To read the beginning of this story go here.
Aria woke the next morning with Eiowinn’s words still ringing in her head, but she soon forgot them as she realized that it was time for her to leave! Trembling with excitement she washed her face, combed her hair, and grabbed her pack. Her older brother Daffyd had helped her prioritize and maximize the space in her pack her pack earlier that week. It was a little heavy, but in her excitement she really didn’t care!
Breakfast was a teary-eyed, but simple, affair. The whole family had gathered back at the house, even the older one’s who had their own homes and families now, and everyone wanted to give Aria one last hug. It would have been easy for breakfast to drag on all morning, but they all knew that she had a long enough journey ahead of her and no one wanted to delay her.
Even though Aria was a fast flyer, the trip into the city would take her around three days. She’d been there once before, on a trip when she was still a student, but this was her first time going there on her own! It was comforting that she had some idea what to expect, but it was also a little overwhelming.
She remembered the city being big, and strange. There were trees, but they were small and spaced out and surrounded by concrete. Some of the buildings were taller than any tree in the forest. She couldn’t really understand why humans wanted to live in those cold, impersonal, buildings, but they were everywhere.
As she flew Aria’s mind soon turned to thinking through her quest. She needed to find a human in the city and somehow help them improve their life. It sounded easy enough, but she had heard enough stories to know that it could be much more challenging than it sounded. Human’s are stubborn creatures, set in their ways, and slow to change. Many times they’d rather continue doing something that was bad for them than go through the effort to change.
There were really no rules about how you went about your quest. Some fairies chose to work secretly, never revealing themselves to the person they were helping, while others made friends with “their” humans. The fairies who chose to work in secret would say that it was easier than finding a person who needed help and was wiling to accept the existence of fairies, but Aria couldn’t imagine operating that way. She figured that you were handicapping yourself if you never interacted with the human you were helping. The power of persuasion is strong, and if you can’t talk to them, how can you use it?
That meant she’d have to locate a true believer, someone who would acknowledge her existence, and for that she figured she’d look for an Irish pub. She knew there were a few in the city, and after all, the Irish were known for believing in the wee folk! Hopefully that part of her quest wouldn’t be that hard, although with Eiowinn’s warning that her quest would be harder than normal, who knew?