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|The story continues...||
Jamiel sat in his chamber and wrote. His master wanted the account books ready by morning and there were still loads of work to be done. A slave brought him wine. While drinking he wondered, how he had ended up here. Jamiel was a solider, and here he sat sorting out the accounts of a wizard overlord. However, Fileas wasn’t a bad master, just a little bit scitsophrenic, and the Castle Mornyés wasn’t a bad place to work in. He was favoured by the master, and the female slaves were very generous. Yet, he felt that something wasn’t quite right. He pushed the unpleasant thoughts aside and focused on the numbers again.
* * * * *
“Mum! Mum, Darla is teasing me!” “Darla Morgana Winter! Go to your room now” “But I didn’t…” “No ‘buts’ young lady. Go to your room immediately!” Darla sighed and climbed the stairs sneering Misty on her heels. “Some day, I will wipe that arrogant smile off of your face”, she hissed. “Some day I will kill you”. Thick oak door slammed shut and Misty hopped downstairs smiling.
* * * * *
“Darla”, the voice was merely a whisper. Darla jumped awake, but the room was empty. A faint wind caressed her face. “Darla”, a voice, which couldn’t be mistaken, was there again, and Darla rolled out of her bed. “What do you want?” she asked. There was no answer. Not entirely sure, if she had just imagined it all, Darla went back to bed, though she wasn’t able to sleep anymore. “Okay, girl. Calm down, will you. You’ve had a rough day. Just calm down…”
Finally the morning came, however, Darla had hardly had any sleep at all. Darla combed her hair and tied it loosely on her neck. Then she dressed in grey to express mourning and painted black lines around her eyes. After drinking a cup of strong tea she left the castle to take a short walk before Misty’s funeral.
She didn’t get too far, when a small green gnome jumped to hang on her sleeve. Darla saw it was very afraid. “Easy, little one, easy. Calm down”. She noticed a small medallion on its neck. “Where’s your master?” The jumped back to the ground and started running along the path, asking Darla to follow. Soon it led her away from the path. They walked a while in the thick forest, and finally reached a small open place. On the other side of it there was something lying on the ground. A young man, perhaps couple years older than Darla. “What happened?” she asked from the gnome, who started jumping and howling wildly. “Oh, calm down, I can’t follow you. So, your master was getting away from something, when he got shot, and a snake scared his horse?” The gnome nodded. “Do you have a name?” Darla asked and got one whispered word for an answer. “Terre? Okay, Terre. Your master is very, very ill. Don’t panic, we can still save him”.
After a while Darla had managed to pull an arrow out of the man’s back. She also had noticed that the arrow was poisoned. She sent Terre to bring water and some herbs for the antidote. As it returned, she told it to go and look for the run-away-horse. The man was pale, although his cheeks nearly glowed with fever. “I guess I didn’t study for nothing after all”, Darla mumbled as she picked a small cauldron and a knife out of the air. She cut the herbs into the water and heated the cauldron in her hands, until the water started boiling. Then she cut her wrist, let her blood run to the cauldron, and closed the wound again. Humming quietly she stirred the mixture for one more moment and poured the boiling hot liquid to the open wound in the man’s back. He screamed in pain but soon he fell back to unconsciousness.
She closed his wound and lifted him on the horse Terre had bought. “Come”, she said walking the horse along the side of a huge cliff. She took the man and the gnome though a hole in the stonewall to a sort of corridor, which led to a wide cave. In the other end of the cave, there was an exit that opened straight to a lake. “I must go now”, Darla said. “Just wait here, I will be back as soon as I can”.
She materialized again about a dozen yards away from the temple door, wiped the grass and blood out of hr clothes and started moving through the crowd. “Well well, Jamiel. You made it after all”. A tall young man turned around and let his gaze run up and down on Darla. “Well hi there, little sister”, he whispered gently and pulled the girl closer. “Did you miss me?” Darla could only nod.
‘The funeral’ was actually just a formal blessing ceremony. Zar’a had sent Misty’s ashes, medallion and sword to lord Winter. Darla didn’t hear anything the priest said, because she thought about the sick man in the cave. She felt her brother’s arm on her shoulders and realized she was crying. Funny, she thought, how people see only what they want to see.
After a time that seemed like eternity, Darla was back in the cave. The man was now conscious and laying on his side in lots of pain. “When I was a child, I used to come here quite often”, Darla told him while making more antidote. “No one else knows about this place, or at least they don’t know how to get here, so you’re totally safe. What’s your name, anyway?” “Grinn”. “Grinn?“ Darla repeated as if not quite believing. “I mean, Grinnyathaniel”, the man explained. “How about yours?” “Darla” she answered, “and my last name isn’t yours to know”, she added before Grinn had a chance to ask. “So…who is dead?” Darla stared at him confused making hit to continue. “I just noticed that you’re in mourning and your eyes look like you’ve been crying”. “Oh…My little sister”. “I’m sorry” “Don’t be, it’s no use anyway”, Darla said and asked Grinn to remove his shirt. “But thanks. Now, this will hurt like hell”, she warned before pouring the antidote to Grinn’s wound.
* * * * *
“Darla, may I come in?” Jamiel opened the door slightly and peeked in. Darla was sobbing on her bed. “Hey, don’t cry”. “What did I ever do to that brat, so that she has to be so mean? Why can’t mum and dad see the truth?” “Calm down, dear sister. Calm down”, Jamiel tried. “I can see the truth. Misty is just a bit afraid of you. And mum and dad do love you just as much as they love me”. “Don’t lie to me!” Darla cried. “You’re the only son, they’ll always love you more! And Misty’s the baby of the family. I’m merely a burden”, Darla’s voice lowered to a whisper. “I’m merely a burden”.
* * * * *
“Darla…Have you ever heard of her?” Terre shook his head. “Well anyway, she saved my life, and is truly a pleasant personality”, Grinn talked to his gnome and asked it to poke the fire just a little. “I just have to find out more about that sorceress”.
“So, you then did it, huh? You killed her?” Darla nodded. She sat on the roof of the Castle Winter with Jamiel and watched the stars. “Wow! I must confess that I never thought you’d be up to it. Congratulations”. “Thanks, I guess” “Darla, you’re not regretting, are you?” You did the right thing”. “Hoh, you really hated her, didn’t you?” Jamiel blushed. “Hate is such a strong expression…I just…I mean…Oh heck. Yes, I hated her”. “Why?” Darla asked after a moment of silence. “She never did anything to you”. Jamiel stayed silent and stared at the stars. He put his arm around Darla's shoulders and pulled her near him. Neither of them said anything anymore.
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|Beyond the wall of sleep||Miss Winter Chapter 1|
|Werewolf : Confession||I Just Want You To Know|