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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
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Oaths Not Taken

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"you learn quickly" Ialsa sat down next to Myrrhi after tossing her stick into the fire. "how long has it been since you last touched a practice sword?" she asked curiously. 

 

Ialsa had been using the practice as a means to gauge the young woman better. So much can be gleaned from just the way a person reacts, the way they move and their resolve after the first few stings. And she liked what she had seen. She hadn't been deterred by the pain, and seemed to knuckle down to suppress showing it as much as possible. Myrrhi had attempted several attacks of her own, not  settling for being on the defensive and just surviving the practice. She also restrained from using or even tapping into the One Power. 

 

It spoke volumes. 

 

Though clearly young this Green was not like so many that Ialsa had seen in the Tower, or in her travels. There was a trust issue somewhere in there, and a bit of stubborn pride, but if Myrrhi learned how to harness and or suppress those things her potential was nearly limitless. And there was something nagging at the back of Ialsa's mind that told her that the quicker Myrrhi learned the better. Something was brewing beyond the Seanchan. Something surrounding the Tower, the Sisters. Ialsa was half stunned that Emelda did not feel it also. Though she didn't know for sure. She could well feel it and simply be keeping quiet as she feels things out and does her own methodical research. That was Emelda's way after all. 

She would definitely have to ask her about it later. 

 

 

-----------------------

 

 

The Warder kept his eyes on the man as he ran away, a half a step to giving chase when his Aes Sedai rested a hand on his forearm and stopped him 

 

"He saw nothing. He is not a worry" she soothed her Warder as she walked back to the tarp covered cart. Carefully taking an end of the tarp and pulling it back  "She needs our focus" she breathed out looking down at the battered Elandra. They had found her in the rubble of the Blue manor, the barrier on the cells having protected her from the bulk of the impact. Had her Warder not heard a moan Elandra would never have been found in time. Her injuries were extensive. Several of the Blue that remained had healed what they could but she needed the hand of a Yellow. 

Bartha volunteered to take her to the nearest Yellow Sedai they knew of. In Baerlon. To keep word of the manor's destruction down as much as possible it was decided it best if Elandra stay hidden. It never did any good for people to see a wounded Aes Sedai. So into a cart it was. 

 

"What about that Aes Sedai?"  Bartha's Warder asked. 

 

"She did seem skittish. But if she is anyone the Wheel will bring her back to us eventually" 

 

 

 

---------------------------

 

 

There was a loud CRUNCH not ten paces from Kaito's head maybe two hours after he had fallen asleep. 

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Kaito sprang awake, face soaked to find a pair of eyes staring at him..... that belonged to a cow. Its tongue lazily drooping out of its mouth, it looked quite pleased with itself.

 

Kaito was bewildered. How had a cow managed to sneak up on him? And what was a cow doing wandering this late at night?

First a wetlander spots you and then a cow licks you, Light! The sun might as well rise from the West now...

 

Kaito ushered the lost cow away before returning to his ditch. The sky had not started to brighten yet; he reckoned he could squeeze in an hour or two more of sleep.

 

------------------------------

 

Today I will catch them.

 

Kaito had set off at the first break of light. He was still shaken by the nights events, luckily no warder or Aes Sedai had given chase, nothing would hinder his hunt. He was however, deeply annoyed by the cow, if something with that size managed to approach him that close, without him waking... had that been the warder, he would have been doomed. He told himself it was the fact that he was spotted in the first place that put him off of his senses. He was back now, running in the early hours of the morning was always refreshing. 

 

As usual he stuck to the side of the road, it was not long before he spotted some tracks. They fit who he was following, but this was a main road, they could belong to anyone, he resumed his run after covering his own. 

 

Not long after that, the tracks veered off to the other side of the road. He hurried across, following them into the tress. He silently stalked the undergrowth, not wanting to wake them, 

It must be them! He pushed the thought away though, concentrating all his efforts on stealth, he would not make the same mistake twice. The tracks disappeared just beyond some trees and bushes, he quietly pushed a branch away.. to find an abandoned camp site, the fire had not been put out long ago by the looks of it, ashes still smouldering.

 

Burn them! Muttering curses under his breath, he followed another set of tracks away from the campsite and back onto the road. Once again, he set off running. 

 

I will catch them today, I will! Kaito kept repeating that to himself, as the sun slowly crept upwards.

Edited by NotAWiseOne

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Myrrhi bit her lower lip. The last time she had touched a practice sword... it was a tough question. Especially since the answer to that question could make her look like a fool. The last day she had officially used a practice sword had been the day before her raising. Then, she hadn't had the time to go back to the Warder's Yard. It didn't mean that she had stopped practicing. She had looked into the library to find books about sword forms and found enough tomes to keep her busy at night until her departure. Armed with a stick or any other object that could pass for a sword, she had spent hours working on moves she had deemed interesting. Of course, that training was not really effective. She had gone through it alone... with no mentor nor opponent to defeat.

 

Can I tell her the complete truth? the young Green wondered.

 

She went on chewing on her lower lip as she thought about the best answer. Ialsa was clearly better at sword fighting than her. What would she think of an Aes Sedai who would like to fool around with sticks?

 

She took a deep breath and decided to talk only about her experience in the Warder's Yard. The rest will have to wait, she thought. Maybe one day, she'd feel ready to say more about herself. But for that, she would need to trust her companions a bit more ...

 

***

 

The young Green didn't sleep well the following night. A darkness seemed to have fallen on her dreams. She awoke many times, and had to fight each time to fall back asleep. It left her with a sour mood on the next morning, that she tried to hide. Aes Sedai are not supposed to suffer from the lack of sleep, she repeated to herself as prayer.

 

Doing so, she silently participated to the chores, hoping they would soon retake the road, which they did. The travel on horseback would allow her to rest further and doze until a bit more rested.

 

Myrrhi was happy to see that Emelda was not her chatty self that day. The Brown kept her eyes on the horizon, focused on her thoughts. The Green wondered what the Sister had on her mind, before starting to daydream.

 

 

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Myrrhi's mood seemed to almost dominate the landscape, or at least their small group. Though more for Ialsa she was concerned. Clearly Myrrhi had felt something and was concerned about the Aes Sedai she had met along the road. And that was reason enough for Ialsa to take it seriously and take precautions. She trusted her Sisters even if they didn't trust each other. Instincts especially those of those who could channel should never be discounted. A lesson she had learned the hard way.

 

So once the three had set back out on their journey Ialsa had opened herself up and wove a unique ward. A trap or early warning of sorts. Where normally a protection weave was meant and designed to stay in a fixed place, to protect a camp for instance, this one was made for travel. And it was a tricky thing to pull off. Ialsa needed to affix the ward to herself and radiate it out to cover her companions, while making sure the other two kept within a specific distance of herself. She'd leave a part of herself open to the One Power and as such feel a great deal more than one normally would. Movement of the ground beneath them as their horses moved for instance. Or the flap and by of insects wings, worms moving about just under the soil. All would trigger little pinpricks at the back of her neck. All of which she needed to adjust to and filter out.

 

Though if someone were tot ray and sneak up on the group from any direction, Ialsa would most certainly feel it within time to prepare.

 

She set the weave and the ward and let the mood of the day settle.

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The sun had almost reached its peak now, radiating with the warmth of noon. Not so much as breeze stirred, adding to the heat. . The side of the road proved to be a very pleasant run, with more than enough shade, animals were about and the greenery was nor plenty nor sparse. Despite the lack of wind, this was a good day to relax.

 

None of those thoughts had crossed Kaito's mind, except that the lack of wind meant his sound and smell would not run ahead of him. His brain was primed on catching his targets. Eyes always scanning the area while running, for enemies, good cover, where his step would be heard the least, where the shadows would cloak him best so to any passerby, they would hear or see nothing, and the tracks. Always the tracks, they would not escape his grasp this time, he will catch them. He hoped they had answers. 

 

He kept a regular pace, which was relatively very quick to any wetlander, with nothing but his mind for company. He liked it that way, life existed only for vengeance now, nothing else mattered, his heart held no space for anything else. And then he spotted them. Three horses with three mounted, from this distance he could not make out if they were women or not though, he had to be sure. Excited, yet calm, always calm and careful, he quickened his pace.

 

Its them! He was close enough to make out their figures now. He silently strode along maintaining the distance he was at. A plan. He needed a plan, a trap to set just like with Vai, Aes Sedai were arrogant, not careful, yes he needed a trap.

 

He decided he would wait until they rested next, even if it took all day; he had patience, stealth needed patience. 

 

But I will not let them out of my sight! Burn my soul if I do! And so he decided to get even closer, he trusted his abilities enough, and he wanted to get a better look, besides, no warder was with these women, even if one did carry a sword. He would silently stalk them until night time and lay his trap, then question them.

 

Once again, with not so much as a rustle of a leaf, he quickened his pace once more, he could see them clearly now, contempt rising again, grey eyes glaring and studying with cold hatred. Closer....closer...and suddenly his legs were swept out from underneath him, and in what seemed a blur he crashed into a tree before finding himself on the road, hanging mid-air, legs facing the sky staring into the faces of what were his prey. 

Edited by NotAWiseOne

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Ialsa had felt the presence several spans back. She gave no physical indication of it though, if the person was a threat she didnt want to tip her hand, if they weren't then they could simply be on their way. No need to interact. 

So she waited. Feeling out how and where the person was moving. And there was no mistaking it, they were being stalked. Ialsa glanced casually at both of her traveling companions, Myrrhi giving her a glance and Emelda lost her her thoughts, nose in a journal. She gave their pursuer a little more rope to hang himself with before springing the trap. He did not disappoint either, inching closer still. Ialsa quietly caught Myrrhi's attention at the next glance and gave her a small signal to prepare herself just before Kaito was taken into the air. Ialsa pulled back on her reigns and spun her horse around as she used the air to bring the young man to them, hanging upside down. 

 

By the time he arrived Ialsa sat comfortably on her mount, arms folded. By his garb and choice of weaponry she had an idea of who he was, the eyes were a dead giveaway though. "Bit far from the border for an Aiel isn't it?" she arched an eyebrow to the lad. 

 

Emelda had ridden on several paces but her ears perked up when her old friend mentioned 'Aiel'. Nearly falling off her horse as she stopped quickly and turned around "Aiel?" she questioned and rode back beside Myrri and Ialsa. She took her time and looked a little confused as to why a man was hanging by his britches but she looked him over thoroughly. Stuffing the journal she had out away she pulled out another more well worn one. "oh light, how interesting" she smiled briefly and started to dismount to take a closer look at Kaito. She trusted Ialsa and her ability so Emelda walked right up to the man, circled him, investigated his clothing, the thread weave, his spears, knelt just enough to look him in the eyes then take some notes. 

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Myrrhi felt something, something that bothered her. She didn't know what it was but it made her want to stay alert. Minutes passed and she eventually decided to turn towards Ialsa. She guessed that, since the other woman was more experienced than her when it came to real adventures, she would be able to tell her what was going on.

 

The young Green's eyes met her companion's. What she saw in them made her understand that she'd better stay focused.

 

Alright, she thought. Something's up...

 

Concentrating not only on the road ahead but also on her surroundings she tried to analyze the situation. Unfortunately, there was nothing for her to learn in the cook breeze nor in the chirping of the nearby birds.

 

Emelda was deep in her thoughts, once again, the nose in a book. It made Myrrhi shake her head.

 

Suddenly, she felt Ialsa moving. Once again, she turned towards the woman who made a small signal with her head. "Be ready," it seemed to say.

 

Not knowing what she was supposed to get ready for, Myrrhi opened herself to the Source. She didn't go as far as to channel, who knew what was going to happen.

 

***

 

A thread of Air pulled a young man out of his saddle. Myrrhi smiled seeing him hanging upside down.

 

Since the man didn't manage to neutralize her companion's weave, she knew they would have the upper hand. An Asha'man would have tried to escape immediately.

 

"Bit far from the border for an Aiel, isn't it?" Ialsa asked.

 

"Aiel?" Emelda repeated, clearly interested in the new comer.

 

Myrrhi on the other hand crossed her arms. Even if her eyes were on the man, her mind was already reviewing the weaves that could be used to question their prisoner... would he decide not to answer Ialsa's questions.

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Kaito's father, much like most of the Aiel, were stony faced. They chose to give nothing away, usually never relenting into any sort of questioning, and only opened up to those they knew. His father however, had often been stony faced even to his son.

 

Kaito had learnt the trait, even naturally developing it over his long solitary ventures, he was also patient, an essential trait for survival. 

 

This was different though, many things had crossed Kaito's mind in that blur of events, many emotions had roiled up inside him like frothing murky waters, but when the the realisation of his position hit him, hanging there, a helpless whelp, much like the day he was born, everything holed up inside erupted like a volcano. 

 

And so he cursed, and cursed, and cursed. He used all his muscles to try and thrash about to no avail, hung as tight as a sack of rice, and glared, glared into they faces of his captors, glared with a burning fury threatening to consume him. 

 

How many years?! How many years you useless wretch have you been doing this, to get caught like a mouse! Fuming he gaped at them, he was sure of his skills, sure of them! He had  not made mistakes this time. How had they captured him?

 

The Power, those wretched creatures must've used the Power.

 

"Burn you! Burn you, you hear?! Bit far from the border you say? Aye I'm far from your border you wetlander witches, you Aes Sedai". He hissed that last part. "Drop me!", he was shouting now, "Drop me now! Or I swear upon the Light I'll make you regret the day you ever crossed me you vile creatures! Drop me now you cowards! You spineless goat spawn! Drop me I say!" This makes no sense! Aes Sedai are not cautious, has the world turned in over its heels??!

 

The shouting continued for a while, Kaito consumed in his rage, confounded by the situation, and they just sat there. Unblinking, expressionless. He could not help but notice how he could not put an age to them, which made it worse, except for the one who seemed very young compared to the other two, she still looked human. But none of them are, Burn me!  They're nothing but hounds that should have never spawned. 

 

And so he shouted, until he was drained both of breath and spirit. They held him, held him with an enemy he could not fight, at least not while they were conscious, he had lost. The thought suffocated him, and his every thought, and his already emotionally deprived mind was choked further, until only a flame of pure hatred remained. He fell silent and stared blankly into the face of his captors, holding on to that little flame.

Edited by NotAWiseOne

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Ialsa simply rested against her horse and let the man yell and rail and try and fight. Just waiting for him to tire. When it seemed he did, he got another wind and cursed some more. "Lively one isn't he?" she leaned over and whispered to Myrrhi as Kaito spat out some rather colorful sayings. 

 

 

Emelda had stepped back a few steps once he started going off, surprised it seemed to snap her out of her more studious thoughts. Her cheeks pinked with some of the words that came from the man's lips. She clutched her well worn, sun faded journal to her bosom as she stopped back-pedaling when she reached her horse. She had done a lot of research into the Aiel, met one or two, and had spoken with several Sisters who had spent more time there. And she was originally excited to see the young man, but he was so full of rage.

 

Emelda tucked her journal back safely in one of the folds of her garments.  

 

"Are you quite finished now?" Ialsa asked the man once it truly seemed he had drained his energy in his outbursts. His body seemed to have relaxed from exhaustion, he stopped cursing and just stared. She could tell that rage was still there, under the surface. Boiling under his captivity. And she understood. She knew how that felt, and a part of her wanted to release him then and there. But there had been his outbursts. Ialsa knew that if she just let him go he would make good on some of his threats. He was a threat. And she just couldn't let that go. Leaning forward on her mount she cocked her head a bit to really look the man over.  "Myrrhi," Ialsa turned to the young Green "Could you check our guest over and remove any and all weapons from his person? Anything that could conceivably be used as a weapon."

 

She paused and looked at Kaito's stare once more "Belts, and laces too"

 

"We should not linger Ialsa" Emelda added as she looked past the man, and on down the road. "With the we left in Falme, we need to move"

 

"I know" Ialsa assured. "Once his weapons are gone, we'll be on our way."

 

"And him?"

 

"Oh he's coming with us." Ialsa assured "Just like that, trailing behind us, but he's coming." she gave a nod to the man hanging upside down. "Once we camp we'll secure him and see if he's calmed enough to be decent and talk without a curse"  

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Helpless, tied and trailing behind them like the day's catch, Kaito was dragged as they continued their journey. Several times he had tried to escape, wriggling about, but even when his captors seemed to focus on him the least, he was bound tightly. 

 

After it was apparent to him that escape was all but impossible at that stage, he blanked out not listening to a single word the three were saying, wrapping himself in the ever-growing bubble of rage and vengeance. He had done it before, the feeling was familiar, this was only more reason to let the wound fester. 

 

One seemed especially intrigued in him, he only stared idly when she waddled over, she seemed knowledgeable. Maybe she was the person to ask his questions. Kaito could not help but snicker on the inside, allowing a small grin to touch his lips. 

 

You're not going to ask any questions any time soon you wool-headed fool.

 

His mind did wander back to the warder and his Aes Sedai though, he wondered if these three knew about them. He hoped not, seeing them fall into any sort of trouble would make his suffering just a bit more bearable.

 

And so they journeyed until nightfall, and his captors sought out a campsite. They propped him up against a tree and set camp. He sat silently through it all. Suddenly, the one that was carrying the sword got up, threw a stick at the younger one, the one he could put an age to, and started fighting. The third alternated between watching and burying her nose in some books. Kaito thought it was a true brawl at the start, and perked up, waiting for his chance, but soon after realising that there was no contempt in those blows, he lost interest and returned to his sanctuary. 

 

The lack of noise brought him back, the couple no longer held sticks, and were in fact walking towards him, the third abruptly closed her book, got up and made her way to him as well. Kaito braced himself and stared.

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Ialsa stopped about two feet out of Kaito's range of motion, stood and stared down at him. He had that fire in his eyes still. Sighing she folded her arms and just regarded him a moment, before returning to the campfire and getting some of her own bread and cheese, what rations she had, and brought it back over to Kaito. She held one hand up to show that she meant him no harm before placing the food and a bit of water next to him. Stepping back out of his range she loosened her hold on him enough to allow the man to use his arms. Air still pinned him firmly against the tree, but he could eat and drink if he so chose. 

 

"We do not want to hurt you" she told him "And if it were not for that look of sheer hate in your eyes I would let you go. But I do not wish to die, nor do I want to see my Sisters here die. So..." she gestured to how he was pinned against the tree. "Do you have a name?" she asked hopefully. "I am Ialsa" she introduced herself. 

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Myrrhi was watching Ialsa closely. She wondered how far she could trust the woman. But... it seemed like she knew what she was doing. Glancing over to Emelda, she saw a familiar sight. The Brown Sister, with her notebook, seemingly studying the stranger in detail. Myrrhi found it somewhat amusing. "What will you do if he breaks free and slap him with your notes?", she thought, and shook her head. She walked over to a large tree stump and sat down, back to the stump and eyes on the Aiel and her Sisters. You never know....

 

She took out a small bag with items from the Aiel. Small knives in several shapes and sizes. Some personal belongings... a comb, a water skin. Any other man would have had liquor of sorts in there, but not this one. Plain water, pure and simple. It was surprising. The Green Sister took out the comb. "If rumors are true, then Aiel can kill someone with simple items like this... however unlikely", she thought. Her mind was drifting somewhat when she heard Ialsa speak up. "I thought it would help if I'd be polite, but apparently, even kindly introducing myself isn't enough to just have a simple conversation." 

 

The man had indeed not replied yet. The young Green wondered what he was thinking, behind that little grin he proudly wore in his face.

 

Myrrhi got up and joined Ialsa, putting her hand on her shoulder. She leaned over to whisper into her companions ear. "If you are going to get angry, there will be no information at all." The Green looked over to Emelda and nodded in her direction. "Maybe we should let her do the questioning. Her studies could still prove useful, no?", she said, mockingly. That earned Myrrhi a glare. Both looked at the prisoner and in unison asked: "What are we going to do with you?"

Edited by Chaelca

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Ialsa took a deep, calming breath and unfolded her arms shaking her head at the young man. "We may need to consider ways to dispose of him" she told Myrrhi but then caught how that sounded. "I mean a safe way to part ways. His eyes speak volumes in their anger. And we cannot keep dragging him around all the way to Tar Valon. Even in shifts with the Power one slip is all it may take to be our undoing with an Aiel" 

 

 

----------

 

 

Emelda had since sat her round self down a few feet to Kaito's side. Quietly scribbling in her notes, glancing over to Kaito, then over to Ialsa and Myrrhi as they spoke quietly amongst themselves. "You know," she began very conversationally. "I have done quite a lot of study into the Aiel." she told the young man. "And I know that you do not leave it lightly."  Emelda cocked her head slightly to the young man "Tell me, please. What did we do to you to bring you so far from home?" 

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You do not deserve to know my name, Kaito though bitterly as Ialsa had asked for his, so he kept his silence. He would not forget her name though. Ialsa and the young one stepped back and were now talking amongst each other.

 

The younger seemed to have a look in her eyes, an emotion hid behind it,  when she looked at Ialsa, yet he could not tell what. Anger, eagerness, rage, these were emotions he knew. Beyond that much of the human emotions were beyond him, trust, empathy, love, were all unrecognisable or forgotten. 

 

The plump woman had then approached him. "I have done quite a lot of study into the Aiel.". His ears perked up instantly. Was she really asking him to ask his questions??! The ones he only dared ask when when they were near unconscious? 

 

They're mad! 

 

"I'm looking for two women and a man" he said, "Aes Sedai". He struggled to say that, calling them anything but monsters wasn't right. "They are...of an interest to me". The woman's eyebrows seemed to raise a little at that, he was surprised she registered anything on her face at all, they were usually colder than this.. 

 

"Well" Emelda said, " I personally haven't been there before, although I would love to one day, such a fascinating topic! Much of the conditions you live in are different to ours, not to mention the culture! My oh my, why even your.." she stopped abruptly at a cough and glares from the other two women. 

 

"Right, back to the point, I know a bit about Aiel, more than most, I'm sure the Tower would have kept record of any such ventures by our sisters in the past, assuming it was official of course....".

 

"You know" she resumed, "we are heading there right now and.." and again she was cut off by the other two. She had given him information, Kaito thought she really was mad. 

 

He thought over everything in his head. Tar Valon, the place he had avoided. Tar Valon, the place full of women who could channel. Tar Valon, the place with the answers. They had left him now, the plump one in her books again, the two conversing. He thought it over and over and over. Light! I can't drug that many of them! Burn them all! 

 

​And so Kaito asked something he thought he never would in his life, much less to a group of women like these, but how else would he get into the Tower??

 

He cleared his throat with a cough to grab their attention. " Can I.....travel...with you?....to Tar Valon". It was all he could do to not spit the words out, and no matter how hard he tried, he could not look at them, his gaze on the ground. Kaito had been wounded before, fought before, but this was by far the hardest task he had ever done. Finally, after he got the words out, he looked up at them and waited for their answer.

Edited by NotAWiseOne

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Myrrhi heard Emelda's first words.

 

Maybe I was wrong in advising she should be the one interrogating the prisoner, she thought. Or maybe I wasn't... it's clearly not an ordinary way to question someone.

 

The young Green didn't know much about the Aiels, except for what she had read in books, and even with her readings she had always focused on the Wise Ones. She wondered how dangerous the man in front of her was. Would she be able to defeat him in a duel if she's train her swordsmanship skills long enough?

 

It didn't take long for the man to talk. He told the Brown that he was looking for two women and a man. Aes Sedai he said, and it made Myrrhi chuckle. And how do we know he's telling the truth? Her eyes went back on Emelda to see what she would do next.  A prisoner would say anything to save his or her hide. The events of Falme passed once more through her head. She had had to kill to escape her kidnappers. Did she had to go that far? Yes I had to! She told herself. But what if there had been another way...

 

Myrrhi was brought back to reality as she heard Emelda chatting about what they - Ialsa, Emelda and her where doing - and she silently cursed the woman. 

 

"Ialsa?" she muttered; hoping her companion would either reassure her, either take the lead of the questioning.

 

The other woman didn't move though. She smiled, as if to indicate that Emelda would work some kind of magic that would allow them to know the Aiel inside out.

 

Before the Green had the time to react, she heard him clear his throat. " Can I.....travel...with you?....to Tar Valon"

 

"What?" Myrrhi made a step towards the prisoner. "Coming with us? So you can kill us in our sleep? No way!" she said, crossing her arms.

Edited by Chaelca

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"The Aiel would not kill a woman especially an unarmed one" Emelda told Myrrhi immediately. 

 

"Her point is not invalid Emelda." Iasla chimed in and gestured to Kaito "I saw his eyes. There is violence in them. I would dare say hatred. We cannot be sure of his intentions, or capabilities. He may well lean more towards the ways of men on this side of the spine than his own people." 

 

"Iasla." Emelda began in that way of hers that both seemed to plead and make a person feel as if they were not applying proper logic to a situation. It was something that worked well on novices, but not so much on Ialsa. She knew all of Emelda's tricks and was not tricked so easily herself. 

 

"Don't give me that" Ialsa half laughed at her old friend who sighed and slumped her shoulders a bit.

 

"You held to the old ways of the Aes Sedai" Emelda reminded Ialsa. "The ones of being servants to all. Regardless the who, the risk, or the path it may lead us down. You left the Tower to follow that. Has your experience abroad changed you so fundamentally?" she asked though it felt more like a pang to the heart than an idle question to Ialsa. She had indeed left the Tower and all its growing politics and factions because it angered her. To see her Sisters stray so far from what the Aes Sedai had originally stood for. For what she believed they should stand for. She could not endorse what had been growing there, and she could not fight it. So she set off to at least try and be what they could not. Her time with the Seanchan had changed her, it was impossible for it not to, and perhaps she had lost a bit of herself to it. Strayed from her path. Perhaps. 

 

Ialsa took a breath and looked down at the young Aiel. "How can we trust you?" she asked not accusingly, but rather hoping he could provide an actual answer. 

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Kaito cursed under his breath when the woman stepped up and refused, crossing her arms. He was then surprised when the plump one defended him, and not much surprised him. The one that introduced herself as Ialsa then backed up the young one. The ways of men on this side of the spine she said, humph, all people are the same. Or so he thought anyway.

 

The plump then had a conversation with her, gibberish to him, when Ialsa asked "How can we trust you?".

 

Trust. An alien notion to him, one long forgotten, he did not know what it felt like, or looked like anymore. He had told them the truth, near enough, he needed a way to get in and they were his only option. He looked up at them, only to become more confused, they had different looks on their faces. The one on the young ones's he could place easily enough, she wanted him gone, she was hostile and held no feelings for him. At least the feeling was mutual. Ialsa however, had another look, was that hope? He had felt it enough times, but never allowed himself to go too far with it, that way, disappointment was further away. 

 

The truth was he did not know what to say. The only reason he had made his proposition, trusted them, that they won't kill him in his sleep was because they haven't already. Is that what trust was? He was slightly confused, these women were a bit less monstrous than he had anticipated. No doubt a sham. Sham or not, he wasn't dead yet.

 

He was always reluctant to give information but it seemed the only way now. "I need to get there, to get my information" he said. "And I can't get inside without you", he chose to leave out the bit that the only reason he couldn't get in was that drugging that many women was nigh on impossible, not because he physically couldn't sneak in, but he let them think what they chose to. Kaito may not understand them very well, but he wasn't stupid. 

 

Ialsa seemed doubtful however, and the young one's expression hadn't changed. He realised that he just said he wanted to exploit them. "And I can help you" he added quickly, "I have certain...skills, that may be of use to you on the journey, I can scout ahead, or back, and report to you" Report back! Light, I'm reducing myself to a servant to these women! "I don't even need a horse so I won't cost you anything", he still found riding the mounts strange. 

 

They were mulling it over but still the same looks. This was exasperating.

 

"I have no reason to kill you!" he exclaimed. Kaito still very much hated them, but it was true. It was also extremely annoying that they doubted his word; he was tipping over. "I need to get to the Tower, I need to! My goal is the information, not you or whatever you're after, Light knows what. I might not be able to channel but I am still useful, and can be of help.." 

 

He realised he was pleading now, and felt disgusted with himself, but he could not let his goal slip away, even if it meant sacrificing his dignity. 

 

"For what its worth, I give you my word that...I will not harm you, not as long as you don't harm me. And if you accept, I will...protect you from things that you might..", be too arrogant to, "miss". Kaito could taste the bile on his tongue as the words came out. Have I just offered to protect them?! Burn me for a fool! "I tend to notice things, and having me around means less chance of an ambush". 

 

He was never a man of words, and he had run out of them now. With nothing else to say, he again found himself in the position of waiting for their answer. 

Edited by NotAWiseOne

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Emelda was watching Myrrhi and Ialsa as much as Kaito was, though she knew better than to interject just yet. She was fascinated by the young man and had a flurry of questions for him, the tap of her finger against a journal was evidence enough of that. But she watched Iasla as the woman stared the man down. She was examining him, Emelda knew it. Looking for something specific. The Brown Sister had seen Ialsa do it on a handful of occasions before. A gift, really. Emelda didn't know of any other Sisters who could see a person's personal Thread in the Wheel and see where it needed to fit into the Pattern. Weaving Ialsa called it, which always got her confused looks and conversations within the Tower. Weaving was well known to Aes Sedai, but it almost always referred to weaving within channeling. To create something. 

 

When Ialsa referred to 'The Weaving' it was this, her specialty. 

 

At one point Ialsa arched an eyebrow, looked up from Kaito and out towards the distance, towards Tar Valon. And Emelda knew then that Ialsa had seen his Thread. 

 

"Trust is earned" Ialsa told the young Aiel. "However, there is a Pattern being woven here." she sighed clearly not liking where she knew she was going. "We cannot afford to allow you to carry your weapons or belongings. And one of us will always be awake as long as you travel with us" she stipulated. "But you have given your word, and we cannot wait around here to debate. Travel with us, protect and warn us of things we do not see and we will take you to Tar Valon. However, if you cross us. By the Light I swear you will regret it" Ialsa warned him. "Are we agreed?" 

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Myrrhi shook her head as she listened to the man's words. She had to admit that he was convincing. Few could summon so much disgust on their face while begging others to be accepted within their ranks. On top of it, Aiels were not known to be actors. Cairhien could do wonders with their mastery of the Great Game. But not Aiels.

 

Still, she would prefer to have him far away from her.

 

The young woman looked towards her two companions. They were focused on the prisoner. Were they seriously considering taking him with them? She hoped they weren't.

 

***

 

When the man gave his words that he would not harm them, she let go of a small chuckle. He was not bond by the three oaths. What could prevent him from lying?

 

Ialsa didn't seem to have heard her. She immediately took the lead, making a proposal to the three of them - Emelda, Myrrhi and the prisoner. He would be relieved from all his possessions and scout for them.

 

I'd never agree on such a deal, Myrrhi thought waiting for the man's answer. Especially since the Tower is in such a state ...

Edited by Chaelca

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Kaito stared, awestruck, by the preposterous deal he had just heard.

 

True enough, he did not necessarily need his weapons to defend himself, but that did not mean he would feel better without them. 

 

No weapons??! Easy for you to say woman, when you can fling men about with not so much as lifting a finger. The experience still rang in him, when he was so helpless. 

 

You still are helpless, you maggot, strung up and tied, with no other options. And that's what decided it for him. He highly doubted that if he were to refuse the deal, they would give him his weapons back anyway, they would probably knock him out until they were a safe distance away. That meant two options: no weapons with no leads, or no weapons with a chance of a way in, maybe even somewhere down the line they'd let him cut the meat. The thought made him snicker.

 

They would take his belongings as well, that meant no forkroot, which meant no putting them to sleep, not that he meant to do that to them, he truly meant them no harm, not anymore anyway, but still, it felt reassuring just to have it with him. He was a patient man though, and he would not throw everything away for a little bit of extra waiting. He seemed to tell himself that line a lot recently.

 

And so, with a solemn look on his face, and a deep-set frown he did not realise he wore, he looked at them and nodded his head in agreement. 

Edited by NotAWiseOne

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Ialsa held the young mans gaze a little longer as if searching him out a bit more before finally giving a nod. Kaito felt his body being released from whatever invisible force had him pinned. Ialsa had no doubt whatsoever of Myrrhi's ability and willingness to keep more than an eagles eye on their new guest. The young woman didn't trust him, at all, and that was perfectly fine with Ialsa. It meant an added layer of security, a vigilant eye and balance to Emelda's trust. 

 

The night felt long, keeping an eye on Kaito between Ialsa and Myrrhi. Emelda was exempted simply because Ialsa didn't trust her not to fall asleep or simply let the man go. But just before day break the group was on the road again. Keeping a comfortable pace with the horses. Iasla rode with Myrrhi, both behind Emelda. "I know you disagree with keeping the young man around" she spoke quietly to Myrrhi. "I can only ask that you trust me. He has a purpose." 

 

------------

 

Kaito for the moment was walking beside Emelda and her horse. Ialsa had her ward back up and didn't need him to scout ahead just yet, she was more saving that for when they reached Baerlon when her ward would be of little use. "Do you have any description of the Aes Sedai you seek?" Emelda asked the Aiel "There is a chance I know them.  What color were they wearing?" she started in on her questions but somehow managed to limit it to the two for the moment

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"If the purpose is to keep me awake at night..." Myrrhi started, growling. She shot a quick glance at the Aiel.

 

"Have you seen how fast that man can move?" she went on. "He doesn't even need a horse. He's just like in the books! He could outrun us."

 

The young woman knew that there was no way for her to convince her companion that the man should be tied up and abandoned somewhere on the road, though. So she decided to roll her eyes one last time and push her horse a bit forward .She would have to prepare a list of weaves that she'd use in case of emergency.

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"There were two women and one man", Kaito replied.

 

He didn't feel like saying much yet, and besides, he truly didn't know much about the people of that night. "People" was a nice way of putting it. Apparently they didn't need him to scout ahead, no doubt one they were using The Power somehow, and so he was stuck walking besides them, at what was to him, a gruellingly slow pace. It was a long time since he was on the move and not running. 

 

After their agreement, short introductions had been made. Ialsa, which he already knew, was the one with the sword, Emelda was the one who could not stop asking questions, the one asking him questions right now actually, and Myrrhi was the one who had human features. She was also the one that hated him. In a weird way, he was comfortable that he knew that, at least he knew where her intentions were, and he shared the feeling. It felt right. He did not know what to make of the other two though, there was only confusion there. 

 

Myrrhi shot him a quick glance, making him want to shuffle his feet, and returned it with a stare. "What colour were they wearing?". Even after his reply, the woman kept talking. He turned to stare at her with cold grey eyes, a stare that usually curdled wetlanders stomachs, she hardly seemed to notice, he doubted she noticed his silence thereafter either. 

 

Burn you woman, be quiet! But he would not say it, he was treading thin ice as it is, and he did not doubt Myrrhi would jump at the nearest excuse to throw him out. So he kept his silence, not a difficult task, he was accustomed to silence. His feet itched at how relatively static he was though, he just wanted to run ahead, he had every intention of keeping his word, but he didn't feel comfortable around so many people, especially these women. 

 

And so they walked, or rather he walked while they rode, until something occurred to Kaito.

"There's a wagon behind us, with one of... with an Aes Sedai", it was still hard on the tongue, "and a Warder". It was no use getting ambushed now, he was with them, no matter how sickening the thought was. Besides, this might put him in favour with them, even if it is only a tiny bit. He wished they'd let him scout, or at least go faster as a group, at this rate he would be driven mad. 

Edited by NotAWiseOne

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Ialsa gave a small smile at Myrrhi's reaction. Something the young woman probably did not see yet was that the Aiel was already good for her. Keeping her alert, aware and focused on learning and possibly developing new weaves in order to handle the young man. And that most certainly was not a bad pursuit, regardless of whether the motivation was wanted or not.

 

The group moved in silence for a while, save for the occasional ignored question from Emelda to Kaito. The woman never was put of or irritated, she would simply file it away to ask another time or find a new question to badger the boy with. Iasla could tell she was readying herself for more questions and was just about to tell her friend to let him be when Kaito spoke up. "We are aware" she told him "Myrrhi came across them a day or two ago." Though Ialsa did turn to look back down the road. Her horse slowed a bit and she had to squint but there looked to be a wagon beyond the scope of her ward. "Are you part wolf?" she didn't really ask Kaito as she quickly turned her attention to Myrrhi. 

"Myrrhi you felt them before, you felt the sense of danger. Do you feel it now?" 

 

 

------------------------

 

 

"I fear her time grows short" Bartha sat in the back of the wagon with Elandra, her hand on the young Blue's forehead. 

 

"There are people up ahead" her Warder interrupted and Bartha pulled herself away to come up just behind and to his side, looking up the road. A deep set frown began to set over her features as even from that distance she could sense the Ward Iasla had on the group. "Three on horseback, one on the road." 

 

"Perhaps the Light shines on us and we may have justice on the way to Elandra's salvation" Bartha gave his shoulder a pat "pick up the pace. Catch them if you can"

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"Well I do feel danger,"' Myrrhi replied eyeing Kaito. "But I guess that it will be hard to tell where is the cause of that feeling... at least for a while."

 

She made a quick step towards the Aiel, wondering if he could be part wolf. He didn't look like it. She would have imagined the wolf-men or whatever they called them to have dark grey hair and a pointier nose.

 

Nonsense, she told herself. As if it would be that easy to identify them...

 

"What are they carrying in their wagon?" she asked the prisoner, ready to channel enough threads of Air to paralyze and gag him, would be try something dangerous...

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