Above a pawn.

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Above a pawn.

Post by Sphinx on Thu Oct 02, 2008 4:06 am

A fierce windstorm raged to its second day over the entire Bibiki bay area, bending the sturdiest of trees and sending beasts and beastmen alike to seek shelter. To their fortune, the very same winds had over the ages carved innumerable such shelters into the cliffs and hills of the bay, giving the inhabitants more than they needed.

Likewise sheltered, a lonely cabin stood nestled between these cliffs. Nearer to the peninsula of Buburimu - to a small canyon just beyond the caves that connected the bay to the peninsula, it existed as a shelter for someone who couldn't be counted amongst either the beasts or the beastmen of the region. A person who'd only visit her cabin maybe once or twice a month, and then mostly to say hi. A person who'd much rather spent her time in the company of others of her kind than a crummy old cabin, neatly decorated as hers was.
So for the majority of time the cabin stood sad and empty, only the elementals playing around its walls and the occasional rabbit keeping it company. Still the times when its maker did come by, for a few days it was so much more happy. On occasions rarer still, the maker wouldn't come alone and the cabin was overjoyed - glad of all the laughter and joy it could witness before inevitably being left alone again.

The night before, the maker had come home and the cabin had been happy at first that she wasn't without company. But not long into the visit, it had learned that there wouldn't be merrymaking or stories to hear. No fire to warm the hearth, and no drinks passed around - instead the maker had hurried inside and hastily crafted a makeshift bed - from the finest linen that usually was saved for her own bed - on to a table in the main room.
And the company she brought was joyless and unmoving - lifeless as no living thing should be - as it bled on the linen it rested upon.

The lanterns and incensed candles that typically illuminated all of the main room had now been carried over to that one corner where the tabletop bed now was. Here the owner had been at work without a pause from the moment the bed was set, nearly eighteen hours ago from now. She had worked near tirelessly to bring back her best friend from the death's door, but up to this point without avail.

As for the mithra who owned the cabin - she was at her wit's end and it showed on her. The usually carefree expression she carried now reflected her stress, and her clothes not to mention her hair were dirtied and bloodied still from the battle that took place. She was tired and hadn't had anything to eat in almost a full day - and the now angry mood of the commonly cheerful wind-chime was driving her past the edge. She had managed to stop the bleeding, and had managed to stabilize her friend's condition - but that was all. Beyond that, nothing within her ken had made a difference for the better and after so many hours even her seemingly endless hope was starting to dwindle.

Every moment she had worked, her thoughts had played through past moments she'd spent with this; her best friend now dying. The day they had met, the first adventure they shared, all the joys and tears of the days spent years ago.
This wasn't the way it was supposed to end - she thought, tears swelling in her eyes. Each memory, no matter how joyful once, now came as nothing but a bitter reminder of past hours' failures. One by one the strands of hope were lost, though still she grasped for new ones. "There has to be something I haven't tried..." had become a mantra she'd repeated to herself so often it's meaning was all but lost.
In the past eighteen hours, there hadn't been any that made a change.

Finally too exhausted to continue, the mithra sighed and allowed her instruments rest in a jar of water nearby. She lowered her elbows on the table and buried her face into her palms, allowing her tears to flow freely now.
She tried to think of what someone smarter than her would do in a like situation. Someone learned, someone who knew how these things worked. Many at those times would look to their parents, but Leh Nhacara never knew of anyone to call such. Many would look at their heroes, but all whom she admired weren't handy in affairs like these. In all the stories, the heroes always knew what to do. It came to them naturally as breathing.

To her it didn't. She wasn't a hero, not like any of the brave elvaan knights or pretty hume maidens she'd read about.
Not like all the famous immortals who had given their lives in service of the empire.
Not like the romantic corsairs who'd risk all they had in memory of... that place.
Not even like the mercenaries who protected the citizens of the empire for coin.
And certainly not like her friend who had selflessly gambled his life to save hers...

She opened her eyes to thin slits and wiped the tears from her eyes to the back of her hands. Fueled by newfound determination, the mithra started to pick through her instruments again. He had sacrificed everything to protect her, never should it be said Leh Nhacara didn't repay favors. Especially not to friends when they needed her the most. No, like he saved her she'd do in kind - or perish from exhaustion trying.

Not many minutes later, Leh Nhacara was sound asleep and resting her head on top of the still unmoving form of her friend.
She wasn't without a smile on her face - no doubt due to the warm sunlight glow shining to her face. The fierce wind had blown open a window with their last strength, and from the outside a gentle breeze carried in the scent of the ocean typical to Bibiki bay. The sheets beneath her head had a small wet spot as testament to the fact she'd slept with her mouth open, much the same as the soft snore that now filled the main room of the cabin - a sound accompanied by a slow jingled lullaby from the wind-chime just outside the open window.

Slowly as the sun crept ever closer to its zenith, Bibiki bay returned more and more to its common tranquility. As hours passed from the storm's end, creatures made their way out of their hideouts and returned to routines as normal. As hours passed, the wounded figure that the mithra in her cabin used atleast partially as her pillow, slowly began to stir.
He immediately took measure of his surroundings, calmly realizing that there was a mithra resting soundly by him, as well as immediately recognizing bits of what had transpired. Within minutes he was fully aware of what was and what must have happened after the attack, and to wake her up he gave the mithra a gentle push. With no reaction from the sleeping he decided to try again, and this attempt producing a groan of protest.

With the third attempt, Leh Nhacara opened her eyes slowly, and without a memory of what happened last night. She was too fuddled by being awakened from her slumber to immediately realize what was going on, but even without fully realizing why she was extremely happy to see her friend again.
Sleepily she rubbed her eyes and smiled, lifting her head just enough to support it on her hands instead of wounded friends. Her back nagged a pain and while it'd grow into a fierce kind later, for the moment her euphoria allowed her ignorance.

Slowly she too came to realize too what had transpired, and her smile but widened as she watched her friend sit up - still slightly debilitated by his injuries.
She couldn't hold back the tears now either, but these were different kinds of tears. She was happy to see her friend move, of knowing their story was far from over. With rest and some more work, he would be as good as new and it wouldn't take long until they'd be off adventuring again. Already her mind started to wander on all the places they had to explore, but she fast managed to focus it back into the present.

She spent a moment trying to find words that'd suitably express the joy she felt from seeing her friend alive and well. Alas the moment drew too long, and fast enough Leh Nhacara found herself desperate for something to say so to not make the situation too awkward.
"Good morning Bishop." She decided to go with a normal greeting, keeping her happiness only in the tone of her voice.

The automaton on the table took a moment to make sure all its parts were in the shape they ought to be. His frame had taken a heavy beating, but it was nothing that couldn't be fixed over little time. Within seconds he was more sure of himself, and inclined his head with a nod to his friend before parroting a reply.
"Morning, Bishop."
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Sphinx

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