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Old May 12th, 2008, 6:14 pm
secunda  Female.gif secunda is offline
Second Year
 
Join Date: 15th March 2007
Location: Berlin
Age: 40
Posts: 134
Re: Indoronel *Dandinigirl13 and accompanied writers from 'It's OK to be Bored!'

Spiced with Paige´s talent here is chapter two:

chapter two

“Where is she? Why is she not here with me?” Rowan himself was surprised by his quivering voice that betrayed so clearly his secret wish to be with his own family. Csathie and Aronir had been his beloved substitute for a family. Still Rowan was different from them.
All those seventeen years he had lived in The Safer Lands he had cherished the hope to meet his parents one day. In his imagination they had to go through all kinds of trouble making it necessary for them to give their only child away. Yes, he had never thought about any siblings. Maybe, he had been used to think a cruel man enslaved them but one day they would break free, glorious victors.
Then they would take him home and show him around as proudly as a mother and father should be of their only child. “Our brave son, Rowan!”

The best however was, that they were not magical, they were like him. They would teach him that bravery and endurance were more precious qualities than the ability to hex someone with rabbit ears. He, Rowan, was brave! He had become the great warrior! He had more sense than Csathie, the retarded, vain, spoiled daughter of The Master and he was more modest than arrogant Aronir! Now matter how he loved them so, and how much he valued their friendship.
Rowan´s anger was spurred on by the memory of all the occasions when Aronir had said: “Sorry, mate, you cannot come with me. This is for sorcerers only.”

Rowan, the Great Warrior – a warrior who had never fought in a real battle! Anyway, of what use was a warrior in The Safer Lands?
Suddenly ´The Great Warrior` sounded to Rowan like a teasing nick name: The little boy, who had to toy with swords and daggers, because he lacked the talent to learn something useful!

Hot, angry tears were streaming down Rowan´s cheeks. He didn’t realize it.
His only chance to feel more normal - and The Master had taken it away with his tale. Rowan hated The Master at that moment. This old coward who spent his life in the library! He was obliged to present Rowan with a living sister at least!

“Rowan”, The Master said calmly, his steady gaze on Rowans contorted face. Rowan bared his teeth and growled like a trapped wolf. Forgotten was his decision to help his people against the Demon King’s tyranny. All that mattered now was this consuming and burning anger that had swollen from the moment The Master had dropped the word ´sister`.

“To learn about your sister seems to shake you more than the death of your parents”, The Master stated while he was walking around his large desk and slowly nearing Rowan. His robes rippled as if they were touched by a soft breeze – a soothing sound.
The Master was still a head taller than Rowan and loomed over him like a patient and wise, old tree. With a jolt of fear Rowan remembered that The Master had no difficulties to anticipate at another person’s thoughts. If he had angered him enough to make The Master hurt him Rowan would have no chance against the powerful sorcerer. Rowan, the Great Warrior, he thought bitterly. What a laugh!
He stared at The Master’s silver ornamented chest. “Where is she?” he whispered. “We could have been raised together!” he sobbed pathetically. Great warrior indeed!
“As a companion for times when my daughter and Aronir had to train their magic?” The Master asked. Rowan nodded. He could not tell from The Master´s voice what he was feeling – disappointment, anger, contempt?

“I don’t know where Araliveia is. Many agree that she was killed when Isolath, her guard, was captured by the Demon King´s forces.” Somehow Rowan had expected that. He felt as lonely as he had never felt before in all those years he had spent in the company of Csathie and Aronir. Why was he missing his family so much when he could not even remember them?

Suddenly all his anger was gone. He just felt tired, empty and weak, so weak that he could not find the strength in himself to stop crying.
The Master´s strong arms squeezed him heartily. Rowan gasped. Never before had The Master ever embraced him like his own child. Rowan could feel The Master´s regular heartbeat against his own ribs and the wild thumping of his heart slowed down. When The Master spoke to him again his lips were close to Rowan´s ear.

“When you remained almost untouched after I told you about your parents´ fate, I feared your emotions would wash you away at the wrong moment, perhaps when you face the Demon King. It is good you are bleeding them away now. You have to heal your wounds before you can successfully battle the Demon King, because he is gifted in exploiting his opponents´ weak spots.” The Master held Rowan at arm’s length and continued in more severe tones. “Before you heard about Araliveia and lost your head, I had the impression you understood why you were trained as a warrior. Be assured that neither Csathie nor Aronir think you are inferior to them!”

Of course not, Rowan thought with shame almost as bad as the grief itself. Csathie is not vain and Aronir is not arrogant. It was only my stupid despair that led me to such assumptions.

“Master, I’m sorry,” he whispered, trailing way like a leaf in the breeze.

“Rowan, do not be sorry.” Said The Master, “I just want you to know two points: One, The Demon King knows not what you look like, and I wish it to be kept that way. Secondly, I hope that you will learn after all these years to call me ‘Father.’”

Before Rowan could reply The Master said: “Go now! Csathie has prepared a feast for you in the banquet room, enjoy your coming into adulthood.” He waved Rowan out with a smile.

Puzzled, Rowan left the almost sacred atmosphere of the library. When he closed the door behind him, he believed to hear the old sorcerer chuckling.
Gloomily, Rowan shuffled along the long and deserted corridor. He was not in the right mood for a party, but he knew if Csathie had organized the celebration for his birthday she would have put all her kind heart into it. He had to go down and put on a false smile.

Rowan reached the dark end of the corridor where no light illuminated the wooden panels on the wall. The thick carpet beneath his feet swallowed the crunch, crunch, crunch of his footsteps.
The corridor ended in a staircase that led down to the ground floor where the banquet room was. Like a rising moon a white-clad figure ascended the stairs. When she was only three steps below Rowan Csathie lifted her face and smiled gently at him. Luckily, in the twilight, Csathie could not see Rowan´s red face.

Csathie had loved him like a brother and appreciated him for who he was, whereas Rowan had always liked her as the girl who was younger and he had to protect. She had been born shortly after he had arrived in The Safer Lands. Rowan remembered her wrinkled baby-face, her ear-splitting bawls, her first steps and her first blue ribbons in her fluffy, blond hair. He was always around her, feeling so much more experienced than her, because he was four years and three months older than Csathie. Yet, she abruptly grew out of his reach when she started her magical education.

She only hexed him once, from then on never again. In fact she never used magic when she was with him. She merely listened to him or teased him like a little girl would do. Often they spent time chasing each other. Rowan had always felt as though he was doing a favour to his little…sister. Understanding rushed over him like a hot wave. Csathie knew about his family, knew it since the time she had given him rabbit ears. So she had decided to stay the little girl for him.

“Csathie”, Rowan croaked. “Do you like your blue ribbons?”

Csathie stared at him then she erupted into a loud and ringing laughter. “Oh, Rowan! What happened to you? And since when do you care what ribbons I wear? I was going to change them for my mother-of-pearl hairpin I received last year from mother when I was initiated into the Junior Council. I’m on my way to my room now. You better go down to the banquet room. They are all waiting for you there; even mother has come out of the woods to celebrate your birthday. I’ll see you soon.”

Csathie jumped along the corridor until she had reached the door that led to her quarters. Rowan felt even more depressed. He had indeed forgotten that Csathie was a Council member. Council meetings took place at the same time then his fighting lessons. So Cathie’s duties had never been of any concern to him.
Rowan stepped down the stairs with great reluctance to reach his own birthday party. Aronir would be there, the Aronir whom he had always admired. Yet he had thought so ill of him today. How should he look into his friend’s eyes tonight?

I’m not a worthy prince, Rowan thought. ´A prince should be noble and just, not jealous and unfair like me. Being the head of a whole country is too great a responsibility for me, not to mention fighting The Demon king. I am a sore match for someone so powerful.

Finally, he stood in front of the door behind which everybody expected him to be cheerful. He opened the door a tad, breathed in deeply and pushed it open. Immediately he was greeted with enthusiastic applause. Rowan could hear Aronir whistling. His good-looking friend with his olive skin stood beside his father and his two brothers. Behind her sons, Aronir´s mother smiled at Rowan, her thick, short white hair as untidy as always. Olisaya was ten years older than her husband, but Sarrion loved her like the sun loved the clear sky. All of The Master´s students were assembled, too, aged from ten to twenty. Rowan had always been on good terms with all of them so he managed a smile for them.
The last person in the row, almost hidden in the shadows, was Eletheryn, Csathie´s mysterious mother, who spent most of her time in the murky woods since her daughter was old enough to care for herself. Nobody could tell what she was doing there. Eletheryn´s hair had the colour of a tree trunk.

She was not clapping and she was not smiling. She was just fixing her green forest-eyes on Rowan unblinkingly. Those made Rowan feel even more uncomfortable.

“Where is Csathie?” Aronir shouted. “We cannot sing until she is here.”
Breathless Csathie stormed into the room. She was carrying a big parcel under her arms. Lightly she danced into the place beside her mother. Rowan´s mouth became watery, his heart leapt. Csathie had pinned her hair in a knot with two shiny hairpins. Strands of her golden hair were playfully curling behind her ears and fell down to her shoulders. She looked so beautiful, so beautiful, and so beautiful… The blood was throbbing in Rowan´s groins. Rowan grimaced – this wasn’t right! She – she was like a sister to him. Never, ever in his life had the thought about Csathie like – like that!
Aronir raised his arms, snapped his fingers and counted to three. They all began to sing: “This is a very happy day, because he becomes a man today, our dear boy Rowan, Rowan, Rowan!”

Suddenly everybody was holding a parcel in their hands and was storming towards Rowan to deliver their presents and hug him. When Csathie embraced him and placed a kiss on his cheek his gloom was driven away at last. A more private part of his body made an unintended movement which caused Csathie to say: “I love you, too, Rowan”, with astonishing earnest.

“My little, mature Csathie”, Rowan whispered hoarsely. Aronir, who was dragging Rowan to the buffet, interrupted their intimate moment.

“Eat, mate!” he demanded. “Eat and drink as much as you can. All this wine and beer is yours tonight. Yet I hope you’ll leave enough for the rest of us.” Csathie followed them after she had lifted up the parcel Rowan had put on the floor before they had embraced.

“You should open this first!” she told him.
Rowan tore at the silver and blue silk ribbons and suddenly the parcel exploded with a loud BANG Glittering dust and pink and purple stars were swirling through the air in a dense cloud. Gracefully, the glitter sank down and vanished shortly before it would touch the floor. When the last star had gone, there stood before Rowan the biggest cake he had ever seen. Twenty-one deep blue candles with magenta flames were stuck into it forming the shape of a heart. In the centre a delicate sword made of hardened sugar penetrated the chocolate cover. The layer beneath consisted of red berries and their juice dyed the blade of the sword like blood. From the sword’s knob a banner was flapping. Written on it in silver ink were the words: My heart is bleeding for you, Rowan! – Csathie
Rowan looked at Csathie. She was blinking nervously. She swallowed a few times and cleared her throat. She bent over the cake with the burning candles, the flames illuminating her face from below, and asked quietly:

“Rowan, marry me?”

Rowan closed his eyes. He thought about the life he had to lead from now on, a life consisting only of battle after battle, of running and hiding, of wounds and death. As dearly as he wanted to marry Csathie he also wanted to offer her a life more comfortable than this. He shook his head.
Csathie put his face in her hands and said urgently: “Rowan, I know everything about you. My father told me after I hexed you. So believe me, I’m aware with what kind of man I’m engaging myself to. That means I know about your duty. I thought about it carefully. The Demon King is capable of strong magic. You might need a powerful sorceress like me at your side. Say yes, Rowan, please say yes!”

Rowan heard the desire in her voice. Why had he missed until today that she loved him so deeply? He had only ever perceived a sister in her - but he had mistaken it for something else.

Rowan bent close to her, his lips rubbed against her ears as he whispered:” Yes.”

“Hey, look at those two bloody turtledoves!” Aronir laughed.

Csathie grabbed Rowan´s hand and raised it into the air.

“Rowan and I are engaged!” she announced. The next moment Rowan saw a dark golden ring materialise on his left ring finger. Then they kissed a long and wet kiss as though they wanted to chew each others´ tongues. Around them flooded the laughter and the singing of their friends.

A cool touch on his upper arm made Rowan turn around. Eletheryn nodded to him. “My dear son”, she said and left again to fetch herself some food.
Rowan caught a glimpse of Aronir, who was shaking his head but was grinning from ear to ear at the same time. His eyes ( a bright, tropical blue that were flecked with green,) were the windows to his own happiness.

Arm in arm, Rowan and Csathie strolled to their friend.

“Who had ever believed that sweet, innocent, little Csathie would force brave Rowan to get engaged with her? Besides, dear Rowan, I should be angry with you. You left my present unopened on a pile with all the other junk.” He spluttered.

“Aronir, you are so arrogant!” Csathie exclaimed.

“No, Csathie, he is right.” Rowan contradicted her. “He is my best friend, so I should open his present before everybody else’s – except yours, of course.” He fetched Aronir´s yellow parcel. He had two families now, a dead one and a living one. The living one included Csathie and her parents as well as Aronir, his dead one his own parents and his -

Many agree that she got killed when Isolath her guard was captured by the Demon King´s forces.

Many agree… sounded like nobody knows for sure. Could it be that Araliveia was still alive? Imprisoned by the Demon King, maybe? Why should he keep her alive though? The Master had not told him his own views on that matter. Rowan decided to ask him. Perhaps Csathie´s father would join the feast later in the evening.

Suddenly somebody held the tablet with glasses of reddish brown chestnut wine under his nose.

“Drink my son! Maybe this is the last chance for a proper drunkenness. I have heard my wish has already been fulfilled. You will call me father from now on.” The Master smiled down on him with the same smile Rowan so often had seen on Csathie´s face. Rowan frowned, looked from The Master to the innocently blinking Csathie and back again to The Master. He could not help but to laugh about this little conspiracy. With Aronir´s parcel in one hand he hugged his future father-in-law.

“Csathie, what do you think? Will he open it today or at his next birthday?” Rowan heard Aronir growling.

Rowan helped himself to a glass of wine. “Mast - father, Araliveia - ”

“ - You should open Aronir´s parcel!” The Master interrupted him.

Impatiently, Rowan cut open the parcel with his knife. Inside lay a figure not taller than Rowan´s hand from wrist to the tip of his middle finger. It was the sculpture of a baby carved in stone. The baby had black, wavy hair. Its lips were slightly parted and when Rowan reached inside the box to take it out, he could feel warm air streaming against his palm. “It’s breathing!” he shouted in surprise, almost dropping it.

“Aronir, would you please explain to your friend what he is holding in his hands?” The Master asked.

Aronir nodded briskly. “On the baby’s head are strands of hair from your sister’s head. They were found around the area where Isolath was caught and returned to the Safer Lands. The Master asked me to keep them instead of him in case the Demon King should attempt to invade The Safer Lands. The Master told me it was not clear Araliveia was dead. When I was old enough I began to create a means that could tell me whether the owner of this hair is alive or dead. This baby is the result of my long study and work. As long as the baby is breathing it means your sister is alive.”

In the background Olisaya and Sarrion were singing a low, melancholy love song. Aronir´s brothers accompanied them on their drums and Eletheryn played a weird instrument that produced sounds like desperate, heartbreaking screams. Some of the students joined the singing, their voices dark with ale.

Rowan clenched his fists and looked down at the infant, and across her strands of dark hair. “I will find her, no matter what obstacles I will face. Master, I want every readied man and soldier in your command to leave for the empire at dawn. I will find her.”

He had no idea where the authority wreathing his voice had come from, but it was a start


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