To Solidify the Mist: Cp26

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To Solidify the Mist
Chapter Twenty-Six

We discussed the conversation with Orintious upon finding him. He listened to what we said. I believe he spoke about the condition of his men simply to buy himself time to think on what the viscount said, as after trading some comments with Heratin Orintious changed the topic of conversation.

“Do we contact Father?”
Heratin replied, “I don’t see how he could help. We are going to need to contact him. I mean, not just about Mochsha, but about the reasons that we did not contact him. If we could simply get some advice and commentary from him, I would quickly go to him. You however know that he is going to be all over Mochsha, then make us go over every detail of this mission.”

“I hate to say it, but I also see Father as a weak link. We are being successful. Direct confrontations with us has not worked. I would say it is a ploy of our opposition to get us to bring in Father. Further, what I am concluding –“

I actually finished the words Orintious was going to say, “This is all about Father.”

Heratin said, “You two must be crazy. Father is, well, really, really old. He has survived for millennia before he started adopting children. He established his place among worlds. He established his libraries. Don’t think he cannot handle himself.”

Orintious replied, “Which is another reason not to contact Father. We would have to listen to him relate all the previous attempts by others to take him over, out, or turn him to their cause.”

I had to say, “But I don’t see how talking to the ocean fairy, and then Decholl, will advance any plans of that nature. I mean, our objectives are not that grand. Once we learn things about Mochsha, we can then go spend time with Father and not really care about how much time it takes.”

“Might as well not care about the time, because you know that he will be all over Mochsha and wanting to know every detail.” Orintious smiled at me, to which I had to smile back in agreement. “Okay, we should know how to play this game. If your opposition is using lies and deceit, you ignore all data. You focus on your mission. Focus, focus, focus, and hope things sort themselves out once your objectives are gained.”

Heratin said, “We need to get back to Mochsha.”

“Agreed. Sorry, Heratin, but you are going to have a number of shadows with you when you return to town to get the dresses.”

“Drunk, tired, and nauseous shadows. That’s the part that will bother me.”

“They’ll live, and most importantly you and Mochsha will as well.”

We returned to the mansion to see a number of the soldiers in uniform and attempting to act as if they were on regular duty. Orintious rushed to attack. He was defended by a couple, but a couple more suddenly moved to a wall of the building to clear their stomachs. Others not completely dressed stepped up to prove themselves while some that were in uniform knelt to show that they did not want to face a real challenge.

Minchell stepped out of the mansion to say, “There was something moving about at a distance. I thought they were local soldiers, but the men felt it best to put on a show.”

Heratin replied, “What we learned is that it could well have been local soldiers, but it seems that a grander game is being played as well.” Seeing Mochsha step out the door, he went ahead and added, “It seems that those of this world know about Father. According to a version of the story we heard, Orintious and Mochsha were given to Father to corrupt him.”

It was our sister that replied, “Corrupt him? He’s a sweet old thing.”

“Yes, we are not making any sense of it either. If you see us men pondering things, that is what we are pondering. Oh, we can go get your dresses when you think they might be ready.”

“It’s still early, Heratin. Did you bring something to eat?”

Heratin had me hand Minchell the container I carried of fish. As we waited for our slaves to handle things about setting up a proper meal, I sat with my brother and sister and spoke of what happened in town while making comments about how Orintious treated his men. Minchell eventually passed us to speak to her master, then came back informing us that we could eat after our older brother refreshed himself.

After we had taken our initial bites of food, Orintious asked, “Any argument with leaving tomorrow?”

Heratin answered, “We leave, but to where all depends on just how much substance your men put into those words on the paper.”

“They saw a map. Felter’s Point is to the west, but the real value is a lighthouse. The lighthouse marks the boundary between this realm and another kingdom. The lighthouse does not so much warm boats of the rocks, but gives the good people an indication of which way to go home. The men say that there could be boats salvageable enough to meet our needs, or word from the keeper of the lighthouse about going into the other land and trying to get a boat there.”

I had to ask, “What good is a boat? I mean, exactly how do you search for an ocean fairy?”

“Oh, I suspect Felter’s Point to be good enough. This game is active, and having us waste time moving about will allow things to die down.”

Heratin said, “But it could have us go to Father.”

“No,” I blurted out, then had to wipe my mouth to explain. “They want Father to come here. They don’t want us to go to him. That was the purpose of giving Mochsha the property. They probably intended to have her need to call Father for verification of her identity. The purpose of using Eskrion Assimilations was to give the inter-dimensional aspect to the handling of the property. This is a feudal society. Viscount Precormin actually owns the property, whoever is king holds the ultimate title, but the fact is that the transfer of land and title should have been done by local authorities. They however used Eskrion Assimilations to make it a matter that would require Father’s presence.”

Orintious replied, “But they neglected the presence of Dechapper.”

“And simply the institutions long association with our family. They did not need Father.”

Heratin started to say something, but the older brother silenced him to say, “Okay, Vernallor, so give us more of your insight. What you are saying is that we have side-stepped the plans of whoever we are up against. That means he will need to act. How?”

I looked around, then rose actually worried in that I saw what I was looking for. I moved to a window to point out to the trees. While soft comments let me know that my siblings understood what I was looking at, I asked a question that I felt to be important.

“Heratin, why don’t we see a peacock?”

The voice of Ochally answered me, “Because you have me, Master Vernallor. Heratin is the son of Hera, and I serve him as a sign of his fulfillment of her plans for his life. If I did not serve Hera, I would not be allowed to share Heratin. When we were in Poseidon’s estate, I was given instructions should this time occur.”

We turned to see Ochally quite different than she usually appeared. While Mochsha glowed, something about the slave made every color of her body very evident. While it was the male peacock that had the beautiful display, Ochally had a feathered body that would have been drab if brilliant spots of various hues did not move about as if under the outer covering.

Heratin said, “Oh, we are going to have fun later. Still, Ochally, what are your instructions?”

“Only the corrupt can cause corruption. Good people do not seek the destruction of others without cause. There was no cause here, except for the desire of one corrupt to spread the corruption.”

Mochsha blurted out, “But, Decholl, he did not seek our corruption.”

“He also did not act upon you all those years. If there was one who could have possibly brought corruption upon Galabur, it is certainly one of his daughters.”

While we considered her words, Ochally stepped forward with her body becoming fully avian. A feathered tail grew behind her. Her legs became scaly things with sharp toenails, which I did not find appealing. Seeing her chest lose certain assets beneath a covering of feathers reduced her being attractive as did a beak for a mouth. She stepped up to Heratin with her wings moving to the sides of his head.

“Is this how you want me?” Ochally asked.

“You are mine. Is that how you want to come to me?”

“No.” She suddenly reverted to her usual form. “I will continue to come to you as a wife goes to her husband. I will bear your children. I will not sit on a stand or fly about your head, but be a partner for you during my life. We do not share a master/slave relationship, and I will not become your pet.”

“We are still going to have fun.”

Ochally giggled, then said, “I saw how you treated those older than me. I see how you relate to your family. There is love there, and I want a part of that.” She giggled again, then said, “And there is certainly no reason not to have fun while doing it.”

Heratin picked the lady up, then said, “Excuse me while I show my lady our thanks. Be assured that I will let my mother know of my love for her as well.”

As our brother took his slave to their bedroom, Mochsha softly commented, “Now I wish even more not to have missed the last many years.”

Orintious partially destroyed the positive mood by saying, “That little display did not chase the birds away.”

I had to add, “But it does mean that we probably need to be nicer to Nerframe, although I doubt he could tell us anything.”

“Nothing we would believe. I have the most experience with Father, so let me go think about what we have heard and reasoned out. Vernallor, Mochsha, if either of you feels enlightened, I would appreciate you coming and sharing with me.”

As he went to his bedroom with Minchell trailing behind, my sister looked to me. “Well, Vernallor, it seems that you and me have been left to clean things up.”

Another meeting with Nerframe.