Chapter 8 | The Duty of a Seed
Tyna struggled to sleep on one layer of fabric over the hard ground. Plus, Elder Monik's storytime had gotten to her as it was a departure from the teachings of the Temple.
Yet, she was convinced that it may hold some truth which is what made her even more restless.
She shimmied her torso upright, rustling the fabric against the grass as she did. From the corner of her eyes, she could easily spot the girl named Asena. The green hair appeared to be glowing in the dark.
Asena felt the eyes of the Seed boring a hole in her back, but she didn't give attention to it. Little did she know, Tyna was struggling to approach her.
"Lady Tyna, you should sleep. The journey in a few hours may prove to be arduous for you."
The knight-errant she'd shouted at was quite concerned about her. He gravitated around her the entire day, serving her even though he was not her Gärd.
"What... can I eat?"
"We had made stew. We can heat a bowl if you'd like."
"Thank you... your name?"
"It's hardly the time to eat, Lady Tyna, Sir Bolk."
Bridgette was sitting against a wall with her eyes shut tight.
"Dame Bridgette, my lady."
Tyna effectively shut her mouth in confusion.
"It's Dame, my lady."
"I don't understand."
"I'd like it if you called me by my title."
"What for? It's just another way to say knighthood, right? My Gärds never complained."
"Out of respect, my lady."
Tyna snapped, "fine. Dame Bridgette. I'd like to have a bowl of stew."
"As I said, my lady, it is not the time to eat. It's a time for rest. Breakfast will be served in a few hours."
"Well, I'm hungry now."
Tyna's voice was just above a whisper, causing those around her to stir in their sleep.
"We will not light a fire for one bowl of stew."
Bridgette opened her eyes and waved off Myron, who hesitantly started walking away. She inched close to Tyna, one knee to the ground.
"I suggest that the lady try hard to get some shut-eye, as we all deserve the rest."
Tyna clicked her tongue.
She was hungry; what could she do about that? Letting out a huff, she stalked out of the structure.
Bridgette sighed, rolled her eyes, and went back to her half-sleep state.
"Will you not follow after her?" Asena whispered, surprising Bridgette.
"No, my lady."
"Are you not her temporary Gärd?"
"And what is a Gärd but a babysitter?"
Asena pondered about that. She didn't know that was the job of a Gärd. The books had said they were personal knights of the Seed. It's supposed to be an honor.
Then again, the residential Seed of Damyanov never had a single Gärd as far as she remembered. Maybe, they weren’t as necessary as the Lucian Temple say they are.
Asena was quick to be convinced and left the nonissue at that.
"Lady Tyna," Rusen greeted the Seed with utmost reverence, "are you in need of anything?"
"Stew. Oh! And a bed."
Letting out an audible "huh", Rusen wasn't sure how to respond without a drip of sarcasm. Instead, he remained quiet for a moment.
"So?" She asked, impatiently.
He brought a hand to the back of his head and started to bow.
"If you're alright with cold stew–"
"Warm it up."
She expected him to do so. As respectful as he has been, she was sure that he'd give her what she wanted.
He pressed his lips together.
"The Lord has instructed that a fire not be lit until the light shines upon us."
"Then let there be light!"
Tyna grinned and danced her fingers in the air. Little sparkles of light fizzled from the tips of her fingers, lingering around them.
The small sparks were enough to bring light around the pit.
The night was dark. It was always, as far as they all knew, blindingly void of light which made places like Hallerbos even more of a phenomenon. Night in the forest was purple and figures could be seen with the naked eye.
Though the small sparks were not enough to mimic daylight, it was enough to worry Rusen. The forest was already cast in light in comparison to its surroundings. The small sparks would make them a bigger target.
Waving his hand, the sparks rose high up into the sky.
"Why did you do that?"
"I'm well aware that you are not knowledgable of the world outside of the Temple, Lady Tyna. So, I will inform you as best as I can.
The lord's command is final here. No light shall be made after the last spark of the fire has been put out. Be it another fire or any other.
You endanger us by breaking the lord's command, my lady. Understand that we do not have the same luxuries as we had just yesterday."
"It's just a bit of light."
Rusen crouched to pick up a stone and started to stack them.
"A bit of light. A bit of sound. A bit of a smell. These bits add up and make us easy targets to the creatures of the night."
Creatures of the night, Tyna had heard of them but never seen any apart from the tamed. The Temple never let any Seed out at night. Also, she'd never been curious enough to go looking. Through Rusen's warning, she could tell that he's seen them and the dangers they may bring.
"Then a bed." She settled for the next thing on her list. "If I can't eat, give me a bed to sleep on."
The stew was a funny request. The bed was a ridiculous one.
A steady heavy sigh came from the bottom of Rusen's stomach. Ruffling his hair a bit, he directed Tyna just outside the lord's structure.
"The lord sleeps on a bed of grass. His aides sleep in the same manner. The youngest of the children sleeps on the lap of a guardian and that guardian sleeps sitting up. We are all without a bed."
Tyna squeezed her hands into a fist. She did understand all of this, but she was still a Seed. They should've made accommodations for her. That's what the Temple always did, what her Gärds had done before.
"A room will be prepared for you once we arrive at Haerford Castle. Endure only a few more days, my lady."
"A few!" Her voice echoed across the forest.
Rusen cupped a hand to her mouth, shushing her to focus his energy on the surrounding area.
Aleksi opened an eye and waited for Rusen's shoulders to slacken before returning to his slumber.
"Rest. As best as you can, my lady. As best you can."
Tyna huffed and stomped her feet lightly on the grass and flowers as she made her way back to her sleeping area.
"I made the grass fluffier," Myron pointed to the patch where Tyna's fabric lay. "Will that be better?"
"Yes!" Tyna said gleefully. "Very much so!"