Emarosa brushed the captain-princess’ blade aside as she knelt to check on the injured prisoner. She checked his pulse, and leaned in to listen to his breath. “So you call it ‘the Sick,’ huh? Clever. And the essence,” Emarosa looked up to the captain-princess as her puppy scurried about, “Dragonfire? Makes sense, I guess. Much as anything, anyway.”
Emarosa recognized the murderous intent still lingering in her new acquaintance’s eyes as the captain-princess returned the gaze, somewhat dumbfounded. “You can kill me if you want honey, but your prisoner-friend needs help kinda now-ish. Why don’t we take care of him first, and if you still wanna kill me after I can be just as dead then.” Emarosa and her puppy waited as the captain-princess reluctantly gathered up the injured prisoner-friend. Once collected, they proceeded on toward one of many large patchwork tents near the spring.
Emarosa welcomed the captain-princess and the unconscious guest she carried into the tent. The farmer now resting in her bed, Emarosa better tended to and re-bandaged Amir’s wounds. “Explain, now.” The impatient regal commander commanded. Emarosa offered her a seat and poured something very much like tea for the two of them as she sat down.
“Your prisoner—or is he your friend? I can’t really tell…anyway, he’s not far from death—you’re a poor warden.” Emarosa shook her head in disapproval. “But I’m sure you saw the spring while you were tryin’ ta’ murder your way in here. It’s purified essence.” Emarosa nodded toward the spring. “Something sorta like your ‘dragonfire.’ It’ll probably help your friend’s ‘Sick,’ if his injuries don’t get him. But let’s talk about you, lost little Nephilim.”
The princess smacked the cups from the table, jumping across to pin Emarosa to the ground. The elder woman, older but strong, flared with strength as her veins bulged, only barely contained within her skin. She grabbed the captain-princess’ arms and propped her knee up, tossing the royal heir without effort.
Emarosa swiftly mounted the captain-princess and clutched her skull, digging her nails into her highness’ flesh. Emarosa remained eye to blood-shot eye with the captain-princess, the latter refusing to scream out as snot ran from her shaking, blood-flushed face. Crimson trickling onto her fingers, Emarosa released the captain-princess with some embarrassment, the latter lying far less dignified than her life had prepared her for.
“Sorry! Guess we both got a bit of your father in us, huh?” Emarosa smiled, offering the captain-princess her hand. Her highness refused, pulling herself up as she glared deathly at her elder. Emarosa continued on. “His essence, I mean—for lack of a better term. Elohim have lived near the fountain for a good while—much longer than the couple of decades your ‘kingdom’ has been around. Living that close to the essence… heh, well, it is what it is.”
Emarosa moistened a rag and offered it to the captain-princess, who stubbornly refused. Ignoring her resistance, Emarosa began wiping the blood from the young sovereign’s face. “Do not touch us, hag!” the captain-princess reached for her weapon once more, but was halted by Emarosa’s firm-yet-gentle embrace. The elder whispered into her ear, “Hush, hush. Just breathe.”
Once again, Emarosa prepared the table complete with tea, and offered the captain-princess a seat. The royal youth remained steadfast, keeping a grip on her weapon. Emarosa waited, watching the captain-princess with curiosity as she sipped her tea. After some time, the captain-princess eventually snatched a cup and took a small sip. Emarosa’s lips widened.
“There ya’ go. Feels better, doesn’t it? Calms the blood. Take it your father never taught you about Elohim?” The captain-princess reticently shook her head. “Figures. We’re a bit different than your garden-variety Lilim, like your friend on the bed over there. For instance, the closer we get to one another, the more we sway each other. Even if only physically. Like pulling our own personal tides.” Emarosa made a wavey motion with her hand. “That bit of fury I did on your face, for example? That was definitely some of your father. Still there even after all these years…”
Emarosa could see the skepticism in the captain-princess’ face as her eyes went vacant. Emarosa waved a hand in front of the captain-princess, before standing up and walking around her. Seeing no response, she took the cup from the captain-princess’ hand and sat back in her chair as she waited. Eventually the captain-princess lurched forward, readjusting herself to her new position. Emarosa looked on as the regal youth glared into her. “Wretch!”
Emarosa nodded. “When I’ve had to be.” She leaned down to pet her puppy. “But you… how long have you had your visions? Nephilim usually aren’t much different from Lilim.”
The captain-princess leaned forward. “Enough! We’re not interested in your philosophy! This expedition is fruitless. We’re leaving,” she hissed.
Emarosa sighed a weak, defeated sigh. “Probably for the best, I guess. More Elohim will turn up soon enough anyway.” Emarosa stood, shuffling over to her bed as her pup scampered along behind her. She pulled something from the nearby shelf as she inspected Amir’s wounds. She turned back to the captain-princess. “I can see why you ‘captured’ him. He’s kinda cute,” she chuckled as she smiled at the royal heir.
The captain-princess stormed passed Emarosa, knocking her and the pup out of the way. The regal youth hauled Amir onto her back, turning a derisive eye toward Emarosa as she made her way for the door. “Whatever he is now, try not to hate him,” Emarosa started. “Your father, he never intended any of this. He just—” The captain-princess ignored her as she hauled off back into the warm snow and headed for the waterfall.
“Just like him…” With little left but a sigh, Emarosa called out, “Good luck little Nephilim! You’re gonna need it! …I’m jes’ sayin’…” as the captain-princess and her prisoner disappeared behind the waterfall.
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