Oeric hated to leave his sister like that, but she was in good hands. She could talk to his son and that would give her an opportunity to learn more each other without him being there. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to talk, it was just he needed time alone. Time to think and to get through what he was about to do. It wasn’t that he wasn’t looking forward to speaking to the cur, he wanted to. He didn’t know how well he would hold up doing so afterwards.
His first stop was to the messhall to get a tray of food. He found that offering someone to clean themselves and food was the best way to start building trust. He would be more willing to talk. He wanted to know more about him than the things he assumed. He wondered though, why they were only given one cur. He was certain the letter he had stuffed into his pocket would provide him answer, but he needed time to read it. He would think the fact that a Dyne cur would be an obvious conflict. However, what else could one expect from the Seat. He was surprised they weren’t given a dozen cutthroats. He could at least deal with them. The Dyne had strong opinions on those who were Fenndish.
When he placed his hand on the latch of the infirmary door, he felt the hairs on his arm raise up. His ears began to ring. There was only one reason for that, Mien was using his abilities. He hurried on in and came face to face with a large lynx. The cat paused a moment. His gaze went passed him to the door and charging at him. He flipped the woven tray he held to is would shield him as he braced himself for impact. The cat sprung at him and then it hit the air as if it collided into a wall. The golden film placed in front of him was still rippling from the impact. The lynx stumbled backward and shook his head. In the center of the room, was Mien with his hand outstretched with his eyes blazing gold. Behind him, the infirmary staff was clustered on the floor. Brother Rastor was among them clutching his arm. There was blood on the floor.
“He’s trying to get out,” shouted Mien.
“Who isn’t hurt to get help,” demanded Oeric.
“I sent Lionel to get Brother Hickory,” returned Mien.
Kiao then spoke from behind the young combat chanter. “I tried to snap him out. I couldn’t, not without hurting him.”
Oeric could tell the cur was beyond listening to just words. “Drop the shield, let me through, protect the doorway” ordered Oeric and he bounded from the from the doorway shifting and was immediately met with an angry snarl. He felt air bush his back paws from the lynx trying to take a swipe at him. The lynx leapt after him and Oeric sprung away on a bed. He kept jumping on bed to bed to get into position to attack while looking at who was hurt. The scent of blood was mixed in with two scents, Brother Rastor and Alder’s. He growled and snarled out.
“You need to control yourself.”
The lynx just screamed at him. In mid-air Oeric twisted around so he faced the shifted cur, landed on a bed, and launched himself at him. For an instance, he could see surprise on the eyes of the cur before they became a ball of fury. If anyone walked in, they would hear growls, snarls and saw fur flying everywhere. The of them spilled from between to beds to the main aisle running up the infirmary. He could feel Lykkon edging on his thoughts, wanting to take control to protect him. Oeric kept his focus. There was no need to rely on uncontrolled strength. He just needed to tussle with the lynx long enough to get the advantage he needed and that was the cat rolled on its side.
It happened just in a quick instant and Oeric dropped out of being a wolf and grappled with the lynx. He wrapped his arms around his neck and legs around his body. The lynx gnashed his teeth in an effort to get to his arms.
“Tie him,”cried Oeric.
Mien sprang into action going for the cabinet in the infirmary and grabbing bandage. Oeric struggled to keep the lynx under control.
“Stop or you’ll break your neck,” he threatened. It then occurred to him that might have been what he wanted. Curs of his nature had the tendencies to want a quick end. He did as well at one point. Mien started with his rear legs and the lynx renewed its struggle.
Oeric growled holding on him tighter. “I can do this all day. Stop struggling.”
Kiao stood to the side, trying to calm him with the phrase of peace to calm him. The lynx’s struggling slowed and paused. He started gulping in air.
“You don’t have to hold him so tight,” said Kiao.
She didn’t feel the muscle of the beast he fought. The shifted elf struggled again when Mien started on his forelegs and that was when Brother Hickory and two young monks burst through the door. They helped in holding and restraining so Mien could finish. The only thing they didn’t wrap was his mouth otherwise he was restrained then cocooned in a blanket to be carried.
“What do we do with him, Sir,” asked one of them asked.
Oeric inspected the bites on his arm. The scratches on his body stung under his clothing. “Take him to one of the mediation chambers and lock the door. It’s quiet and dark. He’ll be unable to hurt anyone there.”
One of them didn’t look so certain he wanted to do that as the lynx let out a long low gurgling hiss.
“Just stay away from his head,” said Oeric finding a bed and flopping on it. He scooted himself up to the headboard and looked over the scene before him. Rastor had a bloodied arm with his robe sleeve in shreds. Mien helped him to a bed. Kiao was at Alder’s side. He had a long slash going down the center of his face from his forehead, the tip of his nose, and lips were raked. He was quiet as Kiao treated him. He gripped the edge of the bed clearly shaken by his experience.
Lionel was the only one left and he was hesitant to walk towards Oeric and stood by Hickory who was holding him back. Oeric wasn’t as shaken as if he had been attacked, but he still needed a moment to gather himself. The fastest way for him to get over it, was to move on.
“What happened,” he demanded.
“It was my fault,” admitted Brother Rastor with a grimace. “He was refusing treatment and I intervened when I shouldn’t have. I should have listened to those younger and wiser and not to force him into what he didn’t want.”
Kiao then spoke up. “I warned them, First Warden. I wanted to put him in a room until you came to reason with him. He didn’t want to be healed by us.”
“If you want, I can talk to him,” offered Hickory.
Oeric swayed his head. “Later. I want to speak with him first. And you don’t have to stay back, Lionel. I’m fine.”
“You certain,” the older tod asked. He didn’t look convinced.
Oeric nodded. “Cat scratches and bites fester and make me itch. The faster they go away the better.”
Lionel walked slowly to him and he pulled off his shirt. The young chanter started with his arm and picked it up gingerly to inspect it. He then went off to one of the cabinets there. “You sound agitated,” he told him.
“That’s because I didn’t like what I saw and what I had to do. With the exception of Sister and Hickory, you all know nothing about curs. You can’t trust them with acting within the bounds of a normal elf, not with what he is.”
Brother Rastor nodded. “So I have gathered. He’s another broken elf and would rather be an animal.”
Oeric shook his head. “No. He’s not ‘broken’ and not an animal. He is unable to get back in the right frame of mind.”
“So, you believe differently than what has been taught and proven,” stated Rastor.
He sat his cool gaze on Rastor. The man was still active when he was younger. Just a warden and not leadership material. He found it stand that he was trying to become Arch Priest. He was a man with good intentions, but he wasn’t sure if he was the best choice to help guide the priests of their order. Not with a statement like that.
“I found what is thought to be correct isn’t discussed by the individual who experienced it. It written by an observers. You should know that consorts are a version of ourselves that take on shapes of an animal. They have a separate personality, however, they are fully under our control except when they act on their own because they respond to our emotions and not our commands. Some of us lean very hard on what we feel at a given time.”
“Age has a great deal to do with it,” said Rastor. “That elves under a hundred tend to be more emotional. And then, not all elves wear their emotions on their sleeves.”
“You don’t have to be outward with your emotions to be emotional,” countered Oeric.
“Both of you are correct,” intervened Hickory. “However, some elves, despite their age, are more prone to being closer to their emotions. Maturity often makes it less pronounced as they stop caring so much. However, an emotional elf is always an emotional elf.”
“Yes, and that sort of elf is more prone to having issues with balance,” said Rator. “Between mindfulness and instinctual behaviors.”
“Wrong,” said Oeric, “There is no balance. There is only you. One’s consort isn’t some separate raging animal trying to fight against you. It’s your consort trying to help you. That makes all these methods you speak of incorrect.”
Rastor glared at him. “You’re saying centuries of teachings are incorrect regarding this subject is wrong.”
“Yes. The method of correcting it is suppression as you are broken and to control that part of you less it makes other’s lives miserable. And even if you aren’t told that, you still feel it. It’s like you can never be fixed. And that, from my experience, leads to problems in the long-term because you think you’re animalistic no matter what. You need to be careful and walk on eggshells. That needs to be gotten away from. There needs to be acceptance. Not the whole, this is just the way it is sort of acceptance. Acceptance that this is a part of you so how do you work with it.”
Hickory then became intrigued. “So that’s how you did it.”
Oeric nodded and Lionel started treating the wounds around his neck.
“Did what,” asked Rastor.
“Get himself in a better place,” said Hickory. ”
“We all know that consort abuse causes issues. This is a clear example of such abuse. Lykkon is like me, has a strong sense to protect. As a cur, I had grown very wary of others and I was constantly in a heightened state awareness of my surroundings. One night, I was being followed and I was attacked. A great fear of mine had manifested in front of me. I couldn’t handle it all myself and Lykkon essentially took over. We mixed minds. Any time I would change shapes and I felt threated or someone I cared about was, that mixing would occur.”
“If that is the case, you should learn to trust Dias.”
“True, but you have to work your way to that again, Brother Rastor. Saying is easy doing it, is different. When someone doesn’t trust easily, you have to learn to be less afraid. You have to take steps and you have to want to do it. And that is going to be the issue with this one. He’s Dyne. He’s not going to simply convert and we teach him our ways.”
“What is the point of having him here, if conversion isn’t going to be part of the process,” said Rastor as he stood to his feet the moment Mien had stepped away from him.
“The purpose of this is to make him capable of having a life. He needs to trust us first. He needs to be less afraid or the mess you made will happen again,” stated Oeric sharply. Rastor looked insulted. Oeric didn’t care. “He’s not going to trust you and not Alder now because of this. Kiao will be the likely candidate to treat him for now on.”
“I rather she didn’t. She’s a woman. He could easily take advantage of her.”
Oeric chuckled. “Then Sister, you have my permission to do whatever it takes to stop him if he does.”
“You know I don’t like doing things like that, First Warden,” stated Kiao.
“Doing things like what,” asked Rastor. “You aren’t a trained combat chanter like Brother Mien.”
“You don’t need physical training and prowls to hurt someone,” she said. “I can use my voice. I could’ve mind-controlled him if Mien wasn’t nearby.”
Rastor looked horrified. “Mind-contol! That’s not something this order approves of.”
“I don’t care if you or this order does,” growled Oeric. The air shimmered at the edge of the bed and Lykkon appeared. The timbre wolf sat his blue eyes on Rastor with disapproval. “I can deal with him defending himself. I can deal with him being afraid and angry. However, a behavior I will not tolerate is him forcing himself on another. The moment he does, he’s dead. That is a promise.”
The wolf them snapped his jaws to emphasis what he said.
“Better him than me,” said Mien. “I won’t make it quick. Burning isn’t a painless way to die.”
Rastor looked between the two of them. “This conversation isn’t reassuring for many different reasons.”
“Then let me handle this. You obviously know very little about it,” said Oeric. “I know what it’s like. And I know, you perceive what you’re doing as being helpful but it won’t be. Maybe if he sees the good we do, show him our ways, maybe he can accept Dias as being more than a goddess’s unruly child.“
Lionel then suddenly said. “No, give me a moment, I’ll heal him first, then I’ll check on him.” His eyes had become back-lit. They were far to bright for the minor healing he was doing. Hickory’s own gaze flared. “Lionel?”
The older tod jolted and looked down at Oeric’s arm. It was in a cleaned state with the bleeding stanched and ready for healing.
“I uh, haven’t healed anything yet,” he whispered and gave his head a shake.
“Who were you talking too,” asked Hickory.
Lionel didn’t answer. Instead, he became stiff.
Mien cut in, “His timber has changed, again. I noticed it did the other day.”
“I’m fine,” said Lionel quickly and started healing his wounds.
“I think you should talk to Oliver,” said Hickory. “I know he’s sleeping, but I get the impression you might be starting into learning a phrase and not just any phrase.”
“No, give me a moment, I’ll heal him first, then I’ll check on him,” he said and then became very still.
Rastor’s eyes then narrowed. “He saw the future, didn’t he?”
Lionel looked terrified. “No I’m not, I just…” he trailed off.
Kiao then said firmly. “Honored Priest, I think you should leave. You’re healed up and should rest where you are most comfortable.”
“If he is an insight priest—”
She stopped him. “He doesn’t need your speculations, questions, or opinions right now. If you want to be Arch Priest, you’re going to have to learn to trust me,” she said to him and then made her way to Lionel.
Rastor watched her as she left. Mien was looking dead at Rastor. So was Hickory who lightened his stern expression to a friendlier one. “Rastor, I think we need to speak. You still a lot to learn about chanters.” He came beside the former monk and threw his arms around his shoulders. “Let’s get you a new robe, then we can talk in the chapel.”
Once the door closed and all the chanters there let out a sigh of relief.
“He was making matters much worse,” said Alder. “He means well.”
“Sure but terrible ideas are still terrible ideas,” said Kiao standing behind Lionel. “Something’s been bothering your for days hasn’t it. New phrases don’t just bother you for days.”
Lionel hung his head. “I don’t want to see into the future,” he whispered. “I don’t want foresight.”
“Go talk to Oli about this,” she said. “We don’t know how much longer we have with him.”
Lionel stood slowly and hesitantly went to the stairs in the back. Kiao took to the bed in front of Oeric and sat and covered her face.
“Dealing with some things, Sister?”
She nodded. “Lionel is obviously learning his edict phrase and Brother Oli…he’s not doing well. He barely leaves his room anymore. I think it’s getting close…” she trailed off with a with a sad smile. Lyykon then jumped down from the bed and sat his large head on her lap. He licked her hand when she reached out and pet him. Her smile brightened a bit more.
Oeric wanted to be annoyed at his consort, however, it was better that he did it. Their little adventure caused some whispering. How dare he run off to get his son with someone capable of finding his son. What did they want him to do, take Cordea and Saedee with them as if they were going on a picnic? He understood it was because she was a young lady however, she was a child. Someone’s daughter. What would a child hold for him?
“You have wonderful timing. Thank you, Oeric,” she said.
“Mien could’ve easily held him off until Hickory got here,” he returned.
“You’re doing it again,” she said. “I’ll always praise you when you deserve it.”
Lykkon wagged his tail. Oeric looked down at now healed arm.