A Matter of Who I Am: Cp 10

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A Matter of Who I Am
Chapter Ten

(Jelnaya)

I had stepped out on the dance floor with Chorrik. His wife was a famous dancer that had joined my grandparents on some of their early missions after my grandfather regained his sanity. From my association with my grandparents, I had come to know both Chorrik and Thaunya. While he was not known as a dancer, I knew that he had to have some skills considering the quality of his wife.

We talked of my communications with others my age. He did not mean my physical age, although with me my body and mind were still almost equal in years. It was a concern of those that ruled Davelda that none of their children were desiring the gift of immortality, and I had sought my eternal life from another source. Chorrik thus wanted to know my reasons and those I heard from other children and grandchildren of my parents. He was a friendly man, a good listener, and one that I trusted to accept my words without editing them to fit personal desires. I thus freely spoke to him as we both moved to the music.

As we finished I was surprised to see us met by another gentleman that I did not know. “Lady Jelnaya, could I have the next dance?”

I would not deny the man. While I could not think of the dance as anything more serious than my time with Chorrik, I was not ready to sit down. I thus accepted the offer, although worried about the decision when he came close to whisper in my ear.

“I will be going with you.”

I quickly replied, “You will what?”

“I know the rules. You cannot deny me.”

The man obviously had things to learn. “Those are not my rules. That rule was made by Great-uncle Ferrigote early in his association with my grandfather. Since both of them were exiled from their worlds and had benefitted from working with each other, they felt it proper to take on others that were stranded. I usually deny others from joining me.”

The man declared himself to have some spunk by asking, “Okay, so, how are you going to stop me?” My usual reply to that was simply to go and leave the man behind, but he did not give me time to make such a statement. “Listen, Baron Marekel brought seven men with him. I can call up six more to join me. He has seven, and I can assure you to have seven. There should be no concerns.”

Again before I could reply, I saw a scaly hand with a finger that ended in a pointed talon tap the man on the shoulder. “Except you and your idiot friends arguing with each other.”

The reptilian humanoid threw a gem to me, which I caught as I heard a man’s voice ask, “What do you want, Dumourl?”

I knew the one that threw me a gem. He was a friend of my father, and his father was a friend of my grandfather’s. I thus did consider this reptilian person a friend. I did not however know what he was doing, except rescuing me from a dance partner, but curious I spoke to the gem.

“This is Jelnaya.”

“Jelnaya? Jelnaya… WAIT, JELNAYA!” I thought it funny how his voice increased in pitch as it grew in volume, but found myself having some respect for him when he showed concern for my method of communicating. “Jelnaya, has something happened to Dumourl?”

“No, he’s here.”

The reptilian man said to the gem and not me, “Poor Jelnaya is getting propositioned by guys wanting to prove themselves to her. Could not let you miss your opportunity. She is here on Davelda, Irgamy. Better hurry.”

“Davelda? Hell, it will take me at least three days to make it to Davelda.” The man’s voice completely changed to a more formal tone as he said, “Lady Jelnaya, I am Prince Irgamy of the Nalergian Republic. I have grown up sailing on the seas battling pirates – successfully with three vile men dying at my hand. I fought in the Cavernin Wars, and claim the rank of Major. I have gone in search of the Tiverik Robe, and came back with honor at overcoming many a beast and monster.”

The one that had asked me to dance jumped back in the conversation by falling to his knees and proclaiming, “Lady Jelnaya, I am Chering. I also fought at sea, as I served Empress Straekin in her Navy. My rank is that of vice captain, and I still manage ships on the waters of Davelda. I went to Thiminy when word came of the recent challenge of Terdeskollit, and was disappointed when I was not chosen. I however noticed the actions of others from my land, and swore that I would take such initiative the next time. I also became aware of your own actions, and your beauty. Well, this is the next time, and I will let you know of my determination to succeed.”

The voice from the gem asked, “Vice captain? What type of rank is vice captain? Not good enough for first mate?”

“I will have you know that I rank above first mate. As vice captain I have the responsibility to move to whatever ship has a need and provide the aid to overcome special situations.”

“So you don’t have a ship yourself?”

The one on his knees rose to defend himself properly against the words from the one speaking through the gem. “Not a ship, no, but I did come to a nearby city on my own vessel.”

“I have my own ship – the Minotaur, and lay claim to five others. Lady Jelnaya, I am the better man. I need three days, please.”

Hoping to settle the conversation, I replied, “You have at least four.”

“Bless you, sweet lady.”

Chering said, “Until then, she is mine to dance with.”

Dumourl tried to redeem himself by saying, “Worry not, Irgamy, as I will have this dance and others with the lady. When you finally arrive, do not think that it shall be too late.”

The voice from the gem declared, “You are indeed a true friend, Dumourl. See you in three days, Lady Jelnaya.”

I threw the gem back to the reptile while replying to the other man, “Why would I want a man as old as my grandmother?”

“All men will have their past, but what we offer is a future. You cannot deny that I am unlimited in years. As for being a proper husband, I believe this journey will rectify that situation as well. I am thus going with you, possibly without your blessing, but I would like to have you knowing my full intentions.”

I curtsied to Chering, then moved up to Dumourl saying, “I hope that you know how to dance.”

He laughed, turned to look at his tail, then faced me as he said, “Irgamy is a friend. He is a good captain, and not afraid to sail to places others avoid. I first met him just because I needed a boat, but we formed a strong friendship. He is lightly built, quick on his feet, and one that loves to read, but you would not confuse him with your grandfather at all.”

“How old is he?”

“Well, that is another comparison with your grandfather, as Irgamy did start at an early age. He gained his first ship as a teenager, because he did kill the pirate captain. Kept the crew, because they liked his sense of fun. You might end up liking him, but at least he can say that he had his chance.”

I was glad to hear that Dumourl was not forcing the man on me, but still did not fully understand the connection. “How does he know of me?”

“You gained the Ebony Carapace when he had been trying for over a year. You probably do not remember him, but he was in the crowd bidding for it.”

That actually put the man in a good light, as I did enjoy spending time on that world. It had some interesting geographic features and creatures that I found enchanting and challenging. Thinking of some of the adventures I had on that world, especially the one Dumourl mentioned, I decided to mention a certain fact.

“I considered it worthless once I gained a rubbing of the symbols on the inside, although I did make good money from the auction.”

“Yes, well, I will let him tell you his side of that story. Anyway, he saw you, then when he learned why you wanted it he felt that you were the lady for him. He got me drunk one night attempting to get me to say everything I knew about you. He is going to have to tell you the rest.”

I guess that should at least meet the man, but considering it would be a few days I decided to put my focus on my companion. “Why are you here, Dumourl?”

“Usual reason people come to Davelda, I needed a new horse. Since I know the horse handlers and your family, I heard some things and became interested. Actually heard that man earlier today speak to some other men about propositioning you, so thought to show up and check on you. Did not really think of Irgamy until I saw you dancing with that earlier man.”

“That earlier man was Chorrik, the husband of Thaunya. You know, the dancer that went with my grandparents.”

He did know, and we spent some time speaking of personalities that we knew about. When the music finished, I went with him to his table to chat some more. I expected Chering to show back up, but found myself able to spend time with Dumourl without being bothered.

Finally, I had to ask, “How about you joining me? Your father never found immortality, but have you given up on it? Don’t you want a chance at it?”

“I’m thinking about it, Jelnaya. Your grandmother assured that I had a good room in the castle, so I have no reason to leave. I guess that I will wait for Irgamy to show up.” He smiled at me, then asked, “Will you want me to save you from other assholes?”

I smiled back while giving an answer. “No. I can handle them. I might need a drinking companion afterward however. Sorry if you have to listen about how horrible men are.”

“As long as I can tell you stories about the women I have had to put up with.”

“Listen, I am just waiting for some dresses and such to be made. Nothing really demanding my time. Anything on this world you would like to see?”

“Yes, since you are offering. I want to see those immortal mice.”

The response came faster than expected, but actually was something I would not mind seeing again. “It will take an authorization from grandmother, but I have never found her to deny it. Okay, deal. I will set us up.”

And they do go to see the immortal mice.