They walked on together, following the road as it twisted and turned between the trees. It seemed as though they were going to be walking forever by the time they finally smelled something different than the moss and the flowers in the trees. It was a mixture of incense and cooking food, roasted vegetables, something starchy, and, Bayani was starting to hope, some fish.
“Wow,” Cerys said as she took a deep breath, “now I’m really hungry!”
“We are just in time then,” James said, smiling at her. She smiled back at him and then looked away, suddenly finding yourself hoping that she had not smiled too much.
An arching trellis of white-painted wicker curled around the last of the path before it opened on to a wide and expansive clearing. James stopped the group just outside the village, and turned to his king. “We have arrived, sire.”
“Excellent,” the king replied as he came up to the front of the group. He stood in the archway and gazed into the village. Then he called out to the elves inside, “Greetings to you all, dear elvan-kind!”
Several of them looked over at him in surprise, and Cerys could see smiles crossing each of their faces.
“It’s the king!” they called out to each other. Some of them ran further into the village, calling out at the party had arrived. Within just a couple of minutes, several older-looking elves came out of their homes and walked over to the archway.
“Welcome, most noble King of Summerlay,” a female elf greeted him.
Then the man beside her said, “Dear King, please enter into our village. There is no need for you and you are kind to wait out in the path.”
The King thanked the elf graciously and led the party into the village. Cerys was fascinated by how well-respected the king was by the elves. It was a good thing, really, because she was not interested in being in a hostile situation just then.