The bureaucratic gears of the Elder Village turned slowly, and about a week went by since Mu’s conversation with the captain of the village guard. After several officials approved of the meeting’s necessity, finally, Mu was granted the chance for a hearing with the Elder Council. Waiting outside the audience chamber impatiently, the large warrior wore a face of clear dissatisfaction, wanting nothing to do with this whole predicament.

Mu hardly wanted to involve himself in such pointlessly complicated politics, but it seemed to be the only way to keep the village guard captain off his back. Captain Jelly Beans was faithful, if anything, and refused to believe that the timing of the appearance of the legendary sword Duilcron could be chalked up to a simple coincidence.

Mu was not so easily convinced, but it was hard to argue with such a persistent man whose political power could dictate Mu’s very actions. Thankful that he was not alone though, the hulking warrior glanced over to his companions to see if they felt just as out of place as he did.

Mu’s court jester sat quietly, eyes darting side to side, trying to watch each passerby that ventured near. Since their encounter with a couple of aggressive men, the warrior had noticed a sense of strange fear or paranoia growing in his small friend. The magically-inclined entertainer had never seen any form of violence before, and was still visibly shaken from being so close to a fight.

Sheila, on the other hand, sat with her arms crossed, putting absolutely no effort into hiding her disgust in the situation. She had never seen politics like this in motion, and was still seething that the ‘great’ Elder Council would meet to discuss a sword, but not an onslaught of undead in their very own city. The name Duilcron held respect all over the world, but at a certain point, common sense had to be applied for the well-being of a population. And that was something Sheila figured had not been done in the Elder Village for quite some time. But the chance to involve themselves in the legend of Duilcron proved too tantalizing for the Council, and if it gave her a chance to speak with them as well, then so be it, Sheila thought.

After waiting for what felt like hours, the ornately armored guard captain stepped out of the audience chamber and removed his helmet, letting his long hair fall to his shoulders.

“They’ll see you now,” he uttered, and the three travelers stood up, shaking out their leg cramps as they began their walk. Upon entering the chamber, the first thing Mu noticed was the room’s intense size. In all the legends, the Elder Village was a very humble place, composed of small tents and huts. Mu wondered when the life of humility here had been replaced with grandiose luxury.

Each of the council members sat in their own golden chair with red velvet cushioning, and each member was decorated in patches, medals and brightly colored robes that Mu thought must have taken longer to put on than this meeting would last. The older woman in the center cleared her throat before beckoning the three further into the center of the room.

“It is good to see Icarians back in the land of Allyria,” she cooed in a friendly tone. “It is the understanding of the council that one of you is the wielder of the sword Duilcron. While it is unorthodox for an outsider to carry the blade, and while my colleagues have requested we strip you of the weapon; I have made it abundantly clear that removing the sword from your possession would prove entirely impossible. Therefore, it is yours to keep. However, there are issues at hand that must be addressed. Captain Jelly Beans has spoken to us of the now known reintroduction of magic to our village, and we believe your weapon may have played a part in such an intrusion.”

“The bastard brought magic here, we all know that!” one of the male council members grunted.

“While it is indeed forbidden to bring magical items into our town, the majority of us have agreed that this is a special occasion,” the woman continued, ignoring the man’s outburst. “But while other magic has been seen within our walls, it is the belief of this council that the sword’s mere presence here may be attracting such unwanted powers to it, leading them straight to our citizens. We cannot allow this to continue.” the woman explained with a quiet, but stern voice.

“Now our guard captain has pleaded with us to grant you permission to our forbidden forest. Rumors have become widespread that the dead walk the earth there. Whether these rumors prove to be true or not, a few members of this council believe it is the duty of Duilcron’s wielder to rid our land of such magical abominations. However, it is my personal belief that these problems that we face only exist in the first place due to the actions of past ‘heroes’ wielding that sword, and that is not something I will permit around my village. And so the Elder Council has decided that it is in our best interests to expel you from our city.”

“What??” Captain Jelly Beans exclaimed.

“This village does not need another so called hero, what it needs is order. And the second these rumors are squashed, the better.”

“Ye fools! Ye condemn yer people to death!” Sheila cried desperately.

“Enough! We shall speak of this no more. You are all dismissed,” the woman decreed. “And the three of you shall leave our walls for good.”

Mu was actually relieved. He was not ready for another royal decree to send him on yet another wild journey.