.. Reflected in a Mirror of Emotions ..
Stumbling along the Ebou Dari canal-bridge, pain and weariness taking its toll, flashes from the deadly Palace duel swept through Elessar’s mind..
▬▬▬.. Back and forth they flow, thrusting and parrying, attacking and spinning out of range and moving swiftly from stance to stance, two opponents locked in deadly combat.. A sudden move from the Darkfriend brings his blade arching towards Elessar’s neck. Steel meets steel but the blow is deflected and the the Gaidin sidesteps out of the way of an oncoming strike. He in turn sweeps his scimitar in low and the Shadow figure blocks it and immediately retaliates, bringing his sword up and around in a way that gives his opponent only one blocking-move and one which could well leave him open for new attacks ..
.. Elessar suddenly moves forwards and performs a vertical slash, high to low, but which alters course in midswing. The other blocks the move deftly but the Warder follows up with another hard swing which is parried. Then the Gaidin changes form, performing a diagonal slash which begins low and rises cleanly and on the return swing begins a series of powerful overhand blows. This takes great stamina and strength and Elessar is only able to keep it up for so long. The Darkfriend parries well, however, with powerful strokes, but is driven back on the defensive ..
.. Removing his hand from the golden leopard, standing up again against the wall, he breathes in and out, almost as if testing the air. His gaze falls upon the Shadow swordsman who is attempting to gain his feet, one hand on his blade. Elessar walks toward him, raises his blade and unceremoniously thrusts it hard into the man’s back between the shoulder blade. The Darkfriend cries out in great pain and curses loudly. As he falls backwards, blood gushing out of his mouth, his arm swings out almost reflexively and catches the Warder’s right leg. A sharp knife cuts deeply into Elessar’s flesh and it is the Gaidin’s turn to cry out in pain. Elessar curses loudly and berates himself for not being cautious enough ..
But I defeated him, he thought with great satisfaction. This time I succeeded.
In the distance he saw someone hurrying toward him, rushing towards the stone bridge, and he knew it was Carys. He felt it through the Bond - it was like a light coming ever nearer - and when she was closer he recognized her features. Smiling, he halted about midway across the bridge and waited for her to reach him..
♦Elessar’s eyes snapped wide open and his whole body stiffened as a flood of healing weaves rushed through him, sweeping away all his pain and his injuries.
Staring at his Sedai, at Carys, he felt a moment of strong emotion, in appreciation for how she had healed his injuries - which, truth be told, were more serious than he had imagined - but even more so for the close and valuable friendship they shared.
Emotions mirrored in her eyes.
He looked away for a second, collecting himself.
“What…What happened?” Carys asked, sitting back on her heels. There was concern in her voice. He turned to meet her eyes, but instead of answering straight away he paused. Looking more closely at her he saw the torn skirts and her scraped chin where there was fresh blood. His eyes tightened. He asked her concerned, what had happened and if she had other injuries as well. He also thanked her for Healing him, yet another time.
As for what had happened to him.. well, what could he tell? Would she understand? Would it all sound like a ‘fool’s errand’? He sighed. There was no point in telling untruths. They were in many ways Bonded in thought and in deed. Carys deserved to know the truth. And so he told her everything that had happened, from the moment he had spotted the Darkfriend until she had come upon him here on the stone bridge over one of the canals close to the Mol Hara square. He told of the deadly sword fight and duel in the Tarasin Palace, of his ‘emotional trial’ as it were and of the feeling and ‘knowledge’ that he had begun to heal himself, by starting to forgive himself for his past ‘failures’, after succeeding in removing this final Shadow-threat to them.
He ended by admitting that what he had done could perhaps be viewed as somewhat.. reckless - he mumbled something about what his old Warder-teacher would have said to him, but his words were unclear - but that it had been something he just had to do, when given the opportunity. “It is difficult to explain”, he added a little defensively, “but I think this was something I was.. meant to do.”
There was a moment of silence after his last words. Elessar got up from the stone bridge. He felt tiredness in his body - the Healing had taken his remaining strength - but no more pain for which he was grateful. He stood there and looked silently down at the canal and at the water flowing by, thinking of how the ‘river of life’ carried you along, smoothly at times and other times much less so.
There was a pulchritudinous poem he had once read, called ‘A Mirror of Emotions’, which spoke of life changes. Of decisions. Of fate. And of New Beginnings. He remembered the words well and they whispered in his mind as he stared down at his own reflection in the water.
A Mirror of Emotions
Look into the Mirror of your Soul
Gaze at the Reflections of the Past
Making good Decisions is your Goal
Finding sound Solutions that will Last
Break the Glass of Wisdom if you Must
Do what must be Done, who can Foretell
Fate may guide your Hand and garner Trust
Throw your Darkness into Mirror’s Well
Listen to the Echoes in the Night
Borne on Winds of awe-inspiring Grace
Start a New Beginning in the Light
Feel the Peace within your Soul Embrace
Finally Elessar turned to face Carys again. His eyes met hers in silence - and he waited for her to speak.
OOC: Included another of my poems here in our story. It fits well in the arc telling Elessar’s emotional journey I think. Enjoy! :)