To Solidify the Mist: Cp9

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To Solidify the Mist
Chapter Nine

While the great herds of horses were not seen upon the arrival, I had to blame my not seeing them upon having the wonderful sight of divine ladies. No sooner did I look out the window of the bedroom provided for me than I saw a great number of horses. Wondering what else the sight of the goddesses might have prevented me from seeing I stayed at the window and looked at the land around me.

The door opened, and I turned to Heratin who said, “You need to take a bath, Vernallor. When you dine with ladies, you should always appear at your best.”

I asked, “What did Mochsha tell you?”

“What? She told me nothing. She oohed and aahed over the décor, exclaimed with amazement at the clothes laid out on her bed, then sent me out of the room, keeping Ochally mind you. Since I had nothing else to do, I found myself wondering what you were doing.”

Sounded like a question to me, so I told him. “I did not see the horses while arriving. Now they are everywhere. I was wondering what else I might not be seeing.”

“Oh, that’s rich. Listen, Vernallor, that is probably a wonderful thought, but not here. Hera, my mother, and the other goddesses basically took over control from the men. Zeus ran around on mother every chance, and from his example a number of other crimes against women became common. That has now ended, and I can promise you that they are intending to keep things proper.”

“That monster guarding Mochsha acted as if we were doing something really bad, something we had no idea about what we were doing. We however did, but the problem is that what the monster said was that he was not holding her out of a crime, out of her falling victim to some trap, or other reason to lock someone away. There was a reason she had been locked up. Further, it was Mochsha’s mother that said it was time to let her go, and she sent the command through your mother. Therefore, Heratin, your mother has to be involved.”

“And by connection the rest of the goddesses of this world.” There was a pause, which had me look to Heratin, and when I did he asked, “Where do you get your ideas from?”

I had to admit, “The only place I’ve had to get any ideas from: books.”

Heratin laughed loudly for a time, then said, “You are something, Vernallor! Listen, we are not going to leave you out of anything. You need to get some real experiences behind you. Get a bath. Get into some good clothes, then start wandering about this place. See all you can. You’re one of us, Vernallor, so you can be certain that you will be summoned when we are up to something, or just talking about being up to something.”

Strangely, the words did comfort me. Up to now, Orintious and Heratin had been passing figures in my life. Orintious would never stay long with Father, and usually Father had to command his time in order to have him relate his missions. Heratin had played with me, but usually just to have something to do while others in the family were being boring. I now was being accepted by my older siblings as no longer being a child, and that helped my attitude. Knowing that I had actually done things to help them provided a comfort to me that they really did appreciate my presence, so I did set myself to the chores of improving my appearance.

The feeling of my older siblings approving of my actions was confirmed as I wandered the estate looking for them only to hear Orintious call to me from a parlor. “Vernallor, Begaxy says that you held out your sword when the blackness descended, and he saw that a wing had been cut.”

I saw the man that had been at the door managing the rope. Without any coaching, I gave my report of the events. Orintious should not have been displeased, as my manner of speaking was the method Father required when speaking of things that occurred in my day. I saw my older brother nod as I spoke, turning only to look at the other man as if to allow some other interpretation of events.

Orintious then said, “Very good, Vernallor. If you do not have any other options for your future, I would be willing to take you with me. My men seem willing to accept you, and I can assure you a different style of life than what you have had with Father.”

I had to admit that I liked what I heard, but I could not say that I enjoyed the combat. “I am enjoying being away from Father, but I feel at the end of this that I will need to speak to him again. If his only option is for me to return to the books, I might decide to go with you.”

Behind me I heard the voice of Mochsha say, “I might want him with me. Vernallor did a fine job of protecting me. I will also be about refinding my way, and together Vernallor and I could help each other.”

Orintious replied, “Well, that will be his decision to make. What my men are however suggesting is that we return to where you were confined. They saw the monster with his wing cut, so feel that we could go down there and see what else there is to find, or who else there is to rescue.”

I replied, “What? Have you even heard the words from Mochsha?”

“It is just a suggestion, Vernallor.”

“No, it’s not. It’s a redirection. We went to save Mochsha, and we did so understanding that she had supposedly gained some knowledge. Well, Orintious, aren’t you even interested?”

The voice of Heratin declared, “Hey, Vernallor is taking on Orintious. This is rich!”

I saw the eyes of the older brother dart toward the door, but was glad to see that they immediately came back to focus on me. “I was going to save that conversation until after our meal, but it seems that we are all gathered.” He moved to stand next to me before speaking to our sister. “Mochsha, any reason why you will not say what you know now?”

She simply began to speak. “Your father’s name was Bugesht. If you must know, the records end up calling him King Bugesht of the Greater Expanse of Credillomar. He seemed to be a good ruler, and a good father. He did have issues, but none prevented him from living a life that all say had him maintaining a life above the norm. He had a number of children. What is interesting is that Romarch, the son that replaced him, died young enjoying all the pleasures his kingdom had. It was said that Romarch was determined to experience all the things his father would not.”

We all moved to take a seat. Heratin served us all some wine. I took a sip to notice that it was watered down. Still, it was refreshing, so I settled in my seat to listen to Mochsha say more.

"Having such a unique and fixated father as we do, I sought the reason for Romarch’s words. It seemed that Bugesht had no pleasure in food or drink. One archivist clearly stated that he could not be harmed by any poison, so was not afraid of what he was served, but simply found it nourishing. That is where I found you, Orintious. It seems that early in his rise to power Bugesht had relations with fairy folk. The fact that he ate fairy food is very evident, but I am certain that his blessing to not be affected by poisons was not the only thing gained. He never claimed you, Orintious, but there are some strange notations in his private journals that have me believing he knew a bastard son existed.”

The older brother replied, “Fairies are not immortal either, Mochsha.”

“Yes, well that was the reason I was caught. I sought out the name of the fairy who was your mother. She had to be one of the immortal ones. I came upon the name Immaderra. She seemed to be a mountain fairy. I was seeking to meet with her when I was captured.”

There was silence for a moment, then Orintious said, “You would think that would be something Father could verify. Someone had to bring me to him.”

“Orintious, you are the oldest of us. You have seen a number of children come to father. Surely you learned something of the process.”

“I believe Heratin can verify that there is never any forewarning. The arrival of a child always comes with the house having to make all sorts of adjustments to suddenly having a baby.”

I had to ask, “Mochsha, why were you held? What I heard has no relation to you being the danger the monster seemed to fear we had released.”

She looked around as if expecting one of her other brothers to make a comment, but they stayed silent, so I heard her say. “All I can say, is that I believe that I am also a child of Immaderra. Orintious and I are half-brother and sister, or full brother and sister since it seems we claim the same mother and Galabur as the same father.”

Heratin said, “So, the same mother that told my mother it was time to rescue you, Mochsha, is also the mother of Orintious?”

“Yes. May I ask, Heratin, what would prevent your mother from verifying some of these facts?”

I heard the word, “Fear,” before I saw the divine form of Hera reveal herself standing in an open area. “Irvachin was meant for Heratin. It seems however to have found a place with another, who has already shown some success with it. Going on will reveal things many did not want to become evident.”

Mochsha said, “Thank you for your presence, Goddess. Orintious is immortal, so my own immortality must be assumed to be an inherited trait from our mother, assuming she is the same. Other things about me however should reflect my father. What my years of seclusion revealed to me is that I have a spark of the divine.”

“I had a purpose in having my child. While the man I slept with was not of high estate, he held the qualities that I desired. I see the wisdom in my choice, as Heratin does have good qualities that I am sad to say are not reflected in the men of my lineage. Not all of your facts are true, Mochsha. It is also not my place to reveal things. I however can say that the choices made are equal to mine, in that both you and Orintious are people I am glad Heratin can claim as family. As for your father, Mochsha, I cannot say that it will be for the best to learn who he is.”

“No, Goddess, I’m sorry. What my time of contemplation revealed to me was that I was given to Galabur for a reason. I was intended to learn the love of knowledge. Having such a vast resource behind me, it was expected that I would gain the evidence leading me back to my past.”

“Oh, if only the elder generation could simply present facts to our children, and have them remain as facts. You however take the knowledge and see it as a bridge to the future. Surely I am speaking to three who have the knowledge of the passions, the need to make decisions, and just the convoluted thoughts of the moments that go into the decision that produces a child. If only you could smile at the fact that you were given life, and go on with a pleasant thought of those who produced you.”

“No,” I said.

Heratin exclaimed, “And now Vernallor challenges no less than my mother.”

I tried to ignore that comment as I explained myself. “The past is important. If there is one thing Father teaches us, is that the facts as they have been set down are important pieces of information to guide us to the future. The future does not stand on itself. It only stands with the support of all the events that went before it. Father intends for us to stand on the wealth of knowledge he has accumulated, and grounds all of us on the foundation of wisdom he can provide. However, that really is not the support behind our existence, and that means our future. If we can learn the path behind us, it should help us with the path ahead.”

“Hold, Heratin!” Orintious exclaimed. “Those words from Vernallor were the very ones I was trying to say to Mochsha when I asked her to find my history.”

Heratin replied, “My mother is a goddess, Orintious. You do not challenge her.”

“If she meant us harm, I would fear for more than my life. She however initiated this. She relayed the information from Mochsha’s mother, which now seems to be my mother as well. Well, I trust in her actions that our actions were meant to occur. While our logic is our own, our future is indeed a continuation of the path set by those before us.”

Hera said, “However, I have a mother’s love. I thus have to say that I felt compelled by the love from another mother. Understanding my own mentality, and knowing where I have made questionable decisions, I fear for you. I fear even more knowing that I have a child taking on this mission.”

Heratin admitted, “You could just tell me not to go, Mother.”

“No, Heratin, as my promise to Galabur was that he would ever be recognized as your father. These are your half-brothers and half-sister. While things might be learned, all of you have it in common that Galabur was placed as your father. Whoever you learn as being your sire, Galabur raised you, Galabur provided for you, and Galabur has not done anything to deny him the honor of being called your father.”

Orintious turned to the man who was speaking with him earlier and said, “Begaxy, I believe that my option for our future has just been stated. Any disagreement you have, or any of the other men, is without my approval.”

The soldier replied, “I understand, Sir. Goddess, your graciousness is more than recognized.”

Hera looked to those of us seated as she said, “Children of Galabur, you have a decision to make. Enough evidence is there to lead you to your doom, or the vision you seek to help you find the path you are traveling.”

As the presence of the goddess faded, Heratin rose with him saying as we looked to him, “Listen, if my mother wanted me to have a special weapon, I am going to get myself a special weapon. See you at the dining table.”

Orintious replied, “That is actually a decision that makes sense, Heratin. May you indeed find something that will have you feeling safe.” He then turned back to the soldier to say, “Begaxy, go tell the men what you have heard, and allow them to also come to decisions concerning their equipment or willingness to join me on this mission.” As the soldier left, the older brother then turned to the lady in our group. “Mochsha, what you have said changes nothing. You were my sister even before. If you feel the need to find and face Immaderra, I will support you even as you have supported me.”

She replied, “Thank you, Orintious. Now, I believe we all need to think. We can speak again at the meal. If you must know, however, I feel a need to spend time with Vernallor. He is presently the one unknown in our group, so I am going to learn what I can of him.”

And Mochsha does spend time with Vernallor.