Story for the Day: Change of Name
|Twisk made this. I could not resist showing it.|
A Change of Name
The Den Asaan decided to perform his morning meditations from his place beside the pond and invited Hathanta and Varthrasta to join him, leaving his mate to tend to his son, but the three giants had not closed their eyes and said the first phrase of their Haakhas when Rautu felt something slight land on the bridge of his nose. A small gust of wind on his cheeks told him of his visitor, and when he opened his eyes to confirm his assumption, he found two round eyes staring at him. Rautu scoffed and waved the butterfly away only to have it flit for a moment and land on his head.
“And now, you have a very lovely head decoration, Iimon Ghaala,” the commander simpered. “Now you may wear it to the races in Marridon and parade your new ornament before the Duchess. I daresay that she shall be well pleased with your improvement.”
Rautu grumbled and pursed his lips.
“Hathanta, care to give your assessment of my mate’s garnishing?”
The priest attempted with all civility not to laugh, but he said, “Please allow Varthrasta to carve you, Den Asaan,” with restrained mirth, and then burst out with, “You are too beautiful to be overlooked in your current state.”
Rautu had done. He roared in frustration at the butterfly and it left him in favour of a more indulgent companion.
“Zhalinkhi is a phravhota now,” Soledhan declared, gaining his friend for his extended finger.
“You shall have to give him another name now that he has changed Mivaala,” the commander said smilingly.
No sooner had she made the suggestion of renaming the creature than Hathanta began to make similar considerations. He observed his student and how well he tended to his friends, how well he conversed with his parents, how he exuded a steady mind, confident character and amiable person. He had been deliberating on his student’s possible Mivaala for some time, and though he was certain of one, he wanted to be more certain of the other. He nodded to himself, overjoyed with how remarkably Soledhan had grown, and gave the commander a conscious look.
She understood his conscientious appearance instantly and all her happiness on the occasion diminished. “Is it time already?” she said in a disenchanted tenor. Too short had the time been that she had spent with her child, too few their conversations, too little their lessons together. It one instant, she felt more would never be sufficient, and in another she felt a flash of gratitude for being given ever so much more than a mother of a Haanta could have hoped to receive. She had been permitted to partially rear her own child, and though she felt her part had been slender in his upbringing, she felt all the agony of a mother being told that her child has grown up could suffer. It was an unendurable anguish, and a thousand inquiries rang in her head: would he be taken to the islands for training, would he be allowed to see her if his training required solitude as Unghaahi’s had done, would he be permitted to visit Frewyn or would she have to venture to the islands to see him. A multitude of excruciating sentiments rushed on her and she suddenly clung to her child, stroking his white curls with motherly attachment. “It cannot be time already, Hathanta,” she entreated, her voice quieted with a tightened throat.
Hathanta shook his head and smiled, assuaging all the commander’s fears in an instant. “No, Amhadhri,” he said softly. “He is still too young, but he will be named soon.”
“I suppose the adulthood of one’s child is always too soon for a mother,” she said, partially relieved.
The notion of Soledhan’s Mivaala commencement shadowed the remainder of the conversation. Quiet words in grim tones were exchanged until Rautu had finished his meditations to renew the liveliness of the party. Mockery of his obdurate nature always brought his mate joy, but even this was a momentary exaltation.
A messenger from Diras suddenly called on the Sethshire cottage, bringing with him a letter from Lucentia. It was sealed with the livery of Prince Lamir and sent without Ladrei’s best wishes to suggest that this correspondence was state business. The letter was read with haste and its contents conveyed that the commander and Den Asaan and the remainder of their small party were to come to Lucentia capital directly. The style of the hand was steady but the manner of the words seemed urgent, and though the letter would not say why Lamir should need them, they were to leave directly. A message was sent to Alasdair to tell him of their parting and they settled to be gone from the cottage and taken to Lucentia from Sethshire Sound within the hour.
The cottage was emptied and cleaned, supplies were found in town, and a passage to Lucentia was secured aboard a small trade frigate bound for Lucentia direct. The journey would be perfect for Varthrasta, who might find passage to the islands easily once in the north, but the quarters would be cramped and uncomfortable, as only two small rooms could be offered to the party of five, one of which did not have a bunk. Hathanta and Varthrasta requested they take the smallest room, for though they were large they were only two and a child must have a bed, and when every arrangement was settled, they boarded the ship, bidding farewell to their haven in the south of Frewyn.
While the ship was pulling up anchor in the sound and the captain was calling for his crew to set sail, the commander stood on the main deck of the vessel considering the apparent severity of what had just passed. The intimidation she felt of losing her son to his adolescence when he was still but a child in her eyes was catastrophic. It was something which she had been never used to feel on the subject of parentage though her own father had done so well by her, but an attachment to a child of her own she never believed would be so strong. He would not be absconded or told all the evils of her Frewyn heritage while divided from him and she had so many loved ones on the islands prepared to take up the charge of continuing his education. There was never even a guarantee of him leaving Frewyn, as the temple and various facilities were built in Diras for such a purpose, but the threat of the possibility had caused her to alarm. She must command herself and hide any ill sentiments or undue tears until after the business should be final. She recollected herself on the deck of the ship and joined the others in the hold below while thinking that many minutiae of life more consequential than the changing of a caterpillar to a butterfly were about to take place.