After Arku had invited the tribe to Zaleena’s birthday, everyone dressed up and followed Arku to the former Creator’s Compound. Zaleena was already there to greet them and was more than happy to see Manika and meet her granddaughter Kalaya.
“Manika, my child, I hope you are doing well”, Zaleena greeted her daughter.
“Yes, mother, I brought over your granddaughter, Kalaya”, Manika enthused.
Zaleena happily turned to the little girl.
“Hello, little one. I am your grandmother”, she introduced herself.
“I’m the creator heiress! Nice to meet you, grandma”, Kalaya said proudly.
“Oh yes you are”, Zaleena laughed. Manika was worried, her daughters creeping arrogance began to show again. She still had a lot to learn. But today was not the day.
Kahio started working at the bar while Arku prepared delicious food. Baato vanished inside to bake a birthday cake for the former Creator.
Everyone met outside at the tables.
“Aren’t you scared of being old, Creator?”, Nieva asked curiously. But Zaleena only smiled and looked at Manika and Kalaya.
“No. I will leave something great behind”, she answered.
She then proceeded to blow out the candles. Everyone cheered and Zaleena aged up into an elder.
Her back was already aching but she had told it true when she had talked to Nieva. She was not afraid of being old. She knew that her time had to come eventually but she was proud of what she had accomplished in her life. And she still hoped to accomplish some more by working on her skills even as an elder.
The party loosened up and everyone helped themselves to some cake. Manika decided to ask Zaleena for some advice.
“I am worried about Kalaya. She is always talking back and showing signs of arrogance”, Manika confined. Zaleena wrinkeled her forehead.
“Hm, I’m not sure what to make of this. Be sure to show her her boundaries. But some things she must learn for herself. She will find out soon enough what arrogance will bring her as a creator.”
Kalaya didn’t notice the adults conversation as she was busy listening to Arku.
“Your story is boring”, she complained. “But maybe as a slave you don’t know any better ones. My toys know better stories than you.”
Arku was hurt but he tried to play it off. As a slave it was no use talking back to a Creator heiress even if she was mean like Kalaya.
“How about I get you some delicious fruit instead, then?”, he asked.
Kalaya’s face lit up. “I think I like you more now, Arku”, she grinned and happily ate her food.
Manika thought it was time for her decision. She asked Tahia to join her at the pond, just far enough away from the group that no one would here her.
“Tahia. You know I told you to think about your request to propose to Nieva. Are you still sure you want this?”, she wanted to know.
“Yes, Creator. I love Nieva very much and I never want to be with someone else. I would love to make us official”, Tahia confirmed.
Manika nodded. “So be it, you may propose to Nieva.”
Manika had decided to give the proposal rights to Tahia because she hadn’t been completely sure of her feelings until now. While she knew Nieva a lot longer and was sure her feelings for Tahia were genuine, she wanted Tahia to confirm that she would go trough with this. Tahia seemed very happy and Manika knew she had made the right decision.
“Thank you so much, Creator!”
Tahia immediately went back to the table where Nieva was sitting.
“Everyone!”, she cleared her throat. “I have something to say”, she announced and turned to Nieva.
“Nieva! Ever since I met you I knew you were special. When you returned my feelings I felt like the happiest person in the world and I never ever want to be with someone else.”
Nieva flushed red as she knew where Tahia was going with this. She stood up and Tahia came around the table and dropped to one knee.
“Will you marry me?”, Tahia asked hopefully. Nieva was overjoyed and tears came to her eyes.
“Yes, yes, a thousand times yes”, she cried out and jumped into Tahia’s arms.
“I wanted to ask you the same thing!”, she told her. Tahia laughed.
“Great minds think alike, my love.”
“I love you”, Nieva whispered.
“I love you, too, Nieva.”
All tribe members were overjoyed at the surprise proposal. Zaleena was the first to congratulate.
“You made this day even more beautiful for me”, she said.
“Thank you, Creator”, Nieva smiled. She couldn’t believe her own luck. In a world where realtionships were rare and precious she had found an amazing person like Tahia.
“Congratulations, Tahia. I know you will be a great couple”, Manika hugged Tahia.
“I think so, too.”