The Lieutenant

PART FOUR: ALLEGIANCE

Not once had his dryad nature assaulted him like it did that fateful night when Protector Nobu found that he was suddenly at the mercy of his body’s urges because of the only witch who could bring him to such pain. He stared at her almost hungrily, surprised he could so savagely desire to destroy something so pure with an instinct so raw and primitive.

“My lady, I have come,” he repeated, hastily bowing before her.

“And who asked you to come?” she snapped at him.

“My- my lady?”

“In case you’re too slow to comprehend it, you are the last person I desire to see right now,”

“And why is that so, my lady? Am I not your Protector? Your chosen companion who shall walk the paths set out for you by Gaia,”

“Not if I can help it. I have no desire to walk on any paths set by the goddess that abandoned me and my people,”

“My lady! Please do not say such things. You have a destiny- you are chosen to save your people and I shall be by your side always to ensure you meet this end,”

“As I have already communicated to you, I have no desire to set out on any destiny or fate bestowed upon me by an obscure goddess. I wish only to carve out my own destiny and fate,”

“Then I shall help you accomplish that. Whatever it is your heart desires, that my own heart shall covet and help you achieve,” Nobu responded surprised he would so easily denounce his belief in Gaia for his charge.

“I do not require your help to achieve my goals. I am more than capable of doing so on my own so I urge you to return to the abyss from whence you came from,”

Her rejection cut him deeply and he stumbled over the next words he spoke to her.

“I am incapable of turning away from you, my lady. I understand if I am not the mate you- you so desire but I cannot- I cannot be away from you. I shall follow you to the Hellish Plains; to the very ends of this Earth if I must. This is my fate- my destiny. You are free to choose whomever you want as a mate but I- I cannot leave your side. Never; forevermore my life is bound to yours,”

Emica sighed, stood up angrily and furiously stomped her feet. She paced the Library from left to right and up to down in a mad fury, mumbling furiously to herself and he faithfully followed behind her as if he were her shadow.

“Why can’t you just go back to the Dark World and live a life befitting of your kind? Why do you insist on staying with me? You have no idea what pain my people have suffered at the hands of your people. You expect me to accept you never leaving my side? You think I can so easily forget what your kind has done to mine? You were there yourself, you know what your kind did and continues to do to mine…”

“You- you are a monster like them and I- I shall find a way banish you from my life forever. I know one of these books has an answer. I just know it! And in case they don’t then I shall travel the seven seas until I find- I shall find a way to get rid of you,” Emica said and then she sighed, tears beginning to stream down her visage.

Before long, Emica began weeping horrified by the fact that she was irrevocably tied to Nobu. Her words and her desires to eradicate the bond they shared cut him deeper than any blade could.

“My- my lady- I swear to you that I am not like other dryads. I have served Gaia faithfully from the moment I was born. My parents and their parents before them were righteous people- they secretly protected and saved witches from the tyranny of our kind as I have done, not unlike what your Masters have done for you…”

“And if that is not enough to prove my true character, I urge you to look backward at our past lives- I ask you- implore you to find favor with my past service to you. I faithfully stayed by your side even at great cost to my own soul- I walked the paths of light and darkness with you and I shall gladly serve you in whatever capacity you desire, my lady. If- if you choose to serve the Monarch, I shall- I shall gladly serve her with you,”

“Are you barking mad? Serve the Entity? The same goddess that has led to the suffering of my people? I understand it now- your soul covets such darkness. You wish to serve that evil goddess because dryads are naturally wicked beings. And to think that your goddess Gaia deemed it fit for such a wicked being to be tied to me. Such contradictions from an alleged pure goddess of light are baffling!”

“Gaia’s thoughts are not our own. If she chose me to be your Protector, she did so with great cause. If it is destined that you shall be a Dark Oracle, then Gaia has her reasons for allowing it to be so as she has allowed evil reincarnations of you to rule the Earth in the past. Whichever path is destined for you,  I shall follow, be it light or dark and I shall follow you and protect you, on my honor,”

“Honor? Can you really make such a claim, that you are honorable, Nobu?” she scoffed at him.

He lifted his head up proudly when she addressed him by his name, his heart filled with a joy he had never experienced before that glorious night. She had called him by his name. His heart sung with joy.

“My lady, how blessed am I that my unworthy name should come out from your anointed lips!” he said bowing reverently before her.

Emica was stunned. There was no doubt in her mind that there was a deep connection that they shared. It was taking every ounce of strength within her to try and banish him away from her life and each accusation she uttered at him hurt her twice as much as it hurt him. Why was it so? Why did the Creator chose a dryad man, of all races, to be her Protector? It made no sense to her. And yet being close to him evoked emotions she thought herself incapable of.

She had been on a life journey and he had always been by her side. Emica had lived righteously and wickedly, she had been one people’s hope and another’s utter ruination. In all her past lives, no matter what path she chose, he was always there for her. When she chose evil, she darkened both their souls but when they both inevitably reincarnated after an evil past life, he never begrudged her for it.

He had laid down his life for her time and time again, died for her without a second thought when it came to that. Did it really matter that he was a dryad? Deep down in her soul, she knew what Imani and Avery told her about him was true. She knew he was a righteous man. Why then did she struggle to accept him even though their union was inevitable? There was no spell; no magic in the known universe that was powerful enough to break their bond. Not even she, Emica realized, would ever be powerful enough to overturn the winds of fate in this case.

“My lady, I am sorry that you are so distressed over our bond. If there was a way I could free you from it- I would,”

“Why Nobu? Why do you always find me? Why do you plead your allegiance to me time and time again across the ages? I have put you through so many things- I have dragged you to hell so many times. Why- why do you not despise me? Why do you always return to me?”

Nobu took her hands in his and said, “Because it is why I was created, my lady. I was created for you. My sole purpose in the many past lives we have led and in the ones to come has been to be your companion for all eternity. I gladly pledge my allegiance to you and will do so for the rest of our lives. I will always return to you and always serve you no matter what.”

Emica sighed and allowed herself to be comforted by her Protector. She had expected to be utterly repulsed to embrace a dryad in the way she embraced Nobu but felt relieved to be in his arms. His arms were her home as it had always been and would always be. She accepted her fate then- it was simply one of the Universe’s constants and there was nothing either one of them could do about it.

THE END.

Is it over already? How sad… Console your aching heart by diving back into the past entries… Meet the noble Protector of the Oracle by following the links below;

  1. The Lieutenant Part 1
  2. Part 2
  3. Part 3
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