To Face the Ugly Deed: Cp28

Submitted by TerishD on Wed, 05/15/2019 - 02:24

To Face the Ugly Deed
Chapter Twenty-Eight

(Jelnaya)

I regained some inner composure as I took my bath.  The men did look in my direction when I began chuckling, although they quickly averted their eyes.  I did have something to look at, but it was not like I kept my chest exposed.  I also knew the men were there.  All they would have seen, at best, was a side view of the top of my naked body as I turned to look at them.  Once I had my armor cleaned, actually not as hard of a task as it might appear, I put on a simple outfit to protect my modesty while things dried.  The men had found some remnant of a structure, and was using the dried material for a fire.  Hoping to help the men with their inner thoughts, I began to speak as I started eating what Nebard had fixed.

“Fergush is He-Who-Fights, and I do enjoy a fight.  There is enjoyment in a physical contest.  That is what a fight is.  The other guy might be one of the cruelest bastards in existence, and I am some noble champion of a deity, but it still comes down to a contest of his skills and determination against mine.  There is usually a winner and a loser, but that is a fact of any contest.  I don’t see that with love.  Both of you guys, and your goddesses, should be seeking a resolution having both lose or both win.”

Makinor replied, “That is actually a good philosophy, Jelnaya.  I however don’t see how it applies here.  We fight this.”

“Why?”  I glared at Makinor for a moment, but seeing him just look back I went ahead and explained myself.  “You’re here.  You are a champion of a goddess of love.  Why aren’t you seeing love apply?  You should definitely be looking at me and thinking that I am focusing on the fight.”

“Honestly, Jelnaya, I am looking at you and thinking what a fine looking lady you are.”

“A fine looking lady committed to He-Who-Fights.  You should assume I am thinking of the fight.”

“Listen, Jelnaya, I know there are situations where love is not the answer.  As you said, I can foresee a resolution where both lose.  I know how to fight, because I do come into situations where a couple are at odds with each other.  If they are bound by certain ties, marriage is a strong one, I have to help them refind their love, their commitment to each other.  Sometimes it is two people who feel a tie, usually due to some arranged marriage, but just cannot get along.  I then have to get them to accept, and usually their families to accept, that a bond should not be made.”

Nebard asked, “Jelnaya, are you saying that you feel a fight is wrong?”

I answered, “No.  What I was trying to say was that there are good fights and bad fights.  As someone eventually facing matrimony myself, I wanted to hear about the possibility of a bad love.”

Makinor said, “There is no bad love, Jelnaya, although some people have to reexamine themselves to accept the love is still there even though other things in their lives have changed.  Just because things are not like they used to be does not mean that the love somehow disappeared in the cracks of their lives.”

While I actually appreciated what was said, I still probably had some tension in my voice as I replied, “Well, there are bad fights.  Demons are bad fights.  They are not physical, and will use that advantage and cheat to gain other advantages.  They are not noble, at all, and you have to go in with the attitude of just wiping the threats out.  Actually, you prove your nobility by simply taking to the fight and winning, however and whatever you had to do to gain that victory.”

“Consider that point to have already been made.  Now, Jelnaya, what is really on your mind?”

I had to smile hearing that.  The question sounded like something I expected a Champion of Onathia to say.  It had bothered me all along that Makinor was taking things at face value and not seeking the interior motivations.  The smile left my face however as I considered what I needed to tell him would be required.

“We will need to look into the eyes of one of those here.”

“YES!”

It surprised me to have Makinor set his plate down, then come over to kiss me.  While I did trust him, so did not feel threatened by his action, it still was not how I had seen his personality.  I gave him as good of a kiss as was possible, although looked at him waiting for him to explain himself.  Makinor picked up his plate of food, then began talking.

“Onathia said that I would have to bring up checking on the souls of those here.  She said that you would be fixated on the fight.  Hearing what you said of fights with demons, I understood why my goddess said that.  I still had faith in you, Jelnaya.  You had been the one looking into eyes up till now.”

I had to admit, “I have, but only because others made me.  It was not my idea.  Still, Makinor, tell Onathia that I do like to know what I am fighting for.  How many times have I told you that I want to brag on my accomplishments?  Well, simply bragging about defeating someone is boasting.  I want everyone else at the table to honor me, and that means having something to truly brag about.  We need to return with a resolution, Makinor.  Yes, we are basically ending the threat for Nebard’s people, but there are other horrors with people needing to feel that we have done something worthwhile to stop the terrible things they have experienced.  Killing that demon will be something to brag about, but the better story will be having the confidence that we did more than simply wipe out a threat.”

Nebard asked, “Do you believe that they will be worth saving?  I don’t believe they will.”

“I said having the confidence that we did more than wipe out a threat.  No one will complain about us killing that demon, or even that community of people.  When we speak of it however there will be something in our voices letting them know we went the distance to do the right thing.  That should be especially desired in your case.  Some should want to say you were just a vengeful agent.”  Not wanting Nebard to feel that I would just pick on him, I added, “And that Makinor was just attempting to score points with a pretty little darling to an opposed deity.”

I saw the Champion of Onathis set down his plate to retort, but when he looked to Nebard the man said, “I’m already married, and I have said many times that I felt Eashae was the most beautiful lady I had ever seen.”

Makinor looked to me to ask, “Jelnaya, what color was your hair before Fergush had it become red and yellow?”

I answered, “A light shade of brown.  Not gold, but more of a dark cream.”

“You should have been pretty even then.  I would not have changed you.”

“Then I would be this pretty little feisty female.  I tell you that I want to brag, well Fergush does as well.  This hair lets everyone know that I am not a normal feisty female, but someone claimed by a god.  When I tell people that I am a Champion of Fergush, nobody challenges me.”

Makinor set down his plate, then asked, “How long will it take your armor to dry, Jelnaya?  Mine is metal, and after washing off the filth I oiled it.”

“Mine is crystal with a special metal holding the pieces in place.  My problem is that there are a number of grooves, but I have a brush for that.  Give it time for the water to drip off, and I will apply a special oil-like substance as well.”

“I asked how long?”

It was Nebard that said, “She is waiting for the demon to come here.”

Actually wanting to support those words, I gave a reason for that desire.  “If we fight the demon in the community, we could well end up killing everyone.”

Makinor said, “But if the demon comes now, we’re out of our armor.”

“It’s a demon.  How much protection do you think your armor is going to give you?”

Makinor pointed to the shiny pieces of metal set about as he proclaimed, “My armor is holy, so I assume a lot.”

“It’s not going to fight fair, so putting your faith in any protection is not the right attitude.”

“You’re hardly wearing anything, Jelnaya.”

“That is another reason for this red and yellow hair.  Don’t think defeating me will be an easy matter just because my body is no longer covered in a protective garment.”

Nebard admitted, “I’ve seen her fight in a dress.”

Makinor stood to move to his armor as he asked, “How long do you require to put your armor on, Jelnaya?”

I grinned at Nebard before saying, “Well, I need to make certain that it fits properly.  I mean, certain parts of me need to go in certain places and then strapped in just the right amount.”

“Jelnaya, how long?”

With a serious expression, I turned to Makinor to ask, “Does it matter?”

He glared at me for a moment, then I saw him fall to his knees as he said, “No.  I’m committed.  If you are willing to fight as you are, I am willing to fight as long as necessary.”

“Good.”  I rose to go face him as I said, “Now that I have your head where I need it, consider our situation, Makinor.  We have cleaned off this place and sanctified it.  This isn’t our world.  There will probably be people for ages wondering about those three symbols we etched into those stones.  Hopefully, what we did will allow the bodies to rot, but still there will be perplexing human-bird remains.  This should not be here.  We should not be here.  I have actually been hoping for something that should be here to show up.”

“Onathia says that won’t happen, Jelnaya.”

“Yes, Fergush tells me the same.  It is not that I want to prove my god wrong, but that I just feel this whole situation is wrong.  I just want something to go right.”

We both had to break our gazes on each other as Nebard said, “But if something does go right, both of you are out of your armor.”

“Keep thinking, both of you.  Our gods, I am assuming Quafrey agrees with Onathia and Fergush, say nothing of this world will come here.  The evidence is clear the demon comes here only to feed.  I didn’t see enough bodies to say he does that often.  We should be able to rest for a time.”

Makinor asked, “You need to rest, Jelnaya?”

I replied, “I know to rest when given a chance.  We need to have our minds clear.  We don’t just need to fight that demon, but keep people alive so we can verify things about them.”

Nebard interjected, “Before we kill them.”

Just to assure Makinor was still keeping up with the lecture, I quoted, “Before we kill them.”

The Champion of Onathia picked up one of the sharp pieces of rock as he said, “This is not the best place to lay down, Jelnaya.”

I pointed while saying, “There is a section of worked stones.  The place has now been consecrated, so not a troubling place to rest.  Some deities work by presenting things in dreams.  While I do not doubt any of our deities, I am going to brag about giving whatever divine authority there is to this place a chance to speak.”

“You’re right, Jelnaya.  Everyone needs to be given a chance.  If we love them, more than one.”  Makinor rose from the ground while saying, “I love you, Jelnaya.  More than you, I love Onathia.  I will prove myself to both of you.  Let me start by admitting that I could use some rest.”

I had to say, “I’m not doing you wrong, Makinor.”

“No, and I am seeing that.  This is just so different for me, Jelnaya.”

“If you think it is different for you, consider poor Nebard.”

The eyes of Makinor finally moved to the other man, then he said, “I need to work on my armor.  Go on to bed as well, Nebard.”

The Champion of Quafrey replied, “Mine is mostly leather.  It will take time to dry.  Might as well get some rest.  Jelnaya, it might be good if you left Makinor alone for a time.”

As should be expected, they head to trouble.