"Am I a weapon?" Elda looked at Jelen confused.
"Little One, you are the only one who can answer that," Jelen smiled sadly, "And if you decide you are a weapon you must decide for whom you will be wielded."
"Will I have to choose?" Elda asked.
"Maybe. Maybe not. Your destiny is only as clear as you make it." Jelen knelt down to look her in the face.
"But weapons hurt and kill, I don't want to be a weapon." Elda shook her head.
"Weapons also defend" Jelen reminded her.
"I could do that. I could protect people." She looked up into his eyes and found approval.
"Yes, you can." Jelen smiled and stood back up, "Go with Kenna, she is ready to teach your lessons this morning."
Elda made a face and then went with Kenna outside the tree house they were staying in. Jelen walked outside and up the walkway, to the house, he shared with Ravenna.
He knew the moment he approached the doorway, Saido was within. He rushed in and took out his sword and in one swift movement held it to his neck. Saido just looked sideways at him and puffed his pipe.
"Your dreams do not work on me, why are you here?" Jelen was taut.
"I am here because the child is here," Saido replied.
"She is safe and learning to control her powers, and use them." Jelen lowered his sword and sheathed it.
"There is much I need to teach her as well." Saido bowed towards Ravenna, "I will seek the child out now."
Jelen waited until Saido was out of his sight. Then he sighed and sat down.
"You know I do not like him here anymore than you do," Ravenna said putting a hand gently on his knee as she sat down beside him.
"He oversteps and takes liberties where he pleases," Jelen said more resigned than angry.
"I know," Ravenna said, " It will be seen to."
"And how do we stop the Herald of Itzal, Lord of all who dwells in the shadows?" Jelen frowned.
"He is being watched closely my dear husband," Ravenna grinned.
He grinned and kissed her. His relief was a palpable thing. His brow was not so creased and his shoulders were not so crooked under the invisible weight. He had not been so ill at ease since the Great War of Paeran. He could feel the dissent brewing in the heavens themselves. The Gods were restless, and how could anyone stop a god. The dragons already tried and failed. He shook his head and with it shook off the feeling of impending dread. He stood and walked to the door and watched as Elda learned to wield the elemental powers. He saw that the Lady Kenna was now showing in her belly a bit. It had been a while since he had seen a pregnant anything within the walls of Sid Hayef. A Baby among their ranks would be odd at best and a distraction at worst. He wondered if they intended on having the child here. He turned back to his wife.
"Are we going to let them have the child here?" Jelen asked his wife.
"You do realize it will be the first birth since the crossing, inside of our city?" Ravenna smiled.
"You want this child?" Jelen smiled and then laughed, then teasing her, "I hardly think they would let you give them a changeling."
"I do not intend to steal the child, I intend to grandmother it," Ravenna pursed her lips, "I think that is what it is called to treat the child as it were family?"
"And Elda or Nabiri?" Jelen was curious.
"I love them also, but they have not accepted me as readily as they have you. This baby would love me from the start, no need to work so hard for its adoration," Ravenna smiled struggling to explain herself.
"And the mess that comes?" Jelen put his arm around her waist and drew her closer.
"I lost my children to the war, I want this," she leaned into him.
"I lost them too," Jelen said sadly.
"I know, but you have had hundreds of nephews and nieces, I know you spy on them, your sister's get." Ravenna frowned, "You have been so selfish with your family."
"I... I never meant to hurt you so. I never thought..."Jelen let the words escape him.
"You never thought I would love them like I loved my own?" Ravenna looked on the verge of tears.
"You were so angry when we first realized she was having halfling children," Jelen tried to rationalize his actions.
"I was jealous. You could not see it?" Ravenna put her hands to her stomach, "I will never have one of your children inside me because of this accursed planet, and I dare not seek a mortal, I love you too much."
"Then they will be honored by your interest and care of their child," Jelen kissed the top of her head.
"You think so?" she asked hopefully
"They would be stupid to deny the Queen of the Fae, and their hostess, her hearts desire." Jelen smiled.
He looked out the doorway again and saw that Elda had finally mastered her first lesson in Fire and now proudly held flame in the palm of her hand without it burning her or anything else. His smile was wide with pride. Saido was not to be seen anywhere in the courtyard. Perhaps Kenna had chased him off. Jelen thought it smart of her. There was something off and Jelen wished he could better see it.