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To Alex’s surprise, a small flame appeared above the pedestal. It was no larger than her hand and shone brightly. Concerned, she touched her grandmother’s arm. Grandmother Lestin patted her hand, nodding to reassure her.
“Good day, Council members. What may I do for you today?” A male voice came from the flame; he sounded pleasant, even friendly.
Alex cocked her head to the side, staring at it curiously.
Lord Ashur nodded. “We have some important guests today. This is Lady Lestin of the Water Elves and her granddaughter, Lady Alexin.”
“It’s a great honor to meet Lady Lestin. The House of Oceanus remains strong with you.”
“Thank you, Mentor.” Lady Lestin curtsied. Uncertain what to do, Alex curtsied, too.
“I would also like to let you know Lord Odin is home.” Lord Ashur nodded to him.
“Good day, Mentor.” Lord Odin knelt. “It is a relief and an honor to be in Eledon once more.”
“Welcome home, Lord Odin. How did you get back?”
“It was due to this young woman, Lady Alexin, Lady Lestin’s granddaughter. She broke the spell around the island and stopped the storms, allowing us to escape. We’ve brought back our Elves and as many others as we could including many mortals.”
“Excellent, how did this young woman do this?”
“She has Titan blood in her from her grandfather, Themius. She merely told the storms to stop, and they did.” Lord Odin took a step forward. “In addition…”
Lady Qalin interrupted and curtsied. “I wish to speak to the Mentor.”
“Speak, Lady Qalin,” the Mentor said.
“Over a thousand years ago, you selected Lord Odin to be the Keeper of the Keys. He claims that he lost them while on this island. His negligence resulted in the mortals finding the keys, and they gave them to this young woman, selecting her to be the Keeper of the Keys. She is obviously much too young and has mixed blood—part-Elf and this mortal Titan being. At any rate, she is not a complete Elf and has not been approved by you.” She grimaced at Alex.
The flame flew down in front of Alex’s face. “Show me the keys, young Keeper.”
Alex held the keys out to him in her right hand. Then, she pulled the Dwarf key from around her neck with her left. The flame floated over her right hand and rifled through the keys. Then, it floated towards her face, landing on her hand, checking the last key before returning to the podium. Alex felt no heat, only a strong energy.
“The keys are safe and in good condition. Well done.” The Mentor paused. “Very well, Lady Qalin, I approve your nomination of Lady Alexin to be the Keeper of the Keys.”
Lady Qalin’s arms flew out in protest. “No, that’s not what I meant—she is not a complete Elf; she’s not qualified.”
Alex covered her mouth in surprise, as did others in the room, including her grandmother.
“Keep the keys safe, young Keeper.” The flame shone brightly on the pedestal. “Once again, welcome back, Lord Odin, and our thanks to Lady Alexin for the safe return of the keys.” The flame vanished.
“No, no! There has been a terrible mistake.” Lady Qalin rushed the pedestal, raising her hands.
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