The heart of the eternal

All Rights Reserved ©

Chapter 7: New meetings

Wenja blushed, she knew what one had to do to have children and the mere idea made her cringe a bit. Rhawan lifted her onto the horse and jumped up behind her, she felt numb, as if she was in some sort of shock. She waved her hand at Ulfar and Sina and Bagir did grin and threw her a kiss. Wenja choked a sob as Rhawan turned Silverwind and let the horse trot slowly down the slopes with Ahnriel just behind him. Wenja did hide her face against the fur cloak the eternal did wear, he put an arm around her and whispered into her ear. “Do not cry little one, nothing bad will happen to you henceforth. I give you my word”

She closed her eyes and let the movements of the horse rock her into a state of half sleep, it was better than to think that she now was about to leave behind everything she had ever known and loved.

The path was long and now they weren’t heading for the village but for the road leading to the lake further down the valley. Wenja had just seen it from a distance and only in summer and now it was like watching an entirely new place. She felt cold still so Rhawan wrapped his own cloak around her and he felt like a furnace so she got warm rather fast. The horses were steady on their feet and before long she was busy studying the landscape. When they reached the road the other emissaries were already there, waiting for them and Wenja found that odd but she didn’t ask. They rode rather fast down this way wider and better path and she had never moved so fast in her entire life. She was terrified to begin with but then she realized that the horses wouldn’t fall and she started to relax and enjoy the scenery. The snow covered the landscape and transformed it into a very beautiful sight and here and there they passed small barns and other buildings meant for the herds. Rhawan rode in the middle of the group and he had his swords hanging on his horse and could reach them within the blink of an eye if he had to.

“There will be many waiting for you, everyone is very eager to meet the one chosen for our Ath’ir.”

Wenja just blushed and felt embarrassed, she was still wearing her out worn dress and cloaks with more holes than fabric. The village by the lake was way larger than the one she came from, it was at least twice its size with three times more people and she had never met any of them. She felt herself tense up as they approached the gates and she saw that a row of covered wagons stood lined up just inside of the gates. Many large horses were relaxing in a paddock and she saw many people clad in good clothes scurrying around. She hid her face against Rhawan’s chest, felt silly for doing it for it was what a child would do but she couldn’t help it at all. Many came towards them when they saw the riders and Khirhien and Ehbrial did raise their arms and let out some shrill sounds which sounded almost triumphant. Wenja whimpered and Rhawan laid an arm around her, in a very protective manner. Thokan was grinning from one ear to the other. “Everybody, she has been found and she is a jewel among women but she isn’t that used to strangers so please, leave her alone and give her time and room to adapt”

Khirhien did jump off his horse and he made the crowd disperse with a sharp word, then Rhawan did dismount and helped Wenja down. She felt her legs shake and she was trembling like a leaf in a storm. What was she going to do and say? The horses were taken away and Rhawan took her hand and the others sort of shielded her as they walked towards one of the huge wagons, it was made from timber and tarp and it looked solid. Rhawan smiled. “This will be your home during the journey.”

Wenja nodded and the door at the back of the wagon opened, a young woman with dark hair and huge blue eyes did peek out and she smiled from ear to ear. “Oh wonderful, here she is, we are ready for her”

Rhawan petted Wenja on her back. “Wenja, this is Sefa, Sefa, this is Wenja. She is very shy and not used to people so be kind to her”

Sefa was wearing a very pretty dress with a sort of huge apron on top of it and she had a belt tied around her waist and her hair was braided back and adorned with small sea shells. It did look very pretty and Wenja swallowed hard and had to look down, she had lost her voice or so it felt. Sefa cocked her head. “Oh my dear Goddess, you look like…Ah, you are so pretty dear but you are too thin, and your hair? It is a disaster! Come, come, we will make you pretty in no time”

Wenja was hauled up the short stairs and into the wagon and it was surprisingly roomy. There were some closets and a huge bed at the end of it and several females sat there, smiling and staring at her. Wenja whimpered and tried to turn around to run but Sefa grasped her and hugged her, the woman did smell of lavender and roses and the scent did calm Wenja down, for some reason. “Whoa, easy there, we don’t bite at all, as a matter of fact we are all very nice, and we are here to help you”

Wenja tried to speak but it became a sort of squeak. Sefa sighed. “You are truly a village girl, not used to seeing anyone except your family. By every deity known to mankind, you are gonna meet the shock of a lifetime then”

She turned Wenja towards the females gathered there. “I will introduce everyone, so listen up”

She pointed at an elderly woman with some grey strands in her brown hair and a very gentle face with some strange tattoos in pale blue along her cheekbones and on her chin. The woman wore a very elaborately embroidered dress, some high boots made from fur and a headdress which did look absolutely ridiculous but probably was a traditional sort of thing. “This is Theka, she is gonna be your chambermaid and help you get dressed, help you bathe and so on. If there is anything you need just let her know.”

The next female there was one of the eternal, she was fair skinned and her hair the colour of sunflowers, she was very pretty and wore a dress of thick blue velvet. Wenja felt rather inferior just by looking at her. “Nefhriel, she will teach you all you need to know about the elves and their customs. There is a lot to learn I fear”

Nefhriel did bow her head gracefully. “I am honoured to serve the new Eth’ir”

Then another female got up and she was huge, and stocky and her skin was light green too. She had thick hair the structure of a horse’s mane and it was black and coarse and the woman did have tusks and a very broad body with huge muscles. She bowed her head and Sefa grinned. “That is Floth’bha, she is a half orc and she will be your body guard when Rhawan isn’t near. Nobody get past her with ill intent”

Wenja did believe that, the half orc had several knives in her belt and a huge axe too and she looked as if she could break a man in half with just a flick of her wrist. The last one was a tiny woman with a stocky body and a round face surrounded by thick braids in a very odd tone of strawberry blonde. She had sideburns which were carefully braided and wore enough jewellery to break the back of a horse, or so it seemed. Sefa giggled. “This is Imh, she is a dwarf and she is your personal cook from now on. She’ll put meat on those bones before you even know it”

Imh raced forth and bowed politely, she appeared to be very maternal and she smacked her lips together and looked at Wenja with narrow eyes “Too skinny, way too skinny, not good at all.”

She smacked Wenja over the rear and the girl winced. “I have meal ready, just wait here, soon there will be warm food”

Imh raced out of the wagon and Wenja could just blink, a dwarf? And a half orc? It was a bit too much, she felt faint and had to sit down. Theka shook her head. “Food first, then a bath. The bath house is prepared to receive you, I bet your skin is dying to get massaged, and your hair needs a proper wash.”

Wenja swallowed. A bath? That did sound heavenly, she hadn’t bathed in months. Sefa sat down next to her. “I am gonna be your constant companion, the one to help you adapt. I was born and raised with the twelve clans so I know all that there is to know. “

Wenja managed to nod. She felt as if her head was spinning, constantly. Sefa pointed at the walls and the closets. “We have filled the wagon with things you will need, clothes and stuff. And you will be given so much more when we arrive at Ohtanar”

Wenja frowned. “Ohtanar?”

Sefa grinned widely. “Yes, the capital of the twelve clans, it is moving you see, they move it with the herds, once a month. We will reach it when it is placed by the River of wild steeds.”

Wenja had no idea of what Sefa was talking, she had never even seen a map of this land and she felt like an idiot. “How long will it take us to get there?”

Sefa shrugged. “We spent the autumn travelling to get here but the route back will be a different one since Ohtanar has moved. I guess two months if everything goes smoothly?”

Wenja closed her eyes. “Two months? That is…”

Sefa smiled. “A long time but you will not have time to be bored, believe me. We have so many things to teach you”

The door opened again and Imh and some other females did stand outside of it carrying several trays with covered bowls. Sefa and Nefhriel did grasp the trays and placed them on the bed and Imh grinned widely before she shut the door. “Enjoy little one, there will be more before the night falls”

Wenja stared at the trays, they were large and the number of bowls large too. Sefa started removing the lids and she saw that two of the bowls did contain some sort of ale. It did smell rather funny and she cringed. Sefa chuckled. “You will get used to it, dwarven ale is the best really, it does smell to high heavens but the taste is great. Trust me”

The bowls did contains stew, some sort of white substance Sefa called rice pudding and also sauce and boiled vegetables and pieces of cheese and fruit mixed together. Wenja didn’t even know where to start, and how to eat this. Nefhriel did open a cupbard and took out some plates and some metal spoons. They were elegantly formed and Wenja hadn’t even seen spoons made from metal before. Sefa sat down next to her. “Just fill you plate with whatever you like, I recommend the stew first, it is rather heavy so it will fill you up good”

The stew was delicious and suddenly she found herself stuffing her face as if she had been starving for weeks. The feeling of food in her stomach, it was wonderful. The ale was bitter but the taste very refreshing and she liked it. When Sefa removed the plate Wenja felt as if she was about to burst and Theka shook her head in disbelief. “You have been malnourished for a long time dear heart, but you won’t have to starve now. You will learn how to eat properly when your hunger has been satiated”

Wenja did blush, she had been stuffing herself like a mad and it wasn’t very ladylike at all. Sefa sighed. “You will need some rest, then I will take you to the bathhouse.”

Wenja felt drowsy and she couldn’t believe that she from now on could eat all that she wanted. “That is great, I feel tired”

Theka nodded. “No wonder, poor little one, being uprooted like that and taken away from your kin. How many summers have you seen?”

Wenja blushed again. “Eighteen, I think”

Theka shook her head and stroked Wenja’s hair. “Barely more than a child, but the gods have spoken. So, rest now and I will go and prepare everything”

Wenja swallowed. “Will I be alone here, in this wagon?”

Sefa shook her head. “No, I will sleep here with you every night, you are not to be left alone. I understand that there has been some sort of problems back at the village you come from? I heard Thokan mention a mad man?”

Wenja had seen that Thokan had stood outside of the wagon, discussing something with Rhawan and she nodded. “Yes, a local man, he wanted to marry me but father wouldn’t let him and he tried to kill me when I was declared to be the chosen one”

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.