To Solidify the Mist: Cp11

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To Solidify the Mist
Chapter Eleven

Heratin stood to declare, “My mother would never send me into harm’s way!”

Orintious replied, “Oh, come on, Heratin. The evidence is clear that the divine side of your family is not that aware of things. The presence of the peacock however does say that Hera became aware, and sought to protect you. What it does however speak of is that Mochsha’s mother, and possibly my mother, is not the nice, benevolent person you have for a mother.”

Mochsha said, “And it would say that Immaberra was in contact with Heratin’s mother.”

“Not necessarily, as we really have not been told how Hera received the message.”

I had to ask, “Can’t we ask her? This is her home.”

“Hera told us that as children of Galabur we should be able to figure it out.”

Heratin stated, “Yes, but that is not my style, and she knows that.” He moved from his place at the table, then turned to me to say, “And this is not mother’s home, but one of the estates of my Uncle Poseidon and Aunt Amphitrite.”

The doors to the dining room opened before Heratin could reach them with a very large man entering. He was dressed in amber clothes that draped very close to his body. Over the apparel were pieces of white armor I felt had been fashioned from coral. He had a full beard combed and oiled to have it form a clean edge. What I had read of Heratin’s world had me realize the person who had opened doors even before he spoke.

“Instead of bothering my staff, Nephew, might as well speak to me.”

Heratin did bow as he started speaking. “I went to your armory, Uncle Poseidon. I claimed Nachpiton, but in doing so I remember you saying that it was mine to claim. That then had me think of why you sent Irvachin.”

“Irvachin was sent, because my wife wanted you to have one less excuse to visit us. Irvachin bestows the ability to breathe water, Nachpiton does not.”

“I have a necktie,” Heratin was moving his hands about his body, but they stopped as he stated, “in my luggage that gives that benefit.”

“You still need to visit, Heratin.”

“I promise, Uncle Poseidon, that I have already acknowledged my need to visit. Haven’t I, Ochally?” Hearing a chirp from the wall behind where Heratin had been sitting, he said, “And I promise not to count this visit, but accept that I doubly owe you some of my time.”

“Good to hear it. Now, excuse me.” Instead of turning and leaving, the god walked around his nephew to stand before the table and address all of us. “There are reasons you were brought here. From what I have heard of your conversation, I however must confess that you have problems besides those affecting my direct nephew. This little power play failed, although I almost want to say due to a matter of coincidence. In any event, this matter should not presently bother you, but you may feel able to concentrate on your own dilemma. I am glad to have visitors, especially those of what seems to be a better side of my family. Please, feel free to call upon my staff to do those things that will help you enjoy your stay.”

Heratin held his place as his uncle walked back around him. As the doors were closed, the middle brother stepped back to the table. He then walked to where Ochally stood, grabbed the girl up in his arms, and as he walked back to the table holding her he spoke to us.

“Well, that was pleasant, although really unhelpful.”

Orintious replied, “Not really, Heratin. He gave us information on things that were complicating our discussion. I however am going to bring up a fact that hopefully should help ease the mind of our sister. I was troubled about something, and I connected it with you. That was why I showed up. I want to say that it was my, possibly Mochsha’s as well, mother. In speaking with Hera, she learned of the plot on Heratin, so took action to have me available.”

“Even if that is true, it does nothing to help us contact her.”

“Ignoring whatever points we might have going for us, I will place a side wager with you. With your complication having been dealt with, she will be free to contact us or allow whatever adversary troubled Mochsha to contact us.”

Mochsha asked, “Even with the trouble I had in attempting to contact her?”

There is another game being played here, Mochsha. Your mother, which you suggest is my mother, was working on making contact. Now that things are back solely to only her game being played, I do believe that she will make further moves.”

Heratin said, “I’m not going to make an open-ended wager, Orintious. Give me some definite win/lose conditions.”

“Okay. We go back to the Hantarrow Forest. We speak to those in Prekovan about what mountain ranges are nearby. I suspect we will be contacted within three days of leaving the city, starting the count the day after leaving Prekovan.”

“So four days?”

“If you want to count it that way. I just cannot be certain when we will arrive at Prekovan, and do not want to be held accountable for what might be only a couple of hours before the end of the day. Will a hundred do, or do you only get excited when there is a lot of money in play?”

Heratin looked at the hand from Orintious, then worked to free a hand that had been fondling Ochally as he said, “It’s a friendly wager between brothers, so bragging rights is what really is important. A hundred will work.”

After shaking hands with Heratin, the older brother asked, “Any other details we might need to consider.”

I thought of the obvious. “Would the estate have any books on mountain fairies? I know nothing about them.”

The middle brother answered, “I have no idea what books this place has. You can certainly ask the staff, Vernallor.”

I stood up while saying, “Well, I am going to try and catch them before everyone goes to bed.”

Mochsha moved to grab me while commanding, “Heratin, let your little tart go do the deed.”

Orintious said, “Minchell can do it. Sit back down Vernallor.” As I did, he added, “What more troubles you that you felt the need to leave?”

I thought about not answering, but went ahead. “Mochsha found out about Immaderra, and she was captured. Heratin is told to rescue Mochsha, supposedly by her mother, and was set to be captured. I really do not trust things.”

Orintious barked some orders. Therper gathered his journals, and left behind two soldiers that had simply been standing against the wall. Seeing Orintious now rise and begin to methodically circuit the room, Heratin felt the need to make a comment.

“Uncle Poseidon is really the more responsible of the male gods. He said we were safe, and we should trust that we are.”

The older brother said, “I have studied your culture, Heratin. What you said is true, but he is also the one that has the lesser wife. No offense to Amphitrite, but she is only a nereid and not a goddess as are Hera and Persephone.”

Therper suddenly came back through the door, and reported, “Sir, we are surrounded by horses.”

Heratin stood up with Ochally hitting the floor as her owner rushed to a window with the older brother. I believe the lady was nervous, as she went about refilling our glasses. I however had come to the same conclusion that Heratin voiced.

“I told you Uncle Poseidon could be depended upon.”

Orintious replied, “Yes, but it does stress the reality of the threat.”

“What could be the big deal? So you and Mochsha have some fairy blood.”

I was thinking the same, and voiced the concern that I thought of. “Since we really do not know where Immaderra is, we also do not know if she is alive.”

Heratin replied, “She’s a fairy, and immortal. You don’t kill fairies, and certainly not the immortal ones.”

Just then Minchell came back in through the door, and brought a stack of books to me while saying, “Amphitrite apologized for only having these texts. Fairies are not exactly the concern of the gods. I was told that there are only references to the fey.”

Orintious commanded Therper to return and work with me at finding the references in the books. When the chronicler returned, he wrote down the name of the text he gained, the author, then began methodically flipping pages. I however simply checked out the first few pages, then basically ruffled the pages. My actions had Therper ask me what I was doing.

I answered, “My father is a librarian. I know things about books. We don’t need fact sheets on fairies, but information on how to find them. That can only be gained by someone writing a journal, and not someone doing a catalogue or dissertation.”

Therper replied, “We are however not in a rush, Master Vernallor. We can take the time to do a proper survey.”

“I can read them if I need to. The objective however is not,” I paused because I found the type of book I was looking for, “to waste time. We are going to have to survive, so there are other things we can do in our time.”

Ochally had refilled my glass earlier, so I found myself able to sit back and begin reading through the text. I almost choked on my beverage reading a fact about the writer. As I moved quickly not to spew any liquid on the pages, I however managed to call Heratin. I found Ochally coming to help me clean up, so once I cleared my throat I showed her master something I found.

“This book was written by a lady named Methaky, an amazon on an expedition to capture and hopefully kill fairies. She starts out by saying a number of reasons why she does not like the fey.”

He grabbed the text from me as he simply exclaimed, “You’re kidding.”

Orintious said, “It seems that you were definitely a target, Heratin. Probably would have found Mochsha, but not in the way you intended.”

“Wait, wait, wait – that would mean I was set up. Mochsha’s mother did not tell my mother for me to rescue Mochsha in order to have me actually rescue her, but to get me to walk into a trap.” He then yelled, "UNCLE POSEIDON!”

The door opened with the god entering while saying, “I am definitely listening, Nephew. Hermes had already been sent for and has left with one message about my concern for your safety.”

“Yes, but why me? I’m not the one looking for Mochsha. Okay, I did make quite a number of journeys looking for Mochsha. Damn, whoever planned this probably did think of me as being one who might find her. I mean, I had come up with a plan. Still, it was Orintious really wanting her found.”

I said, “But, Heratin, you really are not one to travel. You tend to stay on this world with you only leaving to go to Father. The Hantarrow Forest however is not on your world. Immaderra also should not be from your world.”

Poseidon spoke to my concern, "That is probably why Hera did not detect the deception. With the threat being from another world, she could have well not have detected certain truths. She certainly knows about your brothers and sisters, Heratin, and would have taken news of Mochsha's rescue positively."

Orintious said, “Okay, Uncle Poseidon, I guess the next concern is how should we manage this? My desire is still to seek out this Immaderra. If we can manage a change of worlds, and get back to the world in question, would we avoid the major threat and buy ourselves some time to learn something of what we are up against?”

“You should. The reason you have probably been discovered here is that the peacock was probably very noticeable, and my estates are grand enough affairs to be known about. Pull some maneuvers not so overt, and end up in some wilderness, and you should have your time. However, you will also be beyond the ability of any of us to protect you.”

“My men have already proven themselves. Thank you for the hospitality. I hope you don’t mind if in the future I show up to visit with Heratin.”

“Not at all. Would be honored.”

Orintious turned to indicate he was speaking to us. “All right, let’s get some rest. I will probably be getting you up early. Hope you’re up to some hard travel.”

And movement to learn what they can begins.