Balance

An Unexpected Journey Home Final

23rd of Reaping 383 ONT, Al’Callani Estate, 2:33am

Hikari placed the items Tar Di had requested silently on the bed beside Charisia’s leg. Oak and willow branches, silver nails, silk thread and a bolt of blue silk cloth. Then she stepped back and let the chaos mage do her thing. Each object began to glow with a different light but as they started to move they each shifted to either a deep red or vibrant purple glow including Charisia. Then Hikari had to look away as the intensity reached a point where even her new eyes couldn’t process it. There were sounds she didn’t want to hear or identify and prayed to both Ymeri and Pan that it would work out.

Minutes later the glow dimmed and died and Tar Di groaned and staggered towards the bed. Hikari grabbed her and looked towards her cousin. Where once a carefully hidden and bandaged lump of mangled leg lay now had a work of art in its place. Seamlessly from her hip downwards flowed the wood and silver interspersed with silk mimicking perfectly Charisia’s original and unblemished leg. Charisia began to stir and Hikari swiftly deepened the sleep spell on her. Charisia settled back in turning slightly and she marveled at how smoothly and fluidly the new leg moved in response.

She looked to Tar Di expecting a smug I told you I can do anything look but instead was met with a look of horror on her apprentice’s face. She clung tightly to Hikari and all but dragged her out of the room. Once in the hall with the door shut she looked to Tar Di whos till hadn’t taken her eyes off the door. “Ok, what happened? The spell looked like a perfect fit for her.”

“I didn’t mean… That wasn’t supposed to happen.” Tar Di gave a shiver and looked to Hikari, “The aura that I’ve been seeing glimpses of around the Estate all rushed into Charisia when I finished the spell.”

“Like the ones you keep seeing around me and some of the others?” Tar Di nodded.

“Yes, I don’t know why or how but in gaining that leg she’s also gained a fate. I saw swords, magic and dragons? Or maybe giant lizards it was hard to tell.”

Hikari hugged Tar Di and began pulling her away from the door and towards the end of the hall and their room. “Having a fate is not necessarily a bad thing and with your gift she has a chance to do and become something amazing. Thank you Tar Di.”

+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+

Morning came to the quiet Estate and with it came Thorbil and a small wagon. HIkari greeted it and her dwarven friend with a happy wave. He smiled and gave her a tired wave in response before pulling up to a stop beside her. “I’ve got what you asked for mistress. Sure got a lot of odd stares from the crew but told them nothing but you wanted some of your gold.”

“Great,” Hikari conjured a floating disk under the one chest, “Wait here and we’ll be back in a moment.” Thorbil nodded and leaned back on the bench closing his eyes for a brief nap. Hikari made a mental note to check over his gear as well and make certain that she did what she could to upgrade it as well as Tar Di’s.

Walking back into the main room to the sounds of wonderment and joy made Hikari’s steps light as she left the chest under the shrouded picture of Paprikka. Turning as she let the disk dissipate she saw a smiling Tar Di munching on an apple. “Ready?”

Tar Di nodded, “More than ready. You’d better not forget what you promised me last night. But why not wait and let them thank you in person?”

“Because we like being mysterious.” Hikari grinned as they both left out the front door.

“Yeah don’t I know it.” Muttered her apprentice and Hikari only laughed. She may not be as great and powerful as she claimed years ago but she could still be mysterious as most mages were. Tar Di would learn to be the same in time. Moreover Hikari wanted to escape before she had to answer any difficult questions from the Al’Callanis.

Ten minutes down the road with Thorbil sleeping in the back and Tar Di dozing on the seat beside her Hikari relaxed and directed the cart up the path back towards the main road that would take them back to High Port.

“Wait!” A voice called out behind them and called out again, “Wait!”

She reigned in the horse and twisted around in her seat to see Charisia running full out towards her. She slid to a stop, her new leg flexing and shining in the light and stood there panting. “You…. Cannot… just leave… after doing… this to me…”

“We,” Hikari began.

“No, you will be quiet and listen to me.” Charisia demanded and behind HIkari Tar Di grumbled about a spell to shut Charisia up permanently. She looked back at her apprentice and shook her head. Now was not the time. She looked back to Charisia who bowed deeply towards them. “Thank you. Thank you so very much. I can walk again, I can even run! You’ve done something no one else could and I can never be grateful enough for that.” She straightened up and Hikari could see the tears streaming down Charisia’s face mirroring her heartfelt thanks. “I can never repay you for this. I wouldn’t know where to begin.”

“You are most welcome. It was a wrong that needed mending and it was Tar Di that did the work on your leg.”

“And what of the gold? Not only did you two fix my leg but you left a chest of gold… under… Paprikka’s… portrait…” Charisia stared hard at Hikari, “Who are you?”

“The gold is to help you rebuild what I could not reinvigorate with the weaving equipment and resupply. Your family doesn’t deserve to lose their home. Seek out the Alfirin family. They have a vineyard and make an excellent wine and more than one of them has a fondness for silks and fabrics like your family makes.” Hikari shrugged, “We are nothing more than what we appear. Go home Charisia Al’Calanni and find a way to bring some happiness into other lives. That would be payment enough.”

“Then can you carry a message for me?” Hikari didn’t speak and Charisia continued, “Can you tell Paprikka… Can you tell her I’m sorry. Tell her I was horrible and wrong and I miss her. Tell her… She can come home. I love her and want my sister back.”

Hikari took a deep breath and blinked hard trusting herself to only nod. She flicked the reins and the cart began to pull away from Charisia though she could not see the road. Charissa was always a clever girl, she’d figured it out at least in part. Maybe one day she’d come back. Maybe one day she could come home…

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Tchaktuli

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