CHAPTER FIVE: VOWS
Three days droned past after Ianus had talked to Aashen about the Valkyrie. Each
day was the same, wandering aimlessly around the temple grounds, avoiding everyone,
especially Daru. He ground his teeth every time he thought about his father. Had he
really bought a ship called the Valkyrie on purpose, or was it merely a coincidence? Had
Ihy set him up? The fact that he had not shared the details of his first vision with anyone
helped him calm down a little, but he still wanted someone to fight. It was easier to be
angry, but it was ridiculous to blame Ihy for the name of the ship. After all, Ihy would
never resort to sheer terror to teach him a lesson, would he?
Confusion filled his life. What would he do if something happened to his second
father? ‘No,’ he decided, ‘I must not let anything happen! But what could I do to keep
him from his fate?’
Ianus knew Ihy had been spending nearly all his free time down at the beach
tinkering with his new ship. If he was going to do anything he was going to have to get
over his anxiety about that ship. After making his way down the hillside, he stopped to
stare at the haunting vessel. A strange feeling welled up in the pit of his stomach.
His vision twisted and blurred as his prescient gift forced itself upon him.
Steadying his legs, he blinked his eyes rapidly. He reached up and rubbed his eyes. ‘Not
now,’ he thought, ‘I don’t need this now!’ He swayed and moaned. Nothing was
working. The portentous fog clouded his eyes. “Go away!” Ianus shouted to no effect.
“What?” Tuun’s voice echoed in his ears, “Why? What have I done?”
“Tuun? Is that really you?”
“Of course it’s really me! What’s the matter with… Oh! You’re suffering a
vision!” Tuun said, taking Ianus’ hand, “Just take a deep breath, Breathe… That’s
right… relax. Pray.”
“O Holy Mother,” Ianus panted, “Protect us all from evil, stand guard at the gates
of our cities, and in the temples of our hearts. Pray for us Holy Mother, now and at the
hour of our death.”
“You are devoted to Uma Nari?” Tuun said with surprise in his voice, “Good
then, pray to the mother of our Lord. Just relax and pray.”
Ianus’ head began to clear; tears ran down his tired face. “Thank you,” he said
catching his breath, “Thank you very much. How did you know what to do?”
“I… ” Tuun’s smile melted away, replaced by his usual straight face, “I used to be
an Augur.” Tuun walked off toward the Valkyrie.
“Used to be an Augur?” Ianus ran after him, “What do you mean you used to be
Tuun opened the door, and with a heavy sigh, he walked through the docking
hatch and down the corridors through the ship. “I lost my gift.”