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Old 07-06-2006, 11:03 AM   #34
Nogrod
Flame of the Ainulindalë
 
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Hadith

Johari was pressing Hadith with too many too difficult questions. And she seemed not to be satisfied even though Hadith had managed to supply her with answers. Hadith was puzzled with all that she said to him and how he was responding to them. There was something new and strange going on in his mind. It was both exciting and distressing at the same time.

But all of a sudden Hadith was called for. He turned around to see Khamir and Beloan walking less than ten yards behind himself and Johari. “Here!” Khamir called out, throwing something towards him. He realised what it was just a moment before he catched it. It was a blade in a sheath! For a fleeting moment he wasn’t quite sure whether he should believe what had happened or not, but managed then to raise his head to look at the two old stagers. “I promise to be worth this!” he said attempting a firm tone. He then nodded to them quickly and turned around not to show his excitement.

Johari was saying something but he didn’t axactly hear her words. There were too many emotions rushing to and fro in his mind at the moment. He only heard the last one: “They only reward the worthy”, but not being able to catch the sarcasm in Johari’s tone of voice.

“I think so too” he answered Johari somewhat absent-mindedly, staring emptily forwards. “Although I’m not sure whether I’m worthy yet” he managed to half whisper, but then continued more purposefully: “But I’m going to try and show I am.” Johari seemed to have given up with him and didn’t answer.

He continued walking immersed in his thoughts and feelings. He knew that Beloan had been approving of his demeanour in hunting and guarding duties, but he had gotten the blade from Khamir himself. He could have exploded from pride! This really was his token of acceptance and he would pay back the trust. Hastily he opened the cords to have a proper look at the weapon given to him. The handle was worn out and quite crude, much cruder than the blade itself. But even though it was a bit ragged and simple, it allowed for a firm grip. Hadith swang the long-knife in the air a couple of times just to find out how it felt. Then he took a closer look at the blade itself. It shone in the sunlight, dazzling where it sent the rays of light. It seemingly had been well kept lately although time had made its marks on it. Still the edge of the blade was sharp enough, sharper than any scythe, sickle or knife Hadith had ever used on the plantation. It had somewhat an Easterling feel to it as the handle felt more like orc-work. Hadith decided not to puzzle his head with that, at least for the time being.

But in the middle of his private rejoicing other thoughts crept back to his mind. The discussion with Johari had stirred his mind and now those waves of unfinished thoughts rushed back to him with irresistible force. He glanced quickly to his side just to notice that Johari was not there any more but was walking a bit further away from him. Alone as usual.

It was only then that he became aware of it. Normally at the plantation people had discussed and done things together most of the times. Surely there were loners and all the discussions weren’t friendly, but still. And yes, most of the people here were from the same barracks, the barracks where he had lived too. He knew most of these people and they knew each other well enough. And it was so quiet! Like everyone were sticking to their own and only those who were really close walked side by side or changed an occasional word. Like Khala and Cuáran, the older women who were quietly talking as they walked together some yards in front of him. They were one of those people who had taken care of him when he was just a kid and his father had died and his mother had to work at another location. For a second Hadith thought of taking up with them and showing them the blade, but then thought the better of it.

Something was wrong here, but Hadith couldn’t see, what was it. And Johari’s questions and his own answers to them kept insistently coming back to his mind. He had never been this free and this self-assured before, but at the same time, he had never been this trapped or unsure of everything around him – and including himself. Puzzled he was.

Last edited by Nogrod; 07-06-2006 at 11:14 AM.
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