The final part of my opening chapter (which means that I now have to knuckle down and write more…)!
In the last part, we were introduced to the hard-as-nails Gerty, Jed’s only friend in a village of people who view him as an outsider. She tells him about some rather grave news, and promises to reveal the secrets of why he is indeed an outcast.
With this vow to tell him the truth, Jedrek is elated. But what does it truly mean…?
The sound of voices returned to the previously vacant village, and Gerty nodded at me while she lowered her now-empty basket.
She turned her back and started to walk away, her empty sleeve fiercely cracking in the winter winds as she did so. All I could do was watch her retreating back in awe; not quite able to believe the conversation I had just partaken in.
Was I even awake?
A swift whack around the back of my head assured me of that.
“Advena!” One of the matriarchs hissed at me with clear venom in her tone. I was quick to spin and look at her while she scolded me, else I incite the wrath of them and whatever mystic powers they possessed. “You promised that our new leathers would be treated, and here you sit gawking at nothing!”
I nodded, bowed my head respectfully to the group of four matriarchs who were looking down at me with faces raging like thunder.
“Sorry, my good lady. I will treat them next.” I found myself saying, and then hastily returned to my work.
The sooner I was done for the day without people metaphorically (and literally) beating me until they were satisfied with my work, the sooner I could set out for my journey to the Wildlands.
I was too absorbed, too protected within my own head, to hear the string of insults launched at me by the matriarchs.
Instead, I was worrying about what to wear.
The Wildlands were far out on the outskirts of the clan’s land, after all. And they had earned their name with good reason. Only a handful of the bravest of hunters would venture into this area, and on most maps, it was an uncharted woodland expanse.
At the very least, nobody would be there. Whatever this pressing information was, Gerty would be able to tell me and I would be that much closer to finally understanding some key questions.
Why am I a Child of No-One, an Advena?
Why did the Children of the Mountain take me in?
Where did I come from?
But perhaps most importantly…
Who am I?