A Holy Knight's Tale Chapter 6
By Crystal Zeal
The sound of singing brought Beatrix from her bed. She was dressed simply in a white cotton robe with a sash across her waist, and leather slippers. Vivacious hair the color of roasted honey fell down her back like tidal waves, curling just about her shoulders. Her eyes were bandaged, and she walked through the hallway at a slow pace. Nervous hands groped for a wall.
During the six days from when Casethi had offered to train her in the art of white magic, Beatrix had been allowed to start working her jelly like muscles back into shape. Her legs trembled from the effort to walk.
So far, she had learned a basic cure spell and the spell called "protect." Casethi had begun to teach her with a shy attitude and a rich, melodic, and soothing voice.
She slid down the hallway, making her way into a courtyard. She felt a slight winter breeze, the sun shining down upon her face, and the chilly cobblestones press into her slippers. There was a fresh, crisp scent in the air, one of newly fallen snow. Soft slippers padded further out into the courtyard. The sound of singing was coming from the right. She turned that way, walking warily forward a few steps.
The music grew louder as she continued on. Finding another wall, she followed the way it went and ended back up inside the temple. She heard the singing right in front of her, and she knew that she had found herself in the room from which it emerged. She rested against a wall, listening to the heavenly melody.
A beautiful voice lifted above the others in a powerful descant. Her voice seemed to weave in and out of the others, and when their voices dropped, she finished the song with a tremendous crescendo that ended with the eerie dropping of the final note. There was silence for a minute, before loud cheering erupted. Amongst the cheers, a few comments found their way to Beatrix's ears.
"That was amazing, Casethi!" "Wow! That was your best yet!" "How'd you learn to sing like that, Casethi?"
Casethi. It made sense. The woman had such a beautiful speaking voice, so of course she could sing well.
Casethi blushed furiously, thanking them for their "unnecessary" praise. She made her way through the crowd of priestesses, and sighed in relief when she saw Beatrix. "Did you walk here all by yourself?" She asked, tilting her head. A hand went out to help balance the wounded soldier.
Beatrix accepted the hand with a nod of thanks. "Yes. I heard the singing, and decided to try and find it. It felt good to finally get to take a walk." She flashed a grin.
"You seem to be able to make your way around now pretty well, so I'll start letting you have walks every day. It'll do wonders for your strength." Casethi commented.
Beatrix's grinned broadened. "Great! Fresh air will be a treat. I just wish it wasn't so cold."
Casethi nodded with a sigh. "It can get very cold in the winter here. Just look at you! You're frozen stiff. Come, I'll lead you to a fire. You need some hot food and warmth."
Beatrix was too cold to argue, so she let Casethi take her hand and lead her down a hallway and into another room. This one was considerably warmer, and the tantalizing aroma of stew and freshly baked bread teased her nostrils. The priestess led her forward, and she accidentally bumped into a table. She winced and swore under her breath.
"I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to lead you into a table! Come here and sit down, please. I'll get you some food."
Beatrix did as she was told and sat. Her legs were trembling, and it felt good to give them a rest. She sniffed the air a few times, letting the scent of food engulf her for a few moments. Soon Casethi returned laden down with trays. She set one down in front of Beatrix, and the other next to that. She then sat down next to the other woman.
"Do you think you can handle eating by yourself now?" She asked, placing a spoon in Beatrix's hand. The soldier nodded, leaning down to sniff the food. She smelled some sweet bread, a meaty stew, and some spicy drink. "Good," said the priestess, "you seem to be recovering quite well."
Beatrix was about to dig into her food when Casethi's hand caught her arm. "First, we pray."
The priestess clasped her hands together in front of her and bowed her head. "Great Mother, we give our thanks and praise to you for providing us with this wonderful meal. We accept if gratefully and bow to your kindness and love." She nodded her head to finish the prayer. "You may eat now, Beatrix."
She ate ravenously, only stopping to guide her hands and spoon into the right spot. When she was at last finished, she put down her spoon and sighed in contentment. "That was wonderful!" She exclaimed.
Casethi giggled and continued to eat her food slowly. "I'm glad you like it." She took a small bite of her bread before continuing. "Would you like to exorcise or learn first today?"
The wounded soldier thought it over for a minute. "Well, exorcise is pretty taxing on me. I don't think I can learn well if I'm exhausted. Let's do magic training first."
"Very well," replied Casethi, "let us practice today in here."
"Oh...And Casethi..." Started Beatrix. The woman looked over and tilted her head.
"Yes?" She asked.
"You sing beautifully." While Casethi made an attempt to bat away the comment, Beatrix smiled. Casethi had the most beautiful voice, so she had to be a beautiful looking person. Beatrix couldn't wait to see.
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