"Come on Celia you can climb faster than that!" said Tattan. The escape from
the Lupes made him eager to finish the journey.
"I need to save my energy," said Celia with a pout. "Shoyru's weren't made
for climbing, they were made for flying."
"Well our wings are a last resort remember," said Tattan with a nagging sort
of voice. Celia may be a good climber but he was definitely the better climber.
"We need to hurry or we'll never find a shelter before sundown."
The two friends had been climbing all morning. They had stopped for a rest
on a small cliff that protected them from the snow. Celia was true to her word,
ever since they started climbing it had snowed. The two hoped to find the village
of the followers (Celia told Tattan the name before they started climbing) or
at least some shelter. Their bags felt very heavy as they climbed up the snowy
"Tattan we need to stop," said Celia. "The temperature is bound to start dropping
soon, we should find a cave or we'll freeze to death."
Tattan had been very concerned about Celia's safety ever since the Lupe incident
"We definitely can't stay on the mountain side all night. We'll stop to find
shelter at the nearest cave," Tattan said. "Right? Celia?" Celia did not answer
back. "Celia? Where are you?" Celia had disappeared from view.
"Tattan Help me!" came Celia's voice. It sounded very faint.
"Celia!" yelled Tattan. "Where are you?"
"I'm about fifteen feet below you on a ledge of ice. It's not very solid though.
I've hurt my wing so I can't fly. Please help me"
"Hang on I'm coming!" he yelled back. He started climbing down. He could see
the ledge where Celia was stranded. Her wing was bent into a very crooked shape
and she was cut in several places. She was down on all fours.
"Hand me your pack," said Tattan. "You'll have less weight."
Celia handed him her pack and the reached for his outstretched hand. Suddenly
they heard a noise. CRACK! The ice was snapping!
"Celia grab my hand quickly!" Tattan yelled. CRACK!
"Tattan please help me," Celia said. She was trembling and tears were streaming
down her face. "I don't want to be here anymore!"
Tattan struggled to make his hand reach Celia's. I can't lose my best friend,
he thought. I put her in danger again. I just can't lose her. CRACK!
"Tattan please hurry!" she said. Celia was trembling very hard now and had
gone as white as a ghost. Her tears were dripping onto her hands. Tattan saw
the fear in her eyes glimmer like a candle. He just had to help her, but how.
It was too late. With a loud CRACK, the ice gave way. Celia was slowly disappearing
from view. Her hand was still outstretched. Her scream echoed off the mountain.
She was gone, left alone to plunge to her death.
Tattan was in shock. His hand was still outstretched as well.
"No," he muttered. "She's alive I know it. Celia!" His eyes filled with tears.
He didn't care if he cried he had just lost his best friend and that hurt him
more than being hit by an arrow. Tattan stayed at the ledge until dark, the
tears that had been streaming down his face for countless hours, were now frozen
to his cheeks. He needed to find shelter or he would die too, but he just didn't
want to leave the ledge. His body was numb from the cold. He looked up the mountain
and wondered how much farther they had to go when he spotted a flickering glow
of a fire coming from nearby. He slowly stood up, forgot about his pact and
flew up to where the fire was flickering. The flames were very big and seemed
to be dancing against a wall of solid rock on his left. Beside the fire sat
a young blue Kyrii who was clutching a shawl made from Lupe fur.
"Excuse me," said Tattan.
The Kyrii turned around. "Yes, Tattan?"
"How did you know my name?"
"I knew you had been on your way. At the base of the mountain this morning
I met up with a very odd Usul who told me you were coming."
"Piper," said Tattan with a smile as her thought about the funny creature.
"May I spend the night in your house?"
"Of course," she replied. "My name is Kannon. First come and rest beside the
fire," Kannon said. "I must go inside and prepare a room for you."
"Thank you," said Tattan. Tattan stared into the fire. He couldn't believe
that Celia was gone. He struggled to hold back his tears. He started to cry
again, when he felt something drape over his shoulders. It was a blanket. Kannon
had put it on him.
"You are sad," she said. "Would you like to tell me about it?"
Tattan felt so alone, that he poured all of his thoughts and feelings out to
Kannon. How he found the wings, how he left his home, how he befriended a village
of Chias, how he followed an odd Usul to the rocky plains, how he had saved
his friends and how he had failed to save her a second time.
"You sound like you have had a hard journey," she said.
"I just can't believe I lost her," Tattan said.
"Maybe we should go inside and rest," Kannon said.
"Okay," said Tattan. "By the way where am I?"
"You are in the Village of the Followers," Kannon said.
"The Village of the Followers? Are you sure," said Tattan.
"Tattan I think I would know my own village don't you?" asked Kannon.
"Wow, I made it," said Tattan. "I made itů"
"I can tell you have traveled a very long way to come here my friend," said
Kannon. "You must feel very proud."
"If only I could share the glory with Celia," he said.
"Let's go inside Tattan," said Kannon quickly. She didn't want to see Tattan
Tattan followed her inside. Kannon's house was warm and comforting. It reminded
Tattan of his own house back in his village. Everything was clean and organised.
Kannon headed over to the fire and put a small copper kettle over it.
"Some iceflower tea will warm you up," she said. "Would you like to see the
rest of my home?"
"Yes," said Tattan politely.
Kannon's house was very nice. She told Tattan that she had been elected as
the new village recorder. She led Tattan down a hallway and into a large room
full of books. Tattan was in awe. The room (or library) was huge. Several candles
and a glowing fireplace lit the library. There were books everywhere.
"Wow," said Tattan. "This village has quite a history."
Kannon chuckled. "It is quite an interesting history as well. To the villagers,
everything is good enough to be in a book. Whether it's a legend, or the time
the village elder got his beard frozen in the ice."
Tattan laughed. "Do you think I could read up on the village history tomorrow.
I think I'll take the wings back the day after."
"Of course you can," replied Kannon. "Who knows, maybe someday your story
will be in our history books."
"Do you really think so?" said Tattan.
"I might even record it myself," she said with a smile. "Let's go check if
your tea is finished."
Tattan and Kannon sat down at the scrubbed wooden table and drank their tea.
Despite its name, Iceflower tea made you feel very warm inside. After the tea
Kannon led Tattan to his room and bid him goodnight before heading to her own
room. Tattan sat down on the comfy bed and looked around the room. The wings
had been laid down on the desk in the corner of the room. The packs were sitting
on an old rocking chair. He sighed and slid under the covers. He turned off
his oil lamp and drifted off into a deep sleep.
To be continued...