The Traveler Chronicles 6

RHEA’S TALE

PART SIX: HOME SWEET HOME

The moment the Sidhe Empress was gone, Rhea tended to her charge ensuring he was safe and sound with no injuries incurred.

“I am well, my love, thank you for your concern,”

Rhea then shyly looked away from him.

“What is it, my beloved? What is causing you such discomfort?”

“My Prince, I regret to inform you that you are in the emperor’s new clothes, so to speak,”

Prince Xerxes was surprised that he was in his birthday suit and that he had been so ever since Rhea had pledged allegiance to him. Although such things did not phase dryads who were known for preferring to walk the earth as the day they were first born, it was a little too forward in their present circumstances to be nude in her presence.

He immediately called to the natural fibers of the earth available and hastily fashioned clothes for himself. As he dressed, he noticed Shayara speaking to Rhea while looking in his direction.

“What is it?” he asked Rhea.

“My lord, you bear the mark of Adam which as described in the religious texts pertaining to the Sagas of the First people. As such, you are considered an important symbol of faith for our people as Shayara pointed out. I suggest that we set out for home as soon as possible or else cause a frenzy here,”

“I understand that but if I hold such strong significance to Shayara and the other dwellers of this City, I believe that I must at least try and appeal to their compassion. Please see to it that I meet with all the females here, Rhea,”

“My lord, what do you intend to do?”

“As I’ve stated, I wish to appeal to their compassionate side. I cannot, in good conscience, allow the males of our kind to suffer when I know the solution to what ails them is simply here, miles beneath the surface. I must at least try because otherwise, what good am I as Adam?”

Rhea set out to accomplish the desires of her Charge although it was against her personal beliefs. Every remaining female within Daphne came out to meet and venerate the new Adam. Rhea faithfully stood by Prince Xerxes side in spite of knowing how uncomfortable it would be once he made a speech appealing to their compassion.

Xerxes cleared his throat and thanked the Devas for risking their lives to protect him. He explained that he understood why the females chose to hide themselves down there and apologized on behalf of the males responsible for the creation of the haven for these females and then stated, “The females of the dryad race have always been far more understanding and compassionate than we deserve. They are known to forgive even the unforgivable and to give even when they have so little. I therefore humbly appeal, for the sake of the survival of our race, to accept the burden once more; to sacrifice your lives in service of our community…”

“Without even a single one of you, our people cannot survive. Please understand the Wise Ones’ decision. These are desperate times and as such, we cannot allow the luxury of such freedom. The truth of the matter is being Warriors poses a huge risk to your lives. We cannot afford to lose a single life and so I beg of you all to reconsider and return to the Surface World. In case you are turned away or feel afflicted in any way upon returning, the gates of Mariamne shall ever remain open for you all…”

“Those of you that wish to accompany me and Rhea on our way back to Mariamne are also welcome to do so but please do not stay here longer while our males suffer. Have pity on them, Sisters, and bear the weight of our people’s survival on your shoulders with pride. For countless ages, your predecessors, your fore-mothers, have borne this great weight and have succeeded. At a time in future because of your sacrifice, your daughters will be accorded the choice you do not  presently possess…”

The Cave was suddenly very quiet as the females contemplated his words. Many appeared to be convinced by the Prince’s words but it was too difficult for some to even meditate on his words. They divided themselves among those willing to follow the words of the Second Adam of their people and those who were unconvinced to follow him. Among those who chose to follow his words, a great number requested to accompany Rhea and Xerxes on their journey back to Mariamne. The Prince was pleased with the results.

Rhea said her goodbyes to Shayara and Gael who were among those unconvinced to return. They assured her that they did not hold it against her or any female that chose to return to the Surface World although mused that they would be missed. Shayara promised to be unrelenting in her mission to rescue any female in need of her help and stay with them for as long as they required it.

Rhea wished her all the best before setting out on the journey back to Mariamne, stopping by the Royal Palace of Pharland to meet with her daughter one last time. Rhea invited her daughter and her family to Mariamne to visit her when they could. Princess Anna and her family promised to do so as often as they could.

Along the way, both Rhea and Xerxes agreed that it was best for them to hide the true identity of Xerxes as the new Adam of their people, therefore, they used powerful concealment enchantments cast by Rhea herself to keep the visible marks from being perceived by outsiders. Those that traveled with them agreed to keep their secret safely concealed until such a time they could reveal it to the people.

The journey back to Mariamne was uneventful as Rhea quickly opened up a portal that transported all parties to the famed forest-land ( the land’s natural magical protections recognizing her magic as benevolent thus granting her and her party passage). She was surprised how much like home Mariamne felt like and turned to face her charge with curiosity etched on her face.

“We’re finally home,” the Prince announced sighing with relief. She then understood that the feeling she held in her heart was her charge’s channeled through her.

“Home,” Rhea pronounced sighing as well. For someone who had lived several past lives, it felt strange for Rhea to feel like that about any place but with Mariamne it felt right to address it as such.

She and Xerxes visited his family back at the Royal Palace and Rhea was honored to be in the presence of the legendary Queen Areneas and her mate King Xander. Their loving affection for one another was even greater to witness in person and she was ever so glad that the Queen had not lost her reputed cheeky air of playful mischief. She was especially happy that they had brought along some females of their kind whom Rhea claimed they had saved along their travels. They were immediately welcomed and wholly embraced by the dryad community.

It was uncomfortable and entirely foreign to Rhea to have to share living quarters with Xerxes especially with their chemistry having increased hundredfold. She could barely stand to look at the Prince without her senses all coming alive; with passion igniting her body with sensuality. The Prince appeared to echo that passion and without knowing it, she was pulled under the weight of that passion, unable to fight it any longer.

The Prince merrily reminded Rhea that they were engaged and he hoped to marry her as soon as possible. Rhea could not find a single reason why she would oppose a rush to the altar even though marriage had once been the last thing she would ever consider. And so with a few days before the most famous holiday in all Magic-Folk traditions which was the Yule festivities (held between December 20-23rd), they were married in a Ceremony much like their parents and siblings- with grandeur and with several guests in attendance.

THE END.

As the famous saying goes, don’t be sad that it’s over, just be glad that it happened. In line with that, take the voyage once more by following the links to previous entries in this thrilling tale;

  1. The Sidhe Sagas: Alyona’s Tale
  2. The Traveler Chronicles 6: Rhea’s Tale Part 1
  3. Part 2
  4. Part 3
  5. Part 4
  6. Part 5
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