Chapter 71:

House Party 2

The Nonpareil of Resh (Act 1)

The free trio broke up and went to different rooms of the house to think about what Mamie had told them. Harlan found herself in a private study that had belonged to the late mayor. She pulled out one of his notebooks and began to read what was written. After flipping through a moment, her green slit eyes noticed a journal on the former mayor’s desk. The Zenotote scientist slid the notebook to the side and began to read through what the mayor had written.

Fiona found herself in a room that appeared to be a living quarter. It was similar to the room the group had entered in, but while that room had appeared to be more for meeting and entertaining, this room looked like it was more for lounging within. Furniture lined the room and faced a large screen that flashed pictures of a happy family.

The late mayor stood proud in one as Mamie and Bonfilia stood before him. One of his hands rested on each of their shoulders. The following picture showed him hugging his daughter, and the next showed a goofier picture of the three making funny faces.

The blue princess sighed and sat down on a couch in the room.

Something the matter? Sun asked in her head.

“I don’t mind rescuing Odell and the others, but she made it sound like there would be people following us into the fray… I can’t risk having people hurt, right?”

You are the princess of a nation. It’s only natural the citizens want to help you.

“But it was different in the capitol!”

Fiona threw her arms up with her complaint, even though the one she spoke to was attached to her arm.

You weren’t given a chance to be reliable in Quenth; this is your opportunity to prove to your family that you can be relied on. Sun insisted.

“What does it matter? I’m sure father is buried by now?”

Until all of his family has performed the ritual, he will not rest properly. Sun interjected.

The Needaimus spoke of an Aqueenian ritual known as ‘final rest.’ When someone passed away, it was the responsibility of the remaining family members to each perform the ritual close to a source of water. Otherwise, they would be trapped at the mouth of the underworld, forced to watch the remaining family members that lived.

“That’s just an old superstition,” Fiona shot back.

Sun sighed. The Needaimus wanted to comment about her being superstitious when it suited her, such as with the mountains she didn’t want to visit. Sun decided it was best not to bring that up at the moment.

That it may be, but when you fight, you may find it reassuring to know your father is watching your successes.

“Dant, that is just a creepy thought,” Fiona shot back.

I suppose it is, Sun admitted.

Fiona sighed.

“I will fight to save Odell and the others. It sounds like we’re stuck due to their leader’s ability. If the townsfolk want to follow me… I guess that is their decision, but I will not be responsible for what happens!” she declared.

I don’t think you can ignore your responsibility like that….

“I can’t ignore what I was never trusted with,” Fiona said with a nod. She stood up from the couch with renewed conviction in her choice.

It was at that moment that she saw Mamie had entered the room. Fiona jumped at the sight.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you,” the green Aqueenian mother said.

“Oh, that is okay….”

“It sounds like you will be fighting with us?” Mamie asked.

“Oh, yeah… I guess.”

“That’s great! We only have one mortal with a Needaimus, so that the extra support will be most appreciated,” Mamie said with a smile.

“Dast…. I can’t promise anything, though…. I’ve never been much of a fighter; Gwyn and Harlan aren’t much of fighters either….”

Mamie shook her head and stepped close to Fiona.

“Princess, no one in this town is much of a fighter, but if we don’t fight, we will continue to live in this sorry state.” Mamie took another step closer to Fiona; the princess tried to move back but found her legs bumping against the couch. The Aqueenian mother got in closer and grabbed Fiona’s hands.

“You may be worried about your role on the battlefield, but don’t be. Just you being there will be enough to stir the hearts of our troops. To them, you will be a goddess of victory, no matter how things play out.”

Fiona shook off Mamie’s hands and stepped to the side so that she could walk around the mother.

“I’m sorry, I will fight with you… but I don’t intend on doing more,” Fiona said softly before slipping out of the room.

Mamie sighed and looked to the screen that flashed images of a happier family.

“Dear, this battle will be a tough one. I’m not sure how we will fare without you, but should we win… I’ll have Bonfilia do the final rest, then you can finally move on knowing we will be happy. And… should we lose, we will meet you at the entrance….” she said softly to the picture.