To look at him, you wouldn’t think Jeddan was very restless. He’s so big and calm that he looks stolid, like nothing moves him. But when I explained to him this morning what I’d decided, he said, “We should get started, then, if it’s really three days away.”
“You don’t have to come,” I said.
“What else is there for me to do?” he said. “Go back to my village, back to a life of hiding what I am, never able to learn anything new? Travel somewhere else, alone, and get hopelessly lost because I’ve never been farther than twenty miles from my village? I’m afraid you’re stuck with me. At least until you teach me those pouvrin.”
I thought about protesting further, but I discovered that the idea of traveling alone again, after being surrounded by friends for so many weeks, made me feel incredibly lonely. So I just said, “You understand it’s dangerous and we could be killed.”
“I know,” he said, “but I’ve been in danger of being killed for years. This is just a different kind of fear. And it doesn’t seem so terrible. Maybe that’s crazy, but it’s how I feel.”
It was crazy. And I completely understood. I’ve taken so many risks for the sake of my magic over the last ten years that the idea of risk, in general, doesn’t frighten me. I’m not deterred from acting just because something bad might happen. Not that I’m terribly reckless; I like living, and I carefully consider my actions before I take that leap. Mostly.
Anyway, we packed up our few things and headed west. I think we made good time. It’s been a while since I’ve been this far south, and while I know I kept us on the right course, I wish I had a map. We’re going to run out of food by the time we get there, so there’s something to add to the list of things to do in Calassmir, if we can. It’s going to be a busy trip.
We talked about pouvrin while we walked and discovered that we perceive them very differently. I see pouvrin as three-dimensional shapes given form by memory and sense. Jeddan says to him it’s more like being shaped, as if he’s altered to be something that can, for example, walk through walls. The only thing we both agree on is that you have to bend your will to meet the pouvra, that force does nothing but make it slip from your grasp.
We discussed the walk-through-walls pouvra a lot. Since we can both do it, there’s a chance that each of us understanding how the other does it will be the key to learning from each other. Jeddan’s very intelligent and comfortable to be around. I wonder if the other mages are like him? I really hope we don’t all have different ways of understanding pouvrin, because it could take forever just to be able to speak the same language.