I woke up the next morning, feeling as if the world had turned upside down. So this is what it feels to be hung over?, Or so I thought to myself, while swearing off alcohol completely. Harkon simple chuckled at this notion.
(“And I can see why”, Leesa said while raising a mug of wine at the group of legionnaires sitting around the fire. “Youth and inexperience can blind you, as it turns out.”)
Call it stupidity, or compassion, but as we set off to row hard, I chose to take Naias spot, instead of going in the canoes. This lead my leg to start hurting again, and Yi, Naias best friend, pointed it out that it was actually bleeding again. As I was trying to ignore the pain at the time, I hadn’t noticed. But I took a little break, in order to re-bandage it.
Yi asked me if it would not be better if I went in one of the canoes, as someone who cannot give their all for hard rowing will only hamper the boat. So I agreed, and got down in the canoe. This was not an eventless transition, as I missed the boat due a pain-spike, and still being disoriented from being hungover, so I ended up in the water, and was pulled up by Yin.
Yin and myself spoke about me leaving. I knew she was against it, but I could tell that she had strong reasons to want to keep me, seeing as she had made the claim before, she might’ve tried to make me her girl. I made an attempt to tell her that we had to go. Of course, I could not tell her fully why, but she seemed to accept that we had reasons. She did, how ever, call for a switch. This being Yin, this was odd… She was rarely one to pass up showing how strong she is. Well, at the same time, she’s not THAT stupid, I guess. She did seem to make some odd proclaims to her new rowing partner, as her partner seemed appalled at first, but ended up agreeing to something. I got a bad feeling from this. Even so, I made some chipper conversation with my new canoe rower.
We reached the crossing that we where aiming for. And the order to set up camp came, which seemed to confuse people, but the camping started. And people went out to hunt and gather food. I stuck around, with Yi to make a fire, and set camps. After a bit of conversing, she admitted to Yin having made some radical plans in order to keep me with them. She would kidnap me, during the night.
I went to speak to Dyvim, and informed him of Yins plan. He didn’t seem surprised, and he did also seem determined to stop it, reassuringly enough. We went to inform Harkon as well. Our plan was to sleep alongside one an other, and next to Kor and his group, seeing as Yin would presumably only have influence over the younger girls, and a few boys.
Before we could go to bed, Ron popped by and asked to see Dyvim, for fitting of a talisman. They disappeared, and that was the last I saw of Dyvim, until morning. I went to sleep, and Harkon sat watch.
Near morning, I’m awoken by Yin, who pokes me. She covered my mouth, and motions me along. I shake my head, and as she moves her hand, I speak up: Yin!. Harkon stood up, and convinces Yin to leave. Before she does, she asks me: “You know you’re going to die, are you doing it willingly?”, I answer: “Yes.”. I thought of it many times… Sticking around somewhere would be safer, how ever, as survivors we have an obligation to tell our peers, and superiors what we faced, and why our legion failed. They need to know the magnitude of what we faced. I tried to go back to sleep, but my mind, who had been reminded of blood apes, ones again plagued me.
In the morning we where to set out, how ever while me and Harkon was getting ready, we heard Linowans screaming: Fight! Fight!. We went to check it out, and it was Yin and Dyvim. It was the most brutal and downright scariest fist fight I’ve ever seen. Dyvim completely brutalized Yin, until she was unconscious. I had mixed feelings about this. I mean, fights happen in the Legion, not so brutal of course, but they happen. And I somehow figured this was Yins last attempt in trying to have us stay, poorly planed as it was. But I liked Yin, so seeing her punished to this degree did not sit right with me, and Dyvim seemed to be out for blood. But I had little time to contemplate my feelings, before we set off. I told Yi to say goodbye to Yin for me, and we left.
We made some conversation while walking, I can barely remember it. I think I agreed to look at Dyvims bruise. Though, my head was filled with confusion, and determination. Leaving the Linowans, Yin, Yi, and the others… It was hard. My mind kept going to Naia, and how Kara went unpunished for it. I did talk to Yi about it, and she agreed, but I don’t know if she would do anything about it.
Either way, we reached some farmlands. Very poor farmlands, I’ve seen the likes before, those who had disagreements with my parents, rarely had much luck in our village. Refusing my mother, or disagreeing with my father, usually lead to poor trading opportunities, and inability to get good servants, and the likes. How ever, seeing these lands made me think a lot of home. Especially of my grand mother, and some of our neighbors.
We trekked on, until darkness was approaching, and the lands had gotten slightly richer. We went to knock on a door, to ask for lodgings for the night. An old man answered. This old man lived with his, eh, ugly wife and useless son, apparently. We spoke to him a bit, and offered him some meat for us staying there. He was glad to receive some meat, but he trouble chewing it, so I cut it up using my knife.
Sleeping there was hard. I kept having nightmares of blood apes, and seeing Dyvim beating up Yin. It was a somewhat restless night. And in the morning, I remembered that I had promised to look at Dyvims bruise. So I did, and it only required some massaging, I tried to make it slightly more painful that it needed to be, but I fear my nimble touch, and kindness got it in the way of that, at least in the way of it being noticeable. My feelings where clear how ever, I was upset with my Dyvim. But now was not the time, we still needed to reach to the market, as quickly as we could.
After a few hours of walking, we reached the market. Where we were stopped by a few monk-looking people in black robes. They where of the Order of the Black Axe. Apparently, they are the guards of this event. We convinced them of our peaceful nature, and went in to the market.
I know that we where supposed to look for a way to travel west… But my eyes was caught on an archery competition. First we went to a stall, and spoke to the merchant woman there. They where going to Great Forks, which was south west of here. Dyvim seemed convinced that this was a good idea, so I started talking to the woman, until she brought down her master, Shun. We told him that we wanted to travel with him to Great Forks. We paid him, for the trouble, and Dyvim seemed to have se tup as to be part-time guards, as well, or something.
Either way, I got my wish, to participate in the archery competition. My leg was giving me quite a bit of grief. But, I was able to do OK, I guess. The first time I didn’t even get past the second marker, shamefully enough. But the seconds time, I actually won! I honestly that it was a bad shot, but it was better then the other peoples, so.
Using a bow and arrow, med me very reminiscent of my early Legion days, and the day I met Joey. He was a hunter before joining, so he actually had some experience with bows. He constantly berated me for my lack of strength, but always taught me ways of working around it. And he made me slap a bowl of water, every so often. Said it was good for me, but it seemed pointless to me. Later I realized how good that technique is to build strength, and improve your hands durability.
(“That’s why I force you lot to do it every so often.”, some of the group seemed to have realized already, but there was a few around the fire who seemed to only just notice.)
Using a bow, and arrows, again was liberating. There is something peaceful about controlling your breathing, and simply focusing on a single point, and letting go of the arrow, leaving it up to the wind.
Either way… Ehm.. Where was I? Oh right! After the archery competition. (“Where I won this.” Leesa shows her immaculate necklace. “Cheap as it may be, the fact that I won it, makes it valuable to me, actually.”) We went to the drinking hut, or what ever you want to call it. There we met Red Viper, someone who proclaimed to have killed Lord Hong. At first I found it slightly amusing, as we knew that he fell to the Linowans. How ever, I quickly realized that she meant the Lord Hong, senior. And she told us how Lord Sou, whom she was serving, was supposed to marry Lord Hongs daughter, but backed out. And Lord Sou, sent her to assassinate Lord Hong. Afterwards she was to be killed herself, but she ran… She also said something about Lord Hongs daughter inheriting all of his estate. Which surprised me, as I thought the Hong we met near the Mill was a boy. Either way, we got her to come with us, as a guide to great forks. Where we would be heading the next day…