Everyone stared at Tessa as if she were some crazy ghosts in some whacked out dream. Maybe that is just how she felt portrayed. An elderly woman gave her a plate with fruit and meat. "She says you must eat for your strength. She says you are too thin like your mother." The old woman continues to talk in another unknown language. "She is very pleased to meet the daughter of Adam and Melana. They helped us a great deal so much wisdom from such young minds. They are missed a great deal here. Are you a healer as well?" The young girl who is translating asked pleasantly. "I honestly don know I know somethings but I just don remember. The only thing I know is Im Tessa apparently of the sky landers." Tessa said as if she stretched out her hand to shake her new friends hand.
"Im Chloe and this is my grandmother Roca. She raised me I am better healer than a tinker or scout." "Oh is that what you parents do?" Tessa understanding the villages all dabble separately to do their profession. " My parents were. They were captured and tortured by the Tentoria and only found in pieces randomly through the outlands ." Chloe sad sadly. "Ya, that seems to happen a lot of that going on. Well I do thank you both for the food, the warm welcome and the kindness. I look forward to getting to know more about you both soon." Both women smiled sweetly to Tessa and Emmitt. As Tessa looked around she could identify numerous things and it started to bother her that she could tell and know what those things were and what they
e used for but couldn remember where she came from.
Knowing now what she has learned in the short time being here she was starting to wonder if she really wanted to remember. What good has it done her to get her here alone. Abandoned and orphaned. "This is where Luca works" Emmitt said as he opened the tent entrance for her to go into. "Shall we?" He smiled. "I guess." Tessa said with a chuckle thankful for Emmitt making the attitude surrounding them lighter. "Ah, good morning my dear child. I trust you your wounds have healed?" "Yes, they have. Thank you." "I hope you were not concerned with your safety after last night?"
"No. I feel safe and calm." The strange thing was is she did. She felt calm and sane under the pressure of combat. "How is Shayla?" Tessa asked eating a piece of fruit of her breakfast plate. "As well as can be expected. We burn Sage tonight. You are welcome to stay and celebrate her." "I would love that." "So we have some things we are going to do to you to try to help you open your memory to what you have lost. Some or most of this will be painful." Luca said sorrowfully. "Mentally or physically?" Tessa asked confused looking to both the men. "Both, and they will push your to your limits in both ways to." Emmitt said stealing a piece of fruit from her plate.
"Ok, well I am as ready as Ill ever be lets get started." Tessa said eagerly. "No." Emmitt answered her back. You need at least a day of rest before we start the process you have been through much these last few days. We will start small and we will walk and show you boundaries of the land and I will take you to your parents home see if anything jogs your memory there. They kept their journals and stools and other stuff you may remember. Its mainly kept as a shrine." "Yes, Emmitt has studied much of the journals and with them." Luca laughed.
"Your people thought very highly of the outsiders. I hope I do not disappoint them." "You saved Shayla and helped Sage and saved Luca within your first few of hours of not even knowing your name or not even being awake no less I say you
e looking pretty good in our societies eyes about now." "Really I much rather learn of my parents things another day. Im…just not ready." She felt angry towards the highly praised outsiders who came her to help others but left her like a lamb to the wolves. "ok, theres no rush this is all a process and you will come to things in your own time young one." Luca said cupping her cheek tenderly. "Maybe venture to Malik side of the fence you seem to be quite confident in battle maybe a little bit of training will due for that day in case we run into any more shadows or Heartless you may have more of an advantage."
"Sounds great with all the stress and confusion some physical therapy maybe just what I need. Sounds great." It really did. Emmitt open the exit to the tent and began to take her to the training area. The village was so much bigger than she thought and looking at the huge area around her she understood why. This was the biggest open area she think shes ever seen. Tessa was taken back and impressed there was a ring for sparing, a section for weapon training and a work out track area. Men of all ages were training everywhere. The children of both boys and girls were either playing, training, or watching.
"Everyone trains here men, woman and children of course the women and children don train as long or as hard as the men but they have the option and everyone is to understand how to defend themselves if nothing else. If we ever were attacked either here or out there at least they would have the knowledge and skills to defend themselves. Fight back or at least survive. Since we raise the warriors and the main healers we also make sure we train everyone in basic first aid. We want the best for our people to be mentally and physically strong." Emmitt informed as she took everything in. "I can respect that I think thats the best thing for them especially starting so young because soldiers can be around to help them all the time life happens. Everyone should be ready with at least the basics. I think you guys are doing a great job."
"Do you mind if I try to spar for a bit with one of them?" "That is up to you and whoever you ask. Go on and try there isn a soul here who doesn know who you are by now and trust me you are held in high respect." "That just sounds like I got some big shoes to fill." They both laugh as she walked off and went into the hand-to-hand combat sparring ring. She battled for hours not skipping a beat she learned weak spots and even showed them massive amount of techniques. Even techniques to help them move faster using less energy.
Tessa looked at their weapons even altered them to improve them and make them do things they haven thought of before. Tessa was even able to make new ones out of the broken parts from others. Everything was just flowing through her like second nature. She felt a sense of peace like she was at home. It was obvious to even a blind man that this was her element. The warriors and children couldn look away from her they were far from impressed and pleased to have such new experience, new ideas, new battle plans. Emmitt watched over every move she made from a distance giving her the space to be herself safely. He felt proud not only of her but for her.
"She is the one to save us, is she not?" Tuca asked Emmitt as they watched her go undefeated again in the combat sparring ring. She held back the others did not. Laughter filled the arena. "Yes my friend I dare say she is." "Shes incredible." Tuca said in awe as she slams her last competitor into the ground flawlessly and what looks like without effort taking the opponent by surprise. "Ya I really hope we can keep her." Emmitt replied watching her with the men. "Shes going to the celebration tonight?" Tuca questioned. "Yes I believe she will be there." "So you think the woman dances? A woman like that I got a shot right?" Tessa asked as Tessa flew her next competitor to the horses watering tank.
"Shes after my own heart I swear it." Tuca cried out. "You
e unbelievable." Emmitt said shaking his head as he walked away. When the day was done they started to help prepare for the night ahead of them. Tessa saw Shayla wrapping Sages body in tent as she was passing through with the men she trained earlier. "Wait… theres something I need to do." She told Emmitt as she dismissed herself. "Shayla." Tessa said as she went into the tent watching Shayla wrap her sisters body. Shayla didn look away or stop what she was doing. "My parents are in the village nearby but they couldn get here until this evening. Someone had to clean her up and get her prepared for her road ahead." Shayla said with tears spilling from her eyes. Tessa walked up taking the wrap and taking over for Shayla.
Shayla started telling stories of Sage and Tessa laughed and listened hanging on every word as they got Sage ready for tonight for everyones final goodbyes. Night was coming soon upon them the sun was starting to set. Shayla took Tessa down to a certain part of the river to clean up and gave her a dress to wear. "Shayla this is so beautiful. "It should fit you. You two look about the same size. Sage wore it when the village recognized her as no longer being a child." "I had some of the men load some clothes for you in a trunk and taken to Lucas until you have a place where you are staying so you can have a change of clothes. I can stand to see them laying around in my tent." "Thank you Shayla I really appreciate it." "Their starting I must find my parents." Shayla went around to the front where everyone is sitting on huge, long logs.
There was a few huge fire pits. It was very bright for being early night the sun is almost completely gone. The warriors from training were watching her off and on. All of them would make eye contact and give a smile. It did not make her uncomfortable but settled. "You have impressed them a great deal in your short time here. Myself included of course." Emmitt said as he plopped right next to her standing in the back. "You look nice." He said and smiled at her. "Thank you. You clean up good as well." She teased. She meant it as well he was tall dark and handsome. Luca and Malik stood before the people. Maliks eyes were red and glazed. Luca did most of the talking.
"Is Malik to proud to cry? There is no shame to let your feelings fall from your eyes." Tessa asked Emmitt in whispers. "No. Sages father is Maliks little brother if Malik stays strong than his brothers family can falter and cry because the family still has one pillar of strength. Normally the family has to say a few words but its so much more difficult when its a child or someone so young. If the entire family falls apart than it makes them look kinda weak to the rest of the tribe even though we all understand its the old ways. You look onto your family for strength to stand strong. Just at least one person can show too much emotion like crying. You only need one person to speak for the family whether theyd be family or not. Its like bad luck to go without words of peace with the departed." Emmitt whispers back. Lucas voice grew
"Before we send our beautiful Sage on her journey. Are there any words that need to be said." Luca asked the family. Watching Sages father holding his woman who are both drowning quietly in their own tears look up to his brother as if begging for help. Malik starts fumbling with his words to start. "I know it is all untoward being only a guest knowing nothing of your traditions but if I may. I have a few words for Sage." Tessa yelled out standing up out of her sit.
"Come forth child and speak your peace. Your welcome is more than a guest my dear." Malik answered gratefully for her giving him some more time to pull himself together. Tessa tumbled over the logs. Luckily falling right in Tucas lap who welcomed the surprise fall and reluctantly helped her up to her feet accepting her apology. Once she was in front of the whole village which was way more people than she thought. Tessa didn have any fear this was strange, and she couldn help but wonder why this felt natural.
"I did not know Sage well or for even half as long as anyone else here but I owe much to her. I was found by a brave young woman with a big heart, who saved me not once but twice. We found Sage in a tree and because of Sages incredible strength and will. She kept her going when most would have given in. Sage had a great sense of humor and wore her emotions on her sleeve. She went down with honor and her boots on. Shayla Im so sorry, you helped me and I couldn save her for that I am forever sorry.
"Tessa focused on the parents. "Thank you for bringing Sage into this world and Shayla they are a wonderful gift. Just by the looks of all these people they are truly cherished. I have been honored to know her even for few short moments and have no doubt she will be as strong and brave in whatever journey brings on next. Go with peace and love." Tessa finished after speaking to her parents. "With peace and love." The whole tribe said in unison. Malik stood with next to Tessa next to Sages body with the torch in his hand.
Tessa helped guide his hand over to light her. "May Peace, love, and honor guide you into the next part of your path. We love you Sage." Malik finished. Some of the other warriors pushed her off into the water that go out to open into the sea after so going so far out. The flame has now spread all the way at this point fire crippling all the flowers surrounding her. Shayla came to Tessa tears still falling down hugging her tightly not saying a word as she take off running off to join others. Tessa smiled softly watching go off.
"Seems like making friends comes easy to you Skylander." Malik said wrapping an arm around Tessa. "A skill you get from your mother. No question." He finished with a hearty chuckle eye still glossy. Tessa smiled. "I can only hope to stay worthy of keeping such friends grounds men." She joked back as they tilted each other back and forth playfully. He smiled back. "I am good judge of character my child and I believe with everything in me that you will be. Im sorry to say to you I hope you never awaken and stay with us until your old and gray." With that he took his leave. "Do you dance Lady of the sword?" Tuca joked.
"We are to go back eat, drink and celebrate life and of those who have fallen. Will you not join me for a spin?" "I don remember if I do or don but Im guessing I can I always learn." "Then please follow me." Tuca took her arm in his and playfully spun her around by the hand when they reached the dancing area. Tessa laughed and danced with many of the people from the men women and children of all ages. She allowed herself to stay close to Chloe throughout the night. Who she really enjoyed spending with her. She got so overwhelmed, she excused herself for air. She made her way back to where they pushed Sage not so long ago. Tessa was lost starring at the burning light which felt so far away. Twig snapped bringing Tessa attention back to the world around her, putting her in defensive mode. She was instantly on top of the stranger on the ground with a dagger held to his throat.
"Expecting someone else?" Emmitt teased. Hands up in surrender. "I expect everything and nothing." She teased back helping him to his feet. "You know guests are forbidden to carry weapons within the village." She gave him the dagger the knifes handle read Sage with a small flower at the end on the handle. He bent down and slide it in her boot. "Our little secret." He said adjusting her boot back "Thanks." She whispered at the kindness of the gesture. "You had a good time?" Emmitt asked her. "I did. I just needed some air. It can be over whelming taking in so much at once so soon."
"Yes, but the brain does worse. I watched a young girl go onto what I hope will be something greater than this, and yet Im so angry. My own parents left me to a group of snakes that casted me down to fall into their own fate to where people want to torture me for information I can even unlock yet. How horrible of a person could I have been to be cast out with nothing no pictures, no letter, not even a canteen of water. No ones even tried to make contact for me as a missing person from that mountain. Maybe this is a blessing, maybe I don need to remember. This could be my second chance to be something greater."
"You are not he first person whose fallen to think these things To wish these things. But eventually your memory will return to you will remember who you were and it may not be as bad as you think. The point is you can run from your past. Who you were doesn have to affect who you want to be." "Wise words. You
e going to be a great leader." "Thanks I hope so. You were too ya know. A great leader. You were top of every class you ever got into. Your mom would brag about you a lot. You were a soldier and a healer among your people. I guess you were on your way to being the main leader of your warriors and a surgeon as your mom called it. Someone is looking for you. Just give yourself time." "What if you
e wrong?" Tessa asked Emmitt brokenly.
"Well I am your friend and I would look for you." Tessa smiled "What if Im the bad guy?" Emmitt smiled "Yup you
e absolutely terrifying I think that bunny just ran for cover." Emmitt said in a mocking voice as if his eyes were actually following the bunny. "So Tessa." Luca called out cheerfully. With Tuca, Chloe and Roca in tow. Which Tessa is being required to call Grandmother Roca which makes Tessa heart smile. "Have you put any thought into where you are going to rest while you are staying here with us?" "Emmitt actually has offered his place if he means it Id like to stay there. If this process will be as long and as painful as you say. Than who else to stay with better than a healer who will know the signs when my body will be in trouble and can administer the proper care?"
"Well said a smart choice for the best of reasons". Luca said. " I stand by my offer. My home is yours for as long as you wish it." Emmitt responded back with a soft smile. He actually appreciated the praise and leap of faith Tessa was taking in his skills which was the best aside from Luca and Melana. "Let me know if you need anything me and Grandmother Roca will not hesitate. Chloe said with a hug goodnight. "Its decided then. Rest up well tomorrow starts a difficult road for you fear not for you will not be going down it alone young one." Luca said with a light kiss to the forehead like a grandfather putting his grandkids to rest she thought.
"Good night my beautiful new friend and you too. Good night to you sour possum." Tuca joked. "Good night friend." They replied to back chuckling at his silliness. " You have admirers already." Emmitt teased for they both knew that Tuca was not the subtle type. They made their way back home to Emmitts place. It was so cleverly hidden under ground with some distance from the village no one but Tahlia, Luca, Malik and Tuca knew where it actually was. Adam and Melana knew because they were the ones who helped him set it up over the years but now they are gone.
"Why do you stay your distance from the village?" Tessa couldn help but ask. " I study better alone. I like my privacy. After your parents left I studied their findings as if it were a religion. If I can make serums like them than my people could have the best care. Thanks to studying them we have most of the vaccines from certain diseases to prevent us from catching them and have alter them into a cure from stuff we have here. Which is easier since we can just replant our materials. The Tentoria are advanced thanks to special experimentations we need to be safe from anything that could injected into us. Its a never-ending war with them. The last thing we need is another bio nuclear warfare. So I practice, practice, practice." "Really thats admirable. ALL WORK HUH? Don you ever get lonely?"
"No I still hunt and see others regularly I am a second in command I need to let the people know I am ever at their service." "So no special lady, or man?" Emmitt choked out a laugh " No I keep to distracted to notice honestly." "Well you
e still young with plenty of time." She teased with a smile. "You sound like Tahlia. What of you? What if you have a special someone?" "Someone who let me fall, you mean. Would you let someone you love fall down to unknown place?" He shook his head no. "Me neither, but if I ever do find something real Im going to fight like hell to keep it."
Sounds right." Emmitt said agreeing with her. "Well you can take the bed and Ill" "No!" " I think I prefer the furs and blankets there on the floor. If its not asking too much?" "As you wish if thats what you like." He went into a hidden area in the room which was much like a closet handing her some of his clothes. "This maybe to big but should at least be comfortable enough to sleep in." "Thank you truly." He left the room for her to change and when she gave all clear he came back changed pants and no shirt ready for bed. She crawled into her make shift bed which felt softer than anything shes ever known and slept harder not knowing whats to come, and at the same time felt peace with it in Emmitts word echoing inside her head "Who you were is not who youll be."
Emmitt left the house and Tessa in it to check around the area he felt like someone would be nearby tonight. He traveled a ways out in the woods and stopped near a tree waiting for his uninvited guest to show themselves. "So hows our special guest?" Emmitt not even turning to look at him but kept looking forward surveying the rest of the area. "She sleeps. I think she deserves it after a long week so far. What brings you to this area Abriel?" "I come with some men to bring tribute to our fallen it was after all our fault. You rest nearby?" Abriel asked curiously. "No, I stay aways out." "Where does our new found savior rest?" "Shes not certain but for the time being shes chosen to stay with me until she awakens she fears for her health during the trails that lay ahead of her."
"Smart girl. Do keep us updated on her status. She has proved to be a great warrior here today or so I am told." "Yes, she is remarkably skilled in so many areas." "I pray you bring her to our land and share her wisdom unto us, my friend." Abriel said patting Emmitt on the back. "If she is able and willing Im sure shed be happy to oblige a leader from circles request. If circle guarantees safety." "Of course she will name the day, anytime will be welcomed on our end. We will be taking our leave now it grows late. Rest well Emmitt. It will be a long time ahead of you yet." Abriel left.
Emmitt couldn help but feel something disturbing and off about the whole conversation . Abriel tribe who would flay her alive is actually interested in a sleep walker. Maybe Tessa was right something is definitely off. Emmitt took the long way back which was harder to see and even notice traps if anyone dared to follow even lagging back they would surely be caught. He felt eyes on him and then he felt as if he were all alone. He entered his home, saw her sleeping on the floor. "I don envy knowing what you will remember, but Ill be here to help you figure it out. I owe them that much." Emmitt whispered over her. He went to his bed and worried about whats to come.
Morning Came, he came in the door with a drink just as she woke up. "Drink this." He said handing her a cup She starred down into and looked at him. "Water." He replied She drank slowly and took her time. There are some clothes that should fit you right over there. Change quickly were to see Luca and start the process. Its time to get you to start waking up. Emmitt said as he stood up and left her be to get ready. She suddenly wished her drink was somehow stronger. She changed stood up took a deep breath and stepped out of the tent. Ready for what changes are coming.