To Bless Those Deserving
I slept in my room with Jelnaya. The evening was an enjoyable time. Unlike the evening before, tonight we commented on the dances and dramas. It seemed that was what Ubremander did during the day, as his watching the performers practice was considered part of his training. Sitting with him, I found him to ask questions, which opened up discussions. I believe that we all learned things as well as found ourselves actually interested in the entertainment. I came back to the room very intoxicated, but Jelnaya simply put me in the care of my slaves telling them to put me in the bed as she did not plan on settling for a regular rest.
That night I had the strangest dream. I was standing on the shore of a great river. On the other side was something vast and dark. It was not scary, but the complete blackness had me feeling that I should be afraid. I did not recognize where I was, but I also felt strange in that I felt there was something I needed to do elsewhere. As I tried to make sense of my surroundings, I was sent from the dream upon hearing the strangest statement.
“If the river can become shallow, I will cross.”
It was dark in the room, and I sensed movement, but I calmed myself hearing the voice of Jelnaya, “Anything you want to talk about?”
“Uh, no,” I replied. “It was just a dream.”
“It’s never a dream, but it is also usually wasted effort to discover exactly what it was. Was it scary?”
Not feeling that I could give a good answer to the question, I went ahead and described what I could of the dream, although found myself surprised by her response, “Well, I’m glad you told me that. Now, remember it. It might be important later.”
Pishau asked me if I wanted something to drink, and after telling her to get me some water I asked, “Jelnaya, do you know something?”
She replied, “Don’t ask a question like that of a religious person unless you want that type of answer.”
“I don’t think of you as religious.”
“Yeah, I guess you’re right. Anyway, all I have is supposition. What I hear matches my supposition, but that might just be my own bias. Unless you want to stay up and discuss hypotheses, I would say go back to sleep.”
Drinking the water, I felt my mind state a desire for more rest, but I first asked, “Jelnaya, do you think that Ubremander is evil?”
“Strangely, that is the same question I am pondering. That is also the same question that I am not getting an answer to. We are probably going to have to find out.”
“Well, I found myself starting to like him.”
“Me as well, but that really does not answer the question.”
Just wondering, I asked, “Fergush does not tell you the answer?”
“No. I am his champion because he likes seeing me in action. I am not his servant. He does not give me orders. I am to go do things and proclaim his name. If I get too stymied, he will usually give me clues. However, he enjoys watching me do things to resolve the problems while spreading his fame.”
“Do you order your slaves about?”
She chuckled while saying, “No, I’m not ordering my slaves about. I am talking with them. I am thinking of having you allow Rosemary to stay with me. I can restore both of the dryads around the house on Logramming Isle. Pishau is however finding herself committed to the honor of your service, so you are probably going to have to get used to her. I have been discussing with Maney the possible services she can do for me.”
“Ubremander said that a loyalty with a reason will hold as long as the reason remains.” I really could not see her in the darkness, so just spoke a little louder as I said, “I am sorry, Pishau, but I cannot see myself as ever spoiling your loyalty to me.”
Her voice sounded right next to my bed, “That is nothing to be sorry for, dear lady. Now, go on back to bed.”
Again I asked a question simply because I did not know. “Do you sleep, Pishau?”
“No. Water ever flows. Still, there are peaceful periods. Do not fear me ever. It is those that try to disturb your peaceful slumber that should fear.”
“Does Rosemary sleep?”
“Her and Fellota are sleeping now. Now, go on back to sleep.”
“Are you sure that you don’t want to sleep, Jelnaya?”
She answered, “I am comfortable in this chair, and have been nodding off. I’m fine, Doris. Now, go back to bed.”
I had never left the bed. Maybe if I had gotten up, I would have considered staying up. Considering the way I felt the next morning, I had to accept that I had drank a large amount of alcohol. While I did not have a bad headache the next morning, I found myself glad that I went back to bed.
Going into the dining room, Ubremander was at the single large table in the room and directed us to him. It seemed that people were drifting in and out depending on when they got up and what plans they had. The leader felt it allowed him to share some morning time with all. After some servants took our order for breakfast, Ubremander then asked us what plans we had for the day.
Jelnaya replied, “Well, Great One, if the day is too quiet I might make a petition to take Doris back home.”
Ubremander countered, “I believe you had a number of complaints against me. I would hold you over as I looked them over.”
Steve said, “I believe that I did hand over documents stating our positions.”
“Yes, but I really did not have the understanding of who was making the demands. Now, I do. I feel that I should not allow you to go until I can make a better informed appraisal of your claims and how I should respond to them.”
I had to admit, “You did make an apology.”
“And I am honored, Doris, that you recognize that. What happened to you, what I did to you, however I believe goes deeper than a simple wrong. Allow me the time to think on things.”
His face turned to Jelnaya. She met his gaze, although neither smiled. I found myself believing that both already sensed certain things, as both turned to face a military officer as he strode into the room.
“Great One, there is a coach coming from Castle Hisonnor.”
Ubremander replied, “I did not condemn Pechend to being an outlaw yesterday when I had cause. It would be wrong to do so at this moment. You should allow him to enter as the noble he is, although I am certain a few extra guards would be appropriate.” After the soldier saluted and began to walk out, Ubremander said, “Jelnaya, no need to protect me.”
She replied, “I was going to suggest for Doris to return to her room and you send her breakfast to her there.”
“Doris came to me for advice. I feel that direct experience is a much better teacher.”
Steve said, “What occurs could give us cause to present you with additional complaints, Great One.”
“You might find me adding them to the present document myself. Still, I feel the wisest course is to have Doris present.”
I had to say, “Thank you, Great Ubremander. I believe that it would help if I witness certain things for myself.”
“Your agreement is important. Now, excuse me, Doris, as I feel the need to go sit on my throne.”
As Ubremander moved to the dais, Steve hissed, “Jelnaya.”
She softly replied, “Remember our early discussions, Steve. There is a difference in a good course of action and a safe course of action. The good course of action might well not be safe, and the safe course of action could well not be good.”
“Doris, your advice?”
“Let’s resolve this.” I pointed at Jelnaya, as I felt she would be the one who would understand. “That summons spell is out there. If I found it, a multitude could. There could right now be a number of ladies with seeds within them, but if not the potential is there. We need to resolve this.”
Jelnaya smiled at me even as she spoke to another. “You heard the lady, Steve. I would also say that father would agree.”
The lawyer replied, “He would certainly say such if we come back speaking of success. I however am going to plead to you to take up my case should things not go well.”
“With your nurse or my father?”
“I will handle the nurse, Jelnaya. You handle your father, and your brother if you don’t mind.”
“Don’t you worry about Balerk, Steve. Remember, when he comes into power he just rules the company. I will have the stock. As for father, I can talk with him. Your job is safe, Steve. As for the nurse, I will drop by to hear updates.”
He nodded. We all then turned seeing a number of people start to react. When Baron Pechend walked into the room, there was a show of recognizing him as having some importance. I saw him nod to me, then turn to face Ubremander.
“Oh, Great One, I have to face you this morning with the acknowledgement that I handled things yesterday very improperly.”
Ubremander replied, “That is a wonderful thing to hear first thing on this morning, Pechend.”
“No. I don’t believe you understand. You will not just refer to me by my name. You will acknowledge that I am your creator, and thereby your lord and master.”
“My respect to you is at best that of a child acknowledging his parents. Let me further say that I should not be considered the first child who has risen above his humble beginnings.”
People fled as magical energy erupted between Ubremander and Baron Pechend. Steve grabbed my arm as if to have me go, but Jelnaya slammed the flat end of her sword on the table. She smiled as the lawyer shot a glance at her. As the others either fled in fright, we tried to act calm while staying in place.
After a few moments, Jelnaya asked in a strong voice, “Think you’re all healed up, Pechend?”
No sooner did the man turn his attention to her, than Ubremander worked a special movement that had a rather different, if not more powerful, arcane effect slam into the Baron Pechend. He flew across the room. While his contact with a wall seemed to inflict a great force, he rose as if little had been done to him. I guess he saw that Jelnaya was still seated, as he turned his attention to Ubremander.
“You will regret this.”
Ubremander replied, “I would say the same. Let me add that the world you are intending to implement is not the world you helped to create. In my opinion, I like what was created.”
“Of course, you rule it!” Baron Pechend tried to sound a laugh, but it came out more as a series of gasps. “A mere puppet likes his stage. It’s all an illusion, Ubremander. I will have you face reality.”
“The reality, Pechend, is that you are hereby sanctioned. At present the future ownership of your lands is in question.”
As if he had not just been sent flying across the room, Baron Pechend pointed at the one before his throne and declared, “You’re sealing your own doom, Ubremander.”
“Definitely one of us is.”
“I will return!”
As Baron Pechend stormed out, Ubremander looked at us with a perplexed expression. He then moved his gaze to silently assure things with those soldiers that had held their positions. Seeing servants moving back into the room to set some furniture back into position, Ubremander’s attention turned back to us.
Jelnaya said, “You never gave us leave, Great One.”
Ubremander still showed some confusion as he blandly replied, “Yes, sorry for overlooking that. You have my permission to return to a place of safety. I will have your breakfast sent to you.”
Jelnaya now gave us the signal to rise as she said, “Oh, I agree with what you did, but sending us to our room will not help.”
“I am going to have to trust you on that, Jelnaya. Unlike Doris, the rest of my people do not have such a grand protector. Well, I hope they do, but in trying to be that to my people I am going to have trust you to take care of your own.”
“That is all you can do, Great One. Look forward to hopefully speaking with you later.”
No sooner did we leave the room to head to the stairs than Steve asked the question I was wanting to ask, “What was that conversation about, Jelnaya?”
“I am unable to tell you.”
“Listen, if I end up getting hurt, I will require you to speak to my nurse.”
“This isn’t about you, Steve. This is about Doris.”
I saw the lawyer look to me. He then uttered a really vulgar word. He then looked to Jelnaya and made a declaration that almost scared me.
“You better be able to protect her.”
Jelnaya replied, “You just keep track of things. Once this is done, everything will need to be reconciled. That is your job, Steve. Let me do mine.”
Steve looked to me as he asked, “You trust her?”
I replied, “I want this resolved. This needs to be resolved.” I then looked at the lady as I said, “Jelnaya, that is what I am going to trust you to do.”
She returned, “You might need to act on that trust, as this will involve you, Doris. Let’s get to your room, then we can discuss strategies and eat. If things start happening, we need to be ready, which includes some good food.”
While we all prepare for trouble, sometimes we know it is going to happen.