In an odd turn of events, another female bearfolk comes to greet us today. It is the first I’ve seen of a female ursine, aside from Dubhe.
“Dubhe, why do you bring these two here? It is forbidden.” This new ursine holds her head high as she talks to Dubhe, looking down on us with a curled lip and scrunched nose, as if we smell of something awful. Honestly, I’m just too ragged from caring for Dubhe’s every whim to actually care.
“We do not answer to you. If you’re so concerned, fetch the proper enforcement agents.” Keeping a dignified tone, Dubhe rebukes her.
The other ursine doesn’t seem phased, however. “I take that as a challenge. Prepare yourself, young one.” She crouches into a defensive stance.
“No. We’re expecting, you have no right to engage us in battle. Ours husbands may engage, however… Oh, wait, you have none. What a pity. Looks like it is our win by default.” Dubhe is wearing a smug, victorious smile. Somehow I hear her laughing with a ‘oh, ho ho ho’ in my head. She doesn’t, but I can’t imagine anything but that right now.
On the other side, the other ursine looks absolutely appalled. “What? Who is your champion? Why is he not escorting you? Explain yourself!”
“We. Do. Not. Answer. To. You.” It’s clear Dubhe has no interest in even playing the same game. She doesn’t even bite.
The other ursine walks away, and I get a somewhat bad feeling about the situation.
“Dubhe, I don’t feel like this will end well.” I voice those concerns.
“Of course not, darling. It’s only a matter of time until you need to prove yourself by fighting another husband. I suspect it will take two examples for the women to understand that it is not worth their effort to engage us.” Dubhe pats my head and leads the way, mostly following the direction the other bearfolk had walked.
I hope, wish, pray even, that what she means by engage and example doesn’t mean killing another bearfolk. I have worked very hard to considered countermeasures to the shield created by runes that male bearfolk can create. It seems to work, from my observations, by energizing and polarizing the air in a specific location into a stiff, directionally accelerated plasma. I don’t think I can penetrate that with force alone.
To that end, I’ve been practicing by coating my hands and spear in an vibrational energy that should destabilize that plasma. I don’t think that I can completely neutralize it; what it can do, is destabilize it enough to penetrate with a reduced force. I’m hoping that in destabilizing the plasma, it actually causes some of the energized particles to coat my spear or hand, increasing my attack, despite its reduced velocity. The thought process is fine and dandy as a theory, but I can’t exactly ask some bearfolk to let me try it on them.
I’ve missed something critical while being lost in thought, and both Lilia and Dubhe are staring expectantly at me.
“I – I’m sorry, I was thinking about something. What’s going on?” I’m trying really hard to make everything work for these two. Would I love to have a great relationship with them? Yes. Do I expect that? No. So why do I try so hard? The children. I would feel absolutely gutted if I abandoned my yet-to-be-born children. I am responsible for them, and I need to do my best by them.
Lilia’s eyes glaze back over, there is literally a physical change in their appearance. They become glossy and unfocused. I’m not sure what I missed, but she is officially disinterested in me now.
Dubhe tilts her head. “Darling…? No… We’re not sure that’s possible. Nevermind, lets keep moving. If we make good time, we may be there by the end of the day.” Music to my ears.
While we walk, the girls talk about something ahead of me. I say they talk, but it is more Dubhe talking in a hushed voice, and looking back at me occasionally. Lillia just nods occasionally. It’s been like this since shortly after we left that village where we met Gaia.
That Gaia. I can’t help but feel bitter about what she did. I feel like she did it just to get back at me. I don’t think it was jealousy or envy… just vindication. She had to have known it would turn out like this too. If she can predict the outcome of something 30 days in advance, from something as arbitrary as our current position and status in the forest, surely she would have known it would come to this.
With her restarting the rain, Lillia’s reliance on me for her food has ended. Since I am no longer food source, I am also no longer needed… for anything, really. I’m not even sure why she is following us anymore. She doesn’t need me, nor Dubhe. Every time I try to talk to her, she just stares back at me. I can’t even begin to guess what is going on in her head right now.
And since that is the case, I have just this empty feeling every time I talk to her. I’ve taken her from her home, impregnated her, and now she’s following along blindly with some dead-fish like eyes. Was I wrong to do any of that? I don’t know. I honestly don’t even understand what to do next with either of these relationships.
We didn’t make it to the Ursine Library before dusk. After hunting, eating, and seeing the girls to sleep land, I wander a short distance away.
“You know, there are two women who would help you with that if you asked.” Holy… Where did she come from?!
Thanks for the support! I am in your care! Sorry it’s late… something about kids not going to bed…