|Promise, Wisdom, and Meg
Author: Gypsy Pen PM
Complete. Meg is more than just a princess, she was born with the power to heal. So when a war breaks out in her kingdom Meg leaves her castle to fight with the men of her land. She may be good with a sword but will it be enough to save her kingdom or win her love?Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Spiritual/Adventure - Chapters: 30 - Words: 69,686 - Favs: 1 - Updated: 10-17-12 - Published: 05-26-11 - Status: Complete - id: 2918030
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The villagers watched the stranger form at the horizon and make its way closer to their homes. The children and women were sent indoors and the men gathered their weapons and stood guard. They watched the dust rise and knew the stranger was on horseback; a horse made it very likely the stranger was a soldier. The men drew their swords and watched carefully for more horses to appear, fearing a battle.
The time that passed while awaiting the stranger's arrival were slow ones, but the villagers became more at ease when no other horses followed the lone rider that slowly made its way toward them. That didn't mean there were not more awaiting them, but if one was coming to talk to them first they had a chance to avoid battle. Finally the rider came into a clearer view and the men realized the rider had a braid hanging over their shoulder, and from the way they were slumped over the horse the warrior was injured. The leader of the town rushed to the rider but stopped dead in his tracks when he saw the rider's face had soft features and full lips, the only thing manly about her was the clothing hanging off of her.
"Pray, I am looking for a place to rest." She croaked with a dry voice, slowing her sweating horse.
"Yer a fighter miss?" The man looked to where her hand covered a wound but his eyes turned dubious when he looked back into her gentle face. The horse finally came to a stop in front of the villager. He looked into her pale face and noticed the smear of blood on her cheek, standing out in vibrant color. Her green eyes bore into him with fire.
"I need a doctor," she said sternly, letting her sword and injury be enough proof to answer his question.
"We got one, climb off yer beast and I'll take ye there." With a grunt of pain she swung off her horse. Her left arm was pressed to her side and she walked with a limp. Even with her obvious weakness she held herself in a way that showed she was a woman of power and would not be afraid to use that power for whatever purpose she felt worthy. The men's clothing was far too large for her and well worn but it did nothing to hide her beauty from the strangers. Some of the remaining men gasped at her strange beauty, rendered motionless by her exotic sight. One man noticed her wounds and ran ahead to fetch the apothecary. The warrior's horse followed her and another man asked if the horse needed water. The warrior nodded and trusted the man with her animal companion. A quick glance around the village showed eyes peaking at her from windows, small eyes of children followed her curiously, excitement already taking their minds to the battle she could have just come from.
A fighter was in their town! The same apothecary that healed their illnesses was going to take care of a warrior!
The apothecary led the woman into his house and laid her on a bed, cringing when he saw the stain of blood after he lifted her shirt. The bottom had been ripped off and she had used it as a bandage.
"Sword wound," she said as he began to unwrap her makeshift bandage. "I already cleaned it but it needs re-dressing and I could not get the bandage tight enough myself." She sat up without being asked so he could get it off and examine the wound. "If you'll give me a place to sleep for the night I'll be on my way in the morning. I've had a tiring ride and my horse could also use some peaceful rest."
The apothecary was surprised at how well she had wrapped the wound but he examined the gash closely, looking for farther damage caused by the deep cut. Blood began to spill from her side and the man swallowed hard, amazed that she had survived such and attack; he had seen many men die from less. He quickly applied alms and re-dressed the wound as she had requested.
"Of course you may lay your head here for the night, and longer if ye need."
"I'll get 'er in the stables. You rest. Dinner 'il be soon if I know me wife."
"I thank you," the warrior rested her head back and drifted to sleep; grabbing the relief the darkness gave with both hands.
Outside the women ventured from their cottages to enquire after the men what they had seen. They asked about the women with the braid while the children rushed to the stable to see her horse. Gossip spread quickly about the war and if their small village would soon be claimed with battle. A harmed warrior meant a battle had taken place near by. Battles meant bloodshed and that meant the need for more men to sacrifice their lives to save their country. Many women rushed to their church building to light a candle for their fathers, husbands, and sons. No one cared about the significance of a female warrior, that was her business, not theirs.
An hour later the children were back to work at the stables or farmland, though they still whispered about the lady warrior and her mare, both quite unusual. The girls made up romantic stories about the newcomer while the boys played out battles they imagined her fighting. The women where inside to prepare meals for their family and men had returned to their own work, many thinking of the prospects of trade the stranger may have brought them and the threat of battle her presence also left.
Meanwhile the apothecary made his way to the room he had left the woman in, and ventured to wake her dinner. The moment he stepped inside however her eyes shot open and she gripped her side for her sword. When she felt it was not there she rolled off the bed and crouched on the floor, ready to attack.
The man was less surprised by her reaction then the fact she did not scream in pain at her actions, he could find not trace of emotion on her face. She immediately recognized him and stood, "pray, where has my weaponry gone?" The warrior disappeared from her eyes and she returned to a perfect lady.
"I gave it to the blacksmith to sharpen and clean for you." She gave a small bow of her head in a silent 'thank you'. "Dinner is ready and I thought you might enjoy a hot meal." He gave no professional advice about being still and watching herself and the warrior appreciated it.
"Yes sir, I would," she followed him out of the room and into the kitchen where she found a lovely lady setting the table with warm rolls and steaming porridge.
"How are ye feeling my dear?" she asked kindly.
"Quite well, I thank you for your hospitality; providing me not only with a bed but a chair at your table." The woman smiled and waved the comment away. The warrior decided she liked both husband and wife.
"Your horse has been washed and fed and is now resting in the stable," the man offered. The warrior bowed her head in a polite 'thank you' once more.
"This is my wife Hannah, and I am William." He introduced as they sat.
"May I inquire after your place of birth? Both you and your wife speak as though you are from noble blood."
"As do you miss," William added in good humor, "I was born of noble blood and studied to become a doctor. I went to town to inquire after the sick and came upon Hannah's father. I fell in love with Hannah and left my family to marry her." He looked to his wife with fondness, making her blush. "We both took a bit of each other's speech."
"I must say it has a very charming effect." The warrior offered, sipping at her porridge and grinning in appreciation. "This food is very good, thank you again."
"I'm glad ye enjoy it. Would ye mind if I asked your name?"
"Pray forgive my manners! My name is Meg."
After dinner was complete Meg helped Hannah with cleaning despite the woman's attempts to beg her off and send her to bed. William seemed to watch with amusement but Meg caught sadness deep within his gaze.
After Hannah retired that night Meg made a plan to visit her horse before she left her to rest, so as to be prepared to ride at dawn. When she left her room however she found William sitting at the table, staring out of the darkened window, the same sadness flooding his eyes.
"Would it be out of place to inquire what is wrong? You have done so much to help me; I would like to do the same for you."
He started and turned to her quickly, "how are you so quiet?"
"It is a skill you must learn if you are to be a fighter with the hope of survival."
"Yes… why are you a warrior?" He gave her his full attention and added, "You inquired after my own birth right, but you speak and hold yourself in the same way. You are of noble blood. Not only is it against the rules for women to fight, but one of noble blood should be-"
"Yes it is, and I am born of royal blood, which makes my lifestyle impossible as I am sure you are aware," He nodded but she did not pay heed, "I however was born with warrior's blood. My family could do nothing about it. Fate gave me the curse of a warrior's life despite my royal blood."
"It is an old tale that when a great battle rises God grants one person to bare the blood that would give strength to the side of good. The one with this blood would be great in battle and have the power to help their people and give them new life. So you see I was born to bring us out of this war, my family had no choice but to trust in God and let me go. And now I must go and check on my horse."
"May I accompany you on your walk? I can show you the way." Meg nodded and the two made their way to the stables. Meg however automatically started toward the stable, following her instincts in the right direction, leaving William to follow.
"My worry lies with my dear Hannah." William returned to Meg's question after a long silence. Meg found her horse and patted her nose fondly, her ears waiting for William to continue.
"She is sick with an illness I cannot heal. I have seen it before and I know it will take her life. I cannot bear to lose her…"
"You are a man of little faith William." Meg said sternly. "I will go to Hannah tonight and I assure you she will be healed."
"But… how?" William asked, looking at her curiously. Meg said nothing more and gave her attention to her lone companion.
Knowing that the warrior would not answer his question he asked another, "what is your horse's name?" He looked from the startling white horse to the startling beautiful woman. "Her name is Promise."
"I heard gossip that the battles will travel here… is that true?"
"No, the battles will not make their way here; they are traveling in the other direction." Something flashed in her eyes as she silently nuzzled her horse. "I would still keep your ears to the ground however, just because the battles are going the other way does not mean stray soldiers will not come here and cause problems… Come, we must retire. I have given you and Hannah a promise I must keep."
When they returned to the apothecary's cottage Meg demanded a dagger from him.
"What for?" He looked startled and worried that he had made a mistake in trusting this woman.
"I will need to draw blood from your wife if she is to be healed." He seemed alarmed by this but retrieved his dagger.
"Will it hurt her?"
"I am to draw blood, of course it will hurt, but the pain will not last long." She answered simply. Meg went to Hannah's bedside and sat in the spot William usually slept.
"Do you need a bandage?"
"No, it will heal on its own," without another word she took the dagger and made a cut into her own palm.
"What…?" Meg quieted him and took Hannah's hand and gave her a similar cut. Hannah woke with surprise but Meg gripped her bloodied hand with her own. Hannah instantly calmed and gave a small smile. She slowly closed her eyes and laid her head back; falling to the rest she had been pulled from.
Meg let her hand go and William started at what he saw. Both of their hands healed and the blood was gone.
"What did you do?"
"My blood given in sacrifice can heal. When I wake in the morning my own wound will be healed." She answered, nodding down at her side. "I am sure you wondered why I was not killed by the wound I bare." He nodded silently. "My strange powers to heal were another reason my family was forced to let me leave my household."