Crossbreeds Part 2: Chapter 15 You Want What? by RedPhantom ()
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“You want what?” Bacna asked. He spoke slowly so he wouldn’t stutter. He glanced at his wrist. Nim had put a magical tattoo of Lillan on it. Her presence helped him not stutter. They hoped the lifelike image would help.
”It was only a suggestion,” King Kamlia assured him. “Prince Remtani has yet to find a wife. Princess Jaidu is still available. If they married, it would remind us we’re family.”
That sounded reasonable to Emeton, but he was a dragon brother. Few understood what that meant. He and Tolin had both been called that since they were young. Most people thought it just meant they had similar values to the dragons. It was a title the dragons gave to those who thought enough like a dragon to pass for one. They weren’t part of the clan, but they were welcome in Baj-tisk anytime, and they could call on the clan for help in time of need.
Kamlia knew nothing of dragons and didn’t like them. Emeton had no idea how he felt about family. Would he even care if his daughter or grandchildren were in danger?
And how would it be to have a Yarb on the throne? It had been a long time since a foreigner had married a ruler. It had only happened twice to Emeton’s knowledge. The first was two thousand years ago when an immortal had married the king, guaranteeing the family would be mages forever. The second was a man from Kripdom who had married the queen about four hundred years ago. It was her second marriage, her first husband had died in some battle. They hadn’t had any children. Ann was in line for the throne and was Tricot by birth, but she’d been made a citizen as a baby with her adoption. With their influence, she saw herself as Menthanlan first and Tricot second. Could they do the same with Remtani’s children? Would this Jaidu allow it?
“I can’t make that decision. Menthanlan law states that marriages can’t take place without the consent of the couple.”
“You can’t change the law?” Kamlia challenged.
“I won’t. I made the mistake of agreeing to an arranged marriage with someone I didn’t know. I won’t force anyone else to do that.”
Kamlia nodded. “You’re very noble. We don’t have to have them marry. It’s too bad we can’t ask him how he feels. Jaidu is agreeable.”
“I’ll look into it,” Emeton decided. Bacna looked unhappy. Did he want to be king that bad? If Remtani had no heirs, Bacna would succeed Remtani. “It’s late. Why don’t we continue this tomorrow?”
Kamlia nodded. “Agreed. Good night.”
They followed their guide back to their rooms. Nim had a perfect memory so he already knew the way, but they wouldn’t let the Yarbs know that. Let the Yarbs think they were dependant on them to get around.
Emeton noticed Bacna was limping. “Are you okay?”
Bacna shrugged. “My foot fell asleep.” He followed Emeton into his room.
“Dad, I don’t like this.”
“I can tell. Do you want me to name you heir over your brother?”
“What? No. I don’t even want him to name me heir. I keep telling him to let Irkali do it. I’m no king, and few nobles would support me.”
“Then what is the problem?”
“Remmy doesn’t want to get married.”
“He can’t still be pining over Lorail.”
“He’s not. It’s because of what he did to Sapphire. He’s afraid he’ll do the same with his wife.”
“But that was a spell.”
“He says he doesn’t fully trust the charm.”
“You think there’s more to it?”
“Dad, he was forced to hurt her against his will. He hurt himself in the process. Then you had him beat for it. It’s no better than if you’d beat Sapphire.”
Emeton stared at his son. He’d never thought about Remtani’s feelings. At first, he’d been furious at what his son had done. Later, when it appeared Remtani was mad, there was pity and worry. When Pt’this had told him it was a spell on his son, he’d felt relief since it could be controlled with more magic and Ann would be safe. He’d never thought about what Remtani had gone through, hurting a dear friend and his little girl, being beaten for it, and then forcing him to dream of hurting Ann and then beating him for it to condition him to associate hurting Ann with hurting himself. That he was able to get up every day and go through it like nothing happened was a miracle.
“Sir, if you’d like, the next time Jo comes, I can ask if she’d talk to him,” Nim offered.
Emeton frowned, wondering why that would help. Then he remembered Jo worked with people who’d been abused. It was too bad they were so set on her living on Earth. There were plenty around who could use her help. He nodded. “If you think one conversation would help and Rem’s willing to talk to her.”
“Would you like me to scry him? I’m assuming that’s what you had in mind when you said you’d look into talking to him about marrying Jaidu.”
Emeton hesitated. How would Remtani like that being asked of him? If he felt as strongly as Bacna believed, he’d say no. They can say they tried and be done with it. “Go ahead.”
Nim cast the spell. Remtani was training. It didn’t matter what he was doing each day. He always spent some time training, even if it was late in the evening.
“Rem, sorry to interrupt,” Emeton said.
Remtani moved to the mirror. “I was almost done.”
“How is everything?”
“Going smoothly. Mikna glares at any noble who gives me trouble and they suddenly agree with everything.”
“Have you heard from Ann and the others?”
“No. Mishtali tried scrying, but it failed. He said it might. How is the treaty going?”
“I’d like it better if Ann or Pt’this were here. No offense, Nim.”
“None taken. They have experience I don’t. I haven’t even finished reading the laws.”
“There is one thing Kamlia asked for that I’m not able to give,” Emeton said.
“What’s that?” Remtani asked.
“He wants you to marry one of his daughters.”
“He says it would make us family and join us together.”
“That’s the same reason Carem gave you when he wanted you to marry Nadal.”
Emeton realized he was right. “I told him I wouldn’t ask you to do it.”
“I’ll marry her.”
“As long as she isn’t some spinster who’s too old to give me heirs, I’ll do it.”
“Dad, if you’re scrying me, the room isn’t safe from eavesdropping. We can discuss my reasons when you get home. Is she young enough to have kids?”
“We haven’t met her yet. But Kamlia is younger than I am. You were born when I was nineteen. It’s doubtful he’d have children older than you.”
“Then I’ll do it. But she comes here for the wedding. I need to be married legally here.”
“Of course. If he objects, he can try to convince your mother otherwise.”
“Find out what requirements they need for a legal wedding and let me know. I’ll work with master Elos to incorporate it.”
“Just be careful. We don’t want to invalidate the ceremony and risk the nobles complaining.
“Dad, I already broke the law. It doesn’t matter.”
Nim stepped forward. “Actually, it does. You haven’t broken the law. As far as the Council is concerned, that spell is the same as coercion. However, when Andy’s mom wanted certain things as part of Ann and Andy’s wedding, Pt’this went to the Council. Menthanla is your kingdom. As far as they’re concerned, if you approve of the ceremony, even if the nobles claim it’s invalid, they see no violation. Redo the ceremony if you feel the need. The Council isn’t concerned about that.”
Emeton nodded. “Okay. We’ll find out what they need and get it to you. Keep anything that is included in the simple ceremony, and I’ll approve it when I get back.”
“Is there anything else?” Remtani asked.
“That’s all unless you have anything.”
Remtani shrugged. “I’m good.”
“Tell your mother I love her.”
Remtani smiled. “I will. Good night, Dad.”
Nim ended the spell. “Your Majesty, would it be all right if I scried Jo? I’d like to let her know we arrived safely.”
“Are you strong enough to cast that spell after this scrying spell?”
Nim nodded. “I’ll keep it short.”
“I’ll check on you in a few minutes.”
“Thank you, Sir.”
Image Comments (4)
Leije () 9:41AM | Fri, 19 February 2021
Superb lighting and the tension between the characters is palpable !
bucyjoe () 11:59AM | Sat, 20 February 2021
good picture I like how the story switches from narration to dialog