Posts from the ‘Visions of a Lily’ Category

…and a time to choose

Rowan heaved a deep sigh. He loved Freja and he wanted to be with her. However, they were in different divisions of the Snow Lions. His division was so far away from hers that they seldom saw each other. Everytime they had to part, he felt like his heart was breaking.

His brows furrowed and he shook his head. It was time – past time, really. He slipped through the crowd in the dining hall and stepped up to his captain. “Captain Hummel?” he said, touching the smaller man on the sleeve.

“Rowan,” Captain Hummel said, his eyes wide. Something about Rowan’s demeanor must have hinted at the seriousness of the matter on his mind. The normally cheerful captain scowled. “What is it?”

Rowan took a steadying breath. “I’m transfering, Captain,” he said. “I’m moving over to the Thistle Division – Captain Dafyth’s Divsion.”

“Freja’s division,” Captain Hummel said, giving Rowan a faint smile. He nodded and patted Rowan on the shoulder. “We’ll miss you, of course, but… I wish you – and Freja – all the best.”

“Thank you, Captain,” Rowan said, sighing softly. The first task was done. It was easier than he’d thought it would be. “The transfer papers…”

“I’ll talk to Bronwyn,” his captain said. “You’ll be back with your mate – for good – by the end of the week, Rowan.” He smiled brightly, as if he knew something Rowan couldn’t imagine. Then he turned away and disappeared into the crowd.

the world will know your name

“Aren’t you afraid we’re making too much out of this?” Eisa said. Her brows furrowed as she looked the book. On the front, an elaborate script on the front spelled out the title. The image showed a dark, mysterious forest. Her picture took up a large portion of the back cover.

Leisl scowled and shrugged. “The whole point of this is to get the story out there, Eisa,” she said. Her tone was even and matter-of-fact. “You wrote the story, so you should get credit for it. It’s only right.”

“I suppose.”

A wide smile split Leisl’s features. “Great,” she said. “We’ll get these to print and, by the end of the week, everyone in the Borderlands will be reading it.” She snatched the book from Eisa’s hands and flounced out of the room. Watching her, Eisa wondered if she weren’t making a huge mistake.

**

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Putting on the mask of destiny

Mirro felt as if a million angry bees were buzzing around in his head and a thousand butterflies were tumbling through his innards. He had no idea what would happen with the Mallow Division and he didn’t want to think about it.

Captain Johannesen was gone. He needed to be replaced. Mirro was his adjutant, but he was just as happy to remain in that post. He didn’t want any part of being captain in the other man’s stead.

He heaved a deep, nervous sigh and stepped out of the Mallow Division Headquarters, into the soft sunlight. Whatever happened, he’d face it. He had no other choice in the matter. His brows furrowed and forced his mouth into a bland expression. The calm mask hid the turmoil he felt. No one would ever guess how terrified he was. He could only hope that fear was groundless. “Fates, please let them name someone else the captain!”

It is time to say goodbye to this casual everyday life

Mark squirmed, trying vainly to escape the snare. It was hopeless. All he did was end up more tangled in the webbing. A low chuckle alerted him to the fact that he wasn’t alone. A tremor shook him and he glanced over one shoulder.

His heart began to pound wildly as the mairs stepped into view. They’d killed everyone else in the party already. Dagny probably thought he’d already joined them. He bit his lip to keep from whimpering.

“Hello,” one of them said, “you’re one that our friend wants us to take.”

“T-take?” Mark didn’t like the sound of that. As horrible as it was to be killed by mairs, to be not killed was a hundred times worse! Then they were crowding around him, pulling him free of the webbing and bearing him to the ground. “No! Fates, please, no!”

I’ll be waiting for you if you still believe in love

Eisa had taken her sister’s betrayal hard. Almost, Leif worried, harder than anyone else among them. Since it had happened, she hadn’t come to see him. He’d waited at first. He felt that, if she needed space, then he should give it to her.

He was tired of waiting in silent, though. He didn’t want to just give her space anymore. He needed to see her. Perhaps, she needed to know he still stood by her. He peered into her little work area.

Her fingers flew over the keyboard as she concentrated on her work. There weren’t very many computers in the Borderlands. However, as their chronicler, she had access to one of the few that existed in Larisa.

“Eisa,” Leif called. She glanced back at him and then returned to her work. His brows furrowed. He stepped over to her and set a hand lightly on her shoulder. She tensed. “Don’t push me away,” he whispered.

He hesitated, but she didn’t say anything. She exhaled softly and then went back to her work. He sighed. “I’ll be waiting for you when you’re ready to talk,” he said. In a softer voice, he added, “You’re not her, Eisa. Everyone knows that.” Without another word, he turned around and headed back outside.

**

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behind a forced smile, I harbor a grown shadow

“You have lovely hair, Captain Floros,” I murmured, as I began twisting it into a complex coif that was reminiscent of the hairstyles in Sylvanias Patris.

Floros sighed. “Phoebe always liked my hair,” she whispered. She gave me a sidelong glance. “We were… like your captain and Wolff: a couple.”

Leisl nodded understanding. “We all grieve with you and for you, Captain Floros,” she said. “No one among us doesn’t know what it is to lose someone they love.”

I nodded silently. That loss was why I’d joined the Snow Lions in the first place. “What will become of Mikal?” I asked, as I wrapped her hair in silken cords, binding it in place on top of her head.

“He’ll fall to me now,” she said. Floros sighed. “He’s a good servant – a hard worker and a skilled healer. If he couldn’t save Phoebe… I don’t blame him for her death. I blame the beast that killed her.” Her brows furrowed and she added, “I must thank your captain for avenging her on my behalf.”

I nodded silently. I’d seen Captain Hummel come to her aid, but I had missed the results. It was good to know my captain had acquitted himself well before being captured.

**

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to leave behind all the suffering you’ve brought to me is so sweet

I heard a soft moan and looked over. Captain Hummel’s eyes squeezed shut briefly. Then they opened. He glanced around at us and then his gaze locked on Wolff. “I didn’t miss the wedding, did I?” he whispered.

“Bellissima mia,” Wolff said, hugging Captain Hummel gently. “No, you didn’t miss the wedding.”

Captain Hummel smiled. “Good,” he said. His eyes closed and he rubbed his head against Wolff’s chest. “Let’s get back to the gardens. We’ve got a wedding to prepare for, haven’t we?”

“We do, Captain,” I said, grinning brightly. “We absolutely do!”

**

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shine on this life that’s burning out

“Master!” Mikal screamed. He dropped to his knees beside Captain Colonomos. As he reached for her hands, Captain Hummel blocked another attack from the same oni-like beast that had attacked her.

Floros growled in exasperation. She took up a position on Mikal’s other side. “Can you help her?” she shouted.

Mikal was already looking her over, but I didn’t have time to spare to see what exactly he was doing or to guess if he would be successful. I blocked an attack from a spider, striking its abdomen with the blunt end of my staff.

At the same moment that the spider let out a shriek of pain, I heard a cry of anguish. I spun around, just in time to see Colonomos’s body dissolve in a shower of light. Mikal clutched her empty, bloody gown to his chest. I froze for a moment.

“Eisa!”

Someone shoved me to one side and I stumbled and spun back to face the attackers. Muller shot me a grimace. “We’ll protect the women and Mikal. Get after Lady Astraea!”

I nodded once. “Be careful,” I said. I hesitated just long enough to see Muller’s nod of assent. Then I ran towards the place where Lady Astraea’s kidnappers had disappeared. I leapt over the head of Captain Hummel, as he knelt beside Mikal.

Mikal was sobbing and tears of sympathy welled in my eyes. I blinked them away and pushed myself harder. Dimitriou and Colonomos had died trying to protect Lady Astraea. I’d be fated to come back as a slug if I would let their deaths be in vain!

**

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the promise that could not be kept is burnt deep into my chest

The pair was fairly evenly matched. Back and forth they went. Iona knocked Captain Hummel off his feet, and then he knocked her down. She knocked him down a second time and he retaliated and got her off her feet. It came down to who would outlast the other. Whoever went down next would lose the competition.

Captain Hummel looked pale. It was clear that the strain of the battle was wearing on him. He was panting loudly enough that we could hear him even from our seats. Iona growled and shoved him back. He rolled backwards, but dragged her along with him. When the came to a stop, he was on top of Iona, straddling her. He blinked at her for a moment and then looked up at Phoebe.

“Um… who won?” he asked, his voice weak and breathy.

Phoebe blinked for a moment. “I don’t believe something like this has ever happened before,” she admitted. She turned and looked up at Commander Larissa and Lady Astraea. “Commander. My lady,” she said. “What say you? Who is the victor of the wrestling competition?”

**

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lost in a dream from which I can’t awaken

She rested her arm on the table and turned her gaze back towards Wolff. Her brows furrowed. “He seems… different. Quieter, somehow.”

I nodded. “We were attacked on the way back to Vidheim,” I said, my voice low. “We all escaped and the beasts that attacked us were forced to retreat, but… we lost some good people and Captain Wolff lost one of his tails.”

With a small gasp, Iona turned back to me. “Do you know which one it was?” she asked.

“Joran?” I said. I frowned and added, “Clara said… he was mischievous and something of a flirt?”

Iona nodded. “Joran was an outgoing one,” she said.

**

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