The Fights Left Behind
Krachern did know his people, although he gave credit to Master Lossurp for assuring the minds of the officials would be willing to accept us. There was really no way for me to prove who I was. Just because I claimed to be immortal did not mean there was any method to prove it. Master Lossurp however seemed believable due to his youth and the way he carried himself, so his presence helped sway people to accept us and our claims.
Of course it did help to have Krachern back in his original body. I could not say he was handsome as a horse person, but I could make out a dignity in him. While he had appeared most unusual, he had a way of speaking and moving that did not have one think of him as an animal. A number of people came up to him with pictures from before his transformation, and they all admitted that his body was just as it had been.
In the privacy of his bedroom, he asked, "Inchell, when did you know you were immortal?"
I replied, "The process had its pain with some not surviving. If you came through it, you basically knew you were. Then the years just came and went."
"I was almost two decades as a partial horse. I am in my fifties, but I feel and look fine. Could I be immortal? The blessing I received did come from a God."
"Give it a couple more decades, then you will know." I waited for him to say something, then went ahead and said what was troubling me. "When we finish here, we go to Davelda."
"Will I need to wait a couple of decades?"
We were both mature enough not to have to say certain things. While we had ended up in the presence of a God, that was not what we truly intended. The experience had however been more than a philosophical confrontation. Krachern had the curse affecting his appearance removed, and he was believing it had done more to him. I however felt certain a corruption of my body had also been corrected, but I needed to know in what fashion. The process of immortality those of my world had figured out reworked out reproductive organs. Those who had faced some divine power however not only had their body restored, but the immortality retained as well. As much as I desired to spend time in a certain way with Krachern, that would not happen until I was certain about things with my own body. While I had no doubt he was as eager for a certain activity as I was, I trusted him to stay mature as we discovered things about ourselves and each other.
I replied, "With protection, we can allow ourselves to go there. We however will need to discuss some things. Let me also stress that I have access to certain immortal ladies, so if you find me adamant on certain issues then you should assume I have a good reason."
"There is really nothing keeping me here, Inchell. What you are representing to me is something I have been avoiding for more than the time I was a horse person. You are offering me Terish Dozzrine, which provides access to a grand amount of what everyone here considers fantasy. They don't want to believe in Jelnaya, much less her grandparents."
"Along with a cavern of gold –"
"Have you seen it?"
That question was abrupt, but I felt I understood the reason for Krachern to think that way. "No, but I know those who have. Also, let me stress what you were saying. Terish Dozzrine's wife is my empress. I can get permission to see that cavern and meet the dragon that guards it.
Krachern moved to sit in a chair and have his hands hold his head. I had already learned that he was not a person who spoke his thoughts as he reasoned out something bothering him. As expected, after waiting for him to mentally debate an issue he let me know his decision.
"Don't get mad at me, Inchell, but trust that it bothers me as well. As you heard Jelnaya say, I had been always seeking my fantastic discovery. That one item that would not only bring me enormous wealth, but fame setting my name in the history books. I am however realizing that the fantastic discovery is you, and while I want to love you I cannot help but think of you as something to treasure."
I tried to smile as I said, "Right now, that is how we need to keep it."
"There however is another way I would like to push our relationship."
"And what is that?"
I found a parcel thrown to me. While I could not claim any special benefits to my reaction time, I had learned how to react. It had not been thrown with any force, so I easily deflected it to find it simply land in my lap. Wondering what it was, I found a place where I could lift a part of the packaging.
I had to say, "I cannot read your script, Krachern."
"There's a lot of pictures. I believe you can make sense of them."
I pulled out a group of large pages, then looked them over while saying, "Not pictures. Drawings."
"My own. There is no record of this, Inchell. That is my life goal. I want to say that even if you will not have me, I will set myself to finding that. That is what I planned to awe my sponsors with. That is why I never told them about Jelnaya before."
"No record of what?" Since I was looking at the artwork, I had to add, "Flowers?"
"That is how you know you are there. Some call it Eden, but it has to exist on all worlds – all worlds, Inchell. What Master Lossurp said actually should apply to this. At some point the God, gods, started the creation process. While it was global in power, it still had to originate at some point. There is a place where grand divine power was focused. While it surely has dissipated over time, there is still that remaining resonance that cannot be dispelled. A power so grand as to start life and all it entails had to have been enormous. Find that place and you should be able to tap something special. It is more than a lifetime discovery, Inchell. Once it is recognized however, I can go from world to world finding it and possibly learning something, experiencing something, and probably learning secrets even Terish Dozzrine does not know."
The artwork was very good, so I continued to look while asking, "How would you do this? Just go around looking at flowers?"
"That is one theory. The grand problem is how to recognize the place just from the plants, as flowers are not always in bloom. Going from place to place and watching what flowers bloom is a little extreme even if one does have immortality. What I however propose is that once I find one – just one, I will have begun to unlock the secret on how to find the others."
"At least you will have the confidence that such a place does exist and can be found."
"EXACTLY!" That exclamation had me look to Krachern. "Think of it. This is not a series of adventures to find all sorts of strange and exotic places and artifacts. This is simply an extended life, an eternal life, of traveling to realities and finding some pleasant locations and enjoying them. No monsters guarding it. No military protecting it. It could be a wonderful immortal life."
Not finding any pictures or details of items that Krachern felt could substantiate his claim, I had to ask, "Just how much effort have you put into finding it… any of them?"
"I cannot say. You might say none, effectively. As I research into the places my sponsors will pay for me to discover, I come across odd notes and stories. Some I find worth setting in my own records. Remember, I had some knowledge of Negredell. Well, it was interesting to me because it was divine, which the place I am looking for will be as well."
"Princess Jelnaya is a divine champion. You could have simply asked her to ask Fergush for you."
"You would take all the fun out of this."
Hearing the dismal change in his voice, I felt the need to defend myself. "What fun? You are not speaking of the wonderful life being the discovery, but the finding. The fun would be in the travel through a grand variety of worlds and meeting the people. We find the place, experience what there is of it, then move on."
"What does Jelnaya speak about when she finally loses a major fight?"
"Sitting in the grand banquet of her deity and bragging about the battles she won."
"Exactly. Well, I would like to brag to my gods about the victories I achieved. I want to do this, Inchell."
Thinking over what he said, I could not help but ask, "Just how high on your list of priorities is this?"
"Not high at all. We can do what we must to get to know each other. Maybe we can go ahead and raise a family. When you have been able to read and digest my notes, and we have talked about all sorts of things, then we can consider this."
"And what would you say would – forget it. Sorry I asked."
"What is that?"
Accepting the need to talk to this man about everything, I went ahead and said, "Your eureka moment, Krachern. Something that could have you sitting at the table enjoying a meal with me and our children, then suddenly grabbing things ready to rush off."
"For this? Nothing. There is no rush to this. Now, these other missions could have it happen. There is money on the line and possibly others who could steal the glory from me. This? I could suddenly realize where a place is and schedule a wonderful family vacation."
There was a knock with Krachern and me both giving the person permission to enter, which was Master Lossurp as I am certain we both expected. "Just received a message that the first of the lectures is for three days from now. At least that is what the person who delivered the message told me."
Krachern replied, "I will check the postings to verify."
"Anything that I need to know about?"
Seeing Master Lossurp look at me as I flipped a page to examine another picture, I asked, "And what would be your eureka moment? What would have you enjoying your time with some young lady, then suddenly leave her to rush off to gain some grand desire?"
"You mean why am I here?"
Krachern said, "We can start there, but as your elders we might decide to probe more."
"My world denied a truth, one that I feel should not have been denied. I want to see some truths, some truths I know would not be revealed back home. I do not know what Jemaloran wants of me, but I presently cannot serve him without fearing further deception. Honored Duchess Jelnaya gave me that. She gave me some security that I would see the truth. I feel certain that I will need to be that person for others, but I do not have what she did."
"So there is no sudden eureka moment, but there will come a point when you will simply feel sated and ready to go back home."
"Okay, dear lad. Inchell said that once I am done with what I need to do that we are to go to Davelda."
Master Lossurp's eyes had basically stayed on me, and seeing them continue to focus on me I said, "I am looking at Krachern's eureka moment. He could gain information on a flower and go rushing off screaming that he found it."
The young man replied, "He knew about Negredell, so I guess he has sought information on other places of special importance."
Krachern said, "Thank you, dear lad! Still, Negredell was a grand find. Meeting a God was a wonderful experience. I am sorry if you are bored, but time is needed to simply process the experience. Still, there is no reason for us to retire. If you think you have some idea about where another grand discovery can be made, let us know."
I had to ask, "Is there just something you would like to do, Master Lossurp?"
The lad had his own question, "Doctor Krachern, what happens should your lectures go well? Could you then be expected to receive some honor?"
Krachern replied, "The fact my expenses up to now will be paid is about all the honor I will receive. Of course there is also the comfort of knowing that my usual stipend will continue as well."
"For your information, I am not bored here. I would however be bored at home. I am not ready yet to marry and settle down, and I certainly have no idea what I want to do as an occupation. When just looking at a wall, not really needing to look out a window, is something different and exciting, I have to consider where I am going to set my boundaries. If I can find myself out here, I believe I will be fine when I go back home."
I said, "I understand, Master Lossurp. I was stuck on Davelda for centuries. I left for the reason you have, and have the same beliefs that you have. I have been and will continue to be a support for you."
"Doctor Krachern, if you come across your Eureka moment, you need not fear the footsteps you hear behind you for they will be mine."
He replied, "If you find the need to go rushing off, please stop to tell Inchell and me so we can follow you. Sorry, but youthful curiosity is often a lot quieter than us elders that shout 'EUREKA!' before rushing off."
I was glad to see Master Lossurp smile as he said, "Certainly, both of you. I'm all right, but I am getting hungry. Start thinking about supper, please."
And another strange meeting happens.