26 YEARS AFTER REAPPEARANCE
Part 24 - 25
Wild Hunt Part 24 "Mender's Tale" Part One
Mender awakes with Yun, he's hungry. He heads out to find a deer. Yun throws his leathers to him and he trips into Ember and Teir. The deer already moved down the mountain. The Longriders, a nomadic band of horsemen and herders, return to the human village. Sust and Pool say a herd of yarga are waiting for them. Mender follows but is distracted by the humans. At night they have a feast. Mender and Ember talk. It was different when he healed humans. Shuna, Gifa, the Still One. He can learn more by touching them and he wants to take the risk. Soon, Mender surprises Tyleet and Dewshine. He shaped his eyes and ears like humans. He feels these humans are nothing like the Djun's folk or Port Bane. It's up to the tribe. Scouter agrees with Mender. It's getting harder to hide from humans. Pike says they must learn what keeps them friendly. Ember says they must not exist to them. Yun goes with him. They jump into a human wagon and are taken inside the town. The annual tasks are carried out: boasting, arguing, gossiping, bartering. They go through a window. Mender picks his facial features and Yun finds him some clothing. He walks into the crowd. He brushes up against a merchantwoman. She suddenly feels good. There's a procession for a daughter of the Longriders. Yun watches from a rooftop. Cushyuk, headman of the Longriders, calls upon Adirak, he of the nine sacred wings, guardian of the steppes, lord of the mountains. Dalan, son of Khuldalchi, offers the girl marriage. Mender sees his heart is with the girl's younger sister. Rings are exchanged. They will celebrate. Mender thinks that two sisters in the same den could be interesting.
Wild Hunt Part 25 "Mender's Tale" Part Two
Mender watches humans dance and flirt, just like elves. He finds the younger sister Anamara alone and miserable. He starts kissing her and she hits him. He meant to cheer her. He uses his magic on her but she pushes him away again. Dalan only meant to be friends with her sister but he loved Anamara. She only wants to be with him. Yun enters a deserted shop and reaches for a bag of gold. A boy grabs it from her. He takes her to his home, a robber's paradise. He knows about mountainfolk, elves. He has a sculpture. His mother-mother was lost on the mountain and Yun sent her home with it. Mender finds the older sister Mor'Saitai. She's drunk and has a headache. He heals her and tries to kiss her. She says he goes too far. She talks about courting rules. He must bring gifts. They only join for pleasure after marriage. He makes his way back to the trees. Yun leaves the thief when he falls asleep. She finds Mender and tells him about the boy who can't remember his name. Dalan comes to the tree. He asks the "mountainfolk" to make his marriage strong and hits the tree with an axe. Mender reveals himself, angered by what Dalan did. He tells Dalan he'll marry the elder but wish for the younger. Mender needs good clothing and two horses to carry gifts to Cushyuk. When he's done Dalan won't marry Mor'Saitai. He'll be Dalan's kin, from where his mother lives by the Idyll Water.