A Champion's Soul

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Tithe's Return

I woke up to feeling my face being pushed on. I tried pushing whatever it was away and heard mama’s voice. “Sweetie let me clean your face.”

I opened my eyes. “Ah! Mama! What are you doing!?”

She pulled the rag away from my face. “You made a mess when you were eating.”

What? “I ate? When?” I looked around, but didn’t see anything? Just a clean wooden floor and hay everywhere.

Mama put her hand on my head and started scratching me. “Don’t worry about it.” She then picked me up. Why am I small? “let’s go find a mirror.” I’m not sure what’s going on right now…

I could hear Eimrass following close behind mama, he’s noisy. We left the building and mama walked for a while. People stared at us a little confused, but I did see a couple of women smile at us. Usually they had little kids with them. Mama walked on and on, but it got interesting when we started walking past guards. Where are we going? Why are there guards?

Some more walking and I heard Godefro’s voice. “Ah welcome, it’s good to see you.”

A door opened, and we walked inside a large stone building. I think they’re called castles.

I looked at mama. “What’s going on?”

She smiled at me. “Just be patient dear. We’re almost there.”

I held my arms out, and I had well arms. There was a black fabric that had little hand sticking out of the ends. These are my hands? I don’t understand…

Mama finally sat me, and it was in front big reflective thing she called a mirror. I saw a little girl in the mirror. She had long black hair, like mama’s. The ends of the hair was a dark blue and it looked like it was on fire… Somehow. She had bright blue eyes. I moved my arms to touch the mirror, and the girl moved as well. I touched the mirror and so did she… Is that me?

I turned my head to look at mama, and she smiled. “Is that me?”

She knelt next to me and smiled. “Yes, that’s you.”

Oh… “Why am I small?”

Mama was smirking now. “You used up all your magic. This is what happens when you do that.” Oh… “Don’t worry you’ll be able to change back once your magic builds back up.” Mama was hugging me now. “I can squeeze my little girl again!” Eimrass jumped up and pushed on my side.

He seemed to be in a good mood, but on his hind legs we’re the same height. “Hi Eimrass!” He barked happily. Mama let me go and I fell over. Eimrass was pretty quick to move over and start sniffing me.

Mama helped me back up. “This is where we’ll be staying now.” What?

In this room? “We’re staying in here?” The room had three beds, one large and two small. The large bed was big enough for two people.

Mama nodded, and then someone burst into the room. “YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS!?”

Mama turned around quickly and shushed them. “Zaivrer, please calm down.”

The guy had red hair and blue eyes. His eyes were same the color as mine, but for some reason when were big our eyes are gold? So that’s how Zaivrer looks when he’s small?

Zaivrer looked panic. “How? Mother how could you fall in love with a human?!”

Mama shushed him again. “Zaivrer! Not around her!” Mama looked at me and started nudging me towards the door. “Sweetie, I’m going to talk to your older brother for a little bit. Why don’t you go for a walk? Just be careful okay.” I don’t think I have a choice here, so I nodded and walked out the door. She nudged Eimrass out with me as well.

He looked at me confused. “Do you want to follow me Eimrass?” He barked back, that’s the bark he uses for yes.

We walked for a bit and saw several guards. They would move to the side when we walked by. While we walked I could hear father start talking. “I wonder what was about…? Oh, you don’t need to reply. I’m just talking to myself.” He seemed to be really lost in thought at the moment. “I can understand her wanting to move on, but who could this mortal be; and why? We’re in the castle, so it’s likely someone of high standing… Perhaps it’s that Godefro character?” I have no idea what he’s talking?

After walking for a long while we found a courtyard. It was big, very big. Large and circular, with headstones in the center. There was a path between each stone and we started looking at them. Eimrass seemed to know that you shouldn’t walk over them. I know he’s never seen a graveyard, but I’m glad I don’t have to teach him that.

There was some names, and they had titles under them. Some said lord, hero, slayer, and other things… One caught my eye though. It had words on. “Here lies Joshua Authier. Bastard son of France. Hunted by king, but not slain by him. A hero who gave his life to protect family.” I ended up reading it out loud… Something feels wrong about this. There was another smaller stone next to it. “Here lies Alice Authier. Bastard daughter of France. Hunted by the king but was slain by grief.” I read that outloud as well, but I didn’t feel the same thing towards it.

The larger stone had a knife embedded in it. The handle, it was dragon bone. I was uncomfortable staring at it, but that was definitely dragon bone. I touched it, but something happened. The knife glowed a little bit, and then crumbled out of the stone! It fell to the ground with a thud, and someone ran over!

I shouted, scared. “I DIDN’T MEANT TO BREAK IT!”

They shushed me. “No no, it’s okay.” That’s Godefro’s voice?” he picked up the knife and looked at it. He moved it towards me and knife started glowing again. “Can I see your hand?” Okay? I held my hand out and he placed the knife in it. The knife glowed some more, and disappeared… Where’d it go? “Come sit with me.” Godefro waved for us to follow. I did, but I don’t understand where the knife went.

Father mentioned it as well. “I wonder where that knife went? Hmm, I suppose it’s possible that it became a part of you. It also might have just been destroyed as well. I suppose in time we will see.”

Godefro led us to bench, and he sat down. He patted the spot next to him and I sat there. Eimrass jumped in my lap and went to sleep.

He seemed rather happy. “Don’t worry, you’re not in trouble. I was watching, and I saw that you didn’t try to break it.”

Phew, that’s good. “Who’s grave was that?”

Godefro looked up for a second. “That was dedicated to a boy that gave his life to save his sisters. Unfortunately, his sister died a few nights later, but we don’t know why. His name was Joshua. I think that was well over twenty-five years ago. Sorry, my memory of the event is foggy at best. So much was going on the time that no one really had time to mourn.”

Oh. “How old were you at the time?”

He laughed. “I was but a boy, maybe six or seven. My father was still the lord at the time.”

So, he was little. “What happened to the knife?”

Godefro leaned back and scratched his chin. “They say you leave a little piece of your soul behind when you pass. I suppose it’s possible he wanted you to have the knife. I’ve never seen such an event before, but the priestess may know why.”

Huh… Eimrass was snoring now. We sat there for a while, and some people came to look at the headstones. I saw many different types of people, but one stood out. It was a girl with large wings, they were bright red. She knelt in front of the small grave next to Joshua’s headstone. She said something, but I couldn’t understand what. If I were to take a guess I’d say she’s close to her thirties.

I moved Eimrass out of my lap, very carefully. He curled up next to Godefro once he was out of my lap. I started walking over there and she saw me coming up. Maybe she knows who they are?

She saw me and seemed a little confused. “Do I know you?”

Well no… “No, I was just wondering if you knew who they were?”

She smirked a bit. “Well, I can’t say I was expecting that. I do know them, but it’s a longer story than I’d be willing to tell.”

Darn. “Oh, okay.”

She looked back at the stone. “You speak rather well for your age. How old are you?”

I’m nine! “I’ll nine, but I’ll be ten soon.”

She stopped looking at the stone. “Well it’s nice to meet you. My names Tithe, what’s yours?”

Tithe, that an interesting name. “My name is Tesyrir.”

She crouched down in front of me now. “Do you have an siblings Tesyrir?”

I do. “I have a little brother named Eimrass, and an older brother name Zaivrer.” I heard Eimrass bark and heard his feet slapping on the ground. He must’ve heard me say his name. “That’s Eimrass.” He ran up and tackled me. He got up quickly and started sniffing Tithe. Tithe was frozen though. She just stared at us. “Are you okay?”

Eimrass stopped sniffing her and moved behind me. She seemed lost. “I, are you really? I’m sorry Tesyrir, I need to leave.” She jumped into the air took off. I wonder why she has wings?

I guess it doesn’t matter right now. I picked Eimrass and carried him back over to Godefro, and we sat there for a while.

I don’t see Godefro very often. “Why are you sitting here?”

He waited a moment, sighed, and then answered. “Watching the families visiting their dead. This is where we memorialize our soldiers. Good men died, when they didn’t need to.”

Oh… We watched people come and go. It wasn’t very exciting, but there wasn’t much to do anyways. Eimrass slept through most of it, and mama finally came to get us once the sun was going down.

Mama seemed to be in a better mood than when we left. “Ah, there you two are.” She noticed Godefro sitting there now. “Oh, did they get into anything?”

He chuckled to himself. “No, not yet. There was an accident, but it’ll be fine.”

Mama tilted her head, then motioned for me to get up. “That’s good. Come on Tesyrir, let’s go home.” Okay. Eimrass was still asleep so I carried him, but his tail was dragging the ground a little bit.

When we got to the room I saw Zaivrer sitting in a chair. “I still don’t like this mother.”

Mama sounded angry now. “Well that’s too bad Zaivrer. You’ll just have to deal with it. I think this would be best for them.”

Zaivrer snarled but didn’t say anything else. I walked Eimrass over to one of the small beds and sat him in. I flopped down next to him.

I felt mama start running her fingers through my hair. “Tired?”

I am. “Yea. There wasn’t anything to do today. We did meet a girl with wings though.”

Mama was probably smiling. “It’s good that you’re talking to people now. Just be careful who you talk to, okay?”

Alright. “Okay.”

Zaivrer decided to chime in. “Is it okay for them to sleep on the same bed?”

Mama sighed. “Of course, it is Zaivrer. They’re little. Once they get a bit older I’ll make them sleep separately.”

I heard them bicker a bit longer before falling asleep myself…

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