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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Chapter 6, Pt. 2


The days quickly fell into a pattern. Ride until dusk, set up camp, and fighting lessons first thing in the morning. After his comment about 'dirty fighting' Jarlen started alternating days with Riya, teaching Silay the basics of fencing, with two of the swords he had packed. While Silay found this interesting, she secretly thought that Riya's lesson were more useful. She didn't say anything about it though, for fear of stirring up trouble between her two companions.

The growing silence between Jarlen and Riya was the one thing Silay couldn't understand. Neither had done anything to openly offend the other, at least as far as she could tell, but the animosity between them was clear. Riya had said that some people just didn't like magic, but Silay wondered if it was more than that. Of course, Jarlen could just be upset about the delay Riya had caused by getting herself and Silay arrested. Either way, they continued to go out of their way to avoid each other, until, after a week on the road, Riya approached Jarlen at dinner.

"We're running low on food. We can ration, but it would be better if we could stop and restock."

Jarlen rubbed his chin, which he had somehow managed to keep clean-shaven, but before he could answer, Silay chimed in.

"I could fish!"

Riya looked at her. "When? While you're trying to ride your horse, or during the few hours of sleep you get?"

"I could skip training tomorrow."

"No!"

 "Absolutely not!"

Silay blinked. She was pretty sure it was the first time she had heard Riya and Jarlen agree on something. "It was a just a suggestion."

Riya smiled. "I know. And if it comes to that, I can hunt. But hunting and fishing take time," she glanced at Jarlen, "and time is something we don't have a lot of. Well, that and food," she amended. "The best thing would be to go through a town and pick up supplies along our way."

Jarlen straightened his back. "I haven't been keeping us to side paths for the fun of it, you know."

"The plague, right?" Silay looked at Jarlen, and he nodded. "We don't know what causes it yet, and still aren't sure of the early signs. If one of us got sick..." Her voice trailed off, and Riya raised her eyebrows.

"You mean if you get sick, Silay," she said. "Jarlen and I are just along for the ride, remember? You're the one that doesn't have death in her future."

"Because I have nothing in my future, for all the good that does me," Silay retorted. The group lapsed into silence for a moment, before Silay spoke again. "So, supplies?"

Riya nodded. "I'm no Healer, but my magic should protect me at least from getting sick. I could cut through one of the smaller towns, pick up supplies, and then meet back up with you."

"And by 'pick up', you mean steal, I suppose?" Jarlen asked lazily.

Riya's eyes flashed. "By 'pick up' I mean buy."

"With whose money?" When Riya didn't answer, Jarlen gave a triumphant "hmph."

"Look, I didn't exactly plan to end up on a month long quest to stop a plague when I left Surwas"

"Which, if I remember correctly,"Jarlen replied, "you did because you had stolen Silay's Farstone."

"That was an accident." Riya jumped to her feet. "What the hell is your problem? I've tried my best to stay out of your way, but you  just can't le me be. So tell me! What is it? What is you hate about me so much?"

Jarlen stood slowly, until he was taller than Riya. He looked down, meeting her eyes. "I was called to Sojan for help. After you had stolen their Wardstone."

Riya sat down as suddenly as she had stood up. "Oh."

"Oh?" Jarlen wasn't yelling, but he might as well had been. "Is that all you have to say? 'Oh'? People died there, Riya, and there was no need for that to have happened. People died because of you."

Riya looked up, meeting his eyes. "I know. Which is why I turned myself in and got it back for them."  She glanced back down, towards the fire. "That was it, you know. The end of my time as a thief. I've never forgiven myself for what happened."

"Nor I have I."

With that comment, Jarlen rose and went to his tent.

Silay looked at Riya, and was surprised to see tears in her eyes. "Riya, are you all right?"

Riya brushed her hand across her eyes. "I'm fine!" Then, so soft that Silay could barely hear it, Riya whispered, "I'm always fine." She got up and went into the tent she and Silay shared.

Silay sat by the fire for a few minutes longer, before putting it out and heading to bed herself.
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So... a little backstory on Riya and Jarlen. Don't worry, there'll be more.
***
I was reading the introduction to an Orson Scott Card book (I, I know, he's a jerk, but he is a good writer), and he was describing the difficulty of distinguishing between different characters, and how each character is different depending on whom they're with. So not only is there Silay, there's also Silay-with-Riya, Silay-with-Jarlen, and Silay-with-Riya-and-Jarlen. And so on, for each character. Which is a lot to keep track of. I have noticed that as a result of this, Silay has lately become more of a background character. After all, it's Riya and Jarlen who are the experienced travelers. They might just be "along for the ride", but they know more about riding than Silay and so have taken charge. But don't worry... Silay is still the main character here, and I won't let her fall by the wayside.
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1 comment:

  1. Proofreading :)

    "and time is something we don't have a lot of. Well, that and food," she amended. (maybe, "time is the one thing" - so that the 'amendment' is more of an amendment? :) )
    when I left Surwas" (.)
    you just can't le me be. (extra space, and 'let')
    What is you hate (+ it)
    so soft that (softly?)

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