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The Start of Things to Come
Now past midnight, Mako was still awake and was seated on a three legged stool, besides a four legged wooden table with a square surface, positioned against the wall, making it available for three to sit at.
Inside the first floor of Mako's two storey home, the room was a combination of a kitchen, a dining room and a living room, complete with a fully functioning, stone built fireplace. At that current moment in time a couple of Nogmal logs were placed inside the fireplace as a fierce flame roared, burning the wood as well as it could.
If the wood was just cut and then place inside the fireplace, like you would with a normal log of wood, then it would not burn, but when the log is cut into four pieces, exposing its weaker and burnable inside, then it becomes usable as fire wood, but a very slow burning wood so it helps to have a load of Nogmal leaves on hand to burn in the meantime, to keep the fire going until the wood starts to burn.
The kitchen area of the room was made up on a wooden work surface that runs along the easterly wall. The work surface was home to three units, complete with drawers, doors and handles. The units housed Mako's groceries, his crockery, pots and pans and the drawers contained his cutlery.
On the wall above the kitchen unit are two units mounted to the wall, one to the right and on to the left, leaving the middle area clear. Sitting on the work surface was a pot full of water and a sponge, which Mako would use to wash his utensils. Next to it was a wooden chopping board, used dirty knives and a number of used pots and bowls.
Over on the west side of the room was the dining area, it is where Mako is currently seated, along with two more stools and the table that Mako's bowl of soup was resting on. All along the western wall were a collection of souvenirs gathered during Mako's lifetime. There were wooden and metal shields, Broadswords, Long swords, War Hammers, Arming swords, axes, masks of skulls and animals. There were even a number of hand drawn pictures depicting certain events of Mako's long life.
As for the corner where the west wall meets the south wall, which has two windows built into it, as well as a front door, sits two chests on the floor, and in the chests were a number or weapons and currency, gold and an assortment of jewels.
More pictures were hung on the northern wall, either side of the fireplace and on the floor was a small wooden table, a couple of chairs and at that moment, baby Zach was in his basket. Zach was still sleeping and was placed in his wicker basket, close enough to the fire to benefit from the open flame, but far away enough so that if any embers shot out, they would not land in the basket, setting fire to it and burning Zach.
Sitting closer to the fire was Izal, due to the sheer heat, his feathers were drying in no time and to his right was a wooden rack, which had draped over it, Mako's soaked tunic, which was also drying and in front of the rack was Mako's wet boots.
"How's the fire treating you?" Mako calls out as he reaches for his bowl of soup.
As he sat poised at the table with food in hand, Mako was dressed in a dry violet tunic and like most of the time, his sword was once again in its sheath, resting by his hip. With his right hand he dips his spoon into the soup and raises it to his mouth before taking a mouthful of his vegetable soup. He felt good being both warm and working his way to being well fed.
"It's good, my wings are almost dry." Izal replies contently.
"Good, then maybe we can talk." Mako declares between slurps.
In that moment, Izal had beat his wings and flew over to the table by Mako and landed on one of the unoccupied stools.
"Yes?" Once again Izal's eyes are green.
"The child is very young."
"They always are."
"I doubt we'll have enough time to train him." Mako divulges.
"We'll?" Izal asks.
"I will need your help with this one. I have the feeling that the Shanzi will be coming soon, sooner than they ever have done before."
"What makes you say that?"
"The storm, you've seen what it is like out there. It's been like that every night for the last fortnight."
"Yes, I've noticed that myself." Izal states.
"It doesn't feel like a normal storm, it feels like..."
"Something more?" Izal questions.
"Exactly. It feels like Darkness itself is in it."
"You think the Shanzi will be making their arrival via the storm?"
"I do, they did before. Plus with the arrival of Zach, that's all the proof I need. I believe the Shanzi's presence will be known within a year or two." Master Mako declares as his hard gaze is met evenly by Izal's own steely gaze.
"Then that'`s no time at all."
"I know, by the time Zach will be ready, if he'll be ready, the Shanzi will have a foothold on the world, at least two Realms under their control."
"Hence the reason why you require my aid in his teaching. You intend to teach him harder and faster than any Watcher has ever been trained."
"Exactly right my old friend." Mako grins as he puts his bowl back down on the table, still containing some soup, before he reaches for the stick of bread on the table and breaks off an end.
"No one has ever been trained like that."
"I know, but we don't really have the time for the normal standard of teaching." As Mako makes his reply, he dips his bit of bread into the soup and finishes his statement before taking a couple of bites.
"Then I will help you in every way I can."
"Thank you Izal."
"I hope he's strong enough." Izal can't help but feel very concerned.
"I do too," Mako admits between mouthfuls.
Both man and bird glance over in the direction of young Zach, who is still oblivious to the world as he continues to dream.
"What do you think he's dreaming about?"
Mako gets up from his stool and walks over to the boy in the basket and kneels down beside him. His blanket was pushed away from where Zach had pushed it away as he moved around in his sleep. Extending his hands carefully and slowly, Mako grasps the blanket and pulls it over Zach, covering him better.
"I have no idea, but I hope it's of something good because if I'm right and the Shanzi do come, if this boy is not ready then the world as we know it will become a never ending nightmare."
"Then we will not fail in his training." Izal replies before coming over to join the man and the boy.
"In the morning I will need you to take flight."
"And go where?"
"Everywhere. I need you to deliver a message to the other Watchers for me." Mako says calmly.
"A message, saying what?" Izal quizzes.
Mako walks over to the wooden table by the fire, grabs a piece of parchment and picks up a quill, which he dips into an ink pot full of black ink and scribbles out a message. When he finished, Mako blows his wording dry and reads it over before standing up.
Mako holds the parchment up so that Izal can read the message, which was written:
"The Shanzi are Coming. Be Ready! - Master Mako, Mares Guardian of the Realm, Isle of Iris"