WS- Well, I haven't read the fourth book, and I'm not even totally sure if there is one…. If there is, can someone tell me what it is in the review? I have no idea how many books there are; I've only read Wolf Tower, Wolf Star, and Wolf Queen.
Well, anyway, since I haven't read any others (if there are any), this takes place after Wolf Queen. Obviously. I rarely do stories where they're being told like "I did this," but I think I'm just as good like that as I am doing "She did this." So, I'll give it a try.
Oh, and I can't forget to say: This is supposed to be before Yinyay came as another Tower. It's right after they escaped from the "Over-Marriage". So, it's totally different from the book after that part. The Yinyay/Tower/Ship is going to be similar, though. I hope you enjoy!
Chapter One: On Our Way
I feel so excited right now! Argul is in another tent, and possibly the wagon he had before he gave Blurn his place as leader here.
I've been able to see Sirree again, and Dagger. Teil, Toy, Blurn, Ro, Mehmed and the others have all apologized for not trusting me.
Really, I don't blame them. Nemian must have been convincing with the fake diary that was in my handwriting. Truly, it wasn't mine per say, it just looked like mine, but still.
Like I said, I'm so excited! This will be the best thing ever to happen to me! Can things get any better? No, I don't think so, unless the Hulta accept us back. Still, there's—
Sorry! I'm sure you don't know what I'm talking about, do you? I keep doing that. But, let me start from where I left off in my last entry about a month ago. It goes like this:
Argul and I traveled for a while. We needed know where the Hulta would be. The Ravens were still looking for us, but they weren't near as persistent as before.
I missed my Graff. I'm sure you can see why. But, I was glad that Winter Raven was taking good care of he/she/it.
My thoughts kept drifting back to Prince Venarion Yllar Kaslem-Idoros. The poor guy will have no chance with Winter. Resisting her will be like someone from the City resisting a treat when I was there and everyone was so down-cast, looking for something to perk everyone up.
Of course, thinking of this brings me back to thinking about that slut Nemian. And Ironel! They had both tricked me. But, that is in the past. Of course, it also made me think of Argul's, Ro's, Mehm's daring rescue. And when the fireworks had been set off. Everyone was so glad that the Law had been destroyed. I was, too, and I still am.
We had to walk the whole way. Thankfully, my ring helped me keep warm and I was able to use it to keep Argul warm, too. Ustareth-Zeera was a true genius. She was mean to some, but she was a genius.
"Claidi-baa-baa," Argul said one night, using my nickname, while we were snuggled together next to a fire I had started with my ring, "do you think that the Hulta miss us?"
I looked at the ground. "They miss you, I know. When I went, they ran me off because they thought I had betrayed them for that creep Nemian. I can't blame them, though. I had wanted to go with him the first time. Of course, then I had just wanted to keep a promise I had made to him that I would go with him, but still…."
He nodded. "If they knew the truth, I am sure they will apologize and kick themselves for being so unreasonable. Even they did not know you the way I did, or the way I do."
I smiled, and he kissed my forehead. "How can someone kick themselves?" I asked.
He laughed aloud, a short, sharp bark of laughter. He grinned, and replied, "It's an expression, Claidi. It means—well—it means—oh, you'll get used to it some day."
We set out the next morning. We had been traveling by foot and flight for three days. We should have been near where I had re-met Yazkool and Hrald. I couldn't get over how they kept asking for a kiss. And I still can't get over how I let Yaz put his arm around me.
The hills, the ones with all of those different jewels and gems, were in the distance, but within sight. We kept seeing different colored flashes of light. It was from light reflecting off of the sapphires and rubies and everything else.
It took two days to get there. Of course, we stuck to the outside. We could have gone straight in if we had wanted, though. We could have made ourselves invisible with my ring. But, when we had first his under that overhang, one of the men had seen a "shadow". What if any time we used the invisibility there was still a shadow left?
Even so, we were reckless enough to stay close to the city's outer walls. We didn't fly, either. We both preferred walking, and if we had flown I would have split the narrow dress again. Of course, I kept splitting it just walking, too, but I needed an excuse! Truthfully, I was nervous, even with Argul there. Flying was definitely not my thing.
Argul and I both stopped suddenly. Voices. They were awfully close. How had we missed them at first? They sounded close enough that if I told the ring to make us invisible, they would hear. I still didn't have the knack of commanding it with my mind, though. So, we both just got even closer to the wall, so it was against our backs, and waited for anyone there to round the corner. If they were foe (most likely), we would ambush them.
Argul grabbed my hand and we both squeezed, getting ready. The voices sounded like they were so close. Was I breathing? I don't think so. My heart raced. But, the voices sounded eerily familiar…. How could they? I couldn't tell who it was. Maybe Heepo? No, it wasn't deep enough. Ngarbo? Possibly. Vilk? Maybe. Vilk and Ngarbo? Just as possible.
I grinned as I recognized them, and looked over at Argul, who was right next to me. Within making any sound, and I moved my lips as if I was saying, "It's all right. We don't have to worry."
He gave me a confused look, but relaxed his body. How's that for trust? I nodded. At that moment, the men came round the corner.
Yazkool and Hrald stopped short as soon as they saw us. Y reacted first. "Claidi! I thought they had already taken you to the Raven Tower! Good to see you again."
Hrald was grinning even wider than he was. "Yeah. Now, who's this guy?" He gestured at Argul.
Argul raised an eyebrow and looked at me, as if to say, "Who are these guys?"
"Yaz, Hrald, this is Argul," I replied. I couldn't keep the smile off of my face. "He is—"
"Her mate. Or, I will be soon," Argul cut in. I almost laughed at the total looks of shock on H and Y's faces.
H looked at me, eyes wide. "You never told us you were engaged!" He turned to Argul. "Congrats. She is quite a prize. You must be very lucky."
I noticed a look in their eyes, and the smile dropped off of my face. "You've been drinking again, haven't you?" I demanded. They had the glazed-over look they always get after too much wine.
"Come on, Claidissy, there's nothing wrong with that, now is there?" H asked. I noticed the note to his voice that was tell-tale of their drinking.
I sighed, and rolled my eyes. "Anyway, I thought they didn't let anyone out of the city here. How are you out?"
"We escaped. What do you think?" They always surprised me.
"And," H added to Y's answer, "Now that we have all met up again, do you mind if we joined this little group?" Yep. They were drunk.
Argul raised his eyebrows at me. He had only said two sentences in this whole conversation, but he seemed to say a whole lot more with his expressions.
I sighed. "I suppose, if Argul agrees…. But no drinking while you're in this 'little group'."
Argul nodded. "If Claidi says it's alright, then I agree. But I also agree with the no drinking part. It's bad for you on a journey like this." He sounded slightly reluctant to have to put up with these two.
About two hours later, it was time to make camp. We were still right next to the city, but I could use the ring to hide all of us and the fire, if we made one. A shadow in the dark wouldn't be too much of a giveaway, don't you think? Of course, you're only a figment of my imagination, an imaginary reader. Unless you're like Venn, who read this without permission. Oh well. But, still, thank you for putting up with me for so long!
We didn't make a fire. There was nothing to burn. Y had asked before whether it would have been best if we kept moving, since they—the Ravens—might see us out here while we were asleep.
I didn't explain why, but they trusted my judgment. Don't ask why. I told my ring to make us invisible except to each other, and they gave me questioning looks, all except for Argul.
"It has…powers. It'll do anything I tell it to do. But I have to tell it to, and it'll only work for me," I told them. They just shrugged, but I saw a hint of mischief in their eyes.
Also, we didn't have to worry about blankets out here in the snow because I also told it to keep us all warm. Very handy, that ring.
Yaz stretched out and lay down against the wall. Hrald went to sleep sitting against the wall a few feet from Yaz. Argul and I both slept a few feet away from the wall, and away from those two. Of course, we weren't married yet, though we should have been if I hadn't been kidnapped the day of our Hulta marriage, so we didn't sleep next to each other.
I must have gone to sleep before my head even hit the ground; I can't remember it doing so.
It seemed like only a moment later when I was woken up. Argul was shaking me, holding my shoulders. That's simply a rude way to be woken up.
"What is it?" I asked drowsily, my sight not even focused yet. My mind wasn't working, so I didn't even think of Y and H.
"We need to go. Now," he said. "There are Ravens scouting. We may have the ring, but they're going by ground, not by air. That makes me nervous."
My eyes snapped open, instantly focused. I was wide awake. "How would they know?" I asked.
"Yazkool found a Tag on one of his belongings. The same with Hrald. They're looking for those two, not us. But they'll find us with those two if we stay. We all, all four of us, need to hurry and get out of here."
"Tag? What have you done with it? How far are the Ravens? Which way do we go to get away from them?" I stood up, eyes scanning the area.
"They're a ways off. We can keep going the way we've been going, though. They're behind us. I've thrown the Tag off to the left, about 100 yards. That'll throw them off, but we still need to get away in case there are more," he replied. His voice was stern, and held none of the panic I'm sure mine had.
Yaz and Hrald were already waiting to leave. I noticed that by then. "Can we just go? You say so much about hurrying, but you're only standing there," H said.
Argul's left eyebrow twitched with annoyance, but that was the only sign of it. I am always amazed by his self control. He nodded, and grabbed my hand, pulling me at a fairly brisk pace next to the H and Y.
"Are we still invisible?" Argul asked me.
"I think so. I'm pretty sure it only stops when I tell it to," I replied, not quite sure of my answer.
Yaz and Hrald shot us unbelieving looks. "Invisible? What's up with that, Claidi?" That was Hrald. Maybe he was able to speak first for once.
"Yes, invisible. It's complicated. Let's just focus on getting away from the Ravens, alright?" Argul answered.
They still had bewildered looks on their faces, but they turned to the road ahead. They had caught the tone in Argul's voice, as had I. I remember briefly wondering why he was so quick to temper that morning. Maybe he was just still tired, therefore cranky.
Of course, he wasn't like that to me, though. Maybe he was just annoyed by Yaz and Hrald. You never know with him, which is one of the reasons he is perfect for me.
Amazingly, we were out of sight of the Raven Tower that day. I never knew we could go so fast if we just didn't stop for a break. Of course, the ring kept our strength up this time. I was glad, too. Otherwise I would never have been able to walk so fast non-step for so long.
We never saw or heard any signs of the Ravens coming after us, close enough to find us, and I was glad. The RT gave me the creeps, which also made me glad we were out of sight. You see, the RT was even visible from the Guest house. And you could see it easily from the tops of the hills, as I recall.
As we went, it kept getting warmer and warmer. It was VERY gradual, but there. In about two days of traveling like this, we were already near the ice! It was awfully cold there, more than in other places, which made the gradually warmer climate become quickly icy cold, but the ring kept us warm. It took a bit to get past the ice, about a day. We kept going, and going, and going, only stopping at night.
Yazkool and Hrald were still themselves, but they kept their behavior in check around Argul. In other words, no arms around my waist and no requests for a kiss. That was just fine with me.
Often, Argul and I walked hand in hand or with his arm around my shoulders. I had a feeling he was keeping Y and H in line, like saying "She's spoken for. Don't even think about it." Of course, he never actually said this.
It took almost a week to reach the Fire Hills. But, we were near Panther Halt. Which was good. Our food supply was running dangerously low. It was no longer gradual, the warmth. It was there all the time, and it was hot. But, what amazed me (I shouldn't have been amazed at anything anymore) was that it kept us all cool in the heat as well as warm in the cold.
Yes, very handy, indeed.
I saw the large tent in the distance about a day after we had entered the Fire Hills. We were within sight of Panther Halt! But, we still couldn't stop except for getting horses. But, I myself, would have preferred a Graffapin. The bad thing was, I didn't think anyone had any coins or money. Therefore, we wouldn't be able to get anything useful.
The fire in the Fire Hills was not fire, as you all should know by now. It's an illusion seen from far off which make the hills seem to be on fire. They're not, or else we wouldn't have been able to get through it the first time, to the RT. (I don't know about that time, because of the ring. Could it protect us from fire? I still don't know.)
Yazkool grinned when he saw the Tent. "Are we stopping there? I hope so. So much walking is really getting to me. Don't you agree?"
"No, I don't agree," Argul said. "But Claidi and I can't stop there anyway, unless it's only to get a horse of Graffapin. We need to keep moving; I don't know about you, though."
I furrowed my brows. "Argul, how are we going to get through the forest? I mean, the jungle. It was hard enough for me to get through a few miles, but we'll need to go through all of it."
"We'll work it out, Claidi-baa-baa," he replied, and gripped my hand a bit tighter. Thankfully, he didn't do it hard enough to cut off the circulation, though he was close.
Y and H burst out laughing. "Claidi-baa-baa! What is that, a pet name?" Yaz exclaimed. Hrald was too busy laughing to say anything. I had to admit, they had a sense of humor, even if it was at another's expense.
"Not a pet name. It's how the Sheepers pronounced my name. We both met when I was leaving the Sheeper's city," I replied. But, I had a small smile. Come to think of it, it was kind of funny.
Argul seemed to be getting angry, but he heard the tone I was using: light, amused. So, he simply nodded at my explanation.
Hrald and Yaz had finally quieted their laughing. "Still, it's awfully funny," Y commented, wiping a tear from his eyes that had come from laughing so hard.
Okay, I admit, it wasn't that funny, but still….
There was something in the sky. It was so tiny, though…. What was it? It was silvery, and looked like a tiny worm, and it was flying (?) right at us. I realized that we were not invisible at the time.
It landed on the ground, and I almost squealed with joy. The silvery thing shook its silver hair, revealing a tiny human face on the head.
"Yinyay!" I exclaimed. "But I thought—how'd you—Yinyay!" I felt Argul's eyes glancing from me to Yinyay and back again. Of course he didn't know what she was!
"Good evening, Claidi," she said, still tiny, her voice much bigger than her size, "there's something I must tell you. The Ship was destroyed, but something has occurred in me," she said. "As you know, I was linked to the Ship. If it was destroyed, then I would be destroyed. But now, I am the Ship."
I blinked. New information. Argul seemed just plain confused, and I couldn't read Y and H's expressions.
"You're what? How can you be the Ship?" I asked. "I mean, you're kind of…small."
"Yes. You remember how I shrunk earlier? Well, let me show you." We, all four of us, jumped back as she shut her human eyes and began to grow. She got taller, and wider. I wondered if someone could see from Panther Halt.
Within a few seconds, she was as big as all four of side by side, and three man-heights high. She kept growing for about two minutes. By then, she was as big as… a Tower. She was a Tower!
Her voice came from the T looming over us. "Come in through this door. I will take you where you wish to go." A door opened in the side, big enough for two of us to fit in side by side, and about two man-heights high.
Finally Yaz spoke. "What the hell is that thing?" He seemed totally stupefied. I felt the same way.
Hrald couldn't say a thing. His jaw was wide open, and I'm sure mine was, too. How could Yinyay do that? It was so—so—
Argul spoke. "Do you know this….?" He faltered. His voice held awe, but only a bit. He had a lot of self-control.
"I know Yinyay, what that Tower is, but I've never seen her do that," I replied. I could barely say the words. I just kept staring up at the T, my eyes wide, taking in everything. The T must have been fifty stories high, and 100 man-heights wide. In other words, it was huge.
And it was at our command.
WS- I hope you like it! I won't update until I get a review! So, please review!