For a few days Manika remained in her passive state. But she increasingly began to wonder about her unborn child. She couldn’t bare to put herself through another breeding with someone who was not Taam. She needed a heiress. When Zaleena came to visit, Manika decided to ask her advice.
“Mother I need your advice. I can’t stand the thought of having a boy. I feel that I might fail your legacy…”, she confined. Zaleena thought about Manika’s words and she understood. Producing an heiress was of utmost importance. Gladly she had an idea.
“If I were you I would visit the Shaman. She probably has ways of ensuring that you have a girl.”
Manika was always glad for her mother’s help. She visited the Shaman’s hut together with Nieva the next day.
They were invited inside by the Shaman and sat down at the low table.
“As you can see I am with child. I was wondering if you have ways of ensuring that I will produce an heiress”, Manika explained. The Shaman looked at her closely and commanded her to stand up.
“I feel your baby will be strong”, she said mysteriously, “The Gender has not yet been decided but there are the old ways…”
“There is the fruit of the goddesses. I will give you, Gatherer, a few seeds to plant in your garden. If you work hard the plants will produce fruit soon. Eat from the fruit of the goddesses to ensure the birth of an heiress. So they say…”
Manika thanked the Shaman but before they could leave, she stopped them.
“Beware of your feelings…”, she whispered, “They might haunt everything you have built up…” Bewildered, Manika turned away. What did the Shaman know about her feelings for Taam?
The Shaman smiled knowingly, but said nothing more.
They left with the godly seeds in Nieva’s pockets. As soon as they got home, Nieva started working.
Manika sure hoped that the Shaman’s old ways would work. She was suffering from heavy morning sickness.
Even if this wasn’t about Taam, there was no way she would go through a pregnancy again!
Even Baato helped with the garden.
He and Nieva worked until sheer exhaustion, but then finally, Nieva had good news for Manika.
“The fruit is ready”, she told her happily. Manika was very pleased. She immediately ate all of the first harvest, Nieva had given her and hoped for a strong heiress…