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 Into the Land of Immortals - Chpt 17

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PostSubject: Into the Land of Immortals - Chpt 17   March 26th 2009, 7:54 am

Into the Land of Immortals
Chapter Seventeen

Part 1

Annalia looked at the assembly actually curious about what had brought the various people together. The appointment with Venicht had been set up officially, but that was not uncommon for those who had to come a distance to visit. Most who came to speak to the young man however quickly relaxed in his presence. These stayed formal, spoke clearly, and hushed whenever Venicht said anything.

The first number of minutes was taken up by those visiting introducing themselves and presenting gifts representing their homelands. Annalia became suspicious upon realizing that they were not a single group, but a special assembly from a number of districts. Venicht showed that he had been paying attention to certain lessons as he accepted each gift by making some statement about the location of the land and a couple of facts of its economy. Each person showed pleasure in the young man's knowledge, although was quick to allow the next person to go through the ritual so as to move the event along.

Finally, the company had finished the initial greeting, and one of the ladies in the group asked, "Prince Venicht, do you know where your mother is?"

"She is with father on some mission."

"Do they do that often?"

"Not really. I have been with father and Celatia a few times, but mother usually has to stay with my sisters." His face showed that he was checking his memory before he added, "Mother did join us a couple of times. It is not as much fun then, because they talk a lot."

"Prince Venicht, we would like for you to take us to the nearby temple and use the font. We want to see you contact her."

The eyes of the lad shot to his guardians as he asked, "Can I?"

Annalia saw Nuverd look to her. Her initial response was to deny the request, but centuries of working with the empress had her suppress the thought. The fact had been repeated often that the will of the people always had precedence. Straekin strongly believed that it was the purpose of the government to support the people, so had always been one to authorize any scheme presented to her. Annalia had to admit that was one of the reasons the empress had gotten mad when others had tried to stop her going with Terish, as after supporting them for so long she expected support in return. A safe response was thus spoken.

"Prince Venicht, did you pay attention to the instructions of General Nuverd on how to contact your parents?"

The face of the lad beamed as he returned, "Oh, yes. I promise that I could do it."

Nuverd spoke his own thoughts, "I will be there should you have a need, Prince Venicht."

One of the men in the group asked, "General Nuverd, your world is polytheistic, isn't it?"

"There are a number of gods, yes. Some have declared while it is said that there are many others who do not concern themselves with the physical realm."

"Do you support any one god over the others?"

"I have seen the wisdom in supporting most at one time or another in my life. The teachings of Thurvan actually help me in dealing with King Terish, but the aspects of the other gods have their benefit as well."

"Yes, but my question focuses on the fact that you used the font even though it is to our goddess, Munulva. What are your thoughts concerning our goddess?"

"I don't know if she could handle my world. We have a variety of races and creatures that this world lacks. Sometimes I agree with Prince Venicht that this world is not as intriguing. It however has its beauty as well."

"You have never spoken to Munulva?"


Another man asked, "How about the gods of your world?"

"It is not unusual for a priest of our world to channel the words of our gods. After the death of my wife, I sought solace by confronting a priest of Thurvan with questions. They were answered. I cannot say that I was particularly happy with the words, but they did bring me comfort."

The lady that had spoken previously now asked, "Did our empress, your Queen Straekin, speak to you of Munulva?"

"Yes, she did, as she wanted Venicht to primarily worship her goddess. Her words were more instructional however, as she did not want to displease my gods either. I understood to leave matters of religion out of my instruction, and since King Terish and Queen Straekin both stayed present in the life of Venicht, I never found the need to challenge the instructions."

A man jumped in with his own question, "Prince Venicht, what does your father say of Munulva?"

"Only that he has never spoken to her. He just reminds me that he trusts my mother, and that I should as well."

"Does she, your mother, claim to have spoken to Munulva."


The lady that had spoken earlier asked, "Well, Prince Venicht, will you accompany us to the temple?"

Annalia became more concerned as the group spoke with the lad during the walk to the temple. None were priests, but all were connected to some religious institution. What kept Annalia quiet was not having any reason to distrust the group. The religion of Munulva was not threatening. While there had been times in the past that certain religious leaders or sects had promoted more harm than good, overall the tenets of the church had kept its goals away from aggressive policies. Annalia did consider that enough time had passed to allow that a private group of religious fanatics could once again attempt a position of dominance, but felt that there was no evidence to deny those present from gaining their objective.

The priests in the temple did try their own means of stopping the request. Prince Venicht however silenced their attempts by stating his own desire to check on his parents. The priests acquiesced with an obvious show of respecting the authority of the young man.

Gasps sounded when a soft glow came from the font, although most wondered if the prince had done things properly until the voice of Terish could clearly be heard to say, "Straek, it is Venicht."

All looked to the font as the voice of their empress could be heard, "I can hear him, Terish, but I cannot see him."

"Yes, I believe that he tried to focus on both of us instead of only one. Let me try something."

Suddenly the sight of the temple was almost eradicated as all in the room saw a grassy clearing. A couple of the visitors moved with a priest as they felt uneasy standing on top of a stream of water. Another moved finding a long low branch of a great tree pass through his form. Straekin moved, her long amber hair fluttering due to the current of some wind, from next to the water where she had been tending her feet towards Venicht. Giluchex looked up from the other side of the stream where he also tended his feet as if wondering where his empress was going. Terish smiled from a position on a boulder as he worked checking something about the saddle Celatia normally wore. The centaur was around a campfire cutting vegetables while Dirchein stirred a pot over the flames. Dathol sat in a lotus position near the campfire, although Ferrigote sparred with someone that none of the present company knew, over close to the position of the tethered horses. Of the group, only Straekin seemed to see those present in the temple, although many looked to Terish suspecting that he was aware as well. The lady clearly spoke to her son.

"How are you doing, Venicht?"

"I miss you mother, and father too."

"How are your lessons going, besides those on how to use the font?"

A man of the group asked, "Empress, can you hear us?"

The eyes of the lady squinted as if she had difficultly seeing beyond the range of her son, but her identification was correct, "Professor Tiothin? What has brought you from the Nilgorkin Glacier?"

The eyes of Giluchex looked up from his position to stare at Straekin, then he began to rise to wade across the stream. The others simply turned to pay attention to her. Only Terish kept his eyes looking elsewhere, although those that knew the man did not doubt that he was very aware.

"Your son, and the prospect of this miracle. Why did you never tell us, Empress?"

"Tell you what?"

"The truth."

"About what?"

"About our goddess."

The body of Straekin turned as if her eyes wanted to realize just how many she spoke to as she replied, "If you knew, then I did not have to tell you. If you did not know, then I could not tell you."

One other of the men responded, "Munulva has been speaking all along, hasn't she?"

"She really does not speak often."

"Did she tell you to send Venicht to us?"

"No, I was always going to send my children to their home. As much as I like Thiminy, it is not home. It is not Terish's home. It is not my home. It's a wonderful place. I love it very much, but it is not home. I cannot send my children to Terish's home, because it is no longer his home or even a home to anyone. I want my children to know a home, and Davelda is the only place where that word applies."

The voice of Giluchex could be heard to ask, "Who are you speaking to, Empress? It does not sound like you are speaking to Prince Venicht."

Straekin said, "Terish, allow Giluchex to see."

The eyes of the young appearing man moved to his wife as he responded, "The sending is not of my doing."

Venicht made a motion in the font, and suddenly a glow surrounded Giluchex and his form became quite substantial to those in the temple. The man looked around clearly studying the faces of those present. He named some of those in the room, and after they acknowledged his identification he made a statement.

"I don't believe any of you were on the list to teach Prince Venicht."

The only lady of the group that tended to speak responded, "No, we came to teach all of Davelda, Councilman Giluchex. Munulva does speak. I do not know the reasons for our empress to follow the path she has, but I believe that she has followed the words of our goddess."

"What? That is lunacy. We might be going to speak to some sleeping gods while on a mission for Terish's God, but this has nothing to do with Munulva."

"Have you heard any of these deities speak to you, Giluchex?"

"What? No."

"Then you are not a true leader of Davelda, Giluchex. Check the holy book. Check history." The lady changed the focus of her attention before saying, "Empress, you must return to us. We need to hear."

Straekin appeared to show sorrow as she replied, "I have only heard her a few times. I really am as lost as the rest, but I have obeyed each time that I heard Munulva. I promise. I did not leave Davelda because Munulva told me to go, or in defiance of her telling me to stay. I just wanted... a family. I want my children, and I want them to have a life. There is no life on Davelda."

A plea sounded from a priest, "Empress Straekin, you have changed your life. We need you to help us change ours."

"I sent Venicht to you. Is he really what you want? I believe that Giluchex is quite happy with Davelda the way it is. We fought a war to have Davelda the way it is. I fought Giluchex and at least half of Davelda to give you the world that we have. I will not rip that from you. You however would not compromise when we faced a crisis before. I sent Venicht thinking that you would not go to war over a child, but unite to reconcile the problems that he would bring."

One of the men said, "Then empress, give us some guidance."

The eyes of Straekin moved to look at Giluchex before turning back to say, "The answer is not in the council. I cannot say that I have the answer either. If Munulva tells me more, I will tell you. However, at present my decisions have brought upon me my own problems. I am with my husband. Let us save this discussion for later."

"Certainly, Empress, as you did send your son to us. He is a most intelligent young man. He might be bored here, but he has provided us with plenty of entertainment. I thus believe that we will be happy until your return."

The lady turned to look at her son as she said, "Venicht, you continue to work at your studies. Remember that you are surrounded by good people. You need to learn who they are."

The lad returned, "But mother, I have no one to play with."

"Venicht, there are children all around you. They only grew up. Don't hold that against them. Play with them Venicht. They need you to reawaken the children within."

Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market. "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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PostSubject: Part 2   March 31st 2009, 7:54 am

Into the Land of Immortals
Chapter Seventeen

Part 2

Giluchex turned to Straekin as soon as the vision of the temple faded to ask, "What was that about?"

"The Font of Transmission, Giluchex. It really works."

He sputtered while attempting to start certain rebuts, but finally simply asked, "Out here?"

The eyes of the lady turned to her husband. He looked up from his work on the saddle to only shrug in return. She thus turned back to the councilman to offer up her only idea about what might be an answer to the question.

"We have been walking barefoot in order to show our respects to the gods of this world. While this might not be a holy site in itself, its association with pilgrims seems to have sanctified it enough."

Giluchex spun to her husband to demand, "Come on, Terish. Give me an explanation."

The young appearing man set down the saddle before responding, "To what , Giluchex?"

"To how those people were able to contact us way out here?"

"The Font of Transmission, Giluchex. It really works."

The man looked around for another victim, but turned back to Terish to demand, "Come on. This is not a time or place for politics."

"The council isn't either, Giluchex. Politics is for the uninvolved. You are as much a part of Davelda as your constituents. You are involved, Giluchex."

"Save me the lecture."

"No, Giluchex. Since I have you here away from your council and its petty politics, I will force you to listen to some of my hot air. Every one of us here, except you, has a relationship with at least one deity. Kethal really doesn't, but he is trying. Tomorrow, I suspect that your concept of reality is going to really be challenged. You had thus better start giving second thought to all of your religious teachings."

The man really detested hearing those words. He felt that some really important pieces of information were being denied him, and did not like being treated as some disobedient brat. Not really knowing to whom he might turn, he simply blurted out his question.

"Can anyone tell me where we are going?"

Celatia responded, "I can. Remember, Terish keeps telling me that I cannot go. I thus can tell you why he tells me that."

Giluchex felt that the centaur would speak honestly. She had been rather indignant to Terish, and that indicated to Giluchex that her loyalties were probably in flux. Hoping to assure himself some good feelings, he made an offer.

"Can I help you cook?"

"No, but I am a vegetarian and don't really demand much from my food. Dirchein is however working on a recipe that is supposed to have some holy significance. She might need help."

The lady of gold looked up from where she stirred the pot to say, "Yes. I was going to have Ferrigote do it, but there is no reason that you cannot. That leather sack on the ground has some mussels in it. You could help me by opening them."

Giluchex was not knowledgeable in the procedure of opening the mussels, but quickly found the exceedingly sharp weapons of his companions to make the job rather easy. He thus worked without complaint while Celatia spoke of a small lake underneath of which was a massive bubble of pure air. Dropping to the floor of the lake was thus dangerous not only due to the coldness of the water, but suddenly encountering air many feet above the solid bottom. Gaining the bottom, one would stand before a dais upon which were two very large thrones of a pearl-like material with gilded designs. There was a massive panel that supposedly could be opened, but on the previous mission Terish and Dathol had to re-enter the water and move around to a cave opening in the walls of the lake to find their way into the cavern holding the sleeping forms of the deities. Giluchex listened to the description and realized that indeed it did sound like a place where someone like Celatia would have trouble gaining and leaving. He gave the bowl to Dirchein having to ask the reason that her husband did not want her to go.

She answered, "I happen to weigh more than a normal lady. Gold is a rather heavy element. I really do not weigh that much, considering that I was made from gold, but I don't swim well at all."

"Your horse does not seem to complain."

"I ride a horse trained to carry a man in full armor."

Giluchex felt that he was gaining some understanding of the situation, so moved to Terish to gain some history. "What did you ask the sleeping gods the first time that you came?"

"I asked them about an edge to the omniverse. The fabric of realities is not truly infinite, although it is. One that moves through the omniverse however quickly learns of gaps in the presence of some realities, and there is really only one place where all realities touch. Questions of boundaries thus quickly become important to understanding how separate realities co-exist."

That topic did not interest Giluchex at all, so he turned to the other that had previously visited their destination. "Dathol, what did you ask?"

"I asked about those that continued to live in the divine realm. As someone that has lived, died, then refused the gift of eternity in the divine realm, I wondered about those that had to live in such an existence without the active presence and attention of their deities. I was told things last time, but if our meeting tomorrow goes well then I will get a chance to see for myself."

"Okay, so, what are these sleeping gods like?"

"Very large people.


"No. Very large people. They could hold you comfortably by wrapping their fingers around your form."

Giluchex heard the words, but still could not accept them. "You mean there were very large horizontal statues."

Terish said, "We woke a couple up. They were very large people. Nice people."

Defiance of the facts declared itself in the retort by Giluchex, "There had to be a trick."

"You are the only one in this group, save Kethal and Dirchein, who has not directly confronted a deity, Giluchex. Your empress might have gained immortality by the same science as you, but her ability to bear children is divine. The rest of us were granted immortality by a god. Celatia has her youth due to her god. Deities are real, Giluchex. It is no trick."

"Yes, well, I have never heard Munulva speak to me."

Straekin returned, "Channel twenty-three has a show every week..."

Anger blared in the voice of Giluchex, "That show is all fake! It is staged."

The lady's tone of anger was subdued, "At the worse, Giluchex, it shows that my people, and I believe many of your people, desire to hear Munulva speak. If they simply want some fame, there are much better programs to get on. Worse, there is plenty of air time. They could make their own show. No, that show states many honest stories. Munulva has been speaking the entire time."

"Have you ever heard her speak?"

"Yes..." Giluchex scoffed at the word, but Straekin kept speaking. "Why do you think that I am so committed to teaching Venicht, my girls, and any future children, about Munulva? Thiminy is a good world with good gods. They speak to the people all the time. It is mostly done through the priests, but their acts of divine magic is more than proof of those gods existing. I go through the rites with the people of Thiminy toward their gods with no shame, because I respect those deities. Davelda is my true home however, and it is the world to which my children are connected. Terish has no home. His God forgot him. I thus teach my children of Munulva and tell them of my own experiences with the goddess."

"Well, tell me one thing that Munulva told you."

"She told me to respect you, GENERAL Giluchex. You were the enemy, but I was constantly speaking propaganda of uniting Davelda. Munulva told me that if I was serious I would need to accept you and your district as truly being part of my future. Although you have been a thorn in my political career for the last six hundred years, I have worked to make you, those of your district, and others of similar beliefs a part of my life and concerns."

"Did she tell you that you would become empress?"

"No. What few other times that I heard the goddess, the words were just as personal about private thoughts. Her words never spoke concerning the future or government programs, even those that dealt with religious matters."

"Yes, well, I don't believe you."

The eyes of Straekin turned to her husband. Her whole body spun and began to take a step, but then she turned to Dathol. She moved to the holy man while asking her question.

"What do I tell him?"

He replied, "There is nothing you can tell him. Those that do not look cannot see. However, he is in a most perilous position. He has placed himself in a situation where the revelation will be very much before him."

The eyes of the lady moved between Dathol and Giluchex as she said, "Then my plans have not changed, but only become more focused. This is a holy place, so I was not going to sleep with my husband. I was going to spend time praying. I now will mostly pray for Giluchex."

The man made an exclamation of dismissal, then moved off away from camp. He heard Dathol tell the lady that she had made an appropriate decision. The conversation in the camp then turned to Dirchein asking her husband about Straekin's words of not sleeping with Terish. Giluchex did not care about any requirements of religious nature, so moved away to have his own thoughts.

He looked at the land around him for any sign of a religious nature. A strong desire to confront some indication of a deity and make demands filled him, but it left as Giluchex realized just how alone he was. There were no buildings or roads. He often could not even make out the path they were following, as the ground before him appeared no different than that to his left or right. He could easily tell that he was on an alien world. He recognized trees, grass, and other parts of the landscape, but everything had enough difference to tell him that he was not home. Giluchex stopped understanding that he would find no mark of someone giving respect to their God.

The man turned upon hearing the noise of leaves being disturbed. Besides insects, he had seen no native life. He looked to a dagger that had been given to him, then moved towards the sound.

Giluchex approached a tree from which a reddish-orange rough-skinned fruit fell. He considered the sight odd, because he had not seen any of the other trees produce fruit. He had seen a few flowers, but none in the trees, although in looking up he saw a number of bluish-green petals.

No thought entered his mind of tasting the fruit. He did consider taking a few back to show the others. His body turned while assuring himself that no other tree had blossoms or fruit. He studied the leaves on the trees and found himself unable to tell the difference in the fruit-laden tree and the others. Not wanting to hear any of the others in the group speaking of being in the presence of a miracle, he trudged back to camp in silence.

Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market. "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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PostSubject: Part 3   April 5th 2009, 8:22 am

Into the Land of Immortals
Chapter Seventeen

Part 3

Annalia tried to comfort Venicht on the walk back to the apartment. He cried while saying that he missed his parents. It did not help when she mentioned the landscape of where his parents were. Annalia thought that the lack of civilization would get the lad to focus on what amenities he had around him. He however spoke of climbing in the big trees, playing in the stream of water, and generally being able to relax bare-foot the way he saw his parents. It finally took stern words from Nuverd to have Venicht wipe his eyes and regain his composure.

Entering the castle, he however asked, "Nuverd, did my father miss his parents?"

"I don't know, Prince Venicht. That would be a question for Emperor Ferrigote. He was the one that taught your father after being driven from his world."

Annalia added, "By the time that your father met Emperor Ferrigote however, he had already been a year away from his parents. He had probably already done his crying. The stories of your young father do not have him crying. Still, Prince Venicht, your father even today speaks well of his parents and the Dozzrines. I thus am certain that he did miss them."

"Can I read those stories?"

"Your mother has all those books in a private closet. I can let you into her room to pick them out."

Nuverd said, "I believe that they are all accessible in the normal manner."

"Yes, but these have liner notes written by the empress, Terish, or even Ferrigote." Annalia turned to focus her eyes upon Venicht as she said, "Those are not stories, but actual history. Respect the books." She then gasped before adding, "Although I will have to check what language they are in. Most are in the script of Davelda, but your father tends to write in the language of his home. Ferrigote does too, since Terish actually was the one that made him respect the written word."

Nuverd responded, "Prince Venicht has been taught the script of his father. I cannot say that he paid the best attention, but I was present during most of those lessons. I also had the duty of having to read some messages from my king. I thus believe that I can help in the translation."

Annalia spent the rest of the walk up to the apartment discussing some of the early adventures of Terish with the adults around her. Prince Venicht stayed quiet while the group moved on to the royal apartment. Once alone with Annalia beyond the front room, he however lit up to see a usually locked door opened. She noticed features of the lad showing him close to crying as he moved through his mother's bedroom, which she assumed was him suppressing his feelings of missing his parents. Upon seeing another door unlocked and opened, he lost the emotion of sorrow while becoming eager to speak on the number of books revealed.

The shelves were not filled with books, but the presence of fancy book ends holding ribbons tied to small banners stating certain topics, time periods, or simply presentation styles caused the closet to appear very stuffed. Annalia worked to explain that Straekin had accumulated everything she could find on Terish. Many were in strange languages, although in each book was a reference to a translation in the national database. Seeing the odd scripts, Venicht found himself agreeing with Annalia that he needed to begin with the stories in the database, then he could come back later and speak to his mother about the more obscure stories or details. Annalia suddenly looked up, and reached for what she suddenly considered an agreeable solution.

"Here, Venicht. This is the story of your father's first meeting with Dathol and their later journey together to a holy place."

The lad accepted the book, then said, "I heard her, too, Annalia. Munulva said that book would tell me where my father and mother are going."

The lady looked to the shelves while attempting to think back upon her thoughts and why she had reached for that book. She could not remember any mention of the destination of her empress and the group, but they did admit that they were journeying through holy places. Annalia however did not want to speak against being divinely manipulated.

"I cannot say that I heard her, Venicht, but I will not deny that I do worship Munulva and will only take honor that you consider me willing to obey her."

"Annalia, how do I play with children that grew up?"

"I cannot answer that, Venicht, because I grew up as well. You are the first child in over six hundred years. You might need to be like your father, and simply lay the ground work for others that follow. You simply need to trust that we are watching, and will watch your sisters as well. We might now be teaching you, but we are not ignoring the lessons that you are teaching in return."

"Well, thank you for the book."

Annalia escorted the lad out of the room, then saw him move to his room. Understanding her duties as the official hostess, she moved back out into the front room. The silence of the front room disturbed her, but she had experience in many situations. As she turned to ask about what the group desired to drink, one of them spoke.

"Prince Venicht is a most remarkable child. We have been quizzing General Nuverd concerning the early training being given to the children. He knew of Prince Venicht, but could not be as certain about the girls."

"The society of Thiminy has a structure where each sex has their own requirements. Straekin is not challenging convention, although encourages Terish to be very informal around the girls. They thus gain a broadness in their lessons by the things that Terish does with them."

One of the ladies that had been quiet said, "I cannot believe that the empress allows herself to be limited."

"The society does not limit anyone, but simply sets requirements. Empress Straekin is more than proven her willingness to fill her place, so all accept her other activities. Of course, the fact that she often does her other activities with Terish makes those activities actually socially acceptable as well."

"How about you?"

"I happen to like doing female things. I crochet, I sew, I cook, I handle social occasions. I had no problems on Thiminy."

"How about the other attendants of our empress?"

"We serve the empress because we like doing certain things, certain things that apply to the life of an important lady."

One of the men had to ask, "But don't the people of Thiminy expect you to be married as well."

"Yes, but you have to remember that Straekin was present around them for decades before she finally took upon herself the full role of being the wife of Terish. The people of Thiminy thus accept that in time we will settle into our lives as well."

"What about you? Have you been looking for your own answers?"

"I do want children. I enjoy working with Venicht, and I believe his trust in me is because I was there early in his life changing his diapers. When Straekin takes back off traveling with Terish, I would like to have the courage to go with them."

Another man asked, "You don't believe Munulva will solve our problem?"

"What problem? Being immortal is not a problem. Empress Straekin fully accepts that there are many here on Davelda that have no problems with their lives. Those that want more will need to find the answers that satisfy them. Munulva is a support, but she has never been one to force certain decisions upon us."

"No, she hasn't. Of course, that gives some the evidence that she is not real, but only a figment of those of us with imagination."

Annalia felt the weight of hearing her empress express certain words, "Whether she is or not, after six hundred years those who are unhappy cannot allow themselves to stay in their ruts. There are alternatives, and some really fantastic alternatives. Straekin did not start practicing magic because she liked it, but because her citizens were doing it and she felt they deserved some support. She did not make a meeting with Terish because she wanted to sleep with him, but because he was supplying answers to questions that she wanted answered herself."

One more of the men now asked, "Yes, but why did she continue to stay with Terish? Specifically, that day when he and Ferrigote showed up barely able to stand while pulling that wagon loaded with treasure."

Annalia wondered why the man focused on that event. It was a popular video of Terish, although often used by his adversaries to put him in a bad light. That caused her to consider this man as someone who wanted to speak against the father of Venicht. Annalia however held back making a retort considering that Straekin had made a scene that day acting and speaking in support of Terish, and from that day had worked to keep herself in his presence. No mention of a future marriage had occurred until after he had regained his sanity, but one reason stated for Terish to have gained Thiminy was to give himself the status necessary to properly court the Empress of Davelda. Suddenly feeling a need to avoid the topic of the past motives of Straekin, Annalia worked on an evasive response.

"Terish helped our world from his first interaction with our citizens. The horse handlers of Davelda are very loyal to Terish. I am loyal to him. I believe that Empress Straekin made a wise decision that day."

The man looked to the camera before asking Annalia the next question, "Is it in the plans of Empress Straekin to make Terish the Emperor of Davelda?"

"It is in the plans of Empress Straekin to get Terish back out among the omniverse where he can continue to help people and the centaurs can spread their message. She has no plans to return to Davelda."

The entire room went quiet. Annalia noticed that no one moved, and felt a strong sense of tension. Her own training indicated that she needed to speak, but she did not know what to say at least not until she remembered the reason for the group to come to the castle. Taking the advice of Empress Straekin to go ahead and take the initiative when others would not, Annalia spoke the words she felt everyone waited to be uttered.

"If Davelda is looking for someone to sit in the throne of Empress Straekin, you might want to try and convince Prince Venicht to accept the position."

The group stood with a number of the members stating words of thanks for the audience. Annalia handled the formalities of seeing the guests out of the apartment. She closed the door with a strong desire to recall the video from the camera in the room and check certain phrases and body language. In coming back into the main room, she however found Nuverd waiting for her.

"Do you really believe that this world will force Prince Venicht to step into his mother's place?"

"No. Venicht is giving the people answers, but his father provided those as well only to be condemned as a criminal. It might sound strange, Nuverd, but we trust Straekin. She brought us out of the war and has led us for over six hundred years. She will find an answer and return."

"I thought she did, and sent Prince Venicht here for the purpose of letting you know she found the answer."

"Straekin is not a cruel lady, Nuverd. She sent Venicht here because she wanted him to know where he came from. She did not send him here to condemn him."


"Honestly, I believe that the reason Munulva hasn't been speaking to us is that she does not stay on this world either."

Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market. "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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