18 Chapter 17

[I can't believe you did this.]

I can't believe I did this.

[You have a plan here?]

Yeah, don't die.

[Good plan, are there any other steps?]

Yeah, part two is where I bury my head betwee--"

[Okay, so no follow up then.]

Admittedly, part two is a work in progress.

"You know, this is where either a rejection or an acceptance comes. Usually a rejection in my experience….." I mumbled.

Okay, to be fair it only happened once, I wasn't exactly the most social person when I was younger, and I asked a girl out. Got rejected, blah blah teenage angst, then I wallowed in self pity for like two weeks before getting over it.

I blinked and a moment later I was back on the ground, standing infront of Meridia's statue. Gone was the glowing orb of light, replaced with the familiar outline of a woman I had previously seen.

"Huh, I didn't think you could project such a thorough copy of yourself across dimensions." I admired…..her power. Yeah, lets go with that. But in seriousness, the aspect of her that was present wasn't any more powerful than that glowing orb, it just seemed like 'more' of her was there.

"Rarely do I find a situation that requires my undivided attention so that I show myself in such a way." She answered, eye boring into me with quite a bit of pressure.

Oh boy, I may have fucked up.

[You think!?]

So…uh how we looking on Juggernaut drive there, Ddraig?

[Sure, if you want to go out with a bang.]

Think she'll ask me 'how I want to die'? Hint hint, it has to do with those amazing, milky white legs.

[I wouldn't even be mad if that happened.]

You know what? I got this. I adjusted my tie, brushed off any dust on my clothing and fixed my hat. "It's a pleasure to meet you, face to face."

"I believe this is the second time we are meeting, after you had torn a hole into my realm." She said dryly.

"Doesn't ring a bell." I just shrugged. "Anyways, does a rejection need a meeting like this? My feelings won't be hurt…..maybe my pride a little bit but that's life."

"Do you think my words are a jest?" She raised an eyebrow and the temperature got a little bit warmer around me.

"To be fair…. I didn't really think this through." I guess she's someone who doesn't or can't go back on her oaths. Her word being beyond reproach and all that. "Frankly I'm surprised you didn't have some kind of contingency for a situation like this, or even offered such an open reward."

"I usually don't." She practically hissed. "But I was understandably distracted, having just witnessed a mortal tear a HOLE INTO MY REALM."

Is it weird that even her angry face looks cute….ah getting distracted. "Perhaps I should have checked to make sure you weren't in a relationship first?"

Gods I hope she wasn't that would just make this a million times worse.

"I don't spend my time chasing after mortal whimsies." She crossed her arms, frowning.

"Hmm, do you dislike me then?" Okay, not a bad start, communication is good!

"There are no physical traits of yours that I find particularly distasteful." And eyed me again, seemingly relaxing just a bit. "Your lifespan…..mortals only exist for a blink of an eye, we are eternal, we will watch this world burn and turn to ash as every soul eventually returns to the void." She was surprisingly gentle in her tone.

"My base lifespan is at least 10,000 years. And It isn't very hard to prolong it past that." I replied.

"I was already ancient when this world was still young. You haven't even seen two decades yet." She said bluntly.

"I like older women." I countered with a smile. And isn't that something to suddenly discover about myself, it seems I do have a preference.

"This isn't even my true form; I have no set gender. I could look however I wanted."

"But it's the form you chose to identify yourself with, it's who you think yourself as and who I find physically attractive." She wouldn't have looked like that in the comfort of her own 'home' if she didn't 'want' to look like that.

"I have enemies, other Lords who wouldn't hesitate to strike out at you for even speaking to me. Those who would take your soul and torture it for eternity."

"I'm pretty strong, and I'll get even stronger."

"I could end your life with a snap of my fingers." She hissed.

There was no killing intent in her voice, no true desire to harm me.

"I have confidence to take you with me." I summoned my boosted gear and let Ddraig's power flow out.

She looked at me and then at the gauntlet. "Akatosh's child? No..." I don't think she really cared too much about it for the moment, she looked lost in her own thoughts. "Why?" She finally asked me as if all the momentum she built up had suddenly deflated.

"You're going to need to be more specific."

"Why are you intent on making me your 'woman' as you so aptly put it. Is it some sort of twisted fantasy of yours to have me under you? Or maybe you are under some delusions that this will give you some control over my spheres of influence."

"If you're looking for some underlining scheme or rational reason, I don't have one." I just stared into her eyes for a moment. "I simply like you."

"You like me." She repeated, almost in disbelief. "Are you not going to profess your undying devotion and love for me?" She waved her hand flippantly.

"Don't be ridiculous, I don't love you."

[Oh shit, I hope you're going somewhere with this]

I saw her frown, possibly even get close to getting annoyed.

"Love isn't something so hollow, nor do I believe in that nonsense about love at first sight. It's something built through a bond shared between two people, from trust and communication combined with a mutual affection. I don't love you, I like you. I have romantic feelings towards you that have started budding from the moment we met. I have the desire to spend time with you and get to know you better. If and only if our relationship ever progressed to that point, then I will say those words to you and mean them from the bottom of my heart."

Huh, I guess I never put my own feelings into words before.

"….Do you think all it takes is some honeyed words to win my affection?" Her voice was quiet and for some reason she didn't look at me in the eyes.

"No. I think you deserve to be properly courted." I took a step forward, she glanced at me but didn't show any discomfort as I got closer.

"I can't always leave my realm like this. There may even be days…weeks that we wouldn't be able to meet."

"I also have responsibilities that would take me far and force me away." I slowly reached out and took one of her hands, she was hesitant but allowed me. "But I'm willing to put in the work."

She looked town at our hands, and I may have been seeing things, but it looked like the faintest color of pink dusting her cheeks. She lightly pulled hers away, taking a step back. "I must return...keep my sword with you at all times…so that I may keep an eye on you and contact you if needed." She quietly said, looking rather distracted.

"Does that mean you accept?"

She looked back at me one last time, I didn't see any anger, discomfort or even annoyance on her face. I think she was at most, conflicted and unsure of what to do. "I do not go back on my word." And she suddenly left.

I felt a thump in my heart, watching her depart.

[How the hell did that work out?]

Refuge in Audacity.

[No, seriously, that was some bullshit, you are lucky as hell.]

Yes, yes I am.

***

I was humming to myself, and I had a small pep in my step as I walked towards solitude. I had been prepared to go find the old man at the tavern, but I saw him sitting down in his cart, looking a might pissed off.

"You don't look too good." I said.

"Oh lad, yer back." He stood up. "Aye, I lost me a good bit of coin betting on dice. You look like you're in a good mood, deal with that stuff at the temple?"

"Yup, just a necromancer causing trouble."

"That can't be all, I've seen that look before, lad. A lady was involved, eh?"

Jeese what a horndog. "Fine, I may have gotten myself a woman."

He laughed at pat me on the shoulder. "Gotta give an old man more than that, what was she like, how was big was her – "

"Alright!" I quickly cut him off, something told me he would have gotten a bit…smitten if he continued. "I'll say this….she had legs for days."

"Legs for days?' He raised an eyebrow.

"They were magnificent."

I heard the old man just burst out laughing. But I didn't care, I was more focused on my new sword burning just a little bit brighter all of the sudden.

"Alright lad, where you headin next?"

"How about we go back to Winterhold, I need to check back in at the college."

"Well, if you got the coin, I got the cart. To Winterhold then, but we're talking the long way round, I don't trust the mountain paths this time a year and them Trolls be coming out of their caves, hungry something fierce."

"No problem, I have all the time in the world."

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