It Only a Dream Can Be
I have to give Master Lossurp credit for at least doing some study of the language of Uvillorsh. I even felt bad for him the next day when none of us could help him with his lesson. I had learned upon coming to this world that there were a variety of languages. I considered that unusual, although listened as Princess Jelnaya and Krachern spoke of reasons for and against a world having a common tongue. In the end I had to admit that Master Lossurp would have no aid in learning the alternate language, so gave him the device I had for translating speech before my travels through the omniverse blessed me with the ability to communicate with all.
The bracelet was rather ornate, but as I helped him hide it under a sleeve of his shirt he asked, “So, I could really learn to speak to all simply by traveling.”
Krachern replied, “It does come to all who regularly move between worlds.”
Princess Jelnaya admitted, “My grandfather somehow figured that one out, but his history is special. He really has not been able to teach that. Uncle Althery can do it to a limited extent, and he can help others. What I manage is due to what he told me.”
Krachern said, “I have actually doubted Terish’s ability, but you say Althery can do it as well?”
“Grandfather Terish was purchased by the Dozzrines because he figured out how to read a text. He will admit that he had some knowledge of letters and numbers from delivering bread for his actual family. What he figured out was developed by the prophetess Desiree, who had him read a lot in the year she had him. Uncle Althery grew up behind three girls, so found himself immersed among people who were reading while his sisters did their girly, his word, activities. I can say that Aunt Endullae, Aunt Debbish, and Aunt Chemiana are all avid readers. Anyway, he figured something out before he could actually read the texts, and that mentality stayed with him. He still is not as good as Grandfather Terish.”
“That is a skill I wish I could develop.”
The conversation digressed to Krachern simply asking Princess Jelnaya about her family. I knew almost all the facts from watching the news as reports trickled in from Thiminy of our empress, then as the children were brought to Davelda for a part of their education. Of the second generation, only Prince Venicht sent his children to Davelda. He spoke of his continued trust in Munulva, although it seems She did not make an impression on his children the way She did with him. None of Princess Jelnaya’s siblings made a home on Davelda.
Master Lossurp must have recognized that I was not listening to the others, as he quietly asked, “Sha Inchell, where do you want to make a home?”
I replied, “I have a nice apartment in the city of – DAMN, PRINCESS JELNAYA!” The conversation stopped with the princess looking at me. “It isn’t a rut to want to live – things are going to change, aren’t they?”
She said, “They usually do.”
“Do you know how long I have lived in that apartment?”
“It would take you saying less than a couple of centuries to surprise me. But go further with it, Inchell. You have shopped in the same stores, basically purchasing the same food, same spices, same drinks. You hang out in the same places, probably doing the same thing. I have been to Davelda, Inchell. For one of you to walk into a store and not say, ‘The usual,’ is almost bizarre.”
Master Lossurp asked, “Really?”
I had to defend myself by saying, “We know each other. It has us feel like family.”
Princess Jelnaya said, “I like my style of cooking. I never know what I am going to end up eating, or who I am going to speak with to get it.”
“How about when you are on Davelda?”
“I never get to order. I get something to ‘put meat on my bones,’ ‘color in my cheeks,’ or ‘something to keep you healthy.’ At least I don’t have to pay for it.”
Krachern said, “It sounds like they want to still treat you as a child.”
Makinor gave his own interpretation. “It sounds like they want you to know they love you.”
Princess Jelnaya admitted, “I accept that I am a child of Davelda. I have blood from Davelda within me. My problem is not them with their ruts, but with Inchell claiming not to want those ruts for herself even though she is going to the place that is the epitome of all ruts.”
Krachern asked Princess Jelnaya to describe her home. Not only did I hear a lot of differences in her land and the problems that would come to her, but in how her days would go. She did not keep regular hours with her military, but would trouble them at various hours just to keep them on their toes while she was not in the mood to sleep. Her staff would try to report during meals, although sometimes found themselves facing her after she spent time in town eating with the locals. I felt those of Davelda should be glad she went elsewhere, because her inconsistent hours and unpredictable schedule would mess up their routines. What I heard however was her joy in her home. I could clearly tell that she would not want her life to be any other way. Krachern however did not sound fully satisfied when he asked another question.
“Does Fergush like the way you rule his land?”
Jelnaya replied, “The realm is not Fergush’s, but his wife’s, Samayer. She has spoken to me, and never once was it a complaint.”
Makinor said, “It was pleasant moving with Jelnaya through her realm. The people were friendly. I had no problem until I advanced upon the castle of one of her vassals to meet her. They were protective of her.”
Krachern commented, “That should be expected.”
“I’m a representative of one of our gods.”
Princess Jelnaya said, “The one opposed to Fergush, and you were in your shiny armor.”
“Which further proclaimed my status.”
“Which had everyone wondering why you were present.”
I had the feeling the two would go into a little exchange, but the two actually did not press each other on certain points. Makinor would spar with Princess Jelnaya, and she would speak to him of certain people. Both were concerned with how others might perceive them, so did not allow a situation to put them in a bad light.
Not having any concern for the demeanor of my companions, it bothered me the next day when a vehicle stopped in front of us. It had lights on the roof and the coloration of an official transport. While I was concerned, there was no indication of trouble when the officer stepped out of the vehicle and made a polite greeting.
After looking all of us over, the officer focused upon the youngest in our group and asked, “Master Lossurp of House Sevalla?” Gaining an affirmative, he said, “I am just checking on your condition. It seems good. I was told that the Landon Hotel is expecting you.”
Master Lossurp replied, “I have an approved itinerary from my father. We know where we are going.”
“I believe he just wants to assure himself of your safety. Sorry to bother you.”
Jelnaya commanded, “Be polite, Lossurp.” The young man turned to look at her, which had her add, “I suspect you and me will have some similar problems. I know my father will do things like that for me when I am on Emigaila.”
I said, “And we have been listening to her tell about how she is treated on Davelda.”
Master Lossurp did not look pleased with our words, but turned to the officer to say, “Send word that I am continuing to be taught in proper behavior along with other skills I feel are important. As for my health, there is no problem with it.”
The officer replied, “I will gladly do so, Master Lossurp. May you have a good day.”
It must be said that no one found fault with us walking. It was the lower classes who got moved about. The upper classes had the wealth to simply go as they pleased with little concern for the time it took them to get to places. Beyond a certain distance they would go by chartered plane, but I had sought a path to Negredell and found myself pleased to be as close as I was. It would be a few days of walking, but with the group I had with me the time was not boring or troublesome.
There was a moment of pleasure when Master Lossurp turned from assuring our rooms at the hotel to say, “Honored Duchess Jelnaya, there is no place we can spar here. They frown upon any show of weapons.”
She had been turned away from us, but looked to the young man to reply, “They have a pool.”
As if wanting to promote the establishment, the one at the counter said, “And it is available to all honored guests.” He reached to open up the folder holding our receipt to point out something while saying, “Please let the lady know that the code to the pool has been provided.”
I had to ask, “Do you have a swimsuit, Princess Jelnaya?”
She replied, “One-piece. Fergush does not let me get too revealing.”
Makinor commented, “And he should not.”
Being the only other female in the group, it was no surprise to find myself roomed with Princess Jelnaya. Having her in my presence I found some control in her actions. She did not simply rush about, but set herself to a number of tasks. There was no feeling of a routine, but an acceptance of having duties to maintain her equipment, her body, and her relationship with others. She was polite. I actually found myself surprised to realize that beyond her usual energetic presence there was a feeling of control about her.
I had to feel that it was her beauty that had people speak to her. Some spoke of her red and yellow hair. Others mentioned the weapons that she did carry on her. I can say that she did not go about doing anything improper. I had to conclude that it was just the presence of a young appearing lovely lady that had people want to speak to her.
My impression of Princess Jelnaya stayed positive over the next few days as we walked to the border. I found myself able to see a lot more control in her actions. She was not rude, although some did not take her bold attitude in the proper manner. She would not move about without some weapon on her person, but I smiled with her showing me some of the pockets and places where she could secret something dangerous. At no time did she instigate trouble, and in some troubling situations caused by some rude or nosey person she held a grace in her composure along with an acceptance of allowing security or others of local authority do what was necessary to resolve the matter. My impression of Princess Jelnaya was of someone who could be a dominating presence maintaining control of a land and its people without any problems except with those who simply did not like her manner of living her life.
I did notice that she did not overly present Fergush. She did speak the name of her deity more often than Makinor did his, but I found him to be the one mentioning a need to improve his behavior. Jelnaya was however quick to expand the topic with questions of the local deities. While most spoke of there being no gods, I did notice that many admitted that in the next country there would be those who did present a belief in something divine.
I did have to ask, “Princess Jelnaya, why don’t you ask about Negredell?”
She replied, “I don’t think it is wise to admit we are attempting to go there. At least not me. You could mention it.” Jelnaya then softly added, “And with the dream I had, I am more interested in what the gods here might think about our journey.”
“I can see that. Also, I agree about not announcing our intentions.”
Krachern admitted he was eavesdropping by commenting, “I however cannot believe that nobody knows.”
“I did not go around telling people. It was not until the coming of Princess Jelnaya that I said anything about Negredell. I guess Sheik Brelask could have told people.”
“He would not,” Master Lossurp said with me wondering who had not been eavesdropping. “He does not want to associate himself with this journey, and definitely does not want anything we do in Uvillorsh to include him. All he did was assure our travel to the border.”
I had to say, “And our travel has been nice. He should be thanked for his graciousness.”
And our group crosses the border to find things not as desired.