“Then do you know the baron, too?” Bayani asked.
“I know of him,” the shaman explained, “although I am not one to meet with outsiders. I lave that my people to do on my behalf.”
“So what do you need from us?” Peter asked, getting straight to the point.
“I need nothing from you.” The shaman looked straight at peter. “It is the other way around, really. It is the other way around.”
“You mean we need something from you?” Peter asked.
“Yes,” the shaman said. “Yes, you do. Although I cannot give it to you. You have a certain resistance about you, a wariness, and I am not sure that it would work if you are unwilling. I am sorry peter, but it is the one whom you love who must accept it.”
Bayani looked to the shaman. “What is it that you have for me?”
“Consider it magic,” Mathoyl replied.
“What sort of magic?” Peter cut in before Bayani could say anything.
“Elvan,” the shaman replied with a chuckle.
Peter’s face twisted into a mixture of frustration and disbelief. He looked over at his boyfriend. “What is wrong with this guy?”
“Just because he is the shaman doesn’t mean he has to be without a sense of humor,” Bayani told him. He looked to Mathoyl with a friendly smile. “What does this Elvan magic do, then?”
“You have just the right nature to receive it,” the shaman noted with a tone of satisfaction.
“I cannot tell you what it does, I fear. It is something that has been passed down from one chief to the next for… well, for as long as any one of them could remember. I was told that should anyone come to the forest from a distant land, intent of helping to protect Summerlay, I was to grant him or her this power.”
“And you think Bayani is the one they were talking about?” Peter asked, his tone wary despite how much he wanted to believe.
“I can only hope that I am right,” he replied. “What thing you, young lad? I can see that you are traveling as a bard, but surely any extra power would do you some good.”
Bayani met the shaman’s eyes, and they held each other’s gaze for several minutes before he asked. “Is it really safe? What if I am not the one this magic was meant for?”