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. "This will not take long."
The old knight sighed deeply. "Actually, you're not
interrupting much," he said, his body slumping from its
disciplined pose. "I no longer have the concentration I once
"Then we can talk?"
The knight began to rise to his feet, though it clearly took
some effort. "Ach, it's getting so I can't distinguish between
the creaking in my armor and the creaking in my bones."
"I believe it was your armor that time," said Aril with a
At his full height, the knight indeed proved to be a very
tall man, as tall as Aril, who himself, when he did not carry
his book, was a gangly fellow. And when the knight faced
him fully, Aril got goosebumps because engraved upon the
knight's tarnished breastplate was a faint rose, the famous
symbol of his order.
"On the other hand, I do not feel much like talking,"
said the knight sullenly, walking right past the half-elf and
seating himself upon a large rock where he leaned back
against another and gazed languidly up at the blue sky and
white clouds bracketed by the opposing walls of the valley.
"I am a man of action only."
"I quite understand," said Aril, following. "But it does
seem to me you are at the moment - um - between actions