The rest of the evening was fairly uneventful and so Llyle took Arthur back home on the Hover Scooter after saying their goodbyes to Lizzie, with Arthur promising she would see Llyle again soon. The night went by with Arthur telling Llyle about the time he came from, with the courting and the balls and how he feels that life then was both simpler but harder than the one Llyle is living in, what with the simple technology of back then but with the lack of medical technology.
The next day, Llyle and Arthur breakfasted on some unrecognisable fruit which apparently Andorin had brought in while the two had been talking. After breakfast, which Llyle found surprisingly satisfying for just fruit, Arthur asked him what he’d like to do that day.
“I was hoping I could practice a bit today, since yesterday I didn’t do so well,” Llyle said after a few moments of thought.
“Perfectly acceptable, Llyle,” The old faerie said with a smile. He got up and walked to the side of the top room of the Den, opened a chest and took a small basket of Stars out of it. He returned with it and handed a Star to Llyle.
“What would you like me to make, first of all?” Llyle asks, a bit uncertain.
“Well, since you will need a weapon or two for the journey, I believe that would be a good place to start. First turn it into a stick, not too long, and as heavy as you wish.”
Llyle concentrated on the star. It began elongating and narrowing, and became as long and Llyle was tall. “What next? What am I making?” he asked, now curious.
“Give it a crossguard, two bars that jut out about a hand or two from the bottom. You’re making a sword, Llyle. After that, please flatten the rest of that staff into a blade and widen it as much as you desire.”
Llyle shrugged and went on with his practice, flattening out what was to be the blade after adding a crossguard. He made it neither too wide, nor too narrow. He’d seen pictures of knights’ broadswords and long skinny rapiers but fancied making something in between. When he was done, he looked it over and felt rather proud of it.
“How’s this, Arthur?” he asked as he showed his attempt to his Mentor. The Guide took the sword from the boy and looked it over. After a cursory examination, he frowned.
“Well, Llyle, it’s quite rough, and it has no edge. That’s okay, though. Your future creations will be much, much better,” he told his pupil without trying to sound like he was berating the boy’s attempt. It was true, however, that his future attempts would be better. “Let us try something that I believe to be possibly simpler. A mace, perhaps?”
“A mace? You mean a stick with a spiky ball on the end that knights used to sometimes use on horseback?”
“Exactly that, young Llyle,” Arthur replied with a smile. “Shall I again describe what you should do?”
“I think this time I shall do it myself,” Llyle said, sounding a bit stubborn and like he wanted to see what he could do on his own. He reshaped the crude sword back into a Star without any trouble as it was merely a case of cancelling his wish. He then concentrated on it again, forming a shorter stick than before. Next, he made the upper end balloon into a ball, and then added spikes one by one.
When Llyle was once again finished, he handed it over to his Mentor. Arthur looked it over and gave a nod of approval. “Much better Llyle. Much faster too, I see.” Llyle beamed at the praise. “It is, however, still rough and unrefined but you will smooth that out with a few more goes.”
“Arthur, would you mind if I try something else? I’d really like something to play with.”
“Go ahead. I’m interested to see what you make,” Arthur told Llyle with a smile.
Llyle smiled back and got another Star from the basket and held it out on his palm. He concentrated, flattening the star into an elongated triangle, and then made another flat triangle near the larger one’s wide end. He grabbed the vertical triangle and flipped the whole thing over, took it with his other hand and gave it a little tail. Llyle then threw his little glowing plane towards the other side of the room, but it dipped to one side and banked left after a short distance. Arthur watched it, amazed at how quickly he had formed it.
The little plane started dipping towards the floor. “No! Go further!” he called to it, wishing hard that it would. Its nose lifted up and it flew on, gliding until it landed on the floor to Llyle’s left.
“Llyle, how did you do that?” his amazed and bug-eyed Mentor asked in a stammer.
“I just wanted it to keep flying, Arthur,” an equally amazed Llyle. “I didn’t even think it would work!” He went over to the little glowing plane and picked it up. Llyle walked back over to Arthur and asked if he might know how that worked.
“You must remember, my boy, that a wish is limited by one’s own will and desire, their determination, as well as how open their minds are,” he told the boy sagely.
Llyle looked down at the little plane and hummed thoughtfully. He then looked up and threw it, following it with his eyes. After a few seconds it did a loop in mid air, and then performed multiple barrel rolls before turning in a wide arc back towards Llyle and finally landing gracefully on his outstretched hand.
“That’s pretty cool!” He exclaimed with great excitement. Arthur could only smile and shake his head in further amazement. He never thought one could control a Star neither without touching it, nor with such precision. He had been right when he thought Llyle had amazing potential.
The boy turned towards his Mentor and offered the plane to him. “It won’t work, Llyle. I told you that faeries cannot use the Stars,” the Guide told him, but Llyle was insistent. “What did you just tell me about Stars?” Llyle prompted.
Arthur repeated himself and merely received a pair of raised eyebrows and a proffered plane in returned. He sighed and took it from Llyle, then looked down at it doubtfully. “Arthur, can you do it?” the Mentor found he was being asked.
“I think I can,” he replied, rather doubtful.
“Wrong answer,” Llyle said flatly.
Arthur couldn’t help but smile and said, “Of course I can.” After the amazing things Llyle had just showed him, he was sure he could fly the plane. He looked up and threw it across the room. It glided gracefully for a few metres, Arthur’s eyes following it. He then willed it to do a loop, which it did. He did not, however, allow his amazement to break his concentration. Next, he willed it to do a barrel roll and then glide to the floor, which it did.
“H-how…” he muttered, allowing his amazement to catch up with him. It really should not have been possible, as far as he knew. He’d read every book in the library, after all, and knew everything that was in them about the Stars. That information would certainly help future Guides that would come to Avalon.
“You were just using my Wish, Arthur. I hadn’t limited its use to just me. You didn’t reform the Star at all.”
“But still, how?”
“Don’t you remember those swords, shields and suits of armour that are sitting downstairs? You could pick up your sword even though you’re a faerie.”
“I assumed that was merely because it was mine, or that I’m a Guide…” Arthur mumbled, but it began to dawn on him that Llyle was right. It was certainly something to test in the near future with Andorin.
“I doubt it. Either way, I didn’t restrict its use to anyone, so I was sure you would be able to use it, if you thought you could. And you did!”
Llyle quickly retrieved the plane for his Mentor. Arthur was by then smiling and threw the plane again, making it soar around the circular room and perform dips and rolls. He soon started laughing from his stomach, with laugh lines showing prominently at his eyes. Arthur also looked noticeably younger than he had when Llyle had met him the previous day, though the boy hadn’t noticed while he beamed at the old faerie’s joy, just happy his could make his Mentor so happy for that moment.