Happy St. Patrick’s day. Here’s the next installment. And if you’ve missed anything, follow the “Oscambria” labels or click here. I’m not exactly pleased with this Canto, and I definitely can see where I’ll be tweaking it whenever I start the editing process, but until then, this is it. Thanks for reading!
The blind man wasn’t exactly happy
At losing his right hand woman.
The quiet lad wasn’t quite thrilled
At losing his half-sister, either.
Arca leered at them but remained silent.
Columbus, on the other hand,
Was never one to lack for words.
“You know how much I depend on you, Koesan,”
he said grumpily, all the while loading bags with supplies.
“Who’s going to look after the ledgers like you do?
Who’ll harass and hound those treacherous traders out there?”
He stalled for a moment, shaking his head.
“You’re practically a daughter to me,
and children must grow up and leave someday, I s’pose. But I don’t like it.”
Koesan rolled her eyes,
Tired of Columbus’ protests and ready to be gone.
“Arca can step up in my absence, father.
He’s watched plenty. He knows the business as well as I do,
Better, even, I’d say,
And you know how good he is with numbers.”
Columbus waved a hand overdramatically.
“No, I don’t doubt the lad,”
he continued, his dexterous and aged fingers moving quickly over shelves,
finding an onion and tossing it in his satchel.
“I’m sure he’ll do great. Oscambria!”
The Hero had only been half-listening,
His mind instead occupied with fate and heavier things,
Like traveling to Feoga with Koesan.
“You best look after my girl on this quest of yours.
I know you’re going to be the ‘Hero of the Worlds’ and all,
But she’s still my baby girl,
And if anything happens to her
I’ll smash your face in with a shovel.”
The old man laughed and Arca smiled.
Koesan rolled her eyes again.
“I’d give my life to keep her safe,”
said Oscambria, unsure how to respond.
“Good. Good. That’s what I wanted to hear.
Now, let’s get your stuff loaded up and you two can be off.”
Soon, Pinta had two Taiyoda pack horses loaded with the bags.
Neither animal was majestic or made for speed,
But they would hold up well on the rough roads and trails.
Hugs were exchanged,
More warnings were given,
(“I mean it Oscambria! You take good care of her.”)
and finally the two rode out of Sparka,
the sun still high in the sky,
only partially hidden behind Gastron and Hubus.
The galleyrat was resting in a basket behind Koesan.
“Have you noticed,” asked the Hero,
partially rhetorically, partially in earnest,
“that much of this journey has been on the road?
I mean, most of my days since my exile have been spent either on the roads
Or waiting on something.
The Sisters should have made my life a bit more exciting,
Especially if I’m going to be the Hero.”
Koesan laughed. “No, I’ve not noticed,
But be careful what you ask for, Oscambria.
An uneventful journey is one absent of dangers,
Don’t you think?”
The Hero nodded, but continued.
“Yes, for true, though the actor in me
thinks only of the story that will be told.
“Generations from now,
will the bards prefer a tale of adventure and intrigue,
or one of mundane actions and wasted potential?”
“Oh, you certainly have a point there, young hero.”
She laughed again and Oscambria couldn’t help but join in.
He was slowly getting over the way she made him feel,
How she twisted his inner being into liquid knots.
The day was one of those perfect Hellanese days,
Warm but not too hot,
Breezy but not too windy.
They rode in comfortable silence
And secretive glances
Or in full-out conversation,
Complete with awkward words and tongue stumbles.
The horses were sure-footed but slow,
Yet Oscambria found that he did not mind,
For it only added time he could spend with Koesan.
“What are you supposed to retrieve for Lahk,”
she asked later,
when the two were laying on their bedrolls
and looking up at the shining planets.
Oscambria waited a bit before answering.
There was no rush,
no need for an immediate response.
“I’m not really sure.
The god said I’d recognize it.
He said it was anachronistic,
Like this tuxedo suit.”
“Anachronistic? Like, from another time?”
Mossossopia yawned and licked her lips.
“Yep. But I’m not sure from when.
Hopefully it’ll stand out.”
She breathed in deeply,
A content smile across her face.
“If it’s anything like that outfit, we’ll definitely notice it.”
Oscambria turned to look at her
And saw that her eyes were closed.
Her breathing was soft and gentle.
“Good night, Oscambria,”
she said faintly,
pulling her blanket up below her chin.
Mossossopia curled into a ball next to her.
“Good night, Koesan.
May Viis be gentle with your dreams.”
She continued to smile
And the Hero continued to watch her.
She was more beautiful than anyone he’d ever seen,
More so than even Biaut, he thought.
He smiled at his fortune.
The night wore on,
Easy and peaceful,
And all the while Oscambria lay awake.
Somewhat to stay alert in case of trouble.
Mostly to observe his sleeping angel,
Snoring quietly beside him,
And never ceasing to smile.