Iwaku World: Jumi's Thousand Faces



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[size=+2]The First Betrayal[/size]

'I can now freely recall the first betrayal I ever committed. It was something that I hadn't known for quite a deal of time, but in truth it is something I've always known... I just couldn't remember the words, or the faces that gave it substance. Her name was Ardanya. She was my betrothed, and she was still beyond my reach.' Lightly rubbing his forehead, Jumi set the quill down a moment, and trailed a hand along the metal mask that rested on the oak writing desk he was sat at. 'It was spring in the valley of Winds. The sun's rays, and it's counter rains had granted us a bountiful crop of which we'd never seen the likes of. It was as if the gods themselves tilled the soil, and whispered mythical words to the roots during the growing seasons.'

Taking a sip of the herbal concoction he'd brewed hour before, the glass was then rested once more on the desk, and he resumed. 'It was in this time that I believe my life started, and ultimately ended... for the first of many times. War had been absent for times beyond my father's father, and so peace was felt, and thoroughly expected... we were simple people, and I'm sure they still are if such people still exist. Andranya had accepted my request for her hand, as did her father who was as close to a leader as the people had. It was a rather festive time, with the surplus of crops, and the pleasant veil of peace we were experiencing... the perfect time for a family, and plans for the future.'

'It was the time where betrayal would not have been expected... and so it became such a time. Word had come from the north that the tribes were amassing to claim our bounty for themselves, and that they would ride for war if we resisted. Asked by Andranya's father to ride as an emissary, I agreed, and left the following morning. The trip itself was uneventful save for one simple moment... partaking of a spring, I became sick. Of what I am not certain, but the sickness I felt made my mind hot, and my blood flow cold. As I stumbled into the northern lands, I wasn't welcomed or rescued so much as retrieved by their outriders.'

Quickly moving a hand to his mouth to muffle the heavy coughs that then racked his body, Jumi gagged with dry heaves for a minute. Once he felt his breath ease, he once again dipped the quill into the ink, and continued writing. 'Diagnosed with the 'Waking Coma' by their medicine man, I was offered treatment, but as one can surmise... it came with a price. I had to procure the surplus we'd harvested for their consumption. Initially I refused, and many times still in the coming days. However... my illness soon began to take hold of me with a tightening grip with every passing day. It must have been months before I agreed to their wishes as I laid at the foot of the Cheftain's feet in a heap of insane babbling, and angry outbursts. The Waking Coma would soon have me for the remainder of my life if I didn't receive treatment within the next few weeks.'

'I left for my village with a promise of no blood to be shed should I manage to make my people agree to their terms. In hind sight, the task would have been impossible with the state I was in... half living in sanity, the other in some strange world of imagination... people, places, and objects there one moment, then not, or something different the next. Andranya... I could always feel that Andranya would be there, never flickering in my mind, but absolute, and waiting for me to return. However when I fell from my horse in the center of our tents, I had yet to realize my Andranya wasn't mine anymore...'

'In the time that I had been absent, her father felt that it was the opportune time to arrange a second arranged marriage should I not return promptly... and he did so. I was alone once more, and I think that it was then... that I truly lost myself. I left the village that night, and wandered out east with no destination in mind. I swear I could hear the sounds of clashing steel, the spilling of blood, and the screaming of the innocent as if it were carried along the wind to continue haunting me as I wandered. For days... left, right, left right... my feet continued their steady, but heavy march. It is at that moment, that it grows cloudy once more, and I cannot recall the events that came next in that lifetime.'

[size=+2]Two Lives, Two Knives[/size]

To be finished.