Crossbreeds Part 2: Chapter 23 What Should I Do? by RedPhantom ()
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Remtani watched Jaidu go. He worried about her. She was a sheltered, mindless, puppet. That was not something he could have. He needed a queen that could help him rule. His dad had six children and the whole family helped him run the kingdom. Yes, he could ask his siblings to help. It was what he’d originally planned. Uncle Tolin had been head of the army before his stroke necessitated Remtani becoming prince-general. Aunt Noyet had been ambassador. He could also ask the nobles for help, but things got much trickier when the nobles were involved. Most were a little too self-serving to trust fully. What would he do if he couldn’t depend on his wife?
He needed to talk with someone. His father was busy and his mother was gone. There were a few people in the palace that he knew he could count on to be honest. None of them liked him enough to just tell him what he wanted to hear.
He went to Ann’s floor and rung the bell. He only had to wait a moment before someone came. It was Pt’this. The dragon growled.
“What do you want?” He snarled.
“I need advice about Jaidu. Ann spoke with her and is more familiar with their customs.”
Pt’this hesitated and then let him in. He followed the advisor to Ann’s room.
“I apologize for growling,” Pt’this said. “This day has me on edge.”
“It does us all.” Remtani nodded.
“Even Drepal,” Pt’this agreed.
They entered Ann’s room. Ann and Andy were there, of course. Sapphire was there too. That was no surprise since Pt’this was there. But, Shunati was also there. He didn’t normally keep company with the others, unless they were in the barroom. Then Remtani remembered the shock Andy had mentioned.
“Is everything okay?” He asked.
“That’s what I’m checking,” Shunati said. He handed Vaila to Pt’this. The dragon could keep the child warm.
“I don’t see anything, but I think I feel something,” Andy said.
“That’s me that you feel. Back off a moment. Aside from the burns you gave her, she’s fine,” Shunati said.
“Burns? What happened?” Remtani asked.
“We brought Jaidu up here so she could change. She started asking about you. As we talked, she started to glow, similarly to you did when you and I met in Paosij and you were talking about Ann, only it was blue, like a normal spell,” Andy explained.
“There’s a spell on her?”
“Not anymore.” Andy shook his head. “Since she’s not a mage, when I drained it, I was able to drain all the magic from her and destroy the spell. I held onto the energy so we could check it later, and see if we could tell what spell was used, or maybe who cast it. Only, I accidentally transferred it to Ann.”
“Now she’s spelled?” Remtani guessed.
“No, unfortunately,” Ann said glumly. “It was a fertility spell. Maybe, we could actually finally have a baby. Someone wanted to make sure you two conceived tonight.”
“Chances are good the spell wouldn’t have lasted until Nim got back. The fertility spell only lasts a few days,” Pt’this said.
“As if that poor girl hasn’t been through enough,” Remtani said.
“How do you know so much about the spell?” Shunati asked. “That’s forbidden magic.”
Pt’this looked around the moment. “Mirimar and I used it once. She wanted so badly to have a baby.”
“It didn’t work?” Shunati guessed.
“No, it did. She got pregnant. It was two whole months before she lost the baby and almost died too.”
Remtani noticed Sapphire was the only one who didn’t look surprise. Of course he had told her. Andy, however, only looked mildly surprised, like Pt’this was confirming something he had already guessed. Then Remtani remembered rumors Andy had once had a child. Perhaps, they were true. Perhaps the two fathers had commiserated at some time.
Pt’this shook himself. “But that’s in the past.”
“I can find out if she is old enough to bear a child as she claims,” Shunati offered. “I just need to touch her a moment. But removing that spell like Andy did might have left her unable to have kids.”
“That could be an issue. Her servant, Shay, all but growled at Andy when he removed the spell. I don’t know if she could see what he was doing or if she thought he was being too friendly,” Ann said.
“She growled?” Sapphire asked.
“No. She can’t even talk, much less growl. But, she sure looked like she would, she even raised her lip.”
“Why can’t she talk?” Shunati asked.
“The collar. It’s caused so much scar tissue, it’s affected her voice box.”
“How long has she been collared? Mishtali didn’t have that even after five hundred years,” Pt’this said.
“Mishtali hadn’t been collared the whole time. And he had been healed occasionally,” Shunati said. “I couldn’t undo five hundred years of damage, not in this short of time. However, for her to have developed that much scar tissue, it would have taken centuries.”
“For her to have been collared for centuries, she’d have to be a dragon. She’s clearly not an elf. They don’t allow dragons,” Sapphire pointed out.
“Yeah, and the king’s youngest is old enough to marry, and they didn’t try to poison me,” Ann said.
“You think she might be a dragon?” Pt’this asked.
“They’re the only ones I know who even try to growl,” Ann said. “Especially living someplace where she wouldn’t have had the influence of other dragons.”
“Perhaps I could check that too,” Shunati offered.
“Have you no ethical standards?” Andy asked.
“Yes, and my ethics say don’t abuse little girls or make prisoners out of people. I can’t help what I feel when I touch someone. I didn’t ask to be born this way, and I’m not about to give up contact with others to avoid detecting things. What I am going to do is use it to help people.”
“Sorry,” Andy said, chastised.
“What do you guys think I should do? I need advice,” Remtani asked. He explained the conversation he had with Jaidu.
“You can’t marry her,” Pt’this said. “She’s too young. I don’t care what the Council decides.”
“But if he refuses, she’ll just get pushed off onto someone else. At least Remmy is a decent guy,” Ann argued.
Remtani was surprised at that statement. She must’ve been too. “Did that just come out of my mouth?” She asked.
“Now that the spell is being controlled, he’s not so horrible,” Sapphire agreed to everyone’s surprise. “She could end up with much worse.”
“She could do worse, but I don’t know by how much,” Pt’this said. But, again to Remtani’s surprise, he had a grin on his face.
“Arranged marriages are a big part of elven culture. Most of the time, the couples are quite happy. But, we are given the chance to grow up first and to get to know each other.” Shunati added.
“Even if we could delay the wedding a few years, then what? I need someone who can help me rule once father dies. She’ll be no help. She’s been raised to be used as currency.”
“That’s mean,” Sapphire said. “I take back what I said about you not being horrible.”
“Actually, he may be right,” Ann said. Then she added, “Am I siding with Remmy again?”
“Shunati, are you sure that shock didn’t affect her?” Sapphire asked.
“Seriously, though, when we were talking with her, she couldn’t make a decision without Shay’s help. The way she was dressed, the way she acted, the way Kamlia treated all of us women, she was raised to be traded for something,” Ann insisted.
“Sapphire and I are going to meet Joanne for lunch and then spend the afternoon together tomorrow. How about we take her along and see how she acts out of her father’s view,” Ann suggested.
“You want to take her to Chicago?” Andy asked.
“No, maybe Thager. We’ll have Jo come here.”
“Thager would work,” Sapphire agreed. “Kamlia couldn’t send anyone to follow us.”
“I’ll scry Jo after dinner and let her know of our change of plans,” Ann said. “Right now, Remmy, quit hiding in here and go spend time with your pledged. Maybe she’s not as bad as she seems. Get to know her, take her riding, or show her the gallery. Do something with her.”
Remtani nodded and left.
“We should get going too and help Dae and Ti,” Pt’this said handing Vaila back to Shunati. “Hopefully, I didn’t get him too warm.”
“He feels right to me, thanks for the help.”
Pt’this nodded. “Anytime.” The three left.
“I know Shunati said the spell didn’t transfer to you, but we have some time before dinner, shall we take advantage of it just in case?” Andy said.
“I was hoping you’d say that,” Ann smiled.
“All you had to do was marry him. You couldn’t even do that.” Kamlia shouted at Jaidu. “And what the world are you wearing?”
“Princess Annlonna lent me a dress. She thought I was getting cold.”
“So you thought being comfortable is more important than looking good?”
“Prince Remtani said I looked beautiful.”
“But he didn’t marry you, did he, you worthless…” He raised his hand to hit her.
Shay stepped between them. “Don’t hurt her,” she said as loud as she could, though it was still nothing more than a whisper. “The prince would be angered.”
“Tell me more,” Kamlia said.
“He said no one…” Jaidu started.
“I was speaking to Shay,” he said.
“He said no one was to hurt his pledged. If anyone did, they’d be arrested. He’s the prince-general.”
“He called you his pledged?” The king turned to Jaidu.
“He did.” Jaidu nodded.
“So there’s hope?”
“There is,” Jaidu agreed.
Kamlia smiled. “Good. Go away now. Go look beautiful in that awful thing somewhere else, somewhere where he can see you. Take Shay with you.”
Image Comments (6)
zaqxsw () 10:45AM | Mon, 15 March 2021
Another fantastic chapter! King Kamlia needs a good swift kick in the butt... Princess Jaidu is much better off out of his hands. Can't wait for the next installment.
Leije () Online Now! 9:30AM | Tue, 16 March 2021
I like all the characters and their outfits, and the two babies in the arms, outstanding scene in a great decor !