To Bless Those Deserving
I found myself in a structure heavily damaged by various forces then scorched by fire. What I saw were bright colors, which was not a color scheme I expected. The paintings had been ruined, but I saw statuary representing heroic scenes of warriors making the final strikes upon their adversaries of which not all were monsters. I did hear a distant roar and there were sounds of the house groaning from the integrity of its structure being compromised, but I put my focus on the statuary wondering about something.
The one that abducted me said, “Ubremander is in that direction.”
I did not look to see where he pointed. “That’s your problem. Not mine.”
“Not your problem? What god do you represent?”
It is a strange feeling when a man looks at you and is not ogling your feminine curves or really concerned with your appearance at all. I quickly guessed what he was seeking on my person. I actually appreciated what he was doing, as most people really ignored certain items on my clothing. Not really wanting to trouble him with too much details, I took out the golden sacrificial knife kept over my heart and showed it to the man.
“Fergush? I don’t know that god.” He looked me over again, then asked, “Why are you here?”
I put the sacrificial knife back in its place. The top design of an anvil in front of a rising sun still showed, although the same symbol was also a part of other items on my person. He was at least now looking at me, so I decided to answer his question.
“A seed was placed inside a lady connected to my family business. I was thus requested to come here and settle the situation.”
“A seed? Who from around here did that?”
His eyes were distracted from me by the sounds of something destructive coming in our direction. I already had my drahabard out, so simply twirled it. I knew the roars were from Ubremander, so when the being made his appearance I pointed my divine weapon and made certain all eyes were looking at me.
“You, Ubremander, stop your tirade!” He did, but I sought to maintain control. “Good. Now just wait, as we adults are talking.”
He acted as if he wanted to argue with me, but I could tell did not want to suffer any more damage from me. It did not surprise me that his hand was back to normal. Elementals did not have skeletal systems or anything really affecting their shape. They appeared as they did more due to a state of their personality than any forced internal structure. Ubremander however did show a concern of me damaging him further by actually acting in a careful and polite manner as he asked a question.
“What are you talking about?”
I only answered because Ubremander and I had met, so I assumed a previous relationship with him. “He’s trying to hire me. He might actually be able to. I honestly doubt that you could. You thus probably need to be deciding whether you want me to kill you or actually consider you redeemable.”
“You can’t kill me.”
“Try me. It will save him a lot of money, and save all of us from the time necessary to negotiate.”
I saw the lightning effect around Ubremander intensify as he said, “I was especially made.”
“I’m a girl.”
The man chuckled, then said, “You might as well stop arguing with her right there, Ubremander.” I believe he also sought to maintain some control over the situation as he said, “Now, this lady was speaking of a seed?”
“Yes, a girl, another girl, contacted me. I wanted to expand my influence, so put a seed inside her.” Ubremander looked to me as he declared, “Jelnaya, I removed it.”
I replied, “That is why I am not just killing you, Ubremander. Still, I have now been dragged into the middle of whatever dispute is going on. I thus want to hear both sides of the story.”
The man said, “Jelnaya, that is a pretty name.”
“Yes, although I was named after a fruit. Still, I do like my name.” Things went quiet, so I said, “You can keep talking. Let’s start with this bad conjured being here. His name is Ubremander, but he is not the entity that was supposed to come when summoned.”
“I would rather not explain certain things in his presence, but it seems I have no choice. I considered it a wonderful display of my strength when I eradicated Ubremander. As it seems you know, managing elementals is a rather tricky affair. I thus did not allow the nature of Ubremander to disperse, but had it infuse this creation. That enabled me to actually hold some allegiance with some important elemental groups. You are however right about the summons; what I did would still call have certain magics him.”
Actually getting questions answered, I kept up the conversation. “Why did you make him of all elements? I was told part of his attitude was due to internal conflicts.”
“True, but if we could have him develop then we would have a leader that would truly secure our future. Not only did the native creatures of this planet need the peace, but the elementals could use it as well. They were decimating their own numbers as well.”
What he said matched what others had said, but I wanted another question answered. “Developed? Was that the reason for the damn boring entertainment?”
“Why, Jelnaya, what you were witnessing was flawless execution. What you have to understand is that the performers spend their days teaching Ubremander. He has thus seen their performances and had them explain all the specifics. What occurs at the evening is them delivering a flawless execution to those who should be able to appreciate all the aspects of it.”
“I got the feeling the performers were also bored.”
“Uh, yes. You are not the first to speak of the evening entertainment lacking some heart. Still, just eating is not a proper way to end the day.”
That actually explained a number of things to me, so I decided to change tactics and get the other important figure back into the conversation. “Ubremander, you have been real polite. Thank you. Now, this is an important question that I am going to ask you. Take your time and think about your answer.”
Electrical effects continued to play about Ubremander’s body, but he had been quiet and his response was softly spoken. “Okay, Jelnaya.”
“Why should I kill him and not you?”
Suddenly, another voice sounded, “Don’t let her distract you, Ubremander. Just kill her.”
What I saw was the elder man from the castle. While at the castle I considered his normal, aged appearance to be acceptable, it seemed very improper set against the large electrified form of Ubremander and the I’m-a-user-of-magic-and-very-good-at-it presence of the one who had brought me here. The situation had me look to him a little closer, and I recognized something I had not noticed before.
On his clothes were medals of what I considered a military background. I had respect for the military, but a symbol in the ornaments was one I had noticed on the men who had attacked us on the first day of our journey. That had me suspect him of being the one wanting to abduct Doris. Hoping to misdirect him from the identification of the medals, I mentioned something else I noticed about him.
The elder man said, “Yes, Jelnaya. My mother was a nymph. Usually, their dalliances only bring to ruin the morals of the adventurous male. Occasionally however, usually spoken of as being moments of true love, an actual child is conceived. I should have been the leader of this society. I could represent both the humans and the elementals.”
“Water elementals!” the other man declared. “We needed a leader who would encompass more!”
“At least I would be a true subject of this society. I am actually someone who has a beginning, a connection, with this world. This creature is nothing more than a construct, a machine. Kill them, Ubremander.”
Softly, I said, “Come on, Ubremander. Might as well get you out of the way.”
The electrified entity replied, “I don’t want to die, Jelnaya.”
The elder man proclaimed, “What do you mean you do not want to die? You are a figurehead, a symbol! Prove yourself and take that girl out.”
I set myself for combat while saying, “It is either you or me, Ubremander. One of us is going to have to make a decision between these two.”
The electrified display increased as Ubremander proclaimed, “I am the one in charge!”
“Okay, Ubremander, go ahead. You might even find me helping you.”
The man that had brought me over said, “He has no personal wealth with which to pay you, Jelnaya.”
“I’m a divine champion. Honestly, my god takes care of me. I really don’t need the money.”
He laughed, which was the right thing to do. The other guy suddenly sending a geyser of water at me got my attention in the wrong way. I however did not move to attack him. I just set myself to resist while seeing what Ubremander would do.
The creature looked to me and asked, “You aren’t going to kill him?”
I replied, “My god is a warrior, but do not think that just because I am standing here that there is no battle waging. Now, on which side are you going to declare yourself?”
“I am my own side.”
“And I have yet to make any agreements. I can enjoy just watching a battle. Have fun, Ubremander. I’m not your enemy.”
The one that brought me laughed. The elder man however sent another geyser of water at me. This time I did not resist. He needed to learn something about the differences in elemental power and that of a god. I lifted the drahabard while proclaiming the name of my deity, and with a certain motion the force of the water shifted to rush back. The one near me laughed again, then launched his own attack at the elder man.
Elemental power and arcane energy were basically equal. If anything, the elementals were stronger because they had a natural connection to the forces they worked. The elder man however was only partially elemental, and did not show the innate power over water that his mother could have commanded. The one working the arcane energy had a more diverse set of energies, and showed an understanding of manipulating them.
What caught my attention was Ubremander saying, “I really cannot chance one of them buying you out, Jelnaya. Sorry,” before being struck by an intense electrical attack.
And the situation grows as all seek to gain dominance.