Players are in place, Daniel. Now the meat of this story. I love you.
We slept in both Harjo's and Chitto's homes. Naturally, Chitto insisted Seth and I stay with him. Thomas, Toby and Delbert did, too. There was not a lot of difference in the two homes. The cushions we slept on were large and flat. Basically a fat mattress on the ground, but they were very comfortable. It was like when the guard Matt came from the Blethos Palace after the measles incident and he and Seth spent some of that night together because they were friends. Chitto and I spent part of that night catching up. Memories of pranks we'd done in the past. We were both a little crazy, like when we replaced some of the sweet caramels on a plate for visiting representatives with caramel onions. They looked the same! It was funny to see some of those stuffy men gag when they bit into one. The other time we coated soaps with a waterproof sealant. They would use it and use it, but the soaps never made suds. We got fussed up by Harjo and Dad. They were harmless pranks and required thought to come up with. Dad fought to keep a sternness which he was unsuccessful doing as a smile came on his face when he scolded us.
It was late or early according to how you saw it, when I crawled onto the cushion with Seth who wasn't really asleep yet. He rolled toward me. “We could have stopped here on our Honeymoon or when we came after that. I know he's a good friend.”
I nodded. “We could have. If he was here. He did so much work with other tribes he wasn't here much. He's more than Mikosuki's historian. He's the Aborigine Historian. We knew Christian would be home. Chitto wouldn't be.” I smiled contently. “Chitto is a great friend.”
“I could tell.” He moved closer. “But I know I'm your best friend.”
I smiled at Seth in the semi-dark. “And you always will be.” I put my arms around him. “You have all of me.” I kissed him. “I love you, Seth.”
In the morning, Nila made us breakfast. Chitto went to speak to Hakan. Tadi was still shy and kept his distance from us. Makya woke up, so Nila went to change and feed him. When that was done she brought him out and I asked for him.
“He's family,” she smiled. “Of course, you may have him.” She handed him down to me.
Makya wasn't sure about this. He frowned, but Seth was next to me who made the cooing noises and making faces at him getting Makya smile at first and then laugh. He even started reaching for Seth and I let Makya go to Seth.
“One of these days,” I growled lightly in a pout. “Science will find out how you do that.”
“What?” Seth asked with a grin.
“You charm every child we encounter,” I said. “You must be touching the magic to do that.”
Seth nodded with a chuckle. “Let's just go with that.”
Mikosuki wasn't a big town. We went to Harjo's home with the Max, Reese and the others. Chitto returned quickly and said Hakan would meet with us after lunch. He was the village priest, so naturally he had things to do.
Toby and Thomas got to know their cousins Nila and Tadi better.
We went to where they practiced their religion. They didn't have services every Sunday as we did. The people did come, whole families, when there was a need. The Priest was at at every event and public forum. The church was called the Muscogee House. The organized Church from Roma and this continent tried to convert them and were tossed out and forbidden to come back. The reigning king all those years ago, I don't know how many greats that grandfather was, told the Church to leave the Muscogee alone and made it a law they could not come here unless asked by the village elders to come.
Hakan was a handsome man, too. His hair was long, but totally white. I don't know if this was just them as a people or the little warriors that did that. He smiled at us. “Welcome,” he greeted us. He waved us in and followed us in. He wore the Muscogee colors proudly. The meeting place had the traditional pillows and cushions. There was a circular pit for a fire surrounded by stones. “Sit.” He invited. “Chitto said you were asking about Tawa.”
“A man that survived our retaliation of the attack on Royal Valley,” I said. Again, I wasn't worried he wouldn't believe me. “During our interrogation of him a being claiming to be Tawa spoke through him.”
“Well, actually,” Seth added. “A man named Wahkoowah was channeling Tawa and spoke through the man. So, Tawa was speaking through Wahkoowah who was speaking through Adistan, the man we were interrogating.” He clarified.
I chuckled. “Seth's right. The thing is, to fight this man claiming to be Tawa on Earth. I need information on him.”
Hayan chuckled. “Knowing your adversary is a good way to defeat him.” He became a little serious. “I didn't think those descendants of Europa believed in such things any more.” He looked at Seth and me. His eyes softened. “You two have been touched by such things.” It wasn't a question. He knew it.
I didn't know if all of the details about Seth and me had gotten here. I didn't know if Christian even sent notices about Seth and me other than our marriage.
“We have,” I admitted.
“You have been touched by a shaman,” Hayan said. “But not one of Native shaman.”
Seth and I looked at each other. We know no one would have told him about Demetrius or the Children of Lilith.
“We have been,” I nodded.
“Many, many times,” Seth growled lightly to which I nudged lightly in Seth's side.
“Ignore him,” I said grinning. “We met a being the could do magic and that magic helped bring us together.” I spent the next hour explaining about Demetrius, Dara, Lukus and the others. Hayan never once looked with distrust and his face never showed doubt.
Hayan finally spoke. “You have a close relationship with these shaman. That is rare.” He smiled. “Tawa is not a god we follow, but I know of him. He is the child of Manituo who was his father and Nowutset his mother. Manituo is the god of the sky. Tawa has a sister named Pawa. He was said to have power over the heavens manipulating beams of light he rode on shooting arrows of fire. He even helped Thor...”
“Thor!?” Max interrupted. “The Vikings Thor!?”
Hayan patiently smiled and nodded. “He was helping Thor fight Demogorge, the God-Eater. There are many connections with Greek, Roman, and Asian gods. Yes, the Vikings Thor. Tawa helped Thor and Thor became the last Immortal standing.”
“”Wow,” Reese said quietly.
I couldn't agree more with Reese. “I had no idea the connection went so far back! We arrive a thousand and five hundred years ago. This goes way before that!”
Hayan nodded. “It does.” He chuckled.
It was my turn to say, “Wow.” I shook my head. “Is this written down somewhere?”
Hayan smiled. “It is.” He rose and went to a part separated from his part of this temple with three copper metal canisters. “We keep them in here to protect them.” He sat and opened one. He remove some of the contents that were rolled up. He unrolled one. “Here is written the information of the other tribes. Including their gods.”
I felt we'd won a little and reached for the parchment. It wasn't paper, but it wasn't skin I thought. Then my feeling of a minor victory went away when I tried to read it. I was familiar with many languages, even some East Asian languages. I learned a little Arabic and Hebrew! This wasn't any of those. It didn't even look like Muscogee with the curves and zigzag lines, which I couldn't read, but would recognize. This one had squiggly loops and pretty curves that looped around and look elegant. I even saw some Cherokee. They had symbols that almost looked like Greco-Roman. Their written language had D and A and T...if our A had decorative loops at what were the legs of the A, or the T with a tail or divided stem. This was something else. “I can't read this. I could learn but that would take time.”
“Then luckily,” Chitto said behind me, “you have me.” He came over, didn't ask permission, and sat to share my pillow and pointed at himself. “Historian? Remember? Traveling to other tribes to gather information?” He bumped my shoulder with his. “Any of that coming back to you?” He took the scroll and looked it over quickly. “Sure, it tells about Tawa and his siblings,” he looked at me. “There were several.” His eyebrows rose. “Here,” he pointed to the writing. “Is Manitou's father Goah.” He looked at me. “Goah was Tawa's grandfather and Tawa had several siblings beyond Pawa.”
Seth who was sitting on my other side balked, “Then how can he claim to be the god?”
Chitto shook his head, “I don't know.”
“We can use this information to find out if this guy is a nutjob.” Max said in a little victory.
All that weren't Creid looked at him mystified at what he said.
Max sighed, “In Creid, a person that is mad is said to be nuts. We say about someone acting a little crazy is a nutjob.” He explained.
There were several “oh” from the non-Creids.
“Can you go with us when we go to the northwest and confront Wahkoowah?” I asked. “I know you have a family and...”
Chitto's eyes widened. “I thought I already was going.” His eyes narrowed. “And you four are family, too.”
I smiled at him, “Well, I would love it, but I didn't want to presume...”
Chitto shook his head. “This is not a presumption, assumption or obligation.” He got a serious look in his eyes. “A'Dore is being threatened. I am of the Muscogee Creek Tribe, but I am a citizen of A'Dore. As a citizen I am doing my part to defend it.” He crossed his arms. “I'm going.”
I smiled at Chitto and hugged him tightly. “Your cousin Christian will be so thrilled!” Chitto chuckled.
I felt arms engulf the both of us. “Sam and Yannick will be thrilled, too.” Seth said.
We spent another night with my Muscogee cousins. I invited Nila and the boys to go with us to the palace, meet King Christian and Queen Ella. They would be guests there until we got back. I offered that to Harjo and Sehoy, but they declined. Harjo had to stay because he was the leader. He wasn't Chief, but he was Mikosuki's representative to A'Dore. He had to be here. We packed that evening and left the next morning. Nila, Tadi and Makya rode in the wagon. That wagon aided us to go faster with them. A traditional wagon would have been rough. Our other carriages would have been smooth, too. However, we didn't drive them as fast. These new absorbers were springy, but kept the wagon very steady. We stopped at the same Inn on the way back and stayed at the same spot to camp. Al and Delbert stayed in a tent that night giving Chitto, Nila and their children the space.
That night at the campfire we all visited again, but Al cooked this time. Nila seemed a little lost not being needed to do that.
“Think of this as a vacation, Nila.” Seth said. “When you get to the palace, you won't be needed to do anything either.”
I saw her face fall a little. “If you want to cook, they will let you.” I added. “You can cook a traditional Muscogee meal for Christian and Ella and their children.”
She brighten a little hearing that. Then Makya began reaching for Seth and almost whining. Chitto was surprised, but Nila just handed Makya over.
I chuckled, “Don't fight it, Chitto. He did the same thing with Toby, Dennis, Michael, Ana, Ada, but mostly Edward. Edward literally cried when we left A'Dore to go back to Royal Valley.” I laughing and pointed to Makya. “Edward was about Makya's age then.”
Seth began bouncing Makya on his knee and making him laugh, “Is it my fault our kids have good taste in people?”
It was later after most went to bed. Seth was going to leave, too, but I had him sit with Chitto and me. I didn't want him left out of the friendship. We just talked. A little later, the sound of someone walking through the grass was distinctive. Chitto rose to face this unknown.
“Don't be alarmed.” A voice said that Seth and I knew well. Demetrius walked closer and we saw him in the light of the fire. “I'm Demetrius.” He said to Chitto.
Seth and I got up hugging our friend.
“This is our friend for over ten years.” I explained patting Demetrius on the chest while still in a partial hug. “He was our fairy godfather.”
Seth nodded. “This is the shaman Hayah mentioned. His and Dara's magic were what touched us.”
Chitto didn't disbelieve us. “You're one of the great spirits?” He asked Demetrius,
Demetrius smiled. “I am Demetrius. I am not from the Lower World or the Upper World. I am from this world.” Demetrius looked at Chitto. “Do you know the beliefs of Seth and Erik? Do you know of Adam and Eve?”
Chitto nodded. “I do.”
“Did you know Eve was Adam's second wife?” I asked. Chitto shook his head. “Well, there's a record of a first wife many of our people don't know about and I can show you. Adam had a first wife named Lilith.” I grinned at Demetrius. “He's a descendant of Adam's and Lilith's children. That's why he can access magic. He helped Seth and me to marry.”
Demetrius turned to me. “No,” he said again in an almost tolerant tone, “I presented the opportunity for the marriage and used your own laws to make it possible.”
Seth rolled his eyes in the partial hug. “Whatever. The story of Cinderella and Prince Charming? His wife was the fairy godmother.” He smiled. “He and others of them restored the throne of Blethos and got me out of a Hell I lived in for twenty years.”
Chitto nodded. “Okay.”
“We owe them for a lot.” I said.
Demetrius shrugged, “It's what we do.” He walked closer to Chitto and extended his hand. “I wanted to introduce myself. I may have to pop in while you're on this journey. I don't want to surprise you at the wrong time.” He chuckled as they shook hands.
“Pop in?” Chitto asked.
“Sure,” Demetrius said simply. “Like I will pop out in a minute.” He hugged me and Seth again. “I'll be around.” He said and just wasn't there.
Chitto's eyes widened again. “He just pops in and out like that?”
Seth nodded, “And at some rather inconvenient times.”
We headed out the next morning and arrived the late after afternoon. Christian greeted us in the courtyard as was our tradition. Ella came out with Ana, Ada, Edward and Dennis. We all dismounted and approached them. Except for Chitto. He went to the carriage putting Tadi on the ground where he was looking around in wonder at these new surroundings. Makya was handed to him and another hand came out and he helped Nila to the ground. I knew they had packed and Nila stepped down in lovely long dress of blue with lines of white in it. Not stripes, they were decorative swirls of thin white lines to accent the blue. Seth and I got hugs from Dennis and Edward. I don't need to tell you who hugged Seth first. Introductions were done again and they were welcomed into the palace. Nila was like everyone who was not sure about not having to unpack but just walk into the palace. We gathered in the Family Communal Room.
I looked at Delbert. “Is tomorrow okay for you?”
Delbert was not ready for me and had to remember about the rematch. He nodded. “I'll be ready.”
Seth rolled his eyes, “Is that really necessary?” He asked beside me.
“Absolutely,” I nodded. “Because he asked me for one and promised I would. That's why.” I smiled. “I'm a man of my word.”
After dinner we gathered in another room to discuss what was next.
“Now that we are armed with some knowledge to confront Wahkoowah,” Max said. “We can confront him and find out if he is Tawa, or who he really is.”
“Shouldn't we send more troops along?” Thomas asked.
Max shook his head. “We're sending enough,” Max smiled. “Any more and we risk all out confrontation. We'll go in showing we're willing to fight, but be no threat to them. They will see that.”
“We need to go in with stealth,” Toby said. “We should scout the enemy before we do anything.”
Seth nodded sitting forward. “My son is partially right. There is no we when we do this.” He looked at Toby. “You're staying behind.”
Toby shook his head, “But Daddy, you may need me.” Toby could speak, but to protest or yell he didn't know how to change the volume or inflection. However, his face showed he wasn't liking the idea he wasn't coming, at all.
I nodded, “You've been a great help, son. You can help us by staying safe.”
“We're doing this to protect all of the citizens of A'Dore, Blethos and Creid.” Seth said. “But to your Dad and me, no citizen is more important than you and Dennis.”
Christian added, “Thomas isn't going either for the same reason.”
Thomas' eyes widened. “Dad!”
“No, son.” Christian said firmly. “You stay.”
“And you and Dennis are staying here with him.” I added. “We love you two too much to risk your lives.”