Sometimes, you have to make your own destiny.

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Chapter 5, Pt. 5

The sun was well below the horizon when Jarlen finally called a halt. They had spent the last hour traveling by a sphere of magic light Riya had conjured up.

Jarlen dismounted and led the horses off the road to a little clearing in the woods. He was about to help Silay off her horse when he heard a rustle behind him. Turning, he saw two tents where there had been empty ground a moment before. He looked at Riya.

Riya shrugged. "I'm here to be useful, remember?"

Jarlen glared at her. "You should be saving your magic. You don't know when we might need it."

"So, it's all right to light our path, but not to set up tents? You make no sense." Riya shook her head. "You better help Silay off her horse before she falls off. I'm going to find firewood. You can search the pack for some flint, or let me light it the easy way." Riya turned and walked away.

Jarlen offered a hand to Silay, who was tottering with one foot in a stir-up and one thrown over the saddle, and she took it gratefully. Once she was safely on the ground, she looked at Jarlen.

"What was that all about?"

"It was nothing. I just wish you had been more discerning in your choice of traveling companions."

Silay stared. What had happened to the kind alchemist who had bandaged her blisters? Before she could say anything, Riya cleared her throat from where she was standing at the edge of their small camp.

"You could just say it, Jarlen."

"Say what?"

Riya crossed the camp and set down the armful of wood she had collected. "You might as well say that you don't like magic. It isn't all that unusual, you know."

Jarlen shrugged.  "It has it's place. I just dislike it when people waste it on tasks that could be done in a normal way."

Riya gave a wry smile. "Magic is normal to me."

"Be that as it may," Jarlen paused and rummaged through one of the saddle bags, "I prefer using flint to start a fire." He held up the bag with fire starting tools.

"I can do it!" Silay jumped to her feet, startling the other two. They turned to look at her and she blushed. "I mean, someone should talk with the Seer, and I can't do that, and Riya already set up the tents, so I just thought... maybe I could be useful too." She hung her head. "Just, please, stop arguing."

Riya took the fire bag from Jarlen and gave it to Silay. "Nobody's arguing, Silay, not really. We're just learning how to get along with one another. Why don't you get the fire started. I'll find some more wood, and set up wards. And Jarlen can check in with the Seer." She caught Jarlen's eyes with hers as she spoke. "Does that suit everyone?"

The man nodded, and Silay gave him the Farstone. Jarlen went into the smaller tent, and Riya and Silay set about their tasks. Silay had a small fire going, with a stack of wood beside it, when Jarlen emerged, his face pale.

Silay stood up. "Is everything all right?"

Jarlen shook his head and gestured to the ground. "Sit."

Silay and Riya took places by the fire, and Jarlen joined them.

"So?" Riya prodded. "What is it?"

Jarlen looked at the two women. "It's the Healer in Dilest. The first one to treat the disease. He's dead."

End of Chapter 5
Check back Wednesday for the Chapter Epilogue
Chapter 6 begins next Sunday
Sorry about the break in postings. We traveled a lot this summer, and I rarely had a chance to sit and write. Now that school has started and back to my normal busy schedule of two teaching jobs, I should have plenty of writing time (sarcastic). I do manage my time better when I'm on a schedule, though, so  I'll be going back to my weekly postings. 

1 comment:

  1. Proofreading - and just noticed in the sidebar! "UDESTINED" :)

    stir-up (stirrup)
    it's place (its)