|The Land Across the Emerald Sea
Author: x17SkmBdrchiczxx PM
A Shang Master travels from the Yamani Islands to Tortall, to the land across the Emerald Sea, her true homeland. There she begins her training to become a knight. And you'll never guess who she is, her past, or her destiny. The final chapter is up! R&RRated: Fiction T - English - Adventure - Tortall & Tortall - Chapters: 39 - Words: 137,014 - Reviews: 631 - Favs: 77 - Follows: 59 - Updated: 07-12-07 - Published: 07-27-05 - Status: Complete - id: 2505257
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
edited version... like spelling mistakes checked blah blah
"Sir Nealan, Lord Wyldon requests your presence at New Hope. We need more fighters situated there due to recent attacks." explained the messenger. Neal looked at Yuki and saw the concern in her eyes.
"You can go, Neal I'll be okay. I want to visit my family and my friends for a few weeks before returning to Tortall." said Yuki.
"But what about the baby!" Neal protested. "I want to be there when it is born." Yuki kissed her husband on the forehead.
"I'm sure the baby would rather know that his or her father is defending their homeland." said Yuki softly in his ear. Neal sighed.
"Well I guess I have to leave now, don't I." said Neal to the messenger. The man nodded.
"I'll see you in three weeks Neal." said Yuki kissing her husband. "Be brave and don't get yourself killed before you see the baby."
"Don't worry Yuki, I won't." said Neal. He leaned over and patted her stomach. "I'll see you soon little one."
They kissed one more time and then Neal left with the messenger. Yuki stood there silently watching the fire crackle in the hearth. She could feel a single tear flowing down her cheek and it landed on the wooden floor with a soft plop.
A week later after visiting many of her friends and family Yuki decided to take some time to meditate at the temple of the goddess. It was nearly midnight when she reached the temple and not a soul was in sight. She was praying for fifteen minutes, for a healthy child a safe delivery, when she started feeling sharp pains in her back.
"Oh no," she whispered, "Not here, not now." She was going into labor. She let out a scream of pain. Still no one came to her aid. She collapsed on the cold stone floor feeling faint and pain flowed through her body. She let out another agonized cry.
Two hours past when she knew she needed to deliver the baby before she died of exhaustion.
"Come on Yuki," she encouraged herself. "Push just a little more." She let out another scream of pain. A few moments later she heard soft footsteps on the ground, running towards her.
"My lady what is happening?" asked a young girl about the age of eleven dressed in a bright orange kimono.
"Going- to- have- baby-" Yuki managed to say with deep grasps of air.
"Oh by the goddess let me help you." said the girl looking panic stricken. She rushed over to Yuki and began helping her deliver the baby. Finally a wail could be heard piercing the cool night air.
The girl handed Yuki the baby. "My lady it's a girl."
"Thank you so much." said Yuki in hysterical sobs and deep gasps for air. "Her name shall be Jzeliet of Queenscove, remember that name."
The girl noticed the ladies eyes began to droop and her breathing quickened. She let out one last shriek that sounded like 'Neal!' and then her breathing ceased all together.
Jzeliet lived in an orphanage in the Yamani Islands until the age of four where she went to live with the Shang Warriors. The Shang people instructed her in hand to hand combat, as well as the use of daggers, and bow and arrows. She learned quickly hoping one day to leave the Shang, before her secret was unveiled for she possessed the Gift of healing just like her father. The Shang warriors were honorable fighters who believed that the use of magic in combat was considered dishonorable as well as cheating. They had taught Jzeliet to be wary of her magic, and she therefore grew up fearing part of herself. Yet sometimes she was unable to control her magical abilities as she got older. More and more she wished to leave the Shang and someday be able to plumb the inner depths of her gifts.
So the slender youth tried her hardest to become a Shang Warrior. She had been planning for years to leave the Yamani Islands and stowaway on a boat that was to cross the Emerald Ocean. Jzeliet more than anything wanted to travel and explore. She had been told of a country in the Eastern Lands by the name of Tortall. This country was bordered by Scanra, Tusaine, Galla, and Tyra and lay far away, across the vast Emerald Ocean to the East. She planned to visit Tortall one day, since Shang warriors do not stay in one place too long a trait practice by all.
On a cool June day a girl of thirteen stood before her Shang elders in the ceremonial garden. The girl had a light tan that accented her flowing, loosely curled brown hair streaked with highlights of golden blonde due to long hours practicing in the summer sun. She had rosy red lips that were soft, yet determined. Her chin was pointed and stubborn too. Her deep yellowish green eyes were filled with intelligence and mystery that had yet to be understood. She was tall for her age with broad shoulders and strong calloused hands. Her legs were long and she was said by her fellow warriors to have 'horse blood' flowing through her veins. As she moved to sit in response to the gesture of her elder, her disciplined muscle rippled.
"Now Jzeliet it is time to face the last test before you are named a Shang master." said the oldest of the elders, his face stiff. Years of training had concealed Jzeliet's excitement and fear. She took a deep breath and then they began.
The elders tested her physically and mentally. It made Jzeliet use every last bead of sweat and muscle in her body. Her ceremonial induction had lasted for twelve long hours from sunrise to sunset, with only a break in between, consequently arranged at noon. After the sun finally set behind the horizon, only then did the elders put a stop to the test.
After the elders announced she had passed they dressed her in a white kimono and placed her in the ceremonial hall. The elders gave a short talk on the ways of the Shang and then they had her recite her Shang name in front of the rest of the fellow warriors. It was to be the Shang Wolf because of her aggressiveness and loyalty. (Also due to her yellowish green eyes full of mystery and stealth that caused a striking wolf-like resemblance.) They celebrated with a feast and then sent Jzeliet to bed.
She sighed as she lay down on her cot. It had been a long day full of hardships and anxiety. She looked out the window at the cold night sky and then slowly drifted asleep.
Three hours later she woke to a soft noise outside her window sill. She sprang into action and found a man climbing up the side of the house and into her room. She grabbed the man by the collar and hurled him into a wall causing him to groan.
"Wait! Are you Jzeliet of Queenscove?" said the man in Common before Jzeliet could attack him again.
"Yes Jzeliet is my name, but Queenscove I am not." she said eyes locked on the man's pale face. "But you shall refer to me as the Shang Wolf."
"I have a message from your father, Shang Wolf." said the man a slight tremble in his voice. Jzeliet tossed her head her brown curls falling neatly upon her shoulders.
"That is a lie. I have no father." she said trying to control her emotions. Did she really have a father? Or was this a dirty trick?
"Just read his letter it explains everything, Shang Wolf." said the man handing her the letter. She snatched it from her hand and began to read.
You do not know how long and how wide I have searched for you. My name is Sir Nealan of Queenscove and I am your biological father and I myself live in the land of Tortall. Your mother Lady Yukimi noh Daiomoru of Queenscove died giving birth to you in the temple of the goddess, thirteen years ago. I know you may be confused or afraid of this sudden request, but I ask you, my daughter, will you come back to Queenscove with my messenger and live with me? I know you have spent many years on the islands and may not wish to leave your birthplace, but I want you to know I love you as I loved your mother and I want to see you. To give you proof I am your father I want you to know you inherited your healing gift from me. Please consider this offer; I would love to see my own daughter for the first time.
Love always your father,
Jzeliet stared at the letter for a long time not knowing what to say. Live in Tortall with a man that claimed to be her father? Should she risk it? She was a green Shang. She just finished the ceremonial induction only a couple of hours ago! Her head was swimming in thoughts when she was interrupted by the courier sent by the man who claimed to be her father.
"So my lady will you come to Tortall with me?" he asked his face hidden in the dark. Jzeliet hesitated. She had never felt so uncertain in her life. Jzeliet this is the chance you've been waiting for. You get to cross the Emerald Ocean, meet your father. What more could you want?
"I've decided I will be coming with you, messenger." said Jzeliet trying to hold back her happiness an increasing wariness. The man coughed.
"Just call me Jack." said the man shaking her hand. Jzeliet in return bowed to him.
"Then you shall call me Shang Wolf or Jzeliet, Jet for short."
"Okay Jet, let's get going your ship leaves in an hour."
It took them a week to cross the Emerald Ocean. At first Jzeliet felt to travel by boat an adventure she had not yet encountered. But as the trip went on she turned the same color as the ocean every day, causing her to become seasick.
"So what does it take to be a Shang warrior?" Jack asked her one day. Jack himself was young and in his early twenties. He had long brown hair that he tied back in a horsetail that had golden blonde streaks running through it like Jet's. He had lines on his face that made him look old and tired. He was slightly shorter than her and had small feet. His eyes were as black as coal with blue specks in them. He walked with a limp. (Since had Jzeliet injured his leg on their first encounter.) And was overall a very shy yet extremely kind person.
"Well it takes immense reserves of strength, self determination, confidence, and a lot of heart." said Jzeliet, then feeling sick threw up over the side of the boat.
Finally they reached the shore and docked in the fief of Blue Harbor. As soon as Jzeliet's feet touched the rough sand she jumped for joy. She then later scolded herself for showing so much emotion.
"Welcome to Tortall Jet." said Jack happily whistling a tune. They then bought two horses named Bairiki and Intai and began their three day ride to Queenscove.
The ride went smoothly according to Jack. Jzeliet had a young sandy brown mare that was very giddy and enthusiastic, named Bairiki. Jzeliet enjoyed riding Bairiki for the most part except when the horse went crazy during a storm and almost caused her to break her neck.
The sun was setting as Jack spotted Queenscove. It was a quiet looking fief set back in between two hills and was surrounded by plenty of trees.
"There Jet is your new home." said Jack pointing to the fief. It looked very serene in the setting sunlight; almost picture perfect.
Jzeliet nudged Bairiki into a trot as they rode down the hill and into the town. When they were safely inside the fiefs walls Jack lead her to a small looking castle on the edge of the fief.
"Renee! My lady is home," shouted Jack as he led her through the back door. A woman in her late forties came bustling out of the main kitchens.
"Oh my goodness she looks just like her father." shrieked the woman joyously. "But we'll have to clean her up before presenting her to my lord." Jzeliet frowned at this. She liked the way she was dressed now.
A bunch of maids took her upstairs and began bathing her and fixing her hair. When she was finally ready corset and all they led her down the hallway and right outside her father's study.
"So how do you feel?" asked Renee in a whisper.
"I feel like I'm never going to breathe again." Jzeliet gasped.
"Good luck, Jzeliet," she said pushing her forward. Jzeliet took a deep breath and knocked on the study door.
"Come in." called out a deep voice.
Jet straitened her dress and then pushed open the door admitting her into a large study. Sitting behind an old oak desk was a man in his mid-thirties. He had short brown hair and emerald green eyes. He was tall and had a short beard. Wow we look a lot alike. Jzeliet thought as he rose to meet her. He hugged her tightly and Jzeliet stood there confused until she hugged him back.
"Mithros, Jzeliet!" he said crying softly. "Ever since I lost your mother I've wanted to meet you."
"I know dad." said Jzeliet uncertainly patting him on the back. "I'm a Shang warrior now too, a Shang Wolf to be precise." He jumped back from her startled.
"A Shang warrior," he said questioningly. "My daughter is a Shang warrior Mithros." She didn't know if he was proud or angry.
"Are you happy?" she asked.
"Yes that's such an accomplishment." he said. They then sat down and talked about their last thirteen years apart. Jzeliet then spotted a letter on his desk address to Lady Keladry of Massabole.
"Dad who's Lady Keladry?" asked Jzeliet.
"My best friend and the first known lady knight in over a century." said her dad thoughtfully. "She married my cousin Dom."
"Oh." said Jzeliet simply. Wow she's amazing. Jzeliet thought. I want to be just like her.
They talked for the rest of the night and then Jzeliet went to sleep in her new quaters exhausted.
Two Years Later
Jzeliet just came back from visiting Massabole the home of her Aunt Kel, her Uncle Dom, and cousin Cole. Cole was a second year page at the age of thirteen.
"Hey could I be a page dad?" Her father frowned deeply.
"Jzeliet I lost your mom and now I don't want to lose you too." said her dad firmly.
"But dad I'm a Shang Warrior and your heiress. You need a knight to protect the fief." said Jzeliet her eyes pleading. Her dad looked like he was lost in thought. Jzeliet knew she had a good argument. Her father sighed. "And plus you began page training at age fifteen too."
"Okay Jzeliet you can train as a page." said her father his emerald green eyes sharpening. "But I'll tell you right now it won't be easy."
"Training as a Shang, dad wasn't easy either." said Jzeliet. "And please call me Jet it's simpler than Jzeliet."
"Tomorrow Jet I'll write a letter to Lord haMinich. You my daughter are dismissed from my presence. I need time to think." said her father rising from his seat.
Jzeliet swiftly walked out of the room without another word and returned to her rooms. She threw on a pair of breeches and a shirt and then went to the outdoor practice courts.