To Bless Those Deserving
For the record, that would be a way of taking me out. Just overwhelming me with a single attack that even with all my protections would allow a small portion to affect me, and that small portion being strong enough to overcome my body. Divine champions did fall. Most had their days cease rather quickly, as no sooner did they get their blessing than they would step out into a really serious situation. I had done that as well. In my case there were others also fighting, so I did not have to face the enemies alone. I then had a family who could supply me with applicable advice. Ubremander did the right thing in attempting to take me out, but he was lacking in enough power to be effective.
I probably had sparks moving about my body, assuredly causing my red and yellow hair to radiate, as I said, “You’re not pure enough or strong enough Ubremander. It takes air and fire to make lightning, and you really are not made up of that much fire. You also have a lot to learn about managing your power.”
Ubremander roared as he put up a layer of energy around him surely expecting one of the men to attack him. I saw in the gaze of the elder man that he accepted I was out of his league. My training protected me. In realizing that two of the three in the arena could not overcome me, I moved while setting myself to assure that a blast of energy from the third would not take me unaware.
From the younger appearing man came the words, “If I wanted you dead, Jelnaya, I could have done so.”
“If you really wanted me to have trusted you, you should have made a deal.”
“Ah, so my enjoyment of toying with my prey worked against me. Still, I haven’t done anything to you yet, so cannot be seen as a real enemy by you.”
I was really having a tough time deciding which of the three I liked the least. “No, but this is actually not my fight. You brought me here to fight with you, but I can step out.”
“My powers are arcane, Jelnaya. Fighting me will not be like fighting the other two.”
Men – sometimes they just did not listen to what a lady said, but I went ahead and accepted his line of thought. “Yes, but the victory will be something to brag about. I could also take pleasure in what happens to your soul afterward. The gods here are not my own, but I like the conversations when I have cause to stand before them with one of their souls in my grasp.”
A female voice proclaimed, “They are my gods, so I would enjoy the conversation more.”
The man next to me spun going through the motions for an attack. I used the length of the drahabard to have one end go under an arm. As I stepped in, I displaced the arm as well as probably cut it. The undesired movement along with any pain spoiled the working of magic. Of course having one of my elbows slam into the jaw of the man also prevented him from going through the motions of evoking any arcane power.
She was climbing up the rubble. Before the destruction done to the building, she probably would have needed to climb a smooth wall surface. She wore a lovely garment of yellow leather covered by silver and crystals like my own suit of armor. On her body were probably as many weapons I had on mine. Her face showed that the feat of climbing had still stressed her, but she pulled herself up showing the determination to fight.
It seemed that both Ubremander and the elder man recognized that I had disrupted the user of magic, as they both attacked him. The arcane magic-user’s expression showed some pain and concern, but I could tell that he did have some protection against the energies sent upon him. The divine champion however showed the same joy in toying with one’s prey as the man, as she stepped to lift his jaw and have him look at her before making her strike. He recognized her attack however, and countered by stretching his body forward to catch the wooden shaft of the mace behind the metal head and pulling the weapon from her grasp. I knew my drahaberd was susceptible to the same type of action, as I had used it on the person who first showed such a weapon to me. I had thus practiced counters to anyone who used that move on me. I guess the lady also had such a history, as I saw her quickly step up and slam a gauntleted fist into his face. As she pulled her weapon back from him, the man simply tackled her. As they scuffled on the ground, I moved into a prominent position to prevent others from taking advantage of the situation, and seeing Ubremander’s body showing an intense electrical display I pointed at him.
“I would prefer actually gaining a resolution, Ubremander.”
The elder man said, “That was why you were brought into existence, Ubremander. Go back to your room.”
Feeling that I could not get a resolution without everyone staying present, I countered the command. “You can stay, Ubremander. Hopefully, you are learning just how little use fighting is in settling a problem.”
“Actually, Ubremander, I can agree with that.”
The two scuffling broke away, and as the man rose to his feet he said, “He’s still an elemental. He won’t learn.”
Seeing him suddenly disappear brought me some relief, but I felt a need to finally get some information. “It now would help to get some names. I only know Ubremander’s.”
The elder man said, “You would have gotten mine, but you never allowed Snerara the chance to do things her way.” He then bowed. “I am Lord of the Graineries, Ethurd. The man who was with you was Baron Pechend of the Grossend.” He bowed again, this time toward the other lady. “If I may, the one that joined us is Lerall, Champion of Chumernon.”
She had on pieces of armor, but still performed a curtsey. I thought of my crystal armor as a glittering band of metal and gems acted as a shawl over her shoulders and upper torso. Due to her womanly mounds, she had what I guess would be called a stomach-plate and not a full breastplate. While a yellow skirt, a dirty yellow skirt, covered her legs, I suspected she had greaves over her thighs as there were metal pieces over her upper arms.
Just to assure that the lady knew who I was, I also performed a curtsey while introducing myself. “Jelnaya, Champion of Fergush.”
Lerall said, “You have honor, Jelnaya, as you were actually seeking a resolution. I was however warned that your deity is a fighting spirit.”
“Fergush has proven himself much more complex, which has gained him honor in my family and my acceptance of him. Still, he is known as He-Who-Fights.”
“You are without armor.”
I felt that to be a rather obvious observation, but saw no reason not to take advantage of it. “I was telling Ubremander how not all battles were fought with arms and armor.”
She pointed at the conjured elemental while saying, “And those were the battles you were sent to settle, Ubremander. What is surely confusing you, is that while those are the words of all around you, they themselves are displaying a desire for choosing the very dangerous types of aggression they said they wanted to put behind them. It would help us all if those who spoke the loudest of wanting peace would actually want peace.”
I moved to the remaining window while asking, “Just how widespread is this conflict?”
“Baron Pechend tried to ignite things, but at the moment all are acting as if no fuse has been lit. Ubremander was created to be the leader of the elementals, and the pacts with them hold as long as he remains. The humans are really a minority, so will not fight unless those of us that have proven ourselves able to fight call for war. Baron Pechand is one that could call for war, but I hope he understands that at the moment there is a sizable opposition to him, both human and elemental.”
“Sounds like your problem.”
I heard the chink along with the sound of a weight hitting the floor behind me. The value of the coins did not concern me, but simply their presence. In moving between realities, certain agreements had to occur between my god and those who were in charge of those universes I visited. In most situations, actually including this one, I had a clear mission with my presence tolerated as long as I stayed limited to matters concerning my purpose. What the chink of a payment indicated was that a local deity demanded more from me than the usual graciousness.
I turned to look at the other divine champion as I said, “I am here caring for a person.”
“She is being involved as a pawn. That is going to force your involvement. While you are correct that your warrior spirit is proving himself as being more complex, someone wants to simplify your presence to the core of your attachment to He-Who-Fights. That money is to buy the god you truly represent, and not just the antagonistic presence you could be.”
“When it comes to Doris, I will fight.”
“You were instructing Ubremander. I liked, and my deity liked, what we heard. You are being paid to continue to instruct Ubremander.”
I really knew nothing of the gods of this world, but smiled in thinking they were rather complex in their personalities as well. “What do you say to that, Ubremander?”
Ethurd said, “The offer is to have you working with a god, Ubremander. Instead of being something outside their influence, you would have an opportunity to work within their influence. There are rules. You see it in how you are trained. Those of us with souls have a constant struggle in assuring an eternal existence while also assuring ourselves of what we consider a proper life. Your elemental essence only sees the moment, but we are doing all we can to have you understand a larger perspective. Working with Jelnaya could help you Ubremander, but as you have learned it could be your undoing as well.”
Ubremander wisely asked, “What do you say, Jelnaya?”
I answered, “It is your decision, Ubremander. What they are not telling you, actually cannot tell you, is that they understand. Lerall knows the complexities of a relationship with a deity. What limits I actually have and what constraints I will have on certain options are understood by her. Ethurd has a soul, so knows how certain needs and desires can turn him toward doom. What is being offered to you is a chance to experience those decisions with me, and hopefully gain some understanding of what those complexities are that can affect your future of living with humans and trying to keep the peace between them as well as with the abundance of elemental life.”
“I am sorry, Jelnaya, but all I see is that to not accept is to be my doom.”
“Honestly, accepting could also be your doom. The first decision you need to make is whether you are actually going to try and become the being you were made to be.”
Lerall pointed her mace at the man while declaring, “Ethurd, is Ubremander being lied to?”
In a softer voice, the man said, “Ubremander, you are not being lied to.”
The conjured elemental declared, “I want to be who I was made to be.”
“If it was an easy thing to do, others would have taken the job instead of conjuring you.”
“Pick up the coins, Jelnaya. I accept you as my instructor.”
I went and picked up the bag, then said, “Well, Ubremander, my first lesson is to tell you that the man that created you is a jerk. I am not telling you to hate him, but only that he is really the one that needs to learn a lesson.”
Ethurd chuckled, then admitted, “I have to agree with that.”
If only people would allow decisions to be made instead of actions.