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Thursday, December 29, 2011
Amadea and the Divinity Blade - Chapter 31
Abydos smiled at Amadea. “I’ve done some scrying, and I’ve seen what the Priestess of Prophecy saw when she read you after your coronation.”
Amadea shrugged. “So?”
“So, there are two possible futures for you. In both, you will soon face untold danger; that cannot be changed. However, in one of the two futures, you will survive… I then scried a bit more, and discovered something that not even the Priestess saw. I suspect that the Gods did not wish to tell you because then you would have no hope.”
“What?” Amadea wondered. She felt a bit numb, and wasn’t certain she wanted to know what the demon had seen.
“In both futures, your husband and all of your friends die,” Abydos informed her.
Amadea gasped, and nearly fainted as she fell to her knees. “No…”
“Yes,” Abydos confirmed. “I have figured out one way that you can save them, though it won’t change your own odds of survival.”
Amadea fought tears, and looked up at Abydos in hope. “How?”
“I will protect them for you, as much as I can,” Abydos offered. “If you die, they will not owe me anything. If you should live…”
Amadea felt a calm descend over her. This was it; the moment that Abydos betrayed her, but just as she had told Zira, she planned to use it to her advantage. “Yes?”
“I want you to create a child with me,” Abydos stated firmly.
“I don’t understand,” Amadea frowned. “You’re a demon… If you want a child, you simply create one.”
“True,” Abydos smiled. “I can easily create a new being out of thin air. I can even create it inside you, and all it would take is a snap of my fingers. That being would slowly consume you until nothing is left… but that is not what I want. I want to combine my power with yours, and create a child that is a mixture of the both of us.”
“But why?” Amadea protested.
Abydos spent several moments giving her question some serious consideration. Finally, he smirked. “I have never created a being before. It’s been thousands of years since I was created, and I have always been alone. I didn’t realize how much this fact hurt until I started spending time with Zira and the rest of you. Now, I long for companionship.”
He paused in hesitation, and then continued. “If I simply divided my power, I would have a companion – sure – but it would be very similar to a copy of myself. I don’t want to spend the rest of eternity with a copy… I want a companion who has a mind of his own, and doesn’t necessarily agree with me on everything.”
“Oh… but why me?” Amadea asked her most pressing question.
“Because you have the power to carry such a child to term and give birth to it safely,” Abydos explained.
“I really don’t want to betray my husband by sharing my body with you!” Amadea whined.
Abydos laughed. “I’m a demon! Didn’t I already say that all it would take is a touch?”
“No… you didn’t,” Amadea grumbled.
“Hmm, well it’s true. I could have done it without your permission at any time, but this way… we both get what we want.”
Amadea twisted her lips from side to side unhappily as she thought this over. If she refused, her husband and all her friends would die. Yet, if she accepted, she would have to create a child with a demon! Neither choice was desirable in the slightest.
Abydos nearly sighed. “It wouldn’t have to be right away. Let’s assume you survive and all of your companions do too. You’ll go home and be a good little Empress for a few years, and even have babies. Then it will be time to pay me back.”
Amadea nodded slowly. “Fine! If you save my husband and friends, and if I survive, then I will carry a child created by the two of us.”
Abydos bestowed on her the most evil grin that he had ever let her see. Generally, he tried to hide his evil side from her, but in this one instance, he couldn’t help it. She was far too agreeable for her own good!
“Excellent! Let’s seal our pact with a kiss,” he suggested.
Amadea half sighed half groaned in frustration, but leaned forward to comply. Their lips touched briefly, just long enough for a mysterious light to flare brightly and then fade. Amadea glared at the demon.
“What did you do, again?” She demanded.
“That’s still a secret, but I will tell you when the time is right,” Abydos promised.
“Sure sure,” Amadea grumbled, rolling her eyes.
“Uh-oh!” Abydos announced in a nearly singing tone of voice. “Looks like it’s time for me to disappear for a while!”
Amadea felt indescribable relief when he vanished! She vaguely stared at her trap as she mentally reexamined every word that had been spoken during the last few minutes. There had to be something she missed. Was he even telling her the truth?
A new voice entered her head, and Amadea instantly recognized it as one of the Gods. “Dear child… How we wish you hadn’t made that agreement…”
Amadea tilted her head to the side, and frowned. “Why? If he told me the truth, then of course I was going to agree! In all the time I’ve known him, I’ve never heard him lie, so… was he telling the truth?”
All was silent for a long moment, and then there was a soft sound like a sigh. “Yes…”
Amadea felt her heart contract painfully. She couldn’t concentrate on anything else for a moment, but then finally managed to speak. “Then I’d say that the price is well worth saving 5 lives!”
“We urge you to remember that he promised to save them all. If even one of your companions dies, you don’t owe him anything.”
“Please don’t talk like that! It sounds as if you want them to die!” Amadea cried.
“No… but… Sometimes it is necessary.”
“I refuse to accept that!” Amadea shouted as loudly as she could.”
“Amadea?” Zephyr called out. He had decided to ride a bit ahead after all. His brothers, Luna, Kyle, and Zira followed him, and as a result, they had arrived before the soldiers. They were all amazed that none of the monsters bothered to attack them.
Amadea took a few deep breaths, and closed her eyes to focus on calming her emotions. “Over here!”
“Is something wrong?” Zephyr asked, taking note of the way she held herself. She looked like she was sick or highly upset.
Amadea took a deep breath. “No,” she replied with a smile. “My trap is working beautifully!”
“Then why…” Zephyr frowned as he tried to think of a way to describe her demeanor.
“Huh? Oh! I was just thinking about the Prophecy. I can’t help but wonder: if we’re nearly done with our quest, then what else is going to happen that might kill me?” Amadea blurted out the first plausible explanation for her melancholy that came to mind.
“I see,” Zephyr murmured. “I was thinking about that as well.”
“That really is some trap!” Luna exclaimed as she watched the monsters pile into it and fall dead. “Except, they seem to be running out of room.”
Amadea leapt to her feet, and ran closer to the barrier. “You’re right!” She focused on the bodies, and chanted the spell to send them to Amethyst. She took her time to ensure that absolutely none of the cloud from her earlier spell went with them.
“So…” Boreus began. “Now what do we do?”
Amadea gave this a bit of thought. “Notus, you may as well take these soldiers to look around. See if you can find the soldiers that are supposed to be stationed here. Better yet, split up. Boreus, you take half the soldiers and search in the opposite direction as Notus. Oh! Remember to keep an eye out for anyone who may have been living around here!”
They had previously decided to save this doorway for last because it was the only one that didn’t have a town or city nearby. From what they remembered, there wasn’t anyone at all for miles in all directions, but it’s not like they had conducted a thorough search. They could easily be wrong.
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