The Callindra Chronicles Book 2: The Rise of Evil – Chapter 42

Without waiting for another invitation, she sat down and set to filling her plate.  “You said this is ‘The Trickster’s Pipe’ didn’t you?  What does that mean?”

“The Pipe is what it is.”  Driffen said, giving her an annoyed look.  “Nothing less.”

“Right, like how when I walked down four stairs, I traveled nearly twelve feet right?”  Callindra said, taking a bite out of a rosy skinned apple.  “I forget what it’s called… an extra-something space right?  This whole building is just made of magic isn’t it?  No wood or stone, just Weave that’s forced into shape based on the will of the one who controls it?”

Tryst and Vilhylm looked at her with puzzled expressions, but Cronos nodded slowly as he looked around.  “Amazing that I didn’t notice it before.”  He said, “Now that you mention it, I can see what you mean.  It’s not … really there is it?”

“Oh, it’s solid enough boy.”  A soft voice came from behind Callindra and she spun to see the woman from the day before.  “This is my place.  You’re welcome here because I happen to know your companion, or more importantly the man who trained her.”

“I have to thank you Ellyn.”  Callindra said, touching Brightfang’s hilt and bowing from the waist until her body was bent at a right angle.  “Your swift and prudent action saved my life and likely my friends as well.  When I had lost control you brought me back.  I am in your debt.”

“I’ll remember that Callindra.”  Ellyn said with a wicked grin, “I don’t forget debts.”

“Neither do I.”  Callindra responded, looking her in the eye.  To her surprise, the other woman looked away first.

“Good.  I like guests with integrity.”  Ellyn said, “Sate your hunger and then meet me in the practice room.  I’m sure Jamison can tell you where it is.”  She turned and strode from the room.

“Well.  Where can I find the practice room?”  Callindra asked with a hesitant look around the table.

“You’re not serious are ya girl?”  Driffen asked, looking at her with his rheumy eyed gaze.  “She’s not known for restraint.”

Callindra set her mug of light ale down and started to laugh.  “That’s wonderful, exactly what I need to warm up in the morning.  Where is that practice room?”

“I’ll show you.”  Horus said, “That way I can intervene if things get out of hand.”  He led the way to the door she had walked through and pushed the door back toward the stairway instead of pulling it into the room as she had.  It opened on a completely different place, showing a practice room with a floor covered in woven reed mats.  Ellyn was stretching on the far side.

“You came.”  She said, sounding mildly surprised.  At Callindra’s scowl, she smiled and waved a hand in a dismissive gesture.  “Sorry, I just didn’t think they’d let you.”

“As though they could stop me?”  Callindra said, still annoyed.  “I love my brothers but they’re thickheaded sometimes.  A chance to spar with someone who has a different fighting style is always a welcome thing.  It keeps me sharp.”

Ellyn smiled and Callindra felt a strange familiarity with her again.  It was unnerving, but something about this woman spoke to her on a level she couldn’t understand.  She began to stretch as well, limbering up muscles stiffened by her exhausted sleep.

“I find a good spar tells me more about a person than a year in their company.”  Ellyn said, and her smile was feral.  “What will I learn from you today?”

“If it goes as planned, at least you’ll have a measure of me.”  Callindra responded, “Will you tell me how you know Glarian if I manage to impress you?”

“He used to travel with us.”  Ellyn said, “I heard he’d taken an apprentice but I didn’t believe it at the time.  You say that he is your master, and I sensed the influence of his magic on you.  That’s why I reminded you of his training.  You did not disappoint.”

Callindra was sitting with one leg behind and one in front, touching her forehead to her knee.  “How well did you know him?”

Ellyn didn’t answer right away.  When Callindra looked up as she switched legs, the older woman was staring; her face a neutral mask.  “He traveled with us for five years.”

“So you must have known him at least a little bit.”  Callindra said with a grin, “So was he always such a cryptic, annoying old man?”

“What?”  Ellyn was smiling in spite of herself now, “Oh he was a wild, impetuous person.  Always picking fights and although he won more than he lost he was never without cuts and bruises.”  The smile slipped away from her face.  “He was always so bent on defending that fool Title of his, killing men, women and weapons with equal disdain.  One thing never changes.  Nothing cuts like the wind.”

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