The pillar of light fades and I can see a figure being constructed from within it. It looks like layers of petals, slowly closing into a flower bud, but in the shape of yet another girl. Can I escape this torture yet? Give me one that likes me, that’s all I’m asking for here.
… That… maybe isn’t… what I want. Lilia likes me, and she’s a girl. How about a human girl? …Now I just feel like trash. Does it count as racism if they’re a plant? I’m so confused. This light being is very curvy like Lilia though…
“Stop lewding me. I’m out of your league.” I felt a shiver go down my spine. Can she read minds?
The light fades from the beam sourced from the sky, but not from the light being form herself. It is a bit annoying to look at, as it is still quite bright. From what I can make out, she has a very tall, wide hipped, curvy, motherly look to her.
“I said stop.”
“Ah, ha ha… Sorry.” I look away and noticed, from the corner of my eye, a certain dryad running, full tilt, straight for me. Or, should I say, straight into me. “Oof.” It takes all I have to not fall over, with her full sprint into hugging me. No, not hugging me. Hiding behind me. Uh, this can’t be good.
“Lilia.” The light woman speaks again.
“Ah, h-hi Gaia-Mother. S-so nice seeing you h-here.” Lilia pokes her head from behind me and smiles sheepishly at Gaia.
“How was this an emergency?” Gaia doesn’t sound angry, or intense, but rather like a mother gently scolding a child.
“W-well, you stopped sending food from the sky, and we’re all hungry. Then Tristain came and fed me, so I followed him, a-and Mika acted dumb like food does, and she’s my food. S-so, uh, we needed to save her, and Tristain said he would keep feeding me if I slept everyone?” Her stuttering is cute and she’s gripping my waist so tight that it hurts, though it seems almost like she’s trembling. I pat her head, and she flinches before looking up at me, smiling, and hugged me properly, without further injury.
“Child, who watches my tree?” Gaia requests gently.
“Uh… the flowers?” Lilia finishes with an, “eh he he” giggle, clearly showing she feels clever with that answer.
“Lilia,” Gaia rebukes sternly.
“You’ve been a bad girl.” Lilia tenses up, becoming stiff like a statue. “But I am very gracious. Will you go back home?”
I can hear the tell tale signs. She is going to cry. The sniffles, the choking breaths, the shaking shoulders. Terrified as I am of Gaia, since even Lilia is hiding from her, I need to say something to avoid complete disaster. Crying girls are inconsolable and uncontrollable. There is literally no helping a crying girl. Best avoid it completely. “Stop picking on Lilia. Everyone is entitled to free will.”
Silence permeates the atmosphere for a moment, and I try my best to stare down the shining light woman in front of me. On second thought, that may not have been a good idea. Can this much light make me go blind? Uhg, my vision is getting spotty.
“You are an ignorant man.” Yup. Although you don’t need to say that.
“So?” No point in arguing the facts.
“You forced an end to a war that has nothing to do with you, for a woman who wanted no help. To do so, you troubled an already derelict woman. The process of this resulted in further bloodshed, not just now, but also in the near future. There is nothing good that can be said about this situation you pushed into action.”
“Probably.” I’m not sure about all of that, but I also can’t deny that parts of what she said are true. So I go with ambiguity.
“Now hold on a minute. Darling didn’t do a thing wrong. If you want to blame anyone, blame us.” The bearfolk woman speaks up, and walks over to my side, puffing up her meager chest with confidence.
“Oh, yes, I do, Dubhe, but you miss the point.” Gaia nods at the Ursine and continues speaking methodically.
“Did we truly miss the point? This town had been murdering our folk, as well as all sorts of others, all for their skin and nails and bones and blood. What’s a few dead humes to the hundreds of deaths of others.” The bearfolk woman, Dubhe? Seems that is what Gaia calls her. She responds, bearly eeking out a growl at the end of her rant.
“Indeed, what are a few Humes, Bearfolk, or Lizards, what is the worth of any of you? Your squabbles have little value. Yet you take my daughter, who is tasked with a tree, and lead her astray. Shall I reap your lives now? They are worth so little, after all.” It’s odd, hearing death being spoken of so calmly.
“Mother! No!” Lilia stands in front of me, her arms outstretched to block Gaia.
Thanks for the support! I am in your care!
Reminder (i won’t post it again, so don’t worry, you won’t need to keep seeing it):
The Good news: I bought a new (to me, it’s actually older) house! It’s bigger, and has 3 acres!
The Bad news: I will be moving soon, and I need to put some time into selling my old house (or rather, getting it ready to sell).
What does that mean?
At some point in the near future, I will disappear for a week, and you will get no updates. Maybe. I don’t know when this will happen. I am still waiting on the inspections, and surveys and banks involved to finish their details so I can sign paperwork.
In some ways this is a good thing! It will give my editor time to get ahead a bit (I burned through his lead with Saturday releases). This means the quality will likely go up, as I will have more time to think about the edits he makes. Also, I will need to give up my hopes of getting out the first “book” before December. This means, that I will slow my work on editing existing chapters in prep for publishing; and instead put some focus on writing the next chapters. If I don’t, there will be a big gap of no web updates.
Again, this is a good thing. It lowers the stress of an artificial deadline for my artist, myself, and my editor (aside from me, the other two have school commitments, and are having a hard time meeting my deadline expectations… maybe ‘hard time’ isn’t right, as I’ve made it clear that their school work is more important to me than meeting my expectations). Finally, the story will continue without a gap. And I hate re-editing… so my procrastination level will go down and productivity will likely go up.
Anyways, wanted to keep you guys informed.