Even in an urban place such as this, we could hear the loud chirping of crickets as we walked down the city's most populated pedestrian-only street. Carriages couldn't be seen and the grunts of their horses couldn't be heard. Here we could see people from everywhere and all races enjoying themselves. This was one of the busiest areas of the city, sporting countless stores, restaurants and various types of nightlife. There were restaurants serving typical foods like chicken and beef, and we even saw one serving a foreign delicacy called Balut, which I hear is a cooked duck's egg with a half-formed chick inside. It's supposed to be an aphrodisiac, but I don't think my stomach could take it.

It was the early evening yet the bright streetlamps lit up the street like the early dawn. I could see lots of clothing stores as we walked by. Naturally, as most women do, Mint and Ann went in too look while leaving me alone outside. While they were browsing around, I saw a place across the street called "Candy SuXXX". Probably some girlie bar. I decided not think of it since Mint would probably kill me if did. With so many beautiful plants lining the street and the sweet aroma of delicious food and brewed coffee filling the air, we all subconsciously decided to enjoy some time here.

We took a table at a restaurant called "StarBest", which I hear is supposed to be a chain of restaurants in this country famous for its coffee. The place was kind of busy, with merchants doing business and families eating We ordered a round of its house special while we waited for our food. It took just a few minutes for our coffee to arrive.

I took a sip. It really tasted like nothing special. It's good but not THAT good. It's kind of overated. Putting down my cup I noticed that Ann was sort of quiet.

"Hey, your quite silent tonight."

"It's just... umm... I can't thank you enough for letting me come!"

Even when she was sitting down she could bow down in thanks. In my embarassment I bid her to stop.

"You don't have to thank me. Really. After you tripped in the bar I just felt I had to help."

"You know.... I was actually wondering why you needed to get up north so fast. Care to tell us?" Mint interjected.

At the question, Ann seemed to nervously put down her coffee cup. She seemed to be in thought for a few moments as we patiently waited for her answer.

"Well... uhh... actually... it's because I needed to go into an atelier to the north that belonged to an Aeon named Andrena."

"Andrena? Hey we're going there too! Now that I think about it.... you both have the same name."

I couldn't help but point out the coincidence.

"Yeah, I was born in that area so I was named after her. My brother Val... Vance did research there prior to the governments own initiatives. One day when he went there for his regular search, he didn't come back. We waited for a week until I decided to check on him. When I got there I couldn't find him, plus those archaeologists from the museum made looking for him harder. Eventually they closed down the search and the guards would't let me in. That's.... when I heard about you two. It was only at the fountain that realized that you two were the ones I'm looking for. I need your help in looking for him..."

I could see in her eyes her sadness, her pain. I know of such things only too well. I lost a loved one as well. I decided at that point to help her find her brother. To ease her pain. After I ease her pain, then I can ease mine.

****************

Oooooh.... Nice lie Andrena.... very nice lie.....

I'm not one accustomed to lying, but I have no doubt in my mind that they'd kick me out if they knew who I really was. I managed to do some readings about the least thousand years whe I was asleep. I learned that our race doubt out a millenia ago, practically making me the last living Aeon on the planet. I was sort of saddened when I learned this, but I didn't want to let it get me down. When I awoke was hoping to find some Aeons to help me, so I felt quite lonely when I realized I was alone. With their help, I won't be.

Our food came eventually. Mint had roast porkloin with gravy and hazelnuts. Rue had a baked salmon with a garlic pesto sauce. I had roasted duck's leg. We were munching down our food so talk was at a minimum. Between spoonfuls I was observing their eating habits. I noticed Mint's tendency to gorge and devour her food as if she hadn't eaten for days. At first she struck me as a very regal person, almost princess-like. The thing is, I wasn't really offended, since I ate the same way! Hehe, nothing to be proud about. In retrospect, Rue ate like a perfect gentleman. He took proper spoonfuls of food and wiped his mouth, wherein Mint sometimes forgets to wipe hers.

You know.... with the way these two acted.... you'd think....

"I was wondering... are you two.... in a relationship or something?"

*SFOOOSH*

Ummm.... was it something I said? Rue sprayed out the water he was drinking onto the wall like a water hose. He then suddenly tipped overhis chair. Mint began gagging and choking on her porkloin and pounded on her chest to get it out. Man.... I didn't think in this day and age people still reacted that way to that question.

"Eh...ehehe....No! No such thing! We're just... we're just friends! That's it! Friends!"

Mint said that while red as a strawberry and waving her hands at me. Rue was redder than she was, and had a blank expression on his face. Man oh man..... these two try so hard to hide it, but I think anyone can see it's plainly obvious. This went on for a few more moments until a waiter came with our bill, and the two of them snapped back into reality.

"Thanks for the food. I'll pay you once we find my brother and...."

"Naw.... don't mention it. Our treat."

Rue said that with a big smile. Wow.... these two sure are nice. I've never known humans as nice as them before.

As we walked out of the restaurant towards the inn, I made a passing glance at the calendar. The date.... it's the same day more than a thousand years ago that they took him away.....