This chapter could also be titled “Jahi’s Girl Problems”…poor guy.
There was gobs of chatting about the new “guest” staying in Sima-Mighdall’s crypts.
Basically nothing was decided, but everyone is sort of hoping it’ll pan out in Aten and Pili’s favour (regarding the not dying thing).
I actually really like writing talky chapters, so you’re getting another one.
Sorry not sorry ♥
Maat: “Hey Aten, looking good.”
Her eldest brother had gotten rather vain in his teen years, and could always be counted upon to co-operate if one was clever enough to play to his ego.
Aten: “Thanks babe, er, sis…I can bench 75 now.”
The Princess had no clue what that meant, but she gave him her second best wide-eyed smile, feigning awe.
Maat: “That’s amazing! You’re probably even stronger than Jahi!”
One did have to be careful of going overboard, however; even the Golden Prince had a limit where flattery no longer seemed believable.
Aten: “Hah, naw, not yet; but I’m so going to be, you know.”
Maat giggled and nodded, pretending to share in the young man’s delusions.
Maat: “Speaking of Jahi, he’s been going into Temulun’s room lots lately…what do you think he’s doing in there?”
Aten: *grunts* “I dunno, what does it matter?”
Maat: “Well if I’m going to be Queen it’s sort of important to know what people are doing!”
Aten: *narrowly avoids passing out from exertion* “Well go ask him then!” *pant* “He’s a slave isn’t he? He has to tell you if you ask him.”
From the mouth of babes! Maat cannot believe she didn’t think of it herself.
Maat: “As wise as you are handsome, my brother; good luck with your 75 benches!
* * *
Totec: “Ah, the captor comes to me at last, or is it the guard?”
Jahi: “I am pleased to see you are awake and capable of conversing, Creature; I am Jahi, Seneschal of Sima-Mighdall, and I am not your captor nor your guard, but I am hoping that I might be your friend.”
Totec found himself grinning broadly; he hoped the light from the flickering candles was enough to illuminate his fangs.
Totec: “My friend? Fascinating! Tell me, Friend, how did I come to be here?”
Jahi: “A fair question, as I suppose being unconscious does make it difficult to recall those kinds of details…”
So his new friend was funny; Totec swallowed the chuckle rising in his throat.
Jahi: “…as I understand it, you had the misfortune to drink the blood of our Scholar, who makes a practice of consuming an entire bulb of garlic in the evenings before bed.”
Totec: “Garlic? Is that what you call these rather horrid little white bulbs that are so decorously strung up in my guest room?”
Jahi nodded. “Toxic to your kind, apparently, though our Scholar assures me there are several medicinal benefits for humans, when ingested.”
So it was poison after all; strange he hadn’t noticed the girl having this foul odour about her when he’d gone to feed…had he really been that desperate?
Jahi: “Do you have a name, Creature?”
Totec: “Yes, I do…tell me, Friend, what do you know of my kind?”
* * *
The Seneschal chose a quiet place away from the village, and asked to meet with Temulun there privately.
Jahi: “The Creature is as clever and coherent as any normal man, Scholar, if not a touch reticent…and he seemed very interested in what knowledge we had regarding his species.”
Temulun: “Maybe we can use that as a bargaining chip or something?”
Jahi: “I believe so, yes.”
Temulun: “I mean, we can just knock him out again and take his blood though, if you think he’s dangerous…or if he won’t help us.”
Jahi: “While there is no doubt that he is dangerous, Scholar, I get the sense that he is…lost, in some fashion; in any case, I see no harm in asking for his acquiescence in the matter of the young Princes.”
Temulun: “Yeah, totally, let’s do that…soooo, anything else?”
Jahi: “No, Scholar, that was everything I have to report at this time.”
Temulun: “I mean, you know, you dragged me all the way out to this really private little nook, just the two of us…”
Jahi: “Of course, Scholar; vampires are known to have phenomenal hearing, I did not wish for him to eavesdrop on our discussion.”
Temulun: “Oh! Right! Super-hearing! Gotcha, of course, yeah, haha…totally…”
* * *
Temulum: “Um, hey there…you.”
Totec: “Ah, Garlic Girl! So nice to see you again.”
Temulun rubbed her neck absently and blushed.
Temulun: “It’s Temulun, actually…what’s your name?”
The vampire appeared to consider her for a moment. “Totec,” he replied at last.
Temulun: “Hi Totec!” She blushed again; he wasn’t going to take her very seriously if she kept greeting him.
The vampire gave her a charming smile, apparently willing to overlook it.
Totec: “Are we going to be friends as well, Temulun?”
Temulun: “Totally! I mean, yeah, I’d like that! Er, so I’m just going throw this out here really awkwardly…could you make some more vampires for us?”
Totec’s eyebrows nearly hit the ceiling; the Scholar gave herself an internal high-five for managing to throw him off kilter.
At length he replied. “Perhaps…but first, tell me more about this place.”
* * *
Though he’d been difficult to track down, Princess Maat came upon the Seneschal tending to the garden; she took a moment to consider before speaking…this man was not Aten and would not be so easily led by the nose…a direct approach, then.
Maat: “I would like a word with you, Seneschal.”
Jahi: “Of course, Princess, how may I serve you?”
Maat felt her stomach flutter a little under his intense gaze, and plastered on her very best innocently-angelic smile.
Maat: “As the future Queen of Sima-Mighdall, I feel like I should know about what’s going on in the village.”
Jahi: “Naturally, Highness.”
Maat: “So I’m commanding you to tell me what is in the hut behind the Woohoo Bush.”
Could it really be so simple? The little princess held her breath.
Jahi: “Stairs, Highness, leading to the family crypt.”
Maat: “That’s it? That can’t be it! There’s more! You guys are keeping secrets, and I don’t believe you! I demand to know! Tell me now!”
So much for tact; she regretted the outburst instantly.
Jahi: “My sincerest apologies, Princess, but there is nothing more I can tell you.”
So her mother had sworn him to silence; Maat was not surprised. It was discreet of him to not mention that fact, however, and she hoped he would be equally as loyal to herself when the time came…still, she was a young girl denied her desire, and it was expected of her to lash out.
Maat: “Fine! But you just wait until I’m Queen! I don’t care how fancy you are, I’m going to make you give me a daughter so I can put you in the Offering Pool!”
The Princess wasn’t entirely aware of how all the mechanics worked regarding daughters and sacrifice (for instance, where he would get the daughter from that he was to give her?), but she was pretty sure it was the worst thing she could threaten him with.
Jahi: “I would of course be deeply honoured, Highness, if that is your wish.”
Maat tried to storm off with dignity; how did you even argue with a man who said he’d be honoured to be sacrificed?
Grown-ups were so weird!
* * *
In the midst of vampire-fueled furor, Raet of Sima-Mighdall grew to be the most angelic of toddlers!
Queen Bastet enjoys seeing to her youngest child’s care; it may not fall under the most queenly of duties, but in a small Tribe such things can be overlooked.
It’s during a particularly productive speech lesson that Temulun happens upon the Queen and her daughter.
Bastet: “What is it Tem? We’re sort of in the middle of something right now.”
Temulun: “I’m sorry, Majesty…but I’ve got some news about our, er, guest.”
I’ve finally uploaded a CC free copy of the settlement to the gallery; enjoy!
Also, A Thing happened in my game that’s caused me to have to rework some stuff…next chapter might be a bit delayed, but I think everyone will approve 😀
Aten & Pili: *sits on Jahi’s bed so he can’t go to sleep*
They’re just jealous because he gets more attention 😉