Story for the day: Kai Linaa's First Day
|Khantara: Odaibha and Den Amhadhri. Legendary teacher and commander for the Haanta|
Kai Linaa’s First Day
The sun rose over the Sanhedhran horizon and Kai Linaa was roused from her pleasant slumber. Her mate was not beside her when she awoke, as he had spent the duration of the evening training with his brothers on the southern coast, but the lingering scent of Unghaahi on the hangaara pelt beside her drew Kai Linaa back into a delicate sleep. Her fingers grazed the fur blanket and she hummed, nestling her nose with its folds. “Unghaahi,” she thrummed, smiling to herself for the memory the aroma of her mate’s skin had evoked. The vision of his immense form and long braids filled her unconscious mind. She watched his hair sway with each Hophsaas moved he performed. His powerful arms and thick legs contracted and flexed with each subtle motion. She imagined herself sitting on the shore, watching her mate in his careful practice. His hands moved with precision, his feet stepped with care, and his pale eyes conveyed his unbending focus.
Kai Linaa remained in the reverie for some time and the more she sustained the vision of her mate, the more veracity the conjuration attained. She felt his warmth as he drew near, the fibrous nature of his bound hair, the stone-like texture of his skin. His voice was soft as he spoke to her. “Ghaala,” his image purred. She believed she felt the sensation of his warm breath on neck and was almost moved to wake from her vision, but she understood her active imagination and disregarded any notion her mind had accepted.
She suddenly felt Unghaahi’s arm wrap around her small waist and his large body pressed against her as though he were approaching her from behind. She saw him in front of her, but when she turned back and opened her eyes, she found her mate’s serene countenance smiling at her. Unghaahi brushed her hair aside and attacked the back of her neck with small kisses, murmuring in between his osculations of his happiness for her first day.
“My first day?” Kai Linaa repeated, still beguiled by sleep.
“Haa, Ghaala,” Unghaahi said smilingly. “You have been named Bhendosha. Today is your first day of training with your Odaibha.”
Kai Linaa roused with a start. She had nearly forgotten. She had been so consumed in her pleasurable sleep she had been careless for the time. She wondered how long he remained in her bed dreaming of her mate when she should have been preparing her implements for her newfound Mivaala. It had been Unghaahi’s doing, the lateness of hour and new Odaibha with whom she would be practicing her abilities, and though she had thanked him profusely the evening before with bouts of happy tears, heartfelt embraces and Khopra, she could only think of expressing her gratitude again while she dressed. She murmured her thank yous while wrapping her jhidhosha cloth around her body in a makeshift manner. Unghaahi laughed at her sense of panic and he assured her that her new teacher was not the sort to scold her for being a few minutes late to her lesson. Kai Linaa was too concerned with the business of making a favourable first impression to hear her mate’s assurances and she gave him a quick kiss, sealed with promises of seeing him in the evening for their meal together, as she fluttered out of their sandstone home.
Kai Linaa heard Unghaahi’s professions of love for her when she began her run along the path from her home to the temple grounds. She shouted her reply, claiming to love him more that was possible, and leaped up the stiles toward the main roads of the capital. Everyone greeted her with all the civility and geniality the cool morning could allow. She gave quick bows to all who acknowledged her and she did her utmost not to exclude anyone from the graces of Haanta courtesy as she hurried along the main road. She must greet the leatherworkers, the blacksmiths, the provisioner, the docksmaster, the temple assistants, the priest, the children flittering about the temple entrance until finally reaching the room in the inner sanctum in which she had left her drawing articles the day previous.
She searched for her powders and pencils but could not find them in the place where she believed she had stashed them. She thought perhaps one of the temple assistants had moved them overnight, but when she inquired about her items, it was declared they were not where Kai Linaa was convinced they had been. She determined that she had left them in garden and had merely forgotten she had done so, but when she looked about for her parchment and chalks under the copses of trees where she usually sat, there was nothing.
Kai Linaa began to panic. Late and without her utensils, she was certain she would be reprimanded for being so poor a student. She began to think herself evil, owing to her frantic character and distracted mind. She begged herself to remember where she had left her implements but beyond the room in the outer sanctum and her space in the garden, there was nothing to be recollected. Her breathing quickened and her eyes darted about as he reproached herself for her terrible memory on such a day. She stood at the temple entrance, her shoulders wilted in hopelessness and she sighed with quivering lips, her eyes budding with tears.
As she lifted her hand to wipe her cheeks, Kai Linaa was suddenly shrouded in the shadow of a very large creature. She had heard the sound of shuffling steps approach but did not think to look up in her dejected stated. When the shadow would not recede, she looked to the ground to see a pair of familiar, dark feet beside her. She shivered in terror when she realized her teacher had found her before she could gather her effects needed for her lesson. She would not look up. She would only stare at the immense shadow on the ground and stand tremulously before him.
There was a pause between her frantic breaths and in the suspension of movement or sound, Kai Linaa turned her head slightly to the left while endeavoring to harvest enough of her courage to greet her instructor. She parted her lips to speak but her words were silenced by the sight of her drawing implements being presented to her.
“I apologize, Bhendosha Leraa,” Khantara said in his soft and slow speech. He held out the parchments and powders with an amiable smile for his student. “I had asked you to meet me at the shore for your lesson. I gathered everything you would need for our practice but I did not inform you that I would be bringing the necessary implements.” He observed Kai Linaa’s horror of him and though he was the largest Haanta on the islands, he did not believe he was the cruelest. He knelt to his student when she was too apprehensive to take her effects from him. He carefully gathered her hands and placed the articles within them. “Khostaas, Bhendosha Leraa,” Khantara said in his low, purling voice, asking for forgiveness in the Haanta tongue. “I did not wish to cause you distress.”
Kai Linaa felt Khantara’s heavy hand pat her head. His colossal palm gently browsed her hair and she felt all her agitation dissipate for the consideration and kind remorse Khantara conveyed. “I’m sorry I was late,” she managed to whisper.
Khantara gave a prolonged exhale and eyed his student with a fond grin on his tranquil features. He placed his forefinger under her chin and lifted her face, forcing her to look into his yellow eyes. “I cannot give Khostaas when there is no need to ask for it,” he quietly said. “My sentinel wishes to tell you that he has been sitting on the sill of your home all morning. You did not hear him calling you, and when he realized he could not wake you, he told me you would be visiting me for your lesson at a later time.” Khantara looked to his shoulder and beneath the folds of his cloak emerged his small blue wren. “He tells me you are a strong sleeper.”
The wren hopped out from his snug place and twittered his report of Kai Linaa’s resting patterns. He told them of her tossing and turning, of her need to crush the blankets between her arms, and of her habit of kicking when experiencing a particularly exciting dream. He tweeted for a few moments and hopped over to Kai Linaa’s shoulder where he found comfort nesting in the nape of her neck.
Kai Linaa laughed for the tickling sensation the bird’s small feathers afforded and any sadness and grief she had suffered was gone from her. The gentleness of her Odaibha and the affability of his companion convinced her there was nothing to be sensible of other than her own feelings of insufficiency. Her smiles and good humour were renewed and she followed Khantara to the shore where they began her first day as a Bhendosha.