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Old 09-04-2015, 05:13 PM   #103
Illusionary Holbytla
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 7,646
Firefoot has been trapped in the Barrow!

It was difficult for Scyld to discern the Eorl’s thoughts. His tone, so far, had been measured and thoughtful, though Scyld would have expected little else. Scyld could not tell what lay underneath that though, whether his admission was being received well or poorly.

When Eodwine called Rowenna over to serve them breakfast, Scyld felt his anxiety rising again, and began to second-guess his decision to say nothing to her. She would be angry at him, he felt suddenly. But why should she be? He still had not been able to figure out what that first conversation they had exchanged at his arrival meant, and since then he had not spoken to her much. Maybe he overestimated her regard for him, and she would not care at all, save to be glad to finally have discovered his secret. Who could tell?

He knew that she did not miss Eodwine’s near slip of calling him by his right name, though she said nothing. Again, what was there for her to comment on, though? She was only here now to serve them breakfast.

He was jerked back from his trailing thoughts by Eodwine’s question. Why had he waited? The question seemed almost absurd at first, to him who had for so long not even considered saying anything at all. But sensing the seriousness of the question, he did not smile as he might have had someone with less authority asked.

He thought, I could have stayed Nydfara forever if I never had to fear being caught. But he did not think that saying so would endear the Eorl to him; nor was he sure if it was true.

Instead he said, “The only master I had ever known was Sorn, who was neither kind nor just, and the other lords nearby are cut from much the same cloth. I did not believe Lady Linduial when she said she would support me, and I did not believe her descriptions of you and your people. I believed myself a hunted man, and I feared what would happen if I stepped forward nearly as much as I feared being found out.” He might have stopped there, not naturally being prone to long speeches and still feeling reticent to speak honestly about himself after hiding for so long. He suspected, though, that his answer so far would not satisfy the Eorl. “In truth, I was not waiting to confess, because in the beginning I never meant to make myself known. Curiosity brought me back to Scarburg when you moved in, and I stayed longer than I ever thought I would. It was only when I ran into a farmer whom I have long known and he started asking questions – to my mind, the wrong sort of questions – that I knew I could not hide here forever. Eventually someone would figure it out. I left shortly after, to find Lady Linduial and ask her to write that letter for me.”

He was partly relieved to see Rowenna approaching with their breakfasts, for it put an end to what felt like rambling to him. It was all so complicated; maybe it had been foolish to think he could make Eodwine understand, but it was too late for second-guessing now.
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