Chapter 6: The Road Less Traveled… Trish
Trish was not having a good day. Two weeks after leaving her home, the allure of her adventure had started to fade. Trish was running low on supplies, and she only had one more clean outfit. She was already regretting her poor planning and rushed journey.
Trish was in a forest, the sun had set, and it was raining. She was ready to pick a fight with nature itself at this point.
Trish had visited many towns and villages to rest and ask around about Ash. She was pointed to many people and places, but finally she met a merchant who knew of a boy matching Ash’s features. The merchant said that a woman called Wenndy was said to have found a boy in the forest near the town. And so Trish set off to find Wenndy’s cottage. At night. In the rain.
[I really hope this isn’t another dead end.] Trish thought wryly. [If it is I might have to give this search a break… Oh Hell, even I know that’s a lie.]
Trish stared deep into the forest. “Well, there’s nothing like walking into a dark forest. Alone. At night.” Trish sighed, “I can’t stall anymore I should get moving again… at least the trees will help with this UNHOLY RAIN!”
As Trish walked, she could sense how close Ash was compared to when she started her journey. She could also tell that he was not in the direction she was walking, though that didn’t mean that she wouldn’t find information about him here. It seemed that the closer she got to him, the less she felt Ash’s presence so the more she could learn about where he might be going the better.
[At the very least I could rest in a real bed… with real sheets! I never knew how much I would miss real sheets!]
Soon Trish saw a cottage. It was simple, made with logs and only half her own homes size, but it was better than her sleeping mat. Trish picked up her pace, increasing her stride until she was almost sprinting to the cottage.
[Warm bed, here I come!] Trish thought.
“Well there was a boy, but I take in strays all the time. Look at you, I let you in no questions asked!”
Trish was losing patience. She had been in Wenndy’s home for close to an hour now and had not gotten one straight answer from the woman.
“Ok, but was he wounded? What was his name? Did he have a pet with him? Was it a cat… looking… thing?” Trish asked. “It’s a matter of grave importance, life or death.”
“Why do you want to know?” Wenndy looked nervous. “He’s not in trouble is he? Ash seemed like one of the good kind.”
“So his name was Ash. Did he have a pet cat thing? A sword?” Trish was so excited she was practically shouting. [Easy Trish, she’s not going to talk to you if you start screaming at her. Plus I haven’t gotten any new information yet. And it’s getting harder to sense him…]
“You seem to know a lot about Ash. Is he a friend of yours?” Wenndy was giving Trish a strange look. “Are you… do you like… him?”
“What do mean like him?” Trish didn’t like the turn the conversation was taking.
“Never mind, I didn’t mean to say anything…” Wenndy looked as if she really didn’t want to give away any more. And Trish was tired of trying to pry information out of her.
[Well at least I have somewhere to stay for the night. I really should be grateful I guess…]
(Trishta Genlevas… you must hurry… Ash is close…)
“Oh hello great and powerful voice. You know the whole ‘invading my dreams to give me cryptic messages’ is getting real old. Can’t you just tell me where he is.”
(Your path is not mine to dictate Trishta…)
“That is such bullshit! You are the one who told me I had to find Ash!“
(You chose your own path Trishta Genlevas… I… Merely help…)
Trish felt the voice retreat back to wherever it came from, and she sank into a deep vision.
Ash was walking in the dark, shade at his shoulder. He appeared the same as he did the last time she saw him, with his black cloak and armor. He seemed to be concentrating, but there was no sound other than the chatter of the city around him.
“This realm is strange… not even the stars are the same.” Ash sounded resigned and sad.
Trish wished she could reach out and comfort him.
“Ash!” someone called. “Lord Ash! There you are! I wanted to thank you again for your help earlier. Why do you look sad?” A boy younger than Ash by a few years walked up to him. The boy was simply dressed in a shirt and trousers.
“It was nothing Griever. Anyone would’ve helped. And I’m not sad, I’m… Planing my next move.” Ash replies.
“Yeah… well we can always stay camped in the forest as long as we need to. And, you know, there are some jobs here in Blankforge I can do if we need money.” Griever said. He looked up at Ash with an almost worshiping look like Ash was a hero or even a god.
“Thanks Griver, I’ll consider that…” Aaron said with a sad smile.
Trish’s perspective suddenly shifted far more violently then it had since she learned control when she was small. Now she saw a girl she recognized as Mira, Ash’s half-sister she recalled.
Mira was in the Darkwing palace’s library. The library was full of books, scrolls, and other various writings. With long corradors and high arching columns, the ceiling was so high Trish could not even see it. The Darkwing palace’s library was itself a work of art. In a remote corner Mira floated in place.
Mira seemed to be meditating in the center of swirling darkness. Trish knew from her other visions that this was how the Blackwing family preferred to relax and focus, but it was still surprising to see the young girl wield so much power so easily.
Then everything went black and a familiar voice spoke with barely concealed anger.
(THIS IS NOT FOR YOU TO SEE TRISHTA! )
(Leave it be… your destiny lies for you elsewhere…)
(Sweet dreams little Trishta… you may need them…)