To Face the Ugly Deed
I could have chosen a life in a world of high science. Between my father and his father I however learned a lot about weapons. I found those in this community to stress certain lessons. When I picked up one of their weapons, they were scared of the weapon. I thus did not use the instruments of high science, but went around breaking them, as I wanted those I met to be scared of me.
It did not surprise me to find no women being kept. I expected some things of women, either from a desire from the men to claim a lady or from the tokens of those they had dealt with. I however entered house after house being surprised to find only the things of men.
I heard the scream from Nebard, then moved to a window to notice the rush of men away from where I had left my male companions. I watched for signs of someone picking up one of their weapons to use. As I took out the second man, I spoke my concern of the yells from Nebard.
“Fergush, I hope he is not ruining his relationship with his goddess.”
As if my god were behind me, I heard, “Do not doubt the strength of the calling of love. I know you desire such a relationship, Jelnaya, but it can consume you.”
“I have no example of that being a bad thing, Fergush.”
“I am not saying it is, but only warning you, Jelnaya.”
I would not let the conversation end there, but quickly replied, “It has to be there, Fergush. Even with Great-aunt Dirchein, there is love. Great-uncle Ferrigote sought the lady of gold simply because she was a lady of gold. He actually did not seek her out for love. There is love there however. I love my Great-aunt Dirchein, however much her ways are not my own. I also know that Great-uncle Ferrigote loves her. He does not see her as a lady of gold, but as his wife. That’s my standard, Fergush.”
“And it is an honorable one, Jelnaya. From what I have seen in your relationship with Dirchein, I doubt I will present you with an option from those that worship Remidda. Onathia is telling Makinor to love all, and that is the reason he is considering you for his future.”
“He told me he just was impressed with my looks.”
“And Ferrigote went after a lady of gold. As you said, love developed there. If that is your standard then that is what you look for, but you have to accept that the other might have been looking for their own reasons. Also, you have to accept that even though the desire was not love, love could be there.”
Considering he used my own argument against me, all I could do was attempt to turn the conversation back on him. “Especially in one who worships a goddess of love.”
“Yes, Jelnaya, although I don’t feel that Makinor will make a good choice for you.”
“Solves that problem. Now, what do I need to do to advance our situation?”
“You are protecting the boys. That is enough. Let them, specifically Nebard, see what there is to find.”
I rushed off to again have a vantage point where I could spot things ahead of Makinor and Nebard. I felt good to see the Champion of Onathia also acting protective of the Champion of Quafrey. I did not know what special protective devices Makinor had, other than his fancy armor, but I felt Nebard was the one who could be excused for not yet knowing certain things about his calling.
It helped seeing him not lose whatever energy had been fueling his drive through the town. I actually felt he would make it to the other edge of the community, then calm as he realized that there was nowhere else to go. From my height, I could see the end of the buildings, so actually felt I would see if Nebard fulfilled my prediction of him. I did see him slow down, but to look around as if suspecting a nearby threat. Makinor attempting to look threatening in his fancy armor let me know that he also suspected trouble. With their actions giving me the impression they suspected something, I looked a little more carefully and saw someone come to a window with a weapon. I released an arrow and again gained the satisfaction of seeing my target drop. As he fell, others in the building must have made a sound as Nebard went in without showing any loss of energy followed by Makinor.
I now moved to make a circuit around the chosen structure to assure no snipers would target the men as they went by a window. Found a sentry weapon set to do just that. It had to have been set recently, but I was moving over roofs. Someone could have put it operation as soon as they saw the champions of love goddesses enter the building, then fled down hoping to kill them when they checked upstairs. My father’s company made weapons of this type, so I knew things about how they worked. I went in a window, then moved through the building to deal with the automatic gun. While I could not read the language, the actual controls were designed for those who had little knowledge besides which end of a weapon was dangerous. I moved the machine to the hallway, then set it to take care of anyone who thought to come back and check on it.
Finding no more toys of that type, I decided to actually check on the boys. I jumped over to the building they were inside. I then dropped down to enter through a window. Having weapons of high science, it did not surprise me that they had clear glass panes in their windows. Most of the glass sheets were broken however, or the frame holding them had been opened. I could only suppose that whatever had happened to the men had limited the various technologies available to them. While they were able to do some things themselves, their source for other things, like window panes, had been lost. Coming to a stop in the room I entered, I smiled finding that I could hear the boys as they spoke.
Makinor was presently lecturing Nebard. “Remember, as a divine champion it is our duty to proclaim our deities. Jelnaya does not go around starting fights with everyone, but lets everyone know about Fergush all the same. I find that I am usually sent into places where duty and obligation have clouded the perception of real love between people. That is what you need to do, Nebard. Even with the situation that had you take a wife, you showed that love could flourish. You need to develop ways to continue to promote those ways in a fashion that has others see the worth of having Quafrey, or at least her aspects, in their lives.”
Nebard replied, “But this is evil. There is no love here.”
“That is your, our, perception, but not our duty as divine champions. I will however agree that it is our duty as just good people. We are not promoting our goddesses by ending this threat, but just standing up for what we see as good. Let me however say that we still need to show that love can flourish. You continue to display your love for your wife and those around you. You continue to speak of your goddess. Doing things like this can turn you into a protector of the people, and that is not what Quafrey called you to do.”
“That is what Jelnaya does.”
Now I entered the conversation. Not by joining the men. I simply spoke loud enough from my position that they could hear me.
“No. People call me in to handle certain fights, because my god is He-Who-Fights. Yes, I can fight. Still, I come in as this pretty little girl speaking good about my god and not as some get-the-job-done tough person. People see me and find themselves thinking good things about Fergush. That is my real job.”
Makinor replied with a question as if he had talked enough, “Jelnaya, have we cleared this town?”
“I would say emptying the town and clearing the town to be two different things. Come on, Champion of Onathia. You are claiming that She-Who-Loves wants you to start handling adventures of this type. Prove yourself and figure this out.”
“I really have no idea about what to do.”
“Then let me see if I can make it really simple. You’re the champion for She-Who-Loves, right?”
I smiled when he did answer, “Yes.”
“Okay. Someone calls you in because they lack love in their lives. Say poor Nebard and Eashae were not getting along, because the love had left their relationship. You do not start showing love to Eashae – all smooching, and holding hands, and other things.”
Imagining the expressions on the men’s faces kept the smile on my face, even though I thought it comical to hear. “No, ewww.”
“Oh, admit it, Makinor. Onathia turns down most declarations to be her champions because they think they will get to do things like that.”
There was a pause before Makinor admitted, “Yes, you’re right, Jelnaya.”
“I will in return admit that Fergush turns down most declarations to him because they believe he will just have them go from fight to fight with them getting to show off at how good of a fighter they are. One does not get to be a divine champion to show off themselves, but their deity. Now, I need you boys to put your mind back on our present situation. We have a terrible situation. Quafrey however did not call in my great-uncle or my Grandfather Terish. They are the heroes. They would come in, realize the situation, and take these soul destroyers out. However, Quafrey calls in a divine champion, then declares a divine champion of her own. Makinor, by claiming Nebard Quafrey stated that she felt a divine champion was what was needed. Not a hero, but a divine champion of a kissy-smoochie, hold hands and cuddle, goddess of love.”
My smile dropped when the men did not respond to my words, but it was because I acknowledged they were beginning to think, which was supported by Makinor replying, “Quafrey went to get you, Jelnaya. She wanted someone to fight.”
“Maybe at first. But she quickly recognized that a divine agent of her own would be needed. I would say that she just knew about me. I am the one with the family and background to be active beyond Sennapre. Yes, I am known to handle a fight, but I am also a girl. I would say that was the deciding factor between me and others. You however come with me, and Quafrey realizes that a divine agent of a goddess of love could be effective. Okay, I accept that, but you are doing a poor job of promoting Onathia.”
“A poor job of – You’re right, Jelnaya. I have been thinking of this as a fight.”
“Oh, there are going to be fights, but that is not your aspect, Makinor. Even if it is a fighting situation, you should be working to promote Onathia. Trust me, whoever I fall in love with will know that he is dealing with someone connected to He-Who-Fights. Turn this situation into one involving saying sweet little nothings in peoples’ ears, giggling as you go –“
I was actually glad that he interrupted me. “That’s enough, Jelnaya. That is not what – Hey!” I had to assume that his various statements meant his mind was beginning to work. “Jelnaya, there is nothing wrong about taking a lady as a prize.”
“There is a lot wrong with it, Makinor. Honestly, however, I see a lot wrong in the courting procedures. To each his own. However two people come together, the bond that forms should result in love. There is something about marriage that has the two begin to accept each other as a part of each other’s lives. When that doesn’t happen, then it is wrong. Well, think about what Nebard and those with him are saying. They were not supposed to love the ladies they took.”
I believe it helped having Nebard admit, “No. We were just supposed to want them, then want more.”
Hoping to keep supplying Makinor with facts, I said, “Nebard and his companions were told to take wives, but also told they could take two. ‘Wife’ was the word used, but what they really meant was ‘slaves’ – possessions. Take them and use them. Same as the horses, same as the wolves. The women however were simply to make the men think they would be getting something good. The horses and wolves would however turn on their masters. The men themselves were to turn on their ladies.”
Makinor replied, “I can see that there was no love intended, Jelnaya.”
The eyes of the men shot wide as I stepped through a doorway to point my finger in the face of Makinor while saying, “Damn it, that is NOT what you are supposed to see. What you need to see is how love can be inserted. Even in a loving situation, I am telling you that Fergush will be promoted. Well, how are you going to promote Onathia, She-Who-Loves, in this situation?”
“Uh, I believe that it is already being promoted.”
“Wrong answer, Makinor. Nebard is right there. If you keep that attitude, Quafrey gets promoted. Nothing actually wrong with that, as this mission is from her world. You however need to have people thinking of you. When someone from some strange world thinks of needing love, they should think of that guy Makinor. When Quafrey thought of needing someone to fight, she thought of me. I come in speaking of Fergush, promoting the ways of Fergush, and doing everything I can to have people see this pretty little girl and think, ‘hey, she really knows how to fight.’ The local fighting spirits can step up if they want to, as this matter involves their world, but I do all I can to have everyone remember me. Who is going to remember you?”
I had already taken a position in front of him. A weapon was in my hand, but I did not consider using it when Makinor grabbed me. Having him then stop with the need of taking off his helmet I felt was cute, but I held my position waiting for him to grab me again.
There was no way I was going to let him perform some simple meeting of the lips. I just told the man that even in love I would promote Fergush. My hands, one still holding the weapon, went to the sides of his head to maintain the contact. I squirmed my body against his enough to assure that he knew it was a lady he had against him. By the time our lips parted, Makinor was panting.
He managed to say, “Onathia tells me to thank you, but I am personally glad I did that. Still, you are not the one for me.”
I replied, “It was a first. I will credit you with being the first divine champion of She-Who-Loves to do that. Maybe we can speak of it later.”
“Yes, but at present we have work to do. Love, love, I definitely feel the need to determine how that fits into this situation.”
And our trio confronts other issues.