Overlords part 7

Submitted by Kathleen on Mon, 11/14/2011 - 05:47

Gethin had departed from all remnants of civilization. He trudged through the snow and he could feel it bite his face. He was in Sormar, land of ice. He looked only for a cave to rest the night. Nothing more, or less.
Then he saw her. It was a girl, barely alive, with light, sandy hair. Her eyes were shut, and she was thinly clad, and very small. Small enough that he could carry her, so he did.
He found a cave and carried her back there with him. He laid his green cloak over her. Suddenly, he was frustrated with himself. What was he doing? He was no healer. He knew nothing about healing or even about her. He didn’t even know her name. Why had he bothered?
Yet, still he did not remove his cloak and waited for her to awake. It was a long, cold wait. He stayed in Sormar longer than he had ever planned.
But one day she awoke. ‘’ Bloody crumpets,’’ said the girl. She looked around the cave. They’re blue, thought Gethin, noting her eyes which had opened for the first time. ‘’ Where am I?’’
‘’ You’re in Sormar,’’ said Gethin. ‘’ Do you remember . . . anything?’’
Her face went suddenly pale at the word Sormar, as if she were remembering something. ‘’ I am Iva, of Varras.’’ She was silent. Clearly she wished to say no more.
Gethin spoke. ‘’ I am Kinless of Marlind.’’
The girl tilted her head and looked at him quizzically. She seemed confused.
‘’ Kinless?’’ she asked. ‘’ But that is of the common tongue. Do you take nothing from the naming tongue?’’
‘’ No longer. From this day, I forsake that name.’’
He smiled grimly. How strange it seemed that he should give the girl the name that
an overlord had given him, when it was the overlords who he had hated, fought against. No matter. It was as true a name as any.
Who was the girl? She seemed so small and soft. Hardly a wanderer by trade. How had she come to be here?
They spent many days together. Gethin because he had no where particular to go, and because he was curious. Iva, because she was in no condition to leave.
‘’ Tell me how you came here,’’ said Gethin.
She wouldn’t speak. Gethin glared at her.
‘’ You don’t scare me, Kinless.’’
Gethin looked at the strange girl.
‘’ Then something’s wrong, I probably should.’’
He broke off and began again.
‘’ Look, you are obviously helpless, and therefore in need of help. If I knew something of your plight, Yours Truly might be able to provide his aid.’’
Gethin stood up and performed a mock bow. He sat down.
Iva looked into his face, hesitating, uncertain, but left nowhere else to go. She took a deep breath.
‘’ I was a messenger,’’ she began, her voice wavering. ‘’ A simple messenger, that’s all I ever was! But I know were my loyalties lie, and don’t care where that’s brought me. I was a messenger of the royal household in Varras, but was the especial
messenger of Princess Elandir.’’ She sniffed.
‘’ She was his only heir, King Darrian’s, I mean.’’
Gethin looked at her and felt ignorant. He didn’t know who in world King Darrian was, and months ago he wouldn’t have cared.
‘’ We have grown weak in our many conflicts, no chance to rebuild, to create. Eventually we were seized by the Faldorians. She asked me to deliver a message, and a request for aid, to her cousin Welmir who rules in a nearby country.’’
‘’ Let me guess. You got lost.’’ Gethin shook his head. Pathetic. Why should he care? The Faldorians, whoever ever they were, had never wronged him. And that was what he fought for, wasn’t it? His sole ambition, had been to fight those who had wronged him, and the man that he had called Father. That was what the scar reminded him of, those who had wronged him. Why did he even bother listening to her? So you don’t go insane. The thought terrified him, through he would never admit to anyone that he could be terrified. It also happened to be absolutely true.
Don’t think about it, any of it.
‘’ Not quite,’’ she said, bringing back his attention. ‘’ I was captured by some men who knew me, and my loyalties. Of course they didn’t want Welmir to know what was going on, and I was the only chance of getting her message to him safely. I ... escaped, eventually, but then I was lost. I knew the trip would take longer than any one, I had ever been on before. But before I was captured I knew my starting point and where Welmir’s castle would be from there. Also I had a map. But by the time I escaped I had no idea where I was, so I was as you said, lost.’’
‘’ I don’t know I can be of much help,’’ said Gethin. ‘’ I am a stranger to your region. You should count yourself lucky that your land has not been overrun with overlords, and that your captivity was but brief.’’
‘’ Fine. I’ll be well enough to leave soon, perhaps one of the nomads can help me, since you seem eager to be rid of me.’’
Elfreda didn’t that her heart could be broken any more. It seemed to her than once was enough. Apparently not.
She had no idea where he had gone, no one did. He had just left.
‘’ You still care about him now that you know what he is?’’ her mother had asked her.
‘’ I’ve always know what he is. He’s my friend.’’ she had replied, and ran to find quiet.
The only thing Elfreda really minded was her mother, who hovered over her like a judgmental shadow.
She saw Gavon who had come to Raehaddon with Gethin. The moment when she had met those two flashed though her mind.
She called out to him. She had to ask.
‘’ Gavon, you knew about Gethin, all the time?’’
‘’ I knew. But I knew him for the person he was. I didn’t matter to me, but Gethin . . .it would matter to Gethin.’’
Gethin and Iva were still in the cave. He remembered the oath that he, himself had sworn. He had sworn that he would live for justice. He thought about the girl, realizing that if he could help her, serve her in anyway, then he had to even if she didn’t want him, even if she didn’t like it.
Gethin shut his eyes, lying down to sleep, and caught the glimpse. He had never known what it was before, and so had dismissed the glimpses as flights of fantasy, a way to escape the realities of his life. Now he knew what it was, a gift from the overlords, an inheritance that he could never embrace.
Most of the time he didn’t understand what he saw, or where he was, but most of the it took him to places that he would have liked to go. Perhaps, his guesses were not far off. Perhaps, unknowingly he had been exerting his will.
As he closed his eyes, he began to think about Iva and his future, and then he was there, in her past.
She was escaping, and he could see why she was a messenger. She was easily outrunning two heavy, muscular men. The strap of a large bulging bag hung over her shoulder.
The place was green, fertile, unlike Sormar. The glimpse went quickly. He watched her going about her day, walking, resting. The bag that she had been running with had food. He saw her take a bite out of an apple.
Then it changed. The wind whirled, and he felt the coldness in his glimpse. The bag hung hollow and empty, no more food. He watched as she had come to the position that he had found her in.
Elandir could only hope that Iva would reach her cousin in time. She tried to break free of the chains but it was impossible. The chains were made from a special kind of metal that immediately adjusted itself to the position of the bearer’s arms and legs. She was being lead behind them. One of the men looked back, and sniggered at her. ‘’ Are you comfortable, Princess? Or perhaps you would like a down pillow?’’
She ignored them because she was after all, a princess. Surely when the message came Welmir would come to her rescue. What was he like, anyway? Though they lived in nearby kingdom she had not met him since they were both young. What if he decided that at this particular moment that it would be very convenient to forget her and did just that? No, she had to hope that Welmir would remember her. Had to hope that Iva would come in time.
Elfreda now knew Gavon better than she ever thought she would. Because of Gethin. She felt restless, like this life wasn’t enough for her anymore. She wanted him back, and didn’t care what anyone thought or said. She was going to find him. She would ask Gavon.
‘’ Gavon, where do you think he’s gone?’’ They both knew she meant she meant Gethin.
‘’ Somewhere apparently deserted,’’ he replied.
‘’ So he can be alone and tormented. Got it.’’
A rueful smile formed on Gavon’s lips.
‘’Elfreda, what are you doing?’’ Elfreda’s mother, the Lady Reinalda had just walked into the room. She asked because it was all too obvious; Elfreda was leaving.
‘’ I am leaving, mother,’’ she said, mustering her calmest voice. Lady Reinald was about to raise her voice in objection when Elfreda stopped her.
‘’ The world is dangerous. This I know all to well. But I must go. I’m too restless to stay here. I have been trained well enough.’’
‘’I don’t understand. Why are you leaving?’’
‘’ I need to find him. I need to find Gethin.’’
‘’ You know what he is?’’
‘’ Yeah. He’s my friend.’’ After those words, she walked out the door.
Iva left in a huff. She didn’t care. She would make it her own way. She looked back, glancing towards the cave, hoping he would come. She couldn’t and didn’t understand him at all. He seemed so strange to her. She knew this to be the farthest away she had ever been. She felt alone.
And then what she saw what was unbelievable. It was the one who called himself Kinless running towards her.
‘’ Wait. I’m coming. I must.’’
He was no less odd than he ever was before, but she was glad that he was there.
‘’ Well . . . I’m glad you’re coming even if I don’t really know where I am and you don’t know this land either. At least you can give protection,’’ she said, eying his sword.
‘’ I have used it, you know,’’ he said.
They came to a different part of the country and it was beginning to grow warmer. Iva spotted a small village. Her face glowed with excitement.
‘’ Perhaps they will able to tell us where Welmir’s kingdom is from here,’’ she said.S
‘’ You ask. You’re a lot less suspicious to a group of strangers.’’
‘’ You make yourself suspicious,’’ said Iva cheerfully. Gethin shook his head, and choose to linger outside the village.
She was talking to a older man. It seemed that it was good news.
Liadan had lost her brother, and her best friend. She had everything that she had ever hoped for, but now everyone knew what she had done. They all looked on her with suspicion. Marta and Gethin weren’t dead but they might as well have been. Gethin left. He was gone with the promise that he would never speak to her again. She had lost Marta’s trust.
How could she have known that Gethin’s dream would somehow turn out to be real?She had fought for what she had always wanted, but now that it was here every eye looked on her with distrust.
By vote one of their own had been chosen to lead them. Kester was his name, and he was very clean. Liadan didn’t necessarily mean that in the literal sense; he had had to work in the mines like everyone else. But despite everything they had gone though, he seemed so shiny, and perfect.
He was a young man of the same generation as Liadan, and Gethin, a generation that had always known the rule of the overlords. She could hardly remember him speaking; it seemed there hadn’t been much to say about him until he became the leader of Marlind. In the eyes of all he was noble. The people sang his praises and she was sickened.
It was to the community and to Kester that she did her atonement. She was helping in the major clean-up job after the overlord’s rule. Her job was obligatory, assigned to her; the rest were volunteers. As she bent down to pick up a bit of building material once used in the overlord’s house, she caught several of the other’s glances, looking down on her in more ways than one. How dare they judge her? Could they understand even a moment of her pain?
It was Kester who had been the kindest to her, and that was what was so infuriating. It was like he actually wanted to help her, and thought he could.

Author's age when written


 Just you know( assuming I'm actually talking to some one) even if I don't reply, comments are very much appreciated. If I don't get comments I will assume no one's interested and will probably not post, point being if any liked my story, you probably won't get any more unless you post. Of course it is possible that any one who ever read any of Overlords is really not interested any more, in which case in is very likely that I am talking to myself and no one will ever read my rambling frustrated monologue. :(  

I'm sorry! Over Thanksgiving I forgot to check pages other than the homepage... I'm still reading this. And, for what it's worth, I really like Iva and her banter, and I think she has a lot of potential. I'm still not sure what I think about Elfreda, and I feel sorry for Liadon.

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief