What did you love best in this week’s reading? The caving? The snickbuzzard (woe!)? The new puppy? I loved all of those things. And I also loved seeing Janner struggle with, and abandon, his own desires in order to serve his brother. Is this what you would’ve done? I don’t know that I would. Was it the best way to handle the situation? Sometimes it can be hard to know. (Come talk about that in the forum if you like.)
Janner’s heart shrank. He had hoped there would be at least a little time before he had to act, but Bunge was waiting. …
He prayed for strength even in his rage, for he swung not in his own defense but his brother’s, his sister’s, and his mother’s. He fought not over a petty insult but for their honor and even their freedom. Grigory Bunge, whether he knew it or not, was doing more than bullying— he was waging war with the Jewels of Anniera, children of the king.
Janner knew nothing but a white hot anger for a while, then he felt Kalmar’s claws dragging him off the bewildered bully. A crowd had gathered and stood in the rain watching Janner writhe in his brother’s grip.
“Leave my brother alone!” Janner shouted. “I don’t want to fight you, but I will if I have to, Grigory Bunge! And that goes for the rest of you!” Janner hurled his defiance at every guildling in the courtyard. He shook loose of Kalmar’s grip and strode forward, beating his chest with a fist and shouting, “I’m the Throne Warden of Anniera, and Kalmar is my charge. Do you hear me? I’ve battled Fangs and trolls! I’ve walked the Stony Mountains and sailed the Dark Sea! I’ve stood in Yurgen’s shadow and looked the dragon in the eye!” Lightning scraped the clouds as Janner stood in the rain and screamed. He flung a finger in Grigory’s terrified face. “The Maker has brought us safe this far, Grigory Bunge, and I will fear no guildling of the Green Hollows. If you insult the High King or the Song Maiden, you will reckon with the Throne Warden. Do you understand?”
Grigory glanced at the other children.
Janner leapt forward and put his face in Grigory’s. He knew that the boy could beat him into the mud if he had a chance to gather his wits, so Janner’s only weapon was his madness.
“Do you understand?” Janner said through clenched teeth.