Chapter 2: The Great Feast
Our welcome home was as if we had been gone for years instead of three days. The Zherron tribe, believed that if they welcomed everyone equally then that equality would come back as a blessing tenfold. I guess it worked because the tribes were semi-united and everyone was to be treated equally. Of course they attributed it to me though I’ve tried the better part of the last year to convince them that everyone contributed to the uneasy changes in our system. There were still some difficulties because, as I had learned on Mikkado, that change takes a long time, especially age-old hatreds. Still, our arrival home was met with joy.
The children swamped both Michaela and I and began to gibber in Zherroan questions about the plains and what the katarans looked like. Michaela smiled and responded in Avalonian that she would tell everyone what happened if they would calm down and follow her to our hut. That was the cue that she had a treat for them and they followed her willingly, leaving me to unpack the draigons that we rode. Everyone was waiting quietly as the chieftain approached and gave me the traditional and formal greeting of welcome.
“The gods grace a safe return for you Jacen.”
“The gods grace a welcoming home my lord Trystan.”
“It is good that you have returned. It has brought much joy to the village. See all the smiling faces. How goes our neighbors?”
“The plains will be shared equally again. The Cyrus will come during the season of the rains and honor our tribe for aid in peace.”
“Tonight, we shall feast in your honor; for the preservation of our longstanding friendship,” the chief then led the chant that brought me back memories of that night in Mikkado. He announced to the people, “The Heart of the Guardian, the Sanga, Kirabaros!”
The people responded by crying out, “Kirabaros!”
This was repeated three times and the people dispersed quickly to prepare for the feast. Trystan noticed my feelings of discomfort and asked me to follow him. We walked through the enclave and he stated, “I know you are not comfortable with the myth of Kirabaros. You must understand that the People have seen and heard of what you have done for our brethren on Mikkado. But I sense that something else troubles you.”
I was slightly annoyed with myself for allowing myself to be transparent to anyone and I nodded and said, “The dreamtime has invaded my night thoughts. They are disturbing yet uncertain.”
“Perhaps you should seek out the lore master and medicine man.”
“It is probably a vision from the Force.”
“I don’t understand fully what you call the Force but the dreamtime you have must have answers that must be sought. Seek him out when the dreamtime invades your night thoughts again.”
“I will honorable chieftain,” and he smiled at my response and left. I went to my hut to think about seeing Petronius, the lore master and medicine man.
The feast that night was grand. To be honest I didn’t give much thought to the food placed before me as I sat and watched the dancers in my assigned place next to the chieftain. Michaela sat with the chieftain’s head wife at her place some ways away. It was another one of those customs that I didn’t fully understand; the separation based on gender. The dancers told of my negotiations with Sigara and Naomi and how the plains had become free from the decade-long feud between the herders and the warlords. It ended with how Kirabaros, me, negotiated peaceful terms and had surely brought blessings upon our village.
I was impressed at the embellishment of the details but slightly annoyed. I wasn’t one who liked to have the limelight. I didn’t like drawing attention to myself and tried not to as a Jedi should but everywhere I went, it seemed as if the people had heard of the Heart of the Guardian. Michaela knew I didn’t enjoy it and tried to stress it at least to the women that I preferred to be called by the name my mother gave me. I wasn’t angry, I just couldn’t accept the simple explanation the People gave me yet time seemed to have mellowed out my thoughts for I wasn’t thinking of the dancers and everything else but what Naomi told me and the dream that I had.
I didn’t even notice the speech that the chieftain was making regarding Michaela’s contribution and mine to the tribe and about the honor we had brought because we preferred negotiation rather than conflict. He went on how this last mission of diplomacy was a sure sign from the gods that I was indeed the legendary Kirabaros. That sort of snapped me out of my reverie, as the chanting of the People grew louder. I then realized that there was no way for me to avoid what had started in the enclave on Mikkado. The Heart of the Guardian had become a legend.
I think my wife noticed my reaction and asked about what the chieftain meant later in the privacy of our home. I explained that the story of Kirabaros had been epitomized, that it had reached a point where it was no longer a myth but reality. I knew she had a hard time understanding what I meant because she had not been raised amongst tribal people but as a purebred Argonon. She knew very little of the role that myth played into everyday life and how it influenced the combat styles of the warriors and of how all were connected. She understood that through the Force all life was connected and she used that to try to understand.
The feast carried on into the night. There were dancers, acrobats and even the children insisted on performing. The warriors gave to the tales of the great hunts and battles that they had participated in or those of long ago. It was peaceful in the way one feels when they are at home. I saw that being called Kirabaros wouldn’t be a bad thing but that as long as I remained true to my heart and what I believed in, I would be just J.C. I would be me. Being there with the People brought out a feeling that I hadn’t felt since Master Tergis first found me as a boy. I opened myself to the Force and I could hear him speak to me as if he were still alive, Death is a natural part of life. When one dies, it is best to celebrate what they did in life and what made it worth living. I remembered that he told me that when he first planted the wildflower garden at the enclave and I thought of it because he was there in my heart. I felt at peace when the feast continued as Michaela and I left for home.
((Sorry for the long wait. I had a brainstrom for another story))