After giving several commands to the hume girl, then getting children lined up for feeding, Dubhe seemed ready.
Lillia was relaxing the whole time, silently watching… or dozing off? Maybe both. Melsy busied herself with picking something off of her wings while performing some sort of grooming that included oddly abrasive sounds from rubbing her hands against the grain of her scales. This must be a regular happening, because no one else took notice of her, not even the children.
The hume girl was chasing after bearfolk children, who were very mobile. Seeing everyone finally ready to speak, I look away from the heartwarming scene.
“So, about Tristain. We don’t think he’s a hume.” He looks awfully hume-like, though. I’m not sure I can agree, Dubhe.
“Food source is food source. We’re all a new race, he isn’t a hume.” I still don’t understand this whole race thing.
“Uh, why… no, what do you mean that we’re all the same race now?” I think that’s the right question. Maybe.
Melsy cuts to the chase for us all. “That idiot of a husband knocked up two different races. I don’t think that has ever happened before. It’s caused all sorts of problems, because none of them, his children, their mothers, none of them can live in a hume town, the bearfolk lands, nor anywhere claimed by dryad or dragonfolk.” She pauses, tapping her chin, then sighing. “Additionally, the bearfolk can’t do much about them, because of their stance on newborns and expecting mothers. The resident dryad is contracted both to Gaia, to spread knowledge, and to the bearfolk, to house their center of nation. Staying here would violate both of his directives.”
She doesn’t look done, but we are all staring at her blankly. Yeah, I don’t understand. Not sure anyone else does either. “If we stay here, we’re eroding the bearfolk sovereignty? Who in their right minds wants to go to a place with a dragonfolk? Or a war zone? How is he supposed to spread knowledge when the guest rooms are occupied?”
After a few seconds of ‘ooh’ from us, she continues. “Finally, Dubhe, you owe me an explanation about Tristain. You keep saying Gaia can’t do anything about him, and he keeps talking about the Goddess like she’s an old friend.”
Huh. Yeah, okay, that makes sense. Except this Gaia – Goddess thing.
“We guess we can talk about it.” She turns to the hume girl and her voice becomes icy. “You shall speak nothing of this, or we will eat you and your children. And maybe their children.”
The blood drains from her face, and she looks quite ill. I pat the seat next to me; I don’t want her to faint before she sits down or something. “Just be diligent, and no one will eat you.”
After the hume girl takes a seat, Dubhe decides to continue. “First, Gaia said very clearly that she couldn’t directly touch him. Then, while here at the library, he did something that allowed him to somehow meet the Goddess, or something. We don’t understand it. Oh, he also said he wasn’t from this world.”
Melsy looks very confused. Maybe it was too much to take in all at once?
“Well, I suspected that he wasn’t from around here. His memories were very odd.” Maybe this will solidify that part. “Things like metal houses, and buildings as tall as Gaia Trees, and all sorts of odd animals.”
Lillia is smiling in what looks like a daze. Are you even paying attention? Dubhe is sitting quietly, feeding children, and thinking.
Melsy… Is rubbing her horns with her hands, and squinting like shes in pain? If its painful, why are you doing that? She starts to speak up. “So… He’s not from this world, and he’s on friendly terms with the Goddess, so Gaia can’t do anything about him… And he has children with not his own race, gets into trouble, causes more trouble, and then is just trouble?”
“Delicious Food Source Trouble Tristain.”
Everyone is looking at Lillia.
Even the children have stopped eating, and are looking at Lillia.
“Uh, so, that’s good for us, right? Well, kind of.” Melsy offers, uncertainty coloring her voice.
“We’d rather not have trouble, but it is what it is. He says he will lead us to someplace where we can be a race ourselves, together.”
It makes sense now why the Arbitrator had me come with her. She’s going to dump me with these… very off kilter people. Because Nanook is a bearfolk, and I’m his hume mother. For better or worse, having a friendly dragonfolk and a … dryad companion? Will ensure our safety, but that doesn’t make me feel any better about being forced into a home I didn’t ask for. With Tristain nearby, of all people.
It makes me feel disappointed in the Arbitrator. I thought she was going to lead me to a better life. Instead, I find myself back into a corner I didn’t want to be in. Why can’t I just live a normal hume life?
“Hun, we will take care of you, and if Tristain says or does anything, Melsy will beat him bloody for us. It’s her job. Just tell us.” Dubhe tries to console me, using her eyes to gesture towards Melsy.
“Uh, yeah! I’ll make sure he’s on the straight and narrow. No loving on the other girls.” Lillia makes a growling noise, it sounds like a cute, little bearfolk cub. “Uh, except Lillia, extra loving on Lillia.”
Dubhe pats down her fur, which is extra puffy for some reason, and continues while Lillia stares Melsy down. “We think she will keep him in line. We are confident. We also think Tristain will do very well building us a small hume-like town to live in. He seems to know many odd things.”
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.) Should be the last week of single releases.