Both sides were bickering with themselves. Orcs were starting to lose faith in Ewn-Krosh and Nedrith's side were starting to despair.
"Who are you to tell us what to do?" Nedrith yelled at Lera. Honestly she wasn't someone who wanted to do that at all. She just wanted this to end without violence and Sparkling Gate taught her that it could be possible. That was her plan, but so far not working.
"Why is it so hard to work together?" Lera retorted. She was a bit frustrated that for the last three hours no one was doing anything to move this event along.
"They killed our friends and family! Why should we work with those savages?"
"After you attacked ours first elf!" Ewn-Krosh sneered back.
Then a back and forth between the two started, with no end in sight.
At the tenth hour everyone was getting hungry. Lera had removed all the food from everyone, since this whole thing was about food it was the best idea she had.
"Give our food back!" Ewn-Krosh roared at Lera.
Lera just stood there. "If you want food then come up with an agreement between both your sides."
Lera had gotten a picture for these people from what she heard from both sides. Nedrith was the village elder's son. He joined Paroppe's expedition to scout this cave for the ancient runes. Paroppe's group leader was already dead and the second in command was the one who argued with Nedrith earlier.
Ewn-Krosh was looking for a group of deer. They were spotted around this cave and when they checked up on it, both sides clashed with each other and a battle ensued.
"We cannot speak for our people. We are just hunters." Ewn-Krosh seemed to be trying to explain. At least it sounded like they wanted to be let go. Well nothing new at this point. She was playing a bad guy and she would finish it even if she didn't like doing it.
"You both represent each side of this conflict. You both will come to some agreement for each of your people and there will be a binding agreement between both sides. Work together or leave each other alone or something else. Both of you need to figure that out for yourselves."
"Orc! Your people need food right? We still have left wheat from the previous harvest. We can trade that if you leave our people and village alone."
"I'm Ewn-Krosh, elf! Remember that name well. Your crops will do nothing for us, we need meat."
"Then if your people can hunt in the eastern forest and we can have the western side."
"Do you think you can starve our people? We get all of the forest and we will stay away from your crops village."
"We need meat for ourselves. We have our own hunters who forage and hunt creatures in the forest."
This conversation went back and forth and soon each side was getting more and more desperate. Not willing to give up on certain privileges. Without food both sides were starting to lose their minds in a sense. It seemed tougher for each of them to think of things to say.
Lera clapped her hands together to get their attention. "Let's take a break. You both are doing well. I'll give you both an hour to rest and take a break. I will give each side food to eat in the meantime. While that happens I want to talk about what you want to do with your death."
Lera was starting to smell their bodies. This cave was warm and damp. The bodies of the dead were going to get worse.
She walked over to Ewn-Krosh.
"Just burn our people. They fought in battle and they deserve it. They were true warriors."
So no one would suffocate, she partitioned off part of the orcs side and set their dead on fire. The smoke would be funneled out of the cave keeping everyone safe.
Then she went over to Nedrith and asked him.
"There are some here who want to bury their friends and others who wanted to be cremated."
"You can store the bodies of the dead you want in this ring, to preserve them and bury them when the time is right. The others just bring them over there and I will do the same as what I did with the orcs over there." Lera paused for a moment before adding. "That ring will stop working after one week." She didn't want to give them something powerful, but she wanted to respect the dead to the best she could so one week would have to be good enough.
Each side took their break and Lera just sat in the middle looking up at the ceiling. She really wished she could look at the stars, but leaving the cave right now wasn't the right move.
The smell of the food got to her. She created some bread for her to eat. It wasn't anything special, just some plain bread. The orcs got a strong helping of meat. Anything meat she could think of, she created it for them. Even adding some of the sauces from her work to give them extra flavor.
Actually that was what she gave Paroppe's side. Just a bunch of different dishes from her work. It was nice, but she didn't join. She just ate her plain bread as a neutral party.
"This meat is wonderous. Where did you get this Naka?" Ewn-Krosh yelled over to her from the other side of the barrier.
"The place I work at." Lera answered, because telling them that she created the food out of nothing wasn't the best idea, but at least the food was based on it.
"Where are you working? You have a job?" Paroppe spoke up this time.
"Yea…" She didn't tell Paroppe. She should have, but she just didn't want to.
Paroppe didn't say anymore and that was for the best. At least until the situation was over.
After that discussions heated up again, but everyone seemed much more reasonable. Nedrith was able to acquire a mine that had been lost to the orcs, while Ewn-Krosh was able to get a monthly delivery of crops and butchered meat. Even if he only ate meat like his people, if they could get vegetables as well, as a guaranteed food supply then that could work for them. There was more but those were stand out ones.
"Both of you agree on these terms?" Lera looked between the two of them.
"We can work with this." Ewn-Krosh nodded with his arms folded across his chest.
"Our village would be able to live with this." Nedrith held his hands together in front of him.
"This agreement will bind you two together…" Lera had come up with something that would prevent each of them from going back on their word, "You both will be able to communicate with each other no matter the distance. If either side breaks this agreement…" She let her words trail off as she angled her head towards the entrance of the cave. A large lightning bolt stuck the ground sending dirt up into the air and sending a loud shock wave through the cave.
"…Mutual destruction is guaranteed." Not really, that one lightning bolt was just for show. She wasn't going to hurt them, but she could make them think that. "Now both of you shake on it and I will leave."
Ewn-Krosh met Nedrith's hand with his own and they shook their hands. Well Nedrith's hand was much smaller, but they seemed to make it work.
"I can hear you…" Nedrith seemed curious at the telepathy.
"It's something Naka did. It seems it's much more difficult for you Nedrith to understand." Ewn-Krosh laughed at that and a few others from both groups did. Both of them were having their own conversation in their heads and now it was time for Lera to leave and get back to work.
"Go on and be the best you all can be." She internally cringed at that. In the next moment she was back in her void room. She put the 'Lera' costume back on. She cleaned up the blood and teleported back and leaned back against the same wall as she left and stared back at the sky.
"… I plan on driving my mother around to show her how she should drive." Byyran's finished his thought. He turned towards Lera, sniffed the air and turned around. "I have to get back in there. Take care Lera."
He was right, she sniffed herself and noticed the stench of blood still there. Paroppe's blood was removed, but not the smell. She didn't pay attention, but it wasn't that strong of a smell. Either way she removed it and stared back at the sky.
It was the middle of the night and Paroppe was walking back to the village with her group. She heard people talking about the deal and Lera, Naka, whatever. She was proud of Lera for being able to end the battle, but she knew well enough that Lera didn't like doing what she did. Even if her threats were lies, she could see past that mask, that costume, to see her little sister.
So the only thing she could do? Wait until everyone goes to sleep and then send as many messages as possible to Lera to talk to her.
Jev wasn't too bored. He was fine cleaning up the cracks, but the stars were out now.
"Let's go home for the night Ayanni."
The mask he picked out would keep himself safe if he ever had to step in the spotlight for Ayanni. One side of the mask was white with black around the eye and the other was black and white are the eye. A full face mask that was neutral.
He was actually looking forward to working with Ayanni as he moved up. He would be his right hand man and that was a spot he was more than willing to be in. Protecting the people he cared about took a lot out of him and taking care of Ayanni was a real tough one.
Once they were back in Ayanni's home, the one in the middle of the southern part of the city, Jev ran past Ayanni to get into the bathroom first. He splashed some water on his face and looked into the mirror and the mask looked back at him. At first he thought it was cool, still does, but it makes him seem more mysterious than he wants.
"I'm heading home. Have a good night Lera." Byyuan jumped into the passenger seat of a car. Lera saw a woman in the car look at her and then back at Byyuan. Must be his mother based on the jerky car movements. Byyuan yelled out the window. " I told you so!"
Lera smiled and waved back. She walked along the sidewalk traveling about in her street clothing. At her job she is supposed to dress in black, but it doesn't matter what she wears as she is in the back. Her work clothes consist of a black tee-shirt and black jeans. What she is walking in now is a leather jacket with a white undershirt and blue jeans. It was something that Rozaa had picked out for her when they went shopping together.
In a random alleyway she teleported to her home and rested on the couch. The work wasn't difficult, but it was time consuming. She cleaned up her body, substance and smell. She grabbed out her tech pad to look at any messages. There were tons from a single person.
[Thank you for saving me.]
[… are both having a meeting with their respective people. I can't believe that worked. It was just like Sparkling Gate.]
[Lera answer me please!]
Her messages went on and on. Lera though she deserved an answer to her questions.
[I got a job in Hapho. A restaurant as a dishwasher and don't worry I've been taking care of myself. Next week I'll be getting my first paycheck! Paycheck is the money here, by the way. I kept in touch with Rozaa, and I have been talking with her. No, I won't tell Jev or Ayanni what happened. Thank you for caring for me, talk to you later Paroppe.]
She replied to a message from Rozaa and Byyuan, who she gave her number to as well, and then teleported to that hill overlooking Suul. She took too long reading messages as the light from the sun was starting to creep further in the sky.
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