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Old 04-03-2006, 03:34 AM   #40
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Here is the next chapter after two weeks. It is a bit short than my usual length but any more would not have fit with the chapter title. Enjoy:

Chapter 4: The Sitting Room
While I was with Petronius, Michaela had an interesting conversation with the head wife of Lord Trystan. She later told me the details as to what had happened. It started out pleasant enough for they were working on new dance shawls for the up coming feast and dance to welcome the new year in. Michaela had been given the place of honor beside Nayana, the chieftain’s head wife, the place where one could be scrutinized and also be revered.

The conversation started out pleasant enough with the discussion on the weather and if the seasonal deer would pass through. It was a conversation where one could participate at will or be absorbed and ignore things not concerning them. Michaela was working on the fringe of hers and had been conversing with Rajia, the elderly wife of Petronius and advisor to Nayana, about the blooming of the Judan tree near our hut. When Michaela told me this later, she admitted that she was in a state that she was not there at all. I ended up stating that they had a way of putting one’s mind in that state. I was and still am ignorant of the ways of the women’s circle and why they are honored the way they are.

The conversation took an interesting turn when Nayana asked Michaela if I had any other bad dreams concerning the falling star. Michaela was rather taken aback for she never mentioned anything about my dreams. When she gazed at Nayana’s face, it was one of gentle seriousness that permeated her soft gray eyes. Nayana explained, “It is alright. It has been seen that Kirabaros will see the falling star. No one has told us.”

That was when Nayana told Michaela of the most ancient orders that were said to be as old as the Jedi itself, the Bushida Handmaidens. Most of what Michaela told me was just the accepted version that the citizenry knew. I never knew the full extent as to who they were. It was considered one of those things forbidden to the knowledge of men and one of those things that no one spoke of. It must have been considered a great risk to allow her to tell me everything but little did I know that once again my actions and fate would be bound to the fate of this ancient order.

“The Bushida Handmaidens,” Nayana explained, “are among the most revered and honored warriors and have existed since the early years before the Republic. Their primary duty is to watch and guard those that utilize the Force. Overall, servitude is to the will of the Force. The male counterparts perform the same duty. What separates us from the males is our ability to ‘see’ and discern the will of the Force and our connection to it.

“There are many groups within the order and are named as such to distinguish rank and specialty. The most powerful in terms of combat are the sisters from Belos who in turn are grouped according to skill. It is the way of things.”

“Why is it that you speak of this to me,” Michaela asked.

“We say this because we have seen what your husband as seen and we realize that it may mean that we are called to our duty once again. We speak of this for we feel that the wife of the one who unites us should know and we agree that a place should be made for her with us,” Rajia answered.

I think Michaela was in shock when she found out. For three years she had socialized with these very women who were forced to hide who they were whenever they sat together at the same indaba. Michaela told me that she was in state of shock when she learnt of it but she never said that she agreed or not. There are some things one just does not speak of. The rest I can only speculate but some how there was a connection between those women and my wife and it was a bridge I was not allowed to cross. I did learn that after that conversation they went back to speaking of what they were talking about before the revelation.

After I met with Petronius and had left for the day, I took a walk through the enclave. It always seemed to please me and lift my spirits to see the people going about their work, especially the children. I went to the fields for it was my turn to watch the herds and tend the garden. Mostly I was practicing saber techniques with the grass rake. That day it seemed that all the children came wanting to learn to be tough like me. Chuckling I went through the motions of the first and most important lesson: being gentle but at the same time, being tough. It was pleasant and would have continued if the sun stayed up but when the sun went down, it was time to head home. Michaela would be home making supper and I was expected.

Walking along the river was tranquil and I felt at peace. Nayana broke my reverie with her smooth and rich voice, “The river absorbs one’s thoughts and shows them to the seeker.”

I was surprised to see her out and speaking to me. It was worth it to listen so I remained respectfully silent and allowed her to continue, “You seek something that you thought buried and yet when you look it is still buried. What is on the surface is nothing but the spawning of the seed buried,” and she walked away. It was one of those moments where I was rather slightly annoyed at the prophetic tones of Avalonian but grateful in that they always seem to come when one needed it the most.

I thought of what she said as I walked along the river. I thought that the seed that was buried may have been that of Tvark, but the spawning was something new. It was something that would consume my mind until it was revealed to me. I did not notice the wolf that had been watching me with its amber eyes but I did hear my master’s voice in my thoughts, Through the Force, one can see the future, the past, old friends long gone. I made it home and over supper, Michaela told me what she learned of at Nayana’s indaba.

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