Seventh Circle (Chapter 6- Wondrous Metal, page 3 of 5)


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Adrina sat and watched, weighing every detail until satisfied she had learnt as much as possible. Then, grasping the image that hung about her neck, she said a silent prayer to the goddess and resolved to see her brother, Fury, as soon as possible.

***

The first light of day shone through the doorway and Fury opened his eyes. He could hear the beat of drums echoing through the hills and knew that the priests of the Duideth were gathering to welcome the Lord Sun back at the start of a new day.

The people where he had his lodging did not perform the dawn ceremony. In the villages of his mother's people, sunrise went unnoticed or was acknowledged by obscene noises and gestures. No golden disks adorned the houses. Statues of the goddess were everywhere.

Fury felt the stitches in his cheek and ran his tongue over the inside of his mouth. The wound was healing well. He was grateful to Adrina. They'd never been close. But, when he'd gone to her for help, she'd been a true sister to him.

He was desperately unhappy. He wondered why fate had been so unkind. Why hadn't he been born into an ordinary family? Why hadn't his soul light emerged from the void and entered the womb of a nice ordinary peasant woman?

As a child he had watched the herdboys. They wore leather capes and nothing else but they weren't unhappy. They had nice mothers who cared for them. Why did he have a mother who was a paramount chieftain? What had he done in his former life to deserve this?

His mother had sent him to the priesthood of the Duideth when he was a little boy and she had put Adrina into the care of the Royal House of Gorm. That's what happened if you were born into the ruling classes. You didn't stay at home. You were put in the care of your parents' enemies. It was a time-honoured custom, designed to forge links between the warring factions and create peace and harmony. As far as Fury could make out, it merely added to the mayhem.

He pondered his life as he lay in bed, searching for hidden meanings until a noise set his nerves on edge. Someone was approaching.

'Fury.'

He heard his name and watched as shadows appeared in the doorway. Then he saw his sister. She wore men's clothes and carried a shield.

'Why are you dressed like that?'

'I don't want to be recognised.'

Adrina put down the shield.

'I must talk to you.'

'About what?'

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