Sun Spoken Turn - Chapter 61
Chapter 61: Wound in the World Song Part 3
Hello friends and lovers!
HAPPY CHAPPY DAY
Throat ouches, blood, and sad songs.
The Arudian night isn’t quiet, no city ever is, especially one poised to bursting on the eve of an important celebration. And this is the center of Arudia, all Paths lead here.
Hosting’s of Stardust, Kque had told me. An annoyed flash in her eyes. A once in a 9-year festival to celebrate the women who brave the tundra to collect the life-blood of the Arudian economy.
“Just an excuse for the wealthy to sell pointless trinkets at a higher price than normal.” Jevita had added, with much less contained disdain. “And for the Academy Doyans to pick which useless research projects to invest in.”
Everything runs on a nine year cycle in Arudia. The calendar, the currency, and apparently even the gemstone trade. All because the frozen lakes’ strange crystals regrow and shift over that course of time.
Those are my thoughts as I draw up the hood of the new coat Lady Ophrit had bought for me, letting the soft fluffy interior warm and shield what must be my most horrid expressions. My mind chewing on useless things as I reel from the sudden presence and revelations of the evening.
The streets are all a bustle, and I find myself annoyed at the sudden stops and starts such crowds bring. So it’s with a huff that I elect to get lost amidst the side streets and back alleys, willing to wander a bit if it means giving my mind time to think and consider the best words to make the old Sun Spoken leave.
How… How little can I tell her? How much of my past will I have to confess to make the cunt leave and never return?
The side streets’ dark granite and twisting jade spark old memories. Ones that should be drenched in fear and heart stopping anxiety, but… instead fill me with longing and warmth at the first merger that happened in a place much like this.
The empty chasm that sits beside my thoughts echoes in hollow pain.
The space where my wondrous fifth lover should fill.
“Fuck. No.” I hiss. “She’s just… using me… She can’t love me. Not after all she did. Not after burning such… such hateful things onto my soul!”
The lie tastes so horrible on my tongue that I have to spit.
Memories of her possessive love and cradling dream softness drown my mind for a moment.
Six months of Her waiting amidst dream and soulfire to hold and experience all my previous day’s warmth.
“This is Her fault, not yours.” I stammer out. Trying to control the sudden panic that I feel rising at these thoughts.
But the dream stone weighs heavier around my neck as my cane ‘tink tink tinks’ on the hard stone path.
Barely a week of time since my decision to… to lock Her away. Never even… never really took the time to consider what happens If I succeed in my efforts here. To just sit or walk and… and think on these things alone. My lovers were always close and distracting me as we planned and…
The pit of my stomach drops, and my breath quickens. Hand reaches up to touch the Cultivation mark on the side of my face.
I’ll never see Her again.
Never feel Her warmth or learn to hum wondrous melodies with…
“Why? Why do you hate them so much?” I whimper, tears beginning to bubble and fall. “And… Do you really hate them more than you love me? Can… Can we not just… move past this? Live and love and… and just… Am I not worth more than them?”
Cold Arudian winds wash through the alleyway. So bitter is their answer that I have to brace myself against a wall. Months and months of little hints flashes into my mind’s eye like thunder.
She doesn’t seem to change between dreams. Doesn’t grow or shift or consider the passage of time. And when I lock Her from my mind and life She’ll…
She will be dead to this world if I never dream with Her again.
With all the other Sun Spoken gone or fled… With Emarial locking her out…
WAIT… That… something is…
Old words rush through my mind… “We don’t have a link to other Sun Spoken, woman or Weaver. Not without burning a ton of Amwella.”
No link. No connection.
My… Oh fuck my shard is isolated!
All of them are!
Just… smaller pieces of a bigger spirit but… without the ability to feel the rest. An eternity of some person shattered and… and locked away… and…
If the tears were a quiet thing before, they are a choking sob as I bear the weight of my broken promises and what my betrayal will mean.
I’m killing Her.
Not all at once, not quickly.
But… as real as any sickness or a blade to the heart.
My… my shard of the Weaver, my fifth lover… She might never feel another person’s mind or soul if I lock Her away for good.
The cane slips from my fingers, and my sorrows become a shuddering horrible thing of one who has just been told a lover will be snatched away.
The World Song writhes against my mind and soul, and without hesitation I embrace Her gifts and pour some Amwella into my voice.
Let memories of Her weave them into a haunting melody of agony and sorrows.
At some point I slide down the wall and fall to my knees, the weight of the song I sing too much as it reverberates against cold granite and bleeding soul.
I know this is my song, as much as the one I used to calm that big Carbunkle was, but… in it I hear a Harmony of the first thing She ever sang to me.
A sad tale of such loss and pain shared and trusted with me from the pits of Her soul.
The song of shaping that gave me this body and freed me.
And as my melody settles into a soft hum of aching pain, a truth becomes clear to me. As if wriggling water just turned clear in my silly mind.
The Weaver is in pain.
She saw my own suffering as an echo of Her own and… and wanted to help me.
Did help me!
Maybe… maybe in ways She couldn’t ever free Herself.
I shudder, and begin to end the song. Reach for my cane as I prepare the annoying task of rising with a maimed leg and–
A horrible smell fills the air.
Sweet, but fowl. Like rotting honey but acidic. Burning.
I jerk up in time to see the nightmare wriggle free from a shadow. This one’s smaller than the other two, and even has a collection of strange sickly white eyes bubbling down the side of its oddly humanoid form. It still has… like… a dozen arms and hands with way too many fingers.
I expect fear, and especially panic. But… none of those things grip me as my eyes lock onto this thing.
My sorrows turn to fury as I focus all my pain into a single purpose.
As I realize on some deeper level that this thing has something to do with why my Weaver is in so much pain.
It moves quickly, just like the others, and begins to swirl and writhe as teeth and claw pop from it’s disgusting fucking core. Then it’s in front of me, countless arms begin to wrap around and around and around to begin feasting on my Amwella and–
But even amidst Her cruelty and my eventual betrayal, She prepared a song for me.
Shared and taught me the weaving of a twisted thing dredged up from the depths of her own pain, reflected now in my own voice.
So I scream Her Peeling Shrike into the nightmare.
The sound that tears from my throat is such a… a terrible thing.
Like all Her sorrows broken and shattered like glass to form the sharpest sounds possible. I didn’t temper it like She taught me either, don’t consider the things behind and around as I dump a generous amount of soulfire into the wail.
Like if a blade the size of a house dipped down from the stars to protect me, the monster is stopped in place before being shredded. One big cut slices it in two, while a dozen others leave little gaping slices through almost every arm.
Then they keep going.
Street and walls and even the building at the end to mark a junction scream and crack as my song tears through rock and stone and World Song.
I probably would have just… stared in horror and disgust at the sight of destruction for a bit. A blubbering mess of embarrassment at my carelessness. But my mouth and throat are suddenly filled with blood and pain, so instead I tilt to the side and vomit a bit of sick into the snow.
Need to move. Can’t… can’t let anyone know that I did this.
I find my cane and use it and the wall to force myself to stand. It’s hard, and… oh fuck my mouth and throat hurt so much.
But… I’m able to hobble my way forward and past the ruins of my song to disappear into the crowd just as a few duenna arrive to investigate the thunderous sounds.
* * *
“Ina!” Kque huffs as I push past my two extremely worried lovers.
They don’t stop me, but follow close.
“Can you at least tell us what–” Jevita pleads.
I hold a finger up, a request. Please, give me a moment.
Then I look up and down the hallway outside Lule’s stable, see only sleeping Quelekita, then move into the stall where our big child rests.
He eyes me, offers a low trilling greeting.
I walk over and give his head a big hug snug. Then turn as my two lovers enter, point at the door and curtain that acts to offer some privacy. I only hope the curtain will provide some insulation.
I… I don’t know where else to do this. Fuck, I can’t help but think this is going to be a little loud.
And so I turn, spit a mouthful of gross blood and spittle, and try to sing my throat and mouth better.
The World Song tries its best to answer. But my croaking wheezing harmony is… well it’s nothing good. I have to dump a decent chunk of Amwella into it just to… just feel the warmth of the healing even start to flood the wounds!
Multiple weeks of love making just… gone.
Jevita lowers me to sit on the little pallet beside Lule, and has to push the big floofball from wrapping his neck about me in protection and worry. Like… like he knows exactly what I’m begging for with my song. And it’s only as I let the melody lull and fade do I notice Kque re-entering with a mug of steaming water.
“Thanks.” I croak as she sits, pulls out some medicine from a pocket, and mixes me something warm.
Once it’s ready and I’m able to take a little drink, I swirl it about before leaning over and spitting another glob of blood into a corner. Jevita ignores it, but Kque eyes it with worry. Sees the little bits of red mixed in.
“Are you okay?” She whispers. “You can just nod or shake if it still hurts too much.”
“I–” Fuck that hurts!
I hesitate, then give her a so-so gesture.
“Should… Do we need to do anything right this second?”
I shake my head.
She sighs in relief. “Okay, can we get you anything else?”
I pause, shrug.
“Would you like me to get Yrelia and Tasii?”
A pause. I’ll be sleeping with Jevita, Kque, and Lule so long as I need the Dream Stone. So they’re not expecting me, although they’ll appreciate the news that I’m back and safe.
I motion like I am writing.
“Oh, yeah. Okay!” Jevita reaches for a bag, pulls out my notebook and quill.
‘Sorry to worry you. I sang something that fucked up my throat a bit. Should be healed when I wake up. Emarial is here. I agreed to meet with her in the morning. Please tell Yrelia and Tasii so they don’t beat her up.’
Then I turn to show them the words.
Kque nods after a second, but Jevita sorta… stalls out. Staring at me in confusion.
“Emarial? You… Big lady? Face tattoo? You met her? Why would they beat her up?”
I give her such a long look.
“That’s… Jevita,” Kque murmurs to her. “You… Do you not remember who she is?”
“No?” Jevita shakes her head. “I mean… I bumped into her just outside the merchants’ venue and we shared a drink today.”
I tilt my head. But Kque beats me to writing out my question.
“She’s the Sun Spoken from Deledita.” Kque murmurs.
“Oh… OH!” Jevita’s eyes go wide. “Fuck! I… Fuck, I’m so sorry. Lule just… got really excited and ran over to this huge lady and wanted to say high and snuggle! I offered her a drink as an apology. Her name seemed familiar, but… no faces popped up to match.”
I snort out a laugh. OW! But lean out to take her hand, lift it to kiss in a way to placate her. Then write out a messy.
‘It’s fine. I’m worse than any of you with names and faces.’
That helps her calm down a bit.
“Did anything else happen?” Kque prompts her.
“I…” Jevita looks away, such a look of… shame? “I might have… Fuck!”
I set aside my mug and move closer. Kiss her hand again to try and sooth her.
She slumps. “I thought she was just some random person. And we talked about a few things. I didn’t mention names. But… personal stuff. Some worries and… Fuck. I mentioned I had a sick companion we were trying to get some Cultivation medicine for.”
“Oh.” I croak. “Not a big deal, love.”
Jevita winces. My voice sounds so fucking horrible! Like I have sharp rocks grinding about.
I pause, take up my notebook and begin to write out a big message.
‘Jevita. Seriously, don’t worry about it. She literally saw me today with my fuck of a leg. But I need you to do me a favor and get out the journal for me. I’m going to be giving it to her.’
‘Kque, please go tell Tasii and Yrelia that I am here and okay. Just a sore throat from a song I used. I’ll be fine in the morning. Tell them Emarial is here at the Academy and I mean to…’
I pause. Considering… What do I mean to do? How much do I tell her?
‘She’s been searching with Zigdara. Thinks some crazy Sun Spoken took me or killed me or… something. But she’s not slept in all that time!’
‘I still don’t like her. But… Six months! She looks so fucking tired! No one deserves that. No one deserves the torture and the horror dreaming could cause her. Especially with how much fucking Amwella she has! I don’t want to even think about how strong her Weaver would be in a dream with that wellspring of fire at Her command!’
Kque and Jevita read over it together. And I can easily spot the whirlwind of emotions my words cause them.
Jevita finishes first, and rises to go over to the little chest to get out the journal. Kque leans back, sighs, and nods.
“Okay. Tasii and Yrelia will want to talk with you though.”
I nod, then take back the paper and write.
‘Tasii, Yrelia. I’m fine. I have to do this. I haven’t decided how much I’ll tell her, or… honestly I’d not even give her the journal if I thought I could convince her otherwise. But… I don’t. And I’m not even thinking about Zigdara right now.’
‘But… Emarial did try to help me. And Zigdara thinks she’s trying to save me… or maybe avenge me. Or just… stop another from her temple being taken or hurt.’
‘For now… I’d like to sleep if that’s okay? Been a long fucking day and I’d rather fill you all in before meeting Emarial in the morning when my throat isn’t hurting.’
I hand the note back to Kque, and she heads out to the conjoined inn to pass the note and news to my other lovers.
Jevita settles in front of me with the bundled book set off to the side. Fidgets in the silence.
“You okay?” I whisper. Very very quietly so as not to hurt my throat too much.
She pauses, shakes her head.
I smile sadly, then open my arms to her.
A silent offer for a hug snug.
She grimaces. “I… yeah. But let me get all these layers off.”