"And so the knight and the fair maiden lived happily ever after," Memoria closed her book and looked down at Lupus who was resting his head in her lap, "what do you think Lu?" There was no response.
"Lu? Lupus? What do you think of my story?" Memoria asked again gently. Her only response was a quiet snore. She smiled softly and stroked Lupus' forehead.
"Okay," she whispered, "you can tell me later." She pulled out her leather bound journal and began to write quietly as the sun warmed her face. A breeze rustled the leaves of the oak tree under which they sat, and the scent of wildflowers from the field pranced through the air. Memoria stopped writing to close her eyes and take in all the magic of their beautiful place. It wouldn't be long before the children arrived. With her eyes closed, she let her dreams carry her into a blissful sleep.
"LUPUS!!" The cry woke Memoria with a start just in time to see a swarm of children jump on top of the quietly sleeping man.
"Oof!" He yelped as he clutched his stomach that had just been used as a landing pad and reached for his sword.
"No Lupus!" called one of the children.
"It's us, silly!" called another. Groggily, Lupus stood and saw all the children sitting around and giggling. Slowly he replaced his sword against the tree trunk.
"Well then," started Lupus, "I thought you were a fierce army, come to kidnap my beautiful princess!" With that he picked up Memoria and spun her around. All the children laughed and clapped as Lupus took a bow.
"Is it really that time already?" he asked, knowing the answer.
"YES!" cried out all the children in unison.
"What story will you read us today?" asked a small, red-haired boy. Memoria picked up her journal and flipped though its pages.
"How about... The Knight & The Fair Maiden?" she asked. Her question was met with cheering and applause.
"Alright then," Memoria said with a laugh, "everyone have a seat." The older children that were still standing settled on the grassy field and Lupus & Memoria sat with their backs to the giant oak. Just as Memoria was about to speak, a little girl timidly raised her hand.
"Memmie," she started quietly, "is... is this a happy story?"
"Of course dear. Here, why don't you sit on my lap and help me read?" Memoria replied as the girl scampered out of the crowd.
"Now. Once upon a time there lived a very brave knight..." The children stared dreamily, waiting for her to continue. Suddenly, someone spoke.
"You're not telling it right," came a deep, masculine voice. The children began whispering excitedly and looked around for the strange man. Then, as if to emphasize the mystery, the sunny sky began to cloud over. Memoria smiled knowingly.
"It's a Reaper storm," she whispered to Lupus, who in turn smiled as well. He stood up gallantly and took his sword in hand.
"Hurry chidren, under the tree," he commanded, "I'll protect you." Excitedly, the children huddled under the massive oak to avoid the falling rain.
"Come out and show yourself scoundrel!" called Lupus, trying to hide a grin. The children cheered, unknowingly encouraging his over-acting. Quite suddenly an arrow rushed through the air and hit Lupus' sword, which he allowed to fall to the ground. Adopting a look of fear, Lupus hurridly tried to pick up his blade again. In a flash of lightning a dark figure appeared and stood on his sword, preventing Lupus from picking it up. Above the children, another figure jumped from the tree and landed, aiming an arrow, behind Lupus. The children gasped. The darkly dressed figure stepped forward and raised a hand to the sky.
"Enough!" he commanded, and the clouds drifted away. He brushed back his hood, and stared Lupus straight in the eyes.
"It's DAMIAN!" cried one of the children, and they all ran out to hug him. Another little boy called out:
"And that's Aeger!!" Aeger laughed and lowered his bow to accomodate the giddy children.
"That was amazing!"
"I wanna shoot like you when I grow up!"
"Damian, teach me how to work the weather!"
"I knew it was you guys all along!"
"I though Lupus was going to kill you!"
"Do it again!"
It took Memoria, Lupus, Damian and Aeger several minutes to calm down the over excited children.
"Would you like the boys to help me tell the story?" asked Memoria. The reply was unanimous.