The sobs of a young elven lady permeated the night as she hugged the bundle of cloth, which held her baby in place.
Her tears fell like rain, as her parents, and members of their clan looked at her with pity.
All of them stood at the riverbank, under the light of the full moon. It was a beautiful night, with the stars shining brightly above them.
Yet, the young lady's sorrowful sobs made this wonderful scenery lose its luster.
Several minutes passed, and the Patriarch of the Elven Clan patted the young lady's shoulder.
"I am sorry for your loss, Adeline," the Patriarch said softly. "But we cannot bury him in our ancestral lands. I hope you can understand."
Adeline nodded as the tears streamed down the side of her face. She knew about the tradition of their clan, but it still broke her heart to part with her child who had died not long after he was born.
Adeline's father sighed as he walked toward her daughter carrying a basket in his hands. The basket was ladened with a cloth to make it comfortable for a baby to lie down in. Unfortunately, Adeline's child would not be able to feel its softness, for it had breathed its last breath a day ago.
The young lady then kissed her baby's forehead before placing him inside the basket. She then took a wooden slate from her storage ring and used her magic to carve a name on it.
"Although I wasn't able to give you love and happiness, I will not forget to give you a name," Adeline said sadly as she finished writing her son's name on the wooden slate.
She had used the common language of the world to write her son's name in hopes that if anyone found her baby, they would give him a proper burial.
That was the name that Adeline had given her son.
After placing the wooden slate inside the basket, Adeline's mother wrapped her arms around her daughter's body and held her tight.
"Let me send you off, my dear grandson," Adeline's father said sadly. "I pray that the spirits will guide your soul to the promised paradise, where we shall go when our time has come as well. Forgive us, for being unable to give you a proper burial."
The Patriarch of the Elven Clan of Entheas looked at the basket and sighed internally.
'Even though I want to make an exception, the elders will definitely not allow it,' the Patriarch thought. 'Half-Bloods have no place in Ashe Entheas. Forgive us, child. My hands are tied.'
Suddenly, a little elven girl started to sing. It was the song of parting that the Elves sang when their loved ones had departed the world.
Soon, the other elves joined in the singing as they sent off the youngest member of their clan on his journey to the afterlife.
Adeline's father placed the basket on the river. He gave his grandson one last glance before finally letting go.
Adeline wailed and her mother struggled to hold her in place. She had a feeling that if she didn't hold her daughter properly, Adeline would jump into the river and bring back the basket to the shore.
"Sleep, child," the Patriarch said as he cast a sleeping spell on the struggling young lady. This was the only thing he could think of to prevent Adeline from acting recklessly.
Soon, the young lady stopped struggling and collapsed in her mother's arms. Her tears continued to fall, for she knew that when she woke up, she would never see her son ever again.
The basket floated on the Avonlea River and was carried away by the river currents, far from the land of Ashe Entheas, where he was not welcomed, even in death.
Several hours passed, and the basket had already traveled many miles, unhindered by anyone or anything.
Some of the creatures that lived in the river didn't pay it too much attention because they didn't detect any signs of life within the basket. They thought that it was just a piece of wood that floated on its surface, so they left it alone and minded their own businesses.
Suddenly, high above the star-filled sky, a blue comet streaked creating a dazzling trail in the heavens.
As if attracted by the basket flowing on the river, the comet shifted its course, as its body decreased in size with every passing second.
Soon, only a small orb of blue light, the size of a tennis ball, was left of the blue comet that once traveled from the other side of the multiverse.
This small orb landed on the baby's chest and merged with its body.
After a few minutes, the dead baby abruptly opened its mouth as if trying to suck up air to fill up its lungs that were deprived of oxygen.
Little by little, the baby's complexion improved, but it was still too weak to do anything. Soon, all movements stopped and the baby remained motionless inside the basket, asleep and unaware of the dangers that surrounded the basket that was carrying his fragile body.
"We're almost home, Sophie," an old woman said as she softly patted the back of her mount. "Let's speed up a bit so we can have breakfast with the others."
A short honk answered her request, as the head of a three-meter tall White Hippopotamus rose from the water.
The old woman smiled as she looked at the distant stronghold that was known as Wildgarde.
As they traversed the river, they noticed two giant crocodiles fighting against each other, while the rest of the group watched from the sides.
This was a normal occurrence in the Huntdeen River during this time of the year.
The old woman and her mount, Sophie, steered clear of the two giant crocodiles fighting for dominance. It was their mating season, and these beasts were more aggressive during this time of the year.
As they passed the two fighting behemoths, a sudden crying sound reached the old woman's ears.
She turned around to search where the cry was coming from, and it was then that she saw the floating basket that was slowly heading toward the group of crocodiles.
The old woman frowned because she could clearly hear the crying sound of a baby coming from the basket.
"Sophie, turn around! Now!" the old woman ordered.
The white hippopotamus obeyed her master and hurriedly made a U-turn towards the basket that was only dozens of meters away from the giant crocodiles that were fighting for supremacy.
It was not only the old lady that heard the young baby's cries. Several of the crocodiles had started to swim towards the basket with bloodshot eyes.
For them, the baby's cry was like an invitation to a free meal.
Soon, one of the crocodiles arrived a meter away from the basket and opened its massive jaws to swallow the basket and the baby that was inside it.
However, before it could claim its prey, a foot landed on its snout and forcefully closed its jaws shut tight.
The old lady picked up the basket with both hands before jumping away, using the crocodiles as stepping stones.
With one final jump, she landed deftly on the white hippopotamus' back and ordered it to flee as fast as it could.
The enraged crocodiles roared as they charged toward the escaping thief who had stolen their prey.
The two fighting crocodiles also stopped their battle and blocked the hippopotamus's path of escape.
"We don't have to make a big deal out of this small matter," the old lady said to the two giant crocodiles whose bloodshot eyes had locked onto her small frame. "I'm taking this child with me, so get out of my way."
The two giant crocodiles roared, which made the old lady click her tongue in annoyance.
"So be it. Sophie, go forward," the old lady ordered.
The white hippopotamus obeyed and charged toward the two giants that blocked her way. When the old lady and her mount were only a dozen meters away from their location, the two giant crocodiles lunged at them with fury.
While holding the basket with her left hand, the old lady moved the fingers in her right hand in a seemingly erratic manner.
Soon, two figures materialized out of thin air and charged toward the two giant crocodiles, whose jaws filled with razor sharp teeth were only several meters away from the old lady and her mount.
A deafening cracking sound reverberated in the surroundings as the two giant crocodiles were sent flying dozens of meters away.
Their giant bodies smashed down on the river's surface, creating waves in all directions.
The other crocodiles who saw this scene stopped their advance and looked at the old lady in horror. Their thoughts of finding trouble for her disappeared completely after she had effectively dealt with the two dominant crocodiles with a single blow.
The old lady sighed and shook her head helplessly. "We're going to be a bit late for breakfast, but it can't be helped."
She then looked at the baby who was still crying inside the basket.
"Don't cry, little one. You are safe now," the old lady said.
She then used her finger to lightly caress the baby's cheeks in order to calm him down.
Perhaps it was a coincidence, or perhaps it was only the baby's natural instinct, but the moment his face was touched, his small hands reached out to hold the finger that was caressing his face.
The old lady smiled when the baby stopped crying while firmly holding onto her finger. With a glance, she could tell that the baby had once again fallen asleep, so she sat down and carefully placed the basket on her lap to secure it in place.
"Let's go, Sophie," the old lady said softly. "Let's go home."