We hadn’t been walking for long before I realized that the land around us was drying out. There were dead or dying plants and no signs of insects or other animal life. There was a cracked crust on the ground, as if it flashed dried after a heavy rain.
Whindel frowned at the land around us and muttered. I heard the words “Earth” and “fire”, making my ears prick up.
“Excuse me, sir, but what is it about the elements?” I asked.
“What, are you talking about? Oxygen, Nitrogen, Hydrogen and Zink? They make up the matter around us. Or at least the matter that matters most to you,” the wizard answered.
“No, no, I’m talking water, earth, air and….” I started to say, but his look cut me off.
“What do you know of the elements?” His look was slightly menacing.
“I never realized that they were actual beings, that they could talk to us,” I said.
He stopped and turned towards me. Whindel was no longer the little ridiculous wizard I had seen in the dwarves cave. He had slowly grown so that he was now towered over me. His stare was penetrating, and I felt he was reading more from me than I wanted.
After a few moments he mellowed slightly and nodded. “The elements are just abstractions, not real beings. Or at least for most they are. Once in a hundred generations there is one born who can see and hear them. I should have known that you weren’t chosen at random. This gives me hope. We were destined to travel together.”
“But who, or what, are they?”
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