Chapter 27:

Exploring the City of Quenth 5

The Nonpareil of Resh (Act 1)

Gwyn was eager as they entered the museum. It was so much of a personality switch that it surprised both Fiona and Odell. As soon as they paid for entry, Gwyn ran forward and began to examine the first piece of architecture on display. He was like a kid in a toy store as he gleefully inspected the artifact.

The museum shape resembled that of a giant circle. The people entering would first head to the right, where the exhibits of early Aqueenian culture were on display. As visitors went around the circle, they would travel through Aqueenian history until they reached the modern-day.

Fiona had no interest in the museum; she had gone through several times more than needed in her lifetime. It was common practice for every Aqueenian school within Quenth to visit the spot once a year, and the royal education was no exception.

Odell also had no interest in the museum, though for different reasons. However, since he had dragged Gwyn along with what he wanted to do, he avoided complaining.

Gwyn was already far ahead of the other two. His enthusiasm overwhelmed his companions, the museum staff, and many visiting school children who stood in the hallway with him. They all gave him odd looks as he closely examined a set of armor and series of tools from the early days.

When finished examining the armor, he took several half steps to his right to look at the following exhibit. Then, he took another half step to view the display.

"We're going to be here forever," Fiona groaned only quietly enough for herself to hear it. She ignored the chuckles from Sun that echoed only in her head.

Gwyn was several exhibits down the way when Odell and Fiona made their way over to him. He was staring at a large tapestry. With his good arm, bonded to Mem, he pointed and traced some of the wavy lines on it.

"Hey, Fiona, what's this tapestry depicting?" Gwyn asked.

Fiona turned to the tapestry. It depicted a famous battle in the past, though she could hardly remember the name.

"Um, it's an old battle, when the Aqueenians and Hobusians first went to war sometime in the past...."

"Hmm, interesting!" Gwyn concluded. He looked to Fiona as he prepared a slew of questions about the war, but once he noticed that she appeared to be already racking her brain for more information, he decided to move on.

Gwyn examined a couple more exhibits while the other two followed behind him. Odell yawned, and Fiona looked like she was still struggling to recall what she had failed to listen to while in history classes.

They walked through the years of history around the museum. Most depictions seemed to show the Aqueenian development of Quenth and wars with the Hobusians. It wasn't until Gwyn walked into the next marked area when he saw something different.

There was a diorama set out in the middle of a large open space. The events on display were of an apparent significant battle, and a placard on the side displayed with the words 'Battle of Old Quenth' written on them. It gave a brief description of the side of the events.

Gwyn read the card then peered over to take a close look at the battle.

"What's all this? He asked while pointing to some of the miniatures." Fiona looked closely at the miniatures. The battle was famous for starting the first world war on Resh and notably involved every group on the planet at the time. Gwyn was unfamiliar with two groups, and he had chosen to point at two miniatures of species he had not seen who were locked in a deadly dual.

"Bentulousians and Zenototes, they were involved in this battle as well," she explained.

"How many species are on this planet," Gwyn wondered aloud. It was mainly to himself as he rubbed his chin as he spoke. He looked closely at the miniatures to try to make out the details molded into them. All he could make out was one appeared to have scales, and the other appeared to be covered in fur.

Fiona went into deep thought as she tried to come up with an educated guess for the number of creatures that inhabited Resh.

"Hobusians, Aqueenians, Zenototes, and Bentulousians are the four native speaking species to the world. Then the Netzians came afterward," Odell explained.

"Wait, there's more than that, though... I'd say maybe a million or so if I had to guess...."

"If you count all the plants, animals, and bugs, yes maybe, but I think he was wondering about ones that can speak."

"That was meant to be rhetorical, but thanks...." Gwyn said. The other two looked equally shocked. "Sorry," Gwyn added as he rubbed the back of his head and looked down the way. "Hey, is that a place to buy food! Let's go; I'm starving!"

Gwyn waved for the other two to follow him as he charged ahead.

"Hey, wait, you shouldn't run in the museum!" Fiona yelled to him as she chased after.

"You're running as well!" Odell pointed out as he ran behind her.

The trio continued on their way until a museum staff member finally shouted at them

"Stop running!"

They came to an abrupt halt and walked the rest of the way.