Chapter 6 ~ The Village Elders


LeeZee, with her awakened power, still does not know what they are or how to use them. After bathing, all assemble for tea and discuss what will transpire later in the evening with the village elders. Three green and one white signal flares from the Gallant Tree Inn, summons the elders.

LeeZee Awake

Three seed pods simultaneously fall into the spa from the World Tree, just after LeeZee transformed with her all her succubus powers active. This is taken as a positive sign and the Vanir siblings emerge from the water. Steam begins to rise as the cool water is replaced by fresh hot water that emanates from the hot spring. Ruu helps LeeZee out of the water and realizes she is touching his mind with hers, flooding him with information from her childhood.

[ ~Ruu~ ]       Dad! You need to get this one some isolation gloves before she tells everyone who she really is and who her parents...

[SpaceDog]    We will get to the real training after tea IF your step-aunt is up for the challenge. Isn't that right sis!

SpaceDog volunteers his sisters' god powers.

[Jean Vanadis]  Well, I know you have your own agenda, but you know that I am always up for a challenge. Fear not, LeeZee. I will have you up-to-speed with your demi-goddess powers before mid-day tomorrow.

[LeeZee]      Isolation gloves? Demigoddess powers? Commander, who the hell am I?

LeeZees' voice trails as she suddenly becomes very tired. Ruu is supporting LeeZee by the arm.

[ ~Ruu~ ]       Dad? Should I kiss her?

[SpaceDog]    Ask her!

SpaceDog nods at LeeZee who hopelessly grins and wraps her arm around Ruu. When Ruu opens his mouth to kiss LeeZee, she closes her eyes and part her lips slowly. As they kiss, he transfers back the Chi she accidentally released through her touch. When her Chi is returned, her body wakes and she thanks him with a very passionate wet kiss. LeeZee, between kisses, says,

[LeeZee]      Wow! A real kiss! 

[Jean Vanadis]  Okay you two, go get a room if you want to carry on. I warn you Ruu, she has no control over her powers yet, so no funny business. Better yet, let's all get ready for tea. Onee-chan! I love Cyn's cooking. It's almost as good as yours! What's on the menu?

[SpaceDog]    She's made my favorite curry and sweet potato crepes for dessert. I don't know what type of meat she used, however, I suspect maybe Dodo bird.

SpaceDog begins to drooling at the very thought.

[Lady Robin]   Isn't Dodo bird extinct?

[SpaceDog]    On Earth they became extinct in 1662EAC, but I brought back eight mating pairs before that occurred. Two couples were taken to Fornax Santé, three couples went to Vanaheim and the others came here. Fornax Santé is the wildlife refuge world of lost plants and animals I started 5000 cycles ago after becoming drunk and losing a bet. It's amazing what you can do with a portable Rainbow Bridge powered by an artificial singularity.

[Lady Robin]   Was that the big green planet I saw at our first meeting when we ate at Foxy Roxy's Raman on Fornax Prime?

[SpaceDog]    That's the one. How did you guess? I never mentioned Fornax Santé by name.

Bonnie Jean picks up the three fallen seed pods and hands them to Robin, nodding her head to a basket in the corner of the room. Robin places the pods in the basket, gets into the heated water to bath and never answers his question.

[Lady Robin]   This place is absolutely marvelous.

A few moments later, all parties get out of the water, towel down or dry themselves on the hot rocks area... Istannas' dragon egg is secured in a secret chamber located on the upper floor. They then return to their respective bed chambers changing into fresh clothes. LeeZee wakes Panda Kitti from her slumber.

The group enters the dining area where three others sit finishing their tea. A burly elf gets up and hands Cyn a small gold coin and two silver. She thanks him by bending down and flashing him a view of her bosom! She glimpses SpaceDog,

[ ~Cyn~ ]      Daddy! CeFuu has already rearranged the tables for the elders. Shall I call them?

Cyn gets three green and one white flare-sticks from a box by the door. SpaceDog and Jean nod in agreement and Cyn exits the door pulling out a wand from between her breasts. Bonnie Jean looks at SpaceDog and mutters,

[Jean Vanadis]  I bet you taught her how to hide things between her girls, didn't you?

SpaceDog grins and tries to look innocent.

[SpaceDog]    You know she has this natural gift of learning magic by visualizing it done once. Just like you, me and elder Jon.

Dee (Cyn's twin in facial features and height), brings out pitchers of dark ale and water for each table and returns to the kitchen. She emerges with food in large bowls that she sets in front of Fontana, Lady Robin, Panda Kitti, and LeeZee, sitting at one of the round tables. She grabs the empty plates and bowls from the empty guest tables and balances them in one hand returning to the kitchen. She emerges a moment later with two larger bowls and places them before SpaceDog and Bonnie Jean at the larger table. SpaceDog grins as he gets a whiff of the spicy curry and black Fornax rice. Four empty chairs that surround the table wait unoccupied for the village elders.

Outside, Cyn places the four fire-sticks into launch tubes that are part of the front garden decorations. Waving her wand, a beam of green light strikes the wickets hanging from each stick. Instantaneously, the fire-sticks launch high into the sky directly over the inn with bright green and white floating lights. A short while later, four cloaked figures appear giggling and staggering to where Cyn stands. Cyn bows and greets them.

[ ~Cyn~ ]      Greetings elders. Mistress Bonnie Jean Vanadis and Star Lord SpaceDog are waiting inside for you to join them for tea. May the twin moons and 2 suns bless you and the world tree.

The cloaked figures continue ascending the stairs. They do not return the greetings but motion for her to follow them. Entering the dining hall, all four figures remove their cloaks and hand them to Cyn who brushes them off before hanging them neatly on pegs attached to the wall. Jon Morris, a white-haired elf elder says looking straight at SpaceDog.

[Jon Morris]   Who let the riff-raff into the room?

Both he and SpaceDog draw daggers, stair at each other as if starting a fight when both throw their knives at the target in the far corner of the room. Both knives strike dead center of the target side by side.

[SpaceDog]    Good seeing you my old friend!

SpaceDog gives Jon Morris a handshake, head butt, and then a grand hug.

[Jon Morris]   Who are you calling old? What are you doing here? Business, pleasure or are you here to see your sister. She constantly complains that she has not heard or seen you in almost 200 cycles?

Jean bangs her mug upon the table and speaks in unison with SpaceDog,

[SpaceDog & Jean]    All the Above! 

SpaceDog bows to the other three elders and says,

[SpaceDog]    Jardin de Cecile, Lullaby Halo, and Huli Lam. It is good to have you join us. There is something important we need to discuss before Thor arrives. 

One of the three elders suddenly draws a long dagger and heads straight towards LeeZee,

[Jardin]           Die Succubus! 

Jardin stabs LeeZee deep in the heart.  As quickly as this happens, Dee and CeFuu appear and bind the elf Jardin. Bonnie Jean Vanadis quickly goes over to LeeZee before withdrawing the dagger,

[Jean Vanadis]  LeeZee, you are a powerful succubus and we should have expected this since your powers have just awakened and broadcast your powers. Now, when I pull this out, you must heal yourself. You got that, little one? You possess the power. Visualize it in your mind and heart, then bind and heal the wounds with your Chi. Ready?

Before LeeZee can reply, Jean Vanadis removes the dagger embedded deep in her chest. For a very short time, LeeZee is inert and her eyes roll back into her head. She finally opens them.

[LeeZee]      Damn that hurt!

Looking at the elder.

[LeeZee]      Who the Hell are you and what have I ever done?

Lady Robin joins LeeZee and holds her shoulder for support. Fontana runs out of the room and makes an elf hand sign that means I will get help. He grabs a red flare stick.

Dee starts sniffing the air around Jardin.

[ ~Dee~ ]       She's been drugged. Where were you before you came here?

[~CeFuu~]       Something's not right... You were at The Water Works, weren't you? I smell dark magic. She's not going to remember much, judging the expression on her face.

SpaceDog points at Jardin and says in his Commend voice.

[SpaceDog]    Panda Kitti

The cat jumps to where the elf is bound and stands before him in a daze. Jean looks at Kitti.

[Jean Vanadis]  Delve deep into her mind and tell me what you see.

Panda Kitti wraps her tail around the elf's neck and begins the telepathic probe.

[Panda Kitti]  ...meow, meow, meows, warm water on her hands, meows giggle juice in her belly, meows the smell of fermented fruit, meowwwsss.... a dark shadow moving, meows lights flashing in patterns of...

[SpaceDog shouts]    STOP! Look no further. I know what we are dealing with. Jardin Cecile was hypnotized by the dark elfin magic residing in the shadows after they drugging her. We are close to solving this mystery methinks...

Fontana appears again at the doorway,

[Fontana]      I called Angela. She will know how to break whatever spell was cast.

A short while later Angela shows up with her Bag of Infinite Holding and immediately senses what has occurred. Evaluating all the emotions of the people in the room, she turns to LeeZee and asks...

[Angela]       How are you feeling? Does it still hurt? Please, show me the wound. I must determine that you were not poisoned.

When LeeZee opens her blouse, in the middle of her sternum, a red area about the size of a dagger closes up and then disappears.

[LeeZee]      Wow, I feel hungry and powerless.

She ties up the blouse with a small spot of blood on it. Angela gets gold dust from her kit and sprinkles a small amount on the blood. The blood turns yellow and sparkles.

[Angela]       You are lucky to have been drugged, but not poisoned.

Turning to Jardin who is still in a trance.

[Angela]       Let me take a look at you.

Angela takes out a tuning fork from her bag of tricks and taps the end to make it vibrate. She removes another fork with three prongs and taps it. Jardin's eyes begin to flicker. Angela holds the first tuning fork on the center prong of the other and immediately Jardin's eyes open and she says,

[Jardin]         This doesn't look like a Watering Hole. I'm so hungry. I could eat a whole Dodo bird.

[SpaceDog]    Welcome back to reality, Elder Jardin de Cecile. You are at the Gallant Tree Inn and you are one lucky elf. Please, don't mind the atmosphere. I've not been this flabbergasted since I bought the place.

SpaceDog says, looking his sister in the eye. Bonnie Jean Vanadis has a huge grin on her face.

[Jean Vanadis]  So you're the new owner nobody is talking about! Where is the paperwork and how did you?  Never mind, I know there's a long story behind your madness brother... I'll find out when you dream tonight, ha ha ha ha!

[Lady Robin]   Sibling bonds. Don't you just love them?

Lady Robin is holding LeeZee closely and has tears in her eyes...

Bonnie Jean comforts Jardin and explains what happened. Angela hands Jardin a drink she concocted from her bag. Jardin de Cecile tries desperately to apologize but they fluff it off as if nothing happened.

Cyn starts the meal with a short introduction to her family and friends as she welcomes the elders.

[ ~Cyn~ ]      Okay everyone. My name for those who don't know me is Cyn. I am the chef who made the Dodo curry a bit spicy because that's the way daddy likes it. The black rice is from (off-world) and very delicious with the curry. I am the hostess with the mostest and welcome you first-timers to the newly designed inn and lounge, (both public and private bathhouse), the Gallant Tree Inn. This is a family business owned and run by my daddy, Star Lord SpaceDog, my twin sister Dee...

Dee takes a bow,

[ ~Cyn~ ]      ...and my twin brothers from other mothers, Ruu and CeFuu.

Ruu and CeFuu both bow with respect towards the elders.

[ ~Cyn~ ]      Daddy adopted all 4 of us after our father died. We, in turn, help run the establishment. If there is anything we can help you with, please feel free to ask. 

SpaceDog & Bonnie Jean raise their mugs followed by all assembled,

[SpaceDog & Jean]    CHEERS!

[Everyone]    Let's Eat!

Talking and Lesson

After things calm down, the group starts their meal, they discuss everyday life in the Village of Elders. Bonnie Jean sits next to SpaceDog and quizzes him as to why he has not visited her in the past 200 cycles. SpaceDog stealth-fully avoids her questions but reveals his motive for bringing in Cyn, Dee, Ruu, and CeFuu after the death of their true father (and good Atlantean friend Harri). SpaceDog was given the Inn with the promise to adopt Harri's children and keep them employed.  SpaceDog tells how he discovered the underground hot springs after he was given the Inn. 

Ruu pulls up a chair and sits next to LeeZee while constantly looking at where the stab wound was, or is he just peeking at her full chest? During the meal, Ruu presents LeeZee with a small red box. Inside the box, LeeZee discovers a pair of skin-tight red gloves. After putting them on, she brushes her hand across Ruu's cheek and discovers the gloves have isolated her Chi from transfering. She gives Ruu an appreciation hug as thanks.

Lady Robin absorbs everything being said and notes all appearances in her mind.  Fontana (speaking to Panda Kitti) asks about her life and she answers his questions almost before he has time to ask them. He realizes that she is using her telepathy and tells her to quit. Panda Kitti pouts but continues the conversation unabated.

SpaceDog and Jon Morris talk about locating the necklace stolen from Odin, and piece together events at The Water Works, plus past and present owners. SpaceDog begins to form ideas to where the necklace might be. It's obvious that someone has been observing the group from the shadows since they entered the village. Cyn and Dee come in from the kitchen bearing home-made crapes made of sweet potatoes, thickened cream with strawberries, currents, carambola (star fruit) and mangoes. At the same time, both SpaceDog and Jon motion Angela (sitting next to Fontana), to join them at the table.

Jon Morris looks concerned,

[Jon Morris]   Thanks for helping Angela. What can you tell us about how Jardin was hypnotized. Are there any unchecked clues the dark magic user we may have missed? I know you sense the aura of people around you, but can you trace anything back from the past?

[Angela]       My aura-reading only works in the present. Sister Sister may be a better detective than myself since she is a hybrid elf/Vanir and a witch to boot. Did you know I love boots? I will have her look around for any clues after her shift ends at first light. In the meantime, please excuse me. I will need some sleep before I relieve her.

Angela stops to give Fontana a squeeze before he follows her up to his room.

[Jean Vanadis]  LeeZee, come here and I will give you a quick lesson on being a succubus and the powers you now possess.

Bonnie Jean watches Ruu escort LeeZee to the chair between her and Huli Lam, the silent elder.

[Jean Vanadis]  Please remove those gloves and hold hands with Huli. Little brother, get a case of that fermented Darker-Than-Black ginger beer you keep handy. I know you still make the stuff.

SpaceDog salutes his sister with his left hand as a sign that he knows exactly what she desires. He presses a button on his wrist and instantly disappears.

[Jean Vanadis]  We Vanir have exceptional memories and can easily send those memories to others. Clear your mind, momentarily, and when you are ready, squeeze Huli's hand. Are you ready to receive a lesson, from another succubus?

LeeZee lowers her head and with closed eyes announces,

[LeeZee]      Yes. Willing and able to receive the lesson.

As SpaceDog did with Shadowfax, Bonnie Jean Vanadis puts her forehead on LeeZee's and a flood of information passes from Vanir to succubus in several heartbeats after LeeZee squeezes Huli's hands who LeeZee discovers is an ancient silent succubus.

In the distance, a bell sounds that is accompanied by the howling of dogs as the twin moons reach the dead of night...

Chapter 5 - The Gallant Tree Inn Book 1 index Chapter 7 - The Water Works
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