A/N I didn't spend all that much time in Fallow, since it's not even a proper skirmish in the main game, but it is the first taste of combat in this story, (don't worry, if warfare's your thing there'll be plenty when it comes to the Norse and the Japanese) In actual fact I spent more time on the silver scroll 'paternity suit' mission than on Fern, since I quite enjoyed writing Kyrel's reactions to the accusations.

Disclaimer: I don't own Black & White; if I did they would have made a Black & White 3!

Chapter Six

Fallow Falls And A Father's Accusation

Almost as soon as the boy had stopped speaking Asgeir jumped up from his seat and ran towards the door, before he reached it however I had placed myself in front of it, barring the way, "Asgeir! No!" I said, "There's nothing you can do!"

"Like hell there isn't!" He shouted, "The people of Fallow are my responsibility! I can't sit here whilst they're in trouble!"

"If you go back there you'll be killed! Then what good will you be?" I shot back.

"What would you do if it was Fern and you where in my place, Einar?" He asked accusingly.

"I'd do exactly what you're trying to do now." I admitted, "And I'd be dead before sunset and Fern would be without its leader and Stonepeak would have its way with its people."

"Asgeir." Kyrel said gently, laying his hand on my irate friend's shoulder, "The people of Fallow are hardy, strong. They will be fine, they can hold on long enough for my people to come to their aid."

"The Greeks?" Asgeir said bitterly, "And what can they do? Those southern men have no backbone; they don't know how to fight, not like Norsemen! Even Stonepeak's band of cutthroats and thieves would easily overwhelm mere Greeks!"

"The Greeks are stronger than you think." Kyrel said, "I have half a hundred Greek soldiers ready to answer my call, how many men does Stonepeak lay claim to?"

"Well, they have thirty-six swordsmen patrolling the area around Stonepeak and Rockridge, and occasionally they venture as far as the flatland below the plateau on which Fallow stands. But we're fairly sure they have maybe twice that number that guard Stonepeak and Rockridge themselves." Asgeir said, "Fallow and Fern are small villages, we've never had enough young men capable of bearing arms in order to drive off Stonepeak's men."

"I have fifty swordsmen, raw recruits perhaps, but taught by the toughest and most experienced veterans of the Greek army, members of the Royal Guard and those strong enough to fight their way through Athera to join the rest of my people in flight." Kyrel said, "I doubt that Stonepeak would have sent their entire force of brigands to Fallow, so we'll send half that number to drive them out again!"

"Hm, bold words." I said, "But what about Fern? If you move against Stonepeak's forces at Fallow they're sure to send men to secure our village as well before moving to attack Corinth. You can't protect both villages at once."

"Then the people of Fern will have to flee." Kyrel said, "If they come to Corinth I can protect them, they will have food, shelter and safety. All I ask in return is that you help the Greeks. They are still few, still mourning their losses at Athera and the other cities… if your people could help work the fields, repair the ruins…"

In truth the offer was tempting; with a God protecting my people what did we have to fear from Stonepeak? But would my people go? Would they abandon their homes, the graves of their ancestors, to throw themselves on the mercy of the men of the south? "I…I'm not sure if my people would go."

"Then ask them. Gather the villagers together and warn them of what the Greeks are going to do, warn them of the danger and then tell them of our offer of sanctuary. Those who wish to go will be welcomed with open arms, but we will hold no grudge against those that choose to stay." Kyrel said.

I sighed and nodded, "I'll do that… it will be difficult, leaving this place. My daughter is buried here, as is her husband, not to mention my parents and another three generations of my ancestors."

Kyrel nodded, a sympathetic look on his face, "I understand. It was difficult for me, when I was driven from the village that first summoned me to your world. But if I had stayed then I would have been destroyed along with all of my tribe."

"We don't have much time." I said, turning to Asgeir, "We will have to lead the villagers to safety in Corinth, once there we can join with the Greek soldiers and go and liberate Fallow."

Asgeir nodded, sighing, he turned to Kyrel, "And what will you do?"

"I will return to Corinth and inform King Lycomedes of what has transpired, I'll convince him to send troops to help Fallow." The God said, "Once I've done that I will go and inform my Creature, Elessia. Perhaps she will consent to help you."

"What manner of Creature is this Elessia?" I asked, "Would it be up to the task?"

"She," He said sternly, "Is a giant wolf. More than sufficient, I would think, for dealing with a bunch of cutthroats and thieves."

I nodded, "Good. I suppose we have everything sorted out. I'll go tell the villagers and get them moving." I walked over to the door and opened it, leading Asgeir towards the village green so that together we could get the migration of Fern underway.

It had taken surprisingly little to convince Lycomedes to dispatch soldiers to liberate Fallow. I suspected that the King of the Grecian Empire was eager to give his young soldiers a bit of battle experience. Plus there was always the niggling fact that the 'Grecian Empire' was little more than a small city-state, hardly the grand territory that the name implied. I will have to take steps to curb Lycomedes' territorial ambitions. I thought, If I can manage to negotiate an alliance with the Japanese and the Norse I want to make sure that their Lands and their armies remain as intact as possible. Half-dead allies are useless allies.

"Bah! Why would you want an alliance with them Boss?" Sin asked, "Why not crush the Japanese Empire and the Norse Kingdoms, take over their Lands and then draw your army from the villages and cities you've conquered?"

"Because, Sin, war will inevitably mean the destruction of troops, resources and infrastructure that it would be best to capture intact for our fight against the Aztecs." Sage said, "Mines will be destroyed, fields put to the torch, cities laid to waste and people killed by the thousand! You can't raise an army of dead men, feed them without grain or arm them without ore from the mines!"

"Meh, I don't see a downside. So what if you destroy a few things or kill a few people? Where's the fun in a war without a little blood and mayhem?" Sin replied.

"For someone who loves war so much I'm surprised you've not read the Art of War by Sun Tzu." Sage said, "He says you should capture enemy troops and resources whenever possible and destroy as little as possible."

"He sounds boring." Sin said, "I don't care about tactics or strategy or any of that boring stuff. Give me blood guts and cold steel any day!"

Sage threw up his hands in disgust, "I give up!"

"Took you long enough!" Sin muttered.

Quiet both of you. I told them, This is just killing a few poorly-trained, opportunistic brigands, hardly something worthy of a strategic debate. Save your Sun Tzu until we reach the Norse Homelands, not all of the Norse will be willing to bend knee to the Greeks.

The two fell silent and vanished. Whilst they had been bickering I had been heading towards Fallow with the twenty-five Greek swordsmen that Lycomedes had dispatched to liberate the village. They had set off during the night before and now dawn was just peeking over the horizon. As we got closer to the settlement we saw that Stonepeak's pack of cutthroats had taken over the huts of the village and thrown the villagers out into the cold.

As near as we could tell, Stonepeak had sent twenty men to occupy Fallow.

I concentrated and in short order I was again within my mortal form, this time clad in armour that was polished to such an extent that it shone like a beacon, even with the poor light. At my side was strapped an ornate sword with my symbol etched into the blade, "I will lead the attack." I said, "We must be quick, kill the sentries before they can warn their compatriots in the huts. If all goes well we can take the settlement before they can muster any kind of serious defence."

The captain nodded, "Agreed. I'll tell the men to cover their armour and weapons to dull the noise and stop any reflections from giving us away."

Once the soldiers had finished wrapping their armour and weapons all twenty-six of us advanced slowly, cautiously on the still-sleeping village. Twenty painfully slow minutes later we reached the edge of the village without being spotted. I raised my hand and my troops stopped creeping forward. I examined the sleeping village for a few tense seconds, counting the sentries; with a few hand signals my troops placed themselves ready to attack each sentry.

I clenched my hand and all hell broke loose.

We all stood and ran at the sentries, cutting them down before they could give the alarm, unfortunately one of the enemy soldiers had just come out of the huts and had spotted our attack and began shouting his head off. It only took me a few seconds to stride the distance to the soldier; I cut him down with a vicious blow to his chest before he could raise his guard properly, causing a bright fountain of red to bust from his chest and mouth.

Even as he fell lifelessly to the dirt I knew I had been too late. His cry had alerted the other Stonepeak soldiers and they had all rushed out of the huts wielding swords, clubs and axes. They charged my men with a roar.

I moved on instinct and easily parried a clumsy overhand blow that one of the ruffians had aimed at me. It was laughably easy to disarm the man, literally, as my sword bit through flesh and bone to hack off his arm in one clean strike. As he fell, screaming and clutching the stump of his arm, I ended his suffering with a merciful blow to his neck, taking his head with a singe stroke of my bloodstained sword.

I turned to find another foe, the shouts and cries of battle invigorating me with a burning bloodlust. Something I had not felt for countless ages. It was liberating in a way; the terror of my enemies and their agonies before the merciful void of death claimed them evoked old memories and ancient, long buried feelings and desires. Echoed in their fear and pain were the savage joys I had experienced during my wrathful slaughtering of Lethys' followers.

It was some time until the red haze lifted as the last, broken Norsemen fled for their lives from the blood-soaked village of Fallow. I suddenly felt very tired, as if some crazed demon had possessed me during the battle and at its leaving it had taken with it all of the energy and ecstasy the bloodbath had given me. The sight of my dripping sword and gore-splashed armour sickened me to my stomach and I had to force myself not to retch.

I looked about and saw that the losses on my side had been light indeed; not one of my soldiers were dead, though a few bore wounds which I could heal once we returned to Corinth and I regained my strength. The villagers of Fallow were gone; they must have fled as soon as the battle had started. I would have to withdraw the troops and give them time to return… perhaps their Chieftain, Asgeir, would be able to gather them back together and lead them to Corinth.

But right now, all I wanted to do was throw away my sword and sleep. I hadn't even realised it was possible for a God to feel tired. It was probably because I was so far from my worshippers.

One of my soldiers, a young lad of maybe eighteen or nineteen walked over to me, his sword crusted with drying blood. He seemed t move as if in a trance; the shock hadn't quite hit him yet, the shock that he was still alive, the shock of killing another man. A few more battles will toughen him up. I thought grimly, There will be more bloodshed before this is over. As he came closer I put my hand on his shoulder, he flinched violently, suddenly awakening from his trance, "You did well." I said gently, "Remember; these men were your enemies, they would have come to Corinth next. They would have been no better to the people there than the Aztecs were at Athera."

The youth's expression turned from one of confused guilt to one of such loathing and hatred that I took a step back in shock, "I know." He said coldly, "They deserved to die!"

"These men had friends, family." I reminded him, "They did not deserve to die."

He shook his head, "No! You said it yourself; if they had come to Corinth they would have been no better than the Aztecs! I'd kill all of the if it meant stopping something like Athera happening again!"

I nodded, sighing, "You…lost someone?"

"My parents and one of my sisters." He said, "The…The Aztecs, they…they weren't… The things I watched them do to my mother and sister before they killed them…. Before they butchered them like animals. I won't ever let that happen again, to anybody!"

I suppose most of my troops will have stories like this. I thought sadly, I had better be careful they do not become crazed fanatics, searching for vengeance and slaughtering whoever comes into their path like the Aztecs. Aloud I said, "I am here now, and I give you my word that no matter what happens, I will never allow Athera to repeat itself." The boy nodded but didn't speak. I gestured to his sword, "You should clean your weapons and your armour, then we shall bury the dead."

"None of ours were killed." He said.

"I know, I was referring to the Norse soldiers we killed here today; they may have been our enemies but we must still treat them with honour and respect." I told him, "It is not the Greek way to leave the dead to the carrion birds. If we dd that, we would be no better than the Aztecs." That seemed to forestall any protests he might have made. The boy nodded and went to relay my orders to the rest of the men. Once he was gone I walked over to the captain and said, "Once the men have cleaned their armour and weapons and have treated their wounds and buried the dead Norsemen I want you to return to Corinth."

He saluted me, "Yes, Lord."

"Chieftain Asgeir should come along shortly with a small group of men, tell him that you've defeated Stonepeak's men and that as soon as his people return they are o make their way to Corinth."

"I understand." He told me, "We'll head back as soon as the village is secured."

Now that the business of Fallow was finished I released my hold on my mortal form and reverted back to my symbol-form, I began the return journey to Corinth.

I sighed in exasperation, trying to keep my growing temper in check, "So what exactly is this complaint then?" I asked the wrathful man in font of me.

The man, who had barged into the new temple and actually demanded to see Kyrel with an expression of thunderous rage on his face, had been shouting and cursing at the poor temple priests for over an hour now, forcing me to intervene directly. Now he was obstinately refusing to tell me why he'd come or why he was so mad, "I'm not speaking to another one of you be-robed lackeys!" He shouted, "I demanded to see your God this instant! Not his sanctimonious, jumped-up bimbo!"

That did it. "How dare you speak to me like that!" He snapped at him, drawing myself up to my full height and glaring at him, "I am High Priestess of The Faith! I am the mortal leader of Kyrel's Faithful and I will not be insulted in such a manner! Especially not from a man who refuses to be reasonable or tell me why the hell he's so damned angry in the first place!"

Before the man could stop spluttering long enough to retort, we were both startled by a loud voice, echoing throughout the temple, What is going on here?

We both turned towards the altar where Kyrel in his mortal form was stood, an irritated look on his face, before the God could speak the man marched up to him and, careless of the consequences, he did the most arrogant and stupid thing I have ever seen a man do; he invaded my God's personal space, poked him in the chest and began hurling insults right into his face!

I stared aghast as Kyrel's expression went from confusion, to shock to anger. At the height of the man's tirade Kyrel snapped. His voice was like a force of nature; it could be likened to thunder or the crashing of waves upon the shore and it seemed as if the entire temple shuddered in fear, "SILENCE! HOW DARE YOU SPEAK TO ME THUS, MORTAL?!"

The man was so frightened that he fell over and lay there, sprawled on his back. Kyrel raised his hand and the man was lifted off of the ground, he hung there in mid-air as Kyrel's eyes flashed angrily, like lightning. Kyrel twisted his hand so that the man was trapped, floating so that their eyes were level, when he next spoke Kyrel's voice was quieter, more controlled, "What grievance do you hold against me, that you would speak so rudely to those who are my representatives to mortals and to your God?" The man seemed to be scared out of his wits; he just hung there, trembling and pale. Kyrel quickly lost patience with him, "Speak!"

"You got my daughter pregnant!" The man shouted at the top of his lungs, his tone an odd mix of terror and fatherly indignation.

The words seemed to echo in the cavernous room. No one dared make a sound as the full meaning of what the man had said sank in. Inexplicably the first emotion I felt once I'd realised what he'd said was a surge of jealousy. I fought down the unexpected emotion and I felt my face flush with a bright blush. Kyrel seemed to be too shocked at the man's statement to think up a response. His mouth was opening and closing as he tried to think of something to say.

Suddenly his attention was drawn to a spot over to the left and a deep blush covered his face, "Sin!" He snapped, "Shut up before I shut you up!" He then looked to his right and said, "Sage, deal with him." He then looked at the slightly confused mortal in front of hm, "I have absolutely no idea what the hell you're talking about."

"My daughter has fallen pregnant, but she says no man has touched her! That means it's an immaculate conception! Since you're the only God around it must be your fault!" The main explained, "And since the child's yours I expect you to provide for it! I want a dowry! No man will marry her now that she's with child out of wedlock, so I want a dowry of one thousand planks of wood."

"One thousand!" Kyrel gasped, "What the heck are you going to do with all of that?"

A startled look crossed the man's face, "I…I don't know! Something important I expect! Maybe build an extension to the house for my daughter and your child."

"The child's not mine!" He protested hotly, "I've never… I haven't…" He seemed at a loss for what to say, "She's lying! She's obviously got some lover or other!"

"How dare you call my daughter a liar!" The man said, "If you're trying to imply that my daughter is a girl of… of… easy virtue then I won't hear of it! Give me my dowry or I'll… I'll tell everyone what you're like! No one will worship a God like you!"

"I'll prove it!" Kyrel snapped, and then he turned to me, "Danae! Find this girl! Have her brought here!"

"How am I supposed to find her!?" I asked, "Corinth's not exactly a small town!"

He looked annoyed, "I don't know! Improvise!"

"It's times like these I wish you really were omniscient!" I said.

"Would you really want me to know everything about you? All of your embarrassing secrets? Your innermost, private thoughts?" He asked. I blushed brightly thinking about what he would learn if he ever listened in to some of my thoughts. He grinned at my flame-hued face and said, "I thought not."

"I'll…I'll go and find the girl." I said, more as an excuse to escape more embarrassment than anything else.

Kyrel nodded, "Good. Whilst you're doing that I'm going to search Corinth myself. Between the two of us she should be found in no time." He turned to the other temple priests, "Keep this man here until we return, and if word of this… incident gets out I will hold each of you personally responsible, understood?" The priests made varying gestures and noises of assent, most of them too scared to formulate anything close to resembling a coherent sentence. Satisfied, Kyrel turned back to the man, "So, what's your daughter's name?"

"Leda" He said, "Leda Swansong."

"Of course it is…" Kyrel muttered, shaking his head. The man shot him a confused look and Kyrel sighed, "It's a God thing."

"I'll start looking." I told him, "There can't be many pregnant Leda Swansongs waddling about."

Despite her unusual name and her rather obvious condition, it took me quite some time to locate Leda. Most of the people I asked purposely lied about her and set me running around half of the town on a wild goose chase, or swan-chase in this case. By the time I'd finally found her it became apparent that most of Corinth knew the little… promiscuous girl… had managed to get herself pregnant by one of her many, many secret lovers. Everyone, of course, but her father.

I had been wandering down a side street when I'd spotted a pregnant girl matching Leda's description failing rather miserably at sneaking into the backdoor of a villa near the edge of the city. Since her house had been the first place I had searched it was obvious that if this was Leda she was trying to hide from her father. She must have realised he had run off to the temple after her little lie. However I needed more than a hunch before I went back to Kyrel so I sneaked in after waiting a few minutes and got an eyeful, or more appropriately an earful, of exactly why she'd visited this particular villa.

To say that I was embarrassed would be an understatement. I was half-convinced that my face was on fire after I heard half of the things those two were saying to each other amidst their… activities. I fled the house as quickly and quietly as possible and stood outside taking deep breaths and trying to fight down my embarrassment enough to think up a proper prayer, but try as I might I couldn't think of our to word what I was going to tell Kyrel, in the end I whispered, "Kyrel, I've found her… and she's…uh… kind of… ahem… in a compromising position with her lover at the moment. I think now would be the perfect time to show her father the… evidence of your innocence, and the lack of innocence of his own progeny."

A surprisingly short time later Kyrel appeared, holding the girl's father with a vice-like grip. As soon as he let go the man staggered forward as if he was drunk and vomited quite violently. Kyrel wrinkled his nose and took a further step away, "Hmph, mortals, no stomach for instantaneous translocation." He sighed and straightened the pale and shaking man and said, "It's only teleportation sickness, get a grip!"

He finally seemed to stop shaking and said, "That…was…awful."

"I brought you here for something important. You say I am the father of your daughter's child? Go inside that house there and see for yourself that your daughter is far from a virginal maiden." Kyrel said, pointing to the villa I'd exited minutes before.

With a disbelieving snort the man marched up to the house and yanked the door open. Both Kyrel and myself waited outside patiently. We didn't have to wait long.

The shouting was loud, long and filled with curses and threats that a lady wouldn't dare repeat in anything close to polite company… in fact I'm fairly certain even the more vulgar portions of denizens of the seedier portions of town would balk at what this man was saying. I'm fairly certain a few of his more graphic threats are anatomically impossible.

By the end of his tirade he'd dragged his daughter out of the house, Leda herself was crying by the he'd brought her in front of Kyrel, "This is the God I very nearly got smote by thanks to your lies!" He snapped at her.

At this she stopped crying and stared up at Kyrel in shock and horror. For a long moment nothing was said and then; "I…I'm s-sorry." She said pathetically, "I was so scared about dad finding out… I… It was the only thing I could think of to tell him… I didn't think you were... you know… real."

Kyrel frowned, a stern look on his face, "So, not only did you lie about me, tarnishing my reputation, but you're not even a believer!" He shook his head, "If you weren't with child I'd smite you were you stand for this!"

The girl paled and her eyes widened in horror, "P-please! I'm... not worth smiting! I won't lie again!"

The girl's father interceded, "I'm sorry for what my daughter has done… and for falsely accusing you… I promise to raise the child faithful and true to you! But please; I know what she did was wrong but she's my only daughter…"

Kyrel nodded, "Very well… I won't punish her."

"Oh thank you Lord!" The girl said.

Kyrel raised his hand, "However… reparations must be made. As soon as the child comes of age he, or she, must enter into my service for as long as I see fit. Since your family are farmers I further want you to pay me compensation in the form of one thousand bushels of wheat from your next harvest."

The father paled at the outrageous amount; that was most of the output of his farm taken by Kyrel, however he didn't seem to be willing to find out what Kyrel might do if he refused, and so he said, "You are most merciful, Lord. One thousand bushels of wheat will be delivered to Your temple at the next harvest, you have my word on that!"

"Give it to the city of Corinth instead." Kyrel said, "I myself have little use for grain, so I may as well gift it to people who have need of it."

The man nodded, "Of course Sire, I'll do that."

Kyrel nodded, "Good. Then this is the end of the matter." He turned to me, "Let us head back to the temple Danae."

By the time we'd reached the temple it was nearing sunset, we hadn't talked about anything of particular importance during the walk; instead we'd contented ourselves with inconsequential nothings and companionable silences. Neither of us, I think, wanted to drag up the embarrassing affair we'd be embroiled in earlier, nor was I particularly keen on trying to figure out how to defeat the vast Aztec warmachine. Eventually Danae stopped just before the wide, sweeping steps that led to the temple's grandiose entrance and said, "That was… enjoyable. Just… talking and not planning temples or running from slavering, howling barbarians."

I managed a wry smile; "I'm hoping there won't be too many barbaric hordes chasing me from now on. That lot at Athera were enough for several lifetimes, thank you." I hesitated before asking a question that had been in the back of my mind for some time, "Danae, at Athera… did you have any family? Friends?"

She looked away from me, sighing heavily, "No, not at Athera. I was the youngest daughter of a minor border lord. The one least likely to be married." She shook her head, glancing at me, "So they decided to send me to Athera to enter the Priesthood. They figured having a priestess daughter was better than putting up with a spinster."

"Spinster!?" I asked, startled, "I can hardy imagine any sane man giving up the chance to court you!"

She blushed at that and looked away again, "Thank you but… maybe I might be pretty enough to be some nobleman's third son's wife, but my father wasn't exactly a very important member of the nobility and because of certain… political realities it was very unlikely anyone would have taken me." She shrugged, "To be honest I didn't mind them sending me off to the Temple. I've always had a… fascination with religion, myth, and the old tales. As a little girl I'd often imagined what it would be like to live in the old days, the days of Gods and magic and legends…"

I snorted, "In the 'good old days' you'd be huddled around a fire in some poor hut, praying for all you were worth that some random Deity wouldn't take offence at the existence of your tribe and wipe you out."

She glared at me, "Thanks for ruining my childhood fantasies!"

I smirked at her; "Then again my memories are rather biased against that time, so maybe there were a few heroes and legends running about. The others did like to run you mortals about for their own amusement on occasion." I chuckled, "I remember this one time Lethys sent this man on a white stallion with some miracle-infused armour and weaponry on a 'holy quest' to slay Isira. The poor fool thought the amour could protect him. She ate his horse, peeled his armour off like he was a banana and tossed him into the village latrine from six hundred paces."

Danae choked back a laugh and gave me a scandalised look, "No! That's not what I remember happening in the Book of Histories!"

"My dear Danae, who are you going to believe, a mere book or the God that it's about?" I asked her.

She pouted, "So, there wasn't a fierce battle, a clash between the champions of two Gods locked in mortal combat? No fire? No lightning?"

"You sound just like Sin." I said with a shake of my head, "I didn't know mortal women could be so bloodthirsty."

"Bloodthirsty? A delicate flower such as myself?" She seemed shocked at the idea.

"Delicate flower, hm?" I asked her sceptically.

She glared at me angrily, "Yes."

I held up my hands in supplication, "Of course, Danae, as delicate as moonspun glass."

"Moon what?"

"Uh…a sort of… um… it's a God thing." I said, "Gods have a tendency to invent all sorts of weird and wacky alloys, materials and such for no good reason. I think, maybe, it's on the off chance that someone figures out something useful. Like an indestructible but flexible and lightweight metal for armour or something. Then again it could just be all of the other Gods loved bragging about having Temples made of impossible substances."

She sighed and shook her head, "Why have I got the feeling that half of everything you say will be utter nonsense?"

I grinned at that, "If Gods actually said stuff that made sense no one would listen to us. Besides, if I took everything seriously I'd go mad… and then where would you be?"

"Probably beating sense back into you." She said with a smile.

"Danae, I think you're the only mortal that I think might actually be capable of that." I said, half-seriously.

She chuckled and shook her head, "Good night, Kyrel." She turned around and ascended the marble steps of the temple.

I watched her leave and smiled to myself, "Good night Danae." I muttered to myself.

Before I'd even got the chance to change back to my symbol-form, Elessia's thoughts intruded upon my own, Hey, Lover Boy, I think she likes you.

Elessia… shut up.

I could feel her smirking, I feel it is my duty to inform you, as your Creature, that fraternising with mortal women isn't considered to be the sort of thing a 'pure' God should do. In fact I'm pretty sure it breaks some kind of law somewhere.

What I choose to do, or not do, with my spare time is none of your damned business.

Of course not, Kyrel, however I might like to point out that since you've never even remotely had anything to do with the fairer sex up until now that you at least attempt to avoid making a complete and total fool of yourself.

I am not pursuing Danae. I growled mentally, irritation rising.

Is that why every time I've talked to you I've sensed thought of her at the back of your mind?

No. I said flatly, I've been thinking of what to do with the Priesthood. Naturally that means thinking about the girl I've assigned to be their leader.

Right…sure… By the way, I suggest flowers, and chocolate. And avoiding that Idonea girl when you're with Danae… she might be the jealous type.

Of all the Creatures in Eden… why in the name of the Heavens did I have to pick you?

Because I'm smart, athletic, deadly in close quarters and most definitely the most attractive female wolf this side of the Ether. Elessia said.

Not to mention the most damned annoying. I shot back.

Next time you have that attitude I might 'accidentally' eat one of your favourite mortals. She said. I could imagine the toothy grin she must be wearing.

If you touch a single hair on her head Elessia I'll-

Her, Kyrel? She asked smugly.

The last thing I managed to say to her with any degree of coherence was a long string of expletives and obscenities, in several languages.

A/N I know that chapter ended a little too similarly to the Chapter 4, but I wanted to give Elessia more than a cursory mention. I'm reasonably confident that next chapter will be the one where we finally leave Land Two and finally start the proper storyline, starting with the Norse Homeland. If anyone has any suggestions for the Wolf Creature the Norse use, that would be welcome. This wolf will be male, and I'm hoping to use him to give Elessia more scenes. My younger brother has already offered a few suggestions for what I'll be doing with him… a few of them I might actually use.

Anyway, Read, Review and Enjoy!