Table of Contents
This is #2 on my list of "5 Scenes for TotSA that I wanted to write".
â€œElena!â€ Momentarily ignoring the great bear towering above him, Kieran ran to his fallen friend, kneeling down next to her. â€œWhy did you do that? I could have taken itâ€¦â€
â€œMaybeâ€¦ maybe notâ€¦â€ Elena smiled faintly, then coughed, blood stained her lips. â€œNever watch your defense. Work on that, huh?â€ She looked down, with some effort. â€œCanâ€™t feel my legs, kid. Think this is it.â€
Khory, running up, also knelt, looking over Elena as best he could without moving her. â€œThe spear hit her spine. I donâ€™t know if I can even stop the bleeding. Gods aboveâ€¦â€
Kieran turned to the bear spirit, who was watching the proceedings sorrowfully. â€œThere must be something you can do!â€
â€œBoy, I am Seven Winds Dancing, the chief lieutenant of Blue Stalking Bear. I am a warrior, not a healer, and I have no magics for such salvation.â€ The great bear frowned. â€œUnlessâ€¦ well, she certainly earned itâ€¦ there is something I might do. I cannot heal you, woman of clay, but you might heal yourself.â€
â€œYou soundâ€¦ nervous.â€ Elena winced, looking up at the bear. â€œWhatâ€™s the catch?â€
â€œI can give you some of the Essence of the wind itself, set you on the path of mastery. But it will change you, in small ways. You will never again be wholly of the earth.â€ The bear looked away. â€œIt is a great honour, given but rarely, but not all want to alter their lives so easily.â€
â€œBut Iâ€™ll live.â€ Elena looked up, with a wry smile. â€œAnd Iâ€™ll be stronger.â€
â€œThe strength of the storm shall be yours, child of earth.â€ Even the water elemental had stopped struggling, watching the proceedings wide-eyed. â€œThe winds and the clouds shall call you sister.â€
Elena looked up at Kieran, and smiled through her pain. â€œIâ€™ll do it.â€
â€œFoolish human! The air court is nothing but urrk!â€ Seven Winds Laughing casually smashed the water elemental across its head as it began to yell, and let it drop to the ground.
â€œIâ€™ll deal with you in a few moments, treacherous cur.â€ He turned his attention towards Elena, bending down and lifting her, impossibly gently, in his great hands. â€œNow, madam, rise.â€
Elena chuckled weakly. â€œRise? I canâ€™t even stand.â€
â€œDo not stand. Fly.â€ The bear breathed outwards, and the winds came at his call. The sky clouded over, and thunder rumbled. Wind dropped from heaven, caressing Elena as it lifted her up, and Kieran stared in wonder as his mentor rose into the sky. As she flew upwards, sliding into the clouds, he turned to the great bear.
â€œIsâ€¦ will she be alright?â€
â€œAlright?â€ Windsâ€™ laughter was answered by the rumble of thunder in the air. â€œI can already see that she will be marvelous. It is a gift I can give only once every decade, but she was the right one to give it to.â€ He turned his attention to Kieran, with a great smile. â€œAnd you, Lawgiver. You have saved me from my wretched imprisonment. I owe you a great debt.â€
â€œYou saved Elenaâ€™s life.â€ Kieran smiled back, arching his neck to meet the bearâ€™s eyes. â€œFor that, I owe you a debt.â€
The bear chuckled again. â€œSuch becoming loyalty. Do not lose it, child of the sun. Nowâ€¦ ah, here she comes.â€
Kieran raised an eyebrow, looking upwards. A moment later, there was a gust of wind, and Elena came dropping from the sky like a stone. As Kieran and Khory gaped, she abruptly slowed, spinning in a cartwheel through the air, and then landed gently, her feet touching lightly on the ground. Although her armour and pants were cacked with blood, there was no sign of injury on what skin was exposed, and her face was free of any pain. â€œKieran, itâ€™s amazing!â€ Elenaâ€™s face was split into a broad grin, and she waved an arm for emphasis. â€œI can hear the wind singing to me. Itâ€™s likeâ€¦ itâ€™s completely undescribable.â€
â€œWhat does it say?â€ Khory smiled, his face filled with relief.
â€œI donâ€™t know, I donâ€™t speak wind.â€ The joke wasnâ€™t very funny, but Kieran, Elena, and Khory all burst out laughing, nerves and relief mingling with their joy as Elena ran forwards, catching Kieran up and hugging him tightly. â€œSorry to scare you, kid.â€ She turned to Seven Winds Dancing, bowing low. â€œAnd thank you. I understand what a tremendous honour you have given me.â€
â€œYou are as one of us now, child of earth and air. You are a Windwalker of the North. I know that you will be worthy of the honour.â€ The bear smiled back.
Kieran coughed lightly. â€œElena, your hair.â€
â€œWhat about it?â€ Elena caught a lock, and held it in front of her eyes, and she blinked. The hair she held was pure white, with just a hint of blue. She looked over to the huraka, who nodded solemnly.
â€œThe mark of the windwalker. Wear it with pride.â€ Glancing towards the shore, Seven Winds Dancing smiled again. â€œNow, there is much to speak of. Shall we retire to someplace more hospitable?â€
â€œLetâ€™s.â€ Kieran smiled, giving Elena one last hug before letting go. â€œAfter all, Sirrim and Nia should learn whatâ€™s going on, too.â€
â€œThen let us go, and meet with them.â€ Seven Winds Dancing knelt, scooping up Kieran and Khory in each arm before they could react, and leapt into the air, flying towards the shore. Elena, after a momentâ€™s hesitation, followed suit, wind coiling around her as she flew over the waves. â€œThere is much that must be discussed, for a great tragedy has befallen the Northâ€¦â€