We had come a long way, and we were on the verge of our destination. Finally, with the blizzard at a halt, we could resume our way and even restock food in the closest town.
Several couples of halflings and half-blood people roamed the streets, and we weren't looked at funnily like when we were in other cities or when that dwarf gave us permission to cross that forest. The local store was run by a red goblin to whom we spoke for a few minutes before continuing our way. Lieutenant, still within my chest, meowed to tell me it was time for lunch.
We stopped by the closest (and only) tavern and asked for some spare bones for her while the bartender looked at us funnily.
-Looking for the fat nerd in the white root, huh?-he said-You're the second self-conscious undead this year.
-Well, yes-he stepped back-. But the others didn't talk. You're the first to. That crazy nerd has been doing creepy stuff lately. Noone trusts him, nor the little child that lives with him.
-Most likely, the guy has to die sooner or later. Hopefully he will.
He didn't look interested in keeping the conversation for long, so we paid and leave after asking for the whereabouts of the Qûlquer.
Three thousand steps north, three thousand steps east and we were there.
A colossal pillar of white wood, growing as far as the sight goes up in the sky, erected eternal from the trunk of the Tree of Forever. It felt as if it was hotter the closest you were to the root. There was no snow on the already ivory-white stairs that led to the door, either. Its rusted bronze surface moved as it was open by a child. A child? No, it was Xenta!
-Yes, I am his apprentice. He's been waiting for you, so come in.
Lieutenant shivered within my ribcage as we entered the warm habitat, with cozy hardwood floors and dusty piles of books creating a fuzzy athmosphere. In an elevation of the room, as if we were looking at a model of a palace's ground floor's stairs, a floating chair lied, trembling sometimes. Inside, a man nervously wrote carelessly while chanting in a shady tone with a monotonous voice.
-This is my master, your creator. We casually met back then, but I thought you could still evolve more. You indeed have.
Her childish face turned into a smile of pride, the pride found on an adult who's seen their child take their firs steps. I'd say she was slightly taller, but her eyes were as stunning as the day we first met. I noticed an ability tattoo in her right hand, a feat at such a young age, for which I praised her. She blushed:
-Damn. Ancient people were rather litterate, huh? Let's not waste much time with smalltalk.
Xenta then kneeled:
-My good master, thy creation hast returned to thee.
The man stopped suddenly. Every bone in my body froze as if they were pard of a dead body again. I could tell that Reliquitur was tense too.
After a short pause that took an eternity, the man grabbed an insstrument and played a few chords.
-Mind if we spoke in private?-a decrepit and aged, but somehow fearsome voice asked-your friend shouldn't listen to this.
A door opened under Reliquitur, and he fell with a "master!". I was shocked.
-No worries, dude. Listen closely, my favourite part:
We heard a noise outside followed by a blof in the snow. It was Reliquitus, who'd fallen outside. Then, we stopped hearing him.
That fixed, Xenta lit the candles all over with magic and the man in trhe chair started turning around. A being of infinite wisdom who was called my creator. The equivalent of meeting a God.
That old sea lullaby about wellermen started ringing in my head out of the blue.