Then too much struck him at once for words. The sharp clarity of the room, the swollen roundness of every fine thread of the bed-sheets, the depth of the colors. There were so many for which names did not exist, colors he’d never seen before. The feel of the floor beneath his feet, every tiny grain of the tiles, the tortured wood-shards under his hand. So many miniscule sounds throughout the house, scuttling vermin and shifting night-servants. And the smells, rich wood-scent from the forests, the distant earthiness of the fields. Tervud might write an entire book about the things he sensed at the moment.
Most of all, there was the new part of him. It had meshed with the others, strengthened them. And the things he felt through it… Tervud had always assumed that the “mind powers” he and his brothers talked about would let him feel people distantly, or see little sparks of light. But this… he felt everything around him. If not for the new presence of his physical touch, he’d have lost himself in the sensations. He felt the chill of the walls, their stone strength, cloth-fibers and wood-grain. He felt the heat, the weight, the textures of the others in their beds. He almost recoiled from it. It was astonishingly intimate. He realized he saw their dreams, could watch a dozen at once and capture every detail. If he pressed, he knew he would see more. Perhaps all they were.
Beyond even all this, he perceived sensations, energies, and essences he could not explain. There were countless wisps of knowing, like words on the tip of the tongue, like memories out of reach, that knew he he’d grasp in time if he just strained. Grand as his awakening seemed, he understood it was but the smallest part of something divine.
-At the risk of giving offense, brother, there will be time for this later.- Sonderhau: Tervud recognized its–his–voice now. How hadn’t he known it from the start? Their telepathy was far stronger now. He heard each sentence as sound and idea at the same time, both instant and drawn-out. Somehow, this seemed right, even pleasant.
–You gave answer, now take action!– Rending Reckoner agreed. -Cleave the wicked! This sums our purpose, our gleaming-reason!-
Tervud nodded sharply, once. He took up the linked belt carrying the swords and stepped out of the room. He opened his mouth to speak. What a waste of time! –We do have the difficulty, brothers, that we know not where Lord Ashir lives.–
–Pry knowledge from our false-brother, he knows!– Reckoner insisted.
–This will not be,– Sonderhau countered. –There is something we must see of Malija.–
Tervud stretched out with his new perception. Malija was on the dining platform, as he’d known she’d be. First, he collected his clothes from a rack on which they dried in the first floor. It took no effort at all to will them dry. Dressed again in his black vestments with both swords by his side, Tervud jumped up to the platform. Malija hunched over her book. She was on her third bottle of wine.
Tervud stepped up quietly, waiting to be acknowledged.
“Must you go to your death, Tervud?” she asked.
“I’m in no danger of dying,” he said. It was true, and that truth rankled him. Something about it seemed deeply wrong.
–We seek to undue wrongs caused by imbalance of power with an imbalance of our own,– Sonderhau offered. –By itself, this cannot be sustained. But it is all we are capable of.—
“Vengeance isn’t justice,” Malija said. “You won’t undo what happened to me, Tervud. An ocean of blood won’t… fix… me.”