To Bless Those Deserving
Steve moved to the side of the window while spewing a long, loud curse word before saying, “I wish I knew something of the religion of Fergush, because I really would like for the god to relay an apology to Jelnaya before she kills me. She is going to grab my still breathing body and drag it to the deepest, slimiest underworld imaginable and leave me there to rot.” He looked to me then yelled, “MOVE, MOVE, MOVE!”
Maney asked, “Back to the previous room?”
“Yes, there. Best place I can think of at the moment. Jelnaya had Pechend distracted, and I went and got his attention. If we die, she will laugh at me while dragging my soul to someplace I would not want to go. MOVE!”
As we were fleeing the room, Maney said, “I don’t think she will do that.”
“That doesn’t mean I won’t deserve it.”
“Yes, there might be that.”
We all increased our speed hearing an explosion from my room followed by Pechend screaming, “You can’t escape me, Girl!”
Soldiers ran past, but what helped ease my fear was hearing the voice of Ubremander say, “You can’t escape me, Pechend!”
I really cannot say how our slaves knew where to go, but they ran ahead to direct us through doors or down stairs. I did recognize the hallway. It however alarmed me when Pishau ran ahead only stop at the door and declare that it was locked.
From down the hallway came the voice of Snerara saying, “I have the key. I wouldn’t stay here too long. Once we get things contained, I might have you move to another room – one with a door allowing you a second method to escape.”
Steve said, “I don’t know how much that will help.”
“Maybe just give you hope, but sometimes that is enough.”
I told the lady thanks. She smiled, then handed me the entire set of keys. I wondered about the lady as she fled, but looked into the room and assured myself of everyone being present before stepping in and closing the door.
Steve commanded, “Maney, see if there is another exit to this room. If we can move some stones and climb through, it might be an option no one expects.”
I saw the bodies of both nymphs reveal their watery nature as they examined the walls. Steve sat on the floor with his back only comforted by some pillows while holding his head in his hands. While surely troubled, he seemed calm. When the nymphs stated their assurance that the walls were solid, he lifted his face to show concern.
“Maney, I need you to talk to me. If there is any hope between me and Jelnaya, I need you to verify things. Now, Maney, tell me, what is so important about Doris?”
The question surprised and bothered me, so I could not help but turn to listen close to the nymph’s reply. “Why should I know?”
“Because this is, or was, your life. There are things here Jelnaya caught that I missed. I need to know what they are.”
“Our relationship has yet to develop where I might be told any secrets. She has discussed with me certain plans, but that is all. As far as I am concerned, the major discussion with her has been about Fellota and Rosemary. Jelnaya is concerned about reestablishing them with a host tree.”
“Still, you should know Ubremander. You, at least indirectly through your father, were serving him.”
“I cannot say father directly worked with him either. The boat was a party vessel and –“ She suddenly pointed at Steve while saying, “And I should be mad at you myself, because you were the one that had him give me over as a slave!”
“Great; I’ll figure it out myself then.”
He dropped his head back into his hands, but I saw Maney and Pishau move to comfort him. He lifted his head to see both the nymphs moving their hands over him, and had to smile when the two kissed his cheeks. They then sat down on each side of him.
Maney said, “I still cannot answer your question, but I want you to know that Jelnaya has already apologized for taking us. Honestly, though, father would have given up someone. It is probably better for him that he gave up his own daughters than to have to live with the prospect of facing other parents who might ever resent him.”
Pishau added, “And if you want to know, the Great One has already supplied Jelnaya with vials of our source water. As for the death of Rosemary’s and Fellota’s trees, he said that was done out of ignorance and desperation. He did not want to send actual elementals of any kind, but the dryads could not travel the distance as long as the tie to their trees remained.”
I felt a need to verify their words. “Ubremander told me that last night. It was a complete apology, Steve.”
He replied, “Well, that’s good. Jelnaya however is not challenging him, even though he was the one that actually placed the seed in Doris. Pechend however considers Doris important, I have to assume because she had the seed placed in her. That just doesn’t make sense however.”
Pishau said, “Especially since the Great One did make a full apology to Dame Doris. That basically removes any connection between them.”
“Other than my demands stated in my official complaint. Those can be cleared up with a simple procedure, but they still stand at present. Still, what Pechend does actually strengthens the complaints, and puts the faults on him giving Ubremander further cause against him. Pechend gaining victory only put the complaints solely upon him, so he should actually be treating Doris with respect.”
I had to propose, “Pechend probably thinks that taking me for his own will be a good thing for me.”
The grimace on his face I felt meant that he took my words properly, so felt some comfort as he reached over Maney to the weapon case on the bed while saying, “All right, ladies, leave me alone. Honesty, I could use some coffee.”
I was going to send Rosemary for some stuff, but Pishau offered to go saying her elemental nature would be better than the dryad. I had to acknowledge that her water nature was more difficult to harm than that of wood, so allowed the switch in duties. We all stood with shock however upon hearing in the distance the voice of Pechend announce his recognition of the nymph working for me.
Steve grabbed a rifle, then left the room saying, “How do you know that? You cannot tell me that someone as big and powerful as you are takes notice of some minor servant of some regular lady.”
I stood in shock as he then fired the gun. I had to rush out the room to see things for myself. Pechend appeared scary. His form would appear electrified if the colors were different. The sparks about his body were black acting in a sickly, pale green glow. As Steve fired his gun again, he gave some orders to my servant.
“Go, Pishau. I am really in need of some coffee. Die, Pechend, as you have gotten on my bad side.”
I moved inside the doorway and signaled the remaining servants to come to me, and I saw fright on their faces as they could tell Pechend was coming closer. “And who are you, little man?”
An attack could be heard coming upon Steve. He however simply shouted for us ladies to run. I looked back through the door as I heard Steve again fire his rifle while letting everyone know that he was still safe.
“I am the lawyer for Dame Doris. If your people would talk to her people, which happens to be me, we could work things out.”
I did not wait around to hear more. I waved for the ladies to start running. When they took off, I followed. Running past some soldiers, then around a corner, the ladies stopped.
Rosemary asked, “Where are we going.”
I handed her the set of keys while saying, “You decide.”
She surprised me by going up a flight of stairs. I suspected a dryad would want to stay close to the ground. I however found myself going down a familiar hallway, and when she stopped at a door I let her know I recognized our location.
“That is Steve’s room over there.”
Rosemary replied, “Yes, my lady. This is the hallway for single men. It is not a place for respectable women, so we should be safe.”
I entered a room across the hall from where the lawyer had originally been placed while saying, “This is something I would expect a nymph to choose, and not a dryad.”
Maney and Fellota laughed with my dryad saying, “That was funny. Now relax. There was movement in the hallways, so I suspect Pishau will be directed to us if not Steve.”
“It was his coffee she was getting.”
I really did not know Steve, so had not talked about the man with the slaves. Considering what he had done, they were curious about him. I told him what I had heard between him and Jelnaya, and my words supplied them with enough to understand some references.
The knock on the door was not just Pishau, but Jelnaya holding up Steve. He was hurt, but not really bleeding. Considering that Pechend used magic, I suspected he had been struck with some arcane force or energy. All I could do was watch as Jelnaya worked with the slaves to get Steve on the bed and treat him.
After a few minutes, I heard Steve ask, “Is the fighting over?”
Jelnaya replied, “No, but everyone is presently confused, so in a pause at the moment as they reconsider their strategies.”
“It would help me to know what is going on.”
“Sorry, Steve, but you’re not in a need to know. You got your copy of the complaints on you?” He pointed to a weapon’s case, which had Jelnaya say, “You are going to end up needing to assure that they get stated to someone and that Doris is satisfied with things. That’s your job, Steve. Now, let me do mine.”
He grabbed her arm, but then let go as he simply said, “Thanks.”
“Fergush is a warrior god, Steve. What you did might have been stupid as Hell, but it actually gains his respect. You should find yourself completely healed.”
Maney said, “Steve was scared you would be bringing him to Hell after he took that second shot at Pechend.”
“Actually, I was not certain just how long to stall him. I was playing things moment by moment. What Steve did got things going, so I really was not mad at him.” She winked at him while adding, “Plus, bringing him back to that nurse might be equivalent to taking him to Hell.”
Steve sat up, then asked, “Just how deadly of a game are you playing, Jelnaya?”
“I’m a divine champion to a warrior god, Steve. All my games are deadly. I’m just either in it or not. Due to things, I’m in this one. Hold on, and I will get you back to that nurse.”
“I will figure this out.”
“Well, whether you do or don’t, we can discuss things on the trip back. Let my ladies take care of you.”
As Jelnaya moved to the door, Steve asked, “Can you at least tell me why Doris has any importance?”
She stopped to say, “You’re not the only one who doesn’t know things, Steve. When you don’t know something, where do you go?”
Jelnaya knows not to allow the other side to gain an advantage.