The Knight and The Crazy Old Man – Part2

You can read part 1 here

Now let’s continue this EPIC story:

The old man led the knight, who was now walking in front of his horse, to his cabin. There was nothing extraordinary about it, save for the chimney that was too tall for its width. It was higher than all the trees around it. The knight looked up, nothing was coming out of the chimney. They went inside, and the knight was surprised by how nice it was. The cabin had better furniture than the guest rooms at the castle of king Shallow himself. He saw the old man put his wooden stick in a closet, that he noticed was full of similar sticks. Then he took off the dirty cloak he was wearing and hanged it in a closet adjacent to the previous one, this one also had many dirty cloaks. The clothes he was wearing underneath that cloak turned out to be more fitting to the quality of cabin’s interior. He then went to a fine chair near the fire place and sat down. “Come, Savior, let us continue our conversation” he said as he waved the knight to the other chair near the fire place.

The knight sat down and waited for the old man to talk. But the wizard was busy drawing something on a piece of paper on the table between them. “That will make our discussion less cumbersome” he said as he made the final touch to the drawing. Then he leaned back in his chair and clapped his hands, and in a flash, the paper evaporated, and in its place was a fine silver tray carrying a glass pot of what appeared to be tea to the knight. The wizard poured a cup for each one of them. And the knight was surprised that the cup didn’t feel hot in his hand at all, even though the liquid was steaming. “This is the finest tea you will ever drink. Savor every sip” the wizard said. The knight looked at the cup. The smell was really nice, very refreshing. He took a sip, and found truth in the wizard’s words, this was the finest tea he has ever drank. It relaxed him and made him more alert at the same time.

Ok, let’s put this matter to rest” Said the wizard.

Finally! Listen, dear wizard, regarding the whole ‘Savior’ thing, I…”

The wizard raised his hand to stop him “I was talking about the tea.”

The tea?”

Is it or is it not the finest tea you’ve ever drank in your pathetic life?”

The knight looked at the cup in his hands “Oh! Ye… yes, of course! It is a really nice tea. Thank you very much for it.”

The wizard was indifferent to the praise “Alright. Let’s get back to saving the world, shall we?”

He put down the glass cup, and leaned forward, looking into the fire “I know that you think of me as a crazy old man. And I am, in one way or another, very crazy. For example, here I am, having a nice cup of tea with the savior of this world, while the whole worlds are facing an everlasting doom that would take everything good about life, and cast a shadow of death and suffering on all existence. Yes, I am a crazy old man.”

The knight was confused. He was sure that he had encountered a senile old wizard who was losing grips on his mind. But just now the wizard looked different. He was anything but crazy.

I’m sorry, Mr. Wizard…”

Call me Sarah”

What now?”

I’m kidding, call me… Jumper, no, call me Finder, that’s better.”

The grave look on the wizard was long gone, and he was back to his eccentric old self. But the knight still didn’t forget how dark was the wizard face when talked about this doom.

Ok, Mr. Finder, I’m just an ordinary knight. I was knighted two days ago by King Shallow. And I believe that even the King would not see me fit to save the world”

The wizard raised an eyebrow “King who?”

He is losing it again, thought the knight “King Shallow? The one who lives in the castle just outside the forest? You don’t know him?”

The wizard remarked “Oh!”

What do you mean, Oh? You really don’t know King Shallow?” He got up “That’s it I’m out of here.” And headed towards the door. The wizard didn’t try to stop him, which raised the knight tension as he approached the door. He opened it, and was about to go out when he suddenly grabbed the door and pulled himself back inside. He looked at the wizard with wide eyes. And the old man was laughing. “Can you tell me in which direction is King Shallow’s castle?” He asked while trying to suppress his laugh. The knight looked back outside at the blank white space. There was nothing, nothing at all outside the cabin. No sky, no trees, and no ground. “What madness is this?” said the horrified knight. “What do you really want from me, wizard? Where are we?”

The wizard was relaxing in his chair, looking at the fire. “We are in Nowhere”

What do you mean we are in Nowhere?”

The wizard pointed at the chair “Come, sit, I will tell you what you need to know”

The knight looked back outside. Then he shut the door quickly. The empty white space was so bizarre and terrifying. He sat on the chair and faced the wizard. “Go ahead” He urged the old man.

The old man took a deep breath, then he started “Nowhere. Where there is no place, and no time. Very few people have ventured here. None of them have ever left. I was one of those foolish people. I was so curious about this place, if we can call it that, and searched for all the clues to get here. And I did. I don’t know what I wanted to achieve by coming here. But it doesn’t matter now. Anyway, all you need to know is that I have found a way to get people in and out from here. But I myself cannot leave”

So you can get me out of here?” The knight was somewhat relieved.

Yes I can, and I will. But I didn’t bring you here for no reason. I wouldn’t bring anyone here if I didn’t have to”

And why did you bring me here?” The knight asked.

Go, open the door, don’t worry, just go and open it”

The knight stood up, and walked to door slowly. He put his hand on the door knob, and looked back at the wizard, who was staring blankly at the fire. He opened the door, and found himself looking at King Shallow on his throne.

To be continued…


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