Chapter Two, part two
Theron and Shiir both looked to the goddess, who sat contentedly before them, a peaceful smile on her face. It was almost motherly, really, the way she was watching them. They could not help but feel sure that she wanted very much to give them her magic.
“Shiir… If you really feel safe in doing this, go ahead,” Theron sighed.
“What about you, brother?”
Theron shook his head.
“Think how it would help with the hunt!” Shiir insisted.
“I hunt on my own skill,” his brother replied. “Besides, what would Father say if both his sons came home with some strange new power?”
“Theron,” Shiir groaned, then looked to the goddess. “What am I to say to him?”
Jenh only smiled. “You need not worry what to say, sweet elf. I take no offense to his carefulness. Do you yourself still wish to accept Fah’Iira’s power?”
Shiir looked to his brother, who nodded, then told Jenh, “Aye, dear goddess; I would be honored to receive your gift.”
“Ah, how resplendent!” Jenh declared, and then spoke to Fah’Iira in their own mystical language. The animal-like elemental replied in a low, rich voice, nodding her head, and then Jenh told the elves, “She agrees that you should have this power.”
“I shall hold it only in the greatest esteem,” Shiir told them.
Slipping from the back of the stag, Jenh stepped towards him, and placed her hand on his forehead. He forced himself to resist the urged to back away, and let her touch him. She had an ambient warmth to her skin, which did not entirely feel like mortal flesh; it was more like light that had condensed into the form of a woman. Her golden-green essence poured over him, and he could feel it filling his mind, washing through him to become one with his body.
“Zeah kats’thalla jzi’rraal, mav’nuvo yeks’taz,” she intoned. And even the words seemed to have material form, something to them that entered his bloodstream to be carried throughout his body. After a few more of her strange words, he realized that he could understand what she was saying to him. “This gift is yours to treasure and to use, for all your livelihood and prosperity. My blessings to you, beloved elf.”
When Jenh pulled her hand back, Theron saw his brother’s eyes glowing with her colors, and gaped. He dared not say anything, but watched Fah’Iira step forward to place the animal medallion in Shiir’s hands. As he held it, he stared up at her, letting her grasp his shoulders.
“Young boy, you will know the animals of this world as I know them, love them as I love them.” Theron could not tell what she was saying, but the way his bother nodded, he seemed to. She spoke further. “Lorata is filled with creatures of all sorts, from the seas, to the depths of the earth, from the surface to the skies. All of them shall answer to you, if only you focus your mind and speak to them as I do. Some are feral, some peaceful, others afraid of your kind, but you will be different to them.”
As she spoke, shades of brown, green and white swirled like ribbons around them, and Shiir did not seem at all afraid. “The animals will not resent you for your hunt, so long as to retain the respect that you have shown them for centuries. Do not feel that you must end your hunting simply because you can hear their voices. Listen to their words, and you will know what is right.”
“I shall do as you ask,” Shiir told her, at a loss for any other words.
The ribbons of color wrapped more tightly around Shiir, and then faded into his skin. They disappeared when Fah’Iira lifted her hands from his shoulders, and Theron could not tell that anything had happened to him; even his eyes were back to their subdued shade of green. A bird flew down from one of the trees and landed on his shoulder. It chirped into his ear and he smiled at it.
“Is that so?” Shiir asked, and then grinned at Fah’Iira. “It is happy that it can speak to me now! How did it even know?”
“All the animals know me,” Fah’Iira explained. “I knows that I gave you my gift.”
“I am truly grateful,” he told them, “to you both. I have to ask, when will you come to see our elders?”
“Soon,” Jenh told him. “Until then, save what you know of me for that meeting. They will understand.”
“Of course,” Shiir agreed, and then wondered whether he should bow to her. “Dear goddess… how would you have us honor you?”
“Do not worry about that, elf. I love your kind; I am not here to have you bowing and kneeling. Go home now. Your people are waiting for you.”
Shiir nodded, then looked to his brother.
“What about the hunt?” Theron worried.
“Your friends will see it through; do not worry.”
“Very well, Goddess Jenh,” Theron said, then took his brother’s arm. “I feel as though I should be thanking you. My village relies on its hunters and gatherers for food.”
“I shall be looking after you, even you do not realize that I am there. Please, go on.”
“Thank you,” Shiir told her and his brother led him from the glen. He would have liked to say more, but Theron was quite intent at getting them home.