Tales From the Universe Tree: The Children of War, Part Two

Updated on November 15, 2017
Willsummerdreamer profile image

The Sequal to "Wolves of Ice And Fire." Constructive feedback is always welcomed.


The Throng Held Its Breath.

(Continued from Part One)


The throng stared at the small boat with wonder, holding its breath as it approached the dock. Risa sat in between four of the Durrannian sailors, two muscle thick men with neatly trimmed beards and two women. One of the women eyed the crowd, sniffed and hawked into the sea. “wot they lookin at?” one of them asked Risa conspiratorially. Her Jontalian accent was rough, like a dog trying to speak Gilanrian. Her breath reeked of cheap brandy.

Risa turned to face her, the gold rings that held her bangs on either side of her face clinked softly against her temples. “Me,” she whispered. They were more than half-way to the dock by then, and there was no way they were close enough for anyone on shore overhear, but it never paid to be careful.

Keep Your Wits About You.

“Whys that?” one of the men, a Durrannian in his early twenties, asked. His head twitched from one side of the dock to other, as if trying to watch everyone at once.

The other man, a rough-faced Jontalian, sniffed derisively. “You ever seen a Degian wench with blue hair before?” His accent was smoother than his countrywoman’s, but it was still thicker than she would have liked. “It’s not natural to them. Makes them feel like flies are buzzin in their belly.”

“I suppose,” Risa agreed with a nod. “Though I think a strange Warship anchored in their harbor may have more to do with it.”

“And one carrying a woman,” the second woman sailor added. She was the youngest of the four, Rofinin with ebony hair, and quite cute despite her rough features.

“Several women,” the Durrannian man added, suddenly uneasy. “I mislike this. I wish we had brought Gyger with us.”

Risa gave the young sailor a vexed look, “That would have been impossible.” She remembered Gyger, one of the finger-fulls of Gilannri that served on the Man-O-War. “Dega hates Gilannri, and Gyger’s presences alone may cause a riot. All of you know that.” The boat bumped into the dock abruptly. Risa stood and tugged her vest over her shoulders. “Keep your wits about you.”

This Was Just Gibberish.

She strode onto the dock and was immediately greeted by a richly dressed ball of a man in a gaudy coat. His arms were outstretched as if he meant to sweep her into his arms. Fat gold rings adored each stubby finger. Beady soulless eyes fixed her with a hungry look that churned Risa’s stomach. She tightened her jaw to stop herself from spitting. Fucking Merchants. She thought. The throng stared at her. Risa sniffed. What were they expecting her to do? Probably grow a hundred feet tall and stomp around their city into the ground.

“Welcome, my lady,” roared the fat merchant jovially. His wide smile split his face like a knife cutting a melon. “Welcome to the Kingdom of Dega! Welcome to Seifer, the greatest city in the world. Malkma Shealms Shall Mo Matee!” The man paused expectantly. But Risa blinked. Was that Gilannrian he was speaking? It didn’t sound like it. Gilannri was a harsh language and sounded like someone gurgling marbles at the best of times. But this? This was just gibberish. She glanced over her shoulder at the Sailors, but they looked as confused as she felt. After a long moment, the fat merchant’s face fell, his fat cheeks flushed to a dark crimson. He cleared his throat. “Er, f-forgive me, my Lady. Your homeland has always held a passing interest to me, and I was merely trying to…well that is not important. I hope that I did not offend.”

Risa swallowed, “uh, none was perceived, sir.” Sweat was soaking through her scarf and she suppressed a sour look. Why do southerners place so much value on frivolities? Did they have no manners at all?

“Governor.” The fat merchant corrected. “Governor Geddowyn Showin. At your service.” He bowed awkwardly. His great girth seemed to burst out of his coat. He straightened, wobbling a little before he finally found his footing. Risa frowned, The Tree help me. Geddowyn chuckled politely, “Ahh, but forgive me, my lady. You are no doubt tired from your long journey.” He gestured to the carriage. “Come then, my carriage awaits us. Let us continue this out of this dreadful heat.”

(Continued in Part Three)

© 2017 Will English


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, letterpile.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://letterpile.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)