Chapter Four

Chapter Four1


Alex and his friends finally arrive at Ashendel, city of the elves, where they will be able to regroup and catch up after their long separation. Alex has forgotten the details of his childhood spent in Ashendel to the disappointment of Nastajia who remembers it much more clearly. passing through the gate, they receive a royal welcome thanks to Nastajia's company, and start to move into the marketplace on their way to the castle. Paddington is stopped by a small crowd to teach a few dance moves, and Alex spots another human nearby. Alex meets Erika and her friend Spotty who are browsing the marketplace. He discusses the idea of a shared Dreamland with her although she sees no problem with it. Most of the travelers then board the elevator, but Paddington is to big so he is forced to take the stairs up to the castle.

After the ride on the elevator2, they are greeted by servants and Arvamas and make their way into the elven castle. Arvamas recognizes Nastajia's childhood friends and tells them what he remembers for the time they spent playing in the castle as children. Alex asks about putting The Sword of Kings down somewhere, but when Arvamas sees it, he drags Alex and friends down into the Royal Library to study the sword and compare it to the Tablet of the Elves. In the library3, they learn the truth about the sword and the history of human kings that ruled Dreamland. Arvamas also explains the quest that Nastajia's parents went on to find the sword and the other six Tablets of Pendragon in an effort to uncover the true history of Dreamland, not the one Nicodemus has been creating for the last six hundred years. Finally, the treaty between Nicodemus and the pirates is discussed along with how it affects the children who visit Dreamland.

With everyone caught up on the knowledge Arvamas has to share, he leads Alex to the closet where The Armor of Kings was being kept until a human arrived with the sword. While Nastajia has doubts4, Alex is excited and begins to put it on while Arvamas explains it's properties. Arvamas next suggests that the four of them should set of together to find Nastajia's parents and uncover the truth about the history of Dreamland. Nastajia reacts to this poorly, and soon rushes out of the room with tears welling in her eyes. Alex is told to go and comfort her despite the fact that she has hardly spoken to him since his return. Alex climbs the stairs5 after Nastajia and finds her at the top of the tower, looking out over the city and crying. She is defensive at first, but Alex apologizes for not only his problems but everything that has been overwhelming Nastajia. She cries some more but forgives Alex and wraps him in a hug. They look into each others eyes and lean close together.

Alex wakes up6 back in the sleep lab strapped to the machines monitoring his brain activity. He wakes up Dan who is resting in a nearby chair, and begins to describe his dream when Nicole enters the room to see if he is fine after spending all night without brain activity. Nicole demands that Alex describes his dreams for the study while refusing to accept his explanation of what actually happened to him. Alex is able to use class as an excuse to leave, although he will have to come back and explain later for the extra credit. Back in their dorm room Dan gets ready to write down Alex's dreams while Alex gets ready to go to class. Later in the day, Alex meets Dan7 in the library where he has been doing some more work on his theories about Dreamland and what exactly it is.

At night Alex wears his necklace once again, this time back in his dorm room, and is soon back in Dreamland8 ready to pick up where he left off. However, Nastajia is no longer at the top of the tower and he sets off to find her or someone else. He is able to find everyone waiting for him down the stairs and although he apologizes to Nastajia, Arvamas explains that there is no need. Like every other human he has no control over when he enters and leaves Dreamland, and the full time inhabitants are used to it. Arvamas hands the sword back to Alex and informs him that the armor will hold it on his back so he doesn't need to carry it. Nastajia prepares to set off on their journey, leaving Arvamas in charge of the city so that the people do not know what she is doing. They plan for her to meet with Nicodemus to discuss trade relations with Naroobi as a cover for her absence, and to reguest that he returns the Tablet Amulet. Satisfied that everything will be fine, the friends set off for Astoria on foot.

At the gate to Astoria9 the guards stop Alex because he smells like a human, however, they recognize Paddington and ask for a dance. Happy to have met the famous Paddington, the guards allow everyone to enter the city. Inside, Nastajia separates from the rest of the group to meet with Nicodemus and leaves the rest to wait in town without getting into trouble. The rest of the group sees some guards and try to act casual, but then the guards steal some fruit from one of the street carts and they begin to get angry. Kiwi warns them not to interfere, but then some villagers start to get harrassed by the guards and Kiwi rushes over to tell them to stop. Kiwi starts to fight them when they refuse, and Alex goes to join her, leaving his sword with Paddington.

Meanwhile10, Nastajia is meeting with Nicodemus to request the return of her families amulet as a way to remember her parents that went missing. He refuses because he is still trying to figure out what other magic properties the amulet has. They are interrupted by the guards escorting Alex into the hall to find out what Nicodemus would like done with him because he is a human. Nicodemus dismisses Nastajia, without returning the amulet, so that he can deal with Alex first. Recognizing Alex's scent from The Tomb of the Ancient Kings, Nicodemus asks about the sword that has been missing since that time.

Continue to Chapter Five

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