PART SEVEN: THE FAMILY FEUD
Both Tabitha and Emica observed Oracle Zuri in awe. Power oozed off of every pore she had and the vast amount of magical energy Zuri possessed was almost unfathomable for both of them to fully comprehend.
“Oracle Zuri, it is an honor to meet you. Oracle Tabitha and I both came to see you to give you a warning about a future threat… If you allow us, my Protector and I can offer you safe haven to prevent the threat from actualizing…” Emica stated.
“I assume the threat you are talking about is Emperor Brodus, or am I mistaken?” Zuri asked Emica. Emica nodded.
“Well, for the record, I’m not scared of him but I think it would be best if I came along with you. I only have one request to make, however, if I may,”
“What request do you have, my lady?” Emica asked her.
“That you allow my mother, father and siblings to tag along with me and my Protector,”
“Wouldn’t they be safe here in Mariamne?” Tabitha asked her puzzled.
“Oh, my family isn’t currently residing in Mariamne, Oracle Tabitha. They are back in Kenya, my homeland,” Zuri responded rather snidely, casting the Queen a dirty look.
“You mean that you and Queen Areneas are not related?” Emica asked puzzled.
“We are related but rather… distantly,” Zuri clarified. Her voice was thick with dark inflection.
All gathered were silent but the Queen appeared very ruffled by Zuri’s curtness. Did Oracle Zuri really need to air their family’s dirty laundry in public? In defiance, Zuri turned to face the Queen and smirked at her, as if reading her thoughts.
“Your Majesty, is it a problem for you to release Oracle Zuri and her family?”
“Not at all, Oracle Emica. I only pray that this dark vision can be averted so that the world may have its Oracle back,”
“Your Majesty would do so well as to remember that the world would be very well prepared for whatever threats may come its way with or without me,” Zuri stated.
Zuri’s snark truly astounded all gathered. Tabitha was curious to know what exactly the Queen had done to Zuri and her family to warrant such rude remarks from the latter.
It also became clear that the last thing the Queen and her family wanted was exactly what followed two days later- Zuri’s immediate family comprising of her mother, father and two siblings coming to the Royal Palace to meet both Oracles Emica and Tabitha.
Zuri explained everything to her family but her father was reluctant to take up the offer to join his family to the safe haven Emica and her Protector offered.
“I wouldn’t want to be too much trouble and impose-“
“Dad, Brodus is going to try and use as much leverage as he can against me because he knows that it is my destiny to defeat him. The very first person he will target is you because of our closeness,” Zuri explained.
“It really is no trouble, Prince Xeophilius,” Oracle Emica stated.
“Now there’s a title I haven’t heard in a while. I am honored my lady but there is no need for such honorifics,” Zuri’s father stated.
“Oh? Am I mistaken, my lord?” Emica asked embarrassed.
“Not at all. I just… learned to drop titles once I relocated to Kenya, our homeland. We live a very simple life, my lady, one without need for such titles,”
“It doesn’t make you any less of a Prince because of it, my love,” Zuri’s mother, Kiara stated.
“I know, I know… I just… I am sensitive to… I wish to show my respect to the Royal Family by refraining from using the title,”
“Surely the Queen has no objection to you being addressed by your proper title. You are still a Prince of Mariamne albeit a lesser known one,” Zuri stated.
Tabitha could hardly believe it. The tension and drama in the air was incredibly thick and saucy like a well made stew. She was even more curious to know what exactly had transpired between Zuri’s family and the Royal Family of Mariamne.
It was refreshing to dispel the myth of the perfect Royal Family of Mariamne. For some strange reason, it gave Tabitha a deep sense of satisfaction that the Royal Family had its skeletons too.
Zuri’s father opened his eyes wide with indignation at his daughter’s curtness but it did not seem to faze Zuri in the slightest. She held her head high and stood her ground. It was clear to both Oracles that Zuri was a strong woman and Zuri’s strength instilled faith in them that she was indeed the one that would defeat Brodus in the end.
While tensions still run high and a stare-down happened between Zuri’s family and the Queen, Emica pulled Tabitha aside to talk in private and said to her, “Oracle Tabitha, I must apologize for this is the end of the road for you in this mission. I give you my word that Oracle Zuri and her family shall be well protected from Brodus until such a time she can successfully defeat him,”
“And I am just supposed to take your word for it? How can I reassure myself that she is safe? I have no means to contact you anyway. Besides, where is this mysterious place where only you are allowed? I am an Oracle too so why shouldn’t I be allowed there?” Tabitha stated.
“It is a secure location which I am not allowed to talk about for the safety of all who reside there. I’m afraid I cannot reveal where it is exactly,”
“Then provide me with the means to contact you so I can check in on you at the very least!” Tabitha demanded.
“I shall look into it,”
Tabitha shook her head. “You are really giving me nothing, Emica. We have a common enemy and yet you are treating me like I am the enemy,”
“I shall provide the means for you to get in contact with me but beyond that, I am afraid I cannot really offer any other assistance to you,” Emica stated firmly, physically turning her back on Tabitha.
“But you would have helped me had I chosen to be a light Oracle, right?” Tabitha asked Emica.
Emica shrugged. “You made your bed, now you must lie in it,”
“Are you certain that this is what you really want, Emica? Do you really think that you and I cannot learn to trust and respect each other? Have you thought that perhaps we are not so different from one another? The only difference between us is that I am honest to myself and my mission. You cannot be so naive as to think that you can escape from the mission of destroying the Entity without blood on your hands…”
“History has shown that an Oracle’s path can always change- some light Oracles chose the path of self-righteousness first but once they became true to themselves and their mission, they realized that there is only one true way. So, do not presume to think that you are somehow better than me. You and I are exactly alike but please, by all means, keep pretending that you are all righteous and pure…” Tabitha snidely commented to her.
Emica walked away angrily and immediately urged Princess Erabelle to transport them to whatever secret location they were meant to escape to. The Princess promised she would be back to return Tabitha to her rightful timeline before taking off with Emica, her Protector and Oracle Zuri and her party.
Dolphus and his pack immediately rushed to Tabitha’s side who was raging at being left out. She, however, sought an explanation from the Queen as to what had transpired between her family and that of Zuri’s as a way to distract herself from giving into rage.
“My lady will have to forgive me but… that is a rather dark chapter of our lives that my family would wish to forget,”
“Your Majesty, please humor me. I believe that it shall help me understand Oracle Zuri a little bit better which can only be advantageous to ensuring her overall safety. It will help me understand better what we are up against and even why,” Tabitha explained.
The Queen appeared conflicted as she considered Tabitha’s explanation but then sighed and stated, “My lady, are you familiar with the origin of the Beta Timeline?”
“I cannot say that I am, your Majesty. I would appreciate your telling of the tale,” Tabitha stated curiously.
TO BE CONTINUED…
What is the tale of the Beta Timeline’s Origin and what does the Royal Family of Mariamne have to do with it? Stay tuned to find out. Previous entries in the story are outlined below. Enjoy!