To Bless Those Deserving: Cp31

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To Bless Those Deserving
Chapter Thirty-One
(Jelnaya)

I had gained a position where I could listen to the interaction between Pechend and the forces of Ubremander. It was entertaining how neither side wanted to harm the other. Pechend wanted Ubremander to concede his authority to the one that made him. That was not happening, although some recognition of Pechend was being made obvious in that Ubremander did not simply issue orders that would have taken out his opposition. I knew Pechend was weak, but the interactions did not focus on the usual tactics of direct antagonism.

The fact I was etching the symbol Ubremander tended to wear on his clothes helped as I listened to the voices and sounds. If it had been one of the phrases, I probably would have stopped in fear of certain elaborate designs spoiling the letters. With it being just a symbol, I had been allowing my mind the freedom to add little additions while I listened to the distant activity.

“Jelnaya, they’re safe. I was given a duty, but I thought you needed to know.”

I felt that I recognized the voice, but turned to verify the identify of Pishau. I then thought about what she said. Finding nothing troubling me, I went ahead and decided to ask a polite question.

“Anything I might need to know about?”

“No. They are doing what they can while staying safe.” She looked at the wall, then added, “I didn’t know you could do things like that.”

I stepped back to see a really ornate relief. The main symbol almost was unrecognizable with all the detail work I had added. All I could think of was that I was correct not to work on a phrase, as the additions would have surely made it unreadable, but I said something else to the nymph.

“I’m not one for doing nothing.”

“It seems that Doris and Steve aren’t either. I’ll be back.”

If I had seen Steve or Doris moving about the hallways, I would have been concerned. Pishau did not bother me. She was a servant, so the one supposed to go about doing errands. This was also her society, so should know the way to safely travel about. I thus found my concern to move back to what was going on between Pechend and Ubremend.

As I looked at my design wondering how I could add more details, I heard the activity cease. Feeling that I knew Pechend’s intentions, I had chosen my hallway intentionally. Feeling that I had figured things out correctly, I took a position in the middle of the hallway upon seeing a certain figure approach.

Just to make certain I would not be ignored, I asked, “Where are you going?”

Pechend commanded, “Out of my way, Jelnaya.”

“Give it up, Pechend. You’re not strong enough. Worse, you have been suffering damage every time you try one of your advances.”

I believed that he was going to attack. I prepared myself for handling whatever arcane energies would be directed upon me. It however took me by surprise to hear him ask a question.

“What is that on the wall?”

I actually had to glance to assure myself of what he was speaking before I replied, “Just passing time. For someone attempting to make a coup, you sure are not rushing to gain control.”

“I feel that time is on my side. Also, as you pointed out, I’m hurt. The time enables me to heal. Now, why did you waste time making that symbol?”

Considering how much added stuff I done to the simple symbol, I found myself pleased that he could recognize what it was supposed to be. “It’s his castle, Pechend.”

“Well, while you are very intelligent, Jelnaya, you still have a classic trait of a simple fighter: you are very limited in your vision.”

Now the attack came. Pechend wisely did not try to attack me directly. I guess he sought to solve two problems at one time. I believe the attack was supposed to destroy the wall into which I had etched the elaborate symbol, and have the flying debris hurt me. None of the stones however came at me.

The distant voice of Ubremander said, “You heard the lady, Pechend. This is my home.”

The eyes of Pechend wisely moved to assure the position of both Ubremander and me, as we were both dangerous. “I did not feel that there was enough earth in you to manage a feat like that.”

“There is enough ego in me to appreciate the artwork. My desire not to see it harmed helped power what little of the element is in my essence.”

I felt he was lying, but I could not determine by how much. Being elemental, Ubremand would have no qualms about lying. They however tended to follow certain rules to prevent others from feeling a need to work against them. I stayed quiet hoping Ubremander would say more and reveal whether he was stretching the truth or completely breaking it.

It was however Pechend who spoke. “I do not understand. Both you and Jelnaya seem to be playing a waiting game. That cannot be in the favor of either of you.”

Ubremander replied, “I do not want to be seen as simply annihilating –“

“Annihilating? Oh, just how grand of a boast are you willing to tell?”

“My point is that it would look bad to simply kill you, Pechend. I have surely caused you some troubles as I learned my duties. As someone who worked so hard to teach me, I have to assume that there is decency inside you. If I cannot see good in you, Pechend, how can anyone else in our society see any good in me?”

I did not know how much Ubremander was lying, but felt a need to give him support. “This isn’t my castle, Pechend. I’m not going to protect it only to have boy-king there get mad at me for my methods. If he won’t kill you, or give me permission to do it, I’ll watch the show.”

The look on Pechend’s face was a mix of disbelief and astonishment. I thought he would be worried. When somebody comes close to killing you, then stops to toy with you, the fear should be that you are being set up for a fate worse than death. I was taught to flee at such a time. Pechend’s face however showed him as attempting to build up his confidence before moving in my direction.

I stepped against the wall with my artwork on it, as I said, “You try a certain thing, and I will kill you. I do have my own loyalties.”

Now I saw fear momentarily show on his face. I read it as a sign he was about to go to Doris’ room. It brought me relief to see him nod.

“Yes, I do need to keep that in mind. Let me say that your game is playing into my hands, not yours. Still, that means I should allow you to do as you see fit. This is not over, Jelnaya.”

I was about to follow Pechend, but Ubremander stepped up to ask, “How much of this stuff have you done?”

“A good bit.”

I pointed to the icons on his clothes. I then stated the phrases the soldiers had taught me. There had been a slight smile on his face when he first approached, and it did not increase or go away. While I accepted that he would not speak against what I had done, I watched as he pointed waiting for his actual verdict.

“I have to credit you for doing a good job, Jelnaya. This is definitely something more than scratches on the wall. You don’t need to do any more, however.”

Curious, I softly asked, “Do you understand the game you are playing?”

“Cannot say that I understand it, but what I told Pechend is true enough. I really do not want the reputation of being someone that would simply kill his own vassals. I do feel that there is something else driving me, but I cannot actually say what it is. Do you know?”

“I think I do, but it is one of those things that telling you would not actually help you. I also cannot say that I know enough about the events that brought you and your society to where it is to be certain that what I am doing will actually work. My problem is that simply fleeing with Doris will definitely not help you, and has the potential of not being a real solution either. That is why I am hanging around, and as for the other thing, well, it’s something to do.”

“You’re not destructive, Jelnaya, and that is a reputation I want as well. If you are doing anything, it is actually supporting me. If you have to kill Pechend, I understand. However, let me say that I approve of your game so far. Just, find something else to do besides carving on my walls.”

I told him that I agreed, then spoke of moving around and assuring that Pechend was indeed not bothering Doris. One of Ubremander’s hands went up as I said that. I saw his features become serious as if having trouble figuring out his words before he spoke them.

“What importance does she have?”

Feeling it actually supported my plan, I answered, “You’re the one that has to answer that. You put the seed inside her.”

“Yes, but you’re a divine champion. Why would your god care about Doris?”

“My god doesn’t. My family cares about her. Doris is from my home town, and her parents work to enforce the laws. She was a good girl, and her problem was beyond the norm. Word came to my family, and my father came to me. Steve is the lawyer for my family’s business. It takes a community to raise a child, and I represent the community in caring for Doris.”

“Ah. I had no way of knowing that, but I must say that it seems I made a much better choice than I expected.”

He moved up to put an arm around me. I had no reason to fear Ubremander, so allowed the act. His body definitely did not feel like a normal person. The mixture of elements did give him some substance, but the texture did feel odd. I however appreciated his sign of companionship, and put up no resistance to him having his arm around me.

“Jelnaya, this is my home and my community. I am also trying to show that I care for it. While I am to be its leader, I would like to be just as much a part of it as you and your family are to your home. I would like to be the person who goes to support some hurt member of my community, or at least the one who directs others better qualified to supply the aid.” He broke from me to turn and point a finger in my face as he said, “You represent what I want, and I don’t want you to hurt that. Stay true to your mission, Jelnaya.”

Ubremander was an elemental, so I felt it necessary to assure an understanding. “That means Doris, and not exactly your castle or community.”

I saw his eyes lift as he said, “Yes, but what you did with my castle I cannot say that I disapprove. Stay true to your mission.”

I assured him that I would. Looking beyond him, I saw some soldiers. Waving at them, seeing them wave back let me know that they had heard the conversation. Feeling that I could advance things if necessary, I left them to check on Doris. Wondering how Pechend would act next, I could only think of what other things I might do to pass the time.

Jelnaya is not the only one making use of her time.