Chapter 5 - Discovery

Chapter 5 - Discovery

A Chapter by VassD
"

Hakem's secret revealed

"
Lyem led Ania through the virtually empty streets of the Compound.  Every once in a while, Ania saw a plume of smoke rising from a chimney, or the ring of hammer on anvil that denoted the presence of people here, but even so, after the insanity of the Jeweled City, the eerie quiet of the seemingly uninhabited Compound grated on her nerves.

Ania reached out a hand to pat Jimande when she remembered something odd Lyem had said.  Turning to her new friend, she said, "Lyem, you called Jimande my aunt's 'Companion.' Why?  What's a Companion?"

Lyem looked at her oddly.  "You don't know?  Lady Alliania didn't tell you?" When Ania shook her head, Lyem frowned.  "Every knight has a Companion, and normally all Dativ find theirs early training.  If Lady Alliania wanted you to be a Knight as you said she did, surely she would have said something.  You're certain she didn't mention it?"  Again she shook her head, now truly confused.  All of Alliania's letters had led her to believe that her aunt wanted her to do this, and she couldn't remember a single time when there had been any mention of a "Companion" of any kind. But…

"Lyem, are all Companions animals?" He nodded, and Ania's suspicions grew.  "Does it matter what kind?"  At this, Lyem thought for a moment.  

"I've seen all kinds of animals over the years, but they all seem to be animals that are of use in the training or in battle.  Normally, there are birds of prey, hunting cats, dogs, and, obviously, horses.  There are several types of horses, but they tend to be light cavalry horses. 

"But Jimande here is a special horse.  She was specifically trained by Lady Alliania's mentor.  Your aunt showed early on that she was meant to become a Knight, and began to show a developing Companionship with Jimande.  Jimande was than trained from day one to be the ultimate Companion horse.  Other Companions will never let any other person touch them, unless their Knight specifically tells them to allow it.  Jimande was taught to judge for herself who to allow to come near her, and at times she would even allow others to ride her, but that was almost unheard of."  Ania thought that was an odd thing to say, because Jimande had let others ride her all the time back home, but, now that she really thought about it, Jimande only ever seemed at ease when Ania was the one riding her.  Ignoring this latest development, Ania plowed on. 

"You said 'normally.'  What are the exceptions?"

Lyem laughed. "I remember one Knight had an enormous black bear for a Companion.  It scared the wits out of me the first time I saw it."

Alright, Ania thought, at least that proves that really dangerous animals can be Companions.  But I need one more answer before I can be sure.  "You talk about Companions like they're something amazing.  But what if they're just really well trained animals?" 

Lyem snorted derisively.  "I don't care how good you are with animals; you can't train one to become invisible."  Lyem had to stop there and wait for Ania to come out of her shocked paralysis and catch back up to him.   He had a huge grin on his face, and Ania could see barely suppressed laughter in his eyes.  She would have been amazed at how expressive his eyes were, compared to the rock wall that had met her gaze when she had first seen him, were she not stammering like an idiot, trying to make some sense of what had just happened. 

"What…how…are you…you can't be serious, surely?"

"As serious as anything.  I know for a fact that the Covenant Companions can become invisible.  Remember that bear I told you about?  Well, normally, I wouldn't be scare by a strange animal in the Compound walking next to one of the Knights, but I had no idea it was even there.  The Knight who was his Companion was still a young Dativ, and he had been searching for his Companion a good long time.  The lad had just come back from a scouting mission, and came running up to the stable where I was working then.  We were good friends, and he wanted me to know before anyone else in the Compound.  The first thing he said to me was 'Guess what, Lyem? I found my Companion!'  I was so happy for him, and I started looking around for something, expecting a falcon or a lynx, when he snapped his fingers and this massive bear appeared out of nowhere, barely a hands width from my nose!  I swear, I jumped ten feet, and my friend was laughing so hard." Lyem was laughing as well, deep laughs that shook his whole body.  His was a smooth, rolling laughing, seeming almost liquid in quality.  She found herself liking this man about whom she knew so little.  Lyem reminded her of all of the wonderful people in her life.  He was as compassionate as Xanya, as amazing as Alliania, and, she was surprised to note, as lovable as her father, Daninite.  Her father was very rarely home, seeing to their family's various estates, but whenever he was home, she always loved to be around him, and he gave a hesitant love right back.  It seemed that he was unsure how to act around her, but it didn't stop him from loving her. She sensed the same hesitancy in Lyem, but he masked it well with his ready camaraderie.  There was something very familiar about him, but it was so deeply hidden that she pushed it to the back of her mind, unwilling to dig for anything that might jeopardize her newfound friendship.  She returned to her questions, very near to the answer she desired.

"Can Companions just turn invisible, or can they do other things, too?"

"Aside from being amazing in every way?" Lyem said with one final laugh as he saw that she really wanted a serious answer. "Companions can do many things.  They have a much higher level of intelligence then regular animals.  Their personalities perfectly complement their Knights.  But even above that, a Knight and their Companion share a special bond.  They can sense each others presence.  They know each others feelings, and, as time wears on, their thoughts.  After a few years, they begin to speak directly to each others minds." A few years? Ania thought. But Hakem spoke to me immediately. Maybe he's not my Companion. Although I can think of nothing else he could be.  

Do not worry yourself, mistress.  I am your Companion. Ania barely concealed her astonishment as the now-familiar voice of Hakem rang clearly in her mind.  Luckily, Lyem was ahead of her, and did not see the seemingly unwarranted reaction.  

Hakem! Can you hear my thoughts?

Of course, mistress.  I have heard this entire conversation. At times, I even saw parts of it through your eyes.

Why have you not told me before now that you are my Companion? And why did Alliania not tell me of them?

I have not told you because I did not know myself.  I only felt the need to come to you, and when you chose me, I felt our minds and hearts link, one with the other.  I do not know why the Lady did not tell you of us. I imagine it was so you could learn it for yourself.  As well as your aunt has trained you, I do not believe that she could tell you all you need to know in letters. You needed to become independent of her tutelage, and rely on other sources than her for teaching.

Ania mulled this over, and decided that it made sense.  She could not expect to make it far as a Knight if she was always relying on the advice and teaching of a woman, amazing as she was, that had passed on six years ago.  When Alliania had taught her to throw knives and ride a horse, the first few times that she had tried it were carefully monitored by her aunt.  But after she had learned the basics, Alliania had left it up to her to teach herself the more advanced techniques.  Alliania had always remained within reach in case a disaster were to occur, but Ania quickly learned that she would have to fend for herself when it came to working out the kinks in whatever it was she was learning. It looked like this would be no different. 

But now she would have many teachers, and friends like Lyem and Hakem, to lead her through.   She could hold her aunt's memory in her heart, but she could not rely on her to make all the choices for her.  

Hakem, how far away do you think we would have to be before we couldn't sense each other?

I assume we would have to be quite far away, but I would not know.  I have yet to be very far from your side.

What?! Ania remembered what Lyem said about being able to sense her Companion.  She tried to find Hakem in her mind, and nearly jumped out of her skin when she felt a strong spirit next to her in the street.  Hakem!  I told you to stay behind!

Mistress, you said the problem was that people would react badly if they saw me.  That was when it came to me how to become unseen

Ania's head reeled with this unexpected development. Hakem, you said that you heard the whole conversation through my mind and saw it through my eyes. If you were right here the whole time, why would it be necessary to observe it through me?

Mistress, your thoughts are constantly in my mind. I couldn't not observe through you. Whenever I looked away, what you saw came to into my mind.  It was so disorienting that I decided to make it a rare occurrence.  As the conversation progressed, I learned to suppress it so that it was not overpowering.  Mistress, I apologize for disobeying you, but I could not bear it if I was not by your side.  Before you came and chose me, I was so alone. Please do not send me away from your side.She could see in her mind those silver-blue eyes that had pleaded with her to choose him, and she could not bring herself to be angry with him. 

"You've sure been quiet back there.  Is something wrong?"  Ania was shaken from her silent conversation as her visible company brought her attention back to him. 

"I was just wondering.  You said dogs and hunting cats, but what about wild dogs? Like coyotes or wolves?" 

"I don't think I've ever seen a coyote, or any other kind of wild dog. Only once in the history of the Knights has there ever been a wolf and that was back at the time of the two founders of our Order, the first two to be taken into the Covenant.  Aima Verisanth and Nephin Corifalle. Nephin was the first and last to have a wolf as a Companion."

"Yet another thing odd about us," Ania said under her breath.

Lyem looked at her quizzically. "What was that?"

Ania raised her voice slightly.  "I said, yet another thing odd about us." Before Lyem could say anything, she said, "Lyem, I have a Companion. I just didn't know what he was called.  His name is Hakem the Hawk-Eyed, and moments after I chose him from two other wolves that were there hoping to be my Companion, he spoke into my mind. And he's a wolf."  At her last words, a silver shimmer ran over the air where she knew Hakem to be, and her beloved wolf appeared on the cobblestone road beside her.

Lyem stared at her wolf, now completely at a loss for words.  The Knights had their own set of prophecies that applied only to them, and everyone in the Compound knew them by heart.  Every child was taught from birth about the young Dativ that would come to the Compound with a Companion that broke all precedent.  If any he had harbored any doubt about the identity of this girl, they were blown away as leaves in a harsh autumn wind.  This was the child Lady Alliana had told him of.


© 2012 VassD


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Added on January 26, 2012
Last Updated on January 26, 2012
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VassD
VassD

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I'm a fledgling author with dreams about as big as one of Robert Jordan's books. Maybe more than one on top of each other. I love writing fantasy and science fiction stories (No matter how long a piec.. more..

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A Chapter by VassD