Only Fools Complain
Chapter Twenty

Thoughts on Thoughts

Again I was made comfortable in a chair, but instead of reading Aden sat on the floor beside me and laid her head on a leg. She did not look in my direction, but I could tell that she did not cry. Mersidda said nothing about her, and I let her be as well.

The problem that I saw had gone completely out of my control. I did feel that I could remove the shell, but the matter of the reasons for the shell would still remain. A desire to go and quiz the baron came through me, but honestly he should not need me to settle his problems. The next conclusion was to confront the baron and warn him that my life was in his hands when the barrier came down. What stopped me from doing the latter was that the situation should have been known. Honestly, I felt the baron did know the danger he was placing me in, but trusted my king to protect me. Maybe he would, but I wanted the full honor of being given this assignment, so I wanted to solve it. I however found that task to be far beyond my ability to rationalize or perform.

Without any other options, I put a hand on the back of my mature lady and asked, “Any advice?”

“No, Berair, but I do have a request.”

I figured that her head on my leg had some significance. There were other things she could of done, but honestly this way was nice. Considering I had no other plans at the moment, I decided that I could do no worse than doing something for a wife.

“And what would that be?”

“Find out why Therlik died. Go to the Clay Dove and learn what you can of those events. I have been told, but the words were intended for a lady. I want to hear what a man would be told.”

Her head lifted when a disgusted breath of air left me, although I did explain my mood. “Listen, I will do it. I will do it for you, but occasionally I will do such a thing for myself. When I do it for myself, that is one thing. However, doing it for you – don’t make it a fool’s mission, Aden.”

“My lord?”

“There will be drinking. There will be gambling. There will be carousing. I promise that my days with whores is over, but those type of women are there and some exchanges will occur as they surely will proposition me. However I come home – in whatever shape, however I smell, whatever I talk about, remember that you sent me there. I don’t want to hear any complaints about it.”

“Yes, my lord.”

She rose to kiss me. I guess the action was to thank me and assure me that she accepted my terms. As if to reinforce the latter point, after the affection Aden asked a question.

“About those times you do it on your own initiative.”

“All I ask then is that you accept my explanation. Even if you don’t like it, accept it. I promise that my reasons will not be fictitious. In hindsight they might be some of the sorriest excuses for logic every created by a man, but they will be the truth. Whatever punishment you deem necessary, that will be your prerogative.”

Now she started crying. Aden kissed me, then fell back to my leg weeping. I expected an explanation, and after a period it came.

“If Therlik had only said those words. He would tell all sorts of lies, or simply get mad at me for asking. Now, Berair, you only have to keep your promise.”

“Marriage is a two-way street, Aden. From what I see, you are keeping your promises, so I have no problem with keeping mine.” I reached out a hand to move through her hair as I said, “Honestly, I just went to those places because I was lonely and bored. I cannot imagine that I will ever be lonely again. As for bored, well, I might go in to visit with certain men, but I reckon that there will soon enough be a good bit keeping me occupied.”

I suddenly felt Mersidda wrap her arms around my neck, kiss me, then say, “YES!”

I kissed her back, then put my attention back to the wife on my leg. “Aden, I promise to try and be a wonderful husband. I’m not going to say that life will treat us right, but I don’t see why we cannot treat each other right. I cannot speak for Therlik. Honestly though, Aden, you are the only one of us that has been married. I am speaking of my hopes, my plans, my intentions. Same with Mersidda. You might need to guide us, advise us, at times.”

She rose while saying, “No, Berair. I am going to start fresh in this family just like you and Mersidda. Both of you are good people. Right now we are going through the courtship we never had. It is wonderful, and, Berair, I want you to know that I find myself willing to marry you. Even with Mersidda, as she is a nice, sweet lady that truly does not conflict with my desires. There is a lot of newness in this marriage, and I will learn with you.”

I cannot say that I actually liked the words, but the attitude was good. I thus kissed both my wives, then headed into my bedroom. They followed to see what I was doing, and I had them help me out of my armor while mentioning a less formal style of dress for going into a drinking establishment.

If Mersidda was not in her time, I would have had both my wives. As it was, we discussed clothes. I mentioned seeing both of my wives busy with them. I accepted that they were dresses, but that just allowed for basic comments like those I would make. Aden could discuss fashion, but Mersidda had the better seamstress skills. I knew some basic repair skills, but again just enough to follow the conversation. Both ladies seemed to enjoy the time spent, even though all we did is talk, and I felt that I learned a few more things about them.

My opinion that the time was going well I felt was verified when Mersidda’s mother came to spend a period with us. She listened to what my wives said, and complimented me on being willing to spend a part of my day in such a manner with my wives. While I was actually glad to hear such words, I wondered what she would say when I let it slip that I felt my life was threatened by my marriage to Aden.

She replied, “I don’t believe that I would go that far, Berair, but I can say that Baron Norvaum was very determined to have you marry Aden. Due to the recent years of flooding, my husband’s holding has suffered. Neither one of us wanted to use the word ‘slavery,’ but the fact was we were wanting some money in exchange for the hand of our daughter. The baron found me thus very agreeable to make a contract. I understood that my little Mersidda would be a ‘second’ wife, but the offer made became too tempting to allow to pass.”

“Well, my problem is that I am not completely certain that the baron is at fault. A part of me wants to be pleased that this dilemma is costing the baron, but my dealing with the man does not give me the impression that he is a guilty man. He is stressed, but I sense the usual anxiety of someone needing to get a problem resolved. While I feel that he could give more information about the facts behind this dilemma, I feel that he is attempting to protect a number of parties – not just Aden.”

Emoya’s eyes looked to my mature wife as she asked, “Could the problem be from Prince Aneron?”

Aden returned, “I would say his wife. She had not yet produced a son. It is possible that she sought a method to assure the child would be a boy.” She reached out a hand to hold my own as she added, “I really do not understand those women troubled by child birth. My son was a blessing, and I looked forward to my second child whether boy or girl. My life with Therlik might have been terrible, but I thanked him for the children. I would thus think that Aneron’s wife would be pleased with girls, as they gave her even more of reason – beyond the simple desire for another child – to become pregnant again.”

I had to ask, “Well, is she in the castle?”

“No, my lord. She and the two girls left with their husband. While he had business, they were supposedly heading to Charrigel, her home.”

“How much before the shell?”

“Over a week. Things had settled down with some even speaking of expecting the family to return when the shell came around us.”

Emoya said, “No actual proof can be assigned.”

I chuckled before saying, “I don’t need proof. I just need to set things right. If I can get enough of an understanding of the situation to assure a basic return of things to normal then I can claim my honor.”

Mersidda’s mother then asked, “Berair, can you contact King Terish?”

“Yes. As an officer in the military of Thiminy I get a medallion that allows me to contact my king. He often travels through other worlds, so simply sending a messenger to the castle is not enough in the case of trouble. However, it is stressed upon its presentation that it is only to be used in the case of a problem beyond my ability to handle. It is also made public that the reason for a promotion in rank is due to being able to overcome difficulties that other men usually avoid or fail in their attempts. There is thus no way that I am going to use that medallion unless things go completely sour.”

“Such is the logic of men.”

“Such are the circumstances that often drives the stupidity of men.” I then pointed to Aden as I said, “Not that you women are any better. You also present challenges to us that often have us risk our lives.”

My mature wife explained the reference, “I am having my lord go out tonight to the establishment where Therlik and Jouder died. I told him that I only heard the words said to a woman. I want the words that will be said to a man.”

Emoya replied, “Yes, that is one benefit of a husband. The words however are usually the same – more honest, but the same.”

“I want to know.”

Mersidda’s mother looked to me and said, “Be careful, but it is probably for the best that both of you know the truth.”

“I am always careful in such places, although I feel that the pleasures I once felt will no longer be there. I thus don’t expect to do much, but I cannot say that things will go easy either.”

Aden told me that she would be waiting for me. Mersidda did as well, then complained that presently she could not share my bed. I told both my wives that they would have a lifetime of doing things with me. Those words seemed to please them both, and after sharing a kiss, I told them not to worry should their wait be a little long.

A den of iniquity can also be a place for studying reality.