Entry 332 – Day 462

Entry 332 – Day 462

If I fall from one of these trees, I hope I don’t survive. Rather, I hope I have the presence of mind to shift back in time and not make the mistake that kills me. At some point I need to gather my nerve and master this expression that has been mine since I was a child. I didn’t choose it, but I am doing myself no great service by refraining from embracing it.

This of course sets off all kinds of alarms in my mind, not least of which is what happens if I slip and use my ability within range of the Daedric presence? Is it worth my life to compromise the secrecy of our mission? But then I am just allowing the fear to dictate my actions under the guise of nobility. I need to master myself as much as my expression.

How many of my problems would I have solved by taking a step just a few minutes backwards in time? How many ill words spoken could I have retracted? Deaths dealt I could undeal? I haven’t dwelt upon those questions for a long time; I shouldn’t start now.

Entry-332 Quote Time

Inifra had tea and some new fruit ready for us when we descended the trees for the final time today. Refreshing, we were happy to eat something immediately upon completion of the day’s exercise. The fruit itself was cut into cubes, though she said it came from something shaped like a pear. The meat was dense but tender, and sweet. I asked her to find us more and she laughed. “If the Batsu leave anything for us to scavenge, you know I will.”

She will leave us in two days’ time. Tomorrow will be the last evening we make camp with the larger army, and then they will leave us behind. Timber and Inifra will carry north, and with them the final sense of this party we have formed over the last year. Balthandar, Bolton, and even traitorous Starlark are all gone. Without Inifra and Timber, it will be only Dionus and I left.

Strange to think that Inifra never spent any time with Bolton, though the old slaver befriended a number of her lesser priestesses. He died before she became an ally, a friend. I will not be ungrateful for the fact that we continue to gain new friends in the wake of our many losses. I pray the separation that approaches does not amount to a loss, but merely a temporary parting of friends. We will see them again.

I’m going to go drag Timber into a surprise lesson just for good measure. We won’t get many opportunities for a long while.

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Entry 333 – Day 463

Entry 333 – Day 463

Inifra has unburdened herself of her curse, telling me what it is she fears and why she has kept herself so removed these past months. In the wake of the conversation, I can’t bear to part ways with her tomorrow. There is simply too much for me to process before that happens.

When she saved me from the waterfall at Hamada, she knew she loved me. Seeing the destruction before her, the explosion rolling upstream as she tore down the river to join us, she knew I was dying. She pushed herself as hard as she ever had, straining against her limits to arrive in time. She almost arrived too late.

When she flung herself from the heights and hurtled down to save me, she was on the brink of blacking out. She was afraid her body would falter, that she would die in the attempt to rescue me. That was her curse, she said. She knew then that she loved me, and that she was destined to die for me. She simply didn’t know when that would be.

I didn’t love her, she said. She didn’t know if that was what saved her, or if it simply was not yet her time, but she didn’t want to take the risk. She withdrew. Whenever she thought I was coming around she put up her walls. She didn’t want to, but she knew she couldn’t afford to die. Not yet.

Entry-333-Quote-Insanity Ifiri's Curse

I couldn’t help a subtle shake of my head. This was insanity; she was saying it was true, the curse of Infiri was true. She explained every death to me in detail. Every lover for whom a priestess had died going all the way back to Infiri and her foolish tribesman.

They all died, she said, because it was how Infiri willed it. They all died because they loved. If they could keep themselves from love, from falling for any man in their lifetime, they were rewarded with a long life. As soon as they fell in love, they fell out of favor with the goddess and she worked to devise a fitting end.

She sounds like a bitch, I said.

Inifra laughed against the tears that had formed in her eyes. “She has her days.”

There was nothing to be done for it. No one had survived their love – memories of that were clear all the way until Salisir’s appearance. That was when things got hazy, she said. That was when her certainty surrounding all things waivered. If she left me now, if she went north with the army, she would be able to stay alive. To help in the fight to come.

No words were exchanged over the matter, but I think she was hoping I would ask her to stay with me. I can’t though, why would I? She really is needed in the north. As much as I will miss her, do I love her? And if I truly loved her, would I ever ask her to stay with me at the risk of her life?

This curse seems cruel enough if it were to happen to anyone else, but I’ve already let enough of the women I loved die. I killed one with my own hands. To be destined to watch another die, and this time in my place, is beyond comprehension. No, I will not love Inifra. Let her go north; if I die in Matasten, may she live a long and healthy life away from men like me.

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Entry 334 – Day 464

Entry 334 – Day 464

She’s gone. I’ve been separated from Inifra before, but it never felt like this. When I first met her I was stunned by her presence, the sheer power she carried combined with her beauty, her strength. Inifra is not like other women I’ve known; she’s not like anyone I’ve ever met.

I was infatuated. Looking back through my journal entries about her now, it’s embarrassing how I was acting. I can blame grief, confusion, lust; there were a combination of things that influenced my reactions but, regardless of whatever won, I sound like an idiot in those pages.

What I had yet to see was her compassion, her love for her people, and her willingness to reach out to those she didn’t understand to ensure they were cared for. She loved Dionus when everyone around us rejected him. She threw caution for her very life to the wind when her people were threatened above Hamada. When I nearly died.

Entry-334-Quote-Kind

Inifra is kind. It’s one of the faces she didn’t show us for months. It is one of her defining features now in my mind’s eye.

And now she is gone.

Entry-334-Inifra-grief-kind

I need to separate my thoughts from her in any case. I don’t know that I believe in this curse, that my feelings for her could lead to her premature death. I would rather not take the chance.

There is a task ahead of us which demands focus. I am to start training on the ropes tomorrow and I need my mind to be collected if I am to undertake these arboreal acrobatics.

I wish Timber was here to practice. It would take my mind off things. Perhaps Dionus would like to learn something new.

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