To Face the Ugly Deed: Cp15

Submitted by TerishD on Mon, 03/11/2019 - 03:39

To Face the Ugly Deed
Chapter Fifteen

(Jelnaya)

I quickly moved to a deeper part of the pond hearing footsteps, and was glad that I did hearing a girl’s voice say, “Jelnaya!  We could have provided you with a warm bath.”

A lad spun making an exclamation of embarrassment.  I knew both the kids, and wondered about their life together.  I was clearly concealed by the liquid, but whatever I had the young lady, named Kairsy, surely was allowing the young man, named Priven, to see.  I felt a need to just tell the couple to go back home, but the girl made it known that she would not be embarrassed by the way she found me.

“Jelnaya, we can give you a good bath and a warm bed.”

I replied, “You take that husband of yours home and enjoy both.  I am out here assuring your safety.”

“But you surely need sleep.”

“I need to be ready to fight.  I’ll get enough rest should the night stay peaceful.”

From the lad I heard, “Is that what it takes to be a champion of a fighter god?”

Kairsy exclaimed, “Priven!”

“NO!”  He now turned to face me as he asked, “Is that what it takes to be a champion of a fighter god?  I need to know.  I want to know.”

“PRIVEN!”

“No, Kairsy.  Jelnaya is right.  There is a fight coming.  I want to be a part of it.  Nebard has become a champion of a love goddess.  Well, what we need is a champion of a fighter god, and I can be that.”

I had to ask, “Don’t you even know who your fighter god is?”

“No.”  I saw him look to his wife, then he answered, “Before we go off on what we feel will be a rough hunt or raid, we will pray to Derydder, but I believe he is a god of health.  He is just to assure our survival.”

“Well, before you can become a champion of a god, you need to be able to stand for the god.  I knew who Fergush was, and was bringing him sacrifices before I became his champion.  I have the feeling that Nebard was aware of Quafrey.”

“His mother and some of the other ladies worshipped Quafrey.  I believe Nebard – no, I know for certain that he kept an altar to her out in his barn, although it was probably his mother who did that.”

Kairsy said, “We don’t have any altars, Priven.”

The lad looked disappointed, but then declared, “I might have been the youngest, but I was fighting!  I have a wife.  I am an elder of the community.  I WANT TO FIGHT!”

I said, “I don’t see you carrying a weapon.”

“I can get one.”

“Go get one.  I’ll finish my bath, then we can spar.”

“ALL RIGHT!”

As he rushed off, the girl said, “I wish you wouldn’t.”

I replied, “Listen, if you are going to be a champion of a god, you need to be able to represent the deity.  I enjoy what I am doing.  I am not ashamed of Fergush, because I like everything he represents.  I don’t see Priven as actually enjoying combat.  Let me get some of his energy out of him, and you should have him back without any trouble.”

Kairsy did move to get a towel, but as she handed it to me she admitted, “I was not young.  I was actually old.  Well, old enough that I felt no one would want me for a wife.  They made me young.  Jelnaya, was I young when you rescued me?”

“I did not pay the best attention, but I do not recall you being much different than I see you now.  Whoever is behind this is really powerful.  He is not just corrupting people, but their souls.”

“But making my soul young would be a good thing.”

“No.  Affecting your soul is a bad thing.  I’m immortal, Kairsy.  The fact that my body does not age is strange, but my soul was already immortal.  Your soul will not age either.  It however will reflect, actually it is, who you really are.  By making your soul young, he wanted you to feel that what was happening was a good thing.  He wanted you to accept the further changes that would come.  He wanted you to have Priven accept the further changes that would come.  The evidence is now very clear that those would not have been good things.”

“Oh.”  She turned to give me privacy as I dressed, although I heard her say, “I have to allow that is true.  Our village was burnt with the men taken one way and us ladies another.”

“Listen, I’m going to resolve this.  In the meantime, you be a wife to Priven.  He seems like a good kid.  He should make you a good husband.”

“I’m glad to have a man.”  She turned to me, then spoke with a shocked expression that had me stop worried that she had spotted trouble.  “You have no scars.”

“No.  Fergush treats me as a prize.  He wants me to show off.  One of the reasons for this red and yellow hair.”

“You don’t look like a warrior.”

She turned to look at my crystal armor, and I finished putting on my protective garments as I said, “I hope I act like one.”

“Yes, I guess you do.  I don’t want Priven to fight.”

“Listen, men will be men.  However deadly I am, I accept that one day I will have to allow a man into my life.  That is not a bad thing.  There are some bad men, but for the most part men are just men.  I will have one as a husband.  I plan on enjoying him.  You enjoy Priven.”

“Yes, Jelnaya.”

I heard the sound of the lad coming, so said, “Listen, Kairsy, I’m not going to hurt him.  I’ll just wear him out.  When he comes home, you make him glad to be home and not wishing he was back out here.  Can you do that?”

She nodded, then when Priven showed up she told the lad that she would be waiting for his return.  He spoke of needing armor as I set the straps securing my layer of protection on my body.  Kairsy spoke of other things they would first need to assure for their home.  He nodded, although handled his weapon as he told his wife not to wait on his return.

I found myself glad to work with the lad, as he really had no training.  Part of promoting a fighting deity was to help others gain an appreciation for weapons and how to use them properly.  Priven had surely only survived due to his youth.  He had the energy, but no true talent with his mace.  I helped him learn some maneuvers in using his weapon to block and not just to force the weight of the metal head through the guard of an opponent.  His zeal for gaining some actual training gave me some moments of concern, but I felt glad to keep my promise of wearing him down for Kairsy.

As the lad strode back home, I heard him ask, “You aren’t sleeping either?”

I heard Makinor reply, “She is here due to a love goddess, so I need to keep her in line.”

“You going to love her?”

“No.  I’m going to keep her in line.  Go home to your wife, Priven.  She’s waiting for you.”

I waited for the Champion of Onathia to approach.  Seeing him hand me a bottle of wine I felt was a good thing.  What Makinor said had me smile.

“Are all the communities you go out to help as strange?”

“Not all are filled with good people,” I replied after swallowing.  “On a battlefield I am just someone doing a job.  Most of the time I simply go and fight the monster.  I often find myself hoping that I am helping good people, but seldom do I really believe that I am involved in a really good fight.”

“Something about this just does not seem right to me.  I will however admit this is the first time I have been away from what I consider home.  I will travel between a few temples to Onathia, but I have been comfortable enough dealing with the people.”

“I am finding myself liking these people, Makinor.  What is bothering you?”

“Think about it, Jelnaya.  You have that red and yellow hair.  Why?  Well, because Fergush wants you to proclaim him.  We however are among a group of people, even good people, who have no attachment to a god.  Quafrey has stepped up, but only because some of the women did worship her.”

I let him know something I had learned, “Nebard was worshipping her as well.  Still, you are correct that the worship of deities is not common among those here.  That opened them up to the corruption.  I however also see them as recognizing their error, so worth the redemption we should provide.”

“Well, this is your mission, Jelnaya.  Quafrey went for you.  How do you want to handle it?”

“Quafrey is a goddess of love, like Onathia.  How would you handle it?”

“I’m here to learn, Jelnaya.”

Smiling with a thought of using those words to condemn the man before his goddess, I replied, “Let me get some sleep.  Wake me at false dawn, and I will give you a couple of hours.”

“What is your plan?”

“Albroth is just as much a pawn as everyone else.  I doubt he thinks so, but I also believe those around him do not understand their predicament.  I believe we can gain informants, if not allies.”

I saw Makinor actually take a seat against a tree and think for a time before asking, “We kill them if they don’t cooperate?”

“No need.  If they attack us, we kill them.  Remind Onathia that we saw technology.  That means possibly some serious weapons.  My father makes those.  I know how dangerous they can be.  We don’t play if they get used.”

“She agrees, but stay on topic, Jelnaya.”

I was glad to hear that he had such a relationship with She-Who-Loves, so said, “Wolves, horses, people.  We are not playing a game of domination, but corruption.  Souls are being corrupted, and I would venture many are being destroyed.  Whatever is behind this, is able to affect one’s soul.  We are talking about the eternal part of us.  You might not be immortal, Makinor, but your soul is.  There is something much more threatening than the usual opponent behind this.  That is why I feel this will be a mission I will be able to brag about.”

“And that is why you are not set to simply wipe them out.”

“Right.  Wiping out minions is what armies are for.  We represent the aspects of our deities.  We are to promote certain behaviors.  If anyone should understand that corruption is a bad thing, it should be us.  Honestly, the best thing would be to save as many souls as we can.  That means not killing, as right now what we are killing are peoples’ souls.  What we need to find is the source of the corruption, and remove it.”

“That’s what I wanted to hear, Jelnaya.  I’m in.  Whatever you have planned, I’m in.  Get some sleep.”  I actually started looking for a place to lie down when I heard, “Oh, Jelnaya, I just want you to know that you are one lovely lady, but I accept we are opposed.  Who would you want for a husband?”

“I suspect it will be someone from somewhere else.  That is the way things go in my family.  If it is a fellow divine champion, I guess Samayer would be proper.”

“She-Who-Survives?  You, a lady, serves He-Who-Fights, so you would settle for a man who serves She-Who-Survives.”  He chuckled, then said, “I guess so.  Still, if I survive, I might see about joining you on further missions.”

“Just because you like the way I look?”

“That’s about the only way most men choose their ladies.  For the record, I am liking the way you handle things.  For someone that promotes He-Who-Fights, I find myself agreeing with you.”

I would not argue with that, so mentioned the major problem between us.  “You’re not immortal, Makinor.”

“I admit you will probably find me settling for another, but I want it said that I considered you.  I want to brag one day about having seriously considered you, and you having considered me.”

Not really knowing how to take those words, I asked, “Is that what you talk about in the court of Onathia?”

“What if I show up in the court of Fergush wanting to brag about it?”

“I’ll let you do it and listen for how many laugh at you.”

He laughed, then said, “I like you, Jelnaya.  You have my support.  Get some sleep.  I promise to wake you should I be disturbed, as I will want to see you back in action.”

And some final plans are put into motion.