The third Neselle story -
Of Men and Love in General
Chapter Seven – Complete
Neselle: The Passing of Time
I had to agree with the mature ladies around me that while a certain few days in each month were not desired, they were not intolerable. It took some mental control to manage those days, but with the right frame of mind the regular activities could be performed with the usual feelings of life. It did help having others that went through such periods for consultation, and with their comforting words I found myself able to keep a pleasant demeanor through most days.
The last couple of years had been filled with learning experiences. While the studies of the holy books had brought me satisfaction, what I found the most profound was being present as Baroness Dirchein had her second child. We became such friends that I do not even use her title anymore, but only her name. I still call her husband by his title, but there had been times when I dropped it without any sign of disapproval. Their support and even friendship I found to be more of a blessing than the readings of scripture.
Baroness Dirchein really thought she was going to have a girl. I want to say that her time of explaining things about the female body to me was her setting words in her mind to one day say to her daughter. The child was not a girl, but another boy. Baroness Dirchein complained that she would probably always have males, as only their type of sperm would have the strength to pierce her golden eggs. I however found joy in the boy in that I might one day go through the period again as the lady sought to give birth to a daughter.
Returning home always had my mother spend time with me going over the changes to my body. Having my words recorded made the period very disturbing, but I agreed my world needed to know. My return always had Hanell and me wanting to speak of insights we were gaining in the religious material, but the world wanted to know about my maturing body. From a personal point of view, having to speak on the topics were embarrassing. The fact that the information was still available in the database made it feel more like being mentally raped. It was the religious information that had been removed, so there was a need to return that data to the archives and minds of the people. Mother however wanted to know about me, and the world wanted to know about me, so in front of the cameras I told them about the changes they saw to my form.
They were animals. My people had centuries ago sought eternal life, and somehow in the research had released a virus that ravaged our genetic material. Those that were mature at the time suffered and died. The young stayed young with their reproductive organs never becoming viable. As children they died, and those that were left realized that they would suffer a similar fate. Out of desperation people were made into animals, and with a proper set of organs guiding the human reproductive system mankind became able to again have children.
On all of my world, I was the only native mature human. They wanted me to gain a husband and have children, but there was a deep desire to regain my gift for all of humanity. People wanted to live as people. Since science had failed us, most were returning to religion. As a unique specimen, I lived on another world where mature humans were common even as I sought answers for my own people.
Hanell and I discussed what conclusions we had formed as we prepared for bed. We both knew that there were many on our world that were also doing our research. At times we found them to have an advantage in that in our absence they discovered another set of documents to provide some enlightenment. It still saddened us to know that a complete reference to the ancient religion had been lost. When faith in the deity failed, those that held to their beliefs focused on what to save. In all cases it seemed that they maintained their love for the Goddess, and allowed their knowledge of other divine personalities to become lost. The actions stirred by the original arrival of the aliens was to present the work of those less than the Goddess in our lives. Learning of their malignancies, what we now sought was complete evidence of them. Hanell and I thus spoke of names we had encountered without any clear association, and which ones we had concluded were possibly other divine beings that could be disturbing our world.
Almost no sooner did I hear a knock the next morning than I saw the door open to allow in the golden form of Baroness Dirchein. She was in a full orange dress with the expansive skirt of a lady of her status. Color helped bring out features that her completely gold body would not make apparent. To be a woman of gold, and a lady of nobility, her personality was very open and friendly.
“All right, Neselle, the boys are out there waiting to escort you to breakfast. They lead the way, and you and I walk behind. I will let you do the talking, but first let me know if you have any objection to traveling back to your world.”
Hanell supplied the answer, “No. The only reason we do not stay on Gemord is that Lady Neselle is so different there. It is still her home, and where our work has its importance. Going there is not a problem.”
I said, “We could leave tomorrow morning, Dirchein, although I believe there is something we are still waiting for.”\\
The golden lady replied, “Okay. Well, this is a serious matrimonial mission. The others were business, but Althery has more than declared himself, and Genory has made such a claim as well. You thus need to be chaperoned, Neselle.”
“I have Hanell.”
“Hush, as I want to go. I have been tied to the castle with my pregnancy, but Thellard has now been weaned. Ferrigote is hoping for Fergush to give him a sign of whether to also go or simply leave it to the boys.”
I quickly finished my preparations, then left. The young men were polite. I found myself slightly surprised to see Althery handle the formal behavior. He was usually very relaxed around me. When Nuchirg, the first child of the baron and baroness, was around, Althery acted no different with him present than with him gone. Something about the way he now spoke however told me that it was not the presence of a strange competitor, but of Althery’s seriousness about gaining a goal that had him act as he did. While I did respond during the walk, I mostly thought about how to direct the conversation when the escort duty finished.
Althery let his competitor help me with my seat, to which I said, “Thank you Prince Genory.”
“Just Genory, Dear Neselle. Please at least give me the benefit of less formality between us.”
“Yes, Genory, but excuse me as I speak to Althery.” I waited for the young men to sit, then asked, “Althery, what are your plans once we arrive back on Gemord?”
“Pay respects to your Goddess. I believe it was said that your town was building a church.”
“Yes. As you know, the plans for the original church was still in the database. What is being built is from those plans.”
I did not think that Althery wanted to say more. He tended to speak on some topics only when we were alone about the property. I saw his eyes look to Genory, and I believe the reason Althery spoke was just to accept the conditions that the other man was to be included in the conversation.
“Your Goddess has to have a plan for you, Neselle. You said that She said that She allowed your immortality. Excuse me, but I feel that I know something of powerful deities. They do not allow things on a whim, and She certainly did not allow it simply because it was to happen. If the latter was true, She would have said words about you bearing the responsibility. She however has spoken in your favor. Well, I want Her to speak in favor of me as well.” His eyes broke from me to look to the other young man. “Excuse me, Genory, but such is my standard. I will not lose to you, or any other man, but I will admit that it could be possible to lose to the Goddess of Neselle’s world. If She finds you, or someone else, as the better man, that is when I will set my sights on another.”
Baron Ferrigote said, “That at least puts an objective standard on the competition. Neselle, note that what Althery is saying will decide your future as well. If your Goddess claims that a fat drunk is who she approves as being your husband, you will need to accept it.”
Baroness Dirchein looked at her husband while coolly saying, “Darling.”
“No. Basically, that is what Althery’s mother had happen to her. Terish was not a fat drunk, but he was a paranoid overachieving rascal. Straekin has often said that she would not have considered Terish had her Goddess not spoken.”
Althery said, “But I hear mother constantly speak of not having a better husband.”
“It took time. Neselle, let me give you the same advice – wait. It was almost a century before Terish and Straekin actually married. Do not rush choosing a man.”
I replied, “Althery and Genory…”
“If the man cannot wait,” the baron interjected, “then he is not a man for you. Let me stress something else about Terish and Straekin – they have now been married for decades and still love each other. They are the better example. I had many wives before Dirchein, Neselle. Many. They are dead, and I really cannot say that I had a life with any of them. Althery has been putting his focus where it needs to go. I would belittle Genory to say that he would not also be putting his focus there. Until either can wait to gain full approval, you have to deny them.”
Baroness Dirchein said, “I have to support my lord there, Neselle.”
Althery bowed to me before declaring, “My uncle is saying good words, but I am afraid that he does not see the future that I do. What we fight on Neselle’s world are immortals. Berbishet was not slain, but called back by the Goddess. Minotaur and Drekommell were put to an end, but neither could be said to have been slain in a mortal sense. I will not have Neselle have one such as them gain her hand.”
Genory stood to voice his support, “I would say that we are better choices.”
Baroness Dirchein said, “As someone that was present at the conclusion of both of the other missions, I must give my support to the young men.”
Baron Ferrigote replied, “It does not matter, as I have been overruled by others as well.” His eyes turned from his wife to say to the visiting young man, “Genory, it seems that you have spoken with Onathia.”
“Yes, Baron – she who loves.”
“Yes, usually not a respected goddess, although that is usually because love is not a respected word. She however has her place. Fergush told me that Genory had his assets, one of them being under the guidance of Onathia. Fergush also told me that I had no place in a mission of this type, so to stand down. I will thus not be going. Hopefully to reduce your advantage, Althery, I am going to put the protection of my wife and your aunt in your hands.”
Althery actually looked at his competitor as he said, “That is no handicap. Aunt Dirchein regularly travels the omniverse, and has been to Neselle’s world a few times. Also, she and Neselle get along well, so having authority with Aunt Dirchein actually benefits my spending time as I would desire.”
Genory replied, “I have heard many speak of this lady of gold, so desire to get to know the baroness as well. Onathia told me that I can come out of this mission as a better man, if not the better man, by gaining the respect of Baroness Dirchein.”
Baron Ferrigote said, “Then I have to trust that all know their place and their objectives. Neselle, I believe that once again your work will be the most difficult. Still, you have proven yourself, so I stand down truly feeling that I won’t be needed. I still love you, and you will carry my love with you in the form of my wife. Thus, I expect good news upon your return. As for Althery, I promise to speak with him afterward.”
Genory said, “Well spoken, Baron.”
Althery smiled as he replied, “You have had to compliment me before, Uncle. This time I expect you to have to admit that I am the better man.”
Baron Ferrigote spoke in return, “Listen, I am already in a bad mood having to give up my wife, and spending the day listening to you two rutting bucks knock heads will not have me speaking well by dinner, much less supper. I thus would rather be elsewhere today, but I will be around to spend time with my wife and Neselle. I thus recommend that you two lads save your antagonism for whatever opponents you might face and not each other – at least for the day.”
Some more time with Neselle and the two men. Note that this new system does not have some features that I had used to stay consistent in posting. My life will make regular updates slightly irregular, but I will do the best I can.