I still don’t understand.
A hume woman steps out from behind her. Who is she? She’s carrying two hume babies. They are super cute. Not as cute a Nanook, but still cute.
“A-ah, uhm. I think, because your son is a bearfolk, you won’t be able to live with other humes.”
Well, that is true. But I’m traveling with the Arbitrator?
“This must be what Tristain was waiting for.” Dubhe talks to Melsy, who is busy wrestling? With Lillia.
“Yeah. He kept saying we needed to wait. This must have been why.” In her lapse in concentration on Lillia, one of her horns was grabbed by a vine. She very quickly found herself pinned to the ground. Her face is currently being sat on by one of the dryad babies. Yay for mother and child teamwork? I’m not sure how I feel about all of this. At least it looks like no one was hurt, or even looks serious. Also, I do feel a slight amount of satisfaction in her defeat.
Before I understand this… “Who are you again?” I look to the hume woman.
“Uh, ah… I’m a slave.” She smiles and lifts up the hume babies with a bit for effect.
“““No.””” Dubhe, Lillia, and Melsy all respond in unison.
“Although, we can see why you would think that,” Dubhe adds.
Dubhe sighs. “She was a gift to us from the Queen of the Bearfolk. We can’t refuse such a thing. She is helping rear the children, since some of them are humes, and none of us are… Maybe not even Tristain?” Dubhe looks to Melsy again, who is sitting on the ground now, her head is rocking back and forth with a baby dryad on top. The dryad is spinning on her head, using one of her horns as an anchor. Melsy just shrugs. She seems very patient. I did not expect her to be so… gentle? I have complicated feelings about what that dryad baby is doing. Is that even safe? Lillia? Melsy?
“T-tristain said he would free me as soon as we leave. I’m going to keep helping, though. Food and a home sounds really nice.” Her smile looks hesitant, but full of longing. Goddess, her ears and cheeks are turning red. Has she been locked up all of her life? Can’t she just forage for some food, and make her own house?
Wait, ah. I bet she is a surface born, and doesn’t have runes. That would explain many things. She probably isn’t even a void. With bearfolk, dragonfolk, orckin, broken enclave ascenders, and voids running about, she probably can’t do anything but whatever they say until something eats her.
She really doesn’t have a place to call her own, and someone just offered her a nice deal. That philanderer. I’m going to murder him if he touches her.
Everyone remains silent for a moment. Looking around, Lillia is playing with another baby dryad, while Dubhe and Melsy are looking at the hume girl with very stern faces. They’re thinking the same thing as me, I think.
Dubhe is the first to speak up. “Melsy.”
“Yes.” Melsy’s mouth is grim. Completely flat and tense.
“Keep him in line.”
“Yes. Straight and narrow.”
Another moment of silence ensues.
Nanook notices another male bearfolk peeking out from behind one of Dubhe’s legs, and is struggling to get down from my arms. I let him down, and feel warmth in my chest, watching him find someone his age and who looks like him. Otsu is great, but he’s at least a hundred times bigger.
They sniff each other from a short distance before they start wrestling. Uh… Do you let them continue? I don’t want my Nanook to get hurt. I look up to Dubhe.
“We don’t mind. Boys will be boys.” She smiles at me a toothy, but happy grin.
Lillia interjects, “Come on, lets get Mika Food something to eat, and talk about our adventures! What have you been up to?” She pulls me along into a room.
What happened to you, Lillia? You’re… conversational? Since when did you like to talk to people, other than to get food?
“Yes, and you all need to feed the children.” Melsy is pushing us all into a room from behind. The hume girl, Dubhe, Lillia, and myself. So bold. Dubhe actually isn’t fighting her? I thought bearfolk were so proud.
As we get in the room, Melsy doubles back and scoops up the wrestling duo, Nanook, and the other bearfolk son. She brings them in and plops them on the leaf bed inside. This wakes the bearfolk daughter sleeping on the bed, and she starts fussing.
“Crap.” Melsy frowns at the three of them. Nanook, and the other bearfolk son stare at the fussing girl.
Dubhe stares incredulously at Melsy. “Have you not been a mother before?” Melsy just smiles sheepishly back. “Bring her here,” Dubhe exasperates.
Lillia looks out the door before rubbing her hand along the edge. Somehow, it quickly grows shut.
“While we feed the children, let’s talk.” Dubhe smiles at me and begins to feed her daughter.
Author’s Note: Thanks for the support! I am in your care! No second chapter this week. DungeonPalmz has finals. (Woot! I get to catch up a bit. Too much house work to keep up lately.)