DAY 10: The Elori – Part X

Kilgalan laughed, but the girl found little humor in his jovial attitude. She sat, as stoical as ever, until Kilgalan’s fit had ended; the boy, bemused, spoke thusly: “You must be kidding me. Am I to believe that a girl is the fabled weapon meant to save Garthabad Imlor?”

“You are,” she replied curtly. “I am the weapon, and am at your disposal. Command me, and I shall do as you ask to the extent of my abilities.” Her sweetness remained, but it was now eclipsed by a tone of gravity and sobriety.

“What can you do? Slap a drunkard twice on the cheek without effect and then run away screaming when he tries to strangle you?” Kilgalan mocked condescendingly, waving his hands in the air and imitating a girl screaming.

A tear rolled down the girl’s face, but she managed to wipe it aside before Kilgalan could see. Reassuming her dignified mien, she said, “Give me your first command, my lord.”

Kilgalan still could not believe it, and said, “See that pillar over there? Crush it. Then take the remains and construct them into a likeness of myself.”

In five seconds, it was done. Kilgalan was immobilized by shock.

“You… How did you…”

“The power of the Elori flows through me.”

Kilgalan expected more of an explanation, but the girl stopped there. Turning from the statue to the girl a few times, he said, “I need you to kill King Ghardinian. He is a murderer and must answer for his crimes.”

“I cannot kill one of my kind.”

“You are a weapon. You will do as you are told, and nothing more.”

“I am a human being.”

“You are a tool!” Kilgalan cried. “And I am your master! If you will not obey me, then I will kill you…”

“Enough!” came a gruff cry, and a pepper-haired man wearing a black tunic laced with white, an ornate sword sheath, and a dark traveling cloak swirled into the room, saying, “You have done this girl enough disservices for one day, boy! Leave. You have no right to use a girl. No man does.”

“Is she not the weapon I have been seeking?” Kilgalan inquired.

“She is. But weapon is not the proper word for her. She is a person, just like you, and is subject to as many emotions and sensations as the next girl.”

“Who are you?” Kilgalan asked the man.

“Bartholomew,” the man replied. “And this girl is not ‘the weapon’, but Vestra; and as kind a heart as you’ll ever find, if you ever endeavor to get to know her.”

Vestra blushed.

“What business do you have here?” Kilgalan asked. “Vestra is mine now. I have a duty, and it must be fulfilled.”

“You have not come to fulfill duty, but to exact revenge,” Bartholomew replied. “Garthabad Imlor is not the focus of your mind at present; King Ghardinian of the Elori is.”

“He killed my parents!”

“What right does that give you to use a girl to achieve your own ends, boy?”

“She is not a girl; she is a weapon!”

There was a deep and forbidding silence. Kilgalan’s eyes shifted dangerously from Bartholomew to Vestra, as if devising a plan to take the latter and evade the former. Before this plan, however, could be executed, Bartholomew said, “Until you have proved to be noble of heart, boy, you have no right to take this girl. At present, your soul is agitated in the tumult of despair and vindictiveness, and no one in this state should ever be allowed to wield power. Do you understand me?”

“No. I do not. I was given the knowledge of the weapon’s location, and I have the right to do with her as I wish.”

Bartholomew drew a scintillating sword and said, “If you can take me in battle, she is yours.”

But Kilgalan did not have a sword. Backing towards the entrance of the chamber, he said, “I have no weapon, Bartholomew. Lend me one, and we shall duel!”

“A real warrior does not need a sword, but his heart. That is the true essence of courage and a fighting spirit.”

“What good is a warrior’s heart if it has been run through by a spear?”

“I speak, of course, of the metaphorical heart, which no physical weapon can touch.”

Another pause. Then, “How shall I prove to you that I can use this weapon nobly?”

“The first step,” Bartholomew began, “is acknowledging that Vestra is not a weapon and that she cannot be used. From there, you shall have to figure it out yourself.”

“Bartholomew, I must know every step!”

“If every step is known to you, you will inevitably fail. The essence of this test is that you do not try to complete this test, for only then shall you succeed.”

“Huh?” Kilgalan said, baffled by Bartholomew’s words.

“It will make sense, in time. I will take you to your room.”

“My room?”‘

“Yes. You will need a place to lodge until you depart, will you not? This cave is not limited to this circular chamber; this used to be an underground city. This way, boy. This way. Your room will be down the hall.”

Kilgalan followed Bartholomew, but did not turn back to say anything to Vestra; he was still convinced that she was lest than human, and still acted in a way that evinced this belief.

“Why does she look like that?” Kilgalan asked as they distanced themselves from the rotunda.

“Like what?” Bartholomew responded.

“Like a corpse. What happened to her?”

“The power of the Elori is difficult to bear. She was beautiful before the Transition occurred, as sweet as milk in honey and pleasant as a blooming rose in Spring; it saddens me to see her in such a state, for I have known her since she left her mother’s womb.”

Kilgalan was struck by this with an ineffable sensation and a sentiment of depression. Perhaps this girl was human, to some extent, and not just a weapon. He was not fully convinced, though, and needed more information to confirm his belief in the matter.

“What is the ‘Transition’, Bartholomew?”

“An Elori tradition. The Elori decree that only one may hold their power, and that the wielder must be the firstborn daughter of parents descending from the old Elori kings. At ten, the Transition begins, and power is transferred from the daughter’s mother to herself. Then, she is sent here, to remain as long as she is needed, and to learn how to control her new abilities. She is referred to as a weapon because the Elori king decreed it to be so. He sees her as nothing more than a tool that he can use to further his own ends.”

Kilgalan’s mind was now set. This girl was human, and deserving of more respect than he gave her. He wanted to rush back to the rotunda and apologize for everything he had said, but thought against it. Bartholomew probably wouldn’t approve, and he could always speak to Vestra on the morrow.”

After walking for another few minutes along the corridor, Bartholomew stopped and laid his hand on a large oak door, saying, “This will be your room. I am just down the hall in that room over there. If you are in need of any assistance, let me know. I will be glad to do what I can to help.”

“Do any others live here?” Kilgalan asked, opening the door to his room and marveling at the size and splendor of it, for there was a bed, ornate golden carvings, statuettes, cabinets, and other elaborate furnishings.

“A few. There are a few remnants from the citizens who used to live in this city that have remained. They live in the lower levels, though, and do not bother us. When they do, though, they are very pleasant, and enjoy the company as much as Vestra and myself do. Could I get your name, boy?”


“Kilgalan. A fine name to be sure. Well, good night to you, Kilgalan. I shall see you in the morning.”



1 Comment

  1. May 17, 2011 at 7:55 am

    Hah! This is great! Maybe I’m starting to understand your cryptic clue from before 🙂

    Keep it up chief, keep it up!

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