Without a Light I See: Cp17

Without a Light I See
Chapter Seventeen


“You are worthy, but you are going to have to step up.”

Afraid that again my mother would avoid a certain topic, I said, “You have yet to tell me what I am, Mother. Father did not raise me as a fairy, but he never explained why. I finally got upset with the contradictions, and left on my own.”

“And you did well. As you said, there is no shame in you.”

“What am I, Mother?”

Without a Light I See: Cp16

Without a Light I See
Chapter Sixteen


I heard the hiss of stress as he whispered, “What is bothering you, Jelnaya?”

“Where are the fairies? Queen Nichanay came out, but only to get her son. She did not greet me. She did not even thank me when I assured Potorly went. That was very un-fairy-like.”

As he took his grand sword in his hands, I saw the guards ready their weapons. I felt that a good thing, but moved to the railing hoping to make out something even as I sought to figure out what to look for. Having my great-uncle come beside me with his sword still in his hand, I spoke my thoughts.

Without a Light I See: Cp15

Without a Light I See
Chapter Fifteen


Baron Ferrigote asked, “What does he mean, Jelnaya?”

She replied, “Potorly likes getting good and drunk after a fight.”

“Break him of that.”

“Obviously we have already been talking about it, Great-uncle.”

“Potorly, the war is never won when the last battle is.”

Without a Light I See: Cp14

Without a Light I See
Chapter Fourteen


“I have shown you a number of items of gold that gave me evidence of you existing, Dirchein. This was once part of a shirt. I sold it when Terish identified it as a garment by an egotistical monarch, and not anything to do with a lady of gold.”

Lerdiyo asked, “Emperor, did you see the map?”

“Map? It had been woven in a manner that gave the appearance of a dragon, but that was all. I can see one of the legs on your piece.”

“It’s a piece of a map.”

Without a Light I See: Cp13

Without a Light I See
Chapter Thirteen


“He and I have the same problem. If either of us fails in our personal matters, the other has to come in and clean it up. It is best to have a heads-up.”

“You are not his only esteemed vassal.”

“I am his only duchess.” Not having studied the government of Oprillot’s world, I tried to imply some of the facts of our system as I replied, “If the viscounts are not eager to step up then it is assumed to be my problem.”

“Has that happened?”

Without a Light I See: Cp12

Without a Light I See
Chapter Twelve


“I see.” I looked to Oprillot to ask, “I guess you are willing as well.”

He replied, “Immortality is a gift. Why it did not come with maturity, I cannot say. There are those that speak against my condition, saying it was a type of death even though those of a religious nature have clearly stated that I am not a member of the undead. In any event, gaining the friendship of fellow immortals is a blessing whether I gain a wife or not.”

“That did not answer my question. Are you willing to pay the price?”

Without a Light I See: Cp11

Without a Light I See
Chapter Eleven


I had done as the lad said, so asked, “You are not a young boy?”

“Boy? I am sorry to say that I am. Young? I am fifty-seven.”

I looked to the one that had introduced the lad and informed him, “Take those of your party to my castle. There you need to speak to one named Vulge –“

A fairy flew into my face to declare, “You cannot be serious!”

Without a Light I See: Cp10

Without a Light I See
Chapter Ten


“I cannot believe Vulge did not know you were in here.”

Yenorma replied, “He has been kept busy by Queen Nichanay. It seems the lady is wanting to get her son married.”

“Vulge says that you are wanting to get him tied up. I believe you need to hear my lecture about leaving one rut to simply jump into another.”

“Marriage isn’t a rut, Princess Jelnaya. I can’t believe you are implying it will be.”

Without a Light I See: Cp9

Without a Light I See
Chapter Nine


I had to look the poem over to admit, “Uh, no. It’s in free verse. I didn’t come here to court you, Honored Duchess.”

“Just Jelnaya while courting. Relax Potorly.”

“Well, I’m really not a poetry person, Jelnaya. Could I read you a section from a romance novel?”

Mother told me to put the book back with my belongings, but I had not and was glad when Jelnaya replied, “This is supposed to be a period where you do something to help me like you. I however did not know fairies wrote romance novels.”

Without a Light I See: Cp8

Without a Light I See
Chapter Eight


That statement took me by surprise, so I could not help but retort, “What, Heroyu? What must the king know?”

“Why your betrothal to Prince Potorly.”

“There is no betrothal, Heroyu. I mean, how many men have come seeking my hand? Let me say that he does get my reports. The king speaks of laughing at what I had to say about those seeking my hand.”

“The status of Potorly’s mother does have weight, Honored Duchess. At the moment you are betrothed to the man.”