Among one's own

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Ferry couldn't sleep, the dream had shattered any shade of falling asleep. He stood for hours in the arched window dug into the wall of his chamber, watching the star through the wandering clouds in the sky. All the joy that had overwhelmed him on the way back from Lord Stephan scattered like dandelion fluff in the wind.

There was complete silence in that wing of the castle, though Ferry knew that all his friends lived somewhere in the castle. But this place was so big that he would have gotten lost, for sure. He would ask for a map of the castle from Thyme with the first occasion. 

And then, there was the nursery rhyme Lord Stephan had asked to be memorized. He unfolded the paper he had kept in his pocket and read it a few times. The words remained in his mind like lichens clinging to the bark of a tree. But the more he repeated it, the less he understood. Ferry hoped that the time when he would have to use it would never come. Not in this world, at least. The thought that he could be stripped of his magic, a mere human, in a place where people had no rights, gave him shivers. He carefully placed the paper in one of the shelves dug into the stone, though he knew he no longer needed it. Those tangled lyrics would stay in his head forever.

Outside his window, there was only the wind. Crooked trees, their old roots clinging to the even older rock, tilted their trunks as if in a bow. A few tufts of grass sprang up here and there from the rock, stubbornly resisting the cold, crisp air.

Ferry knew that the fortress laid at the base of the castle and that was the busiest part of the place. There, he hoped to meet his friends. Or to see Matilda. Talk to her for a few moments. And maybe that place wouldn't have seemed so cold anymore...

A light knock on the door interrupted his thoughts. Raghnall had listened to him this time and didn't come in uninvited, like a shadow, as he usually did.

"Nice to see you again, Prince Garret," he said with a bow. "Are you ready for the first training? I see you're not prepared yet ... "

Ferry looked at the clothes waiting for him in his chair. He read the excitement in Ragh's eyes. He knew how much he had missed training since he had been appointed as his companion.

"I'll be ready in a few moments," he assured him, trying to look just as excited.

He dressed in a hurry for training: a soft shirt, without a collar, which seemed to be tailor-made for him, and brown trousers with a wide belt. And, of course, knee-high boots. The blue cloak was the last one he put on. Then he left the room trying to brush off the nervousness.

***

After the meal he barely touched, Ferry followed Ragh out of the castle. It was the first time he had left the castle since he came.

"Where are we going? Ferry asked, hurrying to keep up with Ragh.

"The training takes place in a special place," replied the young Solacer. We call it the Cave. Of course, it's not really a cave. You'll see," he added, almost flying.

Ferry forced himself to keep up (or rather run) with him. At the exit of the castle, the fortress was bustling with life. The Cloud Fortress, although hidden and secluded, was a citadel detached as if from a medieval picture in the history book. Stables, workshops where weapons and armor were made, horseshoes, wells from which Amalghams drew water, and a river that flowed quickly to the base of the castle where amalgham-women washed clothes and then put them to dry on thick branches of old trees. All made the fortress a lively, colorful, and effervescent place and not the land detached from legends about which so little was known.

Raghnall continued to run. He passed the bustle of the fortress, towards the more barren rocks, where the light of the star grew. Ferry was tired of running when suddenly Raghnall disappeared right before his eyes in front of a clump of dwarf trees with fat, shiny leaves. Laughter and shouts were coming from somewhere nearby.

Moons Apart  | Ferry's Tale # 3Where stories live. Discover now