Gemini Alatyr of Island. Children of dead mother

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You, that you are, and you, that it will be.

White Island


The woman went around the hunting grounds with traps set apart in advance and fishing belonging to the Sage gangs. An ordinary woman on this island, dressed in fur, consisting of a fur jacket with a hood, suede dresses and boots with a soft but durable sole, she had a bow behind her back, and on her belt a bronze dagger and a club made of solid wood, two the elbow, and the scrapper that she dragged along. She checked this part of the island in turn, there were seven of them altogether, seven of the witches living here according to their vows, and sometimes they sailed to the mainland, to the Ob River, on holidays, to light the sacred fire, but now she checked tops where she could in the intricate mesh fish, usually cod. Everyone here was accustomed to fresh fish, it was not salted, and the reserve was put on a glacier in a mountain, where even the summer sun did not fall, and it was always cold, but it was necessary to close their reserves from foxes. And now, she had already fished a couple of fish from a trap in shallow water, and put them in a basket on a trap, and passed on along the rocky coast and tested the next trap. They went out into the sea, threw nets and fished and into the sea in their leather boat, made of the ribs of a whale with stitched seals hiding on them. Also, the sea brought a lot of wood to the island, and it was also allowed to work, or to maintain fire. Now she was inspecting the rocky beach of the island, covered with fog, the island was often covered with fog, so it was called Hidden. Nearby was another island, where seven hermit wizards lived, leading the same life as solitary and simple. A witch adjusted a slipped bronze bracelet on her left hand, in the form of spirals on the end, and silver temporal rings on leather braid, which also slipped, and she carefully removed the bandage and tied anew, adjusting the silver tick on her forehead, removing the blond braid in the hood. Pebbles rustled under her soft soles, the fog was just like milk, and it seemed to her that she saw the contour of the boat, but she thought it was a dream because their boat was far away, on the other end of the island, but distinctly heard a moan. The girl was terribly surprised, but went to the sound. She walked carefully, stepping, trying not to make a sound, and so she saw the nose of the leather boat, which had been buried in the shore. She freed herself from the trash, pulled her club out from behind her back, took her in her right hand, and examined the find. In the boat lay and moaned a woman, ready to be resolved from the burden. The witch examined her, with her forehead covered with sweat, but the woman herself was also wearing a long fur jacket with a hood, a suede dress, and under it a knitted dress made of flax and high fur boots, there were also bronze temporal rings in the form helix, and dagger on the belt. Apparently, the fight began on the road, and no one could help a woman. The islander, not particularly thinking, grabbed her shoulders and carefully placed the woman on her sled, creaked under the weight of her body, and removing her club, took the load to the cave, to her friends, the benefit of the shelter was not far. I drove and looked around, drove and looked around and the woman and the fish would not fall from the sleigh. The older witch on the head will not stroke if the food is gone, and even the reserves are few. I brought it quickly, because I almost ran away, and the fisherman was flushing all over, on a small, but already cold, because a month had already passed since the autumn solstice.

— I came! — the girl shouted, “With prey!” in response, dogs barking came from the fur canopy, and then out, carefully revealing the fur cloth made of deer skins, so as not to wind the cave, three girls came out, and already a woman with teary eyes, and three huskies rolled out with them, waving their tails merrily, turning to sniff the comers, whether they were their own, and then with a bark they rushed to the haggling, sniff the lying uninvited guest.

— She was a mother in labor, could not leave her, forgive me, — the girl was making excuses.

— We went, we’ll see, and why look at her, Lada sent, we will help. Come on, carry a woman inside, but don’t forget about the fish, she went and grumbled for order, — be careful, do not log, and you, Krasa, hold the curtains, otherwise chill out the chambers.Carry it not in the room, and in the room nearby. Fox, you prepare warm water, take it off the hearth, and carry two pots. Nettle, you carry a blanket and a blanket, — the elder dexterously disposed of.

— And you, once found, — she turned to the fisherwoman, — go with me, take an infusion for a woman, take off her fur coat, and wash your hands. So the Moon, now absolutely you will become, — she has grinned. The moon examined the habitual dwelling — their upper room with a hearth of stones covered with clay, next to which stood a sacred vessel made of clay, tied up not with willow, but ivy sprouts from the mainland and filled with coals to make a fire. They took the vessel with them when the women left the cave on the island, and it was possible to kindle a fire from the coals, and they brought this vessel, the sacred vessel on the Moon drag wire. Their houses had beautiful walls painted with ocher and patterns in the form of spirals and double spirals, the girl liked to look at it all. She took off her fur coat, remained in a dress and a fur jacket without sleeves, washed her hands in a tub with water, and carefully rubbed them with sand. -And you, Polka, don’t look, but prepare herbs, their decay, so that all the potion would be warm.

Two gray shadows slid past Paulie, the dogs settled down to the hot hearth, and laid their faces on their paws.

“I’ll do everything, Mara, as you please,” Polka replied, clutching at the wicker basket with sharp-smelling drugs.

— And you, Talka, take care of the fish, take it to the glacier, and put it in pots, in pots so that the foxes would not gobble up.

The last, the youngest girl, about thirteen, rushed to drag the baskets to a distant cave, and you could hear two willow baskets rustling in the corridor.

And Mara and Luna, led by supporting a woman in labor under her elbows, without asking her name. They brought to the other chambers, it was also warm there, stripped, and Mara fumigated the woman with herbs and putting the Lada statue next to her, examined her and finally asked:

— What is your name, good woman?

“They call a color,” said the rozhanitsa, slightly moving her bitten lips.

— Nothing, you will give birth, — Mara looked at her with a gloomy look, — you will have two.

— How did you get in the boat? Alone, but in the sea blue, without a husband?

— He died, and the ancestors thought that I, too, had died, and put them as dead in a boat. And I woke up in the blue sea, prayed to the Good Goddess, and the waves were sent to you, I did not want to desecrate the Hidden Island.

“So Lada decided, so be it,” Mara flashed her eyes at the Color, and put a number of knitted towels next to her.

She came with steamed herbs and drinking cups and fields. She gently filtered the healing infusion and gave the elder witch. She gave medicine to a woman, and soon she felt a little easier, and again the contractions began.

Childbirth was not easy, the sage helped the children, but could not save Color, they found her on the island too late.

When it was over, Mara came out to breathe, throwing her fur coat. She lifted her head up, looking at the stars on the sky cleared of clouds, and saw a tailed star flying in the coal darkness, past sparkling constellations. The day before yesterday, as she remembered, the comet was not yet in the sky.

And the children were born, two boys and a girl, Gemini, and Mara each dripped a drop of honey into her mouth, introducing them to the gods, and their mother, Tsveta, was buried in a cave below by tier, in an ice tomb, where now the icy dead witches, sleeping forever in granite tombs, in a place where there was never heat, and instead of grass there was only snow and ice, instead of trees only icicles from the ceiling grew, and the eternal darkness, like the eternal sun, covered the cave with its black rays.

Twins hidden island

Now the witches found a lot of work, the children entertained them, they thought who would feed the children, but the nurse looked for a goat-wolf who supplied the women servants with milk, and now fed the children, the children grew up, and the boy began to feed the children deer bones. Sometimes three girls, old witches, who taught the young people, went down to the girls, and that, as was customary, they would not be bored, they would spin the yarn from flax, or even nettle. Then all the islanders knitted shirts and dresses from yarn, decorating them with elaborate embroidery. Every six months a boat came from the mainland with grain, but the rowers did not dare to be on the sacred island for a long time, just left the cargo, and swam back without asking about the hermits. The twins were very nimble, and Mare, as the eldest, had a hard time with them, three years passed, and the two senior witches who had served their obedience served with a boat sailing from the mainland. Lody brought two pupils for the shift, and a stock of grain for the witches.

— Good-bye, Krasa, good-bye Lisa, do not hold on us evil, help people in your clans and families, everything I taught you. -sayed Mara, bowing goodbye to the girls, and from behind the elder’s back gazing at the light blue eyes of the children, and the girl, with excitement, put her finger in her mouth and carefully looked at the departing ones, and then smiled with her big mouth, the boy stood with a wooden horse arm. The girl began to frown at her white brows, looked at the boy, then at Mara, the boy nodded his head, and smiled at something.The children, as being outside the tribe, did not begin to shave their heads, as usual leaving only a few strands on the temples and the back of the head. Beauty bent down and kissed both the boy and the girl, and the Fox, too, patting their white hair on the head.

— And you, too, do not hold on us evil, — the girls bowed in response. They had already gone to the boat, preparing to sail, and were approaching according to custom, new novices from the mainland, the girl screamed shrilly, so even dogs barked at her, and the little naughty woman grabbed the hem of Fox’s dress with her hands, and then clutched at her legs without letting the witch go. The fox bent over, trying to tear the girl off, but then the boy ran up, holding a horse in his left hand, and took Krasa by the right hand, and began dragging her back to the cave, and began chipping to repeat:

“Don’t wait, wait tomorrow,” and looked attentively at Beauty, “let’s go, I’ll give you a horse,” and smiled trustingly at her, so the girl could not resist, took him in her arms, stroked his shoulder in a gray knitted shirt, he grabbed her neck, but he held the toy tenaciously and did not drop it. Then Mara came up, first to the girl, stroked her head, kissed her, and the girl whispered something in her ear, the Elder attentively looked at the girls remaining and leaving, thought a little and approved:

— You will go tomorrow, and the oarsmen in the hut will spend the night there, they can be there. Let them get out on the beach with a trap, — and a boy rolled over and over, and the girl ran after the girl, and the fox, which had already faded away, was trying to get involved, for the baby forever any living creature ran.

Two young girls came up to Mare, looked at all eyes at the children, but did not dare to say a word.

“I am Lika,” said one girl,

“And I am Tala,” said another,

“Come in the warmth,” without letting the twins out of their hands, Mara answered them, “take your things and follow me to the monastery, I will feed you hot.”

All together they came through the oak door and the fur-sill of the corridor into the upper room, and they came into the hall with a hearth. Lika and Tala stared at the sooty ceiling, on the ocher walls, on the hearth, and the stove for food in the floor of the corner of the cave, closed with a flap of boards, on oil lamps with mirrors that reflect light.

“Come here, girls,” Mara called them and showed them by hand to the free beds. -Stand, put clothes in the chest, and wet, hang on hangers, — and showed on the wooden strut for clothes. The girls changed their clothes, and went to the room to all the witches, and next to the hearth was a frowning boy, and the girl sat on a carpet of deer skins, and on her one dog rested its knees, and another warmed its back. Everyone sat down on folding chairs, there were tables for food, Colors distributed to everyone bowls with fish soup and spoons, they all began to eat, and the children were put on smaller folding chairs, and Mara shushed on the dogs that they wouldn’t stick their noses on the girl’s plate. It was cooked well, the cod chowder was a success. All ate, then drank herbal infusion and lay down to sleep.

Outside, Mara saw that the shore was littered with tree branches, and many old trees entangled in algae were washed ashore, and there was a lot of fish carried in waves. Dogs, Druzhok and Slega, jumped out after her and rushed off to their fishing, quickly eating two fish, and one more they dragged the twins to the room, but in vain, Ull and Ela had already left, but rather ran out, dressed in usual jackets, wiping eyes from sleep, and ran to look at the shore, and the dogs were left to guard the prey.

“Mara, Mara,” the boy shouted in a ringing voice, “look how many trees are nailed!” We have enough for a long time!

The witch frowned her brows, shifting her gaze from boy to girl, and from girl to boy. Two new witches came out, who stayed overnight in a secret place. Krasa and Lisa, Mara glanced at them and Fox, already crouched in fear, and covered her mouth with her hand, started crying, and Krasa turned white as the snow, waking up, ran to Ale, bent, and quickly began to kiss her ruddy cheeks, saying:

— Thank you, clever-prudent, and looked at the girl’s eyes that became serious at once, stroked her hair, and when the boy ran up, she kissed him too, and the boy stroked her hand in response.

Mara came up to them and already fled from the hut, having forgotten about the prohibitions of the rowers from the lodja.

— Swear to Krasa, and you are the Fox, that you will not open anyone for the time being about it. The fact that the Twins stopped you from unhappy swimming. Children may be in danger of big, Vedunya told them, and grabbed both of them with her tenacious fingers, squeezing their elbows to pain, so Krasa gasped.

“We swear,” the girls nodded in agreement, stretching their hands in front of them with their palms toward Mara, “and repeated the words of the vow, turning to the sacred mountain.

After Mara met four oarsmen, and did not let them come closer, and led them to the guest house, and took from them there a terrible oath over the smooth surface of the blue sea, that they would not reveal secrets to anyone about the twins. After breakfast, the boat finally sailed away, and the departing waved to the others, until they disappeared from the horizon, and Mara caught herself sneaking at El and Ulla, but they were cheerful and calm, only stray fox pawns at El, but he soon mum called him barking, and he reluctantly ran off to her. New novices looked cautiously at the children, but they did not notice anything, and Mara called Lika and Tala to her.

— You will make an oath that you will not tell anyone about it, but during the training and dedication you will still swear to Lada to keep quiet about the secret, so get used immediately. And do not be afraid of children, they do not harm anyone.

“Yes, of course, Mara,” both said, “we all understand, and we will not reveal to anyone any secrets.” We wish to comprehend the whole teaching, and we worshiped it.

So time passed, Mara instructed the witch, and literacy, and medicine, and to them Pryha went down to them in the winter, three old women, and taught the stellar laws, and the herbs to be in charge, and people to heal. But the main thing is that he was instructed in the laws of Manu, which cannot be broken by anyone. Once, they brought the Star Map on a bronze sheet, and everyone watched and memorized, even Ela and Ull came running.It was the spring equinox, and after waiting for time, all the inhabitants went to a distant cave illuminated by the sun on that day, and Mara, praying, opened a secret place, but her hands were in fur gloves, she threw away the fur canopy of the skin, curtain, took the box in the form of a duck of linden carved from wood, even the duck’s eyes were made of agate, the carving was gorgeous, the witch looked at the fine work, but finally took out an ice crystal, hand-ironed lens, and went to the center of the Holy Hall with a lens in her hand to the stone bowl, where lay dry tra and and chips, and the three girls were kept ready torches in their hands.

“Look,” she said solemnly, “Ilios and Lada, the Sun and Ice, Heat and Cold are here to unite and create fire and light,” and fixed the lens on the straw, at first it seemed like a dark spot with a little smoke, choked up the straw, and O Miracle! The flames licked their folded branches in their Sacred Language, and the sacred Fire inflamed!

Mara hastily removed the lens to a secret place, and the witches had already lit torches, and Pryhaha led them to the upper room and to the shore, where the envoys of their tribes, seven allied tribes, the Huns and Mansovs and five others, were already waiting for them, to put it in sacred vessels, decorated with magical patterns, and twined with sacred ivy, and take to the settlements, where all people were waiting for the appearance of the New Fire, which will warm their souls and bodies. Soon another five years passed, and three more Kharites changed, and the children had already grown up, they were already eight years old, they did not shave their hair, unlike the Huns and Mans, who leave children on their heads in several locks. Mara has already told them about the swan geese, which after death carry the souls into the world of gods, and at birth bring people into the world, which mean the spirals on the Lada and Ilios bracelets, like eating bears, cutting off all the meat from the bones, but without damaging this animal bones. She showed them signs of power of the leaders in the form of spirals and double spirals, told what the meander means on a vessel with coals, what the mendr means, why they depict the swastika on the vessels, all the legends about the rejuvenating apples, about honey, for which he communicates with them birth She began to teach the secrets of the starry sky, and the properties of potions, as well as the sacred letter. She told all the legends about Ilios and the Lada, about the World Tree and the World Serpent, taught to read and write sacred signs, told everything she knew about the surrounding peoples and lands.

Ull was already a great archer, he was shooting everyone except geese and swans, and Ale didn’t eat meat, only milk, fish and shells. Mara tried to convince her, but she only wrinkled her nose in a funny way, smiled her wide smile, it seemed like everyone else with her freckles, and Mara immediately gave up, unable to insist, especially the children did not hurt, and Elie and Ulla discovered the medicinal talent, Ale Puppies came out. Laughs, who were then taken to the mainland, and seemed to be doing nothing, stroking her tummy, face, drinking water, and saved. Mara was made all the darker by the day, looking at Elya, but she did not notice anything. Two more years passed, the children turned ten years old. And winter had just begun, the sea was not frozen yet, but there were a lot of ice floes, and when they walked around the island with their brother, checked the traps, she saw a white bear squared in an ice log, he growled and puffed, trying to get out, and almost humanly cried, but still remained trapped.

“Ull, help, vymahal hefty, let’s help the little one,” Ale shouted.

“We have to look around, otherwise his mother will ask you and me,” and as if confirming these words, Slega was holding onto the boy’s back.

— Well, what are you, -and she clutched her hands in mittens into the log, trying to slightly lift, and so hard that even the hood jumped off the head, and finally Ull approached, only grunted, but in his ten years already had considerable strength, and tore out a log, freeing the young one, who already roared with delight.

“Hush, you big guy, or else you break something to him,” said El, grabbing the bear cub by the back and front legs. But having felt her hands, he immediately stopped struggling and growling, and wrapping his face to the rescuer, he sniffed it and stood on its hind legs, tried to lick her face, and still could not stop. Here, even Ull was taken aback, and removed his famous bow that had already become visible.

“Well, you’re a little sister…” and just spread his arms, and Elissia was laughing, laughing and joyful, making her smile more beautiful, despite her wide mouth. Ull heard how her novices of the island were called a frog or a toad for the eyes, but he never passed on such words of girls to her. He looked at her again, bending his head to the right, and thought: “Anyway, the beauty and the nose are small, snub-nosed, and freckles, and spit to the waist. It’s a pity our mother died. And she sleeps in the ice in the far cave. And then the novice they say that our mother is a goat, she supposedly nourished us. Therefore, they sometimes tease me with a ‘little goat’ and look for horns when my hair is combed.”

And here she ferociously barked and whined at the same time, Slither, preparing to accept a mortal combat. Because of the hummocks, the mother of the little young one appeared, who immediately grunted gently, but was not going to leave Eli. The bear first got on its hind legs, and then began to pull its nose with the air, sniffing at the girl, and Ull took the dog rigidly by the neck and pulled out a bronze dagger, and trying to get up more comfortably, so that the blow was more correct. The ale did not change in the face, only let the bear go, who stood in thought, and behold, a huge dirty white bear went slowly to the girl, just as noisily drawing her nose in the air, as if checking something. She stood close to the girl, so that her huge head became very close to the head in the hood, and suddenly began to lick her, like her own little bear. The boy seemed to have lost his voice, it was extraordinary.

— Elya, we have to go, and then Mara will raise the alarm, let’s go.

“They went,” the girl agreed cheerfully, hugging and kissing the bear’s nose.

They went to their cave, and a bear walked with a bear cub, and the bear cub often ran up to El and tried to play with her, so he dropped it a couple of times in the snow. Not forty steps to the entrance, Elisia walked up to the bear, and began to look into her eyes, so that Ull froze her skin and spoke, and it seemed that the beast understood the language of man:

— Go, go, sister to your house, Go go, go go, — and stroked her goodbye. The bear turned, and along with her offspring slowly went to catch seals. Ull turned around and saw that Mara was meeting them near the entrance. When they approached, Slaga immediately dived into the heat, and the boy looked at the face of the mentor, it was whiter than snow, and only started to fill with life again, she clutched at her heart, and exhaled loudly, and rushed to Ale.

— What are you, Ale! I almost died of fear, and Ull saw for the first time Mara was crying, wiping tears with her sleeve, and her beautiful lips were twisted, and she was sniffling her nose in a completely childish way, and Elka looked at her, her face twisted, she roared she herself threw herself on her neck, kissing her cheeks and lips, and Mara kissed her back, and finally both calmed down, and Elya smiled modestly, and wiped her tear from her nose.

— I’m not on purpose, Mara, the little bear was in trouble, we saved it with Ulla. Do you know how strong Ull is? — she made round eyes with delight, — Behold, such a log rolled up, — and she showed with her arms spread wide in front of her, — then the bear came, she accompanied us to the house.

“People will be afraid of you, Elicia, nobody will marry,” Vedunya said sadly, straightening the girl’s hair, “and now you are stronger than any sorceress.” Spy now take you to yourself, that would teach, the fact that I do not know. Do not be afraid, they are kind, “when she saw the frightened face of the girl, she said,” you will spend the night with your brother, “she said, kissing El on the cheek.

“Well, then,” she smiled and looked at her brother.

“The novices saw you with bears,” she grinned, “so don’t be surprised if they say something, and everyone is afraid of you,” she looked at her brother and sister with love, patting the boy on whirlwinds, “Yes, there’s something for now — added already in a whisper.

In the upper room the Twins were already waiting for Pryha. In front of them was a table covered with an embroidered tablecloth, and on it lay many objects, fortune-telling bones, a star map, a silver bowl, and among them was a perfectly crafted weapon, a sword two elbows long, a bow and a quiver of arrows, and a fighting mace.

— Ull, come here. Choose a gift for your feat, “Elder Spinha said, pointing to all these things, alternately pointing to the beautiful objects with her left and right hand.

The boy went to the table, and could not tear his gaze from the bow and arrow, and the sword with the handle of the mammoth’s tooth. He simply devoured them with his eyes, lovingly stroked the hilt of the sword, the sheath, and then stroked his fingers with his left hand, feeling as if he remembered kibet of a bow, looked at the skillful carving of the quiver and the irradiance. Spira looked at the enchanted pupil with a smile. Spira leaned over to Mara and whispered, so no one heard: “He took HIS sword, a boat will come from the Island behind him”

Yes, Ull, you have chosen the heart. Get ready, go to the island of Buyan, now the seven wise men awake you to instruct, and Thirty elect to teach military science.

“And you are a beautiful girl,” she turned to Elia Pryaha, “you will learn from us,” then the eyes of all the novices turned to the girl, and many knowingly nodded their heads, “you need care.

Mara went to collect the things of the girl, who stood in the middle of the upper room, folded her hands on her stomach without end sighing sadly and bowing her head. Alicia raised her head, and rushed to her brother, weeping sadly on his shoulder, and stroking his hair with her left hand. She was not in a hurry to separate them, only one approached, laid her hand on her shoulder, and began to whisper something affectionate.

“Come with us, girl,” and the elder looked at the boy with bottomless blue eyes, and with a nod of her head, and with her free hand she showed, go away, they say.

Ull sighed, and went to collect simple belongings in a leather bag. Down put leather pants, a knife, a number of knitted pants and a pair of shirts, tied for him by Mary and adorned with beautiful embroidery with images of Lada, Tree, and one of my mother’s bracelets. Soon he was ready, and Mara led him to the shore, not allowing even to say goodbye to his sister. The boy was dragging a leather bag on his shoulder, straightening a bronze dagger at his waist, and carefully stepping on stones and ice on the shore, not wanting to take a break in front of the Chosen from Buyan.Four rowers were already sitting in the leather boat, and Ull turned to Mare, and she took the first step and hugged, the boy took her head to her chin.

“I went, Mara,” he said, bowing his head, “and continued to cheerfully,” I will come back here again, for my sister.

“We’ll wait,” Mara smiled at him, and she thought, that she waved, in six years she will be a giant.

The boy went to the shore, and the soldiers dragged the boat into the sea, and jumped into it, gave a hand to the boy, and put him in a boat and he walked to his nose, and the men quickly began to row in time, breaking the waves of the Frozen Sea, passing by the ice floes. Mara looked at the boat until she disappeared from the horizon, turning into a point, and she soon disappeared. She went back to the palaces, slowly moving her legs, and thought that: “Well, Ull swam away, and Eli was taken away, and they were restless, and everything was more fun. Maybe you should have gotten married like everyone else?”. She walked and walked, sighing, remembering how little Ull was funny, and what a funny Ale with two teeth would just smile, and immediately the mood was excellent. And now her Prya is good if she is allowed to visit her once a week, to her room. And so will the lessons take place in the Ice Palaces to pass, grow up, and there will be a new witch, and as one of Pryah dies, they will call her to her, and they will not refuse, because they will not allow it.

Buyan Island

The boat moved along the sea, the rowers quickly worked with oars, and skillfully dodged ice floes. Ull stood on the nose, peering into the distance, and had already seen the approaching cliff of Buyan Island.

“What is your name lad?” Asked the healthiest warrior working with an oar and smiled encouragingly at the boy.

“Ull,” answered the boy, and now the apprentice.

All men were dressed similarly — in fur jackets with hoods and the same pants, and soft boots, stuck with straps. Each had daggers on his belt, and other weapons were piled up in the middle of the boat — bows with arrows, spears, clubs and shields. There was also a leather water tank and a pair of wooden drinking buckets.

— Soon we will sail. How old are you? Thirteen? — Rather approved, than the interlocutor asked the boy.

“Ten to me,” Ulle replied, frowning, and tightened his hold on the side of the boat.

— How many??? — a warrior answered without dropping the paddle, he even lost his rhythm, and the whole team laughed, not believing Ull.

Ull told his companions about El, how she rescued the bear cub, how the bear ran after her, like a dog, how he raised a huge log. He looked at his new comrades, and saw on their faces how they grin, not believing him. And meanwhile, the island was already at twenty cubits.

“Fairy tales told, entertained,” one man told him.

“So it was!” Said the boy passionately, “I’m very strong!”

In response, he had a strong laugh, even the boat began to sway in the waves became stronger, as if laughing with the soldiers.

“Check, let’s go one-on-one with anyone!” Shouted Ull passionately, jumping out into the middle of the boat.

The most tall man who was a little taller than the boy rose, and his friends were already squealing with shouts: “What are you talking about! He is still small!”

“Nothing, I’m cautious,” he replied, grinning, and Ull, with anger and resentment, pushed the warrior with both hands at once to the heart area while simultaneously carrying all the weight on his left leg, which he carried forward in sync with the jolt, so the blow was crushing but not offensive, and the enemy flew overboard, raising a bunch of splashes, but it was good that the boat was already near the shore, so that the chosen one touched the bottom with his feet, but was wet to the skin. Ule gasped, rushed to pull him out, but he quickly reached the shore, and laughing already helped others to pull the boat to the shore, and the whole team burst out laughing, and everyone approvingly tapped the boy on the shoulders.

— Healthy you, right now the hero is intentional. It’s not for nothing that the witches sent you to us, “said one of the warriors,” now we will defeat all our enemies with you, “and a wet opponent ran along the shore to change into a hut,” and you know how to fight. Who learned?

To these words, Ull was silent, recalling the lessons of Mary, the lessons of struggle with cunning punches and tricks: “Do not tell anyone about this fight and never, people can suffer.”

“My name is Aket,” the rower appeared, the one whom you dropped into the water, “he grinned, putting his fingers in his right hand in his belt,” is Terey. This is Gnur, — he pointed to another warrior, putting the oar into the boat, — And this is Katey, — and he raised his hand in greeting.

All these were strong and very tall fair-haired young men, from among the thirty chosen warriors of the island, the disciples of the seven wise men. Aket approached Ull, once again looked at him with his deep-set eyes, and said after a pause:

— Come, show you your abode.

He led him to a mountain in which cells and common rooms for the inhabitants of the island were hollowed out. The land was not as stony as on Alatyr Island, they walked past a stream, next to which a huge oak tree grew, with a golden chain hung on it.

— This is a sacred tree, Ull. Then there is a field for hunting, there you will learn to rule the chariot, ride a horse, pacify the bulls and handle the cows. We are shepherds, we live in it if you don’t know, feed the cows, catch fish, so every man should be able to deal with cows and bulls. Have you grown up with a witch, have you seen a cow?

“No,” the boy shook his reddish curls, “we only had a goat, they fed me with its milk.”

— And mother like? — already anticipating the answer, but nevertheless asked him Aket.

“He sleeps in the ice with the witches,” he replied, lowering his eyes, “and I was still fed with deer brains from the bones when there was little milk.

— That’s why he became so strong, even though he didn’t taste the mother’s milk. We came, — he said, pointing to one of the holes in the mountain, closed by an oak door and curtained with deer skins, — we live in the old fashioned way, here live the same youngsters like you, and we, the soldiers, live in our wooden houses, who is married and each household is small. We build large log houses on the mainland, and on camps as in the old days, the houses are icy, round, with such a corridor, only on the knees you can go there, so that the heat would not go away. Come into your house, — and the guide opened the door and threw back the skin, they went down the corridor, opened another curtain, and found themselves in a warm room, illuminated with oil lamps made of clay, and heated hearth, built of stones, and held together with clay. In the corners there were eight sun loungers, and Ulle Atey led to one of them.

— This is your place, have a rest here, — and pointing to pegs in the wall, — and here you can hang your things. All other instructions from the teachers receive, in the evening you will meet your new friends.

Ull took out his belongings, and neatly hung all his goods on the wall, a bow and arrows in the middle, and thought it was bad that he did not have a chest here, like on Alatyr. Then he sat down on a stool on three legs, made of pine wood, and gazed at the fire.

— We’ll go to lunch a little later, the house is also nearby, there is a dining room, a warehouse, a barn near and a stable for horses, their workers are serving, be polite, they are not warriors, but here they promise to serve the gods year remains, and who is three. Seven live in another mountain, will call, do not go. They teach in another house, now it is winter, and in the summer they teach in free air, literacy, and the High Way, the Laws of Manu, Aket finished respectfully, and looked at Ulla, who turned her head with increasing attention, looking at the wacky dwelling.

Soon we went to dinner, entered the hut, standing on a high basement of boulders, the stairs and the door were richly decorated with carvings, the windows were tightened either with a fish or a bull bubble, but not as dark as in the cell of the youngsters in the mountain. They sat down at one big table, the warriors on the honorary part of the table, and closer to the edge, on the left, sat the youths, and the pupil vedunii sat down with them, as accepted in the youths. They ate decorously, with wooden boats, did not speak at the meal, they fed simply, but nourishingly, fish and barley porridge, kvass. Then the senior unit, Arpad, led to learn to own a sword and spear, and the soldiers, breaking into pairs, mastered the difficult science. Ull was set up with one more boy, two years older than him; there was no one younger than them. The other four went with other tutors to study.

“What is your name?” Ull asked the boy next to him, turning to face him. He was shorter than him, but wider at the shoulders, equally blond, also dressed like himself — in a fur jacket and pants with soft boots and a fur hat, and under the jacket was a knitted shirt.

— Gun they call me, I’m from the Ghans, And you from Mans?

“I don’t know,” the boy shrugged. “I was brought to the island in a boat on the shore, and my mother died.”“Ah,” the boy stretched understandingly, “come on, we start,” and lunged with the wood, and Ull rejected easily, and so they tried to get each other with training swords, Ullus managed to get the enemy with his sword, and Guna did not. He was already angry, and throwing the sword, rushed to the opponent with his fists, and Ull showed his skill, deftly leaving each blow, so that the whole squad threw exercises and watched forgetting everything on this dance, when only a small movement made an incomplete blow, powerful punch. Gong flushed all over, began to choke, Ull reddened a little, and decided to give in a little to Guna, because that was how the person tried, tired, probably. And at the next attack, he let himself be hooked with a footboard, but he did not let him down to the ground, hitting Gong under the knee, but caught him falling to the ground, and put him on his feet. Gong sniffled loudly, calming from the scrum.

“Teach, Ull?” He asked gloomily, holding out his hand.

“Of course,” shaking the palm of a new comrade, he answered.

From that day they became inseparable.

Doctrine and work a little effort

In the morning, on one of the days when the vernal equinox was not far away, Arpad led the retinue and youths to the lists, the ministers prepared the chariot, and a pair of horses were already unmanaged and harnessed to a light two-wheeled cart. Four more youths, Tal, Sirac and Pret and Knut followed him, talking about something cheerful, and laughing at their own jokes.

“Hey, Ull, and Gunn get ready, stand in the chariot and not fly out, you will learn to keep at the jump,” the leader told them. “Pal,” he called to the young man, already an older warrior, “you will be the driver.”

Pal came up to them, wearing a leather helmet with protective arcs, and a couple of the same helmets were in his hand.

“Take it and put it on,” the driver, handing out the equipment to them, “first you, Gun, and then Ull. After Tal, Syrac, Knut and Pret. Then give them the helmet, as you drive through a chariot.

Both men examined the helmets, twisted it like that and put it on their heads, having some doubts. Pal again addressed them:

— In the combat chariot, the top floor of the straps, so that it would not shake so much during the jump, you must stand with your knees bent slightly, try to catch the beat of the jump. Without a heroic drink it is difficult to control a weapon in a chariot fight. But just ride in a chariot and manage it is quite possible. Gong, let’s go.

Ull sat down on a stone and looked at how Pal first steered the chariot in steps, the sound of hooves in the snow was not overly audible, then accelerated on a level road, they were already racing, and the sound of hooves and the rumble of a carriage became louder, the driver began to lay already sharp turns, repeating the turns, unfolding and evasion of attacks from foreign chariots. Here the driver stopped the chariot, which had already filled the track in the shallow snow. Gong, flushed red, jumped off the chariot, spraying Ulla with snowflakes and water splashes, which, however, managed to shrink from the dirty splashes, which disappointed his friend, and Tal managed to hit the snowball in Guna, and he rushed to the bully, but after a while they were separated by their comrades, without letting them wave fists. Ull straightened his jacket and pants, and went to the wagon, saw how it was decorated with carvings, how the deer were galloping away from the lions on the board, and the warriors were collecting weapons next to the wheels of the wagon. The horses were already hot, hooves on the ground impatiently, and pulled the harness, but the skillful driver held the harness with a firm hand.

“Sit down, boy,” said Pal, smiling at him, slightly pulling on the reins.

Ull straightened his leather helmet, and first with his left foot, then with his right he stepped on the taut straps of the chariot, and slightly bent his knees, as he was taught. The driver clapped the straps, sending the horses forward. The chariot started off with a jerk, but Ull was holding tight, balancing his legs, not even leaning on the side of the wagon, Pal turned his head to him, grinning with a smile with all his teeth, and immediately turned his gaze forward without leaving horses and the way without attention.The boy saw how difficult and responsible the work of the driver, similar to the work of the man in the stormy sea, guesses the uneven ground, like the waves of the sea, measures the size of the boat, and here the turning radius of the wagon and its stability, the force of the wind is similar to to gallop endlessly. Ull was accustomed to, and quietly changing his balance, helping Pal get out of his complicated turns. Finally, they stopped, foam covered the muzzle of horses, Ull jumped off the chariot and went to Guna, to sit next to a friend. The next one got up in the chariot of Tal, dressed in a protective helmet, and repeating the lesson of Pala, and after him drove in the wagon Sirac and Pret and then Knut.

The driver, having finished with all the boys, went to the stable, handing over the cart to the servants, and soon returned.

“Ull, didn’t you just sit in the chariot before?” Pal asked, waving his hands in the manner of a seagull with disbelief.

“No, mentor, and I didn’t see horses, I swear by Ilios,” the boy answered, taking off his helmet and putting a hat on his curls, “they would have liked Elisia,” he smiled wistfully, and felt that there, far away, she was fine too.

“Who is this?” Asked Pal.

Twin sister, stayed on Alatyr.

— Among Harith — veduny is studying, — the driver smiled, — after five years you will meet.

“She is with Pryakh, Pal,” said Ull sadly, and looked at the driver and friend, and to be honest, did not expect what he saw. “The gun fell from a boulder, and the driver, in excitement, took off his helmet, went to the boy, and patted him on the shoulder.

“That’s why they sent you off the island, man.” She is a very difficult girl to know, and you, too, you see, and he looked at him carefully.

— Tomorrow we will train through the bull to jump, first through the wooden one. For now, rest.

“I love a bull,” Pret grinned.

“I, too,” Knut sighed.

— You? — Sirac laughed, — three times before the end of the body did not reach and hit, you know what, — Tal smiled.

“You will like it, Ull,” Sirak confirmed his opinion, “your reaction is excellent, I watched you hold on.” You will not need a drink in battle.

— What did you say about the drink? — asked Ull Pala, their mentor.

— It is only after initiation, Ulle. Do not hurry to live, — and he grinned and went to the retinue house, leaving the boys alone.

“Ull,” Tugging at his sleeve, Gong was already looking at him, frightened, “won’t you tell my sister that I climbed my fists at you?”

“I do not understand, you didn’t hit me,” Ull laughed.

“If she is spinning, it means she is chosen,” his friend said with a positive shake of her head, “Here, Ion, whom Kit swallowed, and after a week he was released from the womb, he now studies at the Seven and does not come out of the Mountain.

“I didn’t know,” the boy was incredibly surprised, “about Jonah. Tell me, Gun.

The boy, satisfied with the attention, sat down on a boulder, made a mysterious face, knitted his brows as an adult, he only lacked kithara, and began to tell:

— Seven desperate warriors went hunting for whales on the boat, and the waves did not frighten them, and the blue sea pleased them, and Jonah was among them. They sailed, they sailed, and finally, they saw a huge whale. It was all whales whale — thirty cubits in length, — and he lifted his face to the gray, overcast northern sky.

Sirac and Pret could not stand it, they laughed so much that they even coughed and Tal soothed them, banging his palm on their backs.

“Jonah threw an oak jail, but he didn’t hit,” Gun went on after a pause, “and struck Keith with his merciless tail on the boat, and a strong blue warrior fell into the sea and swallowed his awful Fish Kit. For a long time, brave warriors chased Keith and overtook the monster, and they killed Keith with an enormous spear, dragged the carcass to the shore, cut the belly with a knife in the length of the elbow, and rescued the brave warrior. Then the skin came off him, but a new one grew up, and he is alive and well.

“Yes, a glorious feat,” agreed Ull. But you and I will be glorious warriors, Gun.

— Exactly, Ull. The most glorious.

Soon it was lunch time, then they were instructed in the struggle and reading the runes, then there was dinner, and went to sleep in their cell, opened a tightly worked door, so that the animals would not climb until they were there. The youths entered their cave, passing the corridor closed by fur curtains, inflated the hearth and flooded the stove, trying to keep warm, after a long time the cell was warm, and the students were able to take off their fur clothes. Ull looked at how his new friends looked — and they were dressed like him — the same linen coarse pants and trousers, fur or knitted sleeveless jackets for warmth, and soft boots on his feet.

“You Ull, you hold on a chariot perfectly, and you fight a fist fight, and you understand the letter, all three kinds. And here we are, “Tal added,” for two years here, “Tal was tall and blond, like everyone here, and the head was childishly trimmed, so that only a curl of hair remained, and he had a razor after another.

“And you won’t cut your hair,” added Sirac, playing with a bronze razor.

“Mara does not tell me,” found Ull, smiling broadly.

“Do not meddle with him,” said Gun, “he has a sister in front.

The guys’ faces immediately stretched out, Sirac hurriedly put the razor under the fur blanket.

“You don’t know here,” scratching his shaven head, said Pret, to envy you or to feel sorry for your sister, and he came up and patted Ulla on the shoulder. -Maybe you will see who knows. But on the chariot you are great.It seems the cell was warm, you can go to bed.

— And you’re the twin Ull, everyone is afraid of the twins. They used to say, they even killed, everyone is afraid of prophecies.

“Why are they afraid of me?” Said the boy, shrugging his shoulders.

— The prophecy says that: “The twins will be born from a dead mother, they will take the chosen people into the lands unknown, and will give the laws born by the mountain to other people”

“Tell me something else, Pret,” asked Ull.

Okay, listen. It’s about dactyls, fingers, there are such little people, they live in Alatyr-mountain…

“I didn’t see,” Ull interjected, “and I lived there.”

“I didn’t see it, because small ones, just a finger wide, Lada spawned them in grief, when she leaned on her palm, fingerprints, fingers are still called krts, because nobody sees them, they are notable rounders, everyone knows. Help the elect if Lada orders.

Ull lay, and looked at his fingers, and thought, what small people are, live where Ale, I wonder, does she see them?

“Let’s go to sleep,” said Tal, “will rise early, run to breakfast from morning until breakfast, then shoot from a bow, and we will jump over the bull.”

Ull lay down comfortably, covered with a fur blanket, it was warm and good in the cell, and he soon fell asleep.

He was awakened by the crash of a fist on a wooden door, and Sirac hurriedly went to open the door, which was closed for the night.

“Wash, it’s time for classes, lessons are waiting for you and a vigil,” said the boy, the warrior Gnur, told them, of those with whom he sailed in the same boat. Two more teenagers were standing next to him.

“Get acquainted, this is Arius, and this is Vour,” he first pointed to one and then another teenager Gnur. Arius was taller than Vour, and Vour’s jacket was almost black, and Aria had light brown.

“You are all here and gathered,” Gunur laughed, “all the sons of the leaders here, as Arpad ordered and Seven sentenced. Gunas-Gun from the guns, Syrac from the Sindi, Knut from the Scolts, Vour from the Parsis, and Mansa Pret from the Dan, Tal from the Svei, Arius from the Van.

In turn, six teenagers called their names, lazy voices from a sleep. They all got dressed, covered the embers of the hearth with a stone pot, so that there would be no fire, quickly washing up, youths, now there were seven of them, went to run. We ran for a long time, drowning in snow with soft boots, at first it was cold, but soon Ull got warm, and everyone, too, ran with flushed faces. The youngsters were led by the gun, and set the pace, returned to the cell, rubbed with snow, got dressed, and went to the shooting range. They took their bows and arrows, shooting gloves and shields to protect their left hand from the bowstring. Ahead was the deliberate knight, Gnur, and after him, two by two, marched militarily, which was followed at this time by Sirac, the young students, walking in such a way that they did not break the order, even stepping on crisp snow.

“Stand in a row, between each of three steps,” demanded Gnur dexterously.

“Remove the bows from the irradiation, bend the bow under your foot,” he said, and did what he said, and the youths repeated after him, “now cling the string to the hook first from the bottom,” and hooked the string itself, “and then from above,” and in his hands was already a mighty reinforced bow.

They all stood holding bows in their left hands with a stretched string in fifty steps from the targets. Gnur looked sternly at the youths, walked over to the two, Ullue and Talu, straightening their legs in a rack with a bow.

— Get ready, and when ready — shoot, three arrows each.

Ull straightened the shield on his left hand, pulled the arrow out of the quiver, pulled the string to the ear, and sent it to the target, a wooden pole, then the second arrow and the third, lowered the bow and hid it in the beam. Gun and Knut were shot next to him. They held the bow quite cleverly.

Druzhinnik waited until the students finished shooting, and went to inspect the target, or rather all were Ull and Arius.

— Ull and Arius shoot further. Get off another fifty paces, and all the youths, move aside the shooters.

Ull stood next to Arius, he grinned caustically at him, he took off the hood, so that the wind waved his curls on his shaved head, but without knowing it, he helped Ullü aim.

“Well, kid, now we will find out who is who,” Arius joked bitterly and fired the first. The arrow, painted red, hit the center of the pillar, and the boys roared with delight.

— Ary! Arius! — pupils shouted in delight.

Ull clenched his teeth, estimated the wind, took out an arrow, aimed and fired. At first, the audience did not believe what they saw. Then the crowd rushed through the snow, overtaking each other. Gnur, as a senior, walked behind in a hurry, and Ull walked behind, sighing beforehand as he went. Gun and Tal, not believing their eyes, felt the arrow of Ulle, which split the arrow of Aria with her bronze tip.

“I have never seen such a thing,” said Gnur in surprise, “just a great archer, you, an islander.” You’re on the deer brains of all overtaken.

The youths approached, and each, considered it his duty to feel the arrow, the one that Aria slipped off soon fell on the already trampled snow. The wind was not strong, but as if mocked, snowflakes began to fall from the sky, covering the traces of the guns and mans, and a small detachment discussing archery went for lunch. After eating, letting the fat inside the still-childish bodies solidify, Gnur led the boys to a wooden bull, located nearby. Three people with Ulls at the head dragged a large armful of straw, so that the unfortunate jumper would not suffer.

Placing the pupils next to him, the tutor stood right in front of the bull at ten paces, took off his jacket and gave it to Aria, ran away with fast jumps, and carrying the weight on his right leg jumped carrying his hands far ahead, and flying, he jumped his hands easily over the wooden figure and got up on his feet in three steps from the simulator and raised his hands up. Taking the jacket back and smiling, Gnur got dressed and threw a hood over his head and stood without saying a word. The youths were silent in admiration.

“Let’s do it,” said Arius, taking off his jacket and giving it to Ull.

“Walk ten paces, run, push with your right foot, and jump,” his teacher instructed him.

The guy did it all — he ran away, pushed, jumped, put weight on his hands and flew over the log, but could not resist and fell into the straw, quickly dusted off, and came running and the general system, and got dressed. So everyone began to jump, and quickly warmed up in a slight frost, the youngsters were strong and agile, and everyone got it. So time passed, and it was getting dark, and everyone quickly got dressed, had supper and went to rest. The next morning they were raised again, and now they began to learn more and correctly fall on the run, then the soldiers would learn to fall from the chariot and quickly rise.

“Look,” said their usual teacher Gnur, who himself was running slowly, and suddenly fell on his side, putting his arm bent at the elbow and firmly pressing it to the body, taking a punch on the fur sleeve and soft fabric of the shoulder, and then also falling to the left.

“Come on, build one at the back of your head, four steps, forward, march,” and he clapped his hands.

The disciples ran, and began to fall left and right in turns, and soon their fur coats were in the snow, many laughed at the faces of their friends, some crooked and rubbed their hands, hurt badly about the trampled snow. The procedure lasted a long time, and then everything alternated, shooting, running, fencing, wrestling, jumping, and then again and again the same, so that they did not get bored. But the polar winter soon began, and they were taught to read and write, as well as combat tactics. Arpad was without a fur jacket, only in a linen shirt of the same pants, soft boots and a fur sleeveless jacket. Already started to grow a beard, the age he already allowed, his hair, like many here, had blond hair. Arpad himself put a ladle with kvass, from which he drank sip by sip, next to the sandy table, on which stood bronze figures of warriors showing.Gun and Sirac took the hands of the wheelwalker figures in their hands, for which Sirac caught a light cuff, and Gun, however, deftly dodged Arpad’s callous hand, which earned the comrades ‘screams of comrades, Sirac was rubbing his shaved head.

“Look,” the instructor pointed out with his hand, “here are our chariots, they will attack the enemy infantry, building on the right flank, and after attacking along the line, driving into the left, and then circling the formation of their infantry, again falls on the right flank. The light infantry covers the wheelchairs, and the reserve of chariots covers the left as well, — he pointed out with his hand, — and to the right, and in these chariots archers, and the lancers are attacking the infantry. Why right to left attack?

— Kope held in his right hand, and his left support, answered Ull.

— That’s right, so the chariot turns from right to left. And we must beware of the attack of the enemy’s chariots in the flanks. Light infantry helps chariots, so they are helped by thirty fighters. Remember. Or an attack is possible when first the chariots alternately fire at the enemy formation of bows, not bringing the matter to a melee.

The training lasted for a long time, the old warrior told how to lead a detachment with a march, how to conduct reconnaissance, control a wagon train, repel attacks and much more important things. After lunch, when it was already dark, the youths, tired of their classes, trudged over the snow, and the glow of the Heavenly Kingdom shone over them, the stars dazzlingly shone on the black and clear sky, and the lights dazzled the sky of the North, so that there was a crack as if coming from kingdom of the gods. Everyone raised their heads up, admiring the unmatched picture, beautiful and amazing for those who have not seen it, and even more beautiful who have seen all the time — the Northern Lights.

Step forward

Three years passed, and the young men, who were already thirteen years old, were allowed to go fishing. It was a northern summer, the sun was shining in the blue sky, and almost did not set at night, so the night was not as such. Eight guys, pupils of the Seven, collected things in their cell, put crackers, dried fish, in a wooden jar with water, and a fire in a pot braided with a vine. Ulle took with him an inseparable bow and a quiver of good arrows. Gun stood beside him and stuffed bread in the bag, checked the knife on his belt, then thought, and put on leather pants instead of linen. Ull also pulled off his boots, and put on waterproof pants and boots, securing them with soft straps.

— What are you there soon? “How beautiful are girls, they don’t know what to wear,” Tal said.

Sirac and Tal screamed loudly, patting each other’s shoulders, enjoying their own joke.

“And Ull has hair, just like a girl,” Knut joked,

— You envy that? -Ill laughed, -your hair began to grow like an adult, and then only a shred there, a shred nearby.

Arius and Vour laughed even harder, but they did not release the straps of the bags.

“Come on, it’s time, and then Pal will see that we are idle here, in a moment will find the case,” said Sirac, “and he left to close the smoldering hearth with a stone lid, and closed the door for everyone, and ran to catch up with his people. The band was walking along the green grass of the island, the grass was growing between the stones, and it was hard to believe that everything had been covered with snow recently. The legs themselves carried youths, just yesterday they were taught to disassemble two types of letters, and even knots, their types, how to knit, and what this ordinary letter means. They all already knew the language of embroidery on their shirts, which tribes which patterns alternate, which tattoos and what time they were put on, learned how to fight and fist fights, and wielded weapons excellently — the best warriors taught them all the secrets. Similarly, they instructed in the High Path how to behave in life and in war, so as not to drop the gear and gain the help of the gods. But now they could have fun, and go to sea. They dragged the leather boat to the open water, and in the boat they also placed seven darts with bronze tips and five bows with arrows. The boots of the youths cautiously stepped on the pebbles under the water, and the strong arms pushed the ship so as not to tear the plating on the stones, and finally, the boat was in deep water, and they alternately climbed aboard, trying not to rock the ship so that it would not draw water.They took the oars, and the boat rocked out into the sea, but did not lose sight of the coast. Sirak and Gong began to cast nets. At the bottom of the boat, more than five dozen fish were already beating in the baskets. The boys looked at each other with happy smiles.

“Excellent fishing came out,” said the contented Vour, “but we eat all the dried stuff, and now fresh.” Fine.

— Well, and then next time they will probably be released only in a week, we will ride and fight on the chariot, train all day long.

“What you need to do,” muttered Whip.

“The hand is already blue, they are learning to fall, so I already beat off my shoulder, Katya laughs at us,” Arius worried.

“He himself flew out of the wagon at full speed, a spear fell into it, fell well to the ground, and now he teaches others,” Gun said, “Your life will depend on this, otherwise you will drink soma, not quite working, doing what you previously knew. Then you will thank him for science.

Ull was sitting in a boat and putting fish in the third basket, and he felt something familiar, the weight fell on his head, making it difficult to think. HE REMEMBERED.

“Gun, come on to that island, see on your left hand?” And Ull showed, stretching out his hand in that direction.

— What happened, Ull?

— The storm is coming, feeling me. It is better to wait there, but we will not sail to Buyan.

Gong sighed heavily, shook his head, said:

— Well, but if you made a mistake, your bow will be mine, and if you make no mistake, I will give you my dagger.

— Arius, we turn to the island, there is a cave, wait it out. Ull prophesies the wind will fall, beware.

Pupils began to row harder, turned left, changing course, and moved to the island. With each stroke of the merry oars, the lodya moved across the sea, and the wind grew stronger, a black cloud appeared in the sky, clouding the whole sky. The sailors tried to turn the oars even faster, finally they were able to reach the shore, jumped out of the boat, took her by the sides and lifted her, dragged her to the shore.

“The cave, Gun,” shouted Sirak, pointing to the open mouth of the mountain.

— Knut, Ull, Voor, take a pot of fire and fish, drag everything to the cave, and we will carry the boat away from the waves.

The young men grabbed the booty and ran to the cave, carried everything back, returned again, laid them in order, began to rain and the strongest waves hit the coast, but they did not reach the boat, at least for now. A log was sculpted nearby, and Ull was dragged into a cave, lifting the front end of a tree with many branches. The youths transferred all belongings to the shelter, and reinforced the boat with stones on the shore. Vatazhniki began to break off branches from a tree, and put them in a corner of the cave, and Arius and Vour prepared a place for the hearth, Sirac and Knut set to gut the fish with knives in the sandy cave floor. The case was arguing, and a storm was already raging outside, a shower poured over the island and the sea, water poured from the sky into the water in the sea. Gun and Ulle broke branches first, then Tal brought a small bronze hatchet out of his bag to the giant Tal. The case went faster, Ulle chopped up many branches with an ax, a bunch of chips was already formed, suitable for ignition, but the young men continued until they prepared a bunch of firewood for the night. Meanwhile, the hearth was ready, and twenty fishes gutted.

Gun, as descended from a tribe of lesovikov, began to make a fire, putting logs there, and in the middle for ignition he made chips. Ull brought a sacred pot with a small fire, fished a pair of cherry-colored coals from the middle with bronze tongs and threw them on the chips prepared by his friend, who began to fan the flames. He blew and blew, puffing his cheeks, lio turned red, and then the fire began, the chips began to flare up, and Gong began to slowly feed the hungry spirit of fire with food more and more, and now, on the floor of the cave, the fire cracked gleefully, lighting and heating the children. Ull took a vessel with coals by the wicker handles and put it in the recess of the cave floor, closing it with a clay lid. Vatazhniki sat around the fire, everyone had funny faces, and since the fish on the rods were stuck around the fire, it was fried, then soon people should become simply satisfied. The young men relaxed, the tension went away from their faces, was replaced by fun. Suddenly Gong frowned and looked with incomprehension at Ulla.

“Like you…” he painfully picked up words, “learned about bad weather,” he slowly said, as if squeezing phrases out of himself, as if he was afraid of an answer.

Ull smiled back, just slapped his friend on the shoulder, and turned the roasting cod, but noticed how other young men were looking at him.

— I felt it. I always feel gong. I can only say that it is quite unpleasant, not like in fairy tales that Shirak likes to say. That’s it.

“And how is it?..” asked Arius in a low voice.

“My head hurts terribly, crushes everything,” Ull said slowly, trying to convey everything in words, “but don’t tell anyone anymore.”

“We won’t say,” everyone said loudly.

“Now everyone would have walked along the Ice Bridge, if it were not for you, Ull,” said Gong, “no one would have reached, but he would have, still would have frozen it later.” You and I were lucky.

— Enough for you, — said Ull, — let’s eat, the fish is ready. Remove roasted from twigs.The youths removed the finished fish, and planted another piece of cleaned fish on the rods. Cooked, fried put in a large bowl, and waited until it cools.

— Sirac, tell me something, tell me, everyone shouted.

— A short story, and that is, I want to, — he agreed, — So, the tale of Gemini, — and he quickly looked at Ulla, — long, long ago, in a distant land, a woman was born Gemini, a boy and a girl, they grew up and there was no one more fit and reasonable, and they hunted the beast of all together, and the boy was a strong hunter, and the girl and the hunter were a noble and clever clever man. But once a boy went, but he was hunting in the Dark Forest, and Geese Swans abducted him, and carried him to the Kingdom of Heaven, to Ilios and Leto, and the boy liked the gods, and again Sirac looked at the curly giant, and the girl went after her brother unreasonable, and she saw the river of fire that separates the world of the living, and passed it, and then there was a secret cave, and the girl forgot about the fear and walked the muddled path, and saw the Sacred apple tree, so that its purpose was close. For the apples were not simple, but rejuvenating, but the girl was not seduced, did not eat them, otherwise she would have remained in the Kingdom of Gods, only tore herself for the apple and her brother, so that they would return to the world of the living. And she came to the fork of the Worlds, and took the beloved brother’s hand with her, and Dear Mist led him, and back past the apple tree, and led the way through Putaya underground cave, and they ate through the apple, and could then pass through the River of Fire. But the Geese-Swans could not get and return them to the Kingdom of Gods, for they had tasted the fruits of knowledge, and they were alone in the Kingdom of Gods, and returned from there.

“That is why, Ulle, all the people of Gemini fear and hope for them,” Sirac concluded.

All the youths had thoughtful eyes, everyone looked away into the distance, through the flames something unknown was revealed to them. Even Ull wondered, as if he saw something in front of him in the fog, obvious and implicit, he was or was not he, and his sister was near, but his clothes were unusual, and their weapons were only spears made from the bones of an animal. He never saw such a reality.

— The fish is ready, — all distracted Knut, — let’s eat.

Everyone sorted out the fish from the bowl, slightly spitting food, it was very tasty, especially after a hard day. Bread is divided into all. The young men quickly cleaned the dish, and set to cook the fish the next day, to sail, as the sea will calm down. While everyone had finished, the fish was baked, the food was hidden from the animals, covered with an empty vessel, and took out a flask and drank water.

“Are the Gemini Gods or Men?” Asked Arius Sirac.

— Someone who interprets, remember Seven interpreted that they are the creature of Elios and Leto, others say that They are only their incarnation on Earth, one thing is for sure that they live as people and die as people, but ascend as gods.

“What are their names,” asked Tal, propping up his chin with his right hand.

“My sister’s name is Svetoch- In-Thme, and the Brother is called the King of the Mountain,” Sirak grinned. “Seven more will be told to us, and there the Dedication awaits us.

“Tell me something else,” asked Ull, “briefly, and fall asleep more quickly.”

— About enchanted Brother. So, once sailed to a small island in the boat, and saw people on a small island, they wanted to attack the Son of the Lada, and he bewitched them, and they became enchanted dolphins, and he threw them into the sea, and now accompanied by dolphins waiting for the witch’s enchantment to be lifted

Tal was looking up and dreaming how great it was to swim with dolphins, not only in such an icy sea, but maybe, that is, where there are warm seas.

“You have to go to sleep,” said Gun, “put on warm clothes.”

And he pulled the knitted coat from his bag and put on his jacket, putting a leather bag under him. Others also began getting ready, putting on spare parts. Were closer to each other, that would not freeze. Soon everyone fell asleep. The sun almost did not set at that time, but Sirac heard that the rain had stopped and went to inspect the shore and the boat. The vessel was in place, only filled with rain water, the sky was clear, the weather was good and the wind was blowing. Several trees were washed to the shore, and the young man dragged one of them closer to the cave. Vatahozhniki began to wake up, rubbing his eyes.

“We have to eat and sail before the fog falls to the sea,” said Gun.

The fire burned, the young men sat around and had breakfast with yesterday’s fish, and Gong began to put out the fire, flooding it with sea water. Trees dragged into the cave just in case, and all belongings were carried ashore, not forgetting the vessel with fire and fish in two baskets. It was cooler after the rain, the youths groaning dragged the boat into the open water, loaded it with their good, and climbed into it themselves. Immediately earned oars, trying to sail away, so that the waves would not be carried to the shore travelers. Finally they swam, and Buyan showed up on the horizon, but what happened was what Gung was afraid of — the fog fell, and thick like milk, moved at random, all of them had faces, except for Ulla.

“Yes, I know where to swim, why are you worried,” Ull shrugged and grinned, “to my right, turn the boat a little.”

Everyone looked hopefully at his guide in the fog, but his face was serene, they rowed and rowed, as the surf lane was noticed, and noisy joy seized everyone. They began to pull out the boat, it turned out that they landed near the village, so they decided to walk. Four carried the boat, the rest carried the entire belongings of the gang.

“Ull, you are just like a raven, you see in the mist, and the fog is not a hindrance to you,” Arius puffed and puffed the boat, “you did it right away, just crouched, twirled, and everything. Ambush found instantly. Just like in fairy tales, on the ground like a gray wolf, in the sky like a falcon, in the sea like a Fish.

They came, and met them on the beach, holding his fingers in his belt and arms akimbo, mentor Arpad.

— Hello, sons! I see you just smiles good luck. And the storm you uneasy, and fog. Yesterday I wanted to send a large rook for him, but Seven said that you are coming back.

“Everything worked out, thanks ataman,” said Gun, scratching his head with growing short hair and long curls, “Ull was a notable navigator.” Held us like an albatross through storms and fog.

“Take the fish to the kitchen, and go to the bath yourself, you need to warm up better, otherwise you have to treat the Seven,” Arpad said, “and take Albatros with you, otherwise the beak will fall off in the cold.”

They gave the cod to the kitchen, and went to the bathhouse, which had already been melted down by the servants.It was also a construction of logs, low smoke coming out of the hole under the roof. All undressed in the waiting room, and sat on the benches, basking. After going to sea, the bath was very appropriate. We sat for a long time, intelligently, pouring hot stones on the heated stones. It seemed that the cold was going straight from the bones along with fatigue. Finally, the youths rinsed, and sat in the dressing room, sipping herbal hot infusion.

The study continued, the most time was spent fighting with swords, taught to fight with a sword in one hand and a dagger in the other. Running in the armor of the youths was through the day, and gradually the bone armor became familiar to the northern soldiers.

And three years soon passed, and it was time for the trials. On the first day they shot from bows, the best turned out to be Ull, as in the fight with swords.

Sirac, the best horseman, turned out to be the charioteer, surpassing the others, while the chariot warrior and the best turned out to be four at once — Ull, Arius, Gun, and Knut. In running in armor, Tal won, although Arpad noticed that Ull fell on purpose. In a simple run, Voor defeated, and there, too, there was a ridiculous situation;

After throwing a spear, Knut threw a spear farthest, a spear flew right up to the fence of the lists.

The youths went to the mountain, accompanied by Arpad and Kate.

— Now we will look for the fox, we must read its trail, and be able to find the secret path of the beast.

The students one by one tried to read the confusing trail, it seemed that everything worked out, but even the day without a night did not help the subjects, everything was in vain, no one did the lesson. Arpad looked at the youths for a long time, bowed his head and smiled vaguely, then a grin lit his face, and he spoke:

— Then it is believed that you did not complete the lesson, you simply could not, and the initiation will pass only among the Seven, you will not enter the Maze and do not visit the Golden Temple.

Ull looked at the gloomy faces of friends who clenched their fists in despair, not knowing what to do.

“Maybe I’ll try,” Ull said quietly.

“Come on, once again, just remember, this is the last time,” added Katey.

Ull squatted examining the animal’s tracks, took a step, another, third, walked on the grass, bouncing between the boulders and crouching again, he seemed like a wolf, following the long-awaited prey. Ull simply crawled along the grass, did not even seem to touch her, and saw the trail with an inner eye, and nothing interfered with him, he walked and walked, reaching the right one, jumped over the creek, another step, another and a third, and voila! He saw a cage with arctic fox on a boulder in a low grass, grabbed it and carried it to Kate and Arpad. They looked at him as he moved with wide eyes, not understanding who the man was in front of them, or the werewolf who came to people from the Ice Trail.

“Look, Arpad, Katey, I found it!” And he pulled them to the animal cage, we won. We have completed all the lessons, chieftain.

— It was the last lesson, Labyrinth. Let’s go there, “their mentor replied.

“Well done, Ull,” friends shouted to him, “we have passed!”

Arpad quietly whispered in Katey’s ear: “This is the purpose of the tests and teachings, what would they feel all together, that it was WE who passed, and not I passed.” Katey imperceptibly nodded to the ataman, lightened up.

And then, after the passage of Ulm the Labyrinth, something bitter happened. Ull completely lost his mind, spoke to everyone only in an imperative tone, did not recognize anyone, and when they tried to attack him in order to instruct Katey and Pal, trained fighters, the guy scattered both of them. Four tried to approach him, he was able to incapacitate even four. Ulla, like a bear, lured Gong into an ambush, the guys threw a fishing net at him, his hands fell into mesh cells, and his left leg too, and they pulled the earth out from under the enchanted bogatyr, and he poked his face into the ground, rolling his curls in the mud, he roared, straining his arms and legs, but the rescuers had come to a halt and had already pulled off the ropes and leather straps, so they pulled them to the guy’s torso.

“What is the matter with you, boy,” Arpad stumbled along the cheek of a madman, “Remember, our friend, our hope,” repeated the voivode, crouching next to the fallen man, “what can we do with you?”

— About sister, witch, we forgot, mentor. We will send her a message if she does not help, and I don’t know what to do, let Seven decide then.

— Gun, carry the bark and wrote, Knut, Tal, Arius and Sirac will sail for Elicia, gifts, carry all that we, the mammoths have a tooth, jade bowls, all for Pryakhs and for Mara. And you Gong drive, you’re his friend, and you’re the most talkative of us. But be careful, take care of Mary, and if the tales of Ella are at least half true, then keep your mouth shut and pity for pity, because her brother fell ill. But who knows what Pryhahs did to her, and Arpad I grabbed my head with my hands, “I will sail out to send the youngsters,” and he jumped off the stone, but Katey and Tal kept him.

— Ataman, — it is impossible, you made a vow, The island will not leave without the order of the Seven.

The pressure of the mentor weakened, and he no longer burst from the hands of his warriors, only took a breath, and everything looked and looked intently at Ulla, and straightened the belt with a dagger, then laid his thumbs over the belt.

“Okay, Gun,” he sighed again, although this sigh was more like a whale’s exhalation, “you can handle it.” Let’s bark here.

Arpad began to write:

“Mare from Arpad bow and hello.

Please send Ella to us on Buyan Island,

With Ulls bad, he himself is not his own, became obsessed,

will not recognize anyone. On her one hope that his


— Here, take the message, — and he took the ring, smeared with soot, and put a seal on the bottom of the inscription. Gun took this message, put the letter in a leather bag on its side, and the detachment followed the boat, which stood on the shore near the pier. When the gang came to shore, Arpad went to the boys, and hugged everyone on the road.

“One hope for you,” and he smiled faintly, “Ilios is a witness, there has never been such a thing here.” Do not try to drown on the way, we are waiting for you from the Virgin Island here. Take a couple of jails just in case, and Pal put two long spears in a boat. In the meantime, the young men dragged the raid out by boat.

“Wait for us in four days!” Gung shouted, jumping into the boat to be friends.

“Come on,” and stood up at the steering oar.

The oars struck to the beat, ripping up the water surface of the Frozen Sea. It was calm, as if the weather had conjured up, and the rowers tirelessly quickly worked with oars, and the mountain and the eternal mists of Alatyr Island seemed to appear. The pitching was small, and Gung noticed that Sirac was tired, replaced him on the bank, and began to row together with Tal. It did not remain long, the pibrya line appeared, and slow waves crashed against coastal stones, raising heaps of spray. There was another paddle, and the boat passed over the pebbles, and the youths jumped out of the boat, kneeling in the water, but their leather pants did not allow water to penetrate and wet the heated bodies, but they felt the cold of the sea right away, and grabbed the boat by the edges. The feet of the youngsters in their boots slid over the stones under water, the pupils breathed loudly, and at the cry: “And — once!” with a jerk, they dragged her to the shore, and carried her about a dozen more steps, so that the waves would not damage the ship.

“What’s next, Gun,” he asked, like a senior, Sirak, “a forbidden island, men cannot go to their abode.” Visit Alatyr? No one would believe.

— Well, the mountain can be seen from here, now we will connect two forts, and we tie our jacket to them, then they will notice.

“Not bad,” Arius praised, “take a spare belt from me,” and handed it to his companion.

Gong leaned over to the boat, took out his spears, put them on the stones, leveled, his friends supported the boiscels while he tied them with a belt, slipped the belt in the buckle and tightened it, and then wrapped the spears tightly, and got a five-meter yarn, and tied his jacket with a rope, and the sleeves of his jacket, too, and hoisted his improvised banner over himself, Arius stood next to him, supporting the flag on the left, Tal stood on the other side, and did not believe his eyes, the wind arched the fur so that Guna turned out of the sleeves, fur collar and wide floor of Guna’s garb GRIFONA.

Griffin is coming

The younger pupil emerged from the cave, opening the door and the canopy, it was colder and more uncomfortable outside than the warm hearth, but she had to go to the spring and get some water. The girl straightened the hood on her head, removed the braid under her fur coat, and took the leather buckets and went to the stream. She looked around, it seemed to her that in the distance, on the shore, someone was there, and looked closely, and saw on the pole next to the figures of people, a banner of signs. Griffin’s banner, the girl’s hands opened up by themselves, and the buckets hit the stones deafly, and she promptly opened the door of the aisle, and ran along the corridor, but did not make a sound — Mary’s lessons affected, and ran into the upper room, gave a bow to her elder, touching the palm the right hand of the floor finally said softly:

“The griffin is here.” -What are you, Uta, — spoke quietly, but threateningly Mara, — Did Uryok Pryakh hear a lot for the night? Tomorrow again you will go around the island traps, — and yet she got up from the seat.

— Come on, show.

And the two of them passed through the corridor of the monastery, and went outside, toward the bright sun from the dim light of the upper room. Uta showed her hand where she saw the banner, Mara turned there, and saw what was expected.

— They went girl, let’s see who Lada brought here.

And they went over stones, somewhere covered with low grass, and small tongues of the earth, where the grass grew thicker. Mara, in her excitement, took off her hood, her legs buckled in her lap, she was afraid not to hold out and scream, but Uta distracted her, and she didn’t want to show her horror, and was afraid to see what she had to do. They approached five young boys, one of whom was holding an improvised banner in his hands, while he himself was without a jacket in the wind.

— Hello to you, young sailors, -He looked at clothes and daggers, and said differently:

— Will you be healthy, the youths of the chosen army, that you will seek on a hidden island?

“We came from Arpad, and Gun’s name is us,” the young man pointed to himself, and put the flag on the ground, and put on his jacket, “This is Arius,” he pointed to the boy on the right, “this is Sirac,” showed one more, “but it is Knut and Tal, and he pointed to the latter, and they also bowed to the waist belt.

“My name is Mara,” and the witch noticed how the youngsters started, “and Uta,” said the younger one who blushed under the looks of the guys.

“What are you trying to do for the cause, or are you from the business, good fellows,” she began to say in High syllable.

— And you let go with us the Maiden — the light of the glorious Elisha, so that she healed her brother Ulla, the brave warrior, and the whole squad of mighty Alatyr is asked for — the island’s island is wonderful. And this, — and he pointed to the gifts, and to the wonderful tooth indrik — gifts to you from the Seven and Arpad and our entire squad glorious. And a letter from Arpad, — and I gave a letter from a leather bag.

“What are you saying?” Mara was at once taken aback and switched to ordinary speech.

— Not recognizes anyone, our daredevil, as if Geese-swans had already taken him to the Kingdom of Heaven.

— It is clear that you will transfer the boat to the hut, and wait there, — and she indicated where to go, the good is that the dwelling was not far, in fifty steps.

The youths bowed, and putting the prison in the boat, taking the boat on its shoulders carried it to the hut. We got there, put the ship upside down to dry out of the sea water, and went into the house to warm up. The windows, covered with fish-tanned leather, let in a little light, but more than oil lamps, but Gong took one out, lit it, and put a bronze mirror behind the stove, so the house became light. Gun and Arius put bags of food on the benches, and began to get a cheb, dried fish, and Sirac set up blackened glossy bowls, Tal poured kvass from a flask on wooden buckets. When everything was ready, the five brave men sat around the table, removing the hoods of their jackets. Everyone finally ate, bread and fish after hard work — good food. Gong stood up and proclaimed:

— Ghans and Manns gathered here to save Ull, who helped us more than once, and saved someone from death. Good luck! For our luck!


Mara, meanwhile, with Uta returned to the monastery, and sat in a chair in extreme excitement. In total, the seven witches were sitting next to each other, and one of them was Mara, and they were twirling woolen threads. They looked at each other, and were afraid to start a conversation first, only the majority of threads began to turn out uneven. Shana sat next to the eldest and sighed loudly, and Irma suddenly began to cough, sometimes giving Mara expressive glances, and finally she said:

— I gotta go. And then look, now Pieces will send a novice, Elya could feel something.

She saw Ella very rarely, several times a year. Strains were not allowed to see ordinary people. “You still have to go, even though you sit all day.”

Then a novice, Lyubava, came running from Pryakhs, and screamed from the doorway:

— Elicia is angry, Mara, demands you to her. I have never seen her like this, she is always smiling, but she smiles beautifully, and then her lips are in a string, she holds her braid, speaks deafly, unfamiliarly.

All the Seven looked at each other, Irma grinned, but did not say a word.

“As you said,” said Shana.

“We have to go, just call,” the witch sneered, “and you stay here, warm up, Lyubava.

She passed through the upper room, walked to the secret door, opened it, went out and walked through a tunnel in the mountain, rising higher. In her hand she had a torch that illuminated the path in the pitch darkness of the cave, and the reflections of stalactites hanging from above reflected the light of the torch, making the path beautiful and unique. The mountain crystals glowed with colored lights. Despite the summer, the mountain kept the winter cold, so she walked in a fur coat. So she approached the door, covered with bronze, the door hidden between the stalactites glittering in the light of fire, so that reflections from them flashed the eyes of the seeker, white, red and golden lights, and he simply would never have seen this secret door. She passed between them, and knocked three times, and she was opened. Near the door stood a novice, and in chairs with high backs sat three and one, Pryha and Elicia. All were dressed in strict knitted linen dark gray dresses, the elderly wore kerchiefs covering their hair, and only the temporal rings on the temples were visible, Ale was bare-headed, on her forehead was gold tick, on the temples four gold temporal rings with each glittered On the side, on the neck of the necklace, and on the shoulder over the dress a gold bracelet in the form of a double helix, she also wore earrings. Her longest blond hair did not darken at all from the age, and were tied into one braid with complex weaving. She looked with strict eyes at Mara.

— Hello to you, Dyes and Elisha to you, — and she bowed to them in a belt.

— I came to you with a request from Arpad ataman Buyan — the island. The trouble with Ull, Elysia’s brother, fell ill, he does not recognize anyone. So he asks the chieftain to come to the island of Ella to cure his brother, the embassy sent, five youths. Here is a letter from Arpad, — and the witch gave Ella a letter.

Mara looked at Elicia and did not recognize that she was the face of an angry girl, but then jumped up, eyebrows with a house, her face turned pale, approached her, but rather ran up and took the letter without reading. She looked into the letter, her face turned gray, even the freckles were gone, her mouth twisted, she was about to cry, but she restrained herself, breathed out only:

— After two days on the third I will be ready, let him wait for the squad. Thank you for coming right away, Mara. How I felt that everything was amiss. And I have to get ready.

“Wait,” one of Straight said to her, “I have to ask, I will guess.”

Mary’s face tightened, now the sorceress will take the bones, with special, sacred letters on the faces, and there will be a Snake, or a Snake- Inquiries, because the future and the past are none other than him, for he himself and Time is. The sorceress withdrew, took out a carved oak casket, and took out of it plates of bone with signs carved on them, put the bones in a tall vessel, and began to shake it, addressing the gods, Ilios and Leto, as well as Kronos the Serpent, or Scarapea, that would reveal the secret.

— Come on, — Spinne turned to Ale, — you will become a guess, it’s time. Shake the bones, turn the mind to the gods, ask what you think, and ask for the answer, and thinking take out the three bones with your right hand, not looking into the jar. Get down, “Pryha finished dumbly.

Ella paled a little, thought about something, so that her eyes also became lifeless. Then she took a wooden vessel, shook it several times, stood for a while, pondering thoughtfully went through a second concentrating and finally, took out three bones with signs, and in spite of them, gave Pryam. Those surrounding the message of the deity, watched for a long time, muttered something, finally, spoke the word:

Brother mind lost

And the heart became icy

What would become the same again

The heart needs to be near only the native

— You must not go to the maiden, but you need to, have finished Unnamed.

“I will go, Light Elicia, forgive me for the bad news,” Mara bowed to her.

“While not dead, everything can be fixed,” Elicia said quietly.

Mara turned, the novice opened the door for her, and filed a flaming torch, and the witch went the opposite way. I went into my room, extinguished the torch, oil lamps were burning in the chambers, mirrors reflected the fire and lit everything in a yellowish light, took off the fur coat, but it still became chilly and uncomfortable. What has Ella become? Little was a laugh, and here just flint became, the will of it and erase the rock into dust. And the Spices are looking at not seeing enough. Itself would have swum, but it can not leave the island. I will go to sleep, the morning of the evening is wiser. The novices looked at her with all their eyes, but they did not say a word. She walked past them and went to bed. So Lada did not show anything to her on the night, it wasn’t she who knew Ulla to save. So two days passed, the novices walked around the island, collected fish from traps, Mara ordered to give a part of the prey to the breeders. The last day passed, the witch could not sleep at night, and tossing and turning and taking shelter in a fur blanket, she could not sleep. Only she washed herself, as there was a knock on the chambers from the secret side, and one of the girls rushed to open, and Ella herself entered, with a novice who was dragging a box knitted from a hook.

“Mara, send an assistant to Pryhahs until I return, they are old,” she sighed, “I need help.

Mara raised her eyes to Gemini, and more beautiful in Ice lay, to the Mother. Circles lay under the girl’s eyes, all pale stood before her, only her eyes burn with ice fire.

— Okay, we’ll do everything.

“Lead ashore, I gathered,” Ella said in a tired voice.

But all her jewelery was on it, in order not to drop the situation, and to make an impression of the youngsters, I dressed well, put on a long fur jacket and had soft fur boots on their feet.

Mara got dressed, and called with her two pupils:

— Uta, and Vila, collect food box for youngsters, get dressed faster and go with me.

Girls-pupils only stared at Elicia, no one said a single word, they only made frightening eyes, and fussed, collecting food for the road. But the dogs, the descendants of those old ones, rushed over to meet El, poked her black noses in her palms, all got up on their hind legs, resting their front coats in her fur coat, trying to lick the girl’s face, and were not going to calm themselves, she stroked each one, something whispered in both of their ears, and they calmed down, lay down next to her, only often raised their muzzles to Ale — did she leave? Finally everything was ready, and a whole procession came out of the upper room, in front of the dog, Mara and Elicia followed them, and the pupils with the boxes followed them. They walked to a hut, on the stony ground of the island, with growing grass here and there. A hut appeared, smoke rose above the roof, one of the guys was on the street, and seeing a female procession instantly flew into the hut, and dressing on the move, all five youths came out holding their luggage in their hands, and they were rushed at them, barking dogs, but Ella just shouted: “Stand!” as shaggy guards returned from halfway to the girl, immediately recognized by the hostess.

Ella came up first, who did not notice how they were in a hurry, and the others almost ran after her, and the novices were flushed, carrying the whole load.

“Hello, good fellows,” and she bowed to them.

— Hello the beautiful maiden, — only he could speak Gong, bowing, and the other breeders bowed with him.

“I am Elissia, the one you are waiting for, Leah, the novice Pryakh, will float with me,” she said.

“This is for all of you, on the road,” said Mara, and she gestured to the novices to put a box nearby.

“Thank you, madam,” Gong bowed, “then the hearth of a novice will not extinguish?” We would like to go on the road right now, otherwise the wind will rise.

“The weather will be fine,” Ella said loudly, “the sea will be quiet,” she turned and sat on the bench next to the house, and the novices went to put out the stove, and the youths put their things in the boat. Finally everything was ready, and the soldiers dragged the boat into the sea, and Elicia went to say goodbye to Mare.

“I’ll be back soon, thanks for helping me,” and walking awkwardly, she hugged and kissed Mar on the cheek, she answered, and straightened the girl’s lost hair.

“You’re always glad,” replied Mara,

“It’s gonna be different, then it will come,” having raised the lifeless eyes that had become momentarily said in a strange voice to Ale, “I’ll be back soon.”

She turned, and raising the floor of her fur coat and dress, walked along with Leah across the salt water, and being knee-deep in the water, climbed into the boat.Gun and Arius jumped into the water, raised a cloud of spray and began to push the ship into the stern, and soon the boat swayed in the calm water, and the young men climbed aboard, and sat on their seats, and began to row. Ella and Leah sat down on the benches in the middle of the boat, and the witch began to check things in the box, while she threw off the hood of her fur coat, and Gong was able to look at her better. She was very tall, a little shorter than Guna, and a head lower than her brother, her hair was very blond and unusually long, and she wouldn’t get mixed up, put into a braid. The face is beautiful, but unusual for the Ghans and Mans, such more often met with magicians on Kamekornosaya, eyes deep set, eyebrows very bright, chin slightly slanted, lips beautiful, large. Now she was very serious, checking the luggage, and Leah looked warily at the hostess, and breathed a sigh of relief when the witch pulled out the edge of her coarse shirt and nodded in satisfaction, and smiled. A smile painted her unusually, even though her mouth was large. Then they bandaged the box again, putting it in place, and suddenly Ella turned to Guna.

“I hope I liked it,” Elicia smiled mischievously, and the foreman started.

“Of course, a very beautiful girl, you are Elishia’s light,” Gong put it in a rather flowery manner, and as gracefully as possible, as he then thought, and nodded his head.

Ella nodded in turn and her eyes laughed, but she kept her lips quivering and asked:

“What happened to my brother?” She asked in a deaf voice.

This happened after a test labyrinth, no one passed him except him, he went last, his eyes were blindfolded…


Ull was looking at tricky fences taller than a man, so that the subjects could not see the path in the Maze. He looked at his tired comrades, none of them could not pass, and they were pulled out of the Sacred ways with the help of stairs.

— Well, let me go, I will try for you, — and laughed to support friends who were sitting with frowning faces. He took soft steps on the rocky soil of the island, slowly moving to an alluring and frightening puzzle. Here he was separated five steps, four, three, two, and — he found himself inside fences, with rounded walls above his height, and the gray sky of Buyan — the Island was visible, and on the one hand he was reassured, on the other, it was difficult for him to concentrate. freed from the small, and to understand the main thing, he tried to enter into a special state, and plunge into the world of feelings from the feeling of thoughts, and little by little he was able to do this, broke away from the pressure of his mind, and trusted his inner feelings. took a small step to the left, closing his eyes, took two steps to the right, what the Voices whispered to him, and so he moved, almost in dance, trusting the inner music that sounded in his body, moving him forward and on and on, went and went as if moving in oil, in something viscous and viscous, without haste and without delay. He seemed to soar towards the sky, but he did not see the pattern of the Labyrinth explicitly. His feelings acquired an unprecedented lightness, he did not feel the weight of his body, but rather became like a butterfly, or a leaf of a tree, driven only by the wind, and he, drawn by this wind, moved towards the exit, so desired by many, and became inaccessible to everyone else, except him, Ulla, possessed, he walked and walked, and left the Labyrinth. His friends saw him coming out after a couple of hours, walking with a strange, as if floating step, his steps spread along the ground, while he himself was like not a person, but rather a moth flying on a fire.

Friends rushed to their tall friend, Ull was half a head taller than everyone else, his curls developed with the wind, he himself didn’t notice anyone around, turned to his friends, who ran to him, not recognizing anyone else. Gun tried to slap him on the shoulder, as a sign of admiration, everyone smiled and rejoiced that one of them passed the test, and Ull, as in a fight, as in a fight, declined, taking a step aside, and looked at Guna, not recognizing him. The guy looked at his friend in horror, and tried to grab his shoulders, and the giant dodged here too.

“What happened to you,” Gong shouted in awe, “Arpad, come here!” Pal, Gnur! Help!

“Who are you?” Ull finally opened his mouth, “what are you doing here?” By what right are you talking to me?

Ull completely lost his mind, spoke to everyone only in an imperative tone, like a lord, and when the older warriors ran up they tried to twist him, scattered them all, and only then the network managed to connect him and carry him to the mountain monastery. Seven approached him, looked, and gave an answer:

— Send messengers to Mare for Elicia, she will remove ice from his heart and melt her heart.


“That’s how it was, Light Elicia, there is no fault in your brother’s illness,” Gong finished.“Thank you for having quickly gathered me, and for you that you are taking me to Buyan-Island,” she said, wiping away tears, “I hope, I will admonish my brother, I will remove the ice from his heart.” He overstrained himself, this place cannot be passed by thinking, but one can pass only by feeling, and no one has dealt with it, has not taught it to the mind.

“Sign up, I’m taking the pies to the walkway,” and she opened the birch bark box and Leah began handing out the pies, and the winders took turns, ate two, and two paddled.

— Thank you, beautiful maiden, by eating a fish-cake Gong, and making a slight bow.

The path continued further, the boat quickly approached Buyan, when seagulls suddenly flew, and everyone tried to approach, fly up to Ella, nobody could see this before, birds made the most inconceivable turns, trying to touch her, but not to hit, no. She managed to stroke one on the fly, said something, and the pack turned around and flew away. It remained not far from the Buyan, where from nowhere they saw two playing killer whales in the water, Arius and Gnur rushed to the prison. The youths were not frightened, but stunned, near their small boat, two huge beasts, however, which do not harm them.

“Stop, I order you!” Shouted while rising in Ale’s boat, “don’t you dare!”

She approached the board, and in an instant, beside her, rubbing each other’s heads, but not leaning on the boat, on the surface, as if smiling with her toothed jaws, two orcas, made their piercing squeak, and they calmed down only when Ale touched each of the giants, stroked each on a wet nose, one suddenly dived, raising splashes, and after a couple of seconds he threw a hefty fish into the boat, and the other killer whale did the same in a minute, then both went up to the boat again, squeaked goodbye, and swam away wag in the water with huge tails. Tal entangled the fishes with a net so that they would not fight at the bottom of the boat, and the whole gang looked at Elya with furious eyes, not knowing whether they could swim by swimming away to everyone, or bow to her legs, only Gun mumbled:

“No wonder, madam, that you lived with Pryahs, and Mara does not oppose you in anything.”

“I didn’t call them from the depth, they sailed to me, I just love them, and they all love me,” Ale told them quietly, don’t be alarmed on the island, lemmings will come there, I’ll hide from them all in grief.

Then they sailed silently, only Arius yoked, and began to row more slowly, and Gong replaced him. Alicia came up to him, ran her hand to her shoulder, then stroked the sore spot with two hands, and Arius stopped curl and looked at the girl in surprise, and only said:

— Thank you, madam.

Alicia walked along the side, looked at everyone, and added in a low voice:

— You, Sirac, your back hurts, you, Tal, do not heal from last winter, you, Gnur, cannot cure your forearm. On the shore, I will help you all.

Vatazhniks simply could not say anything, after all he had seen, but everyone was certain that his sister would help his brother, that’s for sure. But that the witch was locked up, even if she was kind and beautiful, was also true. They also cheerfully worked with oars, raising spray, and the ship flew through the waves, and soon they were already at the shore, and they saw their mountain. Going to the shore, the youths jumped out of the boat, holding onto its sides, and in their arms dragged the boat to the shore, and when it was already shallow, Elicia and Leah jumped out of the boat, and went knee-deep in the water with the boys. The warriors and three other youths already ran towards them, waving their arms in greeting. With all of them was Arpad, chief of squad, only he came ashore with Kate on a chariot. Finally, the breeders dragged the boat, took out the cargo of the vedunya and their belongings, two bails, carefully laid everything on the ground, where no splash from the waves of the sea, which easily hit the coast of Buyan Island, did not reach. The girls went ashore on their own, and removed the hoods to be recognized, and so there were enough fears. Arpad looked into all eyes at the guest, believing and not believing that they were here.

“Thank you for what you did, what you promised,” said Arpad to Guns, “I am glad that you returned on time and everyone is safe and sound. Arpad approached the girls, bowed, and said:

— Thank you light Elisia, dedicated and knowing that honored us, and the island of Buyan with her presence. Choose any house on the island and live in peace, as you like, — he faltered at these words, coughed and said with difficulty, — and you will want to stay forever, and bowed to her in a belt.

Elyssia and Leah bowed in return, Elyssia barely hid a smile, her lips involuntarily stretched out in an indescribable burst of laughter, and her novice Leah managed to cough, not laugh, at that moment.

“I would like to take a couple of cells in grief so as not to cause inconvenience to anyone,” Ella added.

Arpad tried not to look intently at the Virgin, only threw cautious glances, but did not pay attention, he was unable to, because it was the famous witch from Alatyr, a recluse, a pupil of Pryakhs, Nameless themselves! He noticed that she was very beautiful, her hair was very blond, even her eyebrows, her lips were full, her mouth was big, her chin was slightly sloping back, such a snub-nosed one, and her smile painted her unusually, and her face more closely resembles their neighbors living to the south. Kame. Her eyes were tired, circles under her eyes, as if she hadn’t slept for two days, and no wonder, because she learned about the illness of her brother, she was not herself. Her jewels are rich, taken from the guns and manns, and the temporal rings, as is customary, and a gold bracelet on her forearm with spirals, and a ring with a seal, a dagger at the waist in rich sheaths. The chieftain thought that it would be necessary to talk in private with Gun, to learn better about the witch from Alatyr, in order not to spoil everything, not to make mistakes and not to quarrel with the witches.

“Katey,” he turned to the retainer, “take the dear guests to Gore, and arrange for their apartments,” he turned around and didn’t believe his eyes; his horses harnessed to the wagon approached Ella, sniffed her gently, she laughed, then one rested its head on her shoulder, and the other she stroked, launched her palm into the mane and played the horse’s mane. Leah handed her a handful of crackers, and Ella began to feed the horses, and they gently took the dried bread from her palm, and then grudging merrily fun, and were completely horse-drawn, fanning themselves with tails from mosquitoes, which by evening had already begun to fly, would also meet new guests closer.

Vatazhniki carried Eli’s box to Rocks, and the witches approached the cart, into which Katey first got up, and he pulled the reins so that the horses would stand still. Alicia and Leah stepped off the ground and got into the chariot, the driver sent the horses first, and then went on a light trot. Ella enthusiastically indulged in unfamiliar sensations — a slight shaking, a little jumping of the chariot when the wheels hit the boulders, she looked at the picture of the island, he was much more beautiful than Alatyr, the trees that she didn’t see there either grew only in the form of firewood at home. Of course she liked her here, but she was anxious and unfamiliar, and now she was going to visit her brother, and that was also scary. What about him? How did it happen and can she help him? From these thoughts she could hardly breathe, and felt that her hands were beginning to shake. Finally, they arrived, Katey landed Leah, and the warriors approached them.

— Gur and Pal, spend Leah in the chambers, and make sure that the young men carry there the belongings of the witnesses.

“Katey,” said Ale, in a trembling voice, “now I will take a birch bark box and take me to Ull.

“Yes, of course,” he answered, trying not to look into her eyes. It is unpleasant to look at someone else’s pain. He carefully sent the horses forward, and the team slowly carried them to the gatehouse, where they kept Ulle behind the fence. Soon they arrived, the girl hurriedly jumped off the chariot, trying not to run through the force, but to walk slowly, with impressive steps, taking three steps, returned to the chariot and took the box, supporting it with both hands. The guards saw Kate, and realized who he brought, greeted the guests, and without losing a second, let her into the house. Ale almost ran up the stairs, going into a basement made of boulders. She walked along the creaking floor, made of halves of logs, the room was lit with several torches and a pair of oil lamps with bronze mirrors. A warrior opened the door in front of her, and she entered a room lit by lamps, but they stood behind a thick wooden grid that a strongman would not break. Elya saw her brother sitting on a stool facing the wall, she saw that he had grown a lot, but her hair wasn’t sheared, but now his reddish curls were tangled and untidy, and the girl remembered how she combed them with a frequent comb. Elicia didn’t immediately begin the rite, she only left several unlit lamps on the factory for tomorrow, she needed to rest, she didn’t sleep for two days. Strands taught that such rituals can not every person, and certainly not tired. The main thing is that he is alive, and she managed to help him. Alicia turned around, and taking the box with her, walked out so that the door did not creak. The guards stood at the house, and Katey talked with them, and as soon as the door opened, he immediately ran up to the girl.

“Well, did it all work out?” The warrior asked in a childish way.

— The morning is wiser than the evening. In the morning, as the roosters sing, take me here, I’ll be ready. Only I am one, and no one else. Do you understand the light of Katey?

“How not to understand,” said the warrior, but he thought it was a magic thing, and no one should climb there.

The warrior prepared the chariot, Ela got up on the landing, and slowly the driver carried the witch into her chambers. Soon they were there, and Leah, taking a lamp, led the teacher into their chambers in Gore, walked along the corridor, and saw an oak door, the novice opened it, and they went inside. There were two stove benches cleaned up with wise furs, the upper room was warmed, the hearth was burning, the darkness was dispersed by four lamps. Elya felt how tired she got to the bed with difficulty, threw off her boots, unwound her legs, took off her jacket, sat down on the couch, putting the box next to it.

— Leah, wake up early tomorrow.

— Eat first, Ale, you two have not eaten a single piece of bread.

“Tomorrow,” she began to take off the knitted woolen dress over her head, pulled off, straightened her braid, turned to Leah, wanted to say something, but fell on her side and instantly fell asleep, curled up in a ball. The novice approached, carefully took the dress, so as not to rumple, and covered the sleeping fur cover. She didn’t even feel anything, only breathed evenly in her sleep. Leah covered the fire, looked good in the air, and went to bed too. Slept amazingly well here. The girls got up, as if someone had pushed them, washed, dressed, Elya drank herbal infusion, but refused to eat.

— Not now, then you can. She took everything, she had to go, she said very quietly.

Leah escorted her to the exit, and remained waiting for her return in the air, sitting on a bench at the entrance. Kate on the chariot was already ready to go, the witch jumped into the carriage, and they drove off, carrying the horses smoothly, without tugging and not stubbornly driving the driver. Ella was not too worried, and yet she finally slept two days later. A whole crowd was waiting for them at the house, almost the entire population of the village, free from work, but many were able to find, or come up with a business near the dwelling, who planted something, someone here undertook to fix the fence, who would equate the land, alone the warrior ceremoniously ironed the bow with a stencil; it seemed to another that it was here that he had best to sharpen a dagger. Therefore, it cannot be said that people came here without an important task, just to stare at the witch affairs. The driver stopped the team, and the Virgin got off the wagon. Then, after a couple of days, all eyewitnesses claimed that she arrived on deer (much later they talked about deer), and the frost giants guarded the ice house, and Elisia walked on, leaving no traces.

She went to the house, the guards opened for her, and lighted lights were already burning inside, dispersing the darkness. It was hot and heated, and Elya threw off her fur coat, then bent down and laid it on the bench. She looked at her brother, he sat like that. She opened the box, took out the prickly shirt of a large mating, and put it next to her. I lit a fire in the tripod, and began to throw herbs there, prepared for it by the Yarns. The house was filled with the aromas of summer, tart and spicy, Ull roused himself, stood up in his huge growth, but his sister did not recognize. She took out a flask from the box and poured the infusion into a silver bucket. Finally, she started singing, as low as she could, her brother started, went to the cage, wrinkled his forehead, kept looking at her every minute, but did not come to himself, and finally, she took a double flute, and began to play that rhythm that nobody could resist, neither alive nor dead. – Is that you, sister? he asked not in his own voice, but she did not stop playing, finally said in a very strict voice:

— Take off your shirt — and began to play again.

He went to the lattice, pulled off his shirt, she held the barbed shirt with one hand, handed him a barbed shirt, put it on and crooked, finally started, he was led to the side, and he sank to the floor. After a minute, the Twin rose, and a smile lit up his face:

— Sister! She came to visit. How did they let you go? And then after the test I was going to you, I just had a dance with a bull, and I would become a knight.

Alicia lowered the instrument and put it in the box, opened the grill, and finally went to her brother.

— Healthy you grew up, I just pull your head to the shoulder. And the Labyrinth has passed, — she looked at him eagerly, and he looked at her, and smiled, and kissed the rosy cheek.

— I do not remember, sister. I hope Arpad guest house will give. How much have you come to me, and better and forever?

— I live here in sorrow, like at home. And then all the animals will run away again, and she smiled broadly, showing large white teeth.

— They all love you. I met our little bear, you would not believe, — and he sat down on the couch and put his sister along with him, — on Medvediye (Bear) Island, I scared the whole gang, but then they ran back to rescue me, but Mishka sniffed, found out, snarled for order and left to catch the seals.

The sister smiled, began to smooth her brother’s hair with her palm, then pulled out a comb from a mammoth bone, and began to comb them, sweeping it from top to bottom, separating the long strands from each other.

— Thank you, Ale, I became so beautiful. Come on, it’s time to go.

“Don’t take this shirt off for three days, even for the night,” added Elicia.

Ull looked up at his sister, grinned familiarly, put on his jacket, handed the fur coat to his sister, and straightened her sleeves when she was dressed. He closed the lattice behind him, and they went out of the house to the already rising high luminary, and it became warmer, and the rays of the sun brightly illuminated Gemini, which appeared before people. Both of them smiled, and the people and the sun smiled at them. Elya noticed how Gun said something to Arpad, and then she heard an excerpt of the conversation: “Then the killer whales sailed, and we thought that we would finally see the underwater kingdom,” and the lad saw Elishia’s interested, smiling and joyful face and Lily next to her.

“Gong, come on and tell me,” said the young man, “be healthy, chieftain,” and Ull bowed to Arpad, “what happened to you there, and tell me what happened to me.”

Then Elya took two quick steps back, so that her brother did not see her, and showed Guna that she would not reveal the truth to Ullia.

“You are my friend, and put your hand on his shoulder,” after the Maze, he hit his head, stumbled, and we went to see your sister by the sea, Ella arrived, healed you, and looked expectantly at his friend, he believed no.

Ull looked at everyone around him, he felt his shirt being pricking, looked at his sister, at Arpad, waved his curls that his head ached, slightly tilted his head to the right, and said:

— Thank you sister, that cured, and you Gun, for the fact that she was brought to Boyan — island brought me to treat.

— And you helped us to Ull, and on the Bear Island, and at sea, and taught to jump through the bull, from the bow read all taught the arrows to start.

— Ull, I can not for a long time Alatyr-island leave, only on four days I am here. Then it will be necessary to return.

“We’ll take,” Gun said.

— The refreshment is ready, Arpad, the tables are outside, cool, but everyone can celebrate.

“What to celebrate?” Asked Ull.

In horror, Ellisia almost screamed, because the cure was supposed to be a secret, it would surely last three days and three nights, and no one had to talk about his fit Ull. But it’s good that Arpad understood everything and said something else:

— How? now tests, tavromachia, you will be taming the bull, and then the holiday will be, a holiday in honor of your dedication, — the chieftain said slowly and uncertainly.

Everyone looked at each other, because the games with the bull should have been only after three days, but the warriors and youths made an appearance, and nodded in agreement, it may be too vigorous that these tests should be today.

— Do you want to go? asked Kate.

“Yes, it’s absolutely time, and the youths should prepare for the tests, and change their clothes,” but Arpad himself was agitated, but what would the seven say?

“Let the Bulls take care of the bulls, determine them all in the pen, and put the smart warriors on guard.” To let out what as it should, at a signal, raised the flag and that would not do anything without an order.

— It seems everyone thought about it. Well, okay, the squad to gather and go to the field, do not forget the nets, if suddenly the animals get mad, everyone knows what to do and how to pull the dancers from the lists. Pal, prepare everyone who will stand with the networks and save, if necessary, the subjects. It seems to be all. After two hours, let’s start, — and he sighed from the strain.


Ella passed through the village with warriors, Arpad with Gnur was ahead. It was a village of more than thirty courtyards, each house is two floors, a basement visa, but the houses are small enough to heat wood for a long winter. The houses are enclosed with fences, and each with a gate, in some places the gate was decorated with rich carvings.

— Go home, eat, and through the lists you will, — turned the chieftain to the squad.

— And you, Krasa-maiden Light Elicia, almost my house with your presence, eat what Lada sent. – And where is the famous temple of Elios and Lada?

— No here, beautiful maiden. Seven of you will show it to you later.

Everybody went their separate ways, and they went further along the wooden pavement of the village, and the third house was Arpadov, not at all more than other houses.

“Open it, hostess, lead the guest home,” the chieftain shouted loudly, “are we not happy?”

A tall, stately woman came down the high stairs, also in a warm jacket, with a head covered with a handkerchief, and slippers.

“Come and close the gate,” looked at the woman and climbed back to the house, and the evil dog came to meet them, first tried to scare the witch, and then ran to her, and looked at everything under the hood, the tail just thrashed the animal’s body without ceasing, showing the indescribable joy of a living being, once the dog got up on its hind legs, and put Eli on the front coats, she was not afraid, she laughed only, then stroked, looked into the dog’s dark eyes, and she just calmly got up, but the tail continued his movements.

“And the dog recognized you, Ella,” the chieftain said thoughtfully, “and I won’t say that he is kind to others.”

She just smiled at him widely, and they went into the house, climbed upstairs from the crate, and found themselves in an upper room, there were benches on each side of the room, with deer skins on them, the windows were closed with a bubble, and the sun lit up the upper room, but not too much. The hostess began to put food on the table, Arpad and Ella took off their outer clothing, remaining in linen, which was wearing fur sleeveless jackets, but did not sit down yet. Finally, a woman came up, leading the hands of three children, two girls, five and seven years old, and a boy of twelve.

— Me Elysia is called, -she was called a girl, — can be Helen or Ella. I am a guest here, sister Ulla — and bowed to the belt.

“My name is Rosa, girls Zarya and Lika, and the boy,” and he grabbed my mother by the sleeve of her dress, “Wolf.”

Ella smiled at the children, crouched down and saw that the Wolf was very lame.

— What about the Wolf, — the mother’s face became gloomy, — the leg hurt something, limping.

“Let’s see, top, gray flank,” Elya turned to him, and ruffled his head, where there were several curls, and the boy laughed, “sit on the bench next to him.”

“Well,” said the boy, and he was shy, hid his face in his palms, but his fingers opened, his eyes glittered, he peered.

Ella concentrated, began to feel her foot, first ran the pillows over her lower legs, then checked her knee and thigh, went down again on the lower leg, and on her calf, under the knee, she felt a seal.

— He fell hard?

— Yes, about two years ago, a prankster climbed, somewhere, fell and limped.

— Warm the water, bring clean cloths, I have my own knife. You want, I will do everything now, and I will stop the blood.

“Agreed,” said the mother quietly, and the father nodded his head too.

— You will stop limping, and in a day everything will heal with you, Volchok. Be patient, are you already an adult?

“Yes,” and the boy nodded his head, “I am twelve years old already.”

Dew quickly boiled water, brought a large vessel, poured warm water in it, put the boy on a small chair, put his legs into the water, and his son clung like a tick to his mother’s hand. Arpad, meanwhile, carried Lika and Zarya into a room nearby. Elya rolled up her sleeves, rinsed her hands, carefully examined the impact site, and quickly cut through the skin, the child only had time to shake, the witches washed the wound, applied good herbs, shook water and blood from the boy’s leg with another cloth, took out her feet. Sage put her hands on the wound, tried to concentrate until she was warm in her hands, and so she held her hands until she felt that everything was fine. Arpad returned, and sat down next to the bench. Elya removed her fingers from the wound, lowered her trouser leg to the boy, smoothed his trouser leg, and gave it to her mother, who took her son by the hand.

— Well, like a wolf, does your leg hurt anymore?

“At first it was hot, but my leg no longer hurts, thank you, witch,” and he looked at her seriously, like an adult, “I will use you,” and the boy I tried to bend and straighten my leg and laughed — mother, look, and Elya again became all white, and shakes it — and clutched at his chin with both hands.

And indeed, Elissia’s face turned pale, her circles under her eyes showed up again, she could barely stand.

“I’ll sit for a while,” she smiled, although it came out quite crookedly at her, and she fell on her left side, well, that Arpad managed to catch her. Dew took away her son, returned alone and brought a dipper of honey, which she put on the table, and sat down next to the witch. Elia opened her eyes hard, and murmured:

— I got tired of something… The dedication was not yet strong and not enough…

“Sing and eat, and the pies are ready for fish, and venison with lingonberries,” and she moved the plate to El, she had a frightened face and she pushed the clay bowl of meat away from her.

“I don’t eat… And fish pies?” She asked hopefully.

“Yes,” the woman said in surprise, “and the meat is good, venison, stewed with lingonberries.”

“I don’t eat meat,” said the witch and bit off a large piece of cake, and smiled, “delicious!”

— Here, take it again, and then got tired, and he treated my brother, and my son. The top is now not a poor limp. But then, after all, he had been at home for two years. Thank you, good soul.

“And thank you for your brother, you took care of him for six years,” and washed down the cake with a large gulp of kvass, and began to take the second pie. With the second dealt as quickly, and with the third, and then the fourth.

— Thank you, very tasty treat. I even felt better, I did not eat for three days, I could not.

“Thank you, you see the gods brought you here, so how to say if Ull was not sick, you would help us,” and put her hand under her chin and shook her head.

“Oh,” and Elya clutched at her head, “and I still promised friends to treat Ulla.”

“You will cure tomorrow, rest, and almost forget,” Dew turned to her husband, “the trials will soon begin, get dressed, it’s time.”

“Rosa,” Ella asked, “you have no leather pants and a shirt, but you need a strong belt.”

— I will bring it now.

Soon she brought a knapsack with pants and a shirt, her husband’s, when her husband was still sixteen.

Elyssia was dressing slowly, trying not to lose consciousness, she had already ate, became much better, but she felt dizzy and most of all she was afraid to look down and bend down, so it’s good that she didn’t take off her boots in the house. She grabbed a knapsack with men’s clothes.

“Harpard, take a bag of cakes for Eli,” the wife handed the leather bag to her husband, “tell me, then what was there,” and she stood on her tiptoes and kissed her husband.

Ale held onto the railing and carefully walked down the stairs, then took another step, walked further down, dizzy again, she gulped convulsively, tried to breathe more often, and somehow let go. Then she carefully took a step, another, and it was much easier to go evenly. Finally they left the house, the witch swallowed her mouth with fresh air, caught her breath immediately, and Arpad went out, looked suspiciously at Elya.

— Feel better?

“It’s okay,” Elissia grinned, “it’s time, it’s time to go already.”

With them went a few chosen ones, they walked at a brisk pace, over the thick grass growing on the stones of the northern island. Grew and shrub, and low pines. The witch glanced around the warriors, all of these were strong and very tall middle-aged men, about thirty, no more, they did not wear beards, it means that none of them had survived until thirty-three. Vigilantes carried with them three fishing nets, with three more on their shoulders lay ropes coiled into the bay. They did not go for a long time, the meadow appeared enclosed by a palisade two elbows high. Nearby there were already a few chosen ones, and those who were being educated were jumbled with them, Ull towered over half his head, and he also laughed at something. Arpad went to the warriors and the boys.

— What, are you ready? Go to the tent, change clothes. Now let the first bull in the pen. You, Ull, the last bull will pacify.

“Okay,” Ull looked back at his friends.

“Here are the numbers, draw lots,” and Arpad extended the ritual vessel with the bones to the young men.

You, Ull, every last, “Arius laughed, and pulled the first. He was the second to go to the pen.Then Gong, his turn became the third, Shirak to go first,

Talu the fifth, Guruh the fourth, Vour the sixth and Knut the seventh. The youths wore leather pants and shirts and the usual soft boots.

“Katey, you are the eldest over catchers, who are with nets and who are distracting the bull in the meadow.”

— Savir, you start, climb the stakes and wait, you have to sit on the bull and hold onto six accounts. Do you understand? Did everyone understand?

“I understood, chieftain,” replied Sirac, and crawled through the fence into the meadow.

He stood quietly, and waited for the appearance of a bull, only clenched and unclenched fists. A bull appeared through the gate, spotted, large, with straight horns. The bull approached, sniffed, he was also interested, and so Savir ran away, threw his body over his big horned head and sat down at the withers, holding the horns, which was unwise, but quickly put his hands on the withers, and clung to it. The bull began to bend, trying to reach the rider, then threw the body to the side, but the lad was doing great, although he was fraying strongly, and every bull jump was given in each of his muscles, finally, he pulled the belt from his bosom to the withers of the animal, twisted it, and It was considered as a lesson completed, and the warriors ran up to them, distracting the bull, and, with a jump backwards, Savir left the test partner, found himself in a meadow, then quickly jumped the tail, and friends ran to him.

“Fine, Sirac,” Gong clapped him on the shoulder.

“Just great,” Ull spoke with burning eyes.

He started the next test, followed by another, and all the young men were tested. It is the turn of Ulla.

“Come on Ull, surprise us,” Arius slammed encouragingly on the shoulder of his friend, and he, with a mane no less than that of a horse from a harness, leaned his left hand on the tail and threw his body on the meadow of the lists. They let out the bull, he quite friendly wagged his tail. Ull clapped his hands, drawing the attention of the animal, he raised his huge head, and Ull took three steps, jumped, grabbed the bull by the horns on the fly, made a flip over the croup of the bull, and jumped over it, and landed on its feet for the bull, raising its arms up and turned to the viewers. The loud clapping of the audience was his reward, then the bull turned to him, and Ull made the second jump, jumping over the bull again. People were numb with delight. But it was not all, the young man ran up, and pushed off from the slippery side of the bull, and moved through this powerful body, so that the bull did not even have time to twitch, but then began to spin, trying to reach the brave lad, he twisted and jumped onto the withers of the beast, and pulled the belt, and put it on the neck of the giant, performing the task. On the neck of the bull, Ull did not linger, but made a back jump, stood on solid ground, and left the lists.

“You surprised everyone, Ull,” Arpad told him, now the soldiers who had passed the tests ran up to him, everyone tried to express enthusiasm and approval. The twin was able to surprise everyone.

“Just great,” said Vour, “no one could.”

Triumphant warriors gathered around Ulla, even enraptured warriors with nets came running around, who were supposed to hold the bull if the animal went berserk.

“Change, and let’s go celebrate,” Arpad solemnly announced.

Nobody paid attention, when suddenly turning around Gnur shouted:

— Who is there on the lists!

Everyone turned their heads, and saw that an unfamiliar young man, dressed in a leatherish clothing too big for him, jumps over the bull, performing the same jumps as Ull, the same most difficult and dangerous exercises. And through the horns forward, and jump through the body with the support on the hands. But the audience looked closely and was amazed, the young man had a long light braid, and this was not a young man, but a girl. Here she stopped jumping, and the bull stood rooted to the spot, just as if he tried to stand more evenly and did not move, so that the jumper would not suffer. The girl was also tired, went up to the bull, stroked him on the head (such a monster), then ran her hand to the side, and with a graceful gait went up to the fence, just as easily jumped it.

— Sister? — surprise and admiration was in the words and eyes of Ulls. He first ran up the Virgin, she was already breathing easily, a blush was burning on her cheeks, and it seemed that the adventure was only for her benefit.

“You struck everybody, Ella,” and put his hands on her shoulders, looking straight into her eyes, “but this is still a dangerous thing, you could break your arms and legs.”

“You would have cured me,” she answered jokingly, and laughed.

“You can’t do anything with you anyway,” the brother grinned, “go, change clothes, we will wait for you.”

Ella went briskly, and Ulle thought that the beauty had grown, but it would be difficult for the suitors to wait, everyone was afraid of her.

“Let’s wait a bit, she quickly,” the young man turned to his friends.

“Of course, Ulle,” replied Sirac, “the girls must be taken care of.”

“You did great, Ull,” Arpad said to him, “now you are King Shepherd.” I don’t think anyone will surpass you.

While they were talking like this, Elicia changed her clothes, came in and modestly sat aside. It is time to overexposure and youths, and now the warriors, who a month later were to return to their tribes on the coast of the icy sea. They changed their clothes, and stood next to the fencing of the lists; Arpad with Elicia and Katey and Pal approached them.

— Now I can show you the Temple of the Gods, let’s go. You are no longer servants, but those who have passed the test and proved their valor and skill.

Arpad with the warriors was ahead, followed by the young men, and they were closing the column of Ull and Elicia. It was keenly large, but the temple was not far, but it was hidden so cunningly that you did not immediately notice. He was surrounded by a low tyn, the entrance was covered with a beautiful carved gate on bronze hinges. They were met by a tall man, gray-haired in solemn robes. In his hands he held a staff, with a silver top in the form of a double helix.

— He will be you, brave warriors, — he greeted, — come through.

“And you be healthy,” and Arpad bowed in a bow, and behind him were warriors and boys and a girl.

We walked behind the magician along the path, and saw a large wooden building with a gable roof, just to the side there was a house for the sorcerer. He opened the bolt on bronze-studded doors, and let visitors in, the room was small, against the far wall on a column of white stone there was a bronze image, a double helix, two elbows long, and one elbow high. From the inside, the temple was painted ocher in color, and lit by a dozen oil lamps with bronze mirrors behind them, so that inside it was quite light.

“This is the image of Leto and Ilios, the earth goddess on the left, and the sun god on the right. Left helix image of Summer, right helix image of the Ilios.

The young men looked with all their eyes, how many stories they told each other about the gods, and now they have been shown the most sacred statue in reality. It was unforgettable.

“Well, the sacred fire on Alatyr is mined on the island,” and Elisha nodded her head, “and I keep it with the ministers,” and he showed an earthen vessel braided with a vine.

— Here are the coals from the sacred fire, we regularly change them, as it should, so that it would be possible to kindle a fire, if need be.

“Come, have mercy for a festive dinner,” Arpad said to the Magi.

— Thank you, I will come with joy.

All bowed in gratitude to the sorcerer for the doctrine, and began to leave the temple, and went out of the gate. All were in a solemn mood, and the legs themselves carried the new warriors to the village, where they were already waiting for the holiday.

After a short time, everyone came, that they went to change clothes, to put on the best clothes that would be worthy to spend this extraordinary day. New warriors with Arpad and Elicia went to the laid tables, the warriors had already gathered, and the children ran between the tables, feeling the holiday was approaching. Several warriors came with beeps, and one came with Kithara. He sat down in a high chair, the narrator, and began to read the hymns of Ilios and Lada, telling the first story about Fire and Ice, and about the power of their love, which gave birth to Fire. The servants arranged treats, six types of pies, several types of fish, venison, pickled cranberries and lingonberries, broths full of kvass and mead. Ull sat down next to Ella, only consecrated warriors sat down next to them, trying to behave solemnly, but Vour could not hold back, unable to push his friends alongside, Aria and Tala, showing how everything was extraordinary. Vigilantes sat down separately with the chieftain, and their wives and children, too, separately. We covered the table and for the seven. Ella, too, happily smiled her wide smile, from which the world was warm, spinning like a little one, trying to feel, to absorb all the joy of the holiday. Leah, the novice, sat beside her. In front of them they put dishes and bowls and spoons and two wooden drinking buckets. Put honey in pails and put a dish with pies next to it.

“Ull, look at what the cakes are,” she looked at the food with hungry eyes, pointing with a finger, “yes, look at these, these. Take it.

“Right?” He smiled, said, and looked out of the corner of his eye, as Elya spies on him, and more importantly, on the pies, “so what is there?” a fish, — and he sniffed for confidence, — for sure, take it, — and he put the pie in her bowl, and the second and third followed.

The sister immediately attacked the treat, and did not calm down until she cleared the bowl, licked her fingers, and her brother poured honey on her, and she gladly washed down the food.

— Just wonderful. You should have seen what the Spices would treat me to, — Elissia was just in a wonderful mood.

Elya thought and went to the breeders, sat down on a bench with them, her brother saw her laughing, and went up to her friends.

— Hello to you, warriors, — Ale became sad, time is still, let’s treat you. Gnur, you are the first with a sore forearm.

Gnur grinned, took off his jacket, rolled up the sleeve of his shirt on his left hand and sat down next to the witch. She quickly ran her fingers over her right forearm with her fingers, smiled at something, put her second palm on her forearm, closed her eyes for a second.

“Well, everything seems to be,” said the girl thoughtfully.

— True, it does not hurt.

— Sirac, come on, you can not take off your shirt.

The warrior took off his jacket and gave it to Aria, and in leather pants and a richly embroidered shirt he sat down next to the healer, turning his back to her. She did not hold her hands for long, and a smile lit up Sirac’s face.

— Thank you, witch. It’s all over, “he said, smiling and bowing.

— Now Tal, don’t take off your boots, just loosen your lacing and put your bootleg down.

Tal did what they said, and approached the healer, Savir gave him a place, and he sat down next to her. She gently touched her knee.

— Now it does not hurt?

— Some kind of miracle, — Tal shrugged, straightening his boot, — better than it was.

“Okay, let’s go to your table, Ull,” and she took her brother by the elbow and they went to the holiday table.

Seven sat not far away, and looked at the happy Gemini, how they ate with pleasure, listened to the narrator’s songs, smiled and rejoiced. Suddenly the rays of the sun stopped falling on their brother and sister, and they hit, as it were, against the sun. The elders saw a golden glow, like a flame, above the heads of the Gemini, rising into the sky.

“You saw,” one of them asked, and he nodded his head.

— It happened, came those who were waiting. Began.

“It’s a long time,” another nodded.

The narrator sang another hymn, and sat down to rest at the table with food. The settlers offered him venison, and various fish, and poured and put honey. Novikis had fun, they drank beer and honey, rejoicing at the end of obedience, and that finally they could return home.

Seven approached the table, where they sat and ate and had fun brother and sister. Ull and Elicia saw the seven old men who approached them, whose eyebrows were closed, their lips were sorrowfully pursed, and their eyes expressed only pain.

“Go away, where you came from, so that by evening you would not be here,” said the eldest of the Elders, and the steel nodded in confirmation of his words.

“Themselves called, now chase,” Ella answered loudly.

— So it was destined to go, or destroy all.

Ella turned pale again, and convulsively grabbed the sleeve of Ulla’s jacket.

— The trouble will come with you. Soon, Seven said again.

Ella fell exhausted into her brother’s arms, he grabbed her and carried her to the guest house, covered her with blankets, tried to drop honey into her open mouth, all in vain. Leah walked by them, and carried a fur blanket. He lit more lamps, the light did not break through the bull bubble of the window, the twilight reigned in the house. Rooms in the house was two, and the hallway. Ull felt very bad, and his body itched because of Eli’s gift, and she did not order to be shot. He still looked at her, lying without strength or breath. and put her hands along the body. like a living one, not like a dead one, straightened a scythe, pulled it out from behind the girl’s back, and laid it on her chest. I sat beside me for a long time on the seat, felt tired, and went to rest. He didn’t sleep for a long time, gray meadows, a huge tree, and a snaking huge body of a snake dreamed in alarm. Then I heard some sort of squeaking, rustling, and finally got up and put my feet in my boots.

— BUT! Lemmings! Ull! Help — screamed Leah, Eli in one shirt running out of the room, — Ull!

The twin jumped out of bed and covered Leah with a blanket, and jumped into his sister’s room, and almost fell down, stumbled upon a squeaking gray carpet. What he saw was inexpressible. Lemmings surrounded Eli’s bed with a living carpet, at first Ull was afraid that they would attack her, but they only protected her from everyone, and from him too. They angrily squealed when someone came into the bedroom, and if they came closer, they rushed at the intruder, trying to bite the adversary. There was no way to remove them, but when he was sorting out his sister’s things, he saw a double flute in the box. When he was digging through things, Pal approached him.

“Ull, can you do something with these overgrown mice?”

— I’ll try if you help now. Prepare me a boat on the cape.

“Katey and I will sit on oars, one hope for you,” Pal put his hand on his shoulder, “I will go to prepare everything.” The boat is, take the paddles in the barn.

Ull went out, sat on a bench near the house, tried on the pipe, took her in his hands, looked the road to the cape, how to go, if the stones on the road, thought, sighed heavily and went. “I won’t say anything to Ele, she loves everyone.” Ull took Eli’s tune, played, and the lemmings followed him. He played a frantic rhythm, and the animals followed him with a gray carpet, seeing no obstacles, rolling over them like a living wave. The wave of the giant gray sea, which rolled, but did not reach the young man. He became just a mouse shepherd, leading his flock to death, but he was and should get to the body of Elicia, try to save her, which the lemmings in their blind love didn’t allow him to do. So he took a step, another and the third, the young man walked and walked on uneven ground, playing a melody, and the zhiotnye followed him. He was already approaching the coast, and he was picked up, two soldiers took hold of him and carried him to the sea, so that he would not stop playing. He was a dude and a dude in his magical pipes, already in the boat where Kate and Pal rowed. Lemmings began to fall hundreds into the sea, and new hundreds propped up the front ones, coastal waves threw them ashore, but they were not going to retreat. Lemmings floated, but the water element was absolutely alien to them, and they drowned one by one, and the waves overwhelmed the shore and carried the dead and threw them at the living, but they were fascinated by the music, still going forward, as if they believed that the waters of the sea like land, and they will pass over the sea, as upon the land. And the warriors with Ullem, now all the people on board were five, two sailed to the boat and climbed aboard. The boat dangled on the waves near the shore, so that lemmings could hear the magic, enchanting music. So it continued for a long time, Ulla began to beat a shiver of self-loathing that he killed many living creatures only because they prevented him. Finally it was all over, and he was no longer sick, he could no longer tolerate, he hung overboard so that his comrades would not see him.

— Everything is fine, Ull, everything is over, drink honey. It just happened that you couldn’t get to your sister, think for yourself.

— I asked her to spend the night in the house, I transferred her to the house from the holiday, and she asked to spend the night in a cave. I let her down. So Kate.

“For Elia here, anyone would have done anything, not only he drowned the lemmings, she only helped here for two days, and he helped so many with his son Arpad. Your riders healed. True, they are still afraid of her, — and he laughed, — so, not much. A little bit. It’s time for us to return to the village.They sailed, bypassing this place with a mouse penalty, sailed to the village and landed there. People were already walking quietly, without fear of stepping on a living, gray and waving carpet.

“Thank you, Ulle,” said Arpad, hugging him. “Again, everything is calm, your novice is sitting with your sister Leah. Do not turn, go to the Seven, I’ll go with you.

They turned around, looked at the village, and went to the Mountain, the cells of Startsev. There was nothing to talk about, and they didn’t talk a bit on the road. So the mouth of the cave, closed by the door, seemed to be near, the guardians, who worshiped the ataman, stood guard. Arpad lit a torch, and walked along the corridor, rising up to the cells and the upper rooms of the Seven. I knocked on the bronze door, and the attendant asked:

— Who came to the Elders?

— The one who needs help.

— The elders always help the suffering, come in with the world.

The door creaked open, and they entered the chambers, the walls were painted with ocher and lit with lamps, with bronze mirrors. Seven sat on benches in ordinary fur coats, with staff in their hands.

“You will be the hell of the mountain Elders,” Ull said and bowed to them, “I ask you to heal my sister Elishia, she lost consciousness, exhausted, lying motionless in her bed. Neither alive nor dead.

“Bring her here, the intentional knight,” one of the nameless ones sitting in the middle told him, “we will try to get her back from the Path.”

The young man and Ataman left the cell with hope, and went to the village almost at a run. Ull ran into the house, Leah sat next to his sister, and wiped her forehead with a clean damp rag. The brother wrapped his sister’s body in a fur blanket, threw a fur coat over her, took her in his arms and carried her. With him were all the players and Arpad with Kate, people went quickly.

— Ull, come on and we will help, Wour and the stretcher carries you alone.

“It’s not hard for me, thank you,” Gemini replied, adding a step.

“She helped us all, it’s not the matter to do that,” Tal said, pursing his lips offendedly, coming up to Ull. Vour quickly unrolled the stretcher, and the young man put his precious burden on the tanned skin, straightened the skins, put a leather bag under his head, straightened the hood. Long braid-girlish beauty removed under a fur coat. The virgin did not breathe, and was immovable, as if her bound with eternal ice.

The first four stood up to the stretcher, and carefully raised them — Woor, Tal, Knut and Arius. They tried to walk smoothly and out of step so as not to rock what was lying on the stretcher. Soon they were replaced, Arpad, Katey, Ull and Gong took up the handles, and so they came to the mountain, and did not speak on the way.

Accompanying remained at the entrance, and Ull and Arpad again rose to the Seven. Ataman knocked on the chambers, and Ull was holding a precious burden. The elders came out of the chambers, and with them the servant with the torch and beckoned the guests behind him. They did not go for long, the servant opened the bolt on the door, first the Seven went inside, and then Ull with her sister in her arms and Arpad. The elder ordered to put Ella on a bench next to the slyly crafted granite sarcophagi set in a row. The servant lit the lamp, illuminating the chambers. Ella lay motionless, Seven grabbed her in her arms, without removing the bear’s fur, they put her in a granite sarcophagus without a lid, and she lay on the fur coat of the bear, and she covered herself. Her lips were closed, and she seemed to be smiling. Minions placed bronze tripods in the corners to burn incense. Leah put the chair next to Eli’s granite bed, and straightened her blanket, intending to stay beside her.

“Do we leave now?” The young man asked quietly, barely breathing with emotion.

— You have to find the Fern Flower for this double day, because it almost does not darken here, soon the holiday of the summer solstice. If not, it will remain on the path between the worlds. Hurry up lad, everything is in your hands.

I’m good for you

Ull came out completely hanging his head. They descended to the winders, and went to the village.

— Come to us, Ull, Dew will feed, then we will go and look for a flower.

They came to a hospitable house, Arpad’s wife was setting the table, a hot stew, and the stew was all set. Dew poured brew in bowls, and children came running. The children were serenely seated, almost not naughty, only Zarya, as the youngest, began to bully Lika, but did not wait for maternal support, pouted her lips and began to eat hot. The wolf was sitting next to Ull, eating orderly, repeating after his father.

— Where is your sister, Helen the Beautiful?

“What did you decide?” The twin smiled wryly.

“There is no prettier one,” the boy sighed, “I will grow up, and I’ll send your matchmakers to you.” I will be a noble shipbuilder, like my father, so I will sail to her on Alatyr — an island with a brave squad, and even Mara and Pryakhs will not stand before me.

“She sleeps, your bride,” answered Ull.

— I’ll go run away, wake up, — put the spoon top.

— In the coffin she sleeps, icy sleep, in the Seven. I do not have time to find a flower, and it will remain to sleep.

“Nothing, Ull, eat it up, I’ll go with you,” and at the Spinner the eyes flashed with forged gold.

“Where are you, son?” Arpad interrupted.

“Debt is red in payment,” the boy answered in a clear voice, “I told her that I would use her, I promised,” and laughed.

“Let the Wolf come, let him go Arpad,” Rosa intervened.

And the mother went to equip her son on the way, the way, and Arpad was collected by Ulla. They found each of them on a leather sturdy bag, put there smoked meat, bread, flasks of water. Ulle had a dagger, and his father gave Wolf a knife in a wooden sheath and then hung it on his belt.

“It seems that they have taken everything, they have not forgotten anything,” said Rosa, “let’s sit on the track,” everyone sat down, everyone thought about his own. Ull hung his head. and his curls hung almost to the floor, he scratched his chin in excitement and frowned his brows, mumbled something to himself.

They left the house, and the mother gave Wolf and Ullu a strong staff, kissed her son on the road, and two pilgrims went, and Rosa waved after them with a handkerchief until they were out of sight, smoothing their path unknown.

“I saw the Flower,” Wolf said to the giant, “just growing on the mountain, where I broke my leg.” You just need to find a path. Beautiful yet we have an island, Alatyr is much stricter, and there are no trees.

“It’s more beautiful here, but somehow more unlucky for us,” Ull cringed.

And so it went, the mosquitoes already began to appear, and so it was a lot, and here the midge began to attack.

“Somewhere here,” the Wolf began to push his grass with his staff, trying to see the trail, “I have not been here for two years, since my leg was injured.” I was quite small, but I remember everything.

— I will try, now … — muttered Ull, bending down to the ground.

He scared the boy, Wolf saw his companion almost become a wolf, sniffed, ducked to the ground, trying to smell and feel the trail, climbed a little to one side, walked past boulders, passed a bush and dwarf birch, went down past a small lake. The boy walked behind a tall young man with a long mane of light reddish hair who was searching for the saving Flower inquisitively. He gently stepped on his feet in soft boots, afraid to even bite a small stalk, pushing the naughty shrub with his staff, expecting that he would find what he was looking for. Then Volchok joined him, crawled nearby, and a miracle happened. The boy found a rare flower. A smile of joy blossomed on Wolf’s face.

— Found! Found! Found! — and he spun and jumped around Ulla, finally stopped.

— Take it, take it to Ela, and he held out a wonderful flower with his small hand.

“No, fiancé,” replied Ull, laughing, “you will carry it yourself, and I’ll go with you.”

The boy turned red, his face became crimson, even more likely to be crimson than raspberry.

“Do not blush,” and the young man patted his several curls, “you are not afraid of her alone here.” Come on, she is waiting for us.

They walked together, side by side, big and small, carrying in their hands the greatest jewel, the Fern Flower. They walked to the mountain, were already close to the sad chambers. Near the door to the mountain stood a couple of warriors, and, oddly enough, a couple of dozen people were engaged in the most important things for themselves, and just waited for Arpad with Kate. They saw a pair of Seekers, and rushed to them, unable to wait and play indifference.

“Found?” Only this word was in the language of both, and they pronounced it.

“Yes, briefly, but how much sense there was in this word, and mad joy was on the faces of Ulla and Wolf,” Volchok brought a magic flower from the mountain.

“Come on, we can’t wait,” and Arpad glanced at Katey.

They entered, but rather ran into the mountain, quickly going through the corridors, and exhaling, Arpad knocked.

— Open, we are back.

The sender opened the door, and the Seven were already crowded with impatience.

— Let’s go, -and only said Seven, in their eyes, too, was burning with expectation.

The knocking of the staffs resounded hollowly in the stone corridors, and the light steps slid along the granite passages, no one was able to walk, and soon the procession entered the cell lined with granite sarcophagi. Alicia was lying in a stone coffin, and was not breathing, Leah was sitting next to her. Ull kissed her on the cheek, so icy. All stood near the Virgin in a semicircle, and the Two approached the Sleeping Beauty.“Give it to you,” said Ull Wolf, and whispered in his ear: “bride”.

— Go, you found, do not hesitate.

It was evident that the boy was terribly worried, he blushed, but he gathered his strength and put a flower in her hands, folding her fingers so that the stem was in the girl’s palms. Then he bent, and kissed her hands, those that healed him, and so remained standing. Seven began to read hymns and lit incense, and Ull pulled out the double tune of Elicia and began to extract the most bellicose rhythms from the instrument.

It was getting warmer in the room, and Ull seemed, it only seemed that light flashed around Eli’s head and immediately went out, and he noticed that her lips were twitching, and she tried to remove her palms from the Wolf bowed toward them. The boy noticed this too, and let her hands out of hers, Eli’s eyes shook and she opened them. Leah cried out delightedly, immediately covering her mouth with her palms. Ull was right there next, kissing her sister on the cold cheek.

— Hello Brother. I’ve slept for a long time. Where am i She looked anxiously around the walls of the cave, across the wide-open coffins, she got up, and her brother picked her up and gently put her on the floor of the cave.

— Hello, Wolf, — she turned to the boy, — the leg does not hurt anymore?

“More, no, it doesn’t hurt,” the boy answered worriedly, looking at her with adoring eyes.

“He found a flower, Ale,” the young man remarked, “now he, as your savior, has the right to ask you to be his wife at the appointed time.

“Well, it’s good that I got a fiancé, it’s not for nothing that I hit the Buyan-iceland,” Elisia laughed, and her laughter echoed, and everyone immediately became cold here.

“Don’t, sister,” said Ull, bending down in a whisper, “then you moisten.”

“Yes, I am not joking, brother,” they all fear for six years before the tremor, at least one brave man was found, “Ela reached for the belt purse and pulled out a gold ring with the image of the left swastika.

“Come, my faithful rescuer,” she turned to Wolf, and put a ring on his right hand, “my word honestly was not scared now, and after four years, as you grow up, send your matchmakers. If you don’t change your mind, “Ella laughed.

But here the startled Seven intervened in matchmaking.

— Hello to you, twice born, Flower generated, Flower resurrected. We are glad to see you on Buyan Island, even though you can be here one more day and one night.

They said everything to the girl, and the old men bowed to her in a belt as an equal. We looked strictly at Gemini, and there was no blood on their lips, and their fists clenched on their staffs so that their fingers turned white.

“You see, Ulle,” she said, grinning bitterly, and wiping away a tear with her left hand from her cheek, her lips curled as she prepared to cry, “they are already driving me, but I haven’t done anything bad to them.”

“So think Wolf, do you need me like that?” She turned to the boy.

“Better you are not and never happen,” the boy replied smoothly, “who refuses his own?”

He looked at all this and darkened his face to Ull, bowed to the ataman in his belt, and said:

— Forgive me, Arpad, I will leave with my sister, I will settle on Alatyr, since she is expelled from Buyan Island. There is no place for us here, we will live on the Hidden Island. If you need me, look for me there, I will bow to earthly Mare to accept.

“And you do not hold onto us evil, Gemini, be happy on Alatyr,” said Arpad, bowing for all.

Seven were talking to each other in such a way that no one heard: “Everything happened as it should, the Twins will return to God’s island, as it should be, and then trouble will come with them.”

The Twins began to gather, and with them, and Leah, Arpad prepared a boat with four oarsmen, folded into it and gifts from youngsters. Send off few people, among them Arpad and family. The warriors dragged the boat into the open water, everyone began to say goodbye, the Twins waved their hands to them, and they wished good luck in return.

“In four years I will come after you,” Wolf cried.

“How it will be,” Al replied to him, laughing.

And he sailed, but earlier than promised.

Phlegrian fields

Gun woke up in his home, his mother and father slept in the next room, and here two of his brothers slept, in the other room his sisters rested. He got used to sleeping on a belt bed, on Buyan-island slept on a wooden couch covered with skins. Yesterday, only came the lodges with the grown-up sons of the leaders, and by the evening they dispersed to their villages. And before that there was a notable feast in honor of the new soldiers who had passed the teachings of the Seven, whose mentors in the military business were themselves thirty chosen soldiers, and Arpad, chieftain of the forces of Buyan Island.

All settled on the banks of the Ob, covered food, so that representatives of the Seven Tribes would strengthen their Union. Gun sat with his friends, Arius and Tal. Three girls, about fifteen years old, Sisters Aria and Tala and Guna’s sister, Rada, came up here.

— Hello brother, for six years you have matured. And is Ull with you? “And she turned to Guna, looked around at all the feasts,” as they tell about him, I don’t see him.”

— I went to Alatyr Island, with my sister.

“They say more about her than about her brother,” added Malina, sister Aria, “you do not know what to say about her.” We are the same age, and the witch, they say, is cleaner than Pryakhs. She rushed, they say, to cure her brother’s enormous deer, put a nettle shirt on him, and healed his icy heart — she said so, and it was visible, and flushed with excitement.

— Ice?? — threw up her hands Rada.

— Well, icy, icy. What are you so excited, glad? — With a smile, looked at her, looked around with a sly look and elbow hit in the side of sister Tala, Zana.

Gun looked at Raspberry, and she liked him, the girl liked him, her hair was blond, the braid was long, beautiful, and her face was different on Ella — her nose was crooked, her face was stretched, her lips were full, like all temporal rings on her head, and beads of multicolored stones on the neck. Malina also looked at Gun, smiled.

— Well, brave knight, you take away your eyes from a maiden? Isn’t that pretty? Or, too, to Elysia going to get married? So they say, is she married? “Malina laughed, and Zana picked up the laughter.

“The wolf is small and distant,” Gung remarked, “and Ullu helped to find the magic flower.”

“Yes, Ull, I suppose I found the flower myself, turned around with a wolf, found it,” Rada said blushing, “you are all brave heroes, were afraid to approach Ella, and the Wolf was not afraid, Arpadov was a son.

“What you didn’t want, exactly,” said Gun, “you’d see Rada see how orcas would sail to her, say hello, how to the sea maiden, talk to her. Witch she is a witch.

“Witch she might be, so how many of you have healed?” Is she angry? You still say. That she is Ice Tsarevna. And brave, through the bull jumped. And it was you who brought her from the shelter Prykhs, Ull to save, and not she was cramming with you. After all, Ulla could have been brought to her brother.

— Your truth, sister. And we are to blame. Seven were ordered to be brought, and we were brought, and Seven were kicked out without honor, “answered Gun, with his head drooping.

— Do not be sad, warrior. And the hair is already growing on the head, and not just the children’s strands. Will you send wreaths with me into the Ob River? “Asked Malina, looking boldly into his eyes.

“So then send your matchmakers to you?” Gun smiled, getting up.

“Really, I was frightened,” a girl stood before him, and a girl laughed and laughed, “I am a business girl, now,” she pointed at Aria, “ask your brother not to lie about it.”

“Maybe Arius has long wanted to marry you,” he said with a smile and turned to his friend. – Dreaming, Arius?

“Long ago,” the young warrior glanced at his sister, “can you get married?” The father gives a good dowry, — and he raised the thumb of his right hand, and then stretching his arms to the side showed the size of wealth, — In what!

“Then it’s decided,” said Gong, looking attentively at the girl, who blushed, “when to send the matchmakers, Arius?”

Sister Tala, Zana looked at these courtship with her hand over her mouth, so as not to laugh out loud.

“It is necessary now to marry Aria,” said Malina, after thinking, “Why pull, or else everyone will disperse to the camp, cows graze.” Arius, look, think. Zana is a beautiful girl from a good family. Right after all, Tal?

“Of course,” accepting the rules of the game, the young man agreed, “you think Arius.” And besides being beautiful, she also bakes good pies.

— Now we will bow to the fathers — mothers, and the matter is harmonious.

“And I thought on Bojan, that the most difficult thing to jump over the bull,” added Tal, “and I will go to my father and mother, and yours, Gun, and your parents, Arius, will call.” We need to solve everything today. Tomorrow is also a difficult day, a bear wedding.

Tal ran very well, only Ull overtook him, unless of course the young men ran seriously, so the young men and women who had played started not catching the quickest friend, sat down in a row and thought. The fact that parents will say approve or angry.

“Malina, I’m seriously ready to marry,” Gun said quietly.

“Who,” the girl didn’t understand.

— On you, Light Malina Silovna, and ready to ask your hand from your father’s Strength and your mother Ora.

“I will be a good wife, Gun,” the girl said seriously this time.

Adults approached, not just adults, but the leaders of the tribes, walked sedately, slowly, waved mosquitoes away from the branches. Behind them, modestly smiling all over his face, went Tal, a prankster who was terribly pleased with his joke. The leaders with their wives, these were their parents, the parents of soldiers who had passed the tests of Buyan Island, and their sisters who had already become adults.

“Here they are, young warriors, our hope and defenders of the tribe,” said Force, sarcastically, Father Aria, “Hey, mother, we’ve already spoken, the bride has looked after.

“And to whom,” said Ora, with folded hands on a high chest, “Arius, where have you hid?” Through the bull on the bayan to jump every much, and the answer to keep?

“Yes, here I am, father and mother,” said Arius.

And the young man came forward, and the girl, blushing like a Dawn, but holding tightly the chosen one by the hand.

“And this is the girl that is dear to my heart, Zana, the daughter of the Mighty and Kliya, sister of Tahl, who called you all here to look,” added Arius.

“It turns out that we will soon intermarry,” laughed and concluded a friend in the mighty power of the Mighty Force, and I must say, his name fully corresponded to the article, he was not only very tall, but also immense in his shoulders.

“Well, bear, arms straight like a pincer,” released from the embrace, “this will be a bear wedding tomorrow,” Force laughed.

“And where is my son, where is my joy?” His mother, Thea, looked at Gun.

“Gun, and you go out to the people,” said Reza to his son, “and where is your bride?”

“Here we are, father and mother,” answered Gun, holding the left hand of Raspberry in his right hand and bowing with her, “Bless us.”

Reza and Thea, smiling, looked at the couple approvingly, then looked at each other, remembering how they met, so long ago, and their own heart told them that they would be good together.

“You have delighted us with your mother, everything turned out to be written, two tribes have intermarried,” said pleased Reza, kissing his wife on the cheek.

The parents approached the betrothed, and the mother and father alternately kissed the bride and groom.

— Everything is just like in a fairy tale — two arrows, two brides. And the third?

— And you Tal, what? When will you find your wife?

— I will wait, father. And the third, it is true the young Wolf, Arpads the son, got up and got the ring from Elicia — the witches.

“The ring of the frog princess?” Malina said muffled, covering her lips with her palm.

“Why are you so,” said Gong quietly, so no one heard, “she’s kind.”

“Well, if so,” his bride said and turned to him, squeezing his elbow.

“So,” said the Mighty, “darkening his face,” came out as in a prediction: “Three arrows, three weddings, three tribes will unite, and the prince will marry a frog.”

“I’m glad, and who came to your heart?” They asked her daughter.

“Ull to my heart, mother and father,” Rada mumbled, dropping her eyes.

— Oh, daughter … — muttered father.

— Where did she see him? — the Mighty asked his wife, then he looked at his son expectantly, — what do you say?

“They forgot how they came three years ago, they visited me?” Said Gong, “Ulla was hard not to notice,” and he grinned.

“Exactly,” my father frowned, “did not look through…”

“Okay, now we need to prepare Komoyeditsy, Karp killed the bear, took off the skin, we will begin the holiday at night,” added the leader, “I’m glad, let’s go home, your betrothed on Alatyr, when no one knows what will return.”


The holiday began in the evening, although the sun was still shining, for the night was not as such. It was a small holiday, the day of the summer solstice passed, and the biggest bear holiday, Komoeditsy, was a week long on the days of the Spring Equinox. In the spring, the holiday was very big, with comic disguises, ritual songs, and right after it they celebrated the New Year. A carp in a birch bark mask carried the head of a medvei, or rather a cleaned skull, put it in a birch bark box for all, looked at all the tribesmen dressed in birch bark masks, so there was no one to recognize, only the beeps and horns played, humming cheerful melodies, and magicians, also dressed in masks, sang songs, rejoicing that their kinsman, the bear, Komo, or Homo, goes back into the forest again and does not take offense at their relatives. After all, we met him with songs and dances and spent it easily and cheerfully, and will celebrate four more days. And the sorcerer declared:

— Who will eat bear meat?

“Crows!” Declared everyone who was here. “We will eat the crows!”

The bear meat was prepared especially — it was impossible to crush bones, carefully cut the meat and fat, and then the bones would also be carried to the forest, and placed on a shed by a tree. The meat was cooked in special vats, on the edge of the forest, soon everything was ready, each received a piece. The sorcerer came out again and asked:

— Who you are?

“We are ravens,” replied the people of the tribe who ate ceremonial food.

The joy was in full swing, and the holiday was to continue for three more days. And he continued for three days.

But the fourth day was terrible. All began to disperse and disperse in the camp, grazing cows. It is through grazing of cows, milk and the tribe lived. The shepherd boy, driving the flock from one meadow to another, noticed three springs from the ground. He approached them closer, and saw yellowish, oily streams dislodging near the grass, next to the bushes. He tasted, he was oily, there were greasy marks on his fingers, like from animal fat. He had seen such before sometimes, here, in these places, such streams, which were buttered were not uncommon, as sometimes whole banks were covered with such liquid, becoming sour and impassable. A teenage shepherd avoided a distant meadow with three dogs looking after a herd of cows lying on the bank of a small river, when suddenly behind a meadow where the soil sometimes breathed, he saw a terrible, bloody, fiery flower grow from the depths of the earth that swallowed the meadow and a terrible the sound of the explosion, scattering the woods nearby, so that the branches torn up by the roots flew in all directions, and those that remained were engaged in fire. The remaining birds flew away in all directions, and tried to escape from the ring of fire herds of deer. Out of the corner of his eye, the lad saw a pack of wolves running off into the distance. Stems of flame, like monstrous flowers, began to burst from the depths of the earth, from the Earth, dedicated to the god Yama, Yamal, one of the incarnations of Gemini. The lad called the dogs, and they began to help gather a herd, and he was able to ward off the tribal winners to a safe place by crossing the stream. Soon, dozens of people began to come running to the place of the catastrophe — and they saw the earth itself burning, flames rising above the pine forest, and a giant funnel formed at the site of the explosion, along the edges of which all run bluish flames. Soon came the leader, the Mighty. The driver stayed with the horses, and an experienced man, who had been in alterations and wars more than once, who had managed to lead the tribe more than once and through the famine that had happened, was worried in earnest.

“Mighty, let me see these places,” the driver asked, “I will be careful, I’ll go around the edge.”

— Already an adult, but do not think. If the gods are furious, burn in the blink of an eye, don’t be an old friend. We will summon the Magi, the council of tribes and send to Buyan Island and to the Straight on Alatyr Island. Spies can give the answer.

— Shining, prepare messengers, I will write letters to the leaders of the union of the Seven Tribes. Write and write letters, and knit memorable knots, as before grandfathers-great-grandfathers did, send messengers without delay to Dvina and Kama, let them know what trouble we have overtaken.

— I’ll do everything, let’s go to the village, the leader, the driver responded.

They got into the carriage, and carefully drove along the road leading to the main village, and saw people coming from distant villages, some were wrapped in cloth and burned. The Mighty Wiseman rode up to the house, and knocked. Soon the sage came out, apparently he was dressed for a long time, and only waited for news, and not good news.

— Hello Magus, we will gather the Council of the Seven Tribes, and tomorrow the council of the elders of the tribes of the tribe will meet. And now it will be necessary to convene a meeting of the Huns, let the people come, waiting, after all, that we will say that we will decide. We can not hesitate more.

— I agree, mighty. We must also distribute food to the victims from the stocks of the tribe. Ask for help from the neighbors.

— And, Plit, you are like a magician, write letters to Buyan-island and Alatyr, ask the prophecies of Prykh, for which we were so punished.

— I will go to Pryakham right now, give me twelve rowers, and from there I will sail to Buyan, instead of me, Wit will remain, my student, he studied with the Seven, He did the initiation, he knows everything he needs.

— Then go, without delay, get ready, old friend, the warriors will come to your house, — and he embraced the sorcerer, and he looked at him with anxious look, — we will hope for the best.

And the Mighty stood in the square, and hit the beater, calling people to the Great Circle. Blow by blow, there was anxiety in his head, but also with the hope that he could find the right path. The tribesmen gathered quickly, people’s faces were alarmed, they were waiting for answers, which, and they understood it, were not yet there. But the gunas were glad that they were not alone, their neighbors were close to them, and the leader was gathering everyone to decide together what to do and how to act. at

— Hello, good people. You know everything that happened. Part of our land burned to the ground, and the earth burns. Happened to this before, the old say so. Under the settlements for the victims there is land, and there are pastures for cows, the shepherds have done well, the flocks have been saved, taken away for streams. Slabs goes to Alatyr-Island to ask for a prophecy from Pryakh, and for help to Buyan-Island. Did we, good people, decide right? “The leader asked the audience.

— In the meantime, there is nothing to do, let every second family be drawn by lot to our neighbors, to the Kama River, otherwise we will not feed in the winter, the cows will die of feedless people, all will perish. And my son Goon will lead the departing son, and Rada let him go with him. Weddings will play my son and Raspberry tomorrow. The road is long-distance, now it is necessary to prepare, in a week the travelers will leave, and we will prepare certificates for immigrants, honor in honor. And to go there for two months, no less, if everything is as destined by the gods. The couriers to Kama in a month will get what the leaders of the magicians and the Udmurts ask for help, the leader said slowly, and the messengers will reach the Dvina in a month and a half, but nothing can be done. What will the magiars say? “Having scratched his chin, the Mighty sighed heavily.

Rodovic, a wise man, middle-aged man, came out.

— You have decided everything correctly, the Council of the tribe, but you still need to help those who suffered from the fire, supplies will drop, who can do anything, the warrior told people, — and there, on Kama, everything will be fine, and we have many relatives there. there will accept with honor.And the fact that he decided to marry his son is also a matter, and he will start a good, good new business from the wedding.

All approvingly rustled, agreeing. The mighty sighed with relief, and the heads of the clans of the tribe began to gather to him, to discuss in small details how to proceed.

“Thank you for gathering quickly and listening,” said the leader and bowed to the people on three sides, bowing too three times.

Tribesmen began to disperse to their homes, discussing among themselves what could happen, finding out who suffered, how many people died in fiery whirlwind. Smoke from the ovens stretched over the village, the tribesmen began to cook for today and warm up at home after night. The younger magician, Wit, with two helpers, began to walk around the village, driving away evil spirits, knocking bells, calming them to reassure people, gave a feeling of peace that the underground spirits would calm down and remove their resentment from people.

Slabs with the younger assistant, Vagoy, and with the soldiers, gathering supplies on the road, went to the pier. The quick steps of the travelers measured their elbows by elbows, and soon they came to the place where the boats were tied to the berthing stones. Ships lay on the shore, glistening with wax-soaked skin and resin, the warriors went to the barn for the oars. There were large stocks of ropes, resin and wax for the impregnation of the sides, a trench for fixing the skin, a lot of everything needed. Oars stood neatly folded on a platform of boards where they could dry off water. Carefully closing the doors for bears and wolverines, which could spoil the good, they took with them twelve oars, and a couple just in case. The crowd sat down to rest on the road, and what to remember, have you forgotten anything.

“Okay, get under way,” said the eldest of the warriors, Karp, “Let’s go, take out by boat.”

And, sighing, a dozen seasoned rowers, habitually grasping the sides, first turned the ship down with the keel, and then carried it to the river surface, knee-deep in the water, the rowers lowered the boat and climbed into it. The sorcerer and the servant, dressed up also for a sea voyage, also got into the boat in leather pants and long boots with straps and warm jackets. The sorcerer sat down behind the steering oar, and the warriors began to row, driving the boat farther and farther; bronze rings. People were able to rest, and raised the oars from the water. The sail on the yard was filled with wind, the boat was walking, the stem of the vessel cut the waves of the Sea of Ice, sometimes splashes of water fell on the messengers. The Lodi passed through the Ob Bay, and the path was not easy, past the islands on Alatyr Island.

— Listen, Plit, we are now going to Pryakham, to Alatyr, and their pupils, Gemini, were expelled from Buyan, even Ull did not come to us, but he was going to. How will we be accepted? Gifts we carry, of course. What do you say Magus.

— I will tell you how it is, I bow to Mare and Pryakh, and I will ask you to give an answer. Anyway, nothing better will come up. Only the Pryhas can question the gods, how can they get an answer from them?

“Tell me,” Karp grinned slyly, and his face twisted, “but really, who asks for the answers?” After all, on the mainland, it would be possible to spread the bones?

“I will not lie, but I cannot tell the truth, and I learned from the Seven,” Plit sighed.

“Gun told such things about Elicia, about their swimming from Alatyr to Buyan,” said Karp, sitting next to the sorcerer, “How the orcas greeted her. I saw how they drown their boats when hunting. From the sea such a blow, — and he tried to show his hands, — and then … — he spread his hands in surprise.

“Soon you will see Gemini yourself,” he smiled, without letting go of the ruy, said Vedun, “and Vaga is swimming with us,” he nodded approvingly, “maybe they will initiate our Servant.

— Yes, let’s go, we will come soon. Probably in a week come. Here, drink the kvass, — and Karp served the Stove a flask with a drink.

Three warriors sat around them, listening attentively and talking.

“These are our warriors,” said Karp, alternately pointing at the soldiers in the boat, “this is Nim, this is Sheko, this is Glom,” and the soldiers alternately raised their right hand so that the witch would remember them.

“Well, I am Plit, and this is my assistant Vaga,” the witch called himself and said the name of his servant.

“Soon we will be there, my brave warriors, there are no special conversations, no more silence and quarrels, not even with novices, and even more so with Mara with all the Seven Sages, the Strands and especially with the Twins.“If all goes well, — and he nodded his head at the Stove, we will go to Buyan already with the Twins, — the team shuddered at these words, and Nis and Glom pulled off the hoods from the head, — and everyone should behave more modestly, Ella sees people through and through, you shouldn’t say a few words, even to yourself — “witch” and “witch”. Clear?

— And what can we think, — Glid.

“About Elicia, only” clever “and” beautiful, “said Plit sternly, and looked at the warriors with a malicious smile.

All the warriors looked at the sorcerer, then at Karp, and nodded their heads in agreement, agreeing with the words of the Head.

And indeed, the winds helped, the path was easy, a week came to the forbidden island, passed through the fog, all the time surrounding this place. The boat came close to Alatyr. the team lowered the mast and took up the oars. The people rested, so the ship quickly approached the shore, and Plit and Vaga left the boat, and the sailors dragged the boat and belongings ashore. The warriors laid out the belongings carefully, put gifts for the inhabitants of the island in the other direction, thought to put up a tent, but a guest house was nearby. Seafarers stood and pushed when they approached, and did not try to leave the coast. Finally, a very young girl came to them, holding two dogs on the pack.

“Who will you be and where are you swimming?” She said in a clear voice, “why did you come to Hidden Island?”

“I am Plit, sorcerer,” the witch introduced himself, “this is my assistant Vaga, and this is my team, Karp, Glom, Sheko, and Nim. and eight more vigilantes. We came from the modes of the Mighty, to Pryakhs and Mare, for Pryakhs we have a letter — he took out a letter written on the skin from his bag — and who are you, nice girl?

“I am Dara, a novice in learning from Mary,” the girl replied, “Now I will call Mara,” she turned and walked quickly towards the mountain, the monastery of the island.

The travelers waited again, when the witch would come to them. A lot of time passed, and three women came to them, with staffs in their hands. Ahead of all was a more adult woman, and with her were her young novices.

— I’m Mara, hello Plit. I conveyed the message to Pryhahs. You and your novice, come with me. And you, “she turned to Karp,” rest in a hut, but there rests the boy, the son of Arpad, the Wolf. Sailed yesterday in a canoe, “she said, smiling at something known only to her.

“This is Vaga, my student,” Plit pointed to the teenager.

“Come with me, Magus,” said Mara.

They walked slowly, Vedunya sent the novices forward, and they could speak openly.

— What happened?

— Fire from the ground, part of the land of the guns burned to the ground. People were saved, but everyone was in fear, “he conveyed briefly what had happened on Yamal,” The Mighty asked for the will of the gods to be known. Half of the tribe, with a herd of cows, with kibits, have probably already withdrawn from the camp and, under the leadership of Guna, goes to the Dvina, to ask for help from the allied tribes to give land for grazing.

— And what?

“You know, only those who have passed your dedication and a deity touched it can ask,” replied, turning to Mara, Plit, “I cannot myself stretch my bones and ask about the future.”

They came to the door leading into the mountain, Mara lit a torch, and opened the entrance to the dark cave. There were three of them, past dangling stalactites glittering in the light of a torch in different colors, many were layered — the yellow layer was red, sometimes a blue and a green one. Waga twisted his head in all directions, and almost got lost in the forest of sparkling columns, the columns grew not only from above, but from below, and often merged, forming a single whole. So, seeing only her famous sign, Mara walked past two columns, and knocked on the bronze door.

“Who is this?” Came a hollow voice from behind the door.

“They came to know the truth with meekness,” answered Mara with ritual words.

— Knock, and open to you, — answered the same speech.

Mara knocked three times, and the young novice opened the door for them, and three people who wanted to know the truth entered the upper room lit by oil lamps, it was rather light, and the attendant, waving her hand, offered to enter one of the cells where they were already waited. Three elderly women sat in four armchairs, and to the right was a very young woman, with uncovered very blond hair tucked into a braid. Three elderly, three spinner sat quietly and immovably, Elisha jumped up from the chair, and put Mar in her arms, and kissed her.

“I’m very glad to see you, but you almost never come to me,” she said.

— And you hello, the messengers.

“And you are sound, Elisha’s light,” Plit said loudly, “and be healthy, Prya,” he straightened up and began a prepared speech. walking the High Path, we ask you to turn to the gods and we want to be present at divination.

— Do you really want this? — Elisha smiled, — Magus, what you see is not always liked by people. You see, and her full lips clenched, and me and my brother were sent here, could not bear the Seven of what we can.

— For the sake of the people of the tribe I will go all the way. Vahe leave?

“Let’s get used to it,” said Straight.

“We also delivered gifts,” added Plit, to which Ella only grinned, but did not answer.

They all went into a secret room, where there was a well in the floor in which water was splashing. The well was covered with a wooden shield, and one of the girls picked it up, and a rounded tunnel in the floor opened.

“Have you brought gifts with you, gold?” Spin the sorcerer asked.

— Yes, he nodded his head and handed her a golden hoop, and she took the gift.

“Let’s begin,” the oldest of the Straight sentenced, “bring the Vessel with the bones, and bring the tripods with incense.”

The novices brought tripods, placed them in the corners, only four, laid them on a piece of tar, and set it on fire. The air has become filled with resinous aromas. Servants began to blow out of double flutes hard, incomparable music.

— Get down Ale, he loves you more than others, start. Take the bracelet, and Spicah gave her the Gold Plate.

To the music, Elya began to dance, and without touching her stone floor with her feet, gliding along the surface with barely noticeable movements, her hands repeated wings flapping, she was like a Bird Maiden, and so she threw the bracelet into the well, somewhere deeply splashed, and she immediately rushed to the golden vessel, shook it three times, and three times took out the bones, only nine of them, and laid them on the table. The music never stopped playing, Spinha walked over to the bones, closed her eyes, thought about something, opened it, and the music stopped. The novices with flutes stopped playing, and stood in the corners of the room. Spin took the first bones with the runes and began:

Fire from the depths of the earth burns

Fire only helps you understand

Seven tribes must go again

To the South, West and East, to three distant countries

The way the twins are again headed

Seeing them South and East again want.

Spin spoke these verses, and sat down on a bench next to the table, suddenly a spasm passed through Elisia’s face, her eyes became inanimate, and she spoke in a strange and deaf voice, from which everyone present had a cold heart:

— Hearing the sorcerer you are my speech…

Indestructible gods today is velenie..

I only became their voice

I gave the strength to the elect.

She read this quatrain, pallor left her face, Vaga held onto the wall with both hands, his legs did not hold, Plit was excited, and leaned on his staff, looked at the floor, unable to look at the witches anymore.

“Give me the board, I will write down the prediction,” muttered the sorcerer.

The novice gave him a small plank, and he began to cut signs with a knife, having finished, he gave it to Elisha, and she pressed the ring to the board pressed to the board.

“I want to meet Ull,” he asked, bowing to Elicia, “he should know about the prediction.” Mara, be near.

Mara nodded her head, and the three of them gathered to walk away from Pryakhs.

“I have to leave, my kind educators,” and Ella, like a little girl, began to cry farewell to Straight Cry. Tears also dripped from their eyes, which they did not even try to hide, just stroked her head, kissed her without end, and each began to try to put her jewelry on her memory — rings, bracelets, everything that happened. One of them rose, and, too, crying, pulled out from under the bench a two-cubit-long mace and a bronze sword of the same length in a golden sheath, and the other, also took out a sword, the scabbard of which was laid out with a mammoth bone. The slab looked at it, and did not believe it — it was like seeing the dying out and covering the dead body with milodars.Alyssia fell to her knees in front of the Pryakhs, one of them clapped in her palms, and the novice brought the same fortune telling box and casket, where Ella’s things were put. Spira slammed again, and three archers arrived from another room, three girls in marching clothes.

— Gather all, all thirty maidens, from the neighboring island, go with Elicia. And your novices will go hiking with Ull, and your pupils too.

“We understood, madam,” and all the female warriors bowed, and went back to the cave.

— Get ready, daughter, find your brother, should he come to us, — tell her to her.

Alicia wiped the tracks of tears, left the cell and soon returned, dressed like a man, and she put a sword on her belt and took a club in her hand.

— Now I’m going for Ull, — she quickly left, so the spit flew up and hit her on the back.

The slabs with Vaga left the room, Vaga barely walked, but he carried a torch in his left hand, he only looked at his feet, and muttered something to himself. The slab felt no better, but he tried to muster his strength while groping the wooden tablet in his bag, as if the writing on it might have changed. They came out of the oak door in the mountain, and the sun blinded them, so that the witch covered his eyes with his palm, and leaning on the staff went to the shore, and the novice followed him.

“Hello, Plit!” Karp shouted to him, sitting next to the lad, with the hair on his head that had already started to grow, “how did it all end?” Got a prediction?

— Yes, Pryakhs guessed us, wrote the prophecy on the tablet.

— And you are Vaga, — he turned around to the servant, — you will remain angry, you will receive the initiation from Mary.

Waga stopped in exhaustion, looking at the teacher with tired eyes, and set the box ashore.

— Hi, are you a wolf? — Plit greeted the young man, — I am Plit, the sorcerer of the guns. Sailed friends to visit?

— Yes, — he waved his head, now Ull will come here.

“Now Elisha will come, she is looking for her brother,” Plit noticed.

The wolf mixed up for a second, began to look around him, the warriors of Karp hid grins, pretending that they had suddenly become passionate about something very important right now.

— Karp, it’s time to sail, — said Plit

“We are going, we are leaving,” Karp ordered, gesticulating with his hands, “we are going, Glom, Sheko, Nim, say goodbye.”

— Happily, Wolf, see, it’s time for us to sail. Maybe if the gods decide, we’ll see each other soon, “said Sheko to the boy.

Vigilantes lowered the boat into the sea, Plit sat there, and Vaga remained on the shore. Vayazhniki walked quickly on the oars, trying to move away from the island quickly.

Dedication brother

Ull sat on a bench near the entrance to the mountain, and waited for his sister. The day turned out to be quite good, he went around the traps, picked up good fish for everyone, and already gave it all to the kitchen. Here he survived the exile from Buyan, but it was difficult without the usual lessons, and he himself ran every day with a bag behind his back, shot a target, and learned how to handle a sword. He saw the door creak, and two girls came out with bows behind their backs and in men’s clothes, and behind them came Elicia, with a tense face.

“What happened, sister?” Asked the brother, jumping up from the bench, and nodding to the girls standing next to Ella.

— Come on, my brother, you want to see Straight, — she said, weakly smiling, you have to go.

One of the maidens lit a torch, gave it to Ela, and they went along the corridors of the mountain together, reached quickly, knocked and entered. Here Ull has never been, and looked around with curiosity. In front of him were three women who stood up and filled with their appearance.

— Hello, Favorite. It was the decree that you, Gemini, sent to us by the gods, will lead the Seven tribes to the New lands.

“Why,” said Ull only with a frown, “why are we?”

— So destined, boy. Here, take it, — and Spinner handed him a long bronze sword in a scabbard decorated with a mammoth bone, — the name of the sword Sting, he won’t let you down. Thirty novices from the Island will go with you, and thirty Dev with your sister. Mara will send a messenger to the mainland, so that from among her pupils, new Seven Leaders gathered, but they will wait for you on the mainland. And you must pass the dedication, and besides, there you will take gold for the needs of the march. And Mara spends on the test Vaga, a student of the Plate.“Have a drink on the road,” and the other gave him a golden bucket with a herbal drink, “this will support you.”

Ull drank, and the truth was, the drink was invigorating, finished, put the ladle on the table, bowed to Spinner.

— Who conducts me?

— We are three. Come on, everything must be resolved quickly, “the eldest Staritsa Spinner said. They quickly got dressed, and came to conduct one of the novices, and six people came out of the sacred chambers, went out of the mountain to the light of the sun. The eyes did not immediately become accustomed to the bright rays of light, and Spinner began to show the way, bypassing Alatyr himself, Ull looked at where the treasured cave was located, but saw only the scruffy slopes covered with bushes. And so, the trinity came up to the bushes, and began to push them their staff, freeing the course inside. Spinner took out an oil lamp from the bag, and a small crystal put it on the lamp wick, he soon began to burn, and finally caught fire. She gave the lamp to Ull, and spoke:

“Go deep into the mountains, knight, go boldly, but the path is not easy, you have to go with your heart, and at the end of the path you will throw away the fur canopy, and under it you will see a great treasure, and this will be your test.

“I will go,” said the young man, as it seemed most courageously and bravely, and began to wade through the bushes, and passed into a rather narrow entrance, fortunately suitable for his considerable growth. The cave was lit by the dim light of his lamp, and he saw in the far corner a continuation of the path, and carefully went there, trying to tune in and Feel everything. He walked cautiously, touching the floor and stones of the manhole with the sole of the boot. In the foggy blackness, the path was guessed, and Ull began to feel the walls of the passage so as not to miss what he was looking for. Neither the serpent nor the frogs have yet come across, and trusted his instinct, which led him into the distance. He felt something implicit and inconspicuous and went on even more cautiously, his boots all stepped on the scattered stones mountains, but darkness did not press on him. Passing further and further his thorny path, he finally saw a dim brilliance breaking through from the edge of the sheep’s skin on his left, he carefully unbent the edge of the fur, and saw the wonderful Golden Fleece shining with gold under the usual skin of a sheep. “Is this not a treasure?” Ull lifted the skin, saw a jewel covered in gold, glistening in the uneven light of the lamp, and became thoughtful, and then raised two layers of hides under the golden Fleece, and an opening opened in the cave floor, about half an elbow in length and width. And then something heavy and incomprehensible began to press on his head from the inside, he lowered his hand below, and felt the cold and flowing essence, uncovered and incomprehensible, heavy and light, but pressing on all his senses. He did not want to tear off his hand, and it seemed as if he was being dragged inside, but also left here, by the dim light of the lamp. Ull began to breathe more and more often, it became harder to breathe, his hands and feet felt harder, his head squeezed like a hoop, and finally, he saw an implicit, brilliant, dazzlingly beautiful image in front of his eyes, who watched him out of suspense, and loud in his head metallic voice:

— Hello, Ull. I have been waiting for a long time, you and my sister need you here, but they urged me to let you go — and before his eyes flashed a giant tree, twined with a gold chain, with the entrance to the tree, and it was their home, as he felt, and about was a part of this dwelling. Gray and colorless flowers grew around, and the same sky spread over him in this place, and not with eyes, but with the power of mind, he saw the source next to the tree, and sliding on these fields, he saw an apple tree with golden apples and a stream of fire whose edges were lost beyond the horizon. Ull felt that the river of fire separates him from the living, enjoying the light of the sun.

— Answer me, who are you? a silent question echoed in his brain. The question of questions was asked by the Creature, and the answer, does he know? What does he have? The brother of the sister, the son of a deceased mother, the warrior, the last initiation. What else? He is strong, smart, probably even handsome (maybe), he just smiled to himself. He always tried to help people, acted as he should, should to Man.

— I am human! — exclaimed Ull silent scream, which as he saw, responded to the shining marble face.

“You are immortal, child, and soon your sister will die, and will guard my Kingdom of the Dead, will come back to me again.”

“I don’t need immortality without Elicia, better now take me to yourself,” was in his head.

— You answered correctly, you are truly a Man, you are pure in heart, strong in mind, not greedy, you and your sister will never be separated. Go and do what you have to — and the white marble face disappeared from his mind, and his head ceased to burn from the inside, Ull wobbled, and sank his fingers into the granite to calm the pain in his head, which also turned into additives. He bent down, almost fell over, and closed the passage in the floor with hides, as it was before him. He stood trying to catch his breath, and gradually began to get back to the light of the sun. The road was hard, he was exhausted, but he didn’t even need to remember the way back, his legs were carrying him to the exit. Here, he opened the door, Ella stood next to one of the Straight, and waited for him. Mara and Vaga came up, the mentor explained the initiation to the new sorcerer, and how difficult the road was. The old woman looked intently, stroked her forehead with her fingers, and with a white paint from a silver vessel with her index finger put a sign between her eyebrows in the form of two lines connecting on the nose bridge Ulle.

“Now you are marked as a child, and there is no more way back,” Spin whispered to him.

“I will go,” Spinner said, bowing to Ull, “I have to go to the mountain.”

“Spend Mara the new wise man Vaga, he will pass through the thorny path,” Nameless addressed the witch, leaving to herself.

— I will do everything that is destined. Slabs well instructed student.

“Vaga, now it’s your turn,” and she gave him a burning lamp in her hand, and opened the door for him, and the student took a firm step deep into the mountains.

The old woman left slowly, with a firm gait, leaning on a simple staff, and then her sister approached her brother. – Well, hello again, — and hugged him, looked at the tilak between the eyebrows, — my brother. Come on, everyone is waiting for us.

“The Wolf is waiting for you,” he laughed and looked around at his brother’s sister, and took her hand in his.

— Well, anyway, let’s go with him to Buyan.

— What awaits us there?

— It will be necessary to find out the command of the Gods, the White horse must give his answer.

“Come on, we must eat,” and she stooped to stroke the arctic fox, which was spinning at her feet, like a little puppy, “go, go home,” she looked into the young one’s eyes, and he ran into the distant bushes just by wagging his tail.

Soon the test of Vaga ended, and he came out of the mountain after a considerable time, hardly moving his legs, with a pale face. Mara met him, gave him a staff and led him into the upper room.

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