The group went on talking for a while longer, Cerys trying the mixture of fruit,, plus a few different types of fish that had been set out. She was so busy listening to Nashtra and his mother that she hardly realized that several elves further down were starting to stand up. Then she stood, too, and looked down to see what was going on. An older man was walking past the long row of dining elves. Some of them he patted on the shoulder, others he waved or smile to, but as he passed, they sat down again, and went back to eating.
Two younger elves were walking alongside him, and as he came up behind Peter and for your knee, the group began to let a delicate hush wash over themselves. The old man stopped and looked down at Peter, who was still sitting on the ground, although Bayani was kneeling, trying to coax him up onto his feet.
“Well then, good evening and welcome to all of you.” The old man did not have a critical tone in his voice at all, but he seemed very accepting of the fact that the boy did not want to stand. He laid a hand on Bayani’s shoulder and said, “Do not worry, young one. Sometimes it is the duty of youth to be critical of things. That is how change comes about. Let him be.”
Those words got Peter to look up at him. Creys blinked, but dared not comment on how rarely anyone could get Peter’s attention like that; she did not want to ruin the moment for him.
Several elves nearby moved closer to each other in order to make room for the shaman. He sat down next to Bayani, and those around him sat as well. The shaman turned to face the boys, smiling at them.
“Welcome, welcome,” he said.
Peter blinked and looked right back at him.
“Dear Shaman,” Nashtra said, “I am honored to have a seat near you. I thank you for accepting these guests into our forest.”
The shaman then looked over at Nashtra. “You find the most interesting things. You always have, young Nashtra. I like that about you.”
Nashtra gave a low, deep nod, such that had he bent his body any lower, it would have been more of a bow. He glanced over at his mother.