As much as Lillia needs to help me here, and she had resolved to do so previously, it is disappointing that she won’t be able to in her current state. No use in dwelling on it.
“Dubhe!” It’s the queen. Her husband stands on his hind legs, towering behind her. Easily twice as tall — or more, and many times wider. In front of them, the dryad librarian.
“This had better be good…” A grumble comes out unconsciously. “Yes, my queen. What can this expecting mother do for you?” Hopefully the struggle to prevent sarcasm doesn’t show.
“This dryad has informed us that Gaia has decreed that the royalty shall help in your’s and Lillia’s child rearing.” Her lips curl a bit in a snarl saying those words. She is clearly unhappy. Or happy? Wait… This may not be good.
“What?!” What is this cursed dryad doing?! @#$%%$#@$!
“As stated, you have been deemed incapable by Gaia of being a den mother. How horribly insulting. As such, Gaia has deemed this royal family suitable of raising your cubs.” She is grinning a wide, toothy smirk full of malicious intent.
“What?” The dryad is simply shaking his head. This can’t be what Gaia implied.
“How the children interpret the words of Gaia is none of my concern.” He hold his hands up, showing his intent to not clarify.
Think, think. This isn’t what Gaia meant, surely. These children will simply be another set of numbers devoured by her husband. This is like a terrible joke. One only husband could tell with a straight face and laugh off afterwards.
No ideas come to mind. Very well, stalling it shall be. “No, our husband is not present. We cannot make such determinations without his presence.”
“Nonsense. I understand he is currently… incapacitated? That shows how truely weak he is.” The rebuttal is elementary, but effective.
Goddess assist, please. Anything. Please. These children don’t deserve this.
“No! You will have no part in our children’s lives. No!” A terrifying break for the steps up and out is ended quickly by a massive frame in front. Her husband was so fast and strong, he outmaneuvers. Amazing. There is no victory here for me.
“You have no choice. Submit to your queen.” She is solemn now. Commanding.
“Now, now. Remember what I relayed to you from Gaia, Dubhe.” The Librarian chides.
“No! We will not give up my children! She will allow her husband to eat them! We cannot go through that again. Never!” Killing an adult out of defence, or hunger; that is one thing. Killing a child? Unforgivable.
“Come now. He won’t eat any of them. Your cubs will make excellent gifts for upcoming females. And the females will make excellent gifts for my sons to toy with until they break.” She has that same smile, full of malice. A smile that would look good full of dirt.
“T-that. Y-you monster. Our children are not things to own. You blaspheme our culture.” She said it in full sight of a dryad. It won’t be forgotten so easily. If this is survivable, that will be her downfall.
“No, you are the blasphemous one. You fornicate with an enemy, and bear his children. You are a bearfolk no more. You have no rights to our laws.” Pointing her finger, she sets the record straight.
“You heard me. You no longer deserve the protection of our laws for breaking them. You and your family are no longer bearfolk.” She said it.
She said it.
“You’re right.” Oh, this is so good. She doesn’t even realize.
“Yes, so give up.”
“No.” This is the way out.
“What? You don’t have a choice.” She’s somewhat perplexed right now, probably thinking something about a broken bearkin who can’t even think right. A traitor who lost her way, and can’t help but think like a radicalized enemy.
And she’s right. “As I have been cast out by the bearfolk, and Tristain has been cast out by the Humes, and Lillia has been cast out…” The dryad clear his throat. “Erm… allowed out by Gaia.” He nods at my correction. “We are of our own kind and have our own laws and culture. Since your laws do not apply, ours do.”
“What?” She looks dubiously, and then prompts the dryad: “What?!”
“I’m afraid so, Queen.” He nods back at her. “I remind you that Gaia’s words stand.”
“And our culture as a family is to help one another unconditionally in their pursuits. You can seek verification from Lillia when she wakes. We came here for Husband. Despite the burden, he hunts for us every day, without complaining. He does anything we ask. Does your husband?”
She looks from the dryad to her husbands… who looks away. With low growls, she commands him back to their quarters. As he wanders away, she comes back to addressing: “This isn’t over. You needn’t prepare a den then, since your not a bearfolk and therefore won’t be a den mother?”
Ah, sweet relief. “Actually, it’s worse. We’re likely carrying some hume babies in our litter. Our den must be double prepared, as they are incapable of anything for months.”
The queen roars in frustration.
Let’s push a bit further. “Remember, our people, nay, our family includes a dryad. A war between races would be foolish.”
Her eyes, burning with rage, are like a nice fire husband likes to make on cold, wet nights. Ah, so nice and cozy.
Thanks for the support! I am in your care! This new wordpress post editor………………. I hate it……….. (i’m done complaining now)