|Chapter 6: The Defense of Mithil Stonedown|
In a hard, steady voice that cut through Covenant's superficial ire to the rage growing within him, Triock said, "We have sworn the Oath of Peace. Do not ask us to feed your hate. The Land will not be served by such passions."
"It's all I've got!" Covenant answered thickly. "Don't you understand? I don't have anything else. Nothing! All by itself, it has got to be enough."
Gravely, almost sorrowfully, Triock said, "Such a foe cannot be fought with hate. I know. I have felt it in my heart."
"Hellfire, Triock! Don't preach at me. I'm sick to death of being victimized. I'm sick of walking meekly or at least quietly and just putting my head on the block. I'm going to fight this."
"Why?" Triock asked in a restrained voice. "What will you fight for?"
"Are you deaf as well as blind?" Covenant wrapped his arms around his chest to steady himself. "I hate Foul. I've had all I can stand of--"
"No. I am neither deaf nor blind. I see and hear that you intend to fight. What will you fight for? There is matter enough to occupy your hate in your own world. You are in the Land now. What will you fight for?"
Hell and blood! Covenant shouted silently. How much of me do you want? But Triock's question threw him back upon himself. He could have replied: I hate Foul because of what he's doing to the Land. But that sounded like a disclaimer of responsibility, and he was too angry to deny his own convictions. He was too angry, also, to give Triock any comforting anwer. In a brittle voice, he said, "I'm going to do it for myself. So that I can at least believe in me before I lose my mind altogether."
This response silenced Triock, and after a moment Foamfollower asked painfully, "My friend, what will you do with your passion?"
Snow slowly thickened in the air. The flakes danced like motes of obscurity across Covenant's vision, and the strain of his fierce stare made his unhealed forehead throb as if his skull were crippled with cracks. But he did not relent, could not relent now. "There's only one good answer to someone like Foul." Yet in spite of his anger, he found that he could not meet Foamfollower's gaze.
Involuntarily, Covenant's fingers bent into claws. "I'm going to bring Foul's Creche down around his ears."