however, and no matter how many times he tried to assure her that they were safe, Anri viewed them as dangerous during any time of day.
Cires took a slice of bread from the center of the table, as he turned to Kresi.
"I found a nest while I was in the woods today." He told her. "I think it's a meadowlark, but I'm not sure. I know how much you like birds, so if you'd like to see it, I'll take you to it tomorrow."
"I'd love to see it!" Kresi said eagerly.
"Go in the morning then." Anri put in. "So that there isn't any danger of you getting caught in the woods after dark."
"They'll be fine." Ranor said calmly. "Cires knows those woods better than the meadow-
This was true in a way. Cires was eighteen years old, and he had been visiting the woods on a daily basis since he was Kresi's age. And he never encountered anything even remotely dangerous during these excursions either.
After breakfast the following morning, Cires and Kresi headed for the woods; their mother's relentless warnings ringing in their ears. As they left, the family's border collie, Shepherd, followed along behind them.
The morning air was warm and comfortable, and the mood of the village was a relaxed one, as Hilstock's residents came outside to begin going about the day's work. Most of the trade from Hilstock came from within the village itself, as there were smiths, cobblers, tailors, and others amongst the villagers. There was a nearby town as well, and some of the villagers also took their products or services to town on occasion, but otherwise most trade remained in the village.
To their right, the nearest neighbor and good friend of Cires's family, Daen Elder, called out to the pair as they walked by, asking where they were headed. Daen was nearing sixty years old, but he was still Hilstock's oldest resident. He had lived alone since his wife, Charlotte, passed away two years ago. And despite his age, Daen was still sharp and healthy.
Cires told Daen about the bird's nest in the woods that he wanted to show to Kresi. Daen
waved them on, and they soon came upon Goran Grains; he was the same age as Cires, and one
of his closest friends.
Goran was also Hilstock's cutler, his sixteen-year-old brother, Stann, was the cobbler,
and their mother Clare, was the corn miller; she managed Hilstock's supply of corn, grains, wheat, and seed.
Goran greeted Cires and Kresi, and then said, "Mother wanted me to let you know that the two bushels of corn that Anri asked her for are ready."
"Thank you." Cires said. "I'll let her know when we get home."
"We're going to the woods." Kresi informed him. "Do you want to come with us?"
"No, I can't. Stann and I promised Mother that we would help her take some of her produce to town." Goran said. "Maybe another time though."
They bade farewell to Goran and continued on to the woods. Once they entered, Cires turned right, and walked about twelve feet; Kresi and Shepherd following close behind. When he stopped, Cires pointed up into the nearest maple tree.
Kresi stepped up beside him and gazed up. A handsome bird with brown plumage and yellow breast sat contently inside a cleverly-made nest. Kresi smiled and moved a bit closer.
"You're right; it's a meadowlark." She said. "Oh, she's beautiful."
A few seconds later, another bird, as equally appealing, flew over and landed on the branch beside the nest. The father bird gave a melodious chirp. The mother bird replied in like, and flew off of the nest, as the father bird moved into the nest and atop the eggs. The mother bird carefully surveyed this movement, before taking off through the woods.
"She probably left to eat." Kresi said. "They can't go together because someone has to
watch over the nest."
That was when Cires heard it.
The unmistakable sound of crunching leaves and breaking twigs, as footsteps approached
them. Shepherd uttered a low growl, and Cires turned toward the sound, but did not see anyone. The sound drew nearer, and still, there was not any visible source for it.
Cires instinctively backed away, pulling a growling Shepherd along by the collar as he
did so. "Kresi, I think we better leave."
"No." She protested. "I want to see the mother bird return first."
"Don't you hear that?"
"Someone's coming." Then Cires thought, Or already here. He had the disconcerting feeling that invisible eyes were watching him and Kresi.
Kresi looked around. "I don't see anyone."
"Neither do I, but I hear them."
"I don't hear anything either."
"Well, Shepherd and I do, so we're leaving."
His sister hesitated, looking defiant and annoyed, but she finally conceded. "Okay, fine. We'll leave, Cires. But I think you're imagining things."
Albeit confused as to why Kresi could not hear something that was clearly audible to him and Shepherd, Cires turned and led the way from the woods.
The next morning however, Kresi insisted that they go back and observe the meadow-
larks' nest again.
Despite an uneasy feeling, Cires agreed. After all, he had been going to the woods everyday for the past five years, and yesterday was the first time that he had encountered any strange phenomena.
Once more, Cires, Kresi, and Shepherd left for the woods. Yet this time, they were accompanied by a few others.
Goran came this time, and so did Samel. Another good friend of Cires and Goran, Samel
Forge was also the son and apprentice of Linos Forge, Hilstock's blacksmith. Kresi's friend, and fellow avian enthusiast, Halie Avers had joined them as well, as did Hilstock's weaver, Glenna Yarn; she was of an age with Leran, and her brother Milos was two years younger. The two were close friends of Leran too.
Kresi led the way this time, and stopped when they reached the nest. Halie came up beside Kresi, and the two of them observed the nest, while quietly discussing all that they knew about the bird world.
Glenna had an interest in botany, and had come along for this purpose. She went around studying the different flowers and plants that were growing nearby. Goran pulled a handsome knife from his pocket, undoubtedly one that he had fashioned himself, and cut off a sprig of elderberries from a nearby shrub. Meanwhile, Samel sat down against a tree and was relaxing with his eyes closed, as Shepherd playfully chased a pair of squirrels.
In fact, Cires seemed to be the only one who wasn't fully enjoying himself. His mind kept reverting to the occurrences of the previous day. Kresi noticed this, yet far from being
sympathetic to his predicament, she merely smirked at Cires and said, "Afraid that the ghost
Samel's eyes flew open. "Ghost? What ghost?"
"The ghost that my brother imagined yesterday."
"I didn't imagine it, Kresi." Cires told her. "Shepherd heard it too."
"Oh, well that settles everything." Kresi said. "We'll just ask Shepherd what he thinks it was."
"There's a ghost in these woods?" Samel asked nervously.
Goran gave Samel a sly smile. "Scared, eh?"
"I'm not scared!" Samel argued, though he didn't look nearly even half as relaxed as he had been a minute ago.
"The woods aren't haunted." Glenna said calmly, without even looking away from the gardenia bush that she was examining.
"How do you know?" Samel asked her, and Cires heard his voice tremble a bit.
Before Glenna could reply, Goran said, "I bet it is haunted out here. There are probably ghosts all around, listening to us right now. But we don't have to worry about them; they'll only come after those of us who are scared of them...Samel.
Goran ended in laughter, while Samel looked irritated and uneasy.
"It wasn't a ghost." Cires said, realizing too late that he did not have any other explanation.
Kresi turned to him. "What was it, then?"
"I...I don't know." Cires admitted. "I never saw anyone, I only heard them."
Kresi and Halie looked at each other, and then burst into peals of laughter.
"Of course." Halie said between giggles. "Because whoever it was that you thought you heard, had the power to become invisible, right?" She paused and added, "It was your imagination, Cires."
"It wasn't my imagination." Cires said wearily. "Besides—"
"Yes, we know." Kresi said. "Shepherd heard it too."
Cires glanced at the collie; he had chased the squirrels into an oak tree and was now lying at the base of it, as if he expected the squirrels to come back down to him. Or maybe it was to ensure that they stayed in the tree.
Either way, Shepherd was Cires's only witness, and there was no way for him to prove
that Cires had heard anything. And Cires's testimony alone only invited provocation from the others. He decided to stop talking about it in the hopes that the others would let the subject drop.
And they did.
They spent another hour in the woods, discussing anything except for ghosts and invisible people, which the others took to be figments of Cires's mind.
Kresi and Halie then left to return to Hilstock; Shepherd went with them. Glenna left not too long after they did. Cires, Goran, and Samel were about to follow her, but then Cires saw something up ahead that caught his attention.
"Hold on." He told the other two.
Goran smirked. "What is it? Another spirit?"
Cires ignored this snide remark and followed a path that he had never seen before. He had been to this area of the woods countless times however, and was wondering how on earth he could have missed it all these years.
"Cires. Where are you going?" Samel asked him.
Cires did not answer him, but kept following the path, which turned out to be longer than he had anticipated. So he was a bit disheartened, when it came to an end against a long row of
tall trees. Although it looked as if the path continued underneath them. But there was not anyway of following it; the trees went on forever in both directions, and they grew too close together for anyone to fit in between them.
Feeling disappointed, Cires turned to go back as he heard footsteps coming toward him. He figured that it was Goran and Samel; he hoped that it was Goran and Samel.
They came to a stop before Cires, and Goran glanced up at the blockading trees. "Where were you going?"
"I was following this path." Cires said, indicating it on the ground. "But it comes to an end here. It's strange though, I've never seen this path before."
Goran casted him an amused look, but surprisingly he said nothing.
I know. Cires thought in response to Goran's unspoken comment. First, I tell all of you about invisible footsteps that only I could hear, and now I seem to be implying that a path suddenly appeared here overnight. The maddening thing is that it's all true.
Then along with Goran and Samel, Cires headed back to Hilstock.
When he returned home, Cires was sent with Leran to visit various other villagers to pick up certain items that they had asked for.
Leran headed in the direction of Glenna and Milos's house. Their father Ric Yarn was a clothier, so was Milos. And with Glenna as Hilstock's weaver, their family provided a large supply of the village's clothes.
Cires saw Willem Wickes, Hilstock's tailor, headed for the same destination as Leran, with a pile of fresh-cut fabric in his arms. Willem often collaborated with Ric's family. After all, he cut and delivered the cloth that the Yarn family required for their services.
Cires turned and headed in the other direction for Linos and Samel's place. He found them in the smithy behind their house. Due to their intent concentration, and the ringing sound of their hammers striking and shaping iron, they had not even noticed Cires's presence.
Cires walked up to stand right beside Linos, who was in the process of forging some kind of tool. It was the only way that Linos would ever hear Cires. Not only because of the surrounding noise, but also because thirty-five years of this surrounding noise had greatly impaired his hearing.
"Linos!" Cires had to practically shout even though he stood right beside the man.
The blacksmith gave a startled jump and turned around. When he spotted Cires, he smiled and said, "Cires. Here to pick up the nails and horseshoes that Ranor asked me for?"
Linos spoke loudly as well. Partly because of his progressive deafness, and also because Samel was still hammering away, completely unaware of Cires's presence.
Cires nodded in response.
He led Cires over to a corner of the smithy where a small table held a dozen nails and four horseshoes.
"That's everything, right?" Linos asked him.
"Yes. That's everything."
Cires had replied loudly, but apparently not loudly enough.
"That's everything, right?" Linos asked again.
Cires raised his voice an octave higher. "Yes. That's everything."
Linos nodded and placed the nails in a small woolen pouch. Cires took this and the quartet of horseshoes.
"Thank you." He said in an elevated voice.
"Anytime." Linos replied.
Cires arrived at home and found Ranor out back, mending a broken section of the cattle enclosure. Anri and Kresi were out here as well. Anri was tending to the chickens, while Kresi groomed the horses.
Cires approached his father. "I have the nails and horseshoes from Linos."
Ranor looked up. "Thank you, son. Just put them in the stables for now."
Cires made his way over to the stables, where Kresi was brushing the mane of her favorite horse, Jonquil. He laid down the pouch and horseshoes, just as Leran returned.
"The wood and the barrels that Umar and Anie have for us are ready." Leran informed him. "But you'll have to come with me; it will take both of us to load everything."
He and Cires hitched up one of the horses to a wagon, and led him to Umar and Anie's house.
Umar Pines was Hilstock's woodcutter, and his wife Anie was the village cooper. Hilstock's residents got their supply of wood and wooden vessels from Umar and Anie. Their eldest son, Kyle, greeted Cires and Leran when they arrived; the family's coonhound at his side.
Kyle led them out back, past the stables, and to a small shed where Umar's supply of wood was stored. Beside the shed stood a row of barrels. Umar and Anie were out here as well, and upon seeing Cires and Leran, Umar, a man of few to no words, began to take some of the
wood from the shed. He stacked the wood beside the barrels, and Leran began loading the logs onto the wagon.
Cires asked Anie which barrels were Anri's. She indicated the three front most ones, and
Cires loaded these onto the wagon as well. He helped Leran with the rest of the wood after this, and then turned to Anie and said, "Mother was wondering if you could make her a couple of baskets."
"Of course." Anie said with a smile. "When does she need them?"
"She said that there's no need to hurry. Whenever you have the time for it."
"I could have them ready in three days." Anie said.
Cires and Leran thanked her and Umar, and then headed home. They unloaded the wood by the hearth, and at Anri's request, they set the barrels in the nearby corner.
The rest of the afternoon was spent doing work and chores at home. When night began to set in and suppertime rolled around, Shepherd guided the sheep into their enclosure and Leran
closed the pin, while Cires and Kresi herded the chickens into the henhouses.
When they got inside, Anri sent Kresi over to Daen's house to invite him to sup with them. Before Charlotte's death, Cires's family would often have her and Daen over for supper. Once she passed, they tried to have Daen over more frequently, now that he was alone.
"He knows he's always welcome." Anri said. "But Daen won't come over unless we ask him."
Kresi was gone for a few minutes, and then returned with Daen behind her.
"Thank you for having me over, Anri." Daen said graciously as he took a seat at the table.
"You're welcome here anytime." She told him.
Ranor stoked a fire in the hearth, putting the new supply of wood to good use, while Anri set out the food.
The six of them began eating, and ten minutes into the meal, Kresi turned to Daen and asked him, "Do you believe in ghosts?" She finished with a significant, if not slightly mocking, glance at Cires.
Leran appeared puzzled by this random inquiry, while Anri looked reproachful. Apparently, she did not consider such supernatural lore to be appropriate dinner table conversation. Cires knew that if Kresi had asked such a question at the table when there was not any company over, their mother would have already intervened. She said nothing however, as Daen searched for an answer.
"Well...I've never seen any for myself." Daen replied. "But I believe that there are spirits about."
"Do you think they're invisible?"
"I believe that they can be invisible if they wish to be."
"If there were any ghosts around here, would they live in the woods?"
"I reckon that some might."
Kresi looked ready for another inquiry, but Anri seemed unable to take anymore.
"Kresi." She said quietly. "Perhaps we could discuss something else?"
Kresi nodded and fell silent, but not before she threw another smirk in Cires's direction.
Leran saw this and leaned toward Cires. "What was that all about?"
"I'll tell you later." Cires murmured in reply.
The remainder of the evening passed amicably and without further mention of ghosts. Daen stayed for awhile afterward, helping Cires's family clear the table, before departing for home.
After this, Cires explained his experience in the woods the previous day to Leran. Unfortunately, Kresi joined them for this discussion, and she jumped in, but only when she could get in a jibe at Cires's expense.
Leran however, was more understanding of Cires's predicament. He believed Cires anyway; which was more than could be said for Kresi. And when they all went to bed that night, Kresi made sure that she had the last word.
"Be careful, Cires." She said in a hushed voice. "The invisible ghost from the woods may have followed you home."
And with a final laugh, Kresi went inside her room, closing the door behind her.
The following morning, Cires was sent by Anri to visit Willem and his family. Being Hilstock's tailor, Willem often had spare cloth and fabric that he did not need. If he had any-
thing of the sort, Anri said that she would like to have it.
"As a matter of fact, I have yards of fabric that I have no use for." Willem said, when Cires explained his mother's request. "I'm not sure Anri could use it all."
Cires smiled. "She'll find a use for it."
Willem's wife, Lylia Wickes, came in as her husband left to fetch the spare cloth. Lylia was the village chandler and in her hands was a box of four of her hand-made candles. She greeted Cires and then held the box out toward him.
"If you think that your family could use the candles, then take them with you as well." Lylia told him.
Cires accepted the candles with a word of thanks, and on his way out, he spotted Willem
and Lylia's eight-year-old daughter, Miri, playing with her best friend Tari Cider
When Cires returned home, he arrived just when Vila did. Fifteen-year-old Vila was the daughter of Rubie, Hilstock's baker. And indeed, she held in her hands a basket of fresh-made bread.
"Good morning, Cires." Vila greeted him.
"Morning." Cires replied. He was still full from breakfast, but the scent of freshly made bread made him feel a bit hungry nonetheless. They walked inside and Vila Cookes handed the
basket to Anri.
"There's five cakes in there too." Vila said. "One for each of you."
"Thank you, Vila." Anri responded. "And thank your mother as well."
Vila left and Cires laid the box of Lylia's candles on the table and handed the sack of cloth to his mother.
Kresi approached Cires and said eagerly, "Let's go to the woods. I want to see the
meadowlarks again." Cires thought for a moment that Kresi's teasing him about ghosts was finally over, until she added, "Unless you're too scared."
"I'll make a deal with you." Cires told her. "I'll come with you, if you promise not to make fun of me or mention the ghost again."
Kresi seemed a bit hesitant, but her desire to observe the meadowlarks outweighed her delight in mocking Cires. She agreed and the two of them set off.
Halie and her father, Kevan Avers, spotted them, and made their way over.
"Are you going to the nest?" Halie asked.
"Yes. Want to come with us?" Kresi replied.
Halie looked over at her father. "May I go with them?"
"Yes. But be back by noon." Kevan replied.
They spent an hour-and-a-half in the woods, observing the meadowlarks. Nothing eventful happened on this expedition either, and Cires was beginning to wonder if he really hadn't imagined those footsteps the other day.
They returned to Hilstock, and when Cires and Kresi got home, Edger Cleaves was over visiting with Ranor, Anri, and Leran. His sixteen-year-old niece, Nadi Butler, was with him.
Edger's sister, Eva Cleaves, had married Hilstock's brewer, Iven Butler. Eva passed away five years ago from an illness; two years later, Iven followed her. Edger then took in his niece, Nadi, and raised her as if she were his own daughter.
Apparently they needed to borrow one of Cires's family's horses to draw a cart into town with them.
"Take Buck." Ranor suggested. "He's strong, healthy, and reliable."
"Thank you." Edger said gratefully. "I appreciate it."
"Leran, bring Buck around to the front for Edger and Nadi." Ranor said.
Leran stood and headed for the stables as Edger and Nadi prepared to leave.
"We'll take good care of Buck." Edger said. "And we'll back before evenfall."
As Edger and Nadi were leaving with Buck, Milos arrived. When Leran had gone over to pick up his family's clothes, Ric had told him that some of it was not finished yet and that they
would bring over the rest today. And in his arms, Milos held a small stack of clothes.
"Here's the other half of the garments you asked for." He said, handing the clothes over to Anri.
"Thank you, Milos." Anri said, taking the clothes from him.
Milos smiled in reply, but stopped by Cires, Leran, and Kresi on his way to the door.
"If you get the chance," he whispered to the three of them, "you may want to look through those clothes ahead of time. I guarantee that you'll each find something Anri ordered for you that you're going to want to stash away and use only in an emergency. You know, in case the world should run out of fabric or something."
Leran, Cires, and Kresi smiled at him. Milos winked at them knowingly and then took his leave.
Cires found himself alone in the woods the next morning, as Anri had asked Kresi to go into town with her, Goran and his family were not at home, and Samel seemed hesitant and wary about visiting the woods before declining Cires's invitation to join him.
There was a light springtime breeze wafting through the air as Cires made his way into the woods. He eventually reached the meadowlark's nest. Both parents were attendant and Cires silently surveyed them for a moment before continuing on.
However, Cires could not have taken more than a few steps before a rustling in the leaves overhead distracted him.
Cires glanced up, figuring that it was nothing more than a squirrel or another bird. Only when he lifted his gaze up to the trees, Cires caught sight of something purple flitting by before
Knowing that this was not a squirrel, bird, or other usual woodland creature, Cires followed it; his curiosity growing with each step. Occasionally Cires would lose sight of it through the abundance of leaves, but whenever he would stop and look for it, a purple glint would fly past and he would pick up its trail again; it was as if this creature, whatever it may be, wanted Cires to follow it.
It led Cires down the closed path in the woods and then flew up into the treetops and Cires lost it again. He looked up into the trees, squinting against the sun, looking for the purple object that had led him here.
As Cires was searching a soft, female voice spoke. "Are you Cires?"
Cires spun around; no one was there.
As if footsteps weren't bad enough, Cires thought to himself, now I'm hearing voices, too.
"Who are you?" Cires asked, glancing around. "Show yourself."
"Answer my question first. Are you Cires?"
The voice seemed to be coming from overhead. Cires glanced up, fighting against the part of him that wanted to run and never look back. "Who wants to know?"
A short pause and then, "Very well. My name is Tyn."
"What do you want with Cires?" He asked, unwilling to admit that he was Cires until he
had some idea of what was going on.
"We need him."
"I cannot tell you until you have confirmed your identity."
"I'm not saying anything until I know more about you and what you want." Cires told her, already feeling slightly insane, speaking to a voice that he could not see.
Another short pause and then Tyn said, "I shouldn't do this yet…but would it help if I revealed myself?"
"Yes." Cires replied. "Yes it would."
"Fine. But I warn you, I'm not anything that you would expect to see." Tyn said. "Now look over at that branch to your right."
Cires did so and without warning, there was the familiar flash of purple as something
landed on the branch. Cires gasped and took a few steps back.
Before him stood a small creature, whose face and body resembled a human's, but with a pair of glittering violet wings sprouting from her back. She had eyes and long hair of the same hue.
"You—you're a fairy!" Cires stuttered in disbelief.
"Yes. But where I come from, fairies and pixies are called Faers." Tyn explained. "So, are you Cires?"
Cires still could not believe his eyes, yet he did not see how revealing himself to a fairy, could cause any harm; he half-figured that he may be dreaming.
Either that, or I really have gone mad. He thought. He hesitated and then aloud he said, "Yes. I—I'm Cires."
"At least we finally settled that." Tyn said happily. "Now let me explain why I have sought you out. I am from a land called Glowänos. Our Scir has recently passed and you were
named to be the next one."
"Excuse me," Cires cut in, "but what is a Scir?"
"That is the title for the supreme leader of Glowänos." Tyn replied patiently.
"But…why am I the new Scir?" Cires questioned. "I've never even heard of Glowänos."
"That would be an inquiry for Baard."
"Wh—What's a Baard?"
"Not what—who." Tyn corrected him. "Baard is a Dweorh and the Scir's advisor."
"A Dweorh?" Cires asked. "What's that?"
Despite his questions, Tyn remained patient with Cires. "I really shouldn't tell you
anymore, unless you consent to come to Glowänos and see for yourself. You are not required to take on your leadership role; you do have a choice.
"However before you decline or accept, the Glowäns would like for you to see the land. Glowänos is made up of six sub-lands. Each one is dedicated to an element and has its own leader. Will you come along?"
"If I come with you, how long will I have to stay?" Cires said, the words coming from his mouth before he had time to think. His brain was still in a state of shock and trying in vain to find logic in the current situation. "My family and friends are all in the village."
"You could leave before nightfall." Tyn told him. "But we may ask you to return tomorrow. Glowänos is large and to get to know each part of it will take more than one day."
Cires deliberated with himself. His curiosity and bewilderment could not be ignored, his mind had given up on finding anything sensible in this predicament, and Tyn said that he would
return before nightfall.
"Alright." Cires said hastily before he changed his mind. "I'll come with you."
Tyn smiled. "Wonderful! Right this way."
She flew to the path's edge where the trees blocked the rest of it.
"We can't go that way." Cires told her.
"On the contrary, Cires," Tyn replied, "this is the only entrance to Glowänos."
She approached the pair of trees that grew right over the center of the path, her glittery wings shimmering in the sun's rays as she hovered in place. Tyn placed one hand on each tree and muttered something inaudible. Then to his astonishment, Cires saw the two trees pull away from each other and form an opening.
Tyn looked back at Cires. "Follow me."
Bemused, he did as he was told and filed through behind the fairy. Cires stopped at one point to glance behind him. He saw that just as he and Tyn would clear a section of the path, the trees closed in again and blocked it once more.
It was ten minutes later, when Tyn stopped. She smiled and said, "Right through here. And welcome to Glowänos."
She turned around and flew on, in between the last two trees; Cires stepped through after her and could hardly believe his eyes.
What he saw before him, was a vast, bright, and beautiful landscape.