I was shaking my head at Naci I was still having a hard time accepting that he was a SHE! The whole time I had thought she was a young teen boy. Then what she had said hit me, MARRIED! What in the hell was she talking about?!
"What in the hell do you mean you are pledged to marry me when you are of age?! I made no such damn pledge! I have half a mind to--" It was at that moment that I noticed that Naci was starting to cry. Ah crap that's all I need a weepy female! "What in the hell is wrong!" I almost shouted my frustration getting the best of me. This of course made Naci cringe and withdraw away from me.
"You do not wish to be pledged to me? You wish to dishonor me and my father like this? I would be subjected to being a mahila ka upayog, bekaar!" She was whispering with a look of horror on her face. "You save my life in such a brave fashion only to reject me. To condemn me to becoming a mahila ka upayog, bekaar."
Tears were starting to fall faster from her eyes as I was really feeling like shit now. "You misunderstand!" I cried. "I don't want to make you whatever it was you just said. I am grateful for your friendship but I don't want to be forced to marry!"
Naci could only stare at me as if I had lost my mind. "Marriage is the most fulfilling thing a human can do! Why are you so against it? You really do want me to be put into a life of being a mahila ka upayog, bekaar!"
"First off I don't understand what that is second--" I started.
In a rush she almost shouted with anger, "It is a woman to be used only! By anyone that wishes to! A worthless one! Only good for the pleasure of ALL others. Being the Chief's daughter it would be far harder for me. Many would be far more cruel than normal. Many hate father and would take much of that hatred out upon me. Father wouldn't be able to do anything. Please Toman!" Naci was begging at my feet. "Please do not make me live that hell!"
Sighing I knew I was beat even before I started. "Alright, I'll accept you though I will not like it in the least!"
Naci's eyes opened wide as she stared at me. "You are an unused one also!" Bowing low she stated in a low voice. "I am honored to be your first. What we will give each other goes far beyond any words that can be spoken. I must go," bowing low to me she continued, "Toman the fearless." Then she was gone.
Sighing I could only shake my head. <So I see you finally found out!> I heard my pops thoughts. <No I will not reveal that she was there, though she shouldn't have been. As I said we will have to develop your power, all the time respecting their customs and traditions. I know, I know. I tried to dissuade Tall Bear from this though I felt that had I pursued it more than I did he would have been severely insulted. By the great divine boy! Here only a few days and already you are a hero AND you damn near died!>
<It's not like I did this on purpose pops!> I thought back. <Like everything else it happened! It's always like this, almost as if I am cursed or hexed!>
Pops was quiet for a few moments, then responded. <You may be right boy, you may be right. I'll have to look into it!>
Shaking my head I couldn't believe what in the hell was going on. I was pledged to be married to the chief's daughter. I had almost been killed by a huge furry animal with claws bigger than my hands. I was being hunted by the council who had issued a death sentence on me.. I was forced to run from my dimension. Oh yeah! Did I mention that I also for the moment had to powers? Again I shook my head yeah I was screwed.
I arose and walked out the conical hut, I still was having trouble remembering the name of it. I started to walk around looking for my grandfather. Asking a passing male they grunted looking me up and down with a disgusted look. Then they pointed toward a clearing.
Entering the clearing pops was hard at work, doing something. Hell I had absolutely no idea what he was up to. I walked further into the clearing expecting him to say something but he didn't 'til I was almost even with him.
"I thought I said that no one was-- Ah! It's you Toman. I am over half done with the bubble. Another few days we should be able to start on your training." Pops told me.
I nodded then I realized that pops hadn't been able to feel me! My god I thought. Was he using all of his power to create this? Then again when I first entered the clearing it hadn't felt like pops. So that was what he meant about changing the signature of a person's power! It also might explain why he hadn't smacked me around for a bit.
I was suddenly flying across the clearing stopping just short of a tree. Damn! Forgot he could hear me when I was close no matter what. Sighing he appeared next to me. "I swear you are going to be the absolute death of me! I love you to death boy though this is going to get us both killed. You need to start building your confidence damn quick! You think the others here are going to just let you walk on them?"
My eyes got large as I realized what he meant. "So that's why they were so disgusted by me! I am nothing to them except for the one deed. Though to many of them it is just that one deed." I said more to myself than pops.
Pops eyes got wide a moment then he nodded. "So you are actually using what is in your head for more than something to put a hat on! You might survive then, might!" Pops said then he smiled at me. "I will try to teach you as soon as I can. For now try not get attacked by a bear again!"
"Bear? So that's what that furry animal was called." I said to myself.
"Best you remember that. There are other creatures out there not as large but just as deadly. There is another family of animals." Here pops showed me pictures of other furry animals that were smaller but far faster. They had long claws pointed rather than round ears they growled rather higher than the bear. It appeared they also hissed pops said they were called some bobcats, others larger ones were cougars. There was also one like the cougar called a panther.
I shook my head at all the images, good god! It seemed as if it was far more dangerous here than in the magic dimension! I spoke up and told pops so. He sighed trying to explain to me that this was life. As with the magic world there was an order of the strongest to the weakest. Right now he went on I was at the very far end, the weaker end. Merlin on the other hand was almost at the complete opposite end.
"You mean to tell me Merlin is as strong as I am weak?" I asked pops.
"Yes, I think you might be able to reasonably say that." Pops said nonchalantly.
Again I could only stare at pops as if he was crazy. I knew that pops was what was called an average magic user. I thought about it for a few minutes then my mouth dropped open! "You are an average magic user and yet Merlin was friends with you? Merlin is an elite magic user? I thought all elites put their selves above all others?"
Pops face suddenly twisted in a mask of rage. "No! The fact that a FEW elite users are that way doesn't signify that ALL elite's are that way! As A matter of fact there are only about ten I have ever heard of being that way. I'm afraid that Morgan Le Fay was the worst of the elites that felt that way."
I started to tremble there was no one in the magic dimension that hadn't heard of her. A long time bitter enemy of Merlin I was about to say so when I saw that pops was shaking his head no. "No? It has been known for years that she was a--" Again pops was shaking his head.
"Morgan Le Fay was much like you when she came to Merlin to learn," Pops related. "As I remember it I met him not long after that, she as you about drove him to madness with her questions." Pops looked at me and smirked, "Quite a lot like you are now. She was almost the same level as you are now. Though back then the council wasn't riddled by absolute power seekers and fools!" Pops mask of rage quickly returned. "I intend for you to survive, to find out all that has been done to our family."
I looked at pops face and took a few steps back. I had no power at the moment, really didn't want to get burned by him if he lost control even for a moment. Pops sensed this and was powering down immediately. "Sorry pops, without any power I feel far more helpless than I was when I was in the bed."
"I'm sorry Toman, it angers me that no one has been able to prove all that they have done to extinguish our family. I want to make sure that you have a chance to right all the wrongs done to us. If nothing else let the entire magic world know everything they have done." I looked closer at pops, there was more going on here than met the eyes. Though I knew that getting anything out of pops was worse than pulling teeth.
Pops sent me back to our house, hut? Hell I was still unsure just what it was. I'd barely made the inside when I felt the weakness hit me again. Laying down I was out in no time.
It had to be a few hours later when I jerked awake. Something was wrong though I couldn't for the life of me put my finger on it. Walking through the opening I saw that there were several males heading into the forest. Following against my better judgement I ran as fast as I could barely keeping the group in sight. A few minutes later I slowed as did the group, standing in a circle around two other brown skinned young males.
As I looked out from my hiding place I saw that the two in the center were standing apart with drawn knifes. Even as I watched one of them walked about with a confidence that seemed to rub me the wrong way. The male was so confident it made me want to vomit. Then they both lunged at each other I watched fascinated as they thrust, swiping away at each other. The confident male moving with ease away from the other. Finally the other male stumbled as he had several cuts on his chest and arms, the confident male moved in placing his knife at the throat of the other. "Yield!" He shouted.
The other male tried to get loose 'til the knife at his throat drew a small prick of blood. "I yield!" He shouted dropping his knife. The confident one pushed the other to the ground raising his arms putting his foot on the other. Then he roared out a primal yell as he looked down with an almost blood lust in his eyes.
I knew the confident was going to kill the other. Jumping out grabbing the knife of the beaten one I swung up blocking the downward thrust of the victor. The victor's eyes grew wide as he then swung at me. For some strange reason I could almost tell what he was going to do and easily dodged him with a small chuckle.
Anger making his face hot he decided to try another tactic. "So the great Toman the fearless had decided to interfere! Fight me oh great Toman or are you afraid?" He sneered.
I just laughed at him, "Afraid? Of you? Please! You boast about beating one much younger than you. What a great warrior!" I laughed again this time harder. I at that moment realized what in the hell was I doing? How in the hell did I know how to fight and make him miss?
"You dare to laugh at Malak the brave? Come then show me just how fearless you are!" He spit out.
"Unlike you I do not like to go against defenseless opponents. I prefer a challenge!" I said as I turned to walk away. I knew this would probably make him attack.
With a wild scream I felt him fly forward, dropping down I tripped him watching as he fell on his face. "I will kill you for those insults!" He said as he flipped up and started to stalk me. I waited almost 'til he was upon me then I side stepped chopping the knife from his hand. His eyes were huge when I picked his knife up. Throwing it at his feet I waited. With a twisted grin he snatched it up and started to stalk me again.
I looked around the circle that had grown completely silent. Then I saw a face that held a major amount of shock, Naci! Great I thought that was all I needed. Thinking I was distracted my opponent rushed toward me with his knife at a higher more secure position. Shaking my head I side stepped at the last moment then behind him I twisted his free arm behind him. "Unless you wish me to break it I suggest you yield." I whispered in his ear.
A look of indignation quickly spread across his face. "NEVER!" He shouted.
"Fine!" I shouted as I wrenched his arm up even harder. A second later I hear the satisfying pop as the shoulder dislocated. Howling at the top of his voice he pulled free of me trying to catch me again with the knife in his good arm. Sighing I stood stock still awaiting his next attack. Another lunge and I had his arm behind him as I wrenched the knife loose. Holding to his throat I growled, "yield!"
"NO! Kill me!" He was gasping out through the pain.
"I am not a lust filled killer as you are, no, I think I'll allow the tribe to decide your fate." With that I wrenched that arm up also, though this time I didn't stop as I heard the bone snap. This time he screamed then slumped forward. A moment later several of the male adults walked out of the forest. Their eyes huge after what they had seen and heard.
Tall Bear was among them as he nodded. "You gave him a fair chance to yield, not once but twice." Turning he looked at another male with the others. "It is suggested that you teach your son Malak better. To fight a superior enemy that offers freedom after defeat is a rare thing indeed."
The man nodded to the Chief then turned to stare at me with a look of complete hatred. I could only shake my head when he gathered his bully of a son and moved off toward the village. That's when I saw pops looking at me with a slightly opened mouth. Then I felt a probe as his mouth fell open even more.
<I knew about you level learning and retention ability as many of the males in the family have had it. Fortunately I do not though at the moment it might come in handy. What I did not know was that you could gain skills just through watching. Do not let others learn of this. You were lucky today that you were hidden as you were.> Pops thoughts said to me.
<I was wondering how I suddenly knew everything that he was doing. It was like what he knew was suddenly in my mind. You say all I have to do is see someone perform them?> I asked surprised.
<I believe that it is. Right now I am unsure, I am afraid that this is going to make you even more hated.> Pops told me.
<It's ok pops I am used to it by now. It seems I have been hated by most for quite a long time.> I told pops.
<You are going to have to watch your back Toman. That man isn't going to let this go all that easily. I am afraid that the son is very much like the father, though I think he will give you a wide berth for a while.> Pops advised me.
I started to make my way back toward the village when the male that had been defeated caught up to me. "Toman?" I heard him say when he was closer. When I stopped and nodded he did also a few feet away. "I just wanted to thank you. Had you not interfered I know I'd be dead. Friends?"
I looked at the smallish male then made like I was thinking about it as he withdrew a bit. "Yes, though the last time I made a friend with whom I thought was a male I ended up being pledged to marry." I looked over the male in front of me as he gave me a curious look. "Sorry I had to make sure. I don't want to mistake another female for a male.
I thought he was going to get mad then he smiled. "I see you being new here unused to the customs I think I can see you mistake. Though you know she did dress like a boy quite a bit." Here he smiled widely then continued. "I don't think her father will allow that any longer. Atohi." The young male suddenly said.
"Glad to meet you Atohi, I'm just glad you are a male and not a female!" At this Atohi started to laugh.
"I believe that Naci will now be the envy of every young female of age. Facing the bear is one thing but defeating Malak," Atohi shook his head. "You made quite a few friends today. I am also afraid that you made a few enemies though not as many as you did have. Come."
Atohi lead me down a path that suddenly emptied out near a slow moving river. Staying low Atohi stopped and pointed to a spot near the shore. As I scanned the shore my sight was suddenly met by the sight of about twenty naked females! They ranged in age from about fifteen to sixty. My face must have gotten red as Atohi started to laugh.
"Did you see her?" He asked.
"See her? See who?" I asked confused.
"Naci your promised mate!" Atohi told me. I only shook my head no as he grunted in frustration. Pulling me up a bit he started to point toward a female that was at the edge of the others. My mouth dropped open! It had only been a few days but she looked different.
I was staring at her I had never really been interested in females as I had thrown myself into learning at the insistence of pops. I felt a stirring that I hadn't before. I felt my heart beat faster as I saw all of her. Then the strangest thing she turned almost as if she could feel me looking straight at me. With a little half smile she lathered up her body covering most of her body.
I felt Atohi as he tugged me to the ground. "Did they see you?" He asked in a panic. "We have to go before they find us. You have obviously never had several females beat you with a jhatakedaar chhadee!" I shook my head a what?
"A what" I said completely at a loss what he was talking about.
"Come," he said as he started to drag me through the brush and forest.
Finally near the village I stopped him. "What in the hell was that you know that chhadee thing?"
His eyes got large as he quieted me. In a whisper he said, "It is a long hard branch that they will beat us with! I have been caught once looking at the females at the river. It is a bad way to end the day. The beat on you 'til THEY think you have learned not to again."
I nodded as I was starting to understand. "You obviously haven't learned then have you?" I asked him.
A wide grin spread across his face as he nodded no. "It was worth the beating I got to see so many females unclothed. Besides I know for a fact that they do it also. It's just that for some reason they aren't really punished. Most of the males just walk around proud when they know that the females are watching."
I just shook my head as we headed back into the village; this was going to take some getting used to.