Out of Space

by

neo Koh

40 - Sugar and Spice and Everything's a Lie!

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As the ballroom starts filling up with hoomans, Sherene took the opportunity to speak with Joseph and Thorn at the table. "What does everyone think of the hoomans?" she asks in a low voice.

"Very fascinating," Magister Thorn said, stroking his beard. "Their knowledge clearly is way beyond ours!" Thorn gestures at the lights in the hall. "How they make lights with magic and the temperature of the room is just right. They have very good control over the elements of magic."

"Rich and powerful," Joesph gave his observations. "Looking at the quality of their clothes, the iron castle, the tall city walls, their numbers of soldiers with thundersticks and even these." He rubs the fine tablecloth. "They must have a very strong industry and a very deep treasury. But surprisingly we do not see much buildings in the city."

"Yes, they have some very powerful magicians, I wonder if we will be able to meet them," Sherene answers back. "I do find a lack of buildings in the city strange. And the city walls, who will build that tall!" She agrees to both her advisors' observation. "The question now is, what can we offer in exchange for their help?"

"That..." Joesph stammers, "We could try marriage with their lord, the hooman Captain Blake?"

Sherene glares sternly at Joesph till he coughs uncomfortably. "Marriage is out of the question," Thorn speaks up for Sherene. "We don't even know what kind of race are they!"

"So what do we do?" Sherene frowns, "Offer our lives in exchange for protection from the Empire?"

"Isn't that the same as being a slave?" Joseph speaks harshly. "Enough of our people are slaves to the Empire already, and now to another race? What if they are like the Empire too? All these are just a trick?"

"Shhh... lower your tone! Joesph! Is that the way you speak to your princess?" Thorn rebuked Joesph, as the group attracted the attention of the hoomans around them. "We are thinking of ideas!"

"Is everything ok? Is there something you are unhappy with? We will try out best to accommodate it." Blake walks over and asks them.

Blake and Ford had earlier purposely given the elves some space to talk among themselves, giving the elves the impression of respecting their privacy, but in truth, the ship's security directional microphone picked up every word and sentence they spoke, transmitting it into their earpieces.

Blake used this outburst as an opportunity to break their momentum, he more or less has understood what their agenda is all about. Interesting, he thought.

Unaware that their hosts had eavesdropped on their conversation, Sherene smiles and said, "Yes, we are fine. There is nothing to be worried about."

"That's good. Will you like a guide to the buffet table?" Blake graciously asks offering his hand to Sherene. "Would you care to be my partner?"

"Thank you." Sherene shyly took Blake's offered hand. She then turns and gave a warning look to the two grown men, warning them to behave themselves before allowing Blake to lead her towards a row of tables laden with dishes of food and drinks.

Joseph and Thorn chastened and with nothing better to do latched themselves onto Ford and starts bombarding him with questions like, how is this castle built out of iron and steel, what is tek-no-lo-gee, how does this and that work! Much to the dismay of Ford, judging from the expression he has on his face.

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"What do you think of everything so far?" Blake opens up the conversation.

"Wonderful," Sherene replies sincerely, "I haven't thank you for the help you sent to my people." She gave a bow, "Thank you for saving my people." She said formally to Blake.

"It is our duty," Blake said, waving off her thanks. "We just couldn't sit and watch people dying."

"Why is it your duty?" She asked, curiously to why this hooman Blake will send help to save her people.

"My people grew up learning and being taught that the strong should protect the weak," Blake explains. "Right or wrong, justice, and morals are to be upheld with honor and integrity."

"I think I understand." Sherene nods her pretty little head. Some of the words were in Eng-ish, but she understands the gist of it mostly. Like the old fairy tales of knights and chivalry, told by her mother and nursemaid when she was a little girl as bedtime stories.

"I have been waiting to ask this." Sherene points to the rows of colorful decorations on Blake's uniform. "What are these for? I saw it on almost everyone's clothes, some many, while others just one or two."

"Oh? These?" Blake peers downwards at his uniform. "They are medals." He spoke the word medal in English, as his real-time translator do not have an equivalent word. "Rewards for merit or combat." He gave a simplified explanation after seeing Sherene's blank look.

"Oh, medals!" Sherene understood after the explanation. Blake's translator picked up the new word and automatically updated the cloud server. "Than you must be a great soldier for you have many medals." She gave a charming smile to Blake.

"Amen... Eh... not really," Blake looks away, embarrassed from the million voltage smile. Her beauty overwhelming his senses. He felt light-headed, his heart suddenly beating rapidly and strangely attracted to her, with the urge to hug and protect her from all things.

"You call us as Elves?" Sherene asks, "Why?"

"Well, due to a very old story text that we have, there were descriptions of a race, that looks very similar to you and your people." Blake explains, "Especially the long ears." He stares at Sherene intently, observing every feature of her face.

"Where are you people from?" Sherene continues to question Blake.

"From Earth..." Blake speaks softly, but not soft enough for Sherene as her ears perked up.

"Ea-th?" Sherene tilts her head in confusion, exposing her fine neckline to Blake's stare, seemingly oblivious to his stare. "What is that?"

"Our home planet, from the stars... many light years beyond this planet..." Blake answers faithfully, using Eng-ish words that Sherrene could barely understand.

"Are you alright?" Sherene finally noticing Blake's face turning slightly red, leans closer to his face. She was close enough for him to smell a sweet womanly fragrance from her. He feels his loins stirring and starts to feel harder to breathe.

"Captain Blake!" A voice jolts him awake. Blake blinks his eyes in confusion and took a small step back, keeping a short distance away from Sherene. "Hello, are you going to introduce us?"

Dr. Sharon and Chief Matt stood smiling behind Blake and Sherene, with glasses of champagne in their hands, calls out to Blake.

"Oh.." Blake took a deep breath, recovering his composure. "This is Princess Sherene Goldrose of the Goldrose Kingdom." He pauses to calm his racing heart and gestures. "This is the good Doctor Sharon and our chief engineering officer, Matt Petterson."

Sherene gave a small curtsy to both the hoomans while they gave a bow in return after the introductions were done.

Sharon hooked her arm under Sherene's and drags her off to try out the food, "I'll be borrowing the Princess! You boys go do what boys normally do."

"Captain, are you ok? You face looks very red." Chief Matt hands a glass of water over to Blake as he sat down on a nearby chair.

"Something is wrong, I am not sure what." Blake checks his personal bio reading on his wristwatch. An evaluated heart rate of 134, blood pressure slightly higher than normal, body temperature up by 1 degrees Celcius, no signs of poison detected.

Blake frowns slightly, what had gotten into me? He glances up to find the princess and Sharon, happily stacking their plates with food. He admits that the elf princess is very cute and pretty, but to get lovestruck like a boy? Strange.

"Maybe it's the weather and all these." Matt gestures around the hall. "Drink some water, and let Dr. Sharon give you a once over later."

"I think so too, I'll drink more water," Blake assures Matt while trying to figure out what happened.

---------------------

"Try this! And that!" Sharon directs Sherene to the different kinds of pastries and finger food prepared specially for this event. "Oh, you will love this!"

Since young, with her education and upbringing as a princess of a kingdom, Sherene had tried and experienced all kinds of exotic and fine cooking. But this food, which she tasted, is out of the ordinary!

The sweetness and savory flavors! The perfect blend of spices and seasoning! She temporarily forgot her manners and wolfed down each dish that Sharon recommended to her.

The amount of sugar and spices used, the cost of this banquet could bankrupt a small town! Sherene was once again amazed by the spending power these hoomans have and the chef with the skills to cook such dishes! He will be in great demand by all the nobles in the whole of the known world!

The drinks which Sharon poured for her, were called fruit punch tastes deliciously sweet and tart while the bubbly champagne wine was nothing like she had ever tried before, And finally the dessert, cakes and tiny pies of fruits and cream topped with a dark brown sauce. Most of all, she fell in love with that wonderful bittersweet taste.

Cho-co-late!

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neo Koh

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