Chapter 6: The Gathering Of Forces
Copyright© 2015 by Allan Kindred
Be it not the hero who wins wars
But the common man
Who fights with his heart
And for his home
Rax has safely led the villagers and Emma to the prince's kingdom. Emma is saddened from having to leave her home. The only home she has ever known. She worries, as Allan will come to find out many years later, herself sick over the thought of him going into danger. Emma loves Allan greatly for who he is, she is at last free to be herself, but truthfully, she didn't fully understand who he is until this war arose and she is now apart of his life.
To keep her heart and mind busy during the trip to the next kingdom, she grills Rax with questions about him. She learns more about Allan in those few days talking with Rax than all the days they have spent with each other.
"Rax, do you think Allan will be all right? I fear our wedding day will come and go and I will never see him again," she says, with tears in her eyes.
"Do not worry yourself over that man, my child. Allan is a legendary warrior and has fought in many campaigns in which he has gained the gratitude of many. If he sends out the call many will come to our aid. Your homeland may be saved yet, young one." Rax replies in his deep bovine voice version of common, never taking his eyes off the skyline.
"Yes, young one."
"Who is Allan?"
Now Rax takes his eyes from his vigilant watch and says, "Allan is of the Rock Clan."
"What does that mean? Does that mean where he's from or something more?"
"You have never heard of the Rock Clan?"
"No." Emma replies a little ashamed.
"You have led a sheltered life indeed, pretty one, but it is of no matter. There are many who have not. Ones who come from the Rock Clan are often quiet and modest and will not boast of the deeds they have done for this world over the generations. Even the dragons hold them in the greatest of regard. For many moons has the Rock Clan left their kingdom of Scotland, which is part of the Isle of Tera, and traveled throughout the world to fight injustice and fear. Long has the different races of our world looked upon each other as infestations rather than gifts. The Rock Clan has always welcomed all openly, and has no doubt prevented many wars.
"Allan and his brother Stephen have taken that even further, and has created strong ties between many groups of the races. Long has Allan and Stephen fought to show the world that it is not supposed to be race against race, neighbor against neighbor, but united in the effort to eliminate the Sad Way."
"Allan has a brother?"
"Stephen, yes, he is a great wizard. Perhaps the greatest the world has ever known. The dragons, who have strong magic, respect and fear him, though there is no need for fear for Stephen, like Allan, holds dragonkind in awe."
"How do you spell his name?"
"Well, young one, Allan is right, you are curious about a great many things. A trait Allan holds dearly. No wonder he loves you." Emma smiles. "You spell it S t e p h e n."
"So even though it is pronounced with a v it is spelled with a p h."
"Yes, young one."
"There is so much about Allan that I do not know." Emma says almost sadly.
"Allan has never been one to talk about his exploits. But do not worry, little one, I have never seen Allan as he is with you. From what I know of my brother, you will have many years to get to know him."
Emma smiles at that, but whispers under her breath, "But what if he doesn't come back?"
"Rax, you speak of Allan and his brother Stephen being your brothers, and Allan says that about you as well, why?"
"There are many observant people in this world of Serene that understand to do nothing only allows for the Sad Way to assert itself. So long ago, a kindred spirit group of people from almost all the races came together and vowed to stand against the injustices an often cold and cruel world bring about."
"What is the name of your group?"
"Sorry, young one, it is not be my place to say, and plus, it is a secret society. I will say this, often members have a specific driven agenda that shows their mettle and heart. For Allan it is equal rights for girls and women. As Allan says, 'Who in their right mind would want to suppress the beauty of girls and women? Who would want to stop them from wearing adorable and pretty clothes, and stopping them from reaching their limitless abilities?' Above all else, Allan's courage and greatness allows people the chance to live free. After that it is up to them."
"Yeah, Allan surely does like it when I wear pretty clothes, and when I am around him ... there is just something about him. It is like all the badness in the world fades away when he is near. My fear of the proverbial darkness no longer exists. The most amazing thing is he seems the happiest when I am happy. When I do something what my mother would call improper for a lady, in Allan's eyes all I see is pride and love. I love him so much, Rax, I need him to return to me."
"Allan's efforts to make the world better through girl power is legendary. Allan believes that the beauty of woman, and the strength that lies within, is the best hope for a positive world. From an early age, Allan understood that pretty sweet-hearted girls are the best hope for a better world."
"Do you know why Allan chose that as his destiny?"
"Maybe it was his strong mother, but it began in earnest when he was seventeen. He was on his way to train with us minotaurs, and saved a woman from being raped. Her name was Trinity and..."
"Trinity? When I was about fourteen a woman named Trinity came through our village, and she was so beautiful and tough. That is when I realized the world has more opportunities for girls than I can find in my farming village. She was dressed so pretty, also. At that point I knew I could be more."
"Yes, if it is the same Trinity, she is a majestic woman with a good heart. She has red hair and green eyes."
"Wow, I think it was the same woman."
"Yes, young one, at every chance the universe tries to show us that all things are connected, and if one thing is negatively affected, all things are. Anyway, Allan saved her, and just before he killed her attacker the man told Allan, 'What does she expect, dressing like that.' It was after that when Allan began his quest. To make the world safer for girls and women to dress prettily, which in turn would bring about peace through beauty.
"Emma, have you noticed that in the last ten years or so little girls and women have been able to wear prettier, more practical clothing. Allan was nineteen, and he was well on his way to being the great warrior he is today, when he called for a world summit. The world leaders didn't know who this upstart was, but they knew he was from the Rock Clan, and by then he was brought into the society by me, so the world leaders came together and he told them the world had to change so women could be safe to be who they want to be, and to reach their endless abilities.
"There were some leaders that baulked at the idea, but Allan's drive even back then was scary and legendary. He told them that they were being selfish, keeping their girls beauty locked up, and they were spreading the Sad Way by suppressing the endless spirit and ability of girls and women. The unprecedented world summit lasted for almost two weeks, and by the end of it all the world leaders signed a document known as the "Peace Through Beauty Pact." Every since the treaty was signed, Allan has been travels the world enforcing that document, and the right for girls and women to express their beauty, and to help them reach their limitless abilities. Or as Allan would say, 'I don't help them reach their limits, I just make sure nobody stops them from being all they want to be'."
"Wow! I guess my future husband is amazing. Also it makes sense, because having the dress hemline and sleeves shorter makes it much more practical to work in, and being able to wear riding pants instead of riding sidesaddle made life a million times better."
"Ah, one of Allan's very points. Your husband is a great man, young one."
"You know, Rax, Allan taught me how to use a bow. He even bought me my own. He taught me how to hunt, and we actually got a deer. He showed me a few things with the sword, too, but his sword was really heavy, so he said when we get near a friend of his name Braun, or something like that, he will have his friend make me a sword just for me with a tanto blade, because I guess they are lighter. Do you believe that, Rax, even though I am just a girl, Allan is going to get me a sword and teach me how to use it."
"I do, young one, but do not let Allan hear you say you are just a girl. He will not be pleased."
"Oh my goodness! I just echoed my mom. Rax, I do not want to live my life without Allan."