CHAPTER 106: CELEBRATION
The Orc has conquered easily Bor stronghold and South forces have dispersed into the Plains.
Arial is not affected with the festive mood in the fortress.
The Orcs can be seen swinging their glaives in celebration, throwing axes and playing with their spears, while the Legion is composed in their behaviour.
Every way Arial step. they offer him praise.
‘HAIL OUR COMMANDER!’ they will yell.
The Legion sent Velamina to her tent and then asks permission from Koer to return to their post in the Capital.
Koer agrees while also ordering them to relay the joyous news to the Capital that the internal struggles of the Orcs has ended, and they will begin again find stability in the Orc lands.
That night they departed in silence. All of the Orcs is in a festive mood and jubilant with this victory.
Peace has come again on the Plains
The smell of horsemeat and other game invited many of the soldiers to join the festivities. Koer took all Bor horses and slaughters them for food.
And Arial could not complain.
The vegetables and seasoning is just enough with a hint of horsemeat. To compare it with the castle cooking, of course it is a far cry from perfection but it is appetizing.
‘Dawarai Arial, join me in the fortress to feast with all the other commanders.’ Koer asks when he sees Arial is eating with his soldier.
‘It is fine Orothon Koer. This place is fine for me. The food is good, the scene is wonderful, and the breezy winds help calm me down after such battle.’
Koer nodded and he did heard and see how domineering Arial is in the last battle. Even when the spotlight is taken from him, he is not offended.
Secretly Koer admires Arial strength.
Koer looks around and he realizes none of the Orc soldier is uncomfortable with Arial. And once again his opinion towards Arial rose.
To create camaraderie and unity in an army is not easy! He truly is a great commander he thought to himself.
‘It is fine then Dawarai Arial. Though I must say, that the other commander would really love to hear your battle stories’ Koer laughed
‘But you will join us tomorrow right, hunting the remnant of the Orcs, the rebels?’
Arial sip the last sip of the horse soup and reply.
‘I’m afraid I can’t. As you know Koer it has been about a year since I went back home. Now this is settled and I have fulfilled my promise and duty towards King Azrael and his administration, there is no reason to stay here anymore.’
‘Ah, such cold words. Surely you could extend such courtesy to me?’
‘HAHAHA’ Arial laugh.
‘If I could I would, Orothon. But I have a wife back home and I doubt she will be pleased if she heard me enjoying her absence.’
‘Ah, wife. Of course. These, I understand. I have 7 wives myself and they are a headache. How much do you have, Dawarai?’
Arial don’t know how to answer the Orc King question.
‘Just the one, Orothon.’
‘One? You are a remarkable man. How you endure the urges, I wonder?’
‘I guess, you have just to endure….I guess?’
‘Is that so? Human culture baffles me.’
The open air fire burn with a large gigantic pot with all the ingredient for the horse meat, vegetables, some herbs and spices and many meats.
Orcs seem to like meaty diet. All around him the sound of chewing meat and slurping can be heard with laugher and some Orc dancing.
‘It is fine Orothon. I will pack myself tomorrow and handed my title to Ratarai Fera’
‘It is unfortunate that we can’t hold a proper award ceremony for a warrior of such renown as you, Dawarai.’
‘It is fine, Orothon. It really is. It is not my intention to get reward when I help the Orcs.’
‘For the Orcs to understand.’
‘Understand? Understand what?’
‘That not all humans means harm. And neither we are weak.’
‘HAHAHAHA’ Koer laughed
‘That is true. I could not deny it now that I have met a man like you. However to let you leave without any rewards would be disgraceful of me. The Horned God would sneer at me to treat my benefactor like this.’
Then he looked at Arial glaive beside the chair.
‘I have heard that the Glaive you use in battle has become your favorite weapon. I will give that to you as a gift.’
‘Orothon! I could not accept such gift. This has been passed down from how many generations of your family! How could I covet such items?’
‘It is fine. This will show my sincerity towards you and surely the Horned God will smile if such weapon is in the hand of one that could use the glaive to its full potential. Even if I kept it, what good will it does to me? I couldn’t even lift it. So just accept it Dawarai.’
Arial hesitated and then Koer persuade Arial again
‘For me, Dawarai.’
Arial look at the weapon and then looking at the sincere face of Koer and he nodded.
‘Then I must extend my gratitude for trusting me.’
Koer pat Arial in the back and then he said
‘I will be in the Fort Main Hall with my Orurs. If you change your mind, please join us.’
But Arial doubt he will join Koer, as he watched Koer and his officers walking towards the fortress main hall.
It is not because Arial hates Koer or anything like that but because Arial like this feeling looking at the Orc.
There is singing, dancing their traditional dance, the Dance of the Horned God, sharing their joy of victory and hope of peace.
There is a fire in the middle of the celebration and Arial see many people dancing and singing around the fire, some throwing some meat onto the fire for the Horned God.
Some Orc beats on the drums while others are singing. The voice is hoarse and arouses fighting spirit.
It is not flowery like the songs of love, or smooth like consoling a heartbroken heart, but hard and fierce, and the Orcs danced to the beat of the drums and gongs like they are in battle.
The dance is like fighting, each of the dances must be dance in pairs. One is attacking and one is dodging.
The dance of the horned god. The Orc male has already loosen their armour and dancing half naked near the fire.
Arial like this kind of feel. Tomorrow he will begin departing to Arrandy. Some farewell is needed.
He gripped he glaive and walk to Velamina tent.
Stars spilling the skies that night and the sound of horns and drums and gongs can be heard until here.
The celebration is ongoing.
Arial step into Velamina tent. Slowly he walks. Slowly he steps. Almost wishing this day never comes.
Arial spotted her. She seems to be sleeping. Arial came closer and sit himself beside her bed, sitting on a chair and look at her.
Her mysteriousness and charms is enough to stir the heart. The beauty of a High Elf. Tonight their game ends.
Velamina stirred and her fingers touched Arial fingers and slowly she opens her eyes, those beautiful green eyes.
‘Arial?’ she said as she rubbed her eyes.
‘You alright?’ Arial said gripping Velamina fingers smoothly hand. She smiles a weak smile. She sat on her bed and look at Arial face.
And she stroke slowly Arial white hair, that curious color which Velamina always find strange.
‘I am fine. A little tired and exhausted but fine.’ Her eyes look at his and she knows that there is something that Arial wish to tell her.
‘Why do you come here? It is uncharacteristic of you to come here. Missing me?’ she said, grinning.
Arial stifle his laugh. Still have the mood to joke, this Elvenan, Arial mused
‘I need to say farewell.’
‘I’m leaving tomorrow’ and this news startled Velamina.
‘Home’ He replies.
Velamina is startled not only because she didn’t expect that Arial is heading back but also because of her indecisiveness.
She knows what at stake yet he could never have the heart to…..
She could have drugged him many times now but she never could put that into action. She loves him.
And she wants him to know that. Even though she knows she will inevitably hurt him…because she knows what he will be giving up for her….for the stars have spoken.
She couldn’t deny it any longer.
She could no longer endure nor could she let him go away like this, with many things unspoken.
He may have his wife but Velamina doesn’t care.
She has loved this human more than she has ever loved anything in the world. And by all the Gods, she doesn’t want to let him go.
She was always alone in this world. Alone in a sea of people. Yet, with him, she can see a future.
But she knows, whatever happens tonight, tomorrow they would hardly met each other again.
And tomorrow she knows, is a long time.
The stars have told her so. She mused. Their paths are not yet there. Someday, when the stars are aligned, when peace has dawn, then they will meet again.
Tonight is that day. Tonight mark either a beginning or an ending.
‘So this means my temptation fails?’ she laughed a weak and tired laugh.
‘I should have known it will not work with good men like you.’
‘A misconception. It’s a misconception that good men and good people do not know what temptation means. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is and your temptation is great indeed Velamina. A man who gives in to temptation after merely seconds simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. Ah, the willpower it takes to endure, to control your emotion, to not be blinded by emotions, especially the torments you have subjected me, it takes a divine patience to endure. That is why evil people, in one sense, know very little about evil. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in.”
‘So you admit my temptation stirred your heart’
‘I admit so.’
‘But you love your wife and this is why you endure, I suppose?’
‘I do love her and it is by her name that I endure.’
‘And me? How about me? Is there no love there in that cold heart of yours? No affection? No tinge of feeling? What do you feel about me, Arial? A friend? Companion?’
‘I…I don’t know’
‘Humph! You don’t know or you don’t want to admit it. For a man that is brave enough to stormed enemies stronghold and risk your life in battlefield, I never knew that you could be such a coward.’
And then Velamina took Arial and grab his collar and bring him near her lips, staring at each other, locking their eyes, their breath becomes faster, their heart is beating like the pounding drums on the outside celebration.
And then she kisses him right on his lips.
Her wide green eyes rested on him and instinctively Arial moved towards her without even meaning to, his body taking control, his heart drives his body, and put his hand on her shoulder, her eyes looking mischievously at him, facing each other and he could feel the tension in his own body, his effort of holding back.
‘I should stop’ he said as he tried to push Velamina but Velamina is already up from her bed and she pushed him onto the bed and they look at each other.
‘I don’t want you to stop.’
However dangerous, unwise and wrong this is, Arial couldn’t stop himself.
‘It is just a kiss’ he said, not sure whether he believed the words he uttered. Velamina heard the roughness in Arial voice and she laughed and grins.
Her laugh and the anxiety in her voice almost make Arial want to hurl Velamina onto the bed and take her right then and there.
All that he had to endure got loose and when they kiss, her arms came up around his neck and he pulled her against him.
She is kissing him as fiercely as he is kissing her. His hand slides down to her waist and then he remembers his wife and she stopped.
He stopped and slowly pushes Velamina
‘We couldn’t do this.’
‘Why?’ Velamina ask.
‘You know why.’
Velamina unlock her hands from around his neck and stare at Arial. Arial began making excuses
‘I.I..I..We both are a little weak and you must be lonely and I know I am lonely…so…I.’ With every word Velamina is fuming
‘DON’T YOU DARE DO THAT ARIAL!’ And her scream startled Arial
‘DON’T YOU LOOK WHAT I HAD FOR YOU AND CALL IT WEAK! NO..NO, YOU DON’T DESERVE TO SAY THAT! Not when you were the one afraid of it. Don’t you dare call me weak! I love you! This, I declare to you without any pretense and I will go to the graves with the memory of the bravery in my bones. Show me yours, Arial. Show me bravery befitting of a man of your stature.’
Arial then look at Velamina with such hunger that it makes Velamina almost took a step back.
Rarely has he been challenged this directly.
The only one that came on his mind is that blue hair girl he met years ago. And never before his heart has been stirred this wildly before, and never have had he endured greater torment, then denying the attraction he felt for her.
She is terrifying, strange, beautiful in every way, soul and body. She is feisty, daring and has passion of fire inside her, which is clear enough for Arial.
What you see of her is what you will get. There is no pretension in the matter of her heart.
She exceeds his expectations, every time.
The perfect balance of danger and charm. She is something that not everyone knows to appreciate or love.
And now that woman is asking for Arial to be brave.
He knows that he leads her on night after night, that the game they play of cat and mouse will eventually lead to this night.
The game of the seducing lady and the steadfast lord need to be concluded tonight.
He came forward baring his intention known. He decided, he will be responsible for this woman.
He might be condemned, mocked, and he already knows the consequences of bringing another girl back home, the political consequence but even he had honour he need to adhere towards.
And, frankly, he doesn’t care. And hesitating like this is not his personality.
‘Bravery? You ask me for bravery?’ He approached Velamina, with that glint of fire in his eyes and he said.
But before that he will give her another chance. To run. To escape. There will be great pressure on her later if she were to follow him on to the human continent.
After all with his position, undoubtedly, she too will live in the castle, with all its dark plots and secrets.
Run he had hoped for her. Escape he had hoped for her.
‘You need to walk away Velamina. I’m going to give you this opportunity to run away. You need to stop your temptation. Because I don’t know what I’m going to do if you tempt me again. God knows I can’t walk away from you.’
Velamina was so happy by that sentence and she ran to his arm and stole a kiss from his lips.
‘Don’t worry about this elf, my lord. I’m different than other woman. I will never burden you. I might be a pain but my charms cover my fault’
Arial kissed her back, his mouth lingering on hers, his teeth grazing on her lower lip, making her shiver.
‘And me? What about me?’ he asks.
‘You are different from other men. All I need is you.’
‘Is this the charm you are talking about? Flattery?’
‘One of many’ she smile a naughty smile
And then they remove their clothes, and lay on the bed and finally Velamina fell the virtuous dragon with her sincere heart, fell the steadfast lord with her bravery and they spend that night, making each other understand the intention of love and blissfully they sleep.