Nevermore: of Ryn and Reese

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  • Published: 30 Oct 2016
  • Updated: 19 Nov 2016
  • Status: Complete
Reese has grown up in the world of the aftermath of a devastating war, raised by what used to be the enemy of humans: the Scintulla. Now, though, someone wants to finish off the scarce Scintulla, as revenge for the decimated human race. (endfic comp)

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4. The Mandra of the Stream

Reese is several miles away from Ryn now, and the sun is coming up. The tears stream down her cheeks, blurring her vision immensely.

She sits there awhile, until she can't cry anymore. 

Her stomach growls. She clutches it and looks around. Dirt. And rocks. Not even plants.

She gets up again, but is dizzy from lack of food and minor dehydration.

"I'll be okay," mutters Reese. "No need to go to extremes. Yet."

She trudges on, and the dirt soon turns into grassland. She finds a stream and drinks from it. A few creatures swim in it. Reese looks them thoughtfully in the eyes, and see their crystalline blue eyes. 

Mandra.

"Hello there," one says in a squeaky voice.

"Sorry if I'm disturbing you," says Reese.

"No, miss, you're alright," says the Mandra. Mandra are amphibian creatures, usually very small and bright colors with pastel eyes. 

"No mean to be brash, but could you point a direction to a forest," says Reese, bending down a bit.

"East, miss, about twenty miles. A day and a half journey. Will you be alright? Were you travelling with someone? Do you need help?" the Mandra looks at her with its sincere eyes. The Mandra are usually very nice creatures.

"I'll be okay. I was travelling with someone, but we had an argument. A big one. We're going our separate ways." Tears spring to her eyes, and Reese tries to hide them. "And you kindness and thoughtfulness are appreciated." Reese stands up.

"Can we do anything, miss?" asks the Mandra, a hint of finality in its voice.

"No, I don't think so," says Reese. She wipes away her tears.

"Most humans aren't so nice to the Scintulla," says the Mandra, a bit keen on keeping a conversation flowing. "They don't look at our eyes, and sometimes they crush us with rocks to kill and eat us."

"I know," says Reese. "That's why I check to make sure that it's not a Scintulla that I'm going to eat for dinner. That sound awful, but I can't eat just berries and stuff."

"It's understood, miss. I just want to thank you, for your consideration," says the Mandra.

"It's welcomed."

"If I might ask, how did you know how to check for us Scintulla? Most humans don't know how?" Reese hesitates for a while.

"I was raised by a Scintulla. Learned of your species and such."

"You must know about Claramet, then."

"Yes," says Reese, a bit suspiciously. "Why?"

"I have a friend," says the Mandra. "He's injured, quite badly. Leg got stuck in a rock as he was swimming. Something happened, and it doesn't seem like he'll be able to walk or swim again."

"I'll see what I can do," says Reese. "Take me to him."

 

The Mandra crawls up the stream and to a rocks on the side of the stream to where several Mandra are gathered. One is in the center, its leg discolored and bent at several odd angles.

"I don't mean to be rude," says Reese, "but Scintulla can wield Claramet without difficulty, right?"

"Yes, miss," replies the blue-eyed Mandra that had led Reese there.

"So why do you need me?"

"We can only wield Claramet specific to our forms, and not much more. Mandra are water creatures, so we specialize in water. Purifying and such. Kirin are very strong, stronger than almost any other Scintulla. There were many of them. I don't know what species you know, but we specialize in something. We can't wield the full powers of Claramet."

"Oh," says Reese. "And how do you know if I can wield it? I said I know of it."

"You know of it, you were raised by a Scintulla. Generally, and I've only heard of this a few times, the child raised by a Scintulla and that is taught the ways of Claramet, can wield almost any power." Reese sighs. 

"You're not wrong, but you have to have one more tool than knowledge." She pulls out the Meta knife and the Mandra gasp.

"The holy knife!" one gasps.

"A piece from home!" cries another. It sounds like it's weeping.

"You must have known a very powerful being to hold such a knife, miss!" cries her Mandra guide. "Those are most rare! Most human wielders use bone and wood, or wood and glass, or any combination - with Scintulla markings- but very, very few wield a piece from the homeland."

"A gift," Reese says. "From a relative." They stare at her. "Well, now show me the Mandra." The others clear away, making room for Reese to see. "This is bad, obviously."

"Help me, please," rasps the Mandra. His skin is a sick ashen, with only undertones of what should be a leaf-green color. 

"I'll try," says Reese. She pricks herself with the knife on one finger and holds it near the Mandra, and murmurs,

"Jyerk Qirjvi, ermovaj Mirjvi, e lica guqa xu laps xlaa. e wsain xlawa zuvjw xu laip yuo, xu qarj xla fvunar, vasiev xla wacavaj, vacexipeda zlix liw faar puwx."

The blood glows silver, and the several Mandra gasp. The silver blood rolls off Reese's finger, up the rock, and onto the injured Mandra. It soaks into his skin and glows around his injured leg. The misshapen leg straigtens itself, the ashen color fades to a sickly green. The Mandra gives a sigh of relief after his cry of pain. 

"Ah, I am healed! I thank you good miss! You are in our debt. Give us your name, so we may pass it down through the generations, so you will always have a deed," says the Mandra. 

"I'm probably never going to use it, but...okay. My name's Reese. Adoptive child of Freyja." The Mandra go silent.

"Freyja...you do not mean Lady Freyja," says one of the Mandra silently.

"'Lady'? not as far as I know. And she's been deceased-" a lump forms in her throat "-for the last four years."

"Miss, what species was your Freyja?" asks the Mandra, its voice quivering.

"Equignis." There are many gasps from the Mandra.

"The Lady of our homeland," they cry, "dead!" Reese silently cries. 

"There had been hope, miss, that she was still alive. Roaming this new world," says a Mandra.

"She was. For twelve years," says Reese thickly. 

"Ah, is sad. But we must weep no more!" cries the healed Mandra. "In this new land, there are no Ladies, or Lords. There is only us. We grieve, but not be sad." Reese smiles. 

"Anyhow!" says a Mandra. "Reese, child of Freyja...we are indebted to you, the Mandra of this rock. If you ever need us, need it be to sacrifice ourselves or what, we will do it!" The Mandra nod in unison, but look uneasy.

"I hope it never comes to that," says Reese. "And I'll probably never use the favor, but thank you. I must be going; it's afternoon already." The Mandra shout their goodbyes and praises, and Reese walks off, but not before uttering a location spell.

"Qivn qy spiga lava, osur xla aivxl. Xla Qirjvi uj xla wxvaiq uza qa jicuv."

Mark my place here, upon the earth. The Mandra of the stream owe me favor.

And one more word, "Laip." Heal.

A drop falls to the ground, marking her place for later. And the blood on the prick of her skin glows silver, and then closes.

"I can take care of myself, Ryn," murmurs Reese. "I'll prove it to you."

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