The Warrior buried the Golden-Haired Child, and with a mind troubled by the loss of one so young and innocent, she sat by her grave. In observance of her faith, the Warrior needed to stay by the grave for three nights to ensure that the young girl’s spirit was settled and at ease when the Gods came for her.
On the first night, the Warrior made a small fire to alert the Gods of the death, then she rested down next to the grave, and unusual for her stoic nature, the Warrior shed a tear. Sleep found her, and she dreamt.
Of thing’s she didn’t understand.
On the second night, the Warrior lay berries on the grave and sprinkled water on the grave, the purpose being that the child would ascend with a full belly and a sated thirst; and she placed a tree branch on the grave, the purpose being that the child would find shelter with the Gods. She also drew on the grave, drew a set of wings, and it was her hope that the wings would help carry the child to the new Kingdom.
The Warrior rested down next to the grave, and she slept, and then she dreamt.
Of things she had seen before, but still didn’t understand.
On the third night, a full moon shone, no stars visible, the moon being the sole occupant of the Heavens, and the Warrior prayed for the child, prayed that she be afforded a safe passage to the new Kingdom, and she also prayed that the child be afforded a better life than the one she had left.
The Warrior knew that she should forgive those who had sinned against the child, for her faith demanded that she do so; but no, not on this night, not when the event was still so raw and new.
The Warrior rested down next to the grave, and she slept, then she dreamt.
Of things she had seen before, and of things she may well see in the future.
With the night still far from its conclusion, the Warrior stirred, aroused, and as her eyes opened, she looked to the Heavens.
A ball of pure white streaked through the sky, its fiery tail blazing.
The Warrior knelt, staring, and she trembled, not through fear; she trembled with piety, for her faith had been ratified. The Warrior suspected that the blazing ball could be a sign, could be an acknowledgement that the child was on her way to the new Kingdom.
She thanked her Gods, and then rested down, finding sleep with a contented mind.
The men of the village were drawn out to stare into the Heavens, and they watched as the brilliant ball of light streaked through the night.
A nervous man asked, “Could this be a falling star?”
Pernius was of confused mind. He understood that killing a child to appease the Gods was no longer their way, and he felt shamed that they had violated the girl so viciously, but maybe it had been the right thing to do; maybe the ball of light was a sign that the Gods were appeased.
“My friends, is no star,” he said solemnly, “It is an acknowledgement from our Gods, for they are appeased.”
The Warrior normally awoke when the sun began to surface, but again, she being of an awoken state while the darkness still lingered. She looked to the grave, and then she froze as her still waking mind tried to understand the sight before her.
The grave was disturbed, soil untidily heaped to both sides, the berries now covered by soil, the tree branch tossed aside. Shaking her head in disbelief, she stared into the shallow grave, the grave showing the indentations of a body, but no body lay in the grave. It was her duty to help guide the child to the new Kingdom, but the grave had been desecrated, and it appeared, the body had been stolen.
Dismayed, then angry, the Warrior snatched up her sword and looked around, listening for sounds. Rage swelled within her, and she braced herself, ready to swing at anything that moved, although after turning a full circle, she saw that no-one was in the area.
The Warrior dropped her face despondently. To desecrate a grave is the most unpardonable of sins, and the Warrior felt disgraced and tarnished, for it was she who had been watching over the child.
Snorting, fuming, the Warrior’s gaze was drawn to the lake as a sound stole her attention. She noticed the water rippling, rippling gently, although it seemed, rippling with purpose.
An object poked through the disturbed patch of water, a forehead appearing, then eyes, a nose, then a mouth.
The Warrior, initially in a defensive battle position, stared, unsure, uncertain, although with greater scrutiny, she realised that the figure in the lake presented no danger to her. The figure walked towards her, and the Warrior, still grasping the hilt of the sword in her right hand, knelt, staring in confusion, and shortly after, staring in awe.
The figure strode elegantly through the water, the stride unhurried as water lapped against her thighs, then shortly after, against her shins. Silhouetted by the moonlight, the figure stopped, and the Warrior was of uncertain mind as she asked, “Fair lady, who you be?”
The woman held her head high, then declared, “I am Thiebe.”
Of utter confusion, the Warrior tensed, for the Golden-Haired Child who had been stolen from the grave was of the same name. Pointing to the disturbed grave, the Warrior asked, “Did you do this, did you take the Golden-Haired Child?”
“Nay,” the woman replied, “I am the Golden-Haired Child.”
The Warrior knew that it could not be, although strangely, the woman’s face bore similarities to those of the slain child. Of severe confusion, the Warrior shook her head and said, “I buried Thiebe, and she was but a child.”
The figure stepped lightly forward and engaged a hand, helped the Warrior to her feet, then delicately ran a hand over the Warriors cheek as she whispered, “I am reborn, and I take this shape so that I may fulfil my task.”
Still stunned, the Warrior stuttered, “Your, your task is?”
“For those who slayed me, revenge awaits.”
The Warrior remembered her dreams, the dreams being visions of the future, the visions showing that her own future was bathed in blood. She couldn’t marry the vision before her to that of the fragile body she had buried; yet the facial similarities, the name, the disturbed grave, and importantly, the woman had knowledge of the slaying. She looked to the grave, then back to the woman, and as shame and guilt coloured her cheeks, she knelt before her and said solemnly, “Please forgive me, for I have failed.”
“Nay, that is not how it be.” the woman said consolingly.
“If you are the Golden-Haired Child, I, I lay with you and performed the rituals that should have afforded you safe passage to the new Kingdom, but …”
“Arise Great Warrior and face me.”
Still dazed, the Warrior stood, and she looked down as the woman collected her hands. When the Warrior corrected her gaze, the woman said, “I am from the Kingdom of the Gods, and I was sent down to teach the people the new way. My task was to spread the word that every life is precious, and everybody should be treated equally; yet as you are aware, I did not get the opportunity to blossom to adulthood and spread the message.”
“My Lady, you are from the Kingdom of the Gods?” the Warrior asked hesitantly.
“I am Thiebe, daughter of the God and Goddess of Light.”
The Warrior gazed at her reverently, then said, “My Lady, I feel humbled to be in your presence.”
Thiebe said with confidence, “Great Warrior, ye of pure heart and iron will, you will be by my side throughout my journey.”
The Warrior could but stare, because the woman was a vision of breath-taking beauty; long golden hair and eyes of the truest blue, the eyes having a warmth which calmed her anxious state. The Warrior gulped, the involuntary action caused by the feelings that were rushing into her being; feelings of being overwhelmed, of being purified, feelings of being in the presence of a Celestial Being.
Basking in positivity, the Warrior drew in a breath and said reverently, “My Lady, I would be honoured to accompany you.”
The woman, Thiebe, once a child who had been violated and slain, but now a woman of steely resolve, said with unwavering conviction, “The Village Leader and the Elders will gather at the place of worship before dawn, and we shall be there to greet them.”
The Warrior still shocked, needed to air her opposition, and she said respectfully, “Forgive me My Lady, I have no wish to greet those who slayed you.”
Thiebe smiled, then her gaze turned to the sword lying next to the grave, and she said, “Gather your weapon Great Warrior, and we shall greet them.”
On husking into the clearing, Pernius and the eight Elders were surprised as they saw a female standing by the steps of the altar. “Who you be?” Pernius asked.
“I am Thiebe.” the woman replied.
Confusion was available as the Elders looked at each other, then back at the striking looking, un-clothed woman.
“Don’t dabble in lies woman, who are you?” Pernius demanded.
“I am Thiebe, and the Gods have returned me.”
Much confusion reigned, although one Elder noted, “No, it cannot be, Thiebe was but a child!”
“It is I, Thiebe, the one who you raped and abused, the one you put to death!”
Moments swirled, moments of confusion and uncertainty, until Pernius declared, “It is witchcraft, the craft of the devil, and we must dispose of this heathen!”
Two Elders rushed forward, yet they stopped with haste when a figure stepped out from behind a tree. The woman braced her legs, the large sword raised and held in both hands.
With a glimmer in her eye, and a regretful memory in her mind about the abuses that had been thrust upon her, Thiebe stated, “Nay, I am not the product of dark forces, I have been returned by the Gods to exact revenge!”
“Revenge?” a nervous Elder asked.
“You evil men of dark hearts, you will pay for your sins on this morning.”
An Elder was of an anxious state, and he declared, “Wait, we have not sinned, we sent an offering to our Gods to appease them!”
Thiebe, of cold expression, said, “You evil men raped me and murdered me, and my Gods will not be appeased until your blood has been spilt.”
Pernius was the Village Leader, and even though this was a situation of growing concern, he noted nervously, “If you claim to be Thiebe of this village, I must point out that you seem to be alive.”
Thiebe held her head high as she said, “You raped and murdered the child, but the Gods have sent the woman back to exact revenge.”
Pernius snorted, then puffed his chest out and faced the woman with the sword. Glaring at her, he said bluntly, “Our battle is not with you, our battle is with this naked witch, so be on your way woman, and no harm will come to you.”
The Warrior stood, ready for battle, not a muscle moving, her eyes of steely focus, the sword still raised.
Thiebe looked at Pernius, then gazed upon the other eight who had defiled her, and with growing ambition, she said, “Your un-pure lives will end on this morning, and as well …”
Pernius looked at the gladiatorial woman with the sword, then he swung his gaze back to the naked woman. Nine men were they, and it would only be a few moments in time before they over-powered the two, and this time, he resolved to burn the body of the lying witch; although the naked witch was a vision to behold, and his mind crept forward to a coming conversation; Elders, before we kill these heathens, we must cleanse them before we send them to the Gods, we must fill them with the essence of life! He desired most longingly to cleanse this one calling herself Thiebe, for gazing upon her produced a thumping in his chest.
“I accuse you both of witchcraft, and we will judge you right here, in our place of worship!” Pernius declared.
Men of fixed gazes, and many whose groins were stirred; shouted out their support.
“Village Leader, Elders, evil men, your blood will be spilt in your place of worship, and then …”
The nine awaited, then Pernius, of a mocking tone, asked, “And then what?”
Thiebe stood tall and straight, then declared, “You will all die on this new day, and we will also kill all those of your bloodline!”
An Elder, bristling with evil intent, roared out, “Your fight is with us, do not drag our children into this!”
“Evil man, you and your allies will die, and your children will never see another tomorrow.” Thiebe replied.
“Wait nay, our children had no part in what we did, so your fight is with us!” another Elder stated.
“Your semen has stained me, and I shall only return to my Kingdom when all of your bloodlines have been erased!”
Pernius, of building anger, snarled, “Kill the woman, and then tie and bound the naked witch!”
The Elders rushed forward, and the Warrior, steeled with noble intention and an appetite for revenge, cut them down, one by one, and soon no Elders drew breath.
Alive with adrenalin, the Warrior stalked towards Pernius.
Pernius was aghast that the Elders had been slain so quickly and ruthlessly, the woman wielding the large sword with surety and purpose, and with a growing anxiety, he called out, “Wait, wait, I was not involved!”
The Warrior gazed at Thiebe and asked, “My Lady?”
Thiebe looked into his frightened eyes, then she said with clarity and conviction, “Cut him down!”
“No, wait, please …”
The second last thing Pernius saw was an un-clothed woman of great beauty, the last thing he saw was a swinging sword, and his body fell to the left, while his head flew off to the right.
Unmoved by the ruthless slayings, yet of grateful mind, Thiebe said, “Thank-you Great Warrior; let us go.”
“Go where, My Lady?”
“To the village.”
“For what purpose?”
“Our Gods are tolerant and forgiving, yet when a Daughter of the Gods is slain, they seek nought bar vengeance.”
“What do you want me to do?”
“More need to be slain.” Thiebe replied with conviction.
“Have I not slain all those who abused and murdered you?”
“What you say is true, yet before I am accepted back into the Kingdom, the bloodlines of these men need to be erased … forever.”
The Warrior was of reflective mood, and she asked warily, “My Lady, are you asking me to slay the children of the murderers?”
“Great Warrior, yes, that is your next task.”
“But My Lady, if we slay innocent children, are we not becoming like the evil men who ended your life?”
“Great Warrior, the Gods wanted me to teach these people about love and tolerance, yet when I was slain, the Gods were enraged, for there is no greater crime than slaying a daughter of the Gods. At this moment in time, the message from my Gods is very clear.”
“What is the message?”
Thiebe’s expression hardened, then she said coldly, “Show no mercy.”
The Warrior had always been of the noblest intentions, yet this task was devoid of noble intentions. The Golden-Haired Child was a daughter of the Gods, although she was no longer a child, she was a woman. The Warrior’s faith was strong, and she knew that her role was not to question the Gods, it was to obey them; although confusion rankled her, and she said with measured uncertainty, “The task sits not well with me, because My Lady, if I perform the task, I fear I will be damned for eternity.”
“Great Warrior,” Thiebe began, “If you complete your task, my Gods will make you Immortal and you will spend eternity by my side.”
The Warrior bowed her face despondently, yet the visions of her future sprinkled back into her mind. She hadn’t understood the visions when they first came to her, but now the visions were becoming present moments. If the visions were messages from the Gods, she would obey them, and her obedience meant that more blood would be spilt on this new day. The Warrior slid the sword into the shouldered sheath, then holding her head high, she fell into step with the Daughter of the Gods.
By the middle of the day, the village was deserted, dead bodies everywhere, mostly children, although a few innocent men had been cut down trying to defend the young ones.
Splattered with blood, but cleansed of spirit, the Warrior knelt on one knee before her. “My Lady, is it done?”
Thiebe gazed around, unsure. In an emotional sense, she felt cleansed, although something hovered. “I feel, I feel like it is done,” then she gazed around again, looking at the carnage, “Let us go to the lake, and if my womb is cleansed, if all the children of the evil men have been eradicated, our Gods will accept us into the Kingdom.”
A frightened woman scrunched up in her hut, and she saw a fleeting glimpse of the murderers walking away, and she blubbered out a sigh of relief. This day would never leave her, the day that half the children of the village were slain right in front of her eyes.
Despondent, dismayed, she rubbed her belly, the pregnancy into its fourth month and appearing to go smoothly, although it dawned on her that her missing husband may never get to see this child. Shaking her head in despair, she muttered, “Where are you when I need you; where are you Pernius?”
Standing by the lake, Thiebe faced her. “Undress Great Warrior.”
“What is the purpose of doing so?”
“For your efforts, Immortality will be bestowed on you.”
“You wish to kill me?”
“Nay; your life here will expire, but I will take you with me to the Kingdom.”
The Warrior was unsure, but her faith was unwavering, so she undressed.
Thiebe offered a noble smile, gathered the Warriors left hand, then with a confident stride, she walked into the water, knee-deep, then waist-deep, shoulder-deep, and she kept walking.
Surrounded by water, submerged in water, she trembled, yet of survival instincts, she pushed up, gasping, panting.
Wet, dripping, confused, yet her focus stabilising, a sky blackened by night in her sight. The rested period no more, she no longer in peaceful tranquillity, no longer of pure essence, she aware of form, of limbs shivering, of eyes staring. The eyes observed a figure, the figure kneeling on the shore. Confused of that which is no more, and that which is present, she strode through the water and knelt by the figure. “My Lady?” she asked uncertainly.
The figure doth raise her gaze, her face a vision of beauty, her eyes serene.
Aware of who she had been, and who she was now, the Warrior gazed at her, the gaze reverent, yet her expression told of her confusion.
Thiebe knew of her companion’s confusion, and she knew of her own awareness, so she rested her right hand on her own stomach, then said with a hint of dismay, “It is not done.”
“What is not done My Lady?”
“My task was to eradicate all those who defiled me and slayed me, and also to eradicate all those of the same blood.”
“My Lady, I slayed the murderers, and I killed the children of the murderers, so I do not understand.”
“Great Warrior, my womb is not cleansed of the poisonous bloodline. One doth elude us, and that one has multiplied and is now many.”
“My Lady, I do not understand.”
“Great Warrior, we have spent seven decades and nine years in anticipatory slumber, but the treasures of the Kingdom are not yet within our grasp until we eradicate the murderous bloodline.”
“My Lady, did you say that slumber has been upon us for seven decades and nine years?”
“Aye, we are in a new time, a new generation.”
“How can you be sure of this?”
“My womb will be cleansed of the semen once all of the bloodline have been erased,” she said as she rubbed a hand over her belly, “My womb is still awash with tainted semen.”
“How can you know of these things?”
Instead of issuing a reply, Thiebe turned her gaze to the Heavens.
The Warrior followed her gaze, and she gasped as she saw the white ball spearing through the dark sky. “My Lady, there is fire in the sky.”
“Nay, ’tis not fire, it is my guide.”
The Warrior feared nought, but she was unsettled by things she did not understand. “I dreamt of you My Lady, and I dreamt of my future, yet the fire in the Heavens alarms me.”
Thiebe placed a hand on the Warrior’s strong shoulder, then advised, “The sphere of light was created by my Gods and it is my guide, it is the Light of the Guardian. It will appear every seventy years and five, and after the bad blood has been completely erased, it will blaze no more.”
The Warrior gazed at the sky, and she remembered that a similar fiery ball had blazed across the sky when she had buried the Golden-Haired Child. Of the time she was in, she was unsure; yet her faith was unwavering, so the Warrior bowed her face and said, “I wish to join you in the Kingdom, so I shall seek out those of the bad blood.”
Two moons did pass, then a village lay in ruination. The sixteen were slain, although many others paid the price for intervening.
Thiebe stood by the shore of the lake as she washed the blood off the Warriors body, then when the body was bloodied no more, she said, “Take my hand and come with me to the Kingdom Great Warrior, come with me and I will make you Immortal.”
The Warrior was of a despairing mind at having slain so many, but the Golden-Haired woman’s presence soothed her, and the offer of Immortality thrilled her, so she embraced the offered hand, and together they walked into the lake, shin-deep, then waist-deep …
A woman of simple means cried.
She was with child, and the man who had begat the child had been slain in the massacre. The images of the early day would be with her forever; a woman with a large sword cutting down those that she was directed to cut down, but also cutting down those who chose to get in her way.
Dead bodies, blood everywhere, terrified screams still ringing in her ears, women of the village crying in horror as they knelt by the corpses of their loved ones.
The woman knew that she should grieve for her dead child and husband, although a glimpse into her future terrified her. She would try to rebuild the village with the remaining survivors of the massacre, although she fretted that the prospects of being offered another marriage proposal were nought for her, as her belly clearly showed her current status.
Wet, breathless, her eyes fixing on the kneeling figure on the shore.
With a mixture of confusion and anxiety swamping her, she strode through the water. “My, My Lady …’
Thiebe stood, corrected her gaze, rubbed her belly, then sighed with a measure of displeasure, “I am not cleansed.”
The Warrior held her gaze until her attention was captured by the fiery ball of light screaming its way through the dark sky. Of memories, she recalled one, and she asked with hesitancy, “Is that the Light of the Guardian?”
“Aye.” Thiebe replied despondently.
The Warrior had been offered Immortality in the Kingdom of the Gods, and she wished most fervently to attain such status; so she knelt by her Mistress and asked, “What do you wish me to do?”
Thiebe hungered for her return to the Kingdom, and she said, “One eluded us, and as more than seven decades have passed, that one is now eleven, and we must seek them out.”