Tales around Mirateia 14

When he opened his eyes, he was no longer in the back alley with the harbour master’s men and Ira. He was standing near a small lake with azure blue water and around him in the distance he could just make out the silhouette of a mountain range that looked to go all around this area he was in. Having taken a second to adjust to the new surroundings, he made his way towards the lake and walking up to it he could see that the water was crystal clear and with the only disturbance the water being a fish jumping out of the water to catch an insect flying over the water. Azran was just standing there, watching this lake and the surroundings. He had seen nothing more perfect, and it was only the movement in of the corner of his eyes that snapped him out of the moment.   “It’s beautiful, is it not? I normally retreat here when I need a moment alone,” said a voice with the sound of a young woman.   “It is” was the only thing Azran could say before turning to face this newcomer. To his mind, he thought that the voice sounded familiar. Turning around to the person on his side wearing her usual outfit of some loose clothing and with the characteristic armour she wore over the clothing, Azran saw every Dercian soldiers goddess and the main deity of the empire, Mara . It was then that it hit him and he got a serious face.   “Since I’m here, I guess that means that I’m dead” Azran suppressed a chuckle. “My goddess, would you allow me to ask one or two questions?” Azran said before betting down on one of his knees. Mara smiled, looking down at Azran before taking a step forward to grab him under one of his arms and raise him back up again.   “I understand you must have quite a few questions given your situation so, of course, you are welcome to ask all the questions you might need, plus I have a question of my own I want to ask you, but where are my manners, you wanted to ask me something?” mara said.   Azran raised an eyebrow when Mara said that she had a few questions of her own, what would a goddess want to ask a mortal? He thought.   “Well, first, are Ira safe? the last thing I remember seeing is her being carried away by some men and my second question is, why is it you I’m talking to right now and not one of the Lady of the Dark´s helpers or even herself? I know it may be wrong of me, a mortal, to assume how the gods work, but from what I have been told, it’s not your area” Azran asked looking up at Mara.   For a minute, Mara said nothing. She just looked out over the lake in front of them. After a minute, she turned towards Azran and gestured towards a wooden bench that Azran could swear wasn’t there before but not going to ask about it he did as suggested and sat down on the bench, Mara in the meanwhile walked a bit back and forth in front of the bench before coming to a stop in front of Azran.    “Well to answer your first question, yes for all that I can see and feel Ira is safe and sound, she is currently being held at the governor’s palace in the town you were in, and she is currently under light guard and is currently being prepared to be sent back to Pearlhal but Azran, she is devastated over having lost you, more than I actually would have thought, turns out that she cared more for you than even I could sense in her which say something given that she is carrying my blessing” Mara stopped to give Azran a moment to process the information he had just received before continuing.    “And for your second question, you are correct that this is not normal and that I don’t interact with the dead, I had to convince the Lady about giving you over to me and let me tell you, it was not easy to convince her, she really takes this transporting the dead business very serious. So that’s why you are currently stuck with me and not on your way to the afterlife, which brings me to my question, but you have kind of already answered my question with your first one, I was about to ask what you were feeling when it comes to Ira but by being the first thing you asked about when given the option you kind of answered that, but besides sending you back so that you can help Ira, I have another reason for sending you back to the world of the living and that reason is that I want you to protect the Empire and help it continue to prosper” Mara said before sitting down next to Azran and looked over at him smiling.    Azran in the meantime just sat there with his face folded in deep thoughts and his eyes narrowed and in his mind, he was trying to process what he had just been told mostly the part about Ira, why would she.... then he froze and his eyes got wide open and he slowly turned towards Mara who was just sitting there smiling.    “I see you finally figured it out, took you long enough,” Mara said. “But.. but why would she fall for someone like me? I’m a nobody” Azran said having stood up from the bench. Mara took a deep breath.   “Do you remember how you two met?”   “Of course, I do” Azran answered looking a bit confused.    “Well, you were the first to treat her as a normal being, and while it was not common it certainly was not uncommon that she would get a bit too much attention when she went out because of her look and besides that, she just wanted to find one that treated her as a normal person and you did that, so already there she had something for you and you sealed it when you didn’t change your behaviour after you found out she was the princess, so there you have it, that’s the short version of why she fell for you.” Mara stood up and walked over next to Azra.    “I guess” Azran said still feeling a bit confused. “One more question I guess since it seems that you had and still have such big plans for me, why didn’t I get your blessing?” Azran asked.    “Oh, quite simple really, it’s hard enough to give someone such a blessing plus Ira is already blessed and I know that the two of you will end up doing great things for the empire,” Mara said smiling.    “So, how do I return?” Azran asked looking around.    “That’s easy, just like this” Mara said raising her left hand and smiling making a snap with her fingers. Suddenly it got all dark, cold and wet for Azran, he could feel the water washing over his legs and he could swear that something or someone was poking his shoulder with something, opening his eyes he quickly tried to cover his eyes from the sudden rush of sunlight but he could barely lift his arms.    “Oh, he is alive,” an unknown boyish voice said.    “You better get grandpa,” a girlish voice said.    “Where am I?” Azran managed to get out after a while.    “In Braedon, just outside Emitlestar,” an older male voice said.

Cover image: by Gayle Porter Hoskins


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11 May, 2022 07:52

I love how you portrait the oblivion of man regarding to love, by having a god needing to spell it out :D

11 May, 2022 20:46

I must admit that I do have a weakness for stories where the characters are completely in the dark when it come to the others feelings but everyone around them are just "Just kiss already goddammit" :D