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"Star Keys: Flox Mana"

“Stop! Hear me out one more time, please. You do not understand,” Hydrogoni says and he jumps again. With black, bushy eyebrows, a full moustache, and dark hair, he goes on. “We Gameonites are not capable of dealing with these large ogres that tromp in woods where we would cut a road. Knights will not be here forever if we disturb the giants. Remember this.”

Surely comprehending, Gameonites mumble.

“Likely, the man makes sense,” Ur Thwoptile speaks up.

“Ur,” Guyunne groans; and he clears his throat. “Let me speak, please.” Guyunne turns from Ur and he motions to Araya. “I believe, and knights can tell me if this is not the case, I believe our good friends have power to take care of a few ogres who might need displacing or appeasing in some fashion. Understand, we have never encountered ogres. We have reports from scouts, of course, some hearsay from tales, past,” he says and he shrugs slumping shoulders. “Of course, we fear their size. But, are they really, unfriendly? I wonder?”

Silence and then, “As you say, I’m not certain we know, minister,” Faug Gerryundun goes on.

“Hum. Well,” Guyunne continues. He places one finger to red lips. “Faug, they might be like the rest of us where some are simply friendlier than others. Would it be a wonder if ogres were willing to engage in acts of kindness?”

“Ah,” citizens let out a breath.

Guyunne blinks. “I know there is gossip: that, ogres are mean and nasty. But, as prime minister for years, still, I have no official reports of ogres. I’m simply not aware of their nature. Heh, heh,” he chuckles as his lips turn up, and he pivots. “Araya?”

“Thank you, Guyunne,” Araya says. She stands and peers to address everyone.

Theman looks to his new bride aside him.

“Please minister,” Araya starts. “First, I want to thank you for considering my father’s thoughts and concerns. I can only ask you to remember he has said, as his father before him, that there is value to understanding people. Exchanging ideas is good.”

“Certainly,” Mixie Tittlepippy, a citizen with curly, blonde hair responds. “We like our annual gatherings and find them helpful, besides having fun.”

“Yes,” Mrs. Floxie Gerrin says; and many nod, agreeing.

“We Nayan like the games. Certainly, we enjoy seeing everyone, as well,” Araya continues. She stares to friends. “In addition to the direct benefits of trading herbs, horses, medicinal cures, while offering timber and stone, there is value learning how other people think and act. I know this to be true, as my life has been enriched knowing so many good Gameonites. More, I am now wed to my husband. I have only begun to understand he is a man who looks to serve many.” Knights and Theman smile. Araya continues, “People of different cultures can grow together. Build a road and we’ll learn much from one another. Now, I will sit down."

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