It Only a Dream Can Be
Master Lossurp spoke of expecting a fanfare upon our return. None of us challenged him, but there were knowing smiles from the rest of us when people quietly continued with their work as we walked toward the estate property. His friends however did come riding up to give him some recognition of his return.
A young lady asked, “Where have you been, Lossurp?”
He replied, “Somewhere else – somewhere elses.”
Clearly seeing her eyes focus on the horse person, Master Lossurp answered, “Doctor Krachern of the College of Charestill.”
One of the lads asked, “Doctor?”
“Of archeology. He is also interested in where Sha Inchell wants to go.”
“And where is that?”
“I will need to speak to Sheik Brelask first.” Master Lossurp then pointed as he said, “Honored Duchess, that is where I need to go.”
Princess Jelnaya replied, “It’s your business, Lossurp. Lead the way.”
Clearly not seeing anything they recognized as a destination, the youths asked him where he intended to go. All however turned seeing another person ride up on a horse being pressed to gallop. I recognized Master Phissip, the older brother of Master Lossurp, and he also asked where we were going.
“Come on, Phissip,” the younger brother replied. “You need to see this.”
We had a group arriving at a taxidermy shop. I heard the sound of others galloping toward us, but kept my eyes watching the youths as they saw what Master Lossurp uncovered on the back of Rubber. Not moving to help his younger brother take the large head into the shop, Master Phissip instead demanded an explanation.
“How can you have honor in that thing?”
Master Lossurp declared, “I did it, Phissip! I killed that thing all by myself. There is however no honor in simply the story, but for something like this I need the head.”
From a distance came the voice of Sheik Brelask saying, “He’s right, Phissip. Help your brother take the head into the shop.” After all the youths moved into the building, Sheik Brelask said, “You promised that you would not hurt the boy, Honored Duchess Jelnaya. It however seems that you tried to do so.”
I had to reply, “She told him what to do, and had him practice. Master Lossurp’s honor is not just in the kill, but that he listened to the instructions.”
Princess Jelnaya said, “He used my horse and one of my weapons. He had the advantage.”
Sheik Brelask replied, “But for how long? Like all drugs, the success will not be enough for him. He will be petitioning me to let him go on.”
“You should have known that before we left.”
“Will your promise extend to what is coming?”
“No, because I cannot promise surviving to myself. Still, this is not my mission. This is Inchell’s mission. If Lossurp will continue to listen, he will have the wisdom to stay back or work with me.”
There was a moment of silence, then Sheik Brelask asked, “So, your journey has you assured of Negredell existing?”
Krachern replied, “That is never the fear. There is always hope in finding what you seek. The fear is always of coming home having to speak of failure.”
“And who are you?”
I answered, “Doctor Krachern of the College of Charestill. He was already present at the place where Princess Jelnaya took us, and became interested in what we were discussing.”
As if remembering the question from one of the youths, Krachern added, “Doctor of Archeology. I receive grants to look for legendary places. I had found what I believe to be the artifacts sought for, and was writing up my report when Jelnaya arrived. Having gained one success, and knowing the reputation of Jelnaya, I decided to be present on another successful endeavor.”
Sheik Brelask said, “Honored Duchess, this man just calls you by your name. Is he also a friend?”
Princess Jelnaya replied, “I would not deny it. I would however say that we both simply acknowledge the status of the other, and enjoy telling each other our stories without the bother of titles or other courtesies beside friendship.”
“I see. Inchell, how quickly do you desire to leave?”
I replied, “I was hoping to take at least a day to go over particulars.”
“There are matters of visas and other concerns. Lossurp’s father will probably be assigned to help in this, as his son will be involved. I however will not seek to hold you up, as I can accept that it will be pointless.”
As if to support that conclusion, the voice of Master Lossurp rang out, “I request to continue to travel with Sha Inchell and her companions, Sheik Brelask!”
One of the men with the leader commented, “Such arrogance.”
“You have to commit. That was the lesson Sha Inchell wanted to learn. You cannot enter Negredell weary or suffering, but encouraged by your success and determined to carry on. I have committed, Sheik Brelask, although I would still prefer your authorization. I believe it would be for the best of both of us if I enter Negredell thinking well of you.”
Sheik Brelask said, “Honored Duchess Jelnaya, it seems that I must compliment your ability to teach certain lessons.”
She replied, “Any instructor can be blessed by having attentive students. Lossurp did not shame himself. You should be proud of him.”
“I await to see your trophy, Lossurp, and hear you speak of it. Expect your father to contact you as you continue to stay with Inchell. Phissip, tell your father what you can, then have him contact me.”
Making a sign of high respect, the elder youth assured the leader that he would do as told. Sheik Brelask simply turned his mount and began riding away. Phissip then moved to his mount assuring his brother that he would let their father know about things.
It was a young lady that said, “Lossurp, my father says you are going to your doom.”
Master Lossurp replied, “At least I am going somewhere. You’re just going to stay here.”
Those words struck a chord in me. Suddenly I realized what Princess Jelnaya meant by us of Davelda living in ruts. We were not going anywhere. While we thought of ourselves as being where we wanted to be, the truth was that we were not doing anything about our situation. Like varnished pieces of wood, we stayed in our places. Jelnaya was working to support her land, promote her deity, and help others. She did not fight to keep some routine to her life, but accepted distractions and problems. The words of Master Lossurp had me see the worth in the accusation that I sought to simply exchange one rut for another.
An active, engaging, life was what Jelnaya and the other children sought. They did not seek some niche where they could live their lives in comfort while raising children. That was what we of Davelda spoke of wanting. It was actually a type of existence promoted in the holy text of Munulva. The children however wanted more from their lives, and I found myself wondering if they had the better dreams. I had to admit that those of us of Davelda, who had lived our lives for centuries did not present a life that any child found worthy of their dreams, but only succumbed to once all hopes had been dashed.
Once again I had to consider my own desire for my future. What could I achieve that I would enjoy my next many centuries of existence? Success was a good word, but I had to admit that being a major criminal would still not give me a life the children would, or should, want for their own. None of them had chosen easy lives. They however considered themselves to have it better than us of Davelda. Even Master Lossurp sought to emulate Princess Jelnaya instead of my pleasant existence. I considered him being enamored of my immortality, yet not equating it to a continuing life of peace.
Entering the library, I could tell that it had been searched. Honestly, I did not know why, as with my belief that Negredell was on this world I felt those local could easily discover the location themselves. As I heard comments from others, I simply stood and thought about the reason for the search.
I finally concluded, “I would hope they were concerned for Master Lossurp.”
The youth asked, “Sha Inchell, are you saying my father did this?”
It was Princess Jelnaya that replied, “She is saying that she hopes it was your father that did it, or someone acting on his orders. Inchell, what is the chance that simply your desire to travel marked you as a potential criminal?”
I had to admit, “My own experience with this world has shown that there are groups that will act on their own authority to promote their own agendas with no concern for the law.”
“I’ll keep watch. The rest of you get some sleep.”
“You might be a divine champion for He-Who-Fights, Princess Jelnaya, but I am the simple soldier who does what she is told.”
“I don’t want them facing you, but facing me.”
Makinor asked, “What is the reason we even stay?”
“First, we have Lossurp with us. Us going off with him could be considered a crime. Second, as far as I know from what Inchell has told us, Negredell is on this world. I would rather settle any issues with this society to ease our minds as we have to deal with the issues of Negredell.”
Krachern said, “Two valid points. Jelnaya, go ahead and take your bath and get some sleep. We will be busy for a time, and the rest will help you stay busy as we sleep.”
Agreeing with the command, I said, “Princess Jelnaya, take my bed. You should not be disturbed in there, although you can be certain that you will be awakened when I decide to go to bed.”
It felt good hearing her say, “I’m not the best at cleaning up. Okay – wait! Inchell, was there anything taken?”
“There is no way they could. They basically took everything when I first came to this world. I however had taken a lesson from Terish, and learned how to store things. I cannot keep the spaces with me the way he can, but what I consider important I can keep others from accessing.”
Makinor admitted, “On my first visit, she had me go claim some items in an astral space.”
I went to the place where I dealt with those seeking to check out items. While it was somewhere any camera could watch me, it was also a place where I did a number of activities. I felt good when after going through certain motions I could pull out some items from a separate place than any usual search could reveal.
Opening a notebook, I said, “This is the information we need to discuss.”
And the party starts on their way to Negredell.