The Chronicles of Han Storm

 saturdayscenes Leilaka Chapter 4 chronicles of han storm

To his utter dismay, Han starts hearing unspoken voices, seeing ghosts and energy particles. 

Han Storm:

The Chronicles of Han

Leilaka

 

*** Four ***

    I dreamt of hazel eyes in an oval face. Long, golden tresses were held in place by a golden band around the head.

    At first I could not perceive what gender the person was. Only the large, sad, hazel eyes watching me.

    A feeling of helplessness overwhelmed me and I was unable to breathe. As I looked on, the eyes and hair moved away from me, revealing a golden moustache and beard.

    I knew I knew this man, but had no recollection of who he was.

    The dream progressed and I saw a hand holding the golden hair, forcing the head back, exposing the throat under the neatly trimmed beard.

    A dagger was held against the throat, then suddenly dragged deeply across it . . .

 

    My whole body gave a start.

    At least I did not shout out loud.

    Strongclaw complained but did not wake up.

    The sky could be seen through the open window. It was almost dawn. The bed was warm and comfortable and I could hear Brutus snoring from one of the other two beds in the room.

    The face with the hazel eyes had upset me greatly. I knew this person was important in my life, yet could not get my memory to function. The two separate sets of dreams I was having left me exhausted and confused.

    The only reality I had at the moment was what I was experiencing right now. Constant hunger and pain proved that I was alive. Strongclaw gave me a sense of security and I was somehow connected to Connor who seemed to know my real identity.

    I lay there trying to banish the face that kept on haunting me until the other people stirred.

    They washed and dressed and then Drake 'woke' me.

    Strongclaw complained that it was still dark. I gently picked him up before unceremoniously throwing him out of the window, tossing last night's bread out too.

    He caught it in mid-air and flew off.

    The men looked at each other, shaking their heads. Brutus packed our belongings and Drake presented me with a new shirt and cloak that almost fitted. A pair of boots was standing in front of the bed.

    The boots were slightly too large, but I did not complain. After days without shoes, my feet were only too happy to be confined again.

    "Now, put on your hood" Brutus advised.

    We did not stop for breakfast, but moved downstairs straight to the waiting horses.

    Drake gave me a leg-up onto Bree. He obviously considered me healed enough to start functioning more normally. Smiling a thank-you at him, I asked Bree to move away. I did not need to guide her with the reins. It was easier to ask.

    Drake grabbed the reins. "You should keep hold of your horse. It is dangerous not to be in control of your animal."

    Bree sighed and I gathered up the reins for pretence.

 

 

    Today we moved faster than yesterday.  Most of the area we covered was flat and we allowed the horses to stretch their legs, thundering along the road.

    We made an additional few stops to allow the horses to rest in-between. Drake mentioned to me that we were making great time. He also congratulated me on gaining the knack of horse-riding so easily.

    All thanks had to go to Bree. She was a great teacher and advised me on how to make the ride as comfortable for both of us as I could.

    I never realized that a small shift of my head, like turning to look back, caused such a distribution of weight that she had to readjust her whole body to bring us back into a comfortable alignment.

    Horses turned out to be extremely sensitive creatures. If they could perceive a single fly walking across their bodies, how much more did we interfere with our weight.

    Despite all this, they offered their services with honour and dignity, helping us reach our goals.

    I became very aware of what I did on her back, constantly asking for advice and receiving comments on how to make life easier for her kind.

    We dismounted briefly for a light lunch.

    I had pressing needs and excused myself to find a secluded spot.

    Ablutions were non-existent in this place and consisted of a make-shift pit dug by yourself and closed afterwards.

    So primitive.

    Strongclaw warned me that someone was coming and I slipped back into a thick bush.

    Brutus had been sent to watch over me.

    Connor was probably scared that I would run off again.

    Brutus had tracked me to the bush, but had lost my spoor.

    "Kr . . . Han? Where are you?"

    I did not answer and his concern grew to anger.

    "Boy, if you do not come out this instant, I will give you a hiding in front of Connor!" he threatened.

    I came out of the bush.

    "May I not do my business in private?" I wanted to know from him.

    "I am following orders to keep you under observation at all times, that includes private business."

    Great. Why were they so concerned about my welfare?

    In my heart I knew it had to do with the most infuriating question of who I really was.

    I was starting to wonder if I really wanted to find out the truth about myself.

    As I turned away from Brutus to return to the riders, an apparition loomed up before me.

    The face from my dream was accompanied by a body.

    Brutus hastened me forward, pushing me right through the ghost.

    My mouth was dry from shock and my hands shaky when I reached Bree.

    She shied away from me, snorting.

    Drake held her bridle firmly and looked from me to Brutus.

    "What did you do to him?" Drake demanded to know from Brutus.

    "I threatened him" Brutus replied. "He did not want to reveal himself."

    "Hush girl" Drake told the horse, stroking her nose. "Hold still, we have to leave. Han, try again" Drake encouraged me.

    Bree shied again as I came up to her. The other horses were also nervous. Everyone was ready to ride and waiting for us.

    *Why are you doing this?* I asked Bree.

    She did not reply. Her sensitive mind was in flight response. All I received was that she wanted to get away from where I stood, not necessarily away from me.

    Brair pushed his horse forward.

    "What is the delay?" he wanted to know.

    "This horse is refusing her rider" Drake told him.

    Connor came forward but his horse refused to take another step towards me.

    "Han?" he asked to gain my attention. "Are you doing this?"

    I shook my head in the negative, pleading with Bree to take me onto her back and carry me away from this place.

    Someone was talking to me. It was a voice only I seemed to hear, and the horses seemed to sense.

    'Avenge me' it whispered as I finally managed to scramble onto Bree.

    She spun in a circle for a moment and then set off with the other horses, away from the apparition.

    Squeezing my eyes shut, I gave her free rein to run. She mercifully stayed with the other horses, matching their pace.

    We kept to the faster pace for longer than usual and when it finally felt safe to open my eyes, I was greeted with the sight of a walled city nestled with its back to a mountain.

    This was to be our next stop, and was the horses' home.

    We entered the city by riding underneath a stone archway with an engraving at the top that I could not read.

    "This is Eindstead" Drake informed me.

    This was the home of the Horsemen. They were the people that protected the borderlands from invasion.

    I thought it interesting that a single word could shake the missing information loose inside my head.

    We quickly left the broad, paved main road and turned into a narrow, gravel side road. We had to ride single file between the high walls of the double-storey houses.

    After regular turns we entered another archway which opened up into a spacious stable complex.

    Here we dismounted and grooms took the horses. I thanked Bree as I slid off her back. She apologized for her behaviour earlier. I told her not to worry, I did not hold it against her.

    Drake hurried me to follow Connor and Brair. We entered a building through a door that led from the stables.

    Everything here was built from quarried stone. The passage we followed was broad, allowing for four grown men to be able to walk side by side.

    I had to trot every few steps to keep up with the men and found it irritating that my body was not yet grown and able to match their strides.

    By the time we reached our destination, I was in a right foul mood.           

     Connor knocked on a wooden door and it was opened from the inside. The guard allowed us in, closing the door behind us.

    We found ourselves in a comfortable study with shelves of books stacked against the walls. There were bins filled with rolled up parchment against the only wall with windows.

    A man was seated behind a large dark-wood desk. He looked up as we entered. His grey, hawk-like eyes found mine first. I refused to waver under his glare, pulling myself to my full height, returning the stare.

    I realised that I knew this man, but could not place him.

    "Master Craig" Connor greeted him before settling in one of the leather-covered chairs.

    "I am relieved to see you made it back in one piece" Craig responded. Coming around his desk he stopped in front of me, held my chin briefly, inspecting my injured face.

    "Most of you anyway" he continued. Releasing me, he opened a door that led to a small high-walled courtyard.

    "Go wait there for us" he instructed.

    Fuming silently that I was again going to miss important information, I went outside to gloomily settle down on a bench in the shade of a creeper that had been allowed to grow across a latticed frame.

    I really needed to know what they were talking about and willed my ears to hear further than normal.

    At first it was hard and the sound came as if through a tunnel. Then suddenly, it was as if something ruptured in my eardrums and I ducked with the pain of it.

    Recovering from this abrupt stab of pain, I found that I could follow their conversation without effort . . .

 

    Connor was answering a question. "It took us two days to find him. He left almost no sign that he was around. At one place we found where he waited a long time near a stream. He did not go down there to drink though.

    Brutus was curious to see why and after investigating, found that a band of Cudrl had been camping in the trees on the other side of the stream.

    I cannot see any reason for Krish to have stopped where he did, other than that he must have known about the enemy."

    "That is why I say I do not know this boy" Craig answered. "In body I agree that he is Krish, but in spirit he is changed. The Krish I remember tutoring two years ago was very talkative, inattentive and friendly. This child seems closed off to the world."

    "He should have been dead" Connor commented. "When we found him, merely on instinct for where he might pick to shelter through the day, he was severely injured. I had to crop his hair to treat his head-wound."

    "In your opinion, do you think he might have sustained permanent head trauma?" Craig wanted to know.

    "I have, as yet, not tested him" Connor replied. "The injuries to his body were as grievous as to his head. I am allowing him to regain his strength first, before starting to regain his mind."

    "What do you think about him?" Craig asked the other two.

    Drake defended me. "He is not a quitter. Silent and brooding, but not cowardly."

    "I beg to differ" Brutus countered. "He hides when he can and is overly cautious. He can also be a spoilt brat at times, defying authority."

    "Now we have three different opinions from people that have spent time with him" Craig summed up.

    Everyone was silent for a while. Strongclaw had found me and gave a happy shout of joy before landing in my lap.

    The noise made the men glance in my direction where I had started to feed the Raven small bits of bread I had saved for him.

    "What's with the crow?" Craig wanted to know.

    "It seems to be a pet" Connor replied. "Seeing that it is all the boy has from his previous life I saw fit to let him keep it. It does not get in the way and finds the boy wherever he goes."

    "Have you renamed him?" Craig asked.

    Connor formulated his words carefully. "He is now called Han and will be seen as just another unfortunate orphan of the wars."

    "And he is content with these arrangements?"

    "He does not complain, or speak without being spoken to."

    "I really think you must test him sooner than later" Craig advised.

    Connor changed the subject. It was something that was weighing heavily on both of us.

    I was now tossing the bread into the air for Strongclaw to catch. He loved this game of accuracy. Connor moved over to the window to watch us.

    "We are leaving in the morning. I am taking the boy to the badlands. He will be safe there from any prosecution."

    Craig joined Connor at the window. "I agree. He would also have the opportunity to grow strong and fit in such a ruthless place. Lonely too. I want you to take Marshall with you. He might get through to Kri . . . Han if you cannot."

    "Agreed."

    Connor called me over and Strongclaw disappeared into the sky. I nodded goodbye to a frowning Craig and joined Drake and Brutus at the door.

 

    The guard who had opened the door for us led us along corridors to what served as sleeping quarters. We were given a small hall all to ourselves.

    After freshening up, Drake took me to receive some exercise, as if I had not had enough for one day already.

    A group of guards was training in an open grassed area near the stables.  The square was large enough to practice manoeuvres with galloping horses.

    At the moment, one corner was occupied by these men practicing with swords.

    Drake watched them for a while before realizing that I had moved away from the noisy clang of metal. He hurried to catch up with me.

    "You should watch them. You are going to have to learn to fight too, you know."

    I did not answer him. My head was starting to hurt with tiny flashes of lightning being set off with every clang of metal.

    "I want to go back to our room" I requested as calmly as I could.

    "Connor said I should take you for a walk. That is what my orders are and that is what I am doing."

    I found his eyes and stared into it, making mine plead as best I could. "Please" I begged, the lightning-bolts, now lasting longer, made me duck my head involuntarily.

    "Your nose is bleeding again. Here, keep this in front of it." Drake offered me a piece of cloth which I blocked the blood with. We promptly returned to the room, passing inquisitive guards along the way.

    I was feeling miserable and feverish by the time we reached the room. Drake told me to get in bed. My nose was still bleeding and he was becoming really concerned. He helped me out of my cloak and checked my ribs.

    They seemed better than this morning, so that was not the reason for my discomfort.

    "I need you to stay right here. I am going to find Connor" he told me, leaving me to fend for myself.

    I did not know which way to lie, every inch of my body was aching.

    *Help me!* I shouted in my mind.

    I was not prepared to receive an actual answer.

    "*Do not fear. You are being awakened. It is an uncomfortable process. Have courage.*"

    I pulled the blanket on the bed over my head, afraid of this voice that spoke through my whole being. It was the same voice that had spoken to me before. I lay there shivering in its cold presence until I heard footsteps.

    As soon as I recognized Drake and Connor I leapt off the bed, the blanket still wrapped around my shoulders.

    "Please do not leave me alone. They . . ."

    I did not get further than that before an icy hand wrapped around my throat, cutting off any further sound.

    Suddenly fuming that I had suffered through the last few days without any explanation at all, I turned around to the cold feeling behind me. In my haste I stepped on the blanket which tripped me and I fell flat on my face, effectively breaking my nose again.

    "Shoot!"

    At least I got a word out.

    "Easy Han, now you made matters worse" Connor soothed, not overjoyed with my behaviour.

    Actually, I was quite satisfied that I could now reset my nose. After clumsily regaining my feet, I hobbled over to a mirror standing on the cupboard. It took a quick push to realign my features. The swelling would be down by tomorrow if I healed it.

    The nosebleed abruptly stopped as I saw golden particles rushing from my hands over my face.

    Stunned, I kept my hands over my face, allowing the golden particles to dance around my face, healing as they went along.

    Memory told me that this was how I always saw Source Energy.

    Another memory said that this was a totally new experience for this place, this body, this land and time I found myself in.

    I backed up from the mirror, turning towards Connor and Drake, holding my hands out in front of me, two golden orbs swirling around them.

    "Do you see this? Do you see the energy!?" I demanded from them.

    Drake was frowning. Connor had a look of alarm on his face.

    "We do not understand you" Connor told me.

    A reflection in the mirror caught my attention and as I glanced back at my reflection, I saw myself, and also not myself.

    For a split second a dark-haired man with dark, violet-coloured eyes was looking back at me, before changing shape to form my now familiar features.

    That was me. The true me, and I had just lost him.

    I hit the mirror with my fist, shattering the glass into a million shards, cutting my right hand and dislodging a few bones again.

    The pain brought back some sanity.

    Sitting down amongst the glass, I dared not look up at the two men who had witnessed this display of temper.

    Connor dared to use my real name in this time of crisis.

    "Krish? You are sick and we are going to help you."

    He gently picked me up out of the glass, cradling me to his chest as if my weight did not bother him at all, which it probably did not, as I was only a bag of bones anyway.

    I allowed him to place me on the bed.

    He asked Drake to fetch the barrack's healer. Then he inspected my face, wiped away the blood and seemed satisfied with the way I had reset my nose.

    He inspected my hand, reset the bones that were out of line and spread some of his stinking ointment on the cuts before bandaging it. When he made to get up from the bed I grabbed hold of his arm, scared to be left alone.

    He sat with me, staring at me.

    I refused to meet his eyes.

    We sat quietly until the healer came.

 

    The healer was a tall, grey-haired man with a no-nonsense attitude about him. He was not someone you wanted to give any trouble to.

    "At last we meet, Connor of Fernlands" he greeted, putting a leather bag down on the edge of the bed.

    "I am equally pleased to make your acquaintance, Doctor Roger" Connor replied.

    "Your man informed me of your smallish problem. I brought an assortment of potions" Dr Roger informed Connor, opening the bag, presenting numerous bottles and pouches.

    "My patient has a fever and is speaking in tongues" Connor stated his challenge with me. "I would appreciate an agent that will induce deep sleep and something that will work towards breaking the fever."

    The doctor took out two small bottles and a tiny pouch.

    "Give him a spoon of each of these" he said, handing over the bottles. "And a pinch of these herbs whenever he feels not himself" he handed over the tiny pouch.

    Drake handed Connor a spoon and he quickly administered the drugs. I did not give them any trouble, accepting the treatment without resistance.

    The liquid was tasteless, but the pinch of herbs burnt my throat and all the way down to my stomach.

    Connor must have known this as he handed me a mug of water.

    I took a sip and the burning subsided.

    "Now lie down and try to rest" Connor ordered, pushing me flat on the bed, tucking in the blanket around my shoulders.

    Turning to Drake, he gave him very specific instructions to sit with me, keeping a hand on my shoulder and not to move from the spot until he returned.

    Connor left with the doctor.

    With Drake having his hand on my shoulder, I felt secure enough to let myself drift off into sleep, the drugs doing their work quite quickly.

 

Ω

 Copyright © H Gibson Chronicles of Han Storm. All rights reserved. 2009-2017 

Purchase ebook or book via PayPal 

 

Our website is protected by DMC Firewall!