Wow…it has been such a long time since I updated! Oops. And you guys were nice enough to review too! 11 times! And I pay you back by not updating since…FEBRUARY?! Sheesh!
Aww, I feel bad now. I'm so sorry guys! Here is the fifth chapter in an attempt to make it up to you. It wasn't the most inspiring chapter to write, but meh, writing is always fun in some way or another :) Also, I think my writing has changed a fair bit since the beginning of the year. Re-reading previous chapters, I was like "Wow! That is so cheesy! :P :P". Well, for some of it anyway.
Now enough with the author note, before it becomes a chapter of its own, which will then be booed offstage to go and sulk in a corner due to its complete lack of plot and character development.
Bowman Hath looked up at the darkening sky. Night was falling, and the first stars had appeared, revealing constellations stretching outthroughspace further than the eye could see. The pale moon shone with the same brightness as Kestrel's eyes back when she was alive.
I'll be with you again soon Bo! I'll make it to the homeland for real this time!
Kestrel's disembodied voice ran through Bowman's head, needing no invitation.
Bowman allowed himself a smile. Well, this ritual thing will have to work first, he pointed out.
How can it not work? scoffed Kestrel. It will work. I will make it work. And anyway, we're in this together.
Last time we were in something together… Bowman trailed off, and cast his eyes to the ground.
An unusual touch of softness entered Kestrel's voice. Yes. I died, Bowman. I know. However, she continued, brightening, what more could possibly happen to me? There's nothing to lose by doing this hocus pocus stuff.
You mean the ritual.
Yes, that, replied Kestrel dismissively.
Hanno Hath leafed through the ancient, bloodstained book, squinting at the pages by the light of a candle. An apprehensive silence descended of the crowd that had gathered to witness Kestrel's return.
Bo, asked Kestrel suddenly.
Can you hurry up?
Bowman laughed out loud, drawing alarmed looks from some of the villagers. They clearly thought him mad, almost as if the ritual was affecting him, despite it having barely started.
You always were impatient, he commented. But now is your time to wait. Listen with my ears and see with my eyes.
Kestrel grumbled a little before falling silent. Then she took Bowman's advice and look at his mind projections.
They were in the town square, and the cluster of buildings cast shadows on the cobblestones. Despite the pale moon and the stars dotting the sky, there was little light save for the candles, one held by each villager. Kestrel recognised many faces in the crowd, although some appeared older than she remembered. The thought was sobering as she realised that she had missed out on some of the biggest events in her friends' lives.
Hanno Hath stepped forward and faced Bowman. He moved slowly to the rocky memorial fountain that marked the centre of the village. Bowman was positioned in front of it, and the only sounds were its water gurgling and the chirping of crickets.
Unrolling an old scroll, Hanno began to speak in ancient Manth. He interrupted the monotone chant of the script occasionally to squint at certain words almost too faint to read.
The air grew colder around them, and the circle of candles placed on the fountain began to burn stronger.
"And so," concluded Hanno, "we ask of you this gift. Tie the life rope of our lost loved one, Kestrel, to her brother, Bowman, her anchor in this world. May she climb the rope and return to the land of the living. Let her come home."
The world was silent a moment, before a resonating crack! reverberated round the square. The candles on the fountain extinguished suddenly, and the fountain itself split in two. Bowman collapsed to the ground and lay still as the clouds of dust settled.