Dichotomy: Eighth Installment "Gavinar"
Night was falling as the three made their way towards the hall for the Spring Dance. I cant wait to get my hands on some of Bevs fresh rolls and roast mutton, Nocs said with a gleam in his eyes, and some of her pie. I just wish the berries were ripe now.
They approached the hall and were greeted by Marivon. She had changed her clothing to the dress of the Spring Mistress. Dark blue and golden silk scarves had been braided in her dark hair to represent the rain and sunshine. These scarves flowed down over a loose but fitted bodice patterned with spring green leaves on a background of light blue sky. A flowing skirt made of four individual overlapping brown silk panels hung nearly to the floor where her feet were wrapped in a tanned doeskin boot dyed to match the skirt. A black and white sash tied about her waist had the effect of connecting the different portions of the outfit into a cohesive whole.
Welcome to the Spring Dance. May your Springs be filled with new growth, your Summers be ripened with the fruits of your labor, your Autumns filled by the harvest, and your Winters safe and warm with companionship. I see, she said, turning to Trancy and giving ever so slight a bow, that you have escorted the lovely Miss Ardon with you. I do hope that you both have a wonderful time on this most festive of occasions.
See, Nocs said, She doesnt eat babies, Trance. And she even smells good! I think tha you two would make quite a pair. I mean, wha better! he smiled into the combined glare of three sets of eyeballs, A friend and companion for my best friends girl, and a lovely lady to escort me. He flourished a hand and bowed, proffering a kiss towards Marivons hand. Marivon laughed, yet managed to avoid touch of his lips by turning and raising her hand in the formal gesture to draw attention.
Throughout the Winter you have waited. Now, as the equal sun slides beyond the village and the home, come out and celebrate the birth of a new season. Come out to eat, come out to sing, come out to make merry, come out to see the Spring King. Come out and be welcomed to the Spring Dance! As Marivon finished the words of the Opening of the Spring Dance, the last bit of the setting suns red disk slipped behind the horizon.
Trancy eyed her with cool detachment, turning to Temon, she held out her arm for him to take and smiled politely as he led the way into the hall. Nocs put on his brightest, most roguish smile. Miss well, you have me at a disadvantage for the lack of a proper name, but Mistress of the Spring Dance, I would be honored, he said as he proffered an arm.
Marivon laughed, and the slightest tinge of red crept into Nocs face. deCeste. Miss Marivon deCeste. It will be a pleasure, I am very sure, she said as she took his arm and together they entered the hall.
Inside the hall was a beehive of activity. With the official opening pronounced, the villagers had queued up at tables laden with copious amounts of food. The variety was quite great considering the time of year. Amongst the mutton, venison, beef and chicken there were even some fresh vegetables from the many cloche built around the hot springs just outside the village.
The younger of the villagers were tucking in with an audible abandon by the time that Temon, Trancy, Nocs and Marivon could even get close to the table. You would think that the Spring King would merit the first plate, Temon observed as he made his way along the greatly reduced platters of meat, These young folk dont care as much about the quality of what they eat, just the quantity.
Temon, youre already getting old, and here it is just your first day as an adult, Nocs said, loading his plate high. Besides, it is tradition amongst our folk to feed the young first. I can remember fighting you for the first place in line. I just wish that we could tell Trancy what it means to be an adult. He looked pointedly at Marivon. To bad we had to promise the One Wo.
I think that what Nocs is trying to say is, Temon picked up as his normally verbose friend was reduced to choking, that
I am very well aware of what our unsubtle friend is insinuating. I think that it would be a grave breach of etiquette as a guest to be talking so publicly of what you promised to not to. There is a time and place for such discussions, and neither of them is now or here. I would like to talk of the happenings of the evening. Temon, remember above all else to keep yourself controlled.
Marivon turned to make her way to the seats reserved for the King and his entourage when, like an ice pick through the back of her skull, she felt a presence. Her vision collapsed in on itself till the whole room was as a speck in a vast field of black. She felt Gavinar. Just as the sharpness of the pain started to subside and her vision to return to its usual clarity, he was standing in front of her.
Good evening, Marivon Lavirille. Oh, excuse me. Of course, you must not go by that name any longer. Since I see you are standing in with some official capacity, may I just say, Good Welcome to the Spring Queen. And this child, he gestured towards a dumbstruck Temon, Well, I think he must be Your King. Oh. Where are my manners? This is my partner, Ajanite Kyros. I think you two have met before. No?
The smile the face of the ruggedly handsome man did not even make an attempt to approach his eyes, which were a cold slate grey and had a hardness to the muscles set about them: A hardness and a glint of malicious energy.
And to whom do we have the pleasure of speaking? said Trancy, coming out of the state of shock first. I would love to welcome you to our Spring Dance, but it is usually only for the members of the village, she said casting a glance at both Gavinar and Marivon, I know that she claims to be Marivon deCeste, but of you and your companion, I have no knowledge whatsoever.
He is Gavinar Lavirille. We were good friends, once. We studied together at the University in Ceston. What brings you and your consort to this quiet little village, Gavinar? Surely there are bigger and more grand celebrations that you could attend?
Well, I was just about to set out on a hunting trip when I heard you were in town for the Spring Dance. I would have felt remiss if I didnt drop by the dance to see how my old friend was doing. I mean really, you know how close we were. How could I pass up the opportunity to see a dear friend and enjoy the hospitality of the good people of Aberdale? Especially on one of the two tween days of the year. It was just a strange act of coincidence, I guess.
Is that snow on your boot? Nocs asked, pausing long enough in his eating to get a sentence out, I thought that the streets of town had been clear of snow for at least a week. And that looks to be fresh snow too. How odd.
Very observant children about the town, too. We came right in from a scouting trip in the mountains, he said, waving a hand as if to point the direction, There were some snow squalls today.
Ah, said Temon, They must have come from those large clouds I saw as I was entering the hall.
They must have been one and the same storm. Marivon, if you could introduce us to the town elders....
As Marivon led the pair away the two young men looked at each other and nodded,
His story is so full o holes you could walk through it withou bendin oer, Nocs said and Temon nodded in agreement. The sky has been clear as flawless window pane all day long. And it hasn snowed around ere for bout a month. Ill be bettn the closest place it could have snowed would be up around the Passage, an tha be a full days ard ride from ere.
I wish that you would make more of an attempt to sound less provincial, Nocs. Trancy stated, His story sounds plausible to me. How would you know the conditions in the mountains, anyway?
Temon. I think tha turnabou be fair play. Hows abou just slappin er up side th ead like she did you earlier? I be thinkin she needs just a touch more common sense right abou now.
Temons changed his head from a nodding to a shaking back and forth motion. That has never worked before on her. I am not about to try it now. He is right, Trancy, and you know it. I think our tall and handsome stranger has sparked some interest in you. Usually youre the one who tells me that Im being led down the path. A good looking man shows up in town, and the ladies all swoon.
Indeed, as Marivon and the pair made their way towards where Bial was standing, heads were subtly or not so subtly turned in their wake. The presence of one stranger was odd enough at the Spring Dance, let alone three, and the tongues started wagging the moment they were past.
I have a feeling that he is not all that nice. Did you hear the way that he was putting us down, talking above us, like he was the only adult in a room? He even talked to Marivon in that same tone. So superior and all. Temon looked at Trancy, and did you hear how he addressed her: Marivon Lavirille. She said that her surname was deCeste.
I find it amazing that you have the intelligence to tie your boots sometimes, Temon, Trancy said. Turning to Nocs, Give him a cipher and he will work it quicker than a tutor. But give him a question dealing with the social graces, and he will not see the answer if it is printed on the wall before him. Tuning to Temon again, she feigned to whisper, They were handfasted, or lovers at the very least. Marivon Lavirille. Gavinar Lavirille. I mean, come on. There is some history behind those two. I will have to ask him about it.
Nocs almost choked on the piece of mutton he was swallowing. Ask him? What makes you think that you could get him away from Ajanite?
Well, I am sure that he will be fawning over Marivon, she said, earning her an exasperated look from Temon, And you will therefore be trying to get Ajanite to dance with you, this was met with a bawdy grin from Nocs, So that leaves him to me.
And I suppose the rest of the young, eligible women folk of Aberdale are just going to stand aside and let you dance the night away with him? Something is just not right about him. I mean besides the fact that he seems to think that no one is worthy to walk on the same ground that he does. I actually felt ill when I was looking at him, Temon said.
Your just jealous, Temon. Serves you right, too, the way you have been behaving.
So youre trying to make up for lost time, is that it? There is something fundamentally wrong with Gavinar and I can sense it, I just cant tell you how.
Trancy, by this time was growing steadily more and more angry. Well I say youre just jealous, pure and simple. You dont want me dancing with him because youre afraid I am going to go off swooning to live with him forever and you wont get what you have been trying to all of these years. Typical male! She thrust her plate into Nocs hands and stormed into the swirling crowd.
Temon looked at Nocs. This just isnt my day.