Ashling – Chapter 44

Chapter Forty-Four

Elspeth found Rushton sitting on a rock, gazing out to sea. She tries to comfort him, saying that he didn’t fail them, and specifically that Obernewtyn hasn’t failed. He dully responds by saying how glad he is that she is well now, but he doesn’t move or have any emotion in his voice. He sounds 100% defeated and dejected. Elspeth continues to try and console him, but he interrupts trying to explain how he feels. He thought to lead them all to battle, because he thought their powers could be used in war, and that he, as a leader, would be able to direct them. But clearly, the Misfits are not suited to war. He thinks he did not see this, because he really isn’t one of them. But Elspeth is having any of this, she tells him that they are all equally to blame.

Rushton doesn’t agree, and asks her what will happen to them if the Council sends soldierguards to Obernewtyn to wipe them out, or if Malik (or another Malik-type person) comes to Obernewtyn to kill them all? He wanted to protect them. Elspeth corrects him and says ‘us’, but he is determined to see himself as an outside, because he cannot use his talent. Elspeth counters him, and says that he is descended from Hannah Seraphim, and is one of them, and besides he was the one who started Obernewtyn as a safe-haven, and who freed them all. He continues to think he was wrong, but Elspeth says that it was she who thought they needed to show the rebels their strength (afterall she agreed to the Battlegames) and should she throw herself off a boat and die? And what about Maryon, who sent them all to Sador?

The issue for Rushton, is that he still sees himself as different to them, even though they have used his powers before in the past. But this was with help, and he (to be honest a typical male thing) sees needing help as a weakness. Elspeth tells him that he sounds like Malik, who would never need help from anyone else, but suggests there is a bit of Malik in all of them, and if they truly wanted to, they could be like him, despite what Bram said. What makes them different to Malik, is their need for one another. This makes Rushton turn around, and accuse Elspeth that she has never needed anyone. And she accepts this, she has been rejecting everyone, but  she now understands the importance of one another. The conversation has taken an interesting turn, to finally try to sort out their relationship.

Elspeth tries to turn it back to the Battlegames, by telling him that they have learnt a lot from this experience. They needed to find out what they couldn’t do, and what they could, and that they have no found the right road to continue on, just like Maryon foretold. He doesn’t seemed convinced, and Elspeth reminds him of what Dameon said about their problem was not knowing what they were, and now they do. Even if Rushton accepts this, he still can’t see how this will help them. Elspeth suggests that everyone fears them, and the Council and Herders fuel that fear, and maybe instead of fighting for acceptance they need to show the public that they are just like them, and shouldn’t be feared. She thinks their purposes should be reshaped around emapthy, and trying to get the public to see the true them. Even though she is not an empath, she will learn to teach the ‘unTalents’ (I would start by not using that name for them) as anyone can.

Rushton plays the ‘you don’t understand, how could you?’ card, which is just annoying and a weak excuse. Elspeth is angry now, and asks how he could know how she feels, and whether he thinks she is a Beforetime machine, with no emotions. Rushton says he could not know, because she never let him near her. The saddest thing of all, is that he thinks this is because he is unTalented, and that Elspeth would never go for someone without Talent. Elspeth doesn’t understand, she is too surprised. He says then why else does she reject him, and ignore his every look and every word. Elspeth tries to say something about Freya (and I hope that she is feeling guilty about pushing him away). He says that Freya has been trying to teach him to use his powers (after all she has powers to amplify another’s powers) but it is too little, especially when Elspeth is so powerful, and he isn’t sure how she knew of that.

Elspeth tries to figure out if all of this is happening. That he actually believes she pushes him away because of his lack of Talent and that Freya was trying to help him access his powers, so he would be ‘worthy’. See! This is what happens when people DON’T COMMUNICATE! Major, major, misunderstanding happen, and everyone gets upset, so talk to each other! She now sees that both Obernewtyn and her, are bound in Rushton’s mind. She feels guilty because of his undying love for both things, whereas she has acted bitterly, especially with Freya. She now sees that this moment, is a once in a lifetime opportunity, if she was ever to have a life with Rushton, this was the time to make it.

She asks him, what exactly she is. He stands up, and tells her that she is everything (which is very endearing). Freya was telling him to give Elspeth time (and Elspeth was so harsh to her, when she was helping her, when Elspeth was being a fool) and he tried, but she continued to move further away from him (because she was silly and thought Freya was now his focus). He thinks himself a fool for ever loving her, and that he doesn’t deserve her or Obernewtyn. Elspeth says he is a fool, and that he will continue to lead Obernewtyn as they try to find another way to fit into the world.

AND FINALLY! Finally, she admits that she loves him, and has done so since she first saw him carrying that pig. And that she had to grow up to admit it and not be frightened of what she felt. She opened her mind to him, and he was able to whisper to her, “Ravek, my Elspethlove”. FINALLY! So much could have been avoided, if they just communicated, there is a lesson there! At least they were able to make things better before everything fell apart. There is only the epilogue remaining, and then after that, three books (‘Red Queen’ is still not out yet, and won’t be until sometime next year, so there will likely be some sort of gap inbetween ‘Obernewtyn’ reviews until the FINAL book, but that is a long way away, then again, time flies).

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