Old!Reiassan (pre-Rin and Girey by at least a war). I've written half a short story involving Lyuda and never posted it.
Cardon had gotten the sword for her. In retrospect, she should have suspected something right away, but he generally made sure his fighters were well-equipped; the business rode on their well-being and capability to finish missions.
And on the surface, it was a nice sword. It was etched all over in enchantments, some of them so old neither Lyuda nor her scholar friends could read the language. It held an edge no matter what, cut through just about anything, and never got too heavy. Attuned to her through a ritual that, for síra-flingers and priests, was blessedly short, it would never cut her, although it had once cut her greave in half when she’d misjudged a swing. On a mission, it was a perfect sword.
Until the first nightfall she camped in the [Dark] Forest Valley, and the sword, sheathed at her side, began talking to her.
Complaining, really. It sounded like an old soldier whose teeth had gone, querulous. At first, she thought someone was playing a trick on her, a village kid or a vagabond.
“A forest? Really? Who camps in a forest? Barely a ground cloth and a blanket to your name – what sort of mercenary are you?”
She’d been on the road for two weeks, and her riding goat and remount weren’t much conversation. If someone in the woods wanted to talk to her, she’d talk back.
“A sensible one. The nearest inn is another four hours’ ride away.”
“And what kind of country doesn’t have inns on the road, I ask you that?” The voice had a strange drawl to it, when you got over the whine.
“And who’s asking?” She couldn’t place the accent; it sounded almost Bitrani, but old-fashioned.
“I am. Adsplodea. Your sword, you uncivilized lout.”
“My sword.” She was less surprised than she perhaps should have been; Cardon had gotten the thing for her. “Okay. So what’s wrong with the woods? It’s a clear night, beautiful, warm…”
“Dark.” The weapon nearly hissed it. “It’s dark in here, lout. I can’t stand the dark.”
Lyuda swallowed a laugh. She needed this sword, damnit. “Come share the fire with me, Adsplodea. There’s plenty of light by its warmth.” She unsheathed the weapon and lay it over her knees; the bladed shimmered, and sighed. Yep, it was definitely the blade speaking.
“Perhaps you are not a complete lout.”
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