Friday, July 29, 2011

Dominions of Glory: 5

If you haven't read the previous sections, please go back an do so. I suggest starting with part 1 revisited...

Dominions of Glory: 5

Baelin was feeling well enough the next morning to get up and anxious enough that he needed to find something to do. He meandered outside, his leg and ankle not as sensitive as he’d been expecting. Dilirian was already in the open field beside Delvary’s inn, training about ten people how to use the tools they’d brought.

“Baelin!” he shouted and then sprinted over. “Up and at um’ already, I see. How’re the legs?”

“Surprisingly good,” Baelin said, subtly testing both by shifting his weight. “I’ll be back to normal soon enough.”

“Taken a look at the ear yet?” Dilirian asked.

Somehow, Baelin had forgotten about the ear. “I haven’t. How’s it look?” He gently unwound the bandage that was wrapped around his head. The last bit took a bit of extra care because it was stuck on with dried blood.

Dilirian grabbed Baelin’s head and shifted it back and forth as he examined the ear. “Huh… stitching took well,” he said. “The thing was mangled before, or looked it anyway; must have been all the blood. Shouldn’t be too bad of a scar. Plus, your hair will hide most of that. I’d say you got away lucky.”

“I’ll have to see about getting a helmet,” Baelin said. “Though I don’t know where I will…” He didn’t need to buy one, but he did need something to model one after when he made it with Magic. With Magic, it was all about the details. He still wasn’t certain how he would make the armor. He’d need to get a good look at Dilirian’s sometime soon.

“You know,” Baelin said. “I have some old family armor. It looks a lot like yours. Maybe sometime I can take a closer look for a comparison.”

“You’re not trying to steal it from me are you?” Dilirian said, dead serious. Then he broke into a smile. “I’m just joking. You really got a suit? I never would have guessed it from you! I bought me some common, er, work clothes from Miss Taylor. I can’t be wearing armor all the time. You can give it a looking over when I’ve changed later. See what true craftsmanship looks like.” His tone saying he obviously thought Baelin’s suit would be a rusted old piece of junk.

A necklace hung outside Dilirian’s armor, a small clear gem grasped in an eagle’s talon on the end of a silver chain. “What’s that,” Baelin asked, pointing to the necklace.

Dilirian looked down. “Oh,” he said. “Thought I took this off. It was a gift from my mother. I promised I’d wear it always. She’s sentimental. That’s a real diamond,” he added. “I bet you’ve never seen one of those before.”

“Diamond?” Baelin had heard of them before, but he’d never actually seen one and knew nothing about them except that they were valuable.

“Seriously?” Dilirian gave an exasperated sigh. “You really don’t know about much, do you?”

Baelin shrugged.

Dilirian pulled the necklace off and held the chain forward so the diamond dangled right in front of Baelin’s face. “Diamonds,” he said with great emphasis, “are the most valuable gem in the world.”

“Looks like a crystal,” Baelin said, failing to see the value.

“A bit,” Dilirian said. “But mine’s perfectly clear. Plus, they’re unbreakable and can’t be scratched.”

Baelin gave Dilirian a frank look.

“No, really. Look.” Dilirian grabbed a stone and tried scratching the diamond with it a dozen times before holding it up for Baelin to examine. Like he said, the stone looked good as ever, minus a bit of rock dust on it.

“They really are strong,” Baelin marveled. He quickly got an idea, grabbed the stone as if giving it a better look, and called upon Magic in his mind. Duplicate this, he said, and then indicated a pebble on the ground to use. The pebble instantly changed shape and became clear. Happy with the result, Baelin let Dilirian’s necklace go and shuffled a foot over the one he’d just created.

Dilirian tucked the necklace inside his armor and nodded. “So, did you want to come train today?”

Baelin shook his head. “I need to take care of a few things back at my farm. Plus, I don’t think my body is quite up to that yet.”

“Of course.” Dilirian offered a slight bow of his head and then headed back to the field where his trainees were awaiting him.

Baelin smiled to himself and bent down to pick up his diamond. Most people would think he’d made himself one to get rich. But he had something else in mind entirely. He pocketed his precious gem and decided to go find a mirror and take a look at his ear.
His ear was fine, Baelin decided after having washed away the caked on blood. A few thin lines were stitched together, and half of it had to be sewn almost completely back on, but the stitches seemed to be taking well and it looked to be healing nicely.
“That’s not as bad as Dilirian made it sound,” Kelly said from behind him.
Baelin spun, regretting it as he did so. Fire lanced up from both his stab wound and his ankle. He grabbed the wall to keep from falling.

“Oh, sorry,” Kelly said. “I didn’t mean to…”

“It’s not your fault,” Baelin said through gritted teeth as he waited for the pain to subside. “Who let you in?”

“Nobody,” she said, giving a coy smile. “I just thought I’d come see if you needed anything.”

“I’m okay,” Baelin said, not sure what Kelly could possibly do for him aside from cook him lunch. “I still can’t do too much, so I mostly just lay around, waiting for the wounds to heal.”

“Sounds awfully boring,” Kelly said.

“It’s not so bad,” Baelin said. “I’m used to being alone on my farm. I don’t have anything to do now, but I’m used to living inside my head.”

Kelly giggled. “You’re funny.” Baelin couldn’t see why. “Well, maybe I can come keep you company later on if my mom says I’m done with my chores.”

The thought of needing permission to do something sounded intolerable to Baelin. He vaguely recalled those days, but he’d been as free as was humanly possible since his mother had died. More free in some senses, since Magic gave him certain allowances to which other people didn’t have access. “That would be fine,” Baelin said, not knowing what else to say.

Kelly beamed and traipsed out of the room, then turned back to say goodbye and rush off again.

Baelin found himself beaming as well. He’d hoped to catch Kelly’s attention for some time, and now she was coming around asking what she could do for him. What more could a boy ask for?

The throbbing of his leg answered his question. Oh yeah, being fully healed and healthy would’ve been nice, too.

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