So I miss numbered them…I don’t know what part this actually is but it doesn’t really matter…lol. I haven’t actually finished typing it all up, but figured it had been too long since anyone had actually read them. And I didn’t want them forgotten! 😉 So here is yet another installment of the book that has consumed my life since I was seven!
They trudged about for a full day, from dawn to dusk. Karstrel at first tried to see or sense some sign of their mysterious follower, but she couldn’t see anyone or anything following them. The silence rule began to grate on her, for she had many questions and knew that Amikol would know the answers. They stopped to camp for the night and Kars decided that it was time to get some answers.
“Where are we going?” She asked quietly as Ami lit a fire.
He looked up sharply, glaring at her. It disconcerted her a bit, he had never shown her anything but kindness and it was clear that he was very annoyed at her in that moment. Possibly more than that. In his eyes she saw…hatred. She felt shock penetrate her system. She had done nothing to deserve hatred, had she? A sliver of fear wormed its way into her heart.
“The silence rule stands. No questions.”
The rest of the night it was so. The others had blankets in their packs, or cloaks on in Korle’s case. They were warm. Karstrel slept on the ground for the first time in her life, in the cold, without a blanket. Anger rushed through and all she could process was the injustice of everything that was happening to her. She couldn’t even voice her outrage because of this ridiculous rule that the impudent wizard had put into place. It boiled and bubbled and rose to the surface and she would let it simmer down, until it would heat up again and she would have to calm down again. She tossed and turned, trying to find a good spot on the ground in which to be comfortable, but there were none. She felt bruises form on her back and sides.
By the morning, she had gotten little to no sleep, and all she had really accomplished was to make herself righteously indignant at the treatment she was subjected and very angry about Amikol’s with-holding information from them. Ami shoved her shoulder to wake her, and began to clean up the site. Peebles was awake, eyes watchful of the surrounding area. Korle was sitting, arms hugging her knees. She looked a little bit afraid, for some reason. Karstrel became more irritated. She and Korle had come to an understanding of sorts. They weren’t exactly friends, but then, Kars didn’t have many friends. And to befriend a peasant was a ridiculous notion. However, it was the closest thing to a friend she would ever really have though. She stood and brushed off the twigs and leaves that had lodged themselves on her person. Doubt began to flood her mind, but she ignored it as she approached Amikol.
“I demand to know where we are going.” She said, drawing herself up to her full height.
He pinned her with his hateful gaze, but only for a moment. She gave enough of her own looks like that to brush it off quite quickly.
“Silence.” He said. Though his voice was calm, it was a dangerous calm. The kind that, if you had sense, you obeyed in all haste.
Karstrel did not have much sense.
“No! You have dragged us through the woods with very little explanation! You are scaring Korle! We do not know where you are taking us, for all I know, this could be a trap!” She cried. Her face turned red with the force of the vexation she felt. “We have a right to know the location to which we are being led!” Her voice cracked, it had only just recovered from her screaming bout with the house.
“Karstrel.” His eyes glittered dangerously.
“If you do not tell me where we are going, I will leave and go on my own.” She said viciously. “I will take my stone and disappear, so you will not be able to find me!”
Ami suddenly lashed out, slapping her face with the force of magic behind his blow. She flew across their camp area, her body slamming into a tree. They all heard the crackle and crunch of bones upon impact. Her body crumpled on the ground, blood pouring from her arm. Korle saw the bone sticking out. She turned her head away quickly, before she was sick. Peebles changed from his panther form quickly.
“Grab her stone.” His voice was low and menacing.
“What?” Korle breathed.
“We can’t leave it here.”
“Are we leaving Karstrel?” her voice cracked. She held her breath, fearful of the answer.
“Ami,” Peebles stepped forward, “I don’t think this is a good idea.”
“Do as you’re told.” Ami’s back was still turned away from them. His voice was like steel.
Peebles sighed and walked over to Karstrel’s still body and began to root through her sack.
“You’re going to leave her here, injured?” Korle walked over to Ami. “Please,” she pleaded, “she needs help!”
Ami turned his eyes toward her and first the first time she felt a shiver of fear at his look. His eyes brooked no argument. Peebles walked up and placed a blue stone in the hand of his brother.
“This is wrong.” He whispered.
“She questioned our authority and leadership and eventually would have become a danger.” Ami murmured back. “WE need people we can trust. And now, we can travel in relative peace.” Peebs nodded, looking down. Ami rested his hand on Peebles’s shoulder.
“Stay with me brother. We’ll make it through this storm.” He glanced over at Korle, who was leaning over Karstrel. “Come on, we should get moving.”
Korle sent a pleading look at Peebs.
He shook his head and murmured. “Come one.” And the young woman who had been abandoned so many times in her life, followed, abandoning one in need for the first time.
Karstrel awoke to pain. It filled her, but she felt the headache the most. She wanted to move, just open her eyes, but it was all too painful. A small whimper escaped her lips.
“You’re awake?” the voice sounded distant. “It’s all right, I think. I’ve got this figured out.”
By the time the sentence was finished, she was out again.
The next time she awoke the pain had decreased. All she felt was an ache throughout her body. She opened her slowly, adjusting to her surroundings. It was dark out; the sun had just gone down and there was a lingering remnant of light. She was still in the forest, but it didn’t appear to be the same place she remembered being before. What had happened? She couldn’t really wrap her mind around the days previous to this. It was fuzzy and just out of her reach. Slowly, she sat up. To the left of her was her pack. She reached out to grab it, but cried out in pain. Her muscles were frozen, cramped, and any movement brought sharp pain to the forefront of her mind. Slowly, more carefully she reached out. There was still pain, but it wasn’t a surprise to her and this time she successfully grabbed her bag. Wincing all the while, she dragged it toward and reached her aching hand in and gently rummaged about the sides until she found the secret pocket. She reached in and grasped the small blue stone hidden there.