Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Point of Honor.

Episode for Feb 14, 2005, Monday. Ravenum took hold of his son’s hand. “Now that you have accepted what you really are, you must lay aside all that you have known in your former life. Forget everything and everyone you have loved.” The Ravena prince hesitated and made no reply. “I can see that you are having second thoughts,” said the father. “It is not easy to forsake what you have gotten used to. But I will show you that it is the right thing to do.” He let go of Gabriel’s hand and flew away to Halimhim. Gabriel willed his wings to appear and followed him. Savannah and Rasmus were there to welcome him in his grim homecoming. It was like visiting a cemetery, though the young man showed no fear. “Gabriel!” cried Savannah as she hurled her arms around him. He stepped back and told her, “I haven’t forgotten what I feel for you. If you think I’ll be soft on you now, you’re wrong.” “Think about it first,” she replied testily. “You and I are the same now, and we’re meant for each other. No one else will ever love someone like you!” Who would love a monster like you but another like me! The prisoner, Mulagat, was hanging by his wrists on a tree; he was unconscious. Gabriel went over to his side and then turned to his fellow Ravena. “It’s not right for us to treat him like this! This is wrong!” Then his wings vanished. Then Rasmus, in the role of a mocking devil’s advocate, asked, “Is this the future of our tribe that you boast of, Father? He stops being a Ravena when he loses heart and gets soft!” But Ravenum turned around and chastised him, “Do not ever speak of Gabriel in that way.” Rasmus fell silent; he left their company with resentment building in his heart. Mulagat’s mother was still in Avila, unable to do anything, and not knowing where to go. The only people she thought of turning to for help where the Diwata. She prostrated herself on the ground and prayed aloud to them. “Hear me out, I need your help! Have you really turned your back on me?” She was not entirely correct. They had not forgotten her, and the Queen Mother still watched over her. “But she willingly chose to become human,” she told Muyak. “We cannot interfere with the lives of ordinary people.” “It seems the door of Encantadia has shut me out for good,” Linang complained to Habagat. Before he could answer, two Mulawin men raised their voices behind them. It seemed to Linang that they were quarreling over food, like there was a shortage. Habagat addressed them thus, “There’s food left in my house if you run out of supply.” “What’s happening to Avila?” asked Linang. “After I left Avila, I ran into some men who wanted to take advantage of me,” Lourdes narrated to Bagwis. “But I fought them so they did not succeed. While I was fighting them, I thought of you. I told myself, if something is going to happen to me, I must go back here and see you again.” If Bagwis noticed anything between those lines, he pretended not to. “Thank God you made it safely back here,” was all he said. Then he stood up and spoke aloud, “What a pity that you missed Veronica.” “Ah, yes, Veronica…” The woman had drawn out a large knife. “She just left to look for Alwina,” the Mulawin went on. Lourdes paused, hearing a faint ringing of bells in her head. “Alwina?” she echoed with a blank look in her face. Bagwis smiled at her. “Yes, Alwina! Why, you look at me as if you have forgotten who she is. Alwina has gone to look for your adopted children, Pagaspas and Lawiswis, and Niwalum, their new friend. “Now it’s late,” he continued. “I will take you back to your house so you can rest.” But Lourdes pleaded, “May I spend the night with you here? I’m still afraid to be alone.” The Mulawin king felt his cheeks grow hot with embarrassment. But there was no way to politely refuse her. Meanwhile, Alwina was still looking for Gabriel and calling out to him. Yet another one of her loved ones was missing! She informed Terong of what had happened. “I hurt him when I told him that it’s still Aguiluz that I love,” she explained. “But I did the right thing, didn’t I? I told him the truth. I didn’t lie to him….” Terong was concerned about another matter. “Did you notice anything odd about him?” he asked. She shook her head. “He just ran away.” Uh-oh… Terong could imagine what she had missed. Probably he’s turned into a Ravena and left. And as if to confirm his suspicions, the servant noticed a red quill on the terrace and picked it up. It was Gabriel’s. But Alwina had heard him talking to himself. “What did you say about the Ravena?” she asked, and then snatched the feather from his hand. “Isn’t this from a Ravena?” Think fast, Terong! “You mean… you think the Ravena kidnapped Gabriel?” He answered in the affirmative, sighing in relief that she had not heard everything. Watch your mouth next time! The Mulawin youngsters were now marching toward Mount Avila. As night fell, Gus realized that they were on the wrong track. “It looks like we’re lost,” he told the others. “How hard would it be to find Avila?” Niwalum asked. “Let’s just keep climbing and climbing.” Wis complained, “But I’m so tired. Can we all fit into your kite? Honestly, my wings are tired!” “Why don’t we run?” Gus suggested. “Excuse me,” Wis replied. “Not everyone can run fast like you do.” “You’re a whiner!” “You’re a braggart!” Niwalum’s eyes rolled in their sockets. He rolled on the ground, curled up his legs and put his arms under his head. “I say we just spend the night here,” he said. “We’ll find Avila.” As Aviona prepared to leave the real Aguiluz, she spoke to Tuka and private. At first, Gus’ mother was reluctant to join her any further. But Aviona made her point well. “I have a feeling that whoever sent that impostor is also responsible for Pagaspas’ disappearance,” she said. “My only concern is, if you’re going out on your own to find him, do you know where to go?” So Tuka gave in and went along with her. Aguiluz prayed for them as he watched them leave. Then Daragit and the others ushered him out of his cage to be brought to Avila for his trial. It would become a mock trial, Aguiluz looked down with dismay at his bounds. “I won’t let myself be dragged like sheep to the slaughterhouse!” he said aloud. Then the Sugo gazed down upon his chains. In a minute or two, they had melted before his eyes and vanished completely. He looked at the guards and told them, “I’m not going with you! I’m innocent of that charge! I could never kill without pity!” The officers knew that he could easily flick them aside as one does little insects. So they answered, “Show us that you have honor then. Come with us and face the accusations made against you.” This struck a chord in Aguiluz’s heart. He would be found guilty as charged surely; he could flee and live as a fugitive until he had proven his innocence. But he was a Mulawin and a proud, law-abiding citizen of Avila. There exists an unspoken oath between an honorable man and his city or state: he must respect its laws even when they are unfavorable to him. And Aguiluz was no common citizen; he was a warrior of the tribe. He was sworn to defend this land and to honor it. By running away, he would bring dishonor on himself and pronounce his own guilt. “I will go with you,” he told the elders, “because I am an honorable Mulawin.” His double continued to wrestle with Aramis the hunter all evening. “Why do you make it harder on yourself?” asked the former. “You yourself said you have no more reason to live!” Aramis did not answer him. He saw a fallen tree trunk nearby and lifted it up with both arms. Then he threw the huge log at the false Sugo. But the impostor caught it without even flinching, and heaved it back at Aramis. It hit Aramis smack in the abdomen with such crushing force. The archer fell back; he could not breathe; he felt his organs being painfully squeezed. “Kill me now!” he gasped. The double smiled coolly. “You said it.” He waved his cloned sword in the air and was about to decapitate this annoying huntsman. Then a voice shouted, “Put that down!” The evil twin turned to see Aviona and Tuka there and laughed. “Hahaha! You? Two women are going to beat me?” Then Aviona picked up a handful of soil in her hand and flung it into his eyes. The impersonator cried out and then turned to flee. Aviona pursued him, but the Sugo’s double made himself invisible to her. Aviona sought him through the heavy clouds in vain and returned to her allies. “It feels so good to be a Sugo1” beamed the wicked Aguiluz. Tuka and Aviona now joined forces to push away the tree log. “Let me be!” Aramis cried. “Let me die!” “No, you mustn’t die!” Aviona said. “I know I made a mistake, but you have to survive!” They made one final push; Aramis mustered all his remaining strength and rolled the dead wood away from his chest. Then he blacked out like the night and Aviona held him. Meanwhile, the Mulawin queen had began her quest to find her runaway daughter. But it was destined to be a short one. Noticing the lights throughout the small town, Veronica alighted at the entrance of Carig. “Maybe I can start asking questions here,” she said to herself. But Veronica had not considered the lowlanders’ fear of bird-men. Or perhaps, she was still an ordinary human being in her own mind. She knocked on the door of a house expecting a friendly response, but the two young women who opened it screamed and ran back inside. When they returned, one of them was holding a rifle. Veronica retreated to the air and they fired at her. “Stop!” she cried. “I’m not an enemy! I just came here looking for somebody! Alwina!” Now Alwina had been conversing with Terong. When the gunshots rang out, she ran toward Pamela’s house to see what was going on. But everything had calmed down by then. “Somebody’s looking for you,” Pamela told her. Then the Mulawin queen stepped out of the house. Alwina could not hide her disappointment, but she held her tongue. “Thank God I found you right away,” her mother exclaimed. “You have to go back to Avila at once. Aguiluz is on trial on charges of killing the Balasik.” It was the dead of night; Bagwis was fast asleep in a chair. Lourdes knew she had to act swiftly. Whoever that Alwina was, she would not wonder about now. She must kill this Mulawin who had betrayed her. Ravenum’s command played repeatedly in her mind like a religious mantra. Her eyes glowered in the dark like a luminous red light. She raised the knife in her hand.


Blogger South Rock said...

Finally Aguiluz does something I like. :) Socartes would have been proud of him!

2/15/2005 02:21:00 PM  

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