A Matter of Who I Am: Cp 18

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A Matter of Who I Am
Chapter Eighteen


While the others spoke to Marekel, I stayed calm with the satisfaction that indeed we were returning along the path we had traveled to get to Davelda. It however troubled me that Marekel had been successful. We were not just returning with more victims, but those of whom I might have to worry about facing. While I tried to stay calm, I found myself very unsatisfied with the results of Marekel's journey.

The voices struck me at a level that I had never experienced before. Early on I had the comfort that I had not suffered complete defeat by Marekel. There were then the years of seeing my daughter raised with the man feeling that at any moment an action breaking the promise would be committed. I now however saw my end with Marekel truly proving himself to be the more vicious opponent. The voices thus screamed at me that I needed to attack now before the group had more confidence in working with each other.

Just as I had watched Ulemai grow up, she had watched me in that time. It could be said that she watched Marekel more, but that would deny my influence on her. Ulemai surely recognized the change over me, and I had to open my eyes when I felt her hand touch me.

"Namill, are you okay?"

"No. Ulemai, please tell your husband to stop and allow me some time."

Marekel proved to have heard by immediately calling for a halt. Considering that almost all our companions were male, there was a quiet acceptance when told a lady needed some privacy. Jelnaya did slightly put herself in a position close by. She told me not to worry, and as the only female warrior I accepted her place to watch over me. I however hoped to prove to her and others just how deadly things would soon become.

Instead of bending over to undo certain garments, I sat my hands on the ground. I almost felt that I had forgotten how to release my voices. An understanding however came to me that I was not on my world. I thus put in more concentration upon my act, and finally felt the power move through my hands.

Seeing huge tentacle break through the ground and attack the more powerful Navy man had me smile. I moved closer to a tree in an attempt to act scared while also hoping to gain a view of the battle. The Navy man known as Vulge drew his weapon and attacked while asking a question.

"Would this be a regular creature for this world?"

Marekel rushed to his wife while yelling at Jelnaya to guard her maid. Hoping to get the young lady to move out into danger, I spoke out assurance that I was all right. Not seeing her move, I then became concerned that she might close to see what I was actually doing. Jelnaya held her position, although kept her focus on what was happening with the other men.

She answered the question, “Since when are tentacles coming out of the ground considered to be a creature?”

“So, it is magic?”

“Do you have a different type of tactic for things of magic?”

Chering said, “The answer is, ‘No,’ Vulge. Attack.”

The large man however spoke with an understanding of others in his group. “How about you, Sephex? Since you are a mage, would you have me do something?”

The old man replied, “This is not magic, but evil. On a regular mission I would recommend that we seek the source, but considering we are traveling we can leave this threat to the good people of this world.”

Jelnaya then sounded out, “But if it happens again, we will need to consider the source.”

Those words concerned me, as I sensed that Jelnaya knew something, so was glad to hear Marekel say, “We had no such trouble on the journey to Davelda, so I feel we can leave this evil behind.”

It hurt me to recognize that those who had been added to the group were able to hurt the magical threats. While they spoke as if unable to recognize the true source of the danger, they had a confidence in battle that only increased as they proved their weapons able to inflict damage. Marekel's soldiers had a positive attitude, although they spoke with joy in seeing the capabilities of their new companions. Irgamy spoke of being used to magical threats, and had his blade show an ability to harm the arcane tentacles. Those from Davelda spoke of gaining their weapons from their leaders that regularly traveled between worlds with their attacks proving the capability of their arms. I found myself recognizing that what I had conjured would not last long against the group, and to attempt the action again might reveal myself for what I truly was.

As I came from the bushes to head back to the wagon, Jelnaya asked, “Are you feeling better?”

Wondering if her divine nature had revealed anything to her, I replied, “Actually, I’m not.”

“Let us know if we need to stop again.”

It helped that Ulemai called to me reminding me that I had not felt my best in Davelda. I went to her hoping to play up my having a period of poor health. It helped my attitude that no one felt a need to discuss the situation I had conjured, but I still felt uneasy knowing that Marekel was more capable of defeating those that opposed him.

That evening there was an argument between Chering and Irgamy about who would keep watch. I listened with hope the two would get angry, but they simply became loud. Finally, Chering asked a question letting me know the reason for the argument was not something the two really would fight about.

“Jelnaya, are you going to keep a watch?”

“Why?” she replied. “I have enough men to look after me. No reason to play mother or wife.”

“Aren’t you worried that one of us might go to sleep?”

“Oh, no. You should be worried that I wake up and find you sleeping. If that happens I assure you that I will be acting as something other than a mother or wife.”

Marekel’s men laughed at that, but hushed to listen when Irgamy asked, “What if you wake up to find the one on watch simply captivated by the sight of your lovely sleeping form?”

“I might have to give you some other thoughts to keep your mind captivated.”

Hearing the men from Davelda laugh along with Marekel’s men, Irgamy asked, “How much do you men of Davelda know about this princess of yours?”

It was Kandrid, the one from Davelda that seldom spoke, that said, “It seems that we do not know much, but as our princess we want to learn about her. As members of the military of Davelda, we kept feeling challenged by those who traveled beyond our world and claimed to have faced more serious challenges than us. Well, Chering, Vulge, Negrosh, and I are going to return able to speak of knowing some things about Princess Jelnaya as well as being able to claim to have faced other-worldly challenges.”

Jelnaya said, “You will need to return to do that.”

“That is my question to you, Princess Jelnaya. Did our empress, your grandmother, tell you to watch over us?”

“No, but she knew better than that. She knows about Fergush. Just to let you men know, I won’t let you go to your death, but I will allow you to die. You go into combat, what happens is a result of combat. If I can do something to help you, I will, but I have to worry about death as well. I am not at the level of my grandfather. I cannot go into a situation with ultimate knowledge about things and how to avoid the more serious problems. I am in this just like you are, but as Champion of He-Who-Fights I will fight and fight to win. Sorry about not baby-sitting your hides.”

Instead of laughter or further comments, those from Davelda started into a song. I believe one was the anthem of their world with another possibly of their branch of military. Irgamy then sang a song that I believe was his national anthem followed by a sea chanty. Marekel must have also felt that the men sang about their homes, as he started the song of Chaliger, which was joined by those of his military.

Without any of the bickering heard earlier, the men established their watches. Jelnaya did stay up to provide a level of security to Ulemai and me from the gazes of the men. As we were finishing things with our bath, she moved up the stream almost as a dare for anyone or any creature to challenge her privacy. The men secured the camp I guess deciding to bathe on their watches, as they did not move to the water until all us ladies had done what we felt we needed to do.

As I started doing what I felt necessary to properly end the day, Ulemai picked up a blanket while saying, “I am going to Marekel.”

I simply replied with what I felt was an obvious observation, “In the midst of this company?”

“I am not on this adventure because I am a great fighter, but because I am his wife. Well, I am his wife.”

I just sat and watched as she went to Marekel. He did not refuse her presence, but calmly adjusted his place to allow for Ulemai to be with him. I gained the impression that they would not do anything of an intimate nature, but simply spend the night with each other. I continued to sit and watch until Ulemai noticed and told me that she would not need me.

As I turned, I heard Vulge ask, “Is there something you need, Lady Namill?”

I answered, “No, and I am but a servant.”

The man came close to softly say, “You’re old, Lady Namill. As someone who is also old, over seven hundred years old, I respect that. There was a time on Davelda when we had people like you. Our process to gain immortality just would not work on everyone, and many more simply refused to go through the surgeries. We now have children, and they are growing old with most also refusing to become immortal. We sometimes question our own decision to become immortal. As one old person to another, let me say that I will honor you. If you need something, just ask.”

I simply said, “No. I’m fine.”

Vulge however kept talking. “I know Jelnaya will not fall for us from Davelda. We are the older generation to her. We are associated with her grandmother. Still, her grandmother found love. I do not doubt the relationship between her and Terish is that of love. Ferrigote, who Jelnaya considers her great-uncle, also found love. I thought I was as good as him. I am known as a fighter. I have a number of women who I can depend on for a night of companionship. I cannot say that there is love there, but Ferrigote found Dirchein and everything about him changed. After seven hundred years I feel that a change would do me good, so I am out here with Jelnaya.”

From Kandrid came the question, “And you bothering Namill with all that why?”

“Because I want her to know that my intentions are noble. I am not just here to bash on things evil. If she needs me to do something for her, I will without making any demands upon her.”

I replied, “I accept what you said, Vulge. Thank you. The problem I have is however growing concerned for you should you die.”

“Yeah, but I would hope that goes for all of us. We are all people. Maybe we are from other worlds with other gods, but love can transcend that. I will honor the men that came with you should they meet their end. If that is all you do should I meet my end, give my memory a little acknowledgement, it will be enough.”

“I am sure that Marekel will see that your passing gains at least that much.”

Without any sign of being disappointed in what I said, Vulge replied, “Yes, good. If you need something, Namill, let me know.”

Yes, not the usual group of travelers.