To Solidify the Mist: Cp7

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To Solidify the Mist
Chapter Seven

One thing Father always taught us was that information was priceless, but a lack of information was deadly. Those who came to him for knowledge always received it at a reasonable rate, because Father feared more what would happen if they continued in ignorance than what they would do with the information. I also had to admit that I found those that would come to our home to be friendly and gracious people. Father would always respond to my statements of such by saying that they taught a lesson he really could not, which was that knowledge forced its own price upon people, and that I could learn things that I found would cost me dearly.

The threat upon the soldiers had been deadly, but it showed us the true danger in the attack. Orintious had his men group in formations, and change weapons. I saw the benefit that Mochsha was supplying to the two of us by keeping away any large mass, so set my sword into action to remove those that did get close. I did not make the best strikes, but in fighting single creatures I found that I possessed enough skill to take out the threats.

My constant actions to remove our enemies quickly had me feeling fatigued, but then I heard encouraging words from Mochsha. She asked me about my sword. I told her where I had gained it. She then had me speak on my reason for being with Orintious and Heratin on this mission. I told her about Heratin making the offer of enjoying the pleasures of Heracropolis during his rebirth, and me repeatedly petitioning Father until he agreed to take me. As I was mentioning the conversations between Orintious and Heratin after the week-long festival, suddenly the red mist around Mochsha changed to a soft brown.

“You did well, Vernallor. We are safe.”

From a relatively close distance, Heratin said, “Indeed you are. Let me however say, Mochsha, that his version of the story will not match mine.”

“And you know that I will choose which version I like the best. In this case, Heratin, there is no way you could match the innocence in what he said.”

“Innocence? No, there will be no innocence in my version at all, which I feel makes it the better story to tell.”

“Vernallor, don’t you ever trust Heratin, although you can always depend upon him. If that sounds like a contradiction to you, you should spend time with him. I was there when he grew up. He was my baby brother. I spent a lot of time with him.”

I said, “Heratin has always been honest with me. He’s a little silly, but a good brother.”

Mochsha changed to green as she asked, “Really?”

Any other phrase was cut short by Orintious coming around and demanding, “Let’s get going! We can chat on the road. We need to get some distance behind us. If we can get to marching, we can reach our camp at the Plains of Abertor by dark and have the comfort of being a world away."

I looked at Mochsha and said, “I guess that means we just start marching. It’s still early in the day. The only thing that should have been unpacked are the things the soldiers used.” She began walking with me and Heratin, although I could not help but mention the haze around my sister. “Mochsha, do you know that you glow?”

She embraced me while saying, “Yes, Vernallor, I know. Most cannot see it however. Like Heratin, do not trust the colors, as I can usually control them. Like Heratin, you can always depend on me. You are probably going to learn a lot about me, Vernallor, but don’t let it scare you. You are my brother, and I will ever be true to my family.”

Heratin asked, “Are you aware of how long you were trapped?”

“Not really. I made use of my isolation, but in contemplation one loses track of time. It might seem strange, but the opposite occurs. You find yourself glad for the extended period, as it allows you to follow those depths of concepts that usually wander off as life troubles you. While I know that I was gone for a long time, in a way I find myself wishing that your arrival had not come so soon.”

“It was far too long for me, Mochsha. Far, far too long.”

“Well, is there any reason why you came now?”

Heratin went quiet. He then turned and rushed to Ochally as if glad to see her alive. I saw Mochsha turn to me, but I decided to make a statement in support of Heratin.

“I heard what he told Orintious, but I don’t believe I should say the words if he doesn’t want them said.”

Mochsha hugged me as she changed to blue, then she said, “You stay true to family as well, Vernallor. Being children of Galabur does not mean that we are not related. As flimsy of a connection as it might be, severing that chord is a horrible thing. You are my brother and I am your sister. You always honor that. Do you understand? You always honor that.”

“Yes, Mochsha, I understand.”

“Glad to have you in the family, Vernallor.”

Orintious seemed really worried about us being attacked. I felt we had defeated the one holding Mochsha. While it could still live, I suspected that giving the orders for its minions to attack had probably been a major accomplishment. The creatures showed no real intelligence, so I doubted they could organize some type of revenge. Heratin did not argue those points with Orintious, but spoke of the powers displayed and how easily they were overcome once clued in on their existence. I believe it was the fact that none of us siblings were going to march in a regular rhythm was what convinced the older brother to end the debate and simply get us to promise to stay close in case there was another attack.

He then said, “Mochsha, you certainly can claim a horse. The one riding is Heratin’s slave, so has no status to claim special treatment. After being confined for so long your legs probably are not that used to walking.”

My sister said, “I was wondering why I had not been introduced to your wife, or his.”

Heratin yelled from where he was, “I do stay devoted to the ladies given to me, Mochsha. Mother would highly disapprove if I acted otherwise.”

Orintious said, “I was waiting for you, Mochsha. All ladies want to know about me with none being satisfied that I am a child of Galabur.”

Mochsha turned a very dark shade of red as she replied, “I don’t know if what I will tell you will help you, Orintious.”

“Well, let’s start with a really basic fact. I see what Hera does for Heratin, and I really do not want that type of life. It fits him, but it will not fit me. However, Mochsha, can I truly speak with promise to a lady who has the gift of immortality?”

“I am sorry, Orintious, but what I have done has gone beyond such simple facts. I am now at the point where my answers are not answers. Orintious, if you had not asked that question, you could have spoken with promise to those immortal ladies. Because you asked however, you might not be able to make that promise.”

Softly, he mumbled, “Children will ask those question. Heratin can tell you that very strongly.”

“Are you willing to face those questions, Orintious?”

“DAMN IT, MOCHSHA! Look at me!” Her color changed to white as she did. “I have faced danger far greater than most people would even admit is possible. I have led men through perils that have ended the lives of those who supposedly could not die. I however cannot live in ignorance of who I am. I have done too much. I need a legacy. Those however who might be persuaded to help me establish my own family want to know things. I am not only willing to face those questions, but to stand beneath the fires of the hottest flames if that is necessary to cleanse whatever horrors the answers to those questions might require of me.”

“Heratin?”

From elsewhere came the questions, “Me? How in the world did I even get involved in that conversation?”

“Are you going to be involved in this conversation?”

“Vernallor could have told you the answer to that. He wisely did not. LOVE YOU VERNALLOR! Now, the portal we are marching to is less than a mile away. Let’s get through it, then I will tell you what our youngest brother did not.”

Mochsha’s color turned dark green as she said, “Oh, no. So, the finding of me was not by chance.”

Heratin rushed upon his sister as he commanded, “You say no more! NO MORE! Honestly, it was by chance, as Vernallor actually was just enjoying being away from Father. He had no plan, no scheme, not actual intention of being the one to find you. Leave it at that for the moment, Mochsha.”

I saw my sister’s color change to a lighter shade of green as she looked at me, so I said, “I was given a new sword. I was going to do something with it when I heard it encounter something that I could not see.” Softly, I said, “And I heard you call for Heratin.”

Mochsha’s color became more of a yellow as she explained, “He was the youngest brother. The one Father accepted after him was a sister.” I had been told of Normanie, but she died when I was very young. “I however loved Heratin. I played with him a lot.”

“There really is not anyone to play with in our homes. All my friends were servants or characters in books.”

“Look at us, Vernallor. We are not people who have friends. That is something Galabur somehow recognizes in us. I mean, we are nice enough people. I am sure that Orintious’ men are completely devoted to him. I have to allow the same in the women who are given to Heratin. Think on your other brothers and sisters, and tell me how vast of a group of friends they gathered around them.”

I thought of Konclond. I really did not want to speak of him, as he was the sibling before Mochsha. She would know him, so would probably be sorrowful to hear of his death. I however remembered what few of us were at his funeral speaking as if the crowd was normal for a child of Galabur. I then thought of the week in Heracropolis, and while I heard a lot of Heratin, none spoke of him having a regular group of associates.

Finding my thoughts dark, I asked, “Are we doomed?”

Mochsha said, “No one is doomed, Vernallor. Some just have darkness closer to their souls than others. However, let me tell you the secret that kept me alive all those years in that cell. You do not look into the darkness, Vernallor. Never. You never look into the darkness. There is always light somewhere, and you look to it or to where you think you might find it. If you do that, in the end you will find doom to pass you by.”

While I thought those were good words, Heratin gave the impression that he heard them in a different light. “You should then make some man into a wonderful husband, Mochsha.”

“I hope to find a man who does not need my light, but who is strong enough to allow me to shine for others.”

“You mean strong enough to fight off all those who come to you seeking your light.”

“If things got too bad for him, I would assume that you or Orintious, or even Vernallor, would come help him.”

Orintious said, “Knowing what type of ladies I prefer, I would probably send my wife to help you.”

Again I saw Mochsha turn white in looking to the older brother, but then changed to a brilliant green as she asked, “Well, why do you have a lady with you?”

I answered, “For that very reason. Heratin was bringing the lady he had just gained just to spend time with her, but Orintious said that you might need someone to help you.”

Minchell supported my words. Mochsha spoke her gratitude before adding that she probably did need a lot of special care. She then began to mention things like clothes, hair, and other things that kept us men from saying any words until we had passed through the portal.

Trouble has not left our group, although they find safety.