Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Kaymele part 10

    It's cold and damp, as I sit here at the window, opposite of the room away from the Ceridwen's cot.  Once again I've been chosen to watch after the patients, but I don't mind.  It's either watch him or go work elsewhere in the camp and so far that job is cooking in the kitchens.  Unfortunately I had to be the one to pull the arrows out of his back, stitch up the cuts on him, and keep him alive until Anakis could come.  But when they arrived Anakis was concerned with Nairi and once she started applying the medicine Adonis wouldn't let her leave until she was certain Nairi would live. Unfortunately that left me with the grueling job of cleaning up the newest member of the rebels.
    Since the fake Nairi's appearance and disappearance, I find myself questioning everything, and how this could have happened without my knowing.  I don't think I can trust myself anymore, I know Adonis doesn't.  Either way Nairi will live. 
    The Ceridwen shifts his position since he can't lie on his back it's hard for him to breath while he's on his stomach.  I stand and check his bandages.  He hasn't put much strain on them so thankfully they aren't reopening.  I'm thanking Ainatar that my mother taught me how to heal some wounds, and multipul sicknesses.  Suddenly he rolls his head towards me.
    'You...' he mumbles, 'pulled out... ow.' he moans.
    He looks so pitiful.  Lying there three arrow wounds, several scars from a whip, bruises on his wrists.  'I wish I could use a pain relieving spell, but I don't want to do anything without Anakis's okay.' I resolve.  He moves again and I look down at him.  So much pain crosses his face that it's so hard not to help, but I cannot break my resolve.
    'Please...' he whispers.
    As he said the word I couldn't stand it any longer.  I crossed the room to the door and made a swift exit.  As I closed the door I leaned my back against it, and let out a small sigh.  Just as I had stepped out Nithron came down the corridor, carrying blankets.  He stopped and gave me two blankets, one for me and an extra for my patient.  Though at the rate his fever is rising I doubt he'll need it.
    'Kaymele, what's wrong?  You've gone pale,' asked Nithron taking my hand.
    'I-It's him, he's in so much pain and I dont' know what to do for him,' I say.
    'Can't you give him something to numb the pain?' He asks.
    'No, I'm afraid to.  If he's a Ceridwen like Nairi, than he might not tolerate the medicines or spells that we give him.  It could also kill him like it would have Nairi,' I say, 'in any case I can't do anything, besides making him as comfortable as I can, until Anakis comes.  And she's still in with Nairi.'
    'Just relax, she'll be done sooner than you know.  When I last checked they were finishing her up, and Adonis was pacing like a madman,' he chuckles.
    No sooner had he said this when Anakis, Prid, Adonis, come around the corner and straight towards us.  Prid and Adonis are carrying a very haggard looking Nairi between them.  One of the more noticeable signs of healing that I could see, is that all the welts have disappeared and are now replaced with pale, pink, skin.  Unfortunately she's still quite frail, but it will just take time and effort.
    They rushed her into the room and laid her on the other cot.  Prid looks flushed but neither I or Nithron had time enough to ask him why.  Only Adonis stayed by Nairi's side.  Anakis looking as if she might faint any moment turned to the other man.
    'I have to go and tell Anakis everything I know about Nairi's friend,' I sighed.
    'Alright, don't despair Kaymele.  There is still hope in the world, all you have to do is find it.  Now go inform Anakis,' he says gently.
    He turns and continues down the corridor.  I smiled, but then I remember 'I don't want anyone else to die trying to save me or my family other than myself.'.
    'Kaymele, what is his name?' asks Anakis.
    'I don't know, all I know is he's a Ceridwen like Nairi,' I pause hesitant to say I took out the arrows and didn't give him any pain relief, 'I also took three arrows out of his back and washed them out.  I didn't apply any medicine to the wounds and I didn't use any pain relieving spells to help settle him.  I was worried that he would get worse, or die if I did, so I waited.'
    'You were right to do so, but I think, s-since he's been here on earth longer than Nairi, he should be able to tolerate treatment,' she whispers.
    'Well then lets get healing him,' I exclaim.
    She leans her head down and prays.  The spirit of Deus, as they call him, fills her being.  She gently touched the wounds with a small smear of a salve she concocted.  His face went from extreme pain to relief.  His breathing slowed and he drifted off to sleep.
    'I put some sleeping potion in the salve to help him sleep more calmly.  Now for the buises and scratches,' whispers Anakis.
    I hadn't noticed it before, but on his legs and arms are numerous, tiny, brier scratches.  He must have been running pretty fast to not notice them.  All over him are bruises of all shapes and sizes, either from running so fast or from beatings he had previously received, undoubtedly from Felix's torture chambers.  We rolled him onto his back so he could breathe better, and as we did a piece of paper fell out of his pocket with something heavy in it.  Slowly I pick it up.  Inside the piece of paper is a small stone, the paper is written in a language I've never seen before.  I place it on the table between the two beds.
    Anakis hands me a bowl of herbs, sap, and water, that once mixed become a paste.  The mixture is cool, and moisturizes.  Together we spread it onto his many cuts, and Anakis decides to apply a thin layer the first time to see if his skin will tolerate it.   After a quick once over of Nairi and she's out of the room mumbling something about apologizing and Percival, the assistant cook.
    Adonis is leaning his back against the wall while sitting on the stool beside Nairi.  Out of habit I fill Nairi's cup, he glares at me and taps his fingers on his arm as if impatient.
    'What?' I ask.
    'How...' he growls.
    'How what?' I ask more timidly.
    'How could you let Nairi nearly die!?' he stands slightly loosing his balance.
    'I didn't!  Ask anyone, they'll tell you I stayed by Nairi's side the entire time you were gone!' I take a step back, 'The day she was taken, I went to fetch her some water while Anakis applied another remedy of herbs to those welts she used to have.  She was there when I left and I asked Anakis to stay and watch Nairi.  Well she stepped out for a moment, after Nairi was asleep.  We had no idea that there was a raid going on.  I was pushed down the well if you must know, and there's no need to make me into the enemy here.' I feel my voice rising until it's a shout, 'I've done nothing but care for Nairi, and you come back and say I haven't!  You may hate yourself for what happened in the first place to Nairi but don't take it out on me!'
    'Just forget it!' says Adonis and he storms out.


    That afternoon Nithron asked me to practice sword fighting while Natia watches Nuvole and Nairi.  Adonis still hates me, but lashing out my frustration in sword fighting is better than lashing out at someone, again.  
    We travel past the camp so as not to hit anyone to a clearing, and Nithron shows me a few tips on swordsmanship.  I'm much better with bows and daggers but if in the midst of battle and I have no other options I'ld much rather know how to fight with a sword than just winging it.  We spar off for about an hour, Nithron calls for a break but I'm sure it's for my sake and not his, because he's not even breathing hard yet.
    'You're getting better at moving your feet,' he says taking a swig of water.
    'I'm awful, and you know it.  I wish I would have focused on swords instead of bows and arrows,'
    'No, you're starting to get it.  Don't give up after the first try,'
    'I guess, but it's still not what I'm used to,'
    'Then after a little while we can move on to knives or archery,' he says standing up and offering me a hand.
    I take his offer and we practice for a few hours.  The glint of our swords in the sunlight, and the clang of blade upon blade lasted until Nithron said that if we wanted to do any other practicing then we'd have to stop for now.  He lets me pick our next practice and I choose archery.  Though it's quite easy for both of us, we take turns aiming at a dummy that Nithron made.  It looks like a scarecrow, close to the ones that we use in our fields back at home.  We also use this dummy as the knife throwing target until one of the workers come to tell us that dinner is ready.
    After the worker left we cleaned up our fighting area, and walked to the kitchen.  We walk past the well, and I shudder.  The nightmares of falling continually down the well still haunt me.  Nithron notices and starts up a conversation.
    'So, what's the news on the newest member of the injured?'
    'Well, he looks to be about twenty or so.  He's gotten better since Anakis put that salve on him.  I was glad to get out of there though, Adonis keeps staring at me with such hostility that I just had to get out of there,' I say heaving the swords into a better position, 'Strange thing happened when I turned the patient over though.  As I turned him a piece of paper fell out of his pocket, it had some strange letters on it.'
    'Do you think Nairi can read it?'
    'I don't know, she hasn't awakened since Anakis worked on her.  So I guess we'll have to wait and see,'

The next morning Nairi is still unconscious, and Adonis is beside himself with anxiety.  Her face is starting to get it's normal color back, and the welts on her arms are almost gone.  But Anakis is still worried about her, saying that if she doesn't awake soon she would be too weak to take the medicine.  Adonis is still upset with me, but not as bad as yesterday.  Though towards Nairi he's a perfect angel, giving her sips of water, and helping her in any way possible.
    The other Cewridwen is awake too.  He's in some pain, but I apply a coat of salve every hour according to Anakis's instructions.  I washed his very grubby face, and combed his matted hair.  He looks very similar to Nairi, but is much taller from what I can tell, and quite handsome.
    'So, what's your name?' I ask timidly.
    'Nuvole, and who are you?'
    'I'm Kaymele,'
    There's a long pause between us before Nuvole asks.
    'Did you pull those arrows out of my back?'
    He points to the small table at the foot of his cot.  I had left the arrows there because Anakis wanted to see if they were poisoned, and I haven't gotten a chance to take them to her.
    'Yes, it wasn't easy though, you kept moving,'
    'And Nairi, what happened to her? Is she safe?' he questions wide eyed.
    'See for yourself,' I say moving aside and gesturing to the other cot.
    'Ah, good.  Who's that with her?'
    'Oh that's Adonis, we ran into them traveling through the forest with Bly and Xander. They've gone to get help from the Elves,'
    'So who did you come with,' he asks innocently.
    This for some reason sends a cold shiver down my spine.  I haven't answered this question in quite a while, and it still troubles me to answer.
    'I came with Nithron, we met up with Anakis, Natia, and Prid in Africi.  My dragon Floren...'
    'You have a dragon?!'
    'Yes, she chose me.  I was given her egg as a gift, thought to be a large stone but a week later the rock was gone and in it's place a small baby dragon.  Her name is Florentide,'
    'Really, well has anyone ever told you...' he starts, but the Nithron pokes his head in.
    'Kaymele I was wondering... Oh hey you're awake.  Glad to finally get to meet you,' he extends his hand.
    'A pleasure, I'm sure,' he says sarcastically.
    'What were you wanting to ask me Nithron?' I ask.
    'If you wanted to change our sparing time to after lunch?'
    'Oh, well I can see if Natia or Anakis can watch him.  I think he was too much trouble for Linki last time,' I say teasingly.
    'Hey, what can I say.  She had it coming,' says Nuvole defensively.
    'Oh she didn't do anything, you're just like Nairi always finding trouble,' I say, 'when does Beleg want us to come to the battle planning?'
    'Tomorrow,' he says in a very measured voice, 'after breakfast.'
    'Thanks, I had forgotten and I can't seem to find my journal.  I had written down the time there,'
    'Bye,' I say as he leaves.
    He mumbles something, but I couldn't catch it.
    'Alright mister,' I say gently pushing Nuvole down, 'it's time for you to rest.'
    'What if I refuse?' he says sitting back up.
    'Then I'll make you,' I say pushing harder.
    After I had told him about the potency of mermaid singing he still refuses to sleep.  I give him a dose of Sleepers Leaf, and sing to him.  He's out in minutes, unfortunately I put Adonis to sleep too and he fell backwards into the wall, and after swearing at me with almost every foul word known to dragons, he decides to go for a walk.  I gently pull the covers up to Nuvole's chin and brush the loose strands of hair off his brow.  I go over to Nairi's cot, she's sleeping too and do the same.
I sit on the stool between the two cots and try not to cry.  But between Adonis's hurtful words, loosing Nairi to Felix's minions, and the thoughts of why I escaped here is unbearable.  And in the calm of the sweet morning I wept.
    'It's all my fault.  About Nairi and loosing her, and making Adonis angry.  What I did was unforgivable.  I left her, just as I had left Eleniel.  This is another reason why I am not queen of my people, I am thoughtless and am nothing but a coward.'
    In the silence the followed I lost track of time and forgot about food, water, and training with Nithron.  The rest of the day I somberly did my duties.


    The next morning a messenger from Voronwë arrived with a letter from Bly.  In the letter Bly stated that they weren't leaving until the Council had given them a decision as to whether or not they planned to assist us in battle.  I continued my duties of watching the patients and when the laundry overflows I help there.
    Nairi was moved to another room so Anakis could watch her more closely, and so I would have a place to rest.  Nuvole's back is much better, and the scratches have almost entirely disappeared.  The arrows didn't go in as far as Anakis had predicted, and he'll be up and moving soon.  He's now able to sit up, and stay awake for longer periods of time.  There's a soft knock on the door and Natia pops her head in.
    'Hey, Kaymele,' she says in her normal chirpy way, 'how's the patient?  Anakis sent me to do a quick checkup, even though I told her I'm not very good at this kind of work.'
    'He's doing fine, I've continued applying the salve and give him plenty of water.  Just as she instructed,'
    'How are you holding up?'
    'Better than yesterday.  Adonis just keeps putting the blame on me,' I say folding a blanket.
    'Well he is a dragon, and sometimes it takes them a while to cool down again.  He's just concerned with Nairi's condition,'
    'I guess so, but I didn't think he'ld take it out so fiercely,'
     Just then Adonis opened the door and quietly closes it behind him.  Natia nods to me and leaves, I wish she would stay, if only to play witness to whatever he says or does.  He tells me to sit, and I do.  He kneels and bows his head.
    'Kaymele, Nairi says I was wrong to yell at you,' I must look unconvinced so he continues, 'Nairi's not the only reason I came over here.  I'm sincerely sorry that I blamed you, it's only because...' his voice trails off, 'I don't want anything bad happening to Nairi.'
    His eyes are brimming with tears that I know will never fall because of his pride.  Reverently I place a hand on his shoulder.
    'Can you ever forgive me?' he says quietly.
    'Oh Adonis, I'm always able to forgive,' as I say this I remember Locien and how I was so unforgiving towards him.  Of course his actions were unforgivable.
    'Thank you,' he stands and somberly walks out of the room.
    Nuvole, whom I took to be asleep was staring up at me.
    'You forgive everyone but yourself,'
    His word give me a start, and I slowly turn to face him.
    'I don't know what you mean, I have no reason to not forgive myself,' I say quickly turning away.
    'You think I didn't see you crying yesterday?  You're hiding something from everyone, and you'll keep it on the inside cause that's the best place for you to hide,' he says sitting up, 'or is it?'
    He pulls out my journal from under his pillow.  Gently running his fingers over the edges of the small bunch of papers.
    'I hate to say that I read this, but from what I've gathered your hurting,'
    'So what if I am.  It's none of your business, just because I don't scream my feelings from the rooftops doesn't mean they don't exist,' I say curtly.
    'You're royalty, though,' he says, I must look shocked that's he's been so keen to have figured this out, 'you forget that I was a spy on the inside.  I have ways of figuring out and finding information.  You know, you'll never be crowned if you keep backing down.'
    'I am royalty, I've kept that secret from even Nithron.  He thought we were just lower nobility, but even though we live just a simple life among our people, I am a princess,' I whisper.
    'Ah so I am right,'
    'Yes,' I say trying to sound proud, but my voice cracks.
    'Kaymele, why do you hide?  It's not like you killed someone,' he chuckles.
    'If only he knew, I did kill someone.  An evil someone,' I think, 'I don't hide, my life is personal,' I say snatching the journal from his hands, 'and if you ever touch, or read this again I will go to Beleg and have you sent back to Felix.'
    Just then there's a knock at the door, Nithron enters with hastening steps.  He grabs my arm and pulls me towards the door.
    'Quickly, Beleg has called for an emergency meeting about the battle plans, and you still owe me a sparing match,' he puffs, as if he's out of breath.
    Natia, who was in the next room, takes my place and we're off.  Across the camp to Beleg's tent, Adonis is there looking a little red around the eyes, but he just washed his face.  Prid, Derpa, and Percy are here too.  Beleg stands over his table of maps, and a new message lies on the table beside him.
    'Glad you're all here, it appears that the Elves are planning to help us, but we must meet them half way, in between the Aduin River and the River Fire,'
    Though Derpa can't speak he still understands that leaving the Tawarthion's protective, though dangerous, area could cost us dearly.  He gives his hoof a stomp and shakes his head.
    'Derpa's right, if we leave we are exposing our entire army to Andromeda's wrath,' says Prid banging his fist onto the table.
    'Is there another way?' I ask looking over the maps.
    'From what I understand the Elves are already there, but still if we plan on getting anywhere with the battle we must go out and meet our allies,' says Beleg in a measured voice, 'and no, I don't think there is another way.  If we were to launch an attack immediately then we would undoubtedly be no more than dust.'
    'But dust builds after time,' says Nithron taking a step further into the room, 'I think if we take extra precautions, we can make it, we just need to get started.'
    There's a long pause, and everyone is completely silent.
    'Of course not everyone will journey with us to the meeting point, just the few soldiers and the all of you who are prepared to fight,' he pauses taking in our faces, ' we may also need Anakis to join as our healer.'
    'No,' says Prid, 'she's not fond of battles.'
    'She's the most qualified for healing and medicine use,' argues Beleg.
    'I still thi...'
    'But I want to go,' says Anakis from the tent flap.
    'Splendid, I'll add you to the list,' says Beleg.
    After the debates, and other arguments the meeting ends, and we all depart to our various jobs.  I head back to my patient, but Nithron stops me. His eyes filled with questioning, I know I must be blushing cause my cheeks feel as hot as the rocks in the summer.
    'Where were you yesterday?  I waited for two hours, and you never came,' he blurted out.
    'I'm sorry, I was watching Nuvole and...'
    'Oh, Nuvole,' he grumbled, crossing his arms and furrowing his eyebrows.
    'And what's that suppose to mean?' I exclaim taking a defensive tone.
    'Nothing, you've just been obsessed with him ever since he arrived!' he retorts.
    'What?!  How could you ever think that!  I have done nothing but help, and you think I have feelings for Nuvole!?  I can't believe this!'
    'Well it sure seems that way, what with you always by his side and...' he rants.
    'There's nothing between us!' I shout.
    'Are you sure? Cause from what I understand you've become very close!'
    'What are you talking about?  There's nothing whatsoever between us!'
    'I can't believe you Kaymele do you think I'm stupid?!'
    'You can't believe me, do you hear yourself? What's gotten into you?'
    'Oh I don't know, maybe betrayal, lies, deceitfulness...'
    'Are you insane, I've never lied to you!' I insist.
    'Really? So when where you going to tell me you're a princess?'
    My mouth drops open.
    'Yes, your patient told me all about it how you're not only a princess, but a princess about to be crowned queen!' he thundered.
    'I ment to tell you but...' I start softly.
    'But nothing, I trusted you Kaymele very much,'
    'Well if you trusted me so much then maybe, just to save from future arguments, I should leave!' I hiss, 'and maybe I shouldn't have come in the first place!'
    'Maybe I shouldn't have rescued you...' he mumbles.
    'Sorry, didn't catch that,'
    'I said, maybe I shouldn't have rescued you!'
    Dead silence, all around.  Nothing but our breathing, and the resounding sound of our fight.  I clamp my hands over my mouth, my eyes fill with tears, and take a deep breath.
    'Well then, I guess this is goodbye.  I shall return to my people,' I say, then turn and run back to my room.
    I know he chases after me, but I don't slow up.  As soon as I'm through the door  I slam it in his face, and fling myself onto the bed and weep.  I don't even notice that Nuvole is missing, but it doen't matter I've lost my last friend, and surely I will be executed when I return to my people.

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