CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED-SEVEN
“A knight must prove himself at every step,” Manannàn said.
Angrily shaking his head, Nelson swallowed some of his tea.
“That’s not his rule,” Mari said. “That’s just the way quests go. The knight has to prove himself all the way through.”
“It’s why so many knights don’t survive their quests,” Keenan said.
Nelson and Alex turned to look at Keenan and then Mari. She nodded.
“I was thought maybe my dad could help us even out the odds,” Mari said.
“How would he do that?” Alex asked.
“The way most humans even out the odds — with information,” Keenan said, gesturing to his books.
There was a knock on the door. Mari got up to answer it. A dark skinned woman came into the house. The tall and thin woman reminded Nelson of someone but he couldn’t put his finger on it. Mari and the woman hugged. The woman held out a tin which made Mari grin.
“This is my niece, Ne Ne,” Mari said. “She is Fin and Abi’s first daughter.”
“You may know my daughter, Yvonne, or my granddaughter, Tanesha,” Ne Ne said to Nelson and Alex.
Nelson and Alex nodded in near unison.
“I brought some of the biscuits that my granddaughter makes,” Ne Ne said. “She kindly gifted me her recipe for what she calls, ‘Chocolate Crinkles.’”
Mari set the tin on the table and opened it. A wonderful chocolate smell wafted from the cookies.
“We have a lot to get through in a very short amount of time,” Ne Ne said. “I thought the sugar might help.”
Unsure, Nelson and Alex picked up cookies. Nelson took a bite and groaned.
“These are my favorites,” Nelson said.
“Yes, Tanesha said that you like these ones best,” Ne Ne said with a grin.
Ne Ne moved into the living space. Keenan moved to get up so that she could sit but she waved him back into his seat.
“It’s nice to stand,” Ne Ne said, standing near the hearth. “I sit too much.”
“Just let me know,” Keenan said.
Ne Ne nodded.
“My granddaughter is one of our chief librarians,” Manannàn said. “Did you bring…?”
“Yes, Manannàn,” Ne Ne said.
Ne Ne opened the bag she had slung over her shoulder to show that it was full of books. Alex held out her hands for the books, but Ne Ne simply smiled.
“As I said,” Manannàn started as if there had been no interruption, “from here on out, every step will be a test of your abilities and knowledge as the heir. According to my daughter, neither you nor your father have any idea what the stages of this quest look like.”
“That’s true,” Nelson said. “No one seems to know.”
“I do,” Ne Ne said. She looked at her father. “Have the Templars lost access to their texts?”
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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