Chapter 20

Page 1 ¦ 2 ¦ 3 ¦ 4 ¦ 5 ¦ 6 ¦ 7 ¦ 8 ¦ 9 ¦ 10 ¦ 11 ¦ 12 ¦ 13 ¦ 14 ¦ 15 ¦ 16

MidSummer Day was cloudless and warm as it had been each year for as long as memory could serve. The inhabitants and guests of the city rose early in the morning to witness the jhukrhette championship. The capacity crowd witnessed a thrilling match as Bhel'Ehzz, the defending champions and favorites, trailed the entire match but rallied in the waning moments to defeat Rheg Nhor.

Though the excitement the match had provided was great, talk centered on the valor Vhalkhette exhibited the day before. During the award ceremony the previous night, the eight who finished (less Bheirz) were each conferred their honors and each had the opportunity to bask in the grandeur of their accomplishment. Except Vhalkhette. She had been kept at arms length. There were mixed emotions and widely differing opinions which were hotly debated where she was concerned. A few people offered quiet support. Some felt threatened by her superior ability. Most were outraged at her impudent attitude. But all were intrigued by the lithe blonde warrior who was as graceful as a swan and as deadly as a cobra.

It had been the first time a woman had finished among the top eight in a combative event. Other times women had masqueraded as men and entered the competitions, but none had ever come close to receiving points. There was a great deal of speculation as to who Vhalkhette was and what her background was. Many stories circulated, the most widely accepted one that she was a mercenary from the west, probably from Sevhert'ah. But whoever she was, all wondered, competitors and spectators alike, how Vhalkhette would fare in horseback riding.

The hot bright suns of the afternoon brought with them the second event of the trevhette. The riding event was a race, but a difficult one designed to display excellent horsemanship. The course began in the Commons, progressed through various parts of the capital and ended back at the Commons. At different points, one had to coax their steed over fences and trenches, navigate shallow water, maneuver their horse through narrow, walled passageways and discern the best route of three to the finish line.

Previous Page    Next Page