Here it is, part three in Kowan’s story. Tune in every Wednesday for the new addition to the Gelder Shorts miniseries!
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Kowan’s Anger: Part Three
“Your mind is troubled, Kowan. It is making it only too easy to best you.” The mocking words of Etan flow over me as I am knocked to the ground once again. “What good is sparring with you if all I am accomplishing is watching you relax on the mat?”
“Oh, shove off Air Master,” I growl to the overly joyous infer. Those warriors who are gifted in caeli always seem to be so deimed cheerful. It is beyond irritating.
“Now Kowan, do not let anger consume you. I can sense the battle that rages inside you relentlessly. Always plaguing you and harming you. It has been this way for far too many years.” Etan’s tone turns on a dime and becomes as serious as an Erain attack. “The anger has served you well in the past, you channeled it and became one of the strongest warriors I have ever known. One I am proud to serve with. But now? You are no longer the master of your anger, your anger is the master of you.”
Etan reaches down to lift me from the mat, but I shrug him off and stand on my own. Shifting slightly to put some distance between us. I am not interested in the slightest to hear what he has to say. Mostly because I know he speaks the truth. After all these years, I would have thought that the anger would have left me, but instead, it has only grown.
Etan closes the distance that I have put between us, refusing to let me wallow in my self-loathing again. “What fuels this anger, Kowan? Let me help, you know it is a gift of the caeli line, to spread joy. Let me shine light into your darkness and abolish this rage once and for all.”
I study the warrior before me. “How could you hope to do that? You are so deim happy, you always have, what do you know of anger and pain?” I ask him, scorn dripping from my words.
If I was not a male whose battle instincts have been honed over centuries of bloody wars, I might have missed the subtle signs of how my words pained Etan. His face pales just barely, his eyes dull minutely, and the skin around his mouth tightens ever so slightly.
“Never speak to me about loss and pain again, your ignorance is no excuse. I know not of what caused your pain, and you definitely do not know of mine.” Never in all of the never ending years that I have known Etan, have I ever heard his words be so cold and hard.
Whatever secrets his past holds, he has kept them well guarded. “My apologies, you are right. It is not my place to assume you have no troubles.” Etan gives me a stiff nod. “But I do not have pain, only anger.”
“Anger would have left you long ago, this is pain. Your soul is bleeding, and you do not know how to stem the flow. I could help you if you only would let me.”
“I have no need, Etan.” I cannot bring myself to speak about Sylva and what she did to me. No one knows what actually happened between us, and I would like to keep it that way. I hate her for what she did to me. Yet I still cannot stop my love for her.
She turned me resentful to all females, and that is a crime I cannot forgive. She forever has sentenced me to a life alone, because I cannot open myself to love another. I loved Sylva, and I still do. But I hate her too, and this paradox is what plagues me. I cannot reconcile the female I loved and respected, to the cold hurtful infer who shredded my heart.
“Fine, if you do not wish to discuss your pain, what do you think of the divide between our dear King and Queen?” Etan asks me, and I am thankful for the distraction.
“Yes, the discord between the two is implanting tension throughout the entire ship. Danion has never been so livid, and Eleanor seems reserved as well.” I murmur.
Eleanor is an enigma. I can sense nothing but goodness in her, and the only time that my all-consuming rage seems to pause is when I am in her presence. She is a female, but I can find no reason not to trust her. And yet, the day after the joining ceremony with our King, she has spurned him. Thus causing him great pain.
Maybe she is just as conniving as Sylva is, “Why do you think she is doing this to Danion? Do you believe she is truly so concerned about Arsenio receiving a punishment that he deserves?” I ask Etan, as we both begin returning the scimaar’s we were training with to their rightful places in the hooks that line the walls.
“No, I do not think that is the true issue. I think that our Queen is struggling internally, her soul is crying out so loudly that I can actually feel her pain when I am near her. She is scrambling to find a place here in our world, and Arsenio reached out to her in friendship. I believe that to her, he does not deserve to be punished. And after a lifetime of being unfairly punished, she is loath to sit back and see it happen to another.”
His words seem to resonate inside me, the truth of those words grip me. Eleanor has been punished more than anyone ever should in their lifetime. To her, Arsenio’s transgression would seem minor, since she is unaware of the complexity of the mating bond.
“I agree, Etan. It seems opposite of her nature to cause anyone pain on purpose, especially her mate.” I nod to him, “It makes me very glad that I do not have a mate. And hopefully, I never will.” I mutter to myself. After Sylva, I have no desire to share my eternity with anyone else ever again.
“I agree, a mate can bring eternal pain and suffering if the bond is one-sided. It is a fate that no one should endure unless the bond will be fulfilled.” Etan’s response floors me.
I stare at him in surprise, so beyond confused at him. “You do not desire a mate?” Aside from me, I thought all warriors were anxious to bond.
Etan seems to stare at me in contemplation, “No. I am content where I am in life. Duty and honor are all I require to sustain myself for all the years ahead.”
Something in his speech seems off to me. Something I cannot identify, but it is as if he is hiding something. But it is not my place to pry since I have no intention of sharing my burden with him.
“Do you think the King will ever mend this rift between them? Will Eleanor ever accept him, or will he be locked into this eternity of suffering?” I ask Etan carefully. My fear for my King is great, but I also find I am concerned about Eleanor as well. I would not like to see her harmed in any way, even from Danion.
“Yes, once Eleanor heals internally she will be open to her mate. Danion will be happy soon. More than any of us, if I had to guess.”
It would not take much to have him be happier than me, I am so lost to my own despair. But Danion and Eleanor have a shot at true unfettered happiness, and I hope they find it. Who knows, maybe one day I can finally find a way to let go of my own anger and find some modicum of happiness again.
Once the equipment has all been returned to the hooks on the walls that surround the mats, Etan and I leave the sparring room together in silence. With a smile and a wave, Etan turns and walks down the corridor opposite me. Whistling as he goes even.
By all appearances, he has not a care in the world, but as I have found out today, he merely hides his despair better than I do. We both are suffering. I turn away, off to search for Eleanor, it is my turn to stand guard over her. Even if it wasn’t, I would still search for her. Her calming presence is something I desperately need now. The anger seems to grow worse by the day.
Hopefully, I can find a way to end this soon, I am not sure how much longer I can go on like this.