Chapter 4 : Developing
It was a quiet day in the kingdom of Nattur as the sun was showering the land with its light; the wind swept gently; and the air was fresh—pure of pollutants. But all was not calm in Nattur. In a home located in the forests near the capital city of Riogh, was an elven woman—named Aine—who was about to give birth to her son. She was with her family and loved ones as they assisted her in the delivery. Although it was an arduous process, she tried to keep calm during all of it. After what felt like years, her son was finally born. He was swaddled in a blanket and she held him while looking lovely into his green eyes and said to him, “Welcome to the world—Dryw.”
Six years have passed since the birth of Dryw. He lived happily in his family’s idyllic home in the forest, away from the bustle of the city. Here, Dryw would go about his day with no worries—playing outside; breathing the fresh air as he napped under a tree. Often his mother would join him outside. Aine was a gentle and kind soul who clearly cared deeply about her son. Under the shimmering rays of sunlight, she'd play songs on her lyre for him. Her countenance was radiant as the sunlight reflected off her warm-pale skin and shining golden hair. She always dreamt of becoming a musician, but her parents never really supported it as they wanted her to be an academic. So in an effort of compromise, she studied the next thing she was connected to—nature. She majored in biophilic philosophies in order to better understand the connection between people and nature. While learning, she discovered various different philosophies that stuck with her—even now.
As a parent, she would instill these philosophies onto her son. They would walk around in the forests in an attempt to connect with nature. This experience made Dryw really appreciate the beauty of nature. Sometimes, they would go foraging for plants to bring back for various uses—like for food or to decorate their home. They weren’t isolated from civilization as they had a clear route to Riogh from their house. They just preferred to be self-sufficient with their resources. Of course when Dryw eventually enrolled in primary school, they would go to the city more often. Dryw’s father—Fionn—would usually be the one to walk him to school.
At school, he usually kept to himself. He had a close group of friends, but none of them were particularly close with him. Dryw saw school as more of a place to study than to socialize. But soon he found another kid who was quite like him. This kid was one of the high-ranking students at school and also kept to himself. His name was Morty. He was a pale kid with dark-purple hair and eyes. The teachers thought it would be good for these two to know each other a little—considering their similar dispositions. They were a bit hesitant at first, but soon it would be revealed that these two might actually get along.
Dryw awkwardly greeted him, “Hi I’m Dryw. Uh…what’s your name?”
Morty also awkwardly replied, “Uh…hey my name’s Morty. Nice to meet you.” He then asked, “So, why do you keep to yourselves a lot?”
“Um…it’s mostly because I can’t really connect with everyone else. Their lives—I just can’t really relate to them.”
“Oh, guess I sort of feel the same way. But, it’s mostly because I feel like the odd one out in our class.”
“Huh? What do you mean?”
“Well first off, I’m the only fairy in my class.”
“Really? I couldn’t tell.”
“It’s because my wings haven’t grown yet. You usually get them when you’re older.” He then continued, “Anyway besides that, unlike everyone else, my father never has the time to pick me up because he's too busy with his work.”
“What does your father do that makes him so busy?”
“I don’t really know. I usually just see him with a lot of papers.” He then continued again, “Then, there’s also me being the top ranking student in our class. I sometimes worry that they secretly hate me for having a higher rank than them.”
“Well don’t be worried, if they do hate you, then there’s really nothing they could do to you.” He affirmed, “I’m sure that most of the kids in our class don’t hate you.”
“Thanks Dryw,” He smiled a bit, “You know. We got along a lot better than I thought.”
Four years had passed since their meeting. Dryw and Morty had gotten closer and closer as he would regularly visit Dryw’s home to hang out. But strangely enough, Dryw hasn’t ever been to Morty’s home. Every time he suggested it, Morty would decline. He said that his father doesn’t like guests. This didn’t stop Dryw from trying though. One day, he decided to sneakily follow Morty home to see where he lived. He followed him all the way to the outskirts of the city and there it was—Morty’s home. It was a quaint abode with a fence surrounding it. The exterior was a bit dark and all of the windows were covered with curtains. Dryw waited until Morty went inside to knock on the door. He heard a voice say, “Coming.” The door opened and he saw an elven man, around the same age as his parents—with lavender skin, puce eyes, and messy white shoulder–length hair. “Oh…Who are you?” the man asked.
Assuming this was Morty’s father—Dryw replied, “Hello mr. My name’s Dryw and I’m here to see Morty.”
“Oh ok.” Morty’s father let him in, “Come on in.” He then called for Morty, “Morty! Your friend Dryw is here.”
Morty was in his room—surprised at his arrival, “What?! Wait, hold on. I’m changing my clothes.”
“You can wait over there,” Morty’s father directed him to the sofa.
Morty’s father interjected, “It’s Victor—Mr. Victor.”
Dryw sat on the sofa while observing the interior. It was a lot brighter than the exterior and decorated pretty nicely. In front of where Dryw was sitting—was the kitchen. There was a hallway right next to it, which he assumed led to Morty’s room. Soon enough, Morty walked out of that hallway and greeted him, “Hey. What are you doing here?”
“I just wanted to come hang out.”
Morty sat down with him, “But, how did you find out where I lived? I never really told you.”
“Oh.” He nervously lied, “I asked one of the teachers where you lived.”
“Ok. So what do you want to do?” Morty then suggested, “Oh hey let’s continue this in my room.”
They both went into the hallway where Morty’s room was on the left side. When they entered the room it was pretty dark, so Morty turned on the lights. The walls were painted black and there were no windows—which explained the darkness. Morty’s bed was on the far–right side. On the left were a couple of small bookshelves. Other than that, the room seemed pretty empty. In some places, the wooden floor would creak if someone stepped on it.
They both sat on the bed and chatted a bit. Morty asked what Dryw’s been up to. Dryw then recounted his experience in learning archery. His dad was a carpenter and one of the things he would make were bows. In addition to making them, he was pretty good at using them. He would sometimes practice outside and Dryw would watch. This led to Dryw becoming more enamored with archery and he wanted to learn how to do it. So, his dad agreed to teach him the ropes. First, he taught him about the parts of a bow. A bow was divided into 2 sections—The wooden arc and the string. In the middle of the arc is where you would put the arrow. The arrow would be placed between the arc and the string. Then, you would pull back the string and finally—release the arrow. On his first time, the target was placed relatively close by to make it easier. He—of course—hit the target. The target was then placed further to increase the difficulty. He pulled back the string a bit more and managed to hit the target again—so on and so forth.
Although he didn’t always manage to hit the bullseye, he was able to hit the target itself which was still good for a beginner. He just needed to improve his form so that he could aim better. His dad showed him some techniques to improve his aim. First off is to line your body up perpendicular to the target so that, if you drew an imaginary line from yourself to the target—the line would go straight across; next is to stand upright and place your feet shoulder-width apart so that—when you pull the string—your arms and shoulders would form a "T” shape; finally when releasing the arrow, relax the fingers on your string hand so that, the bow would leave your fingers with as little slowdown and interference as possible. Doing these techniques, he improved at a fast rate. Day by day—his aim would get better and better.
Meanwhile, Morty hasn’t really got much to say because his life was pretty mundane. Although, there was one encounter that might’ve been of interest. A couple of weeks ago—while he was walking back home—he met a peculiar woman. It looked like she was carrying around a cart full of jars and other stuff. Suddenly, one of the cart’s wheels got dislodged and conveniently—he managed to grab it. He brought back the wheel to the woman and she thanked him, “Thanks kid.” Then she grabbed something out from a pocket on her cream-colored maxi dress, “Here, have this.”
“Oh. You don’t have to,” he tried to decline, taking what looked to be a glass orb of some kind.
The woman insisted, “Don’t worry. I have plenty of these things.”
“Oh ok,” he grabbed it awkwardly. He took a closer look at it and saw that it had a preserved-dead-moth inside of it. Before he could ask anything about it, the woman had already vanished.
After Morty was done recounting his encounter, Dryw went to go to the bathroom. While he was doing that, he realized that it was getting late. Because Morty’s room had no windows, he didn’t notice how late it was getting. He quickly went to bid farewell to Morty and return home. Before leaving, Morty wanted to give him something—which were gloves. Morty noticed that the palm of Dryw’s hand had marks from pulling his bowstring. Dryw thanked him and went on his way.