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 Into the Land of Immortals - Chpt 21

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PostSubject: Into the Land of Immortals - Chpt 21   May 20th 2009, 8:00 am

Into the Land of Immortals
Chapter Twenty-One

Part 1

Dirchein felt very uncomfortable as she walked through a small stream that branched off from a larger flow of water. She found her feet to hurt. Truthfully, her whole body felt very uncomfortable. While the words of her husband were true about managing to resist any attempt by the perfect visions and aromas of the things around her to entice her to eat or drink, the minor pains of her body had her seeking something to provide relief.

It did not help her to hear the others in the group speak of how easy the journey had been. She had heard of the difficulties that most of those present had endured in order to rescue her. Waking up to a group of people concerned for her welfare, and one man working to stay close and provide personal comfort, created a strong sense of attachment. The fact that those she considered friends had continued to be supportive intensified her feelings to not cause these people problems. It thus hurt her to desire to complain while they spoke only of their comfort, but one man had stressed his personal attachment to her and she trusted him enough to speak to him.

"Ferrigote, darling, I hurt."

He stopped to ask, "Did you get something between your toenails?"

"No, Ferrigote, I hurt. Inside. My feet hurt, but my body hurts as well."

The man looked to Terish, and Dirchein smiled as he dismounted to come to her. She had learned to trust Terish. Her husband put his faith in the young appearing man, and Dirchein had found her own reasons to accept him in her presence. He and she both had limited memories from the same world. Extreme youth had prevented substantial facts from settling into his mind, while her disjointed origin and a life of servitude on an isolated island had limited her early experience. Terish had spent time with her attempting to verify his own memories while seeking to help Dirchein secure her place as an independent member of the group. She thus looked to Terish with hope that he would provide some relief while not challenging her place.

After having the lady sit down, Terish inspected her feet. Dirchein noticed that Dathol moved up. While no conversation passed between the men, glances between them assured that what one was seeing the other saw as well. She thus was not surprised to hear a decision to come from the holy man.

"There should be a community up ahead, Dirchein. When somebody comes up to you, tell them what you told your husband."

Ferrigote looked to his friend as he asked, "Is it something bad?"

Terish answered, "No, Gote, in fact, it is probably something good. The complaint, any complaint truthfully, is however unusual for this realm, so it is best to hear a native reply."

Dathol verified, "Yes, Ferrigote, Dirchein, a little wisdom can help."

Ferrigote asked his wife, "Do you want me to carry you?"

Dirchein told him that she could walk. She knew that her husband would carry her, although she weighed enough to seriously encumber him. While she did not have the weight of a mass of gold her size, the metal had been the primary material of her making causing stress to those that attempted to lift or support her. Not wanting to trouble her husband further, she returned to walking.

The communities had not been large, although some supported rather dense populations. The general desire had been to avoid settlements in an attempt to avoid temptations. Seeing a group of stone structures ahead, the surrounding terrain did not get studied for a detour. Dirchein knew that they moved ahead for her benefit, although promised herself that she would not be the cause for any trouble.

Celatia caught the attention of most of the people of this realm just as she did in other places. The natives were more than interested in her strange physique, because they wondered if the new creation of their gods would be according to her form. She was quick to tell her story, although even with the information most still found themselves enraptured with the centaur.

Dirchein found a moment when someone turned to her. As instructed, she told the person her problem. It surprised her to see her companions turn their heads to hear the response, because she had not attempted to make a scene.

A lady with long light-brown hair similar to that of Straekin said, "Well, of course you do. Your body is screaming as a number of various voices are being forced to become your voice."

The golden lady had heard such words from others, but spoke to assure the statements matched her problem. "That is why my feet hurt?"

The lady directed her to a chair, then with her sitting ran a hand over an ankle while saying, "There is a joint here between two auras. You have been walking on our ground, and what had been suffering in solitude now cries as it is being forced to fully conform. Much distress was caused in your making. You are with good people, and they have been treating you wonderfully, but there is a past within you that resists."

Dirchein admitted, "People were killed in the making of me."

"They weren't just killed, but their souls were ripped in shreds. Were I still back in my previous life, I would be horrified by your existence."

Terish said, "Yes, but the God of that world allows such torture and performs even worse atrocities himself."

"It is still wrong."

Ferrigote said, "Well, I ain't condoning what was done to make this lady, but she is mine and I won't ever feel bad about the fact that she was made."

"It is strange how good can come from evil, but that should never have us wishing for evil to occur. This lady should always have us understand the power of good, and not wishing that evil should continue."

Kethal muttered, "Such is the wisdom of gods," even as Ferrigote asked, "Can you help her?"

"I cannot help her, but she is being helped." Dirchein turned from looking at her husband to see the lady waiting to look into her eyes before saying, "The pain may be great, but you are healing. It is better for you to suffer now, as it will truly reduce the time until you become complete."

She said in return, "I feel complete."

"You are with good people who are complete themselves. It provides you with a structure that you do not yet truly possess."

Terish interrupted any further words to ask, "We were told that we could drink water straight from the stream. Would that help her?"

"Yes. Walking on the ground is what has caused her to notice her feet, so drinking the water could provide a benefit to the whole body."

"Don't overdo it, Dirchein, but occasionally step over, put your head down to the water, and take a sip. It will hurt, but the advice you are getting says that it will aid your healing."

The golden lady replied, "I don't like feeling the pain, Terish."

"Yes, but I tend to feel a difference in the pain of healing and the pain of suffering. That pain is there, Dirchein. You don't tend to notice it in the physical realm, but it is still there. A chance to promote the healing can work to your benefit."

She had come to expect a certain level of treatment and actions in traveling with her husband. The lady also considered Terish a very good source of advice. She thus found herself nodding, although in accepting the wisdom to perform a certain action she considered ways of reducing the stress.

"Do I have to stick my face to the water? Can't I just cup the water in my hands?"

"No. The gods said that we could not drink if served in any type of vessel. Cupping your hands can be considered to fit the letter of the restriction."

A feminine voice suddenly sounded in their midst, "You may cup your hands to drink. That restriction was due to other concerns, not to make you act as animals."

Terish lifted his gaze as he said, "Thank you, Evinnell. I had not considered why you made your rules. This is your realm and we are your guests."

"Your presence has not been a disturbance. Be on your way, as you still have a distance to go."

Ferrigote reached to help his lady to stand as he said, "If you need me to carry you, Dirchein, I will."

The golden lady looked to her husband as she said, "I know you will, but I am too heavy for you to carry me and match the pace of the others. I will walk, Ferrigote. Maybe Fergush will notice and accept me."

"Yeah." Ferrigote's eyes shot around to speak to another. "Hey, Kid, can my wife worship Fergush?"

"Sure, but she has not really acted as a warrior, Gote. I would introduce her to those of Remidda. You would not be only attendant in Fergush's feast to have a dedicated serving lady."

Dirchein smiled as her husband looked to her to say, "I told you to talk to Terish," and she said in response, "Yes, Ferrigote, I know. Terish knows everything."

The young appearing man actually showed some embarrassment as he said in return, "Not everything. It however did help Fergush's attitude towards me when I sought to learn about him and the rest of the pantheon. I like Fergush, and Remidda, and those other deities of Ferrigote's world that I have met. What do you want to know?"

"Uh, Terish, can we talk about those deities here?"

"Sure, as they are not the ones that rule here. Now, I would not recommend saying bad things about Evinnell, Nehash, or Vemishill, or the other deities of this world, but we can talk about those of Ferrigote's world at our leisure."

Chuckles sounded all around. Those in the local community were thanked for their hospitality. A few pleasant statements were also made about the kindness of the local deities. The group then returned to their travels with Terish walking beside Dirchein and explaining things of religion to her.

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PostSubject: Part 2   May 25th 2009, 9:01 am

Into the Land of Immortals
Chapter Twenty-One

Part 2

Giluchex found himself becoming irritated as he listened to the discussion between Terish and Dirchein. He wanted to scoff at the words, but he knew better than to speak against the belief system of another. The reasons for certain rites, the ways the deities interacted and related, it sounded completely fanciful. Seeking some outlet for his exasperation, he turned to his empress. Her whimsical gaze however caused his words to stop in his throat. She read his expression however, but moved close to speak her words without disturbing others.

"It is all true, Giluchex. Remember, Terish and Ferrigote are not immortal due to science, but due to an act of a god. Specifically, the god Fergush that is being discussed."

He really did not want to speak in return, but as the other conversation continued he felt a need to somehow drown out the words. "How? I mean, there had to be a process. There are things on Davelda that Munulva supposedly does, but they are really done by some means."

"Uh...well." Straekin's voice suddenly boldly asked, "Terish, sorry to interrupt, but exactly how did you and Ferrigote become immortal?"

Her husband replied, "It was part of the first major rite in our church. I believe it was something added to the consecration ceremony, but I remember them using a lot of incense and water."

Ferrigote added, "Yeah, my beard was dripping with water when we got zapped by lightning."

Giluchex voiced his disbelief, "Lightning?"

"Yeah. Terish and I came out stuttering as we continued to thank Fergush. It was nice enough for Fergush to say we were immortal, but after that ceremony there really was not any doubt in our minds."

Giluchex received the impression that Straekin knew about the events as she asked, "But there was a ceremony with priests? So there was a ritual. It could thus be done again."

Terish turned to look at his wife. The expression that crossed his features seemed to confirm to Giluchex that some type of ploy was being enacted. He however stayed silent as he listened to the reply from Ferrigote.

"It was the consecration ceremony for the church. There is a rite, but it is not exacting as each church and surrounding community is different. When Fergush commanded the priests to add in something to bless us with immortality, they complied as they thought proper at the moment. For some reason, what they thought proper was to surround us with incense and douse us with water. I am quite certain that Fergush himself supplied the lightning."

Giluchex decided to play along as he asked, "But you looked it up, right? I mean, you have obviously studied the religion rather thoroughly. There is a ritual?"

Terish now looked annoyed as he said, "No, there is not. What was done that day was unique. They wrote down what they did and what resulted, but there were no set rules for the ritual."

"So others could not take the ritual and use it for their own immortality?"

The man turned to his wife to ask, "Are your people looking past science?"

Straekin replied, "I have been with you, Terish. What are you asking about, Giluchex?"

He wanted to say that he was simply checking theories. He had come out to finally adventure with Terish for himself and gain some first-hand information. The words however would not come out as Giluchex realized that he had spoken merely to ridicule the words of Terish.

Giluchex considered the discussion that had caused him to make his remark. He recalled his experiences in Merkinnist. He thought of Kethal. Finally, Giluchex reviewed his knowledge of the stories of Terish and Ferrigote. None of the tales had ever been disputed. The rationales for why certain decisions had been made had been challenged, and the logic leading to specific conclusions had been debated, but the facts themselves had always been accepted. He had thought it due to a bias of those making the reports, but now found himself understanding that the evidence had been glaring to those investigating the stories. Thiminy did exist, and there was a cavern whose floor was covered by so much treasure that a grand dragon fought for the right to simply claim the place as its residence. Gaeskow did exist, and the politics of that land were even more convoluted with deadlier rivalries than Davelda ever had. Suddenly, the reality of the stories hit him. He looked to Celatia and understood that her devotion to Terish was due to a real history of the man actually saving her world from a horrible advance of a most malicious tyrant. He looked to Dathol and accepted that his claim to being a holy man was truly due to him communing with a God. Giluchex then looked to his monarch, and felt a need to ask her a question.

"Straekin, what convinced you to commit yourself to Terish?"

She had been watching him. He did not doubt that she had recognized some of the expressions that passed upon his face. Straekin had not been reading his mind, so could not know the exact thoughts that caused the change in his features, but Giluchex did not doubt that she understood some of the underlying mental processes. Her guarded response he thus considered to have been carefully considered.

"You would not believe me if I told you, Giluchex. I will only say that it was something that I have not ever challenged. Let me also add that I consider myself blessed for accepting my fate."

"Yes, well." Giluchex stopped with the desire to switch topics, and thinking he found another subject to consider he turned to the centaur. "Celatia, I have not heard you bother Terish about walking."

"He has been talking to Dirchein. If he had simply been walking along, I would have bothered him quite some time ago."

Even after traveling with her for a number of days, Giluchex still found the sight of the golden lady enchanting. In once again looking at the lady, his thoughts returned to the topic she and Terish had been discussing. Once again a desire to refute the words of gods and souls came upon him, but he stared at the lady while considering that there was no other way to explain her. Mechanical gears and electronic circuits just could not operate a form so smoothly. He thought to break his gaze from Dirchein, but to do so he had to jerk his head towards the only other lady that he considered to have value. As before, her eyes were there to meet his, so Giluchex felt a need to say something.

"A ceremony ending in a lightning strike. Why didn't we think of that?"

Straekin replied, "It was a divine lightning strike, and we didn't think of it because no one ever considered that Munulva would provide the lightning."

"I still don't believe that she would."

"Well, I know that I would not have allowed myself to be subjected to a lightning strike unless I heard Munulva tell me that it was what I needed to do."

Giluchex considered being a little mean as he chose his next words. "I feel certain that I could have paid a priest to make a proclamation."

Irritation filled Straekin's voice as she said, "Giluchex, you just heard the voice of Evinnell. When I say that I heard the voice of Munulva, I am talking about something similar."

"Okay, pay an actress and buy an appropriate sound system."

"Giluchex, what will it take for you to realize that some things cannot be duplicated?"

"Listen, I accept that you saw an answer in Terish. He deals with gods, so an answer from his interaction with gods I can accept. That is not the way of Davelda. We don't interact with gods, even our own goddess. Science gave us immortality, so we have to trust in science to improve us further."

"It has been over six hundred years, Giluchex. How many more centuries are you going to wait?"

"It has been longer than that since Munulva spoke to us, even assuming that it was really her that spoke then."

Straekin moved near Celatia as she said, "Giluchex, it is not my place to defend Munulva. Still, we are in a divine land. You are hearing the voice of gods and goddesses. Maybe you should be working to hear the voice of Munulva."

The man looked around before saying, "Yes, well, we had to travel quite a distance to get here. I believe that we are too far to hear Munulva, and I don't believe that there is any place like this back home."

"I do. I am far from ready to go there, but I believe that it will be there for me." Her head moved to allow her eyes to scan the scenery before she said, "I however often agree with Dathol that I won't be happy in a place such as this."

Giluchex turned to look at the stream that they followed. The water was crystal clear. The bed of the stream showed no silt, but fish and other animals could be seen clearly. The trees all had a full canopy, although the leaves did not reduce the presence of light that revealed everything clearly. After what he could only consider to be hours of traveling, he did not feel tired, hungry, or even thirsty. He looked again at the water considering to drink, but he had never been one to drink straight water.

"Terish, how much further do we have to go?"

The man turned from speaking further to Dirchein. A grin came to her face when he looked back to her with an apologetic expression. Seeing the non-verbal exchange, Giluchex expected a quick response from Terish. When he spoke however, the fact returned that he had not spent his life looking for simple answers.

"I suspect quite a distance, and I already do not like what I believe we will find."

Straekin quickly asked, "What is it, Terish?"

"Look at the stream. It is a lot wider than it was when we started. Also, the feeder streams do not feed into larger streams, but the smaller streams branch off from the larger. That means that the waterways are going to be getting larger. The water we are supposedly to get could therefore be from a large lake or even something as grand as an ocean. I figure that is why we were given permission to drink the water. Swimming out to get the water would almost be impossible if we were to keep the water from our mouths."

The voice of Evinnell again sounded in their midst, "You are as perceptive as the reports say that you are, Terish."

"Your land is much more serene than that of my God's. The concerns that I had on my journey through that world are not present here. And the fact that this is your divine realm, let me compliment you on having a much more active place to exist than that of my God."

"You still have things to learn, Terish. I do want you to know that I recognize the qualities of your group. You are guests that I am proud to have my realm."

Kethal said, "I do travel with great people."

Giluchex smiled as the man jumped when he heard Terish say to him, "You were included in that."

Kethal tried to redeem himself by saying, "No, no. I am not worthy."

Terish replied, "We are speaking to a goddess. However great you might think I am, I still fall far short of being equal to Evinnell. In her eyes, we are probably ranked the same."

"That cannot be true."

Dathol replied, "It might not be exactly true, but the philosophy is sound. Gods are powerful enough to deal with all on their level, so actually see everyone as different. They can deal with you as easily as Terish."

"My wife came to me. She told me to keep traveling with you, but not that I was worthy to travel with you."

Straekin said, "She told you that you had done well, Kethal. Your gods are giving you a chance to continue your life and gain their approval. That is all any of us desire."

Kethal turned back to walking as his head bobbed showing his approval of the words. Terish smiled as he moved to his wife. While the man had been walking and speaking with Dirchein, his approach to Straekin was more direct. Giluchex saw his empress cheerfully allow her form to be pulled close to the man, and she turned eagerly desiring a kiss. Terish said something as the two looked into each other's eyes. While Giluchex did not hear the comment, he did hear some disapproval in the lady's return statement.

"Terish, you already have the approval of a number of gods. The fact that we are even here is a testament to the honor you have earned."

"But my God is Terdeskollit."

"No, Terish, he is your adversary. When he forgot you, when he wiped your whole creation out of his mind, he gave up any claim to you. You have only the words of Desiree and the Dozzrines connecting you to Terdeskollit, but when that God removed his creation he caused them to no longer exist. You could claim any deity you desired, and they would be honored to have your support."

The arms that Terish had around his wife dropped as he said, "I really do not know who I would choose."

Straekin moved close enough to have the front of her body touch that of her husband as she softly confronted him, "Why not Munulva? Having someone like you claiming her allegiance I am sure would get her to talk more."

"I have never spoken to Munulva."

"It seems that Venicht has, Terish. Talk to him."

Giluchex noticed that the man did not reach to again hold his wife. His eyes however stayed looking into hers. Giluchex expected a smart comment in return. He knew that he would have tried for some statement of one-upmanship to put him on a level with Straekin. Terish did not show any need to hold himself to her level, but spoke as if his standing had never fallen.

"I do talk to Venicht, but I desire to speak to you. As for Munulva, or any other deity, my focus on Terdeskollit will come before my focus on them. I am all that is left of the words of Desiree and the Dozzrines, and I will not allow those words to fade. They were true words, and if I don't act the stain of having civilization after civilization fall because I turned my back to them will be on me."

"I accept that, Terish, but I want you with me. I thus would desire that you take on Munulva's standard as well."

"Munulva would have to speak on that." Terish turned his gaze to Giluchex and spoke before Straekin could, "What do you think, Giluchex? Would you want an eternity of having me present?"

Giluchex looked at the couple while considering the words. He truthfully found himself having a problem with Straekin even considering Munulva as a real entity. He however again found himself having to admit the reality of the people and terrain that surrounded him. Not really liking where his thoughts were going, he spoke a quick reply to hopefully change the subject.

"I am immortal, Terish. I am not going to die. I thus don't bother with the concern of an afterlife."

Straekin turned to him to say, "Giluchex..."

"No, Empress. If I die, it will be on some foolish journey like this. I will keep my promise and visit Thiminy. I will then return to Davelda and spend my future guiding my world in the direction that I want it to go. I believe that it is the best course for me and Davelda."

The lady said, "But, of course." She turned back to her husband, kissed him, then told him, "Get back on Celatia. We need to get back to steady travel."

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.
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PostSubject: Part 3   May 30th 2009, 8:57 am

Into the Land of Immortals
Chapter Twenty-One

Part 3

Dirchein again sought some relief by drinking some water. Instead of easing any discomfort, an irritating chill filled her body. She tried to imagine the pain as being less than the previous times, but could only relate it to the inward tearing sensations that had caused her to seek comfort. Instead of groaning, she moved her hands to her body to follow the paths of pain. Finding herself trace body parts, she remembered the words told to her. There was also knowledge of the diary that spoke of her creation. Seeking some understanding of her torment, Dirchein moved to the person she felt could provide answers.

"Terish, why can't I remember who I was?"

The man slid from the back of Celatia to a place next to Dirchein. He did not put an arm around her. Terish always treated her with utmost courtesy, but never challenged her place as the wife of Ferrigote. She could not ever remember seeing or hearing Ferrigote act overly friendly with Straekin. There was no doubt that the two men trusted each other completely, but they knew their notoriety would cause any appearance of improper behavior to be spread. They thus kept themselves very formal when dealing with things that were not theirs.

Terish said, "I assume, Dirchein, that you are speaking of all the assorted souls that were killed in the making of you."

"Yes. They should have memories."

"No, Dirchein, as they were killed. The process that created you stripped their souls of consistency and independence. While some minute trace of their existence could exist, I doubt anything of substance could be detected."

The eyes of Terish moved to look at others, then his voice dropped as he continued to speak. "I know what they did. I care for Ferrigote, and he cares for you, so I researched what the diary spoke about. Straekin cares about you, Ferrigote, and even myself, so followed my notes. What occurred in the creation of you was gruesome on many levels, but the result was a new life and not a tortured remnant of disjointed lives. The process was a stitchwork however, so there are pieces that needed to bond. Your place in the pool near that dimensional drift protected you from the destruction of Terdeskollit, but preserved you from other natural processes as well. The bonds of your spirit did not again start to mend until we pulled you from that pool."

She thought about the words for a moment, then said, "It would be nice to have memories."

"Yes, but eventually you would be in the same situation as I am. Those memories would be only bothersome tidbits of a life no one can relate to. While I... Listen, Dirchein, you have memories. Do they help you at all?"

Dirchein looked at Terish strangely, as it was unusual for him to alter his path of speech. She had always known him to be very clear-headed. As quick as his responses and speech could be, a feeling that he had considered every word always accompanied his statements. Getting over his unusual action, Dirchein considered his question and spoke her answer.

"Not really. I have had to learn so much from you, Ferrigote, and Straekin."

"I don't believe having further memories from that past would help you. I am not saying that those people whose body parts and spiritual energy went into your design did not know anything useful, but they did not bias your personality either. You don't have my fear, Dirchein. You don't have my attitude. Ferrigote has had none of the problems from you that he had with me. Truthfully, that makes you a better person than me."

Dirchein appreciated what he said, but would not allow the man to discredit himself. "I am not a better person than you, Terish. You have done so much."

"Yes, but most of it I did with Ferrigote. Stay with him, Dirchein."

"Oh, I will, Terish."

"And don't wish in your healing that the memories from the lives of your various donors will be restored. You said that you read that diary, well, do you really want that type of a life?"

Dirchein had read the diary, so quickly stated an honest reply, "No."

She turned her head along with Terish as Giluchex directed a question to Straekin, "Is there a copy of the diary they are speaking about in the Davelda database?"

Terish's wife replied, "Not that I know of."

Ferrigote supplied the answer, "I did give a copy to Thaunya. The original went back to Galabur from whose library I gained it. When the inter-dimensional librarian learned what he had, an actual book from Terish's home world, he worked to translate it into his database. He of course also wanted the story of our adventure and the gaining of my wife, and one of my requirements was a copy in the language of Davelda. I gave it to Thaunya as her memento of the journey."

Dirchein felt a need to support her husband. "Oh, yes, it was a lovely binding job. Thaunya gave it to her husband saying it could answer some of his questions. Maybe he put it into the database."

Terish said, "If you want a copy, Giluchex, I can get you one. Galabur owes me a few favors."

"Yes, Terish. Excuse me, but Dirchein fascinates me. I cannot believe that the lady is actually made from gold."

"Well, she was made from gold. The process was more involved than that, but it still comes down to this lady being made from gold. The diary speaks of the process that created her. If you are really interested, you should..."

Straekin interrupted her husband to say, "That diary is rather gross. Giluchex you are better off simply taking our word for it."

Terish quickly voiced his own decision, "Straek, I will not censor a member of your council. If Giluchex wants to..."

"I will censor a member of my council. Giluchex does not need to know the horrid details."

Dirchein knew that Terish and Straekin had a much more developed relationship than she had with Ferrigote. The couple ruled their own lands, and each had their own style of management. Each had a firm understanding of policies, but worried about their implementation. Most of their arguments had not anger or personal involvement, but were actually an intense close communication about personal experiences. Each would actually seek out the other simply to have an argument on a topic. Dirchein remembered times being with Straekin when she smiled considering a topic she would present to her husband later. The golden lady however did not like seeing two people she considered friends argue.

"If Giluchex wants to know about me, he can read the diary. I don't want to be a mystery. I want to be accepted."

Straekin said in return, "Dirchein, you are a lady. You are supposed to be a mystery."

Dirchein did not want to argue, but she did not consider herself something others did not know about. Being made of gold was as much an announcement of her uniqueness as Celatia having a body part of which was a horse. People came up to both of them wanting to meet and know about them. Celatia boldly spoke of the reason she carried Terish, and Dirchein proudly spoke of her devotion to Ferrigote. She did not see any benefit in being rude to people and not answering their questions.

Straekin seemed to read her expression, because she turned to her husband to command, "Terish, explain it to Dirchein."

The golden lady always appreciated that Straekin looked to her husband for advice when things got slightly beyond her ability to reason. Dirchein also considered Terish a highly knowledgeable person, so turned to the man for his words. His light-brown eyes passed back and forth between the ladies as he sought for the right things to say.

"If the diary is in the database of Davelda, no one can prevent Giluchex from reading it." He then bent over as if to say his words privately to Dirchein, although spoke loud enough so others could hear. "But the diary has no pictures in it, so I doubt Giluchex would enjoy reading it. Your mystery, Dirchein, should thus remain yours."

Before Dirchein could hide the smile on her face, Giluchex retorted, "There are no pictures in the legal code of Davelda."

Terish replied, "Sure there is. The legal code is filled with links to videos of you council members debating the topic, explaining the topic, or just giving commentary to the topic."

"So, you have been using the database?"

"Of course. You don't think Straek would accept my opinions if they were not based on some solid reasoning."

Giluchex seemed perplexed as he said, "I am really tired of you shortening the lady's name. It is Empress Strae-KIN."

"No, it is not. It is wife!" Terish said as he snapped his fingers.

Dirchein found herself surprised to see Straekin rush to her husband, kiss him, then turn to Giluchex to ask, "Any questions?"

The man said nothing in return, but sped up his pace and moved to the front of the group. Straekin settled to walking with her husband. Dirchein noticed that while Terish had moved while barely touching her, an arm wrapped around Straekin and the two moved together. The golden lady watched the scene for a moment, then tried to speak quietly as she asked a question of the couple.

"Giluchex does not like the idea that the two of you are married?"

Terish replied, "Until having him join us for this adventure, I did not believe he liked me at all."

Straekin added, "It is just a political position, but those of the council tend to treat themselves as more important than they really are."

Dirchein said, "I believe that I understand, as Gaeskow has some factions with some really weird beliefs as well. Giluchex however seems to be a nice man."

"It is good that he came. Not for Terish, but simply his willingness to actually gain some first-hand knowledge. Reading the reports..."

Terish interjected, "Edited reports."

"Yes, edited reports, which he probably was responsible for having edited to better appease his views, then posturing before others simply on his interpretation of those reports is not good for himself or the world of Davelda."

Dirchein said, "Davelda is your home, though."

"Yes, and I will always help it, if I can."

"I keep telling Ferrigote that we need to return to his world. It has a number of governments that go to war with each other, and Ferrigote does not want to get involved. He is scared that he will be given a cause to gather an army and bring his world to be like Gaeskow. He does not want that, so stays away. It is his home however."

Terish said, "Yes. I told him where to go to set up a home, but he replied that sooner or later his people would find him. While Thiminy does get challenged occasionally, I don't take those incursions as reasons to spread my area of control. Ferrigote says that he would completely conquer any nation that challenged his home, and he doubted that he could keep his dominance localized."

"Keep working on Ferrgiote, Terish. I really don't want my children to grow up on Gaeskow. They should grow up on their own world, like you are having your children return to Davelda."

Terish increased the volume of his voice to ask, "Gote, are you listening?"

A grunt came in return, but then Ferrigote followed it with some words. "Listen, after we are done here, Dirchein and I are heading back to that city of gold. We either find some secret that it will take more traveling to unravel, or we simply find more treasure. Whatever the results, the lady and I will be alone together, and we can discuss that and a number of other things."

Straekin said, "You need to establish a home before a child comes, Ferrigote."

"That probably won't happen. Terish pointed out rather wild territory, and it will take time to clear and get the raw materials to build my home. Any child will probably grow up with your children in Thiminy."

Dirchein said, "Yes, I prefer Thiminy to Gaeskow."

Ferrigote again grunted before saying, "Good, glad to have immediate problems settled. I promise, Dirchein, that we can discuss moving to my world. We are both immortals however, so there is no need to rush."

Giluchex voiced, "I wish we could hurry up and get where we are going."

Dirchein heard a number agree with the man. Terish kissed his wife, then climbed up on Celatia's back. As Straekin moved back to check on Kethal and Dathol, Dirchein moved to her husband. She completely enjoyed the strong pull towards him and the forceful kiss. More than his power, she also loved his ability to be soft.

"How are you feeling, Dirchein? You didn't look too good after drinking the water."

"No, but I feel better. Terish was correct. There is a different feeling to the pain of healing. After drinking the water, I could sense all the places where I was put together. I really hurt inside, as each organ came from a different person. All that faded in the conversation though."

"Well, you aren't supposed to suffer in a place like this. Only the bad suffer, so I figure you are not so much being healed as having the bad removed. I cannot explain things the way Terish can, but I consider what you are going through to be making you a better person, and I already considered you a fantastic person. If you want to make a home on my world and worship the gods of my world, I won't speak against it. Just, be like Straekin and accept that we will wander. Been doing it for about two hundred years, and I like this life."

Dirchein already had an arm around her husband, so only had to squeeze it to show agreement even as she said, "I like Straekin, and agree that I need to stay with my husband. I will thus go where you go, Ferrigote. I however also want a home where I can proudly raise my children."

"Fine. City of gold, then we talk more there."

"Yes, Ferrigote. City of gold, then we talk more."

He turned his head to kiss his wife, then said, "Good, now let us get this walking done. Starting to feel that I liked Terdeskollit's world. It gave me things to do to break the monotony of the walk. This is getting damn boring."

Again agreements sounded, but Dirchein did not notice any change in the arrangement of the group. She however felt comfortable walking with her husband, so matched his pace while enjoying being close to him. Whatever complaint sounded about the rate of travel, she felt that her life was complete and could not get any better.

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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