Chapter Three. Not much to say, other than I'm actually PROUD of this chapter
“Mistress, a message has a...”
“Not now, La. I'm busy.”
The young slave's ears dropped slightly as she watched her mistress move around her library, browsing all of the genealogy books at her disposal. It had been a week since she had awakened from her last sickness, and she had been restless ever since then, searching for all of her possible descendants, no matter how distant they were. Since then, she had refused to be disturbed by anyone's presence... even La's own presence was unacceptable, something that unsettled the young slave, raised to be by her mistress' side at all time.
“Is that what you want me to tell to the envoy, Mistress?”
“Yes, now LEAVE ME BE.”
She bowed before leaving the room, slowly walking toward the door where the envoy waited. The crest on his robe had left little doubt as to his origins: He was a Messenger from the Clan's most powerful house. She did not know what business he could have with her mistress, but she was certain of one thing, and that was that he would not take a refusal kindly, especially not one coming from a lowly slave... She was proved right soon after, as his only reply was to slap her, openly insulting her, and immediately walk past her, heading toward her Mistress' study.
She sighed, rubbing her cheek. Once upon a time, not so long ago, her Mistress would go to the door personally to tell such envoys to come back later, so as to prevent her any kind of physical harm. She shook her head sadly as she left her mistress' personal quarters. It had to happen sooner or later, she couldn't stay privileged all of her life, after all...
She made her way in the castle, only crossing a few others slaves and servants. Even if she crossed any free Drow, none of them, especially not those of lower status, ever bothered a slave that seemed to know where he or she was going, as there was always the possibility that they could be bothering a course for a Noble, something nobody wished to do... once she reached her destination, nobody would ever bother her...
“WHOA!” The voice of the young child filled the room, full of awe at the surrounding. Mara'lith smiled as she watched her skip into the room, discovering all of the surrounding. The soft grass to jump into, the little pond full of fishes, the statues of the nine Goddesses holding their single eye, the moon... “Mistress, this is... beautiful!”
“Welcome to the chapel, La.”
The young slave turned her single eye toward her, now full of curiosity. “The Chapel, mistress?”
“You are growing, La. Sometime it seems like you were a baby just yesterday...” She sat on the ground, looking at her. “Today, you are a simple nine years old. Tomorrow, you will be a lady. Before you reach this age, life will make you face more and more difficulties, even as a simple slave.” She tapped on her lap, lightly. “I want to introduce you to some persons who will be able to help you, and whoever you may love, throughout it all.”
A gentle smile illuminated the young Drow's face as she skipped toward her mistress, sitting on her lap. “They will help me, Mistress? Like you?”
“Exactly like me..." She giggled. "There will be time when they'll be so busy, you won't even notice they are looking out for you, you might even be tempted to think that they have abandoned you... but no matter what happens, they will always have an eye in your direction, watching you, making sure that you and all of those you love stay safe...”
“Goddesses...” She looked at the chapel before falling to her knee, her arms wrapped around her chest in respect. Nothing had changed in the room, as if time itself did not matter for the Goddesses... for all she knew, it was the case. “Please, grant me your guidance so that I may serve my Mistress to the best of my ability, and grant it to my Mistress, so that she may continue to be your faithful Servant...”
“Mistress, I do not understand... why do we worship the Goddesses if they have banished our ancestors, and us, to such a harsh life?” Mara'lith chuckled, looking at her young Servant.
“Ah, the age old question... so many persons renounce their faith, simply because of it...” She shook her head, a sad smile on her lips. “There is something that you must understand La, the Goddesses did NOT banish our ancestors to the underground. Our ancestors banished THEMSELVES. During the war against the light Elves, the Goddesses tried to reach to them, but at the insistence of the so called 'Great Queen' of the Dark Elven Nation, Sharess, they decided to ignore their holy Wisdoms, and brought the Children of the Twin Suns into the world...”
She took a pause before continuing. “The Children burned everything, even the very Eyes of the Goddesses... To extinguish the fire, they had no other choice than to cry, bringing a mist that forced the Elves aways from the overworld, and from the Goddesses themselves...”
The slave listened with interest, hung to the lips of her Mistress, only talking once she finished her tale. “But, if we are so far away from them... how can they even see us?”
A new smile appeared on Mara'lith's lips. “The Goddesses have created everything, young one... from the Sky to the very Rocks that surround what is now our race's home... matter does not bother them any more than the water of a fountain prevent us from seeing the fishes inside. It is not the Goddesses who cannot see us, it is us who cannot see them. Only a rare few, who manage to keep their mind open to the remaining traces of the Goddesses within their creation, can hope to stay attuned to them.”
“And what happens to those who CAN'T stay attuned to them, Mistress?”
This time, Mara'lith's smile fell, replaced with pain and sadness...
“You are still too young to know, La... Sleep for now, one day, you will know everything...”
The young slave buried herself under her blankets, closing her eyes after receiving a kiss on her forehead. Mara'lith walked away, gently closing the door of the den before letting out a loud sigh.
“It is getting harder to raise her, Goddesses... she is only Fifteen, yet she is already everything I ever desired in a child... But she is naught but a slave! A pitiful, disfigured slave I took on as an experiment, a mere game to see if I could raise one to Loyalty... but she is the one who made me loyal to her...” She rubbed her sleeve against her eyes, leaving them wet with the tears that started rising to her eyes. “Help me, Goddesses, I am so lost...”
“Must.. find.. a male...”
“Must... give her... a mate...”
“Must... let my Spirit... and my Blood... SURVIVE!”