Wizard! Chapter 512
William wondered why the diviners would have bothered to come with him to warn him. What could be so important to them that they would bother requesting him to… act like normal? Then again, that was the thing. They cared about it enough that they couldn’t accurately predict what would happen.
William wondered if libraries were going to start falling out of the sky. That wouldn’t make much sense, but he didn’t see the diviners as interested in anything else. Then again, besides being slightly disconcerting, he had no reason to respond to something like that with violence.
That meant it involved something living. Perhaps a new type of magical beast would appear… something that appeared to be dangerous but wouldn’t be? William couldn’t be sure. He felt like he would have preferred not to have received any warning at all. It made the days seem to take much longer.
William waited for a runner to come with a message for him from his phone system. He needed to do something about that- it was becoming far too large for a few people to manage, with so many point-to-point phones. They couldn’t be packed together too densely or they would overhear information from the others. It wouldn’t necessarily be a problem- but it could cause confusion. On the other hand, having a few more people waiting around the clock for communication was not a bad payoff for instant communication. A real phone system for non-emergencies would be nice to have though.
Finally, a messenger did come to William- but he was a castle guard, not wearing the uniform of those from the communications center. “My king!” The guard stopped at the entrance to William’s office and saluted. “There is an approaching group of… elves and dwarves. Perhaps a dozen of each.”
“What?” William raised an eyebrow, “Why haven’t I heard of this before now?” He waved his hand toward the guard, dismissing his response that could only be ‘I don’t know’. “Well, I suppose I had better go see. Stay here to pass on the message that I have gone up the east tower to take a look, if anyone comes for me.” While William could keep tabs on everyone in and around his castle, they also needed to be able to find him. Just because he could tell where they were didn’t mean he could hear what they were saying.
William climbed up the winding stairs of one of the castle towers. There, he looked out in front of the castle, quickly seeing the tiny dots that must have been the approaching dwarves and elves. Their ships hadn’t been seen arriving on shore… and they definitely should have.
William gestured to one of the soldiers, “You there… go request the elven and dwarven ambassadors to come meet with me here. I haven’t heard anything about this group from them.”
Then William took the spyglass held by one of the other tower guards. His eyes might be good, but a spyglass was always better than his eyes alone. He looked at the group approaching. Elves and dwarves, indeed. Pointy ears on skinny frames, and stocky bearded figure riding next to them on… dire badgers? William wouldn’t have chosen badgers for mounts even when they were large enough to ride. Horses and their kin were much nicer. It wasn’t like dwarves were too heavy for them.
The elves were also riding the badgers. That was one of the strange things. William found his gaze wandering up and down slightly as he passed from elf to dwarf to elf to dwarf. There was something odd about them. Magic? William concentrated. Mana would be hard to see at that distance but… it didn’t seem to be significantly present.
After a moment, the oddity became apparent to William. He just hadn’t thought about it. The group was riding under an unknown flag. That didn’t mean much- anyone could make an emblem whenever they wished. The key thing was the clothing they wore. It was not dwarvish, nor elven. It most closely resembled gevai clothing, but it certainly wasn’t exactly the same. Maybe that was just the different builds of the elves and dwarves, however.
A group of elven ambassadors came scurrying up the steps. “You requested our presence, Your Majesty?”
William handed the spyglass to one of the women and pointed toward the group, “What do you make of that?”
The woman looked through the spyglass, her face turning into a frown. “Dwarves and… elves? I do not recognize them.” She shook her head, “No one told us a group was coming. There’s something strange. That… those elves are wearing metal jewelry.”
That was it. William had already noticed their clothing- it was quite easy to tell the difference between the living plants that the elven ambassadors had wrapped around them and normal clothing… but the elves also didn’t wear metal jewelry. They instead wore various flowers and plants that were similarly alive. William took one more look in the spyglass. “Can elves grow beards?” William was already aware that they couldn’t- it wasn’t just fashion. However, one of the elves up ahead had a beard… or at least something that looked like one from a long distance.
The elven ambassador shook her head, “No, pure elves do not grow beards. I hear that half-humans could though.”
William nodded, but scratched his chin. Actually, it could just be a skinny human there. He had mostly been surmising the pointed ears at that distance. Some of them were hidden under hair- they didn’t stick out that far most of the time.
When the dwarves came, William had them look as well. Their response was interesting. “That dwarf’s beard is greenish.” William hadn’t noticed that detail either. It wasn’t green, either, just greenish. Combined with a dark brown, it was rather hard to tell. “We aren’t expecting any dwarves to come either. They don’t appear to be significantly armed, though.”
William nodded at that. The group down below had weapons on hand, but they weren’t wearing armor. Since he hadn’t seen them before, they couldn’t have been going on the highways… and thus having weapons to fight off magical beasts would have been wise. William actually spotted a wagon in the back that had armor- once he was looking for it.
“Well… what do you say we go down to the gate and greet these strange guests?” William started walking as soon as he said so. The castle was already on alert, and with such numbers he could defeat them himself- not counting the guards who were always on duty and were likely also sufficient for the task.