Yes, I went with the part of my Native American heritage, Daniel. I got tired of all these white men everywhere. You, yourself said you were mixed. The Moors? Love you!!!
“What is it with these people?” Seth balked holding his hands out in exasperation. “First Len Na and now this Tawa!?” He waved at Adistan. “Tell me that wasn't a Child of Lilith!” He challenged me.
I shook my head. “It's not.” I looked again at Adistan and asked him. “Is this...” I stopped, “the Charging Bear speaking? The other name will take practice for me to say.”
“I am.” He said sort of echoing.
“Really!?” I asked. “But you are also Tawa?”
“I speak through this willing soul.”
“Then you know who I am.” I said simply and you know what's happened to me and you know what I've experienced.”
“My knowledge of the insignificant is not important. You will submit or be purged.” Tawa said.
Seth got closer to me and added. “We were significant enough to attack.”
“You are a means to the end,” this so called god said.
“There's no room for negotiating?” I asked.
“This world will be cleansed.” The voice said finally and the man Adistan collapsed in what seemed to be exhaustion.
“I knew one of those things were involved!” Seth nearly spat.
There were rare times Seth angered me and this was one. I turned to Seth. “One of those things?” I repeated testily. “One of those things.” I shook my head. “It was one of those things that got us together, built our house and found our boys. One of those things.” I knew he didn't trust many of them because of his past. “Tell me you don't trust Demetrius or Dara.” I challenged Seth.
“There's more then just those two or three! There are others that don't like us and even hate us!!” Seth said loudly waved toward the outside of the barn. “Len Na was one of those things! She tried to kill all of us!!!”
I took a deep breath for patience and to compose myself. “When he couldn't find Sam, did he lie about it? He told us from the beginning he didn't know and that he couldn't feel anything.”
“Lukus put all that in play!” Seth shouted.
“He did not!!” I argued as loud. “That was Thorne and you know that! He gave Arthur the means, yes, but it was Arthur who did that.” I narrowed my eyes at Seth. “He helped retrieve your memory of your mother. Besides, you forgave him. I heard you, I was there!”
“I thought I had!!” Seth shouted back angrily. He sighed and forced himself to calm down. “Maybe I'll always be distrusting of them.” He looked at me more directly and waved at Adistan. “You have to admit this is very like them.”
I nodded and walked close to Seth. Pulling his head toward mine I pressed my forehead against his. “I know a little about your pain and what Arthur did. I experienced what that did to you a little, but I didn't live it.” I wrapped my arms around him bringing him closer. “I understand.” I kissed him. “Demetrius has done nothing but help us. I refuse to even consider he could be lying.” I patted Seth on the chest. “He said it wasn't one of them, but one of us. This is a Child of Eve who says he's Tawa. He says he's god.” I shrugged. “Is he?” I shook my head. “I don't think so.”
Max had been listening to all of it and stepped forward a bit. “Excuse me, Erik, but how do you know?” He asked me.
“Why would God or Tawa speak through him?” I asked. “God spoke to Moses, but never talked through him. Even Demetrius said he's never seen God and God doesn't speak directly to him. All of the prophets said what God told them. He never spoke through anyone. He sent angels to people to talk to them. Hell, He even sent an angel to tell the Virgin Mary He made her pregnant! He never spoke to her!”
Seth shook his head, “But he's not even talking about our God, but theirs!”
“There are at least two Gods then?” I challenged them. "We have been taught there is one. Did Zeus, Hera and the others exist?” I shrugged. “I don't know. What I do know, is this world was made by something so powerful and we have been taught who that is.”
Max's eyes widened. “How do you know this stuff?”
Seth grinned and hugged me. “He studied it. Religion was a subject he was taught.”
I smiled looking at Max. “And I did a lot on my own.” I shrugged. “It was fascinating and I wanted to know.”
“Why?” Max asked.
“My very soul is at stake! I'm basing my life and any afterlife on who and what I worship,” I chuckled. “I wasn't trusting some man in a white collar to tell me what it says in the Bible. When he says God said to do this and don't do that...don't just tell me. Show me where it says that! Prove it! I can read. I needed to know.” Again, I sighed. “Look, if this person is Tawa, we'll deal with him. If it's not, we'll deal with him. Any way you look at it. We'll deal with him.”
Seth chuckled hugging me and looking at Max. “He's argued with priests and won.” He rocked me slightly back and forth. “He even got the priest here before banished from all of Blethos.”
Max's smiled as his eyes grew. “He did?”
“Well,” I grinned. “He chose banishment over execution and it was King Samuel that banished him and the other one.”
“But he knew what he was talking about and the priest couldn't argue with it. He was shown in his self believed superior face in black and white.” Seth chuckled. “He may have been the only one in Royal Valley, not related to him, that missed Arthur.”
“That wasn't about religion when I confronted him, but sure. I go by facts.” I shrugged.
“It was, too.” Seth shook his head. “The law was wrong because of religion. But the time when the priest told everyone God said it was punishable for us to marry and destroyed two cities to prove it.” He shook his head. “That priest said God said we shouldn't have been married. You challenged him on every point with knowledge of what you were saying.” Seth pointed down at me. “If you are in a jam you will want him on your side.” He chuckled. “Toby really takes after him.”
“I got it from my grandfather. King William.” I stated. “I didn't know him well. He died when I was a little boy. He, like King Alexander, had very little tolerance for the organized Church. Saying we were giving the power of kings to the priests and the Pope. My own father said,” I lowered my voice to imitate my father. “Who the Hell do these Popes think they are? He can't dictate how I rule! I don't tell them how to run the Church! He can shove it up his holy ass!!”
Max chuckled. “And that thing in Europa? It started in Parsia, where the Church where they persecuted anyone not with the Church.”
“The Inquisition?” I nodded. “Yep, they did and still do there. My grandfather and my great-grandfather would not allow any laws that granted the Church power over people.” I laughed. “We got a new influx of citizens because of it.”
“Wow,” Max grinned. “You believe there is God?” He said to confirm.
I grinned at Seth and ran my hand over the right side of his face where the scars had been kissing Seth. “I most certainly do. Even before this miracle I did.”
We continued to question some of the others and didn't get much difference in their stories.
We got back to the manor and discussed what we now knew. Somewhat.
“Adistan didn't claim to be Tawa,” I reasoned out loud at the table in the kitchen where we enjoyed some juices and Seth and a couple of others had coffee. Val, Reese and Beau were included in the discussion. “Then again, Wahkoowah, or the Charging Bear doesn't either. He just claims Tawa speaks and works through him.” I looked at Seth. “But you may be right. Wahkoowah is channeling someone, but is it Tawa? Or someone else? It could be a Child of Lilith, but Demetrius should be able to sense that if it were. So, I don't think so. Wahkoowah is a Child of Eve who managed to tap into the magic and is hearing this person and even letting him speak through him.”
“Are you sure?” Seth asked.
“Baby, the Children of Lilith have needs that are different from ours,” I said taking his hand. “They don't need shelter as we do. They can whip one up. They don't need wealth for the same reason having any treasure they want. They could easily overthrow any government and take over. They don't.”
“So, who's doing it?” Max asked following my logic.
Val shrugged. “It could be Wahkoowah himself.”
Reese nodded, “He could just be mad and just thinks the voice is Tawa.” He suggested. “There are people who claim to hears voices only they can hear.”
I gave a shrugging nod and groaned. “We can speculate all day and night.” I sighed and chuckled. “Hell, I researched you guys before I went to you dangerous Creid.” I threw my hands out. “There is nothing about Tawa or any other Native Aboriginal gods in our archives. Some tribes don't even have a written language. History is passed mostly through song.” I shook my head. “There were several tribes that were here when we settled A'Dore where we did. The Creek was one, Cherokee, and Seminole. They just blended with us. They kept their culture and didn't leave, but kept a lot to themselves.” I shrugged. “I have a distant cousin who is Muscogee Creek. I have more Cherokee in my line!”
Max chuckled. “I think we all can claim that, I have Comanche in my ancestry.”
I chuckled looking at him. His coloring and blondish hair didn't say that. “That was a while back, I assume.”
“Yes.” Max nodded smirking. “You don't look any more Native than I do.”
“My point is,” I pressed on returning the smirk. “I need to speak with Chitto.”
“That's your cousin?” Seth asked.
I nodded and grinned at Max. “He is and he looks more like a Native.” I chuckled. “We share great-great-grandparents. He and cousin Harjo, Chitto's father, came to a palace function when I was nine and Chitto was ten. I liked him. We got along great!”
“But will he be on our side?” Max asked cautiously.
I shook my head. “I can't believe he'd be into something like this.” I said. “Those people have been a part of A'Dore for over a thousand years. They are from A'Dore! They aren't stupid.” I grinned. “We'll see if he lives up to his name.”
“Chitto?” Seth asked.
“In Muscogee it means brave.” I said simply.
“And Harjo?” Max asked. “What does his name mean?”
“Bear.” I said smiling at the memory of him. “He lived up to that name.” I pointed to them. “They have a written language, but I'm afraid my Muscogee is not up to par.” I brightened. “We'll talk to Christian!”
“If he's back .” Seth reminded me.
“But we can visit Chitto.” I suggested. “Their village in A'Dore is a few hundred miles southwest of A'Dore's Capitol.”
Max smiled. “A quick trip to A'Dore and then a few days ride,” He said happily.
“Quick trip?” Val asked suspiciously. His eyes narrowed. “A'Dore is two weeks away! That's not a quick trip.”
Max looked horrified. “Oops.”
“It's okay, Max.” I gave a shrugging nod. “I think we all need to be up to speed on the doorway instead of guarding what we say and when we say it. We are a little more than just allies. We trust each other.” I spent the next few minutes explaining the mirror to them. They all listened, but I got one amusing response from Beau.
“Wow.” He said.
Seth smiled at Beau. “Everyone says that when they find out about the mirror.”
This time, we all came through to A'dore. Seth smiled at the now crowded room we arrived in.
Beau looked at the mirror again. “Wow.” He said again making us laugh lightly.
Seth chuckled. “Christian may have to move the mirror to another room.” He grinned at me. “This room is getting smaller!”
“Maybe we shouldn't be worried about who does and doesn't know.” I speculated nodding at Seth's words. “The number of people that know we travel back and forth quickly has grown.” I looked with a smile at Max. “We need to be careful so those with less...” I sought a word to describe what I intended, “educated minds. I don't want us to be accused of using dark magic.”
This time we walked out of the room to the laboratory area. The men here had seen the Children of Lilith come to our aid. They had seen us come and go from the room. As well educated as they were, I'm sure they spoke among themselves. We got only a few raised eyebrows from those that may have heard, but not see it. There were many service staff that knew something was happening that was miraculous. This time, Dr. Warren wasn't surprised at our arrival. He was surprised by the number of us. I introduced them all to Dr. Warren.
“Has King Christian returned?” I asked.
“He has,” Dr. Warren nodded. “I'll fetch him.” He turned to do that but I stopped him.
“It's time,” I began, “to just admit we do travel an unusual way. Under the circumstances we should have the mirror moved.” I smiled. “I think the palace employees know enough. We aren't doing much medical research now, this is mostly military now.” I pointed to the door. “It's early afternoon. Do I assume he's in the Throne Room?”
Dr. Warren nodded. “He is, Your Highness.”
“Thank you, Doc.” I patted him on the arm.
There had been guards posted at the door to the lab when Len Na was threatening us. None were posted now. However, when we walked through the wide corridors of the palace, we did get some surprised looks from people that were passing by. The men from Creid didn't wear any armor, so no one knew they were anything but men they didn't know. Seth and I got the occasional “your highness” and bows but they kept going. Our friends that came with Seth and me were looking around, but once again Beau was the only one to vocalize it. The corridors were wide and tall. Above on the domed shaped recesses of the ceiling where chandeliers with reflectors to keep things bright at night. Elegant paintings, flower arranged on little tables...
“Wow,” he said again almost reverently. “This is very pretty.” He even did the occasional turn around when something caught his eye but kept going.
I chuckled again at his child-like appreciation of the world around him. “It is, Beau.”
We entered the Throne Room where Christian was listening to a gentleman that was speaking about the town he represented.
“...we have the new defenses in place, Your Majesty,” the man in his mid-forties said. “We could use more troopers.”
Christian nodded. “I understand, but right now the cities and towns north of here are threatened more. The troops are needed there.” He said patiently. “They will have to come past us in the capitol to get to you.”
The man nodded. “The citizens of Crystal Springs are frightened, Sire.” He explained.
Christian smiled. “Of course, they are,” he said again and I heard the tone of tolerance he would give to those who just didn't seem to understand. “Let my citizens know we are doing all we can to keep them safe.” His eyes looked beyond the man and fell on us and his eyes widened slightly and his left eyebrow rose in inquiry. “If there's nothing else?”
The man bowed, “No, Sire.” He left the front of the throne.
Again my friends from Creid looked at the room. It's three story high ceiling also had several chandeliers to brighten the room after dark. The high windows allowed a lot of sunlight in and reflected off the reflectors allowing you to see what you were doing easier. The Arbitrators, Scribes and others needed to see.
“Erik! Seth!” Christian rose from his throne as we walked up the red carpet that ran over the black and white marble floor to the foot of the platform that held the throne above everyone else. “This is unexpected.”
I chuckled. “You know me. I'm never what anyone expects.” I turned and introduced all of men from Creid. They all bowed and gave the proper your majesty.
Christian smiled. “I was told about your attack. Royal Valley is the only one able to do that in Blethos or A'Dore.”
Seth nodded. “Hopefully, we won't be the only one in the future.”
“What's changed?” Christian asked coming down and hugged Seth and me.
I told him about what we found out. Tawa, the Charging Bear, Adistan and the others. I looked at Christian. “Have heard anything from our cousins Harjo and Chitto?”
Christian looked puzzled. “Sure, he comes here often and I get correspondences from Harjo now and then. He is the representative of Mikosuki.” He shook his head. “But they aren't part of this. They are citizens of A'Dore.”
I nodded. “I know they aren't. However they would know about Tawa. We need to talk to them.”
Christian nodded. “Sure. We can set that up. When do you want to go?”
Max smiled. “Is tomorrow too soon?”
Christian nodded. “I'll see that you are provisioned for that.” He grinned at me. “And please take Thomas. He's been annoying me to be included in something to do with this.”
Seth chuckled and gave a little smile. “We got that the day after the attack and we told him and Ella.”
“We're going to see extended family,” I shrugged. “So, why not?”
Returning to Royal Valley and back in the attic, Beau looked at the mirror again. “Wow.” His mind was just overwhelmed! Reese just patted Beau on the back.
"Isn't amazing that he communicates so much with that one word?" Seth asked Max and me. It wasn't belittling Beau, but praising him for his use of tone and inflection. Beau was awed, humbled and so impressed with what happen. That came through in volumes.
Again in the bath that night we had a naked Demetrius just pop into the tub with us. Nearer to me, but there.
“Hi, Demetrius!” I greeted hugging the man.
Seth shook his head. “We invite you to join us once and now you just help yourself, don't you?” He snickered at Demetrius.
“What?” Demetrius asked. “There's nothing I haven't seen with you two. You've seen all of me...so?” He put his arm around my shoulder and waved at Seth. “You weren't in a private moment or conversation. Why shouldn't I?”
“No reason you shouldn't,” I said happily. I jutted my head toward Seth. “He's just had his feathered ruffled.”
Seth snorted. “Yes, they were ruffled.” He said, but sounded a little testy. “The only reason you come here is to tell us something. What is it?”
I lowered my eyes at Seth. “Don't start, Seth. Demetrius is a good man. He's family and helped us a lot.” I did growled lightly.
Demetrius sighed. “Don't blame him too much, Erik.” He looked with compassion at Seth. “While your experiences with us has been positive. He experienced a lot of negative. It will take time.” He said patiently. “And he's right. I do come when I have something to share.” His voice got serious. “I don't want you to waste time figuring this out.” He smiled at me. “I have every confidence you would, but...” he looked at Seth. “I can promise you. No Child of Lilith has anything to do with this.” He shifted in the water. “This is getting cold.” He commented and I felt the water's temperature rise again.
“But the Children of Eve can't do what we've seen.” Seth argued.
“They can. The magic is there, but don't believe they can.” Demetrius said pointing a Seth. “Again, I refer to your scars.” He pressed his own chest. “We can't do that.” He cocked his head. “In your very own scriptures they say men healed men. They were Children of Eve. They cured blindness, leprosy and made people walk again. The Quran has the same thing. The Torah has them. They accessed a part of the magic we can't.” He smiled a little sadly and a little humble. “The Aborigines here are the one group of the Children of Eve that could do it. Their whole culture is based on a reverence for the Earth and sky. They believe in balance. Between man and Earth's environment and between the mind and soul. If any Child of Eve could access the magic, they could.”
“Is this Tawa real?” Seth asked.
“I don't know.” Demetrius shrugged. “He could have been real, but I don't believe it's him tormenting you now.”
Seth frowned. “They have gods on gods. Gods who have sex and bare other gods.”
“The ancient mythology from Greece and Italia have those, too.” I said. “Zeus, Apollo, Hera and the others...”
Demetrius nodded. “And you worship a being that was born from a woman who was impregnated by God. You even made the woman a demigod because she gave birth to him. You do it with all your saints people pray to!”
“I've never prayed to a saint,” Seth confessed with the corner of his mouth turned up. “I've never said a Hail Mary in my life.”
Demetrius shook his head. “So? You believe something is in control?”
“Sure, but I don't know who.” Seth said rubbing the right side of his face. “I've seen more evidence there is. You believe,” he said to Demetrius. “Are the scriptures right about Him?”
Demetrius gave a reluctant “eeeh.” Which said sort of, but not really. Then he looked at us. “No one knows God. They think they do.” He shook his head and again pointed to himself. “I don't know anymore about Him than you do.” He grinned. “I do believe there is something after we die and personally, when we do meet God and tells us the meaning of all this is. Everyone is going to do a forehead slap and say, so that's what He meant!” He then returned to being serious. “Have open minds when you do talk to the Aborigines. Some will know what they're talking about.” The he chuckled again shrugging. “Then again they can be lairs and thieves. Just use your own judgment.” And he just vanished.
I chuckled after Demetrius left. I looked at Seth and crossed over the tub to him. “You have to love Demetrius.”
Seth gave a grudging nod. “Yes, I do.” He pressed his lips to mine. “You know I love you.”