All right. The Dream Kingdom, part three. Let's do it.
"That's very impressive work," Nystor said as he gazed around the audience chamber, the smoke rising from the pipe clenched between his teeth obscuring his features. "Though, perhaps, a tad too impressive. Allow me, if you'd be so kind?"
Before Dylan could say anything Nystor clapped his hands and all but two dozen of the candles winked out of existence. There was still plenty of light to see by, with the added bonus that the heat in the room dropped to a far more comfortable level.
"Why do you continue to hide yourself from me?" Dylan demanded, though he was more annoyed that his handiwork had been altered without his permission than he was bothered by his companion's concealment. The changes were clearly for the better - he really had gone a bit overboard with the candles - but he was refusing to admit that to himself. "Show your face."
Without giving it proper thought, Dylan blew air through his lips in Nystor's direction. It wasn't hard - barely enough to blow out a birthday candle from a few inches away - but it was enough to push the pipe smoke aside, even though the man was at least twenty feet away.
The first thought that occurred to Dylan was that Nystor looked like a fit grandfather. He was clearly old - the deep wrinkles in his face and the long, silver and gray hair that fell to his shoulders left little doubt of that - but he also had an air of vitality about him. He stood tall and straight, his shoulders were heavily muscled, his hands were strong and nimble, and there was an undeniable spark in his eyes.
He was dressed simply, in a full length robe with the hood down and black leather sandals on his sockless feet. It was the robe that grabbed Dylan's attention, as its vivid red reminded him powerfully of the flowers at his father's funeral. Was that the work of his subconscious or was that the robe's true colour?
But before he could voice his question, he was distracted by the sudden arrival of Josh and Olivia.