People in the Mist

Chapter Thirty-Five

Again I saw her work her body to try and stand.  While I had been trying to keep her attention on me, I found myself having to close my eyes to break my focus on her.  What I however concluded was that it was not my concentrating on her that was wrong, but on not making use of her needing to deal with me.  Realizing I had nothing more to gain from Melarintha, I decided it was time to put her down.  I reached forward and grabbed the part of the blade coming from her belly and tugged.  As her body lost its tension even as her face again showed agony, I spoke to try my own plan.

“Crinorra, do you have a spell?”

It delighted me to hear a reply, “Amelgo has been working with me.  I believe he does.”

From the one who was making his reputation with magic I heard, “What spell I use depends on what you do, Vernallor!”

I then asked, “Nassenor, do you really want that sword?”

It pleased me to hear, “Definitely, Vernallor!”

“Then come get it!”

Melarintha looked to me and said, “I have been waiting for one of you to do that.”

“Yes, well, look at me.”

I quickly worked the spell I remembered my dream self wanting to cast.  She had an expression of anger as her face locked on mine.  I did my best to smile, even as I heard the men speak of their problem dealing with the gale.  Suddenly Melarintha’s face showed anguish, and the sound of the surrounding wind reduced.  I worked to keep my spell working even as I heard my oldest surviving brother speak of his success.

“Demons are a problem, but one I have dealt with before.  Queen Lonarey actually helped.  Okay men!”

While saying, “In the nick of time,” Nassenor came up to take a position to the side of Melarintha.

I then heard from behind me the voice of Amelgo saying, “I’m ready.  Let’s do this.”

Seeing the agony on the lady’s face as the sword came out of her body, I actually worked the spell again to assure she kept her focus on me.  Instead of being able to put her own scheme into action, she found herself with no option except to glare at me.  Further pain registered as her body seemed to stretch.  What she however did was to straighten her back and reveal her neck for Nassenor to have the blade make a slice.

I panted as I felt the power of my spell disperse with Melarintha’s head dropping to the floor.  Lifting my gaze, I saw Sterrig pulling the top of her body in one direction, then turned to see other men pulling the head in another.  I calmed my breathing as I heard Nassenor make a statement.

“They should have done that all those years ago.”

Amelgo said, “You seem to have a good control of Earth magic, Vernallor.  Might want to work more on it.”

I had to return my own compliment, “You did all right yourself.”

“I believe it helped that Orintious took out one source of her power.  She almost resisted my spell.”

A number of us smiled hearing my oldest surviving brother demand, “Queen Lonarey, go out and tell your men to start two fires a good distance from each other.  We burn the head on one, and the body on another.  Sorry, Vernallor, but she will not answer any more of your questions.”

I replied, “I needed to make certain I did things right.”

“Yes, whatever.  It did work, so you will gain credit.  I however might tell the story a little differently than you will.”

“I am going to write mine down and have Father put it in his library.”

“Therper, we will need to talk about how you record these events.”

A smile came to my face hearing the chronicler say, “I appreciated what facts Vernallor brought out.”

Instead of arguing with the man, Orintious called out the name of Nassenor, and with his reply it was said, “I believe you just bought yourself a sword.  Paid in full as far as I am concern.”

Nassenor replied, “And I will stand ever ready to assure you of my control of it and my respect for you.”

“Lexonor, I believe your desire for wealth has been denied.”

I had to turn hearing Queen Lonarey say, “I will pay for the work you men have done.  The quality of your research and the commitment to do what was necessary has made an impression on me.  I want you thinking well of me.”

“I believe you had other plans, Your Majesty.”

“That I did, Orintious.  However, the facts those who did my research presented to me did not match the truth.  Vernallor, thank you for what you did.”

My oldest surviving brother maintained control by saying, “He did it for his own curiosity, Your Majesty.”

“Then I believe we have like minds.  I felt the information was necessary as well.”

I said, “What I learned will definitely allow us to pass down the truth of this matter.  What we gained previously was mostly gossip and whispers.  It should not be so hard to discern the truth, although I do like unraveling a good mystery.”

I felt hands touch me as a girl asked, “Are you all right, my lord?”

Rising from the floor, I said, “I will need to discuss this with my Father.”  I then put an arm around her while saying, “And you need to meet him.  He is most bizarre, but really a good man.”

“My life is with you.”

Queen Lonarey admitted, “I passed on a really good slave.  Come and relax.  I will assure –“

“No,” Orintious barked.  “Queen Lonarey, I will personally, along with my men, assure both parts of Melarintha are fully burned.  Lexonor, Sterrig, anything about this place you consider of importance?”

Lexonor replied, “If she is paying us, no.  Oh, what about the elephant?”

I replied, “Without the pieces of the trunk, it really is harmless.  There are probably things that can be learned from the markings on the body, but I believe the information can be found elsewhere.  The fault isn’t on the elephant.”

Orintious said, “Then we just need to assure the body of Melarintha is completely burned.  With that done, you can take your ease.”

The soldiers obviously had marched with a different attitude than the one their monarch commanded.  There were rough comments as we moved through their camp.  No one however bothered us.  We assured the burning of Melarintha, then crushed bones to assure no life remained.  The soldiers wanted to do the same with the body of the high priest, and Orintious only had them do it on another pyre to assure no mixing of essences.

When all was done, then we allowed ourselves to relax.  The soldiers accepted that we had not troubled their monarch, and what we had them do was necessary.  Accepting that whatever orders they had previously had been rescinded, nothing those of the military did had us worry about our safety.

Queen Lonarey not only did pay us, but bestowed gifts to assure us of her gratitude for what we did.  While it was not the wealth of our previous mission, what was given to us was more than what Orintious would usually charge.  With all of us speaking of our pleasure in getting to know each other, we left to our own lives.

Returning home, Crinorra did act frightened in seeing Father.  She however quickly warmed to him.  As I worked to speak to Father about what I felt needed to be added and corrected in his book, Crinorra started adding her own comments as she worked to serve us.

There was another I considered it important for my slave to meet.  While Mochsha did show up on occasion while I worked to set down the facts of the latest mission, I knew I would have to go to her home to introduce Crinorra to another.  Finally, I felt able to take a break, and dressed in good clothes I took her to meet another important person in my life.

There was shock on Nerframe’s features as she looked at me with her saying, “Vernallor, I believe you are growing up.  Let me say that I am glad to see you developing as you are.”

Feeling pleased with those words, I said, “Nerframe, I want you to meet Crinorra.  She is my slave.  I have plans for her, but I believe she will stay a part of my life.  I hope you have no troubles with her.”

“If you approve of someone, Vernallor, you can assure I will approve of them as well.  You are family, Vernallor.  Whoever you accept into your life, I will accept in mine.”

“Mochsha is my sister, Nerframe.  I want to stay in her life, so I do not ever want trouble with you.”

“It is in her nature to want her family with her, Vernallor.   You will ever have a home here.”  Nerframe then curtsied while saying, “Crinorra, I believe you will ever regret separating yourself from this family.”

My slave curtsied in return while saying, “I have assured Vernallor that he has my life.  Still, as he said, he has plans for me.  How things actually develop, my faith and trust in him will remain.”

“I believe that will be something you will always have pride in.  I am proud to have him as a friend, and to have him in my family.  Now, come in, both of you, and feel at home.”

I have three developing romance stories to tell.  The one that should go first is however not finished, so next is Jelnaya.