The Traveler Chronicles 6

RHEA’S TALE

PART THREE: RHIANNON

“The Entity chose to model the golem sent to beguile you because I am meant to be your Protector,” Rhea explained reluctantly after Prince Xerxes relentlessly pressured her on the subject.

The Prince was once more stunned to silence.

“Of course I haven’t pledged allegiance to you yet and I don’t intend to- for-for your safety,”

“You’re- you’re my Protector?” he asked still in shock.

Rhea nodded. “But as I’ve stated- I-”

“Rhea,” the Prince said moving closer to her and taking her hands in his own.

“Rhea, I love you. Please don’t reject me. I am so sorry I was so gullible. I’m sorry that fate decided to tie you down to such an insufferable, bumbling idiot but please have me. Please do not leave my side,”

“Your majesty, there are so many things you don’t know about me. If you knew who I was- if you knew about my past lives, you would- you would not ask me to stay by your side,”

“I do not care about what you did in your past, Rhea. All I know is that Gaia chose you to be my Protector and She is never wrong. She knew that no other woman would be better suited to being my Protector,”

“I was- I was not always a woman. In most of my past lives, I was a man. My own mother, the Sidhe that gave life to me hated me because of it. She hated that I was male and that I was her only child. I did everything I could to please her- I became a great warrior in my first life but it never pleased her. Because of- of wanting to be loved and adored, I led an impure life. I forced all people I enslaved to worship me as a god. I pillaged and destroyed- I- I raped their women and slew my own children…”

“I was a despicably evil creature and Gaia was right not to allow me the mercy of death. I kept reincarnating until my troubled spirit was housed by a female body. At long last I had what my mother had convinced me that I wanted all along- I was a woman like my mother and I both wanted. I no longer hated myself but I was empty, Prince Xerxes. I was unloved and though men desired me, none of them truly loved me. I was lonely and- and despised by the world until… Until I had her…”

“She was my daughter. I had her by mating with a Warlock. I didn’t know what to make of it. I never wanted children of my own. I just wanted to be loved. I wanted my mother’s acceptance… I- I fell in love with her, my Rhiannon. I named her after my mother in the hopes of appeasing my mother’s lost soul. Rhiannon loved me- she adored me and even when I let her down, she never gave up hope. She loved my flaws; she always treated me as if I was perfect even when I was the furthest thing from that. The truth is when I died and came back to life, I never thought I’d ever find her again but- but my daughter’s soul reincarnated too and she’s- she’s happy as she deserves. I- I know it’s selfish but I long to know her in her current life. I want- I want her to love me like she did in our past lives together. I have to get to her somehow-”

“Well then, let’s go get her,”

“Wait- what?”

“Let’s go meet your daughter together, my love,”

“Did you- did you not just hear everything I told you?”

“I heard every word,”

“And- and you still insist on tagging along?”

“Of course, my love. You are my Protector and therefore my chosen mate. If your heart so desires to know Rhiannon, then it is my duty and honor to see to that end,”

“You truly are an idiot! You aren’t invited to- to come with me,”

“And why not, Rhea? Am I not your charge, the one you are destined to protect? Won’t being apart from me not hurt you?”

“I- I will be fine,”

“Of course you will but I insist upon being by your side. Besides, since I am royalty, I believe that will make meeting your daughter that much easier or am I wrong?”

Rhea shyly looked away.

“My love, where is Rhiannon? Please tell me,” Xerxes said turning Rhea’s beloved face to face him.

“In… In Pharland. She is Princess Anna Roth. She is the Queen Apparent,”

“Wow! Your daughter is a future Queen! How marvelous,”

“Just- just so you know, I am only allowing you to tag along because you are a Prince,”

The Prince laughed at her.

“What- what is so funny?”

“You’re so adorable. I now understand why my father enjoys getting on my mother’s nerves,”

“You mean that you’re actually laughing at me?”

The Prince bellowed in laughter once more. “Indeed, my Rhea. You are quite entertaining,”

Rhea angrily pouted and she looked so adorable, he couldn’t help but kiss her passionately for it. He was surprised that their kiss felt so natural despite everything that had happened leading to that point.

“Well then, am I still under arrest or can we take our leave and find your daughter?”

Rhea shrugged. “I suppose so but I must warn you in advance, your family shall be expecting a lot from us when we return,”

“Is that right and why is that?”

“Obviously I needed to come up with a cover story so I wrote a letter to your family explaining that you and I had run off on a trip to a secret location and would return after a few weeks. I erased your guards’ memories and planted false ones so they wouldn’t remember me vanquishing the golem sent to beguile you,”

The Prince smiled. “How intelligent of you, my Rhea. I would never have thought of that. Here I was terrified that my family was worried sick about me. How long have I been here?”

“Twelve weeks. I constantly updated your family on our secret vacation, of course and only told them that you were unwell a few weeks ago. They expect you have made a full recovery,”

“Impressive. I would expect nothing less from you, my Rhea,”

“Well hurry up then, we have a long way to go,”

“Do we? Where are we exactly and why are all these dryad females lurking down here while our males suffer?”

“Dryad females are a lot more than vessels to entertain, bear and carry children for male dryads. If there are any dryad females here it is because of the outrageous demands dryad males have made of our women. Here they can be truly free to be practice their gifts in peace,”

“They have a responsibility to our people that cannot be so easily dismissed in the name of freedom. Our people are dying and here there are plenty of dryad females in their prime. It is inexcusable for them to be down here without regard for the suffering of our endangered race,”

“They are well aware of that fact, my liege but shall only answer to the demands of our imminent extinction on their own terms,”

The Prince could not simply accept Rhea’s words and bickered with her all the way to the surface world. He realized the strong spells guarding where he had once been held captive had erased all knowledge of where the entrances and exits were. In fact, Prince Xerses found that he retained no memories of anyone he had met during the time he was in that Underground City. He only recalled Rhea because she was his destined mate.

TO BE CONTINUED…

Take a trip down memory lane and meet Rhea all over again. Find links to the previous stories in this series listed below;

  1. The Traveler Chronicles 6: Rhea’s Tale Part 1
  2. Part 2

 

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