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Oaths Not Taken


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Kaito just looked at Ialsa in complete bewilderment as though her head was upside down. "Part-wolf??? What does that even mean?" He hadn't seen much of the creatures and the question was absurd. He would have thought she was joking, had he had a normal sense of humour. It did spark a  memory though, of a man howling, and bounding away into the night in one of the towns he was in. Kaito had just put it down to wetlander  madness. 


He then heard Myrrhi's question. "I do not know, but the man with her...is quite observant, probably dangerous". That was as much as they needed to know, no need to mention that he was spotted by him, much good a scout would do that's spotted! The very fact that he was spotted meant he never got a good look anyway. 


"Maybe we should move quicker?" he suggested, this pace was really driving him mad. And was it him, or was that wagon getting closer? Still a bit away. "Maybe you can fight them with The Power", slight disgust was welling up again, especially with that look Myrrhi was giving him, even more reason to be wary of her,  "but I would do little good in such a battle, if you are confronting them, I can sneak around somehow, attack from behind, just tell me first". 


"Or" and he hoped they'd choose this option, he'd had enough of delays, "we can quicken our pace". Why was she giving him that look? "How far is the nearest town or city anyway?" he asked, he had a rough idea of the area, but had somehow lost track in captivity on how far they'd come, his mind had been consumed with other thoughts at the time.


Another thought occurred. "If you came across them" he said slowly, "are they your friends then?" He had no idea why friends wouldn't know what was in the wagon, or why they would travel in separate groups, but then again he didn't know much about friends, or women. His first thought was that they may have been pursuers from Falme, he'd seen what happened, but if they came across them already, surely they were friendly??

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"If they are Sister's from Falme I doubt they are our friends any longer" Ialsa commented still looking back down the road. 


"Baerlon is still another day's riding away" Emelda answered Kaito's question, shifting a bit in her saddle. The woman was getting anxious perhaps a bit worried as the wagon approached. "We should pick up" she turned her attention to Ialsa, who held the gaze down the road a bit longer. 


"Indeed" Ialsa finally agreed, her hold on the ward releasing as she turned back around and got her horse moving at a run. "Kaito, ahead, look for a good place to hide off the road" 





"they have taken up speed" Bartha's Warder informed her, "with the wagon we will not catch them" 


"Just keep track of their trail." the Blue Aes Sedai instructed. "Pick up our pace and keep as close as you safely can."

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The words were barely out of Ialsa's lips and Kaito was on the run again. The first time of freedom since he was flung into the air, it had only been a day, but felt like an eternity. Companionship wasn't his strong suit, he had no idea how he'd keep it up all the way to Tar Valon. 


A day's ride she said, Light! I could run to Tar Valon and back and they'd still be crossing the flaming Arinelle! At least that's what he thought it was called, all this time here and rivers were still something he would much rather avoid, and any large bodies of water for that matter. 


Pushing such thoughts out of his mind for the time being, he concentrated on the road, it was good to feel the ground racing under his feet once more, - even if he had no weapons -  and looked for a hiding spot.


At least I don't have to listen to that woman anymore, for the time-being anyway. 


Scanning the landscape was easy enough, and several times he found suitable spots, but had to remind himself that he was no longer on his own, and was looking for a spot for a large party. It would take time to get accustomed to this. Finally he was able to locate a thicket a bit off-road, that should be suitable enough to hide their mounts. 


As he was returning to the road, a flash caught his eye, something towards Baerlon. There was a shining speck on the horizon, not too far off, he decided to investigate. Quickly, he made his way to it, to realise it was a group of armed soldiers, the flash was the sunlight reflecting off of their breastplates, which were incredibly clean. Kaito was still a safe distance away, but even from here he could make out that the small group of men had white cloaks on, as white as the clouds floating above. Kaito had seen this type of soldiers before, yet he had never interacted with them, not yet anyway. The soldiers were moving towards him. 


Unseen, he swiftly ran back to the group. His scout had taken him less than an hour, the sun had reached its peak and was beginning its descent by the time he got back. Even at their current speed, Kaito felt they were slow, still, it was a huge improvement from the former. 


"There's a good hiding spot just under a league ahead" he said quickly, interrupting their conversation,"but there are soldiers that are probably a league from us now, and would probably pass the spot before we got there, they wore white cloaks". Whether that was of relevance or not, he wasn't sure, but caution was necessary. "At their pace, we will meet in an hour if we stay on the road,  will they be a problem?" he asked. 

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Myrrhi turned her head towards the road. It didn't take long for Kaito to start running.


"I hope you made the right decision," she said to Ialsa, shaking her head.


Biting her lower lip, she had to admit that the man had not tried to hurt them. As soon as Ialsa's ward had dissipated he had moved out of their feet. Would he go on running she wondered. Or would he tag along? Only time would tell.




Time passed and the young green was so focused on mentally reviewing some of the most useful combat weaves that she didn't see Emelda approaching. It was as if the Brown materialized out of thin air just besides her.


"You shouldn't worry so much," said the elder Aes Sedai. "He's nothing we can't handle."


"Maybe," Myrrhi replied. "But I would prefer not to have to handle him."


"How much do you know about Aiels?" Emelda smiled, ready to give a lecture.


When the young woman explained that she hadn't met any, except for what she had read in the books, the Brown cleared her throat before launching herself in a monologue about the aiel culture and history.




Myrrhi welcomed Kaito's arrival with a grin. His appearance had silenced the Brown. 


"Whitecloaks?" the Green asked to the young man as soon as he was done with his report. She didn't like it.


"Ialsa," she said turning towards the other woman. "We need to get away from the road as fast as possible."

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"They've been getting bolder as of late" Emelda told Ialsa "Pushing back against all Ajahs, trying to reclaim the land we've taken after the Battle. It is more bold a move than most that they are this far into Blue territory" 


Ialsa grumbled in pure disdain for the Whitecloaks. It was something that went back farther than even her training at the Tower. She had seen what the Whitecloaks were capable of when she was very young, saw Inquisitors at work. How they could sow fear just by their presence, and she always hated it. Hated that feeling of dread, fear, and uncertainty. Her grip on the pommel of her saddle tightened a moment as she frowned on down the road that led to Baerlon and the Whitecloaks. 


"Ialsa" Emelda called to get her attention as she and Myrrhi had already started to head off the main road. It took a moment but Ialsa soon followed and caught up with them. They kept their pace brisk but until they felt safely enough away from the road to really run the horses. They ate up the ground beneath them and made a good distance, Ialsa sending Kaito on up ahead to make sure the way was clear. He'd been gone a long while and they had passed where they would have met the Whitecloaks if they had been on the main road. But in the distance Ialsa could make out Kaito's form coming back their way.  More Whitecloaks lay up ahead. An encampment it would seem, attempting to border all of Baerlon. They drew in reign before they got close enough to be spotted by anyone. Emelda glanced behind them to make sure no one had snuck up or turned round to follow the tracks off the road. 


If they hadn't needed what supplies Baerlon held, the group would have given it a wide berth and moved on. But they had only gotten what they needed to make the trip to the city. Shortsighted in hindsight. Kaito had led them in amongst some trees that provided ample coverage for them and their horses as they figured out their next move. Ialsa and Myrrhi scouting out with Kaito to take a look at the encampment. 


"Every entrance" Ialsa later told Emelda who frowned and dropped into thought. "Suggestions?" she asked the group. 

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"Can we turn him into a more civilized man?" Myrrhi asked pointing her shin towards Kaito.


Ialsa raised an eyebrow. "What do you mean?"


"Well, three women traveling alone or three women traveling with an Aiel will surely attract attention. The Whitecloaks will immediately spot us." The young Green made a small break to look around. She let out a small sigh when she saw that they were still alone.


"Now a brother and a sister won't look out of place," she went on. "A brother and a sister sent by their parents to get supplies for their farm.... the only problem is that Emelda is a bit too chatty to play the farm girl. Maybe we could ask her to stay silent during the whole trip in and out of Baerlon?"


Myrrhi hoped that Ialsa wouldn't ask her to go. She did look young enough but she was not ready to enter the lion's den with someone she didn't trust.


She would prefer to stay out of the town. Would things go awry, it would be easier for her to disappear.

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Kaito had stayed silent after Ialsa's question, and during Myrrhi's plan, ignoring the civilised bit, he thought he looked just fine! He didn't really know whether he was expected to contribute with anything either, the whole thing was unfamiliar to him; making plans for more than one person. Had he been on his own, he could've gone into the city without being noticed.


Sure, his physique and face placed him as an outsider straight away, he just seldom gave anyone the chance to look. He often found hiding places that others wouldn't even consider. It was getting supplies that was the problem, stealthy as he was, he couldn't steal food for this large a group, and there was no way he would be able to buy it, conversation would out him straight away. Not to mention that even if he did manage to get all those supplies unnoticed, he wouldn't be able to leave the city without a stir; he wouldn't exactly be traveling light. Which is why when he considered going in on his own, he kept it to himself, it was simply folly. 


Which left Myrrhi's plan, which she didn't even seem to ask his permission for. That had crawled under his skin, but he supposed he had no choice, unless Ialsa had something else in mind. He didn't exactly like the idea of going in with one of them, that meant depending on someone else, and he liked none of them any more than he did when he first saw them, but again, no choice. And none to blame but yourself. 


"If we do go through with this, whoever does go with me will do all the talking", it wasn't an order as such, more that he was simply stating facts. "I.. am not very good with speaking, and my eyes will give me away besides, which is why I'll keep my hood down". That much he was accustomed to, height alone was not enough to give him away, and a shy 'brother' seemed perfectly fine to him. 


His mind kept to returning to those behind, it was quite the situation they'd stuck themselves in. No one had followed their track off-road yet, but he grew wary. 


"Whoever stays should also be able to keep a good eye out, and be able to protect themselves, incase that wagon comes up from behind while we're gone". With that said, he waited to see what they would decide. 

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Ialsa hummed as she mulled it over. It was a good idea, and really their only option other than going hungry until the next town suitable with supplies. Looking on towards the Whitecloak encampment she took a deep breath and took a step over to Kaito. Holding her hands up a moment to show him she meant no harm before re-adjusting his cloak a bit, arranging it in a style more common to the region. It didnt' allow him as much freedom of movement as he was used to but it covered more of his clothes and allowed Kaito to fit in a bit better. "Apologies for the lack of movement" she prefaced. 


"It would be best if you went with him" Emelda told Myrrhi, "The look of youth still touches you. Any close inspection of Ialsa or myself would bring questions and perhaps more if a more senior Whitecloak came." she explained. "Hide your ring" Emelda nodded to the Great Serpent ring of Myrrhi's "Pay as little mind to the Whitecloaks as you can, and remember while they are there, they have no real power or right in the town. Call for a guard if they try to keep or hassle you" 


"Emelda and I will skirt around the city and the encampments to the far end where the main road picks up again. Get what you can and exit through the far side. We will meet up just beyond any camps on that end" Ialsa instructed them both. 

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Myrrhi tried to protest. She opened her mouth, ready to ask Emelda to back off. Before she had the time to say anything, the Brown Sister grabbed her hand.


"Hide your ring," she repeated with a smile on her face. "If you want, I can keep it into my purse.... I will return it to you, I promise!"


"My ring stays with me," Myrrhi replied. She scowled at the Brown. "It was not easy to get it and there's no way I'll give it to anyone!"


"I didn't mean to..."


The younger woman interrupted her. "I'll hide it, don't worry!" Taking a couple of steps to join their horses, Myrrhi cursed. Anger was making her boil inside. She had to fight not to let it take control.


She really thinks she's being helpful? The young Green shot a glance towards Ialsa. The other woman's face was just like stone. It was impossible to guess what she was thinking. Was she happy to stay out of Baerlon or sad to miss the opportunity to do something dangerous? Myrrhi couldn't say. Maybe she's relieved that Emelda is not going? Ialsa and Emelda looked like they were old friends after all... They would protect each other would something go wrong.


"Has someone a spare dress?" she asked after a while. "I don't think that anyone will believe I am a farm girl if I use one of mine."


"Of course!" Emelda said, immediately coming to the rescue. "This should do!" The piece of fabric she pulled out of her bag and handed Myrrhi looked more like a brown bag than anything else.


Yelling at Kaito to turn around, the young woman took a deep breath. I need to calm down, she told herself. It was easier to put on Emelda's dress that to get out of hers. By the time she was ready her cheeks were flushed and her hair messy enough to make her look like the opposite of a fully raised Aes Sedai.


"You'd better be there!" The young woman said to the other two Aes Sedai. Then, she advanced towards the Aiel. "Kaito, you're coming?"


So many things could go wrong...

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He flinched as Ialsa touched him, readjusting his garb, but kept his silence. He gave a small grunt at her apology; much good that would do. He gave a start when Myrrhi started shouting, he couldn't' possibly fathom this row over a piece of metal on a finger; all he saw when he looked at it was perhaps a means of food after selling it, and glowered at her when she yelled at him to turn around as she got changed. He complied anyway.


Suspicion took him as he turned, back over the other side of the Dragon Wall, a woman wouldn't have asked for a man to turn around as she got changed, and he was unfamiliar with customs here, leading him to think that they meant to do him some harm with his back turned. He tensed, but nothing happened except for the ruffling of clothes behind him, women were truly confusing, more so on this side of the world.


What right does she have to yell at me like that?! And why in the name of Light is she shouting at everyone?! Loud noise made him tense, he kept feeling they'd attract some attention.


Fool woman! He half-wished the other would have gone with him instead, she seemed more level-headed, but he kept his peace, he understood their point, their faces were ageless, Myrrhi's was not, for some reason or another. 


"Kaito, you're coming?". She was already a few paces ahead as the last word left her mouth, leaving him to trail behind. So, no weapons then, or money, he guessed he really was just a part to play then. He didn't approve though. She stalked away, fuming, and looked half-ready to cut his head off, disappearing beyond the thicket. He took one last glance at the women behind him, at where his weapons and belongings lay, and hurried after her. 




"In the name of Light woman, slow down! Slow down, burn you!". It hadn't taken long to traverse the distance between their hiding spot and the city, and two camps of Whitecloaks lay on either side of them now. No one bothered them, he supposed that was the job of the ones standing by the gates, and they were getting much closer to those now. It was late in the day, and there was a steady throng of people milling towards the gate, wanting to get in before sundown. He hoped no-one would look at them amidst these people, it wasn't a particularly dense crowd, but not too thin either. 


"I said slow down!". The whole way here she had just marched ahead, like a bull charging, with a temper to match, only glancing back once to check he was following. Normally she held little calmness of what Ialsa had, but now she held none. "Unless you want us to be noticed, you need to slow down, I beg of you". They were awfully close now.., and suddenly she slowed down, glanced at him as if just realising he existed, and gave him an accusing look.


"Don't be a fool" she said, "I know what I'm doing". Regaining some composure, she took on the look of what he supposed a farm girl would look like, and he followed her lead. The guards took a look at them but waved them through. Kaito wasn't afraid of them, but his body relaxed a bit as they passed through.


They went to the nearest shop and he let her do all the talking while he skulked behind, keeping an eye on the street. A couple of Whitecloaks were moving down the street, the people around making an empty space where it was once crowded; everyone avoided them. As one of them was casually looking around, his eyes caught Kaito's and looked directly at him. Kaito suddenly realised he had been staring, he was so used to looking at people from hidden spots he had forgotten he was out in the open, the soldiers moved towards him. 


Abruptly he lowered his head, away from their gaze, but the crunching sound of boots approaching came nonetheless. 


"The Light shine on you, what is your business here?" 


Has she gotten all the supplies yet??


"I said what is your business here boy, are you deaf?!", "When your superior asks you a question, you answer" the other said. 


Light! Hurry up woman! Keeping his head down to hide his eyes he replied " I uh, am here to...buy supplies, for my parents..on their farm". 


"Look at me when you speak boy! Only Shadow Spawn and DarkFriends look away from the Light when questioned, are you a DarkFriend boy??", with that the first soldier took a hold of Kaito's chin and lifted his head up. He was met with an icy cold stare from grey dangerous eyes that did not belong here. He backed off quickly and drew his sword, followed by his companion. The crowd that had been moving about had suddenly disappeared. Kaito was crouched now, ready to pounce.


"Burn me, you're not from here, you lying maggot! Only DarkFriends lie to us, to hide their evil deeds from the Hand of Light! You will come with us now, in the name of Light, we have some questions for you. Resist and you will die"

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"Don't be a fool" she said, "I know what I'm doing". Hadn't Kaito noticed that there was no one around? There had been no need for the young Green to start acting like a farm girl ...before. Now, unfortunately, they were close enough to the first White Cloaks encampment to begin her transformation. She took a deep breath and loosened her scowl. She grabbed the Aiel's arm, as she would have grabbed the arm of a brother.


"Better?" she asked with a bright smile on her face. "See, everything comes in good time."




The soldiers guarding the village didn't stop them. They looked at them as they would have looked at any other traveler. None felt threatened by their appearance, or so the Green guessed since one of them even waved at her.


Thinking that it was better to be safe than sorry, Myrrhi whispered to Kaito that he had to smile and laugh as if she was telling him jokes. "It's important," she told him. "That's what siblings do!"


She waited a couple of minutes before looking at the man beside her. She had to admit he tried his best, even if he wore the same face she would wear when closing a drawer on her fingers.


"Good job!" she told him with a grin. "Keep on doing whatever you are doing. Our lives depend on it."


Feeling Kaito slowly relaxing she added, "Here, men are very protective to their women. I'll do the talking, but you will have to glare at the people we'll meet. As if they wanted to kill me... and you wanted to protect me from them. Can you do that?"


The man nodded, focused on his smile as much as on the path ahead.


Eventually they arrived in front of a shop. It looked big enough to contain most of the provisions they needed.


"Wait for me, here," the young woman ordered, pointing a spot right next to the door. "I'll be back in a minute."




The shop keeper was a nice man, who had a daughter close to what he thought to be Myrrhi's age. Not only was he helpful, he also agreed on lowering his price to help her out.


The young woman was careful not to ask too much of him. To stay modest and not to greedy was the key to success.


"Thanks so much, M'lord," she squeeked. 'You have been so kind to me!"


"It's nothing, lass. I hope to see you soon."


"You surely will!" she added before opening the door to exit the building.




And there she saw an army of Whitecloaks glaring at Kaito.


"Is there something wrong, Sirs?" she asked looking as dumb as a farm girl could look.


"Who are you?" asked the man that looked to be in charge. His eyes went from the Aiel to her face.


"I can call me Lessandra, And you can call him Tuomi. Did he tell you he was my brother?" she replied rolling her eyes, before waving her hand towards Kaito. "He's weird, some would probably call him a simpleton." 


She snorted then started laughing.


"I don't know how he came to live with us, but sometimes I wonder ... was he found in the wilds? He can barely make sentences..." She ruffled the Aiel's hair.  "But, so far, he has been a good boy."


Shaking her head, she went on "If you need to question him, don't hesitate to take him with you, good sirs. But make sure he's back for dinner!"


The young Green winked and made a step, as if to leave the semi circle formed by the soldiers. "Do you want me to give you directions so you know where to return him ?"


The man in charge took a deep breath. She had given so many details in a couple of sentences that he found it unlikely she was lying.


"Keep him out of trouble," he said. " We don't like trouble here."


"Of course, of course," she curtsied. "I will do my best!"

Edited by Chaelca
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"There is something off about those two" the Whitecloak muttered to his companion as they both kept their eyes on the pair making their way down the busy street. "The look in the boys eyes was not one of a simpleton. There was a challenge there." He turned and with a simple gesture of his hand the rest of the men nodded and dispersed to circle round and follow Myrrhi and Kaito, keeping out of sight as best a Whitecloak could. He and his companion followed the pair openly. 




The ride around Baerlon was thankfully uneventful for Ialsa and Emelda. Skirting the Whitecloak encampments which did not spread the entirety around the city. Breaking off not far from the main gate only to pick up again near the gate that Myrrhi and Kaito were meant to exit through. Emelda tsked when she saw them and she and Iasla rode a bit away and hid themselves off the main road a bit. "Between her temper and the Aiel's .....Aielness it'll be a small miracle if they make it out without attracting attention" 


"Faith Emelda" Ialsa said calmly though she would be lying if the thoughts hadnt crossed her mind as well. 

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Kaito had stayed as far away from Myrrhi after the confrontation as he could, well, as far away as their 'story' would allow anyway. The two Whitecloaks that had first came up to him were still following, and him and Myrrhi straying too far from each other would definitely arouse more suspicion. The woman did look as if she was ready to kill him though, more so than even before, which Kaito thought was impossible. He was not afraid, that rarely touched him, but he was definitely wary. 


If you had bought your supplies quicker, this might have never happened! he thought angrily to himself. He wasn't about to tell her that now, that was a death-wish. 


He had to admit though, she was the reason they were out without a fight, still, the thought did come very reluctantly. The gates loomed up ahead soon enough, and they emerged without hassle. The guards were more concentrated on those coming in rather than those going out. 


But even as they left the city, the two were still following. Do they not have anything better to do? 


Some of the other soldiers had followed them as well, apparently they did not realise that gleaming breastplates and white cloaks made them stand out like peacocks, no matter how well hidden they they though they were. A flash here and there between building was enough to give them away. He wasn't sure if they followed out of the city though, he had only glanced back when they were exiting to spot the two, and hadn't looked back since. He would give himself away if he looked back now, out in the open, he was a 'simpleton' after all.


Simpleton am I? Wretched woman. 


He moved a bit closer to Myrrhi now though. "At least two are still following us" he said simply, and looked away quickly, to avoid her gaze. They found Ialsa and Emelda easily enough, knowing where to look. 


"There are at least two whitecloaks behind us" he repeated to the two women, standing far away from Myrrhi, without offering any explanation as to why that was the case. He thought that that piece of information was all that mattered now, everything else was irrelevant to him. 

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Myrrhi felt the two men's eyes on her. It had been tough to play with her Oaths and Kaito was definitely not helping. The flaming Aiel looked like he was ready to jump on the first person who would dare to touch him.


Fighting not to walk too fast, she advanced towards the town exit where Ialsa and Emelda were waiting for them. I hope they are out of sight, she crossed her fingers.


The Whitecloaks following them would surely find it strange to see their targets meeting two unprotected women.


The young Green knew that they had to keep on acting like brother and sisters. It was hard to do so, unfortunately. Somehow, she was convinced that her companion would not be able to do his part.


Instead of suggesting they would start acting playfully towards each other and simulate a running competition - like she had done so many times in the past with her sisters - she stayed silent. Maybe the men behind them would find them boring enough to return to Baerlon?




Time passed, and the two men were still following them. Even if they were out of sight, Myrrhi knew that they were close.


"This is all your fault," she said to Kaito. "We need to tell the others! They have to leave before us. The Whitecloaks can't see them...."


Before she had the time to finish her sentence, the Aiel motioned her to stay quiet. He pointed towards a faraway bush.


"Wha...?" Myrrhi frowned, as she focused on the greenery. Ialsa and Emelda were hiding behind it. Their horses had been tethered out of sight, maybe there was a chance for them to escape without being noticed?


"Go warn them," she told her companion whose long strides she tried to follow.



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Ialsa glanced back towards Baerlon when Kaito gave them the warning. "Rejoin Myrrhi, and keep up the pretense, just keep walking down the road" she hooked a thumb in the direction away from the city. "Emelda and I will fall in behind them if they persist and deal with it" she assured. "Hurry before they become more suspicious than normal" she gave a nod. As it was for the moment it merely looked as if Kaito had needed to relieve himself in the bushes but taking much more time than that would cause more undue attention. The Aiel rejoined Myrrhi just in time for the Whitecloaks to come into better view for Emelda and Ialsa. "They should not follow too far" Ialsa whispered getting a nod of agreement from Emelda. 


"Unless they have more cause." her plump companion pointed out just getting a grimace and a grunt from Ialsa


The Whitecloaks seemed to slow their pursuit the farther Kaito and Myrrhi got from the city. Stopping just in front of the bushes and foliage that hid the two Aes Sedai. "Should we continue?" one asked the other but a shake of the head was his reply. 

"Not enough to warrant it. Besides if the reports from Falme are true, we'll have more trouble on our hands. Some fool making a move on the wretched Blue's before we can. Very well have tipped them off and the witches are probably already re-doubling their defenses. Come" the man hit his companions shoulder before the two turned, one giving the road and Myrrhi and Kaito's back one last long stare before they headed back to their camp. 


It didn't take long after that for Ialsa and Emelda to rejoin their traveling companions, Myrrhi's horse in tow for her. "They headed back. Though it seems they intend on laying siege to Falme" 






The wagon from Falme stopped short of the city the moment the Whitecloak encampment came into view. "We cannot go through, we cannot risk it. They'll surely see us for what we are" barta breathed out through clinched teeth. 


"I will go ahead and bring the Yellow to you" her Warder told her easily as he removed his cloak and stashed it in the wagon with Elandra. Making it into Baerlon was simple enough for him but the distaste of the Whitecloaks seeped throughout the city. It took some greased palms and quiet conversations to learn that the Yellow they sought had taken to the road when she heard of the Whitecloaks coming. 


"Bloody ashes!" Barta swore when he returned with the news. Her Warder had gotten word of a lead of where the Yellow could have gone and with a look back to Elandra, Barta gave a nod and the three were on their way. Skirting around Baerlon to the road on the other side

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The road after Baerlon was uneventful, and the landscape had changed to trees dotting the hills more frequently, rather than the rolling grassy plains they had traversed. Cover was easier than even before now, Kaito idly wondered how anyone could possibly be found here. After they had found a suitable camping spot, Emelda set down and another book appeared in her hands, while they all set up temporary camp. 


"So if Falme was Blue territory" Kaito asked, "which territory are we in now, still blue?". He had a vague idea of what was going on concerning Aes Sedai, as much as he needed to know to get to his next lead, but not much else. The politics of the White Tower were beyond him, and he quite frankly didn't care. But considering that they were headed there now, it seemed relevant to ask, to be prepared at the very least. 


"And which territory is yours?" he asked all three at once. "You can't possibly be blue, I saw what you did back there to their manor, so which is it?". 


It started to rain as soon as he had asked them; Kaito had gotten used to the rain now somewhat, but still found the eventual downpour unfamiliar, even if the trees did offer some cover. He felt quite uncomfortable. At least the rain would cover their tracks, he reckoned any pursuers wouldn't cause a problem tonight. 


There was also something else tugging at his mind. "The woman behind us" he said, "she had a man with her, one obviously used for protection, why do you three have none?". He wasn't really curious about the actual reason, he just wanted to make sure that there weren't any, such a companion could be potentially dangerous to him and his mission, not to mention three. 

Edited by NotAWiseOne
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"We are still within the Blues borders" Emelda provided pretty matter of factly for Kaito as she seemed to have slipped right into teacher mode.  "It will be a while before we are out of it." She assured. "I am of the Brown ajah, and we do not have a territory, we much prefer to simply gather information and learn rather than play politics." Emelda smiled proudly with that. "The young Myrrhi here is of the Green Ajah, their territory lies in the East, in fact it borders the Aiel. You very likely came through it on your way here" she nodded "Ialsa is of no Ajah." Emelda finished easily before seamlessly moving onto the topic of Warders. "The man you saw was that Aes Sedai's Warder. They are men bonded to an Aes Sedai and dedicate their lives to their protection. I do not have one as most Browns do not. We rarely see a need in the protection or companionship." 


"They love their books more" Ialsa told Kaito, teasing Emelda. 


"Ialsa had a Warder." Emelda went right on but stopped when she realized, clasping a hand over her mouth and looking at her old friend "I am sorry Ialsa" 


Ialsa waved a hand at the apology and shook her head "It is alright." she took a breath and looked over to Kaito. "I lost him in battle a few months ago" she explained 

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Myrrhi listened to Emelda and Ialsa's words. She wondered what it would do to lose a Warder. One of her arches had implied something alike. But was it like the real thing? She hoped she would never know.


"I am a Green indeed," she said. "So watch out..."


She hoped that the AIel know that the Greens lived to fight. At least, that is why she had picked that Ajah. She was a warrior. Now, the White Tower politics didn't really matter to her. She preferred to spend time alone on the road than to scheme.


"And I have no Warder... because..." Myrrhi bit her lip. Why didn't she have a warder? It was hard to tell. Maybe because she had not spent enough tome gawking at the trainees in the Warders' Yard, or because she just hadn't had the time to find someone crazy enough to want to protect her? She had left the Tower as soon as she had finished her training. The other Greens had always made fun of her young age, they were still taking her for a child even if she had the right to wear the shawl. But, away from the tower, it would be harder to find someone to bond, especially since she was not of the trusting kind.


"... because it"s none of your business," she said before stepping away from the group.

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Ialsa headed over to Myrrhi and tapped her on the shoulder with a hefty stick. "Practice?" she didn't really suggest. She could use the distraction herself and thought, perhaps with her reply to Kaito, Myrrhi could use it as well. 






"Is there anything else you would like to know?" Emelda offered Kaito as they sat by the fire. 

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"Practice sounds good to me," Myrrhi tried not to growl. She felt frustrated and needed some distraction. She didn't like to talk about herself, especially with strangers. Her lack of Warder had felt like a failure, and she didn't like failure.


With a grin on her face, she grabbed the stick Ialsa had used to tap on her shoulder. It had a nice weight and a very good length. Somehow it made her think of the bastard swords some Warders favoured. Still smiling she moved it from left to right before dropping into a guarding position.


"Bring it on", she said pushing the flaming Aiel man out of her mind.


Ialsa immediately attacked from where she stood, surprising the young Green who almost tripped.




The practice was by far one of the most intense she had ever had since she had met her companions. She had managed to forget about her feelings, about who and where she was. There was only her stick and Ialsa's. The other woman was talented, and it motivated her into pushing forward. She dared to tried new moves, moves that she had seen Ialsa perform earlier that day or even before. The other woman twapped her many times but she didn't care. She had to become a better fighter. 

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With a sharp sting to the knuckles of Myrrhi's right hand, Ialsa got her to back away and go on the defensive. The young Green had been pressing an offensive charge for quite a while now, it was something Ialsa indulged so she could see what the girl would do, how she thought, but she grew tired of fending the Green off and decided it was time to push back. 

"hand up, raise your blade" she instructed  "you dip it and it opens your flank to attack" Ialsa explained, rapping Myrrhi there to drive her point across. With the glare and the grunt of annoyance from Myrrhi that came with it Ialsa cocked her head a bit as she assessed her opponent. It was clear Myrrhi's frustration mostly stemmed from self annoyance at either not knowing or not being better already. It was a good thing to have, that drive. That spark that kept a person moving forward instead of stagnating. It kept a person aware. Kept them alive. 


It could also blind however. 


Time to test that. 


Ialsa pushed Myrrhi back with an attack until the young woman's back was to a large tree trunk. Until then Myrrhi had been solely focused on the sword play, so once their sticks were pressing against eachother, Ialsa's in attack and Myrrhi's in defense, Ialsa took one hand off her stick and threw a punch directly at Myrrhi's nose

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Myrrhi felt pain explode in her nose. Immediately she opened herself to Saidar and as if by reflex used Air to push away her opponent. A fraction of a second later she rushed towards Ialsa stick first, ready to strike at the first visible soft part of her companion's body.


What Ialsa didn't realize, was how Myrrhi would react to the huge amount of adrenaline that the shock gave her. Pain flowed away, focus became clear and the objective was in reach. It was enough for Myrrhi's opponent to get herself into trouble.


A rapid strike managed to get through Ialsa's defenses, hitting her in the left side. Continuing the flow of her movement, Myrrhi brought up her stick, right hand to left shoulder, turned her wrist, brought her stick down and wacked her sparring partner on the temple. 


Immediately when the stick hit, Myrrhi backed off. She saw the surprise in her opponent's eyes and instantly felt guilty. She hadn't meant to hit Ialsa that hard.

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There was definitely surprise when Ialsa saw how quickly and smoothly Myrrhi attacked after being hit as she had. Then there was pain. She hadn't time to block the attack and saw the swing coming as if in slow motion, seeing it come to inevitably land where it had. The blow dropped Ialsa to her knees. 


"Ialsa!" Emelda yelped and quickly got up from her spot near the fire, making her way over to the pair as quick as her chubby feet could take her. 


"well struck" Ialsa told Myrrhi as she tried to get to her feet but a wave of dizziness stopped her dead. "oh Light" she breathed out, faltering back down to her knee. She dropped her stick and reached a hand out to the nearest boulder, her other hand coming up to feel her temple. There was a small trickle of blood from the impact and roughness of Myrrhi's stick. Throughout her time abroad Ialsa had taken a number of beatings, much worse than this. She hadn't had any in a while though and the strike had taken her off guard. The lightheadedness forced Ialsa to close her eyes to allow things to settle. 


"Girl what did you do?!" Emelda demanded of Myrrhi once she made it over to the pair, coming down to kneel in front of Ialsa, taking the woman's head in her hands carefully to look her over. 

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"Well...?" Myrrhi was surprised to hear Ialsa's comment. She would never have complimented someone who'd have hurt her... at least until today.


"Well struck, you too..." she muttered, nursing her nose with one hand. With the other she tried to reach out for her companion. Unfortunately she had not been fast enough. The other woman faltered back.


"Girl, what did you do?" Emelda asked as she reached the pair. Not waiting for an answer, she knelt in front of her friend.


"I don't know," Myrrhi replied biting her lower lip. She dropped her stick and started to lower herself. The Brown's glare dissuaded her to come much closer. "I am sorry," the younger woman said. "I felt pain and I don't know what happened in my head..."


Emelda tsked. "A Sister harming another is usually something to worry about..."


The Brown placed her hands on Ialsa, she opened herself to Saidar then wove the delving Weaves.


"I am not a member of the Black Ajah!" Myrrhi protested. She had made an oath not to hurt anyone except in self defense, so what she had done frustrated her. She would have sworn that Ialsa had never wanted to kill her, but during their fight her brain had interpreted the situation as her life was at stake.


"Would you please check my nose?" she asked, hoping that the Brown would agree on her request. Somehow she thought it was broken...

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Emelda just shook her head as she focused on Ialsa, though Ialsa waved her off and gestured over to Myrrhi. "See to her, I'll be fine." she told her old friend getting a doubtful glare in return "I will, just need a little time" she insisted and partially turned Emelda around and gave her a little push toward Myrrhi. It was with a frown and a grunt that Emelda reluctantly headed over, more concerned with Ialsa's head than Myrrhi's nose. 


"Hold still" she instructed as she took Myrrhi's head in her hands and looked the nose over before opening herself and mending any damage done. It hadn't been broken, there wasnt enough bleeding for that, though there had been some swelling. A little time with Emelda though and Myrrhi was right as rain. "I certainly hope the two of you are finished with this nonsense now" she grumbled, heading back to check Ialsa again 


"Probably not" Ialsa teasingly replied to her friend earning her a glare. "She's green, got some natural fight in her. It's a good thing" 


Another glare. 


"Well SOMEone has to be able to fight and protect you" Ialsa teased some more. 


"Ialsa" Emelda warned but just got a smile in reply. "Light what am I going to do with you? Always dragging me into trouble" the hefty woman shook her head and threw up her hands and headed back to the fire and Kaito. 


"Are you alright?" Ialsa asked Myrrhi a little while later

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