Nieva kissed her wife on the cheek. Tahia was still looking a bit downcast, but Nieva hoped it wouldn’t last for long.
„Don’t worry, it will be over by noon“, she promised.
„But what if it doesn’t work on the first try? You’ll have to do it again…“, she worried. Nieva shook her head.
„You worry too much, my love. And even if I have to do it again, it won’t change anything. It’s only breeding and you are still my one and only love.“
Tahia nodded. She knew she couldn’t do anything about it, but she was mad at herself for feeling the way she did. Well, it was time to take a leap of faith and trust in Nieva.
„Go ahead, I’ll wait for you“, she kissed Nieva once more before the older woman walked down the stairs to start the breeding ceremony with Roran.
Tahia didn’t want to see any of it, so she retreated into her room and snatched a book from the shelf. She sat down and opened the book but her eyes glossed over the words without reading them.
Kalaya walked around the gardens looking bored. She brushed over a few of the plants’ leaves and shook her head.
There was nothing to do in this compound. Her mother was trying to get her to train for the ritual fight but she didn’t want to. Training is this warm weather would exhaust her terribly. Speaking of the devil, Manika came outside just at this moment and darted towards her daughter. Here it goes, Kalaya thought.
„Why aren’t you training?“, Manika demanded, „You’re ought to take this fight seriously. I heard they have a new champion at the temple and she is very strong and quick. There is no way you could beat her without proper training!“
Kalaya let her mother’s sermon wash over her. „Yes, mother“, she grumbled and slowly walked towards the training grounds. She could at least pretend to train so her mother would finally let it go. She almost bumped into Nieva and Roran heading towards the breeding chamber since she was looking down at the ground. She stepped back, an annoyed look on her face but the other two didn’t even acknowledge her as the disappeared into the breeding hut.
Was this the behaviour she had to expect as Creator? Ignorance? She would need to have a word with them…
Manika came after her daughter of course. She got on the treadmill and started running, not saying a word. Her rage was bubbling at her daughter’s rebellious ways and she knew that one more word could make her explode.
Good thing she’s facing away from me, Kalaya thought as she lazily hit the punching bag. I don’t even need this. If she won, I won’t lose.
Nieva came out of the breeding chamber alone. She just wanted to go the bathroom quickly. If she was with child already, she wouldn’t have to do the breeding again. Although she had to admit, she might have enjoyed it a tad more than she should have. She felt guilty. Hurrying past the training grounds,she raised an eyebrow at seeing Kalaya at the punching bag.
Didn’t the girl refuse to train just a few days ago? Nieva was pleased that she changed her mind. It was important for the tribe that the heiress won the ritual fight with honour.
The wait seemed endless but finally, Nieva found out that she was indeed with child!
She breathed in and out deeply, feeling relieved. She ran outside to fetch Roran from the breeding chamber. It was better if he didn’t stay longer than necessary.
„I am with child, Roran“, she told him, „I know you must leave soon. It was nice to meet you.“ Nieva didn’t waste any words. Roran just smiled.
„May you have a beautiful daughter“, he simply said and walked out. Nieva went after him to find Tahia and the Creator. Manika was just coming from the training grounds.
„Good news, Creator!“, Nieva caught up with her, „I am with child!“
„That is good news!“, Manika exclaimed. „Have you told Tahia yet? Go find her.“
Nieva nodded and ran upstairs. That left Roran standing in front of the house looking a bit lost.
„You served this tribe honorably“, Manika told him, „You may leave.“
Roran didn’t look back as he walked away from Tribe Arayeo, but he couldn’t help but feel a bit sad. He would have liked to see how his child turned out. But he was but a slave and it was not his place. It would never be.