Collection: Ages of Youth//the Halleaux//Submissions
Chronicled by Ren
Chapter 10: Mira
Petra stared up at Ren, giving him the feeling that his soul was being x-rayed.
"You have a brother?" she asked
"Had" he replied quietly "I had a brother"
"And he died" Petra finished
"If it's all the same to you, I'd rather not talk about it" Ren stated.
He shook his head and seemed to regain his usual bulletproof attitude. Petra could almost hear his mental shields rising, but she had seen it, in the instant where their eyes met, she saw that there was a story there. A story of sadness, death, of the destruction of a family, possibly the reason Ren was here. Ren reached down and tossed his knife to Mech who was sitting in the corner quietly.
"What is this for?" he asked
"Cut the kid loose and set him free" Ren directed, then turning to Petra he said "You come with me"
Ren departed the room and Petra followed quickly behind him.
"Where are we going?" she asked as they walked
"We have a meeting to get to" He replied tartly
"Always with the questions" Ren said exasperatedly "But if you must know, we need to meet the Nikitari"
"The're still miles off, we can't possibly walk that far" she said
"Who said anything about walking?" he asked mysterously
Ren went to his room and began to stuff an internal frame pack with various items. When he was finished, he donned his armor and his cloak. He slung the pack over his shoulder and walked out the door, Petra jogging after him. He left Roanoke and headed west, walking at a fast but measured pace. After almost half an hour Petra began to see a small shack in the distance. As they approached she began to hear the sound of animals. A metal fence surrounded the shack giving it a small yard off to the side. Ren slid open a gate and dropped the pack.
"Stay here" he told her
Ren walked inside the shack and was there for several minutes when he finally came out leading two beautiful thoroughbred horses. One was a pure black male with dark green eyes and the other was a white female with blue eyes and grey streks in her mane. He led the horses just outside the fence and tied the black one to one of the posts. He walked the white one over by where Petra stood.
"Have you ever ridden a horse before" He asked her
"Perfect time to learn, flick the reins to go forward, pull them to the sides to steer, and pull them straight back to stop. Make sense?"
"I think I got all that" she said
"Good, this is Winter" Ren said
Petra stepped closer and extended her hand towards the horse. The horse reponded, pressing her muzzle against Petra's hand.
"Where did you get horses?" she asked him
"Let's not worry abut that right now. She seems to like you, that's good, now climb up in the saddle and get ready to ride."
Ren walked over, mounted the black horse, and watched as Petra struggled to climb into the saddle. When she was finally able to mount the horse Ren wrapped the hood of his cloak around his face leaving only his eyes exposed and they set off. After about an hour, just as the sun was setting on the horizon they saw a camp. Ren signaled Petra and they sped up, stopping just outside of the village. They dismounted and Ren unmasked his face. Several men ran out of the village at them, yelling in an unknown language and brandishing spears. Ren yelled back at them in their native language and they stopped. They lowered their spears and approached them, this time in a more friendly way.
One man, who was obviously their leader stepped forward and looked at Ren.
"So the Algorab has returned" He said
"Indeed, Dabih" Ren replied smoothly
"Tarazed will not be pleased as he despises you most utterly" The man called Dabih replied
"I care not for Tarazed's feelings and thoughts, it is not him that I serve" Ren replied, slightly less calmly than the last time. Dabih and his men beckoned Ren and Petra to follow as they walked toward the center of the village. The entire village consisted of three concentric circles of tents with a huge, blazing fire in the center. When they reached the center of the village they saw crowds of people gathered around the fire, singing and dancing. They stopped as Dabih stepped into the fire light. They stared at a single man who sat at the fires edge. He was dark skinned and bald with well defined muscles, he was clothed in the furs of various animals and had several designs painted on his face.
"Well?" The man asked Dabih
"The Algorab has returned" Dabih replied. A whisper ran through the crowd as Ren stepped into the light of the fire. The man near the fire walked over to where Ren and Petra stood staring at him. He stopped a few feet away from them and looked at Ren.
"You have cut your hair, Algorab" He said
"Yes, I have , Mulu-Lizi" Ren replied respectfully
"And whom is this who travels with you?" Mulu-Lizi asked
"This is Petra, she is part of my clan" Ren told him
"Part of your what?" Petra whispered behind Rens back
"My clan, pretty much means that I garuntee that you're not an enemy and if you prove yourself to be one then we both get drawn and quartered instead of just you" He whispered back
"Ah" was all Petra said
Mulu-Lizi stepped forward and extended his hand, Ren did the like and they grasped each other's forearms. When they released a cheer went up among the people ad they all rushed forward to greet them. They sat Ren and Petra by the fire and gave them food and something to drink. Before long Petra noticed a man staring at them from across the way. Unlike the rest of the people in the tribe, his skin was light and his hair was long and blonde. When she asked Ren who he was, he did not answer happily.
"That is Tarazed, he hates me, it has nothing to do with you." Ren explained
"He hates you why, exactly" she asked
"He's in love with the cheif's younget daughter Mira, and when I came to live with the tribe Mulu-Lizi appointed me her protector." Ren said with a sigh. Mulu-Lizi removed himself from the group to come and talk to Ren.
"Mira has been waiting for you to come back" He told him
"I've been meaning to ask, where are the kids? It seems like the whole tribe is here except for them" Ren said
"They are inside, with the threat of an army we couldn't risk their safety, but they should be safe now that you are here" Mulu-Lizi explained
"You honor me. But why has Mira been waiting for my return?"
"She wishes to travel with her protector"
"It is too dangerous, she can't come with me" Ren exclaimed
"I have told her this, but she will hear none of it. She insits that you will see things her way, she wants to learn how to fight, and she feels that you are the best person to teach her"
Suddenly the crowd parted and five women approached them.Ren rose from where he sat out of respect. The oldest of the five stood by Mulu-Lizi as the other four stood infront of them in a line from shoulder to shoulder.
"Petra, I would like you to meet my daughters, I will name them beginning with the eldest, they are Arrakis, Altais, Sarin, and Mira. And my only son, whos name is Regor."
All five of the children ran forward to hug Ren and greet Petra. She looked them all over, studying Mira with specific intensity. She was about Petra's age, tall, with dark skin,longblack hair, and warm brown eyes. She turned and smiled at Petra, her smile was warm enough but the look in her eyes were cold and calculating, like she had already figured out fifty ways to take Petra down in a fight. Petra knew that look, it was the look of someone who was going to get what they wanted through any means possible.
"I'll leave you to discuss" said Mulu-Lizi before walking off.
Once Mulu-Lizi and the rest of her family had left Mira sat down next to Ren.
"I already know what you want" Ren told her
"No" He replied
"But why? I want to learn to fight, I want to go with you. You are my protector after all." She said
"That's not going to change my answer" Ren retorted
"Fine, I didn't want to do this, but you've forced my hand. You are my protector, so you can either take me with you or stay here. I'ts the law of the tribe. Your choice Michael." Mira said
Ren his head in his hands and thought for several minutes. Then he raised his head and looked at her.
"Fine, you can come, but on three conditions" Ren said slyly
"Name them" She told him
"First: I am no longer your protector, if you want to learn to fight thats fine but I will not be held responsible if you pick a fight you can't win. Second: You will follow any direction given by Petra, Marius, Mech, myself, or- Petra, what is the name of that one fellow, you're superior?"
"ValJean?" Petra asked
"Yes, ValJean, and third: there is no going back, you will come with me, stay with me, and you will not leave my side until your training is complete. Those are my terms, take them or leave them." Ren listed
"Fine, I'll go pack my things" she said immedietly
Mira ran off towards her tent and emerged from it a mere five minutes later carrying a large duffel bag and a sheathed sword.
"Ready" she said
"Fine, go tell your parents" Ren instructed
Tarazed rose from his seat and walked over to Ren and Petra. As he approached Ren shoved Petra behind him and dropped his hand to the hilt of his sword.
"I will not let you take her from me. She is mine" He spoke in a low gravely voice
"I don't want trouble with you, but Mira is coming with me and I cannot allow you to impede us" Ren spoke slowly and softly
Tarazed made a face and laughed. He swung his fist and it caught Ren squarely in the chest. Ren fell to his knees gasping.
"Even with armor on, that hurt" Ren said between breaths
"Hit him back" Mira yelled
"I can't, he is your father's champion, to strike him would be to offend your father" Ren told her
Tarazed hit him thrice more in the stomach and chest. Out of the corner of his eye Ren saw Mira run out of sight. Tarazed landed three more hits and by the time Mira returned he lay on the ground sheilding his face and throat from the blows. Mulu-Lizi followed closely behind his daughter and when he saw what was going on he yelled from behind Tarazed.
"Ren, hit him"
The words had an instantanious effect: Ren swept Tarazed's leg and dropped him to the floor. He got to his feet and waited for Tarazed to do the same.
"Let me tell you what I am going to do, I'm going to plant my foot upside your head." Ren said calmly
Tarazed watched as Ren jumped several times, switching his feet as he did. While Tarazed was watching his feet Ren jabbed him straight in the throat. Tarazed hit the ground and groaned. He rolled over and slowly got on his knees.
"I thought you said you were going to kick me in the head" Tarazed spat at him
"Are you calling me a liar" Ren asked
With that Ren spun around with a beautiful roundhouse kick. The side of his boot struck Tarazed directly in the head. Tarazed colloapsed sideways on contact and did not get up.
"Is he dead?" Asked Mulu-Lizi
"No, I'm afaid his skull it too thick for that, he should come to in a few hours, he might not remember much, though." Ren explained
"I see. It is getting late, you three should stay the night and leave first thing tomorrow morning. The darkness holds any dangers for travelers, even heavily armed ones such as yourselves" Mulu-Lizi said
"Indeed" came Ren's reply
They set their bags by the fire and Ren carried Tarazed back to his tent. Afterwords they found sleeping accomodations for everybody. Petra would share a tent with Mira and Ren would share one with Dabih. Once the plan was finalized Ren picked up his bag from its place by the fire.
"You know you can leave that there, dear" said Mulu-Lizi's wife, whose name was Almeisan
"Considering the vast amount of lethal items that this bag contains, I would rather keep it with me" Ren told her
"Boys and their toys" she sighed
"Fun to play with not to eat" Ren retorted
After everyone had a good laugh they went to bed. Ren lay on his sleeping bag for hours dreading the days ahead. He was hoping the person he wsa thinking of would not be leading Javert's army.
Blurbs & Blogs
Chroniclers will post their stories, opinions, and silliness.