Chapter 2: A Lost Farewell
There was a new look in her mother's eyes.
At first, Kya couldn't work out what it was; fear? Confusion? Anger?
It was only when her mother next spoke to her that she figured out what it was.
"I've lost you, my daughterrr. I've lost you."
She could only stare at her mother's back as she turned away.
It was then that she finally made her mind up.
It didn't take long to find them; for one, their names were all over the village. They were the ones who were betraying their own race by going against the Chieftainess's expectations, breaking their long traditions... They were outcasts now.
But to Kya, they were heroes.
She tentatively followed their trail to the edge of the forest and found the group of them - three female and one male - where it was rumoured that they were preparing to leave; the girls were all talking and laughing but the guy however... he seemed silent, focused, haunched over a bag with his back facing Kya so she couldn't see him properly. She watched them with nervous eyes from afar, until one of the girls finally piped up.
"Oi, you! I know we're prrretty, but staring is prohibited!" There was another burst of amused laughter from the three girls, causing the male to glance up so Kya could see his face for the first time. He had a slender jaw, almost feminine, skin slashed by the familiar Mithra markings that were on most faces; it was his eyes however, which caught her attention. They were piercing and dark, standing out from the apparent lax appearance that was practically dripping from the rest of him - they seemed to cut into hers but she couldn't look away. Who was he...?
She was even more surprised when his eyes widened with realisation, standing upright with stiffness in his position.
"You're the niece of the Chieftainess." His voice was soft yet split through the girls' laughter like a sharpened knife, causing quiet to fall heavily over the group of them.
Awkwardness flooded into Kya's chest but she swiftly nodded.
"I am but- but-" The young Mithra gulped, trying to choose her words carefully but failing; "-I want to join you!"
The three girls stared at her before one finally spoke.
"You really do? You want to... explorrre with us?"
Kya found herself nodding again, fists clenched by her sides.
"I don't care who I am- I don't care what my aunt says. Or my mother. This... is what I want to do." Strength seeped it's way into her voice and she found the courage to lift her head up a bit higher, jaw set with determination.
The three Mithra girls burst out laughing again.
"So deterrrrmined!" "Don't care what my aunt says!" "Brrrilliant!"
Kya's cheeks burnt with embarrassment, fingers digging into her palms; the girls' amusement continued for a few neverending minutes before one of them spoke again.
"Okay- surrre! We said that anyone could join us. Just make sure you prrrepared!"
It took a moment for Kya to process what the girl said, her heart uplifting; "I... I can?"
"Do your earrrs work properly?" The girls' had returned to their packing, their attention back on what was important again now that their entertainment had past; "Of course!"
Heart pounding, Kya's face lit up into a smile, meeting the eyes of the male Mithra once more, joy filling her-
She was only greeted by a dark look and her own smile faltered, unsure.
Am I really walking the right path...?
The next few hours were exhausting.
First item on Kya's list of preparation was to get all her belongings together; she realised that she had way too many clothes for a single Mithra and ended up giving half of them away to her newfound friends, who babbled over them with much delight. Although she found their childish and girlish ways rather irritating, she was finding herself thinking them of almost... endearing in a way; she'd never had any proper friends and although they were annoying, they were bright, always managing to uplift her somehow - whether it be their contagious laughter or just the way they danced about.
She soon discovered that their names were Aditi - a rather tall, slender Mithra with short-cut blonde hair and a beaming smile - Trin - the most serious one out of the three, with long dark locks that trailed down her spine - and Libi - the shortest out of all of them, her braided hair an almost luminous red-orange and a personality to match. The male with them was called Kuri.
"He's rather..." Kya found herself trailing off when they first mentioned him, nervous as all three pairs of eyes suddenly trained themselves on her.
"Handsome? We know!" Libi burst into giggles as the others joined in, causing Kya's face to burn pink.
"No! Well- I mean- he's just- he looks so-..." The Mithra sighed as she realised that no-one was listening, going back to her packing.
However, she did find herself sprouting a new interest in the strange male Mithra who looked so dark; there was an air of... mystery about him. None of the group seemed to know anything about him at all, except for the fact that he spent most of his time in solitude. It had surprised them a lot when he had stepped fowards to join them.
"He just came out of nowhere! Saved our hides, rrreally." Aditi piped up when Kya had asked what had happened.
The three of them - Aditi, Trin and Libi - had been friends almost since birth; they'd always been close and thought of each other as sisters. They all shared the same desire inside them; they wanted to explore, to travel. They'd heard about the elder's tales and, like Kya, found themselves a new urge burning in their souls.
Kya had smiled when she'd heard all of this.
The difficulty, however, came when asking the Chieftainess for permission; they knew that no other Mithras had really travelled properly before, not to discover. They were just at the edge of their dreams being shattered when Kuri had stepped forwards and said that he would be joining them.
"Well, as male Mithrrra are rather rare here, it caused uproarrrr..." Libi bit her lip and spun her finger around the end of her red-haired braid, before continuing; "but he was so... adamant! You could see it in his eyes; no-one could stop him. Good thing, rrreally..."
Curiosity lit up in Kya's eyes and from that moment on, she could never look at Kuri in the same way as she'd done when she'd first laid eyes on him; he still seemed so focus, so calm, but there was something in his eyes. Part of her yearned to find out, but she could never bring herself to speak to him - whenever words had to be exchanged, he appeared to make it as short as possible before moving on, as if any contact was forbidden.
It only made her even more frustrated; but, luckily, she had other things to focus on.
A few days later after Kya had met the four Mithra who were so soon to become her companions, they were ready.
Most of her was excited, she could hardly keep still; she was going to finally follow her dream, finally fulfil the desire that kept nagging at her everyday; but there was also the fact that after this, she would never be able to return home. Her own mother had seemingly abandoned her, refusing to even be near her daughter whenever she was around and keeping herself well away from anything and everyone.
It created a small sad hole in Kya's heart.
She'd thought about writing a letter for her mother; but there were no words. What could she say? That she was sorry...? Because she wasn't - this was what she wanted. It's what she needed. But her own parent didn't seem to be able to understand that.
It was only when she was about to leave her house for the last time that her mother finally emerged.
There was an awkwardness between them as mother and child stood in the corridor, eyes downcast; there was no anger in the air though, only... sadness. And loss.
A movement made Kya glance up and she saw her face being studied, a hand suddenly placed on her cheek gently.
"Take care, my child."
She could only nod as her mother turned away and vanished; the last time that she would see her.
Her feet seemed heavy as she made her way outside, casting one final fleeting look at the home that she'd spent her childhood dreaming in; tears found themselves in her eyes but couldn't escape, watching as her companions made their ways towards her, the same look of loss in their eyes.
A crowd had gathered to watch the five Mithra setting out; however, there was silence. No-one said anything as the group stepped through the corridor of people that had been created, all eyes watching closely at those who they would almost certainly never lay sight on ever again.
It was only when Kya had reached through into the very edge of the forest that she finally turned back to give her final farewell.
Sparks flew from the edge of his sword as he sharpened it.
It always seemed like such a menacing job to him; but he had to do it. 'A sword has to be sharpened, my son' - that was what his father had always said to him. Always.
He still felt so young.
Distracted, he glanced up from his work, eyes heavy with tiredness.
Author's Notes: SO... THERE WE GO. Sad chapter, really, but still a happy one, I guess. FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS, YOUNG ONES!
The ending may seem a little confusing, but all will be revealed in time. ~
Thanks for reading. :D Any comments are much appreciated!