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White Swallow

The White Swallow of Narra
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The Swallow was not quick to take the book. In fact, he kept his hands on the ground as Harun handed it to him. » I fear I cannot do a thing with it right now but search for the perfect poem. Considering the cat is laying on the scrapbook, including the parchment stuck there where it's supposed to go..«

» It's unwise to disturb a sleeping cat. «


The feline purred in response with each breath it took.
 
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Harun Ahidjar

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“Ah, further wisdom.” He looked down upon the feline with a smile before his gaze returned to his companion who had not taken the book, and was currently explaining why.

“If I may so help; or even merely peruse at your side, I would be pleased and grateful.” Harun replied softly as he laid the book upon the ground, opening it up again with care to the third page that had yet to be read.
 
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White Swallow

The White Swallow of Narra
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The swallow contemplated on simply going with the prayer, however, that might have been too obvious of a choice, too expected.

On the next page tinted with colours, blue and fragrant pinks and yellows; a horizon with stars and the teal-striped presence of Lessat behind a small orchard of trees. (Were these Sey'Kube's gardens?) . All of this was reflected in the body of water below.
The text was written in the middle in white calligraphy.

Since the book was turned his way, The White Swallow read it aloud (as it was the usually common way to read at the time, unless you really, really liked reading!).

»I am a bird of the sky,
free and without constrain,
observed by others in envy.

Yet I suffer quietly.

The sky is my prison
and the stars up above,
well beyond my reach.

They mock me.«
 
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Harun Ahidjar

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An avid reader, he himself had known little other means of reading himself; at least until he had family to share his household. His wife made it abundantly clear that he either read silently as she did, or simply read elsewhere. But bless her heart, she was patient; Harun naturally elected for the former solution.

It was a lovely piece; of different tone than the prior, though of shared theme. Symbolism of one who holds freedom and high regard, constrained by the eternal desire for more. Material desire invites misery, he mused, and the search for wealth and power a distraction for contentment. He himself had come to terms with it, eschewing desire for what could be for contentment over what was; remaining well aware that many had less than he.
 
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White Swallow

The White Swallow of Narra
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»This one has a few alternative forms, though...« he derailed, peeking over to the next few page before returning back, » It seems none are within this book. «
Musing quietly over the poem, it was clear from his eyes that...
»It is not fit for the task. «


With a swoop of Its tail, the feline rose on its legs, glancing over at some masonry nearby Harun. Its stare focused before gazing away and curling up again into a ball as if nothing had happened at all.
A ghost?
 
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Harun Ahidjar

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While curious as to why, he’d not bother to ask why the poem was of poor fit or of what qualities might be more proper. Defining these qualities could be tricky; and his company might simply recognize the proper work upon reading it. Further, distracting him while in thought would surely be impolite.

But alas, cats had no such understanding of tact. The feline provided his own distraction, eliciting a soft chuckle from Harun.

“Oh, he quite adores that book.” He quipped quietly.
 
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White Swallow

The White Swallow of Narra
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The White Swallow turned the page over, not saying anything but nodding in a slightly dissapointed manner as he eyed the cat at Harun's mention of it.

The feline this time around kept's is head afloat, staring intently at Harun's eyes and then not at him directly, but past, through him and behind him.
 
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Harun Ahidjar

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“What theme might you be seeking?” He quipped quietly, the feline's laziness causing a delay that make the inquiry seem more suitable. His gaze next met the felines for a brief moment, noting the creature's shift in attention. Harun turned his head to glance behind him to see whether the feline transferred it's attention to something imagined, or real.
 
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White Swallow

The White Swallow of Narra
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»I'm not so sure yet, « the White Swallow murmured, his eyes pointing down at the literate...
The page was...

As Harun looked away, a seeming blur, grey or white formed before him.
Speaking in a tone both quiet and deafening to one's ears.
Arsaalan's imprint. 2/3
» Listen, my friend.
Look at these empty halls.
This empty keep and its lavish gardens.
Won over in deceit and war.
Gifting them to the mystics will not win them our favour.
Even though our hearts beat the same.
Or at least did so once a time long past.


-do you suffer too?
Pain's a well-intentioned gift of god.
Everyone suffers on this mortal earth for love.
Thus I have faith.

... «

The White Swallow looked up at Harun, whose gaze caught a similar interest in him like the man got from the feline, but he saw nothing.
Curious, he spoke out again, though he realized he never got his name. » Mister? «
 
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Harun Ahidjar

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Harun had little idea what to expect when he turned his head in reaction. He had only begun to imagine that it would be nothing; but the blurry form entered his sight was a sudden correction. And it spoke to him; did his eyes and ears deceive him? Was it hallucination? He'd slept well and could not be poisoned; had yet to eat or drink since arrival. Yet unbelieving as he was, he listened to the words intently.

The voice spoke of stark disagreement of his impression of the library; speaking a tale contrary to that his companion spoke. He remained silent afterwards in shock - until the White Swallow spoke out to request his attention objectively.

But how to even explain what he had just seen and heard to one he had just met? To be earnest would make him sound crazed; even if he knew what he had heard. Yet, to say that nothing had caught his attention may make sound hardly more lucid.

“I thought I heard another speaking to me; but I am clearly mistaken.” he responded, almost believing it himself - crafted fiction seemingly more fitting of reality than the truth.

“Forgive my inattention...” He spoke; but paused, realizing he held no idea of his companion's name either.

“I realize we have yet to exchange introduction. I am Harun; of Maraan.”
 
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White Swallow

The White Swallow of Narra
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Heard who?


Maraan? Then Harun likely hung around the Westwing Library. The place was subject to a lot of books acquired from the whole wide world and most travelers knew they could get a good price on a common booklett if it were from far away enough. Truly, a position of envy for any scholar of Amol-Kalit.
Shame he had to pay visit to King Nagendra last time he's been there than page through that place.
»Well met then, I answer to no name but 'White Swallow', «
 
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Harun Ahidjar

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A favoured location and a wealth of knowledge. By his good fortune to be raised there; such diversity in literary collection was a powerful spark that set alight his passion for reading. Were he anywhere else but Maraan, he might not have discovered his calling as scribe at an age of such youth.

Harun gave a slow, subtle head-shake, as it to convince himself of his own explanation. He gave a glance to the cat; it had heard it too, had it not? But the White Swallow – by all appearances and reaction, didn't. After shaking the lingering quizzical doubt on his expression, he gave his reply.

“A pleasure to meet you; and my gratitude for your hospitality. ” He inquired, taking note of the head wear that covered all but his eyes. Harun couldn't help but wonder why; perhaps he was publishing material that could get him in trouble? He mused over his false assumption, curious as to what such a rebellious author might write.

"But; A pseudonym? Are you an author then?"
He inquired next, his tone pleasant and hopeful.
 
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White Swallow

The White Swallow of Narra
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The feline purred loudly, nodding it's head once as Harun graced it with his gaze.


The White Swallow quietly mused over the page featuring a pomegranate tree. It was a long poem and he realized, he probably should read it again, given Harun's attention drifted elsewhere.
»Likewise, I am glad to meet you. But...No, I'm just a soldier. Always have been, always will be.«
»We are expected to study vigorously, for it's not enough to merely be sound of body, but also mind.«
 
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Harun Ahidjar

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A soldier then, something that White Swallow hinted at, yet Harun would have hardly guessed. White Swallow didn't behave like most soldiers he knew; an often inebriated and unruly sort. For a moment, he wondered with curiosity as to what sort of soldier might need a disguise at all; perhaps an assassin? Or perhaps it was simply benign cultural garb, though he couldn't recall seeing any others dressed as he was.

“Just a soldier? It takes all kinds to turn the millstone of the world.”
He spoke humbly yet directly. Perhaps many others in Marann might judge one based on profession or stature; Harun cared little for the notion.

“I'd be inclined to agree, though I know nothing of the warrior's way. But it is a sound mind that drives the body.”
He mused aloud with solemn agreement.

“But if I may; could I re-read that poem?” he inquired shortly after.
 
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White Swallow

The White Swallow of Narra
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Harun Ahidjar

»Not so uncommon in the Shtakmat state to live as such,« The White Swallow quietly huffed out, rotating the page book towards him.

The page as it followed, illustrated in a bleeding fruit(or apple) of paradise tree (which are a local kind of pomegranates, which fruit, as the name describes, bleed red when broken open.).

Around the tree are written lines of the following poem.

Tell my child, my bleeding fruit of paradise,
what is in your name?
My name is that of paradise,
a gift from elders to their young.
Yet I have I faith.

Tell my child, my bleeding fruit of paradise,
where your mother stands?
She's the earth,
harrowed and trod upon a thousand times by sooldier's feet.
Yet I have faith.

Tell my child, my bleeding fruit of paradise,
where your father stands?
He's the river Sehrood,
red from blood of war.
Yet I have faith.

Tell my child, my bleeding fruit of paradise,
where is Kalik?
He is nowhere and not nowhere,
with us always.
Yet I have faith.

Tell my child, my bleeding fruit of paradise,
what does war not end?
War ruins many things,
but not those of strong resolve.
Yet I have faith.

My child of paradise, do you suffer too?
Pain is a gift of Kalik to us.
Everyone suffers so we can live in love.
I have faith.
 
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Harun Ahidjar

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Harun was no warrior, most warfare he knew of was the result of petty squabbles. Whatever the given reason for war, he held that true motives were usually that of greed, often thinly veiled at best. The soldiers he knew back home themselves were often motivated more by beer and money than loyalty, he mused. Truly by his good fortune that he had made his living as a scribe; one of many he remained thankful for.

The poem had a beautiful structure to it. Inquiry, reflection and a conclusion of resolve. Soon after the first stanza was spoken the topic turned to war, and Harun expected words praising it. The tone of the topic however, was hardly glorious. He’d ponder why such a people would need so many to be warriors; but only briefly. He recalled the trials and difficulties. The knowledge provided both the answer to his own question, and the wisdom not to naively inquire.

“It is a moving poem, of strength and reflection. Melancholy, yet encouraging.” He spoke upon it’s conclusion. The poem had contained more on Kalik; and like before, He was to be praised, but were not all gods? The six plied them with magic, power and serene afterlife. Kalik offered none of these, yet his words were of care and guidance.

Naturally then, the ever curious Harun wondered why He would be of different nature in the first place. Though open minded as always, he had to admit the scripture was posing a convincing argument. A novel passion was behind these words like nothing he had heard before. The day was one of true discovery just as he had hoped; yet another good fortune to count.

And to think; had waited to eat, he might have missed the opportunity White Swallow blessed him with. He made the right decision, his mind mused, while his stomach rumbled in disagreement.
 
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White Swallow

The White Swallow of Narra
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»I am personally not as keen of repetitive poems. « He admitted, motioning with his hand to Harun to turn the page.
But, after a little bit...
»Though it seems like you are pining for a break, literature can wait, the body is only temporary.«.
 
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Harun Ahidjar

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He let out a chuckle at the response. He could empathize with it; he recalled being far more particular about literature in his youth than he was now. Perhaps a yearning for wisdom and understanding silenced his inner critic in his later years; or perhaps age had simply softened his judgment.

“Ah, but I find intrigue in the structure. Much in life is repetitive, yet each day remains different. Perhaps it renders the poem less dynamic, but the literary tool is useful. I find it well suited and well chosen here.” he concluded. Though the ornate book had already primed himself to think of the works in such a way. Harun was fascinated not just by what was written, but why writers chose to state things in the manner they did. Even the most innocuous of choices carry reason, and he regarded poetry by its format as much as he did its content.

He was quite pleased with the reward that his travels had taken him to. White Swallow suggested a break; a notion his rumbling stomach could well agree with.

“Well spoken. My mind has been fed today, now it is my stomach’s turn. Apt time for a meal and beer.” he replied with nonchalance; although he fell silent soon after completing his sentence and recalling that there would be no beer here.

“...Or water; that would be wonderful too.” He sheepishly corrected himself.