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Author’s note:

Now that I got it out of my system with the non-cannon half chapter, let’s return to the regular story line.

The non-canon was well pretty much well thought out. At one point, I really did consider killing Queenie off, but I decided not to. The idea was too good to just throw away though so I just wrote it out anyway. So later on, I might do similar chapter where I write about other possibilities that I have thought of.

Sorry about the delay, Life + Writers block = the suck

Edited by SGJacko. Give thanks to him as well:>




Chapter 22 - Again



Day  33
***Cani's Cave***
***Cani***


“Ow my back…”

             Waking up on the cold floor, I found Queenie still asleep, snuggling right against me inside my enormous Ki’th. She had a huge smile on her face. It seems that she is having a good dream. Speaking of dream, I had a nightmare last night. I can’t quite remember what it was though, something about Queenie dying. I just remember it was incredibly sad. I gently nudged her to wake her up.

“Hey, it’s morning.”

“Mmmm...mwwww”

           Queenie replied with a inaudible mutter. Looks like she will need to sleep a bit more. It’s a good thing too since it would be awkward with her around when I am trying to clean up her mess. I took off my Ki’th like a contortionist so that I won’t wake her up. After that, I wrapped her in my Ki’th so that she wouldn’t be cold. I am glad that I have that bearskin as my Ki’th. It is so convenient at times since it can double as a sleeping bag.

“Damn it.”

            I keep forgetting that I had nothing underneath my Ki’th. I quickly look around for Queenie’s Ki’th and commandeered it. If this was a normal rom com, this would be the scene where the guy and the girl put on each other’s cloths by accident. After putting it on, I walked outside to find Sylva eating breakfast. Taking a deep breath, I tried to formulate what I need to say. I can’t go into villain mode this time. Our tribe is in the wrong here. I bowed my head in front of her.

“I am sorry about what happened last night. I hope that you can forgive Queenie for what she did. I can guarantee that Queenie will not attack you again.”

             I think my apology caught her completely off guard. She didn’t say a thing and just turned back and continue eating her food. Crap. It’s the dreaded silent treatment. I can’t read her at all. Let’s try a different method.

“As an apology, I will remove the guards that are following you. You are recognized as a full member of the tribe as of now. You are free to do whatever you want until the scouts come back.”

             She doesn't turn around and keeps eating her food silently. Am I being too nice here? Should I turn into villain mode for a bit to try to shake some reaction out of her? I think I should just leave her alone for the time being. It would be better if she open up to me on her end. I turned around and leave her alone.

Day  33
***Cani's Cave***
***Sylva***

“I am sorry about what happened last night. I hope that you can forgive Queenie for what she did. I can guarantee that Queenie will not attack you again. "

         Seething with anger, Sylva chomp down on her breakfast, refusing to look at Cani face to face. She dared not show her face to Cani, warped with hatred. She doesn’t know what he will do to her if she shows even a tiny bit defiance after promising that she will submit to him. She wasn’t angry at the fact that Queenie tried to kill her. In fact, this was quite common in goblin culture as it was one of the ways to compete for better mates, although it was slightly frowned upon. She was angry at the fact that Cani was the one that tried to get multiple mates.  It was common for strong leader females to claim multiple mates. The same was not true in reverse. All the common sense that she had was thrown into the wind when it comes to this tribe.

"As an apology, I will remove the guards that are following you. You are recognized as a full member of the tribe as of now. You are free to do whatever you want until the scouts come back.”

          She was absolutely surprised by what Cani said. To her, apologizing was a sign of weakness. A leader absolutely cannot show any weakness. Strength was everything. This sparked something within Sylva. She decides to take the chance to take advantage of the whole situation. This was her chance for a Coup d'état. Just as Cani was about to leave her, she spoke up.

“Since I am a full member of this tribe, does that mean I can challenge you for the position of the tribe’s leader? Will you accept my challenge of strength?”

        Cani stopped in his tracks. A quick grin was flashed on his face. He was smiling because Sylva finally responded. With this new information, Cani could finally understand a little bit more about Sylva’s thought pattern. For example, she still hasn’t fully recognized his strength. Turning on his beloved villain mode once again, he turns back towards Sylva and answered.

“You absolutely can. However, if it is a challenge of strength, I would rather not have a fight between you and me. I don’t want either of us getting hurt and lower our tribe’s fighting potential when the dwarves can attack any time.”

“So what do you propose?”

“Simple, you see that rock?”

        Cani points to a large grey stone slab. It was one of the leftover material from building the stone fence. Sylva saw the slab and nods.

“Without any other goblin’s help, move the stone to the other side. If you can do that, I will let you lead this tribe without any resistance.”

         Quickly assessing the weight of the rock with her eyes, she shook her head and answered.

“That’s impossible. It would take at least four goblins to lift that. You are trying to trick me.”

“I tell you what, I will give you an additional handicap. After you admit that you can’t do it, I will show you that I have the strength to do it by myself. If I can’t move it, I will also give you the leadership of this tribe. However...”

         Sylva was eager to accept the deal, there was no drawback for her. Of course, villain Cani cannot let this opportunity to gain something out of this challenge slip.

“If I manage to move the rock to the other side, you must agree to receive my punishment for trying to challenge me. What that punishment is will, shall be determined later. It might be light, it might be severe. I will leave it to your imagination.”

         Sylva pondered deeply. One on hand, she is really curious about the strength of Cani. In her mind, there is no doubt that Cani cannot move that huge slab of rock with his thin arms. On the other she was worried about this “punishment” that Cani spoke of. She had already endured multiple days being a captive of Cani. Without much food or water, she was kept in the cold. She can’t imagine herself going through that again. After looking at her three subordinates for courage, she finally made the decision.

“I accept the conditions.”

“Excellent. You can start whenever you want.”

         Everyone heard about the challenge and gathered around to watch. With her three friends cheering her on, Sylva dug her fingers underneath the slab, braces herself, and tries to lift it. The slab is stubborn and refuses to budge. She grunts and holds her breath, gathering her resolve and tries again. The slab moves up ever so slightly then quickly returns to its original place. She keeps trying and trying. With sweat rolling down her face, she tries to lift the slab for over 30 minutes, but to no avail. Lying on the ground looking tired and defeated, she exclaims.

“There is no way you can move that by yourself.”

“I take it that you give up?”

          With a grudgeful eyes, she replies.

“Yes, I give up. Now show me your strength and move it.”

“As you wish. Just remember about the punishment.”

“Yes I know!”

          Cani walks around and grabs spears from a few of the guards. He carefully removes the spear head, turning them into poles. After he gathers enough poles for his purpose, he takes a piece small rock on from the top of the stone fence and sticks it near the slab. Using the leverage to his advantage, he lifts the rock up using one of the poles and quickly slips another pole underneath the slab. He does the same thing on the other side of the slab. After that, he creates a track using the poles. The slab easily slides to the other side.

“That...That’s not fair! You cheated!”

“Did I say you can’t use tools? So you will be accepting your punishment?”

           Sylva grumbled but stays silent.

“I can see that you are still not satisfied. If that is the case, I will use another method that is slightly more in line with what you consider strength, as a bonus to you.”

         Cani reaches for his hammer in his Ki’th at his waist. It wasn’t there. He forgot that he was wearing Queenie’s Ki’th instead of his at this moment.

“Umm… sorry, give me one second. I left my hammer in the cave.”

         He quickly went back into the cave with a little bit shame He grabs his hammer from his Ki’th which was wrapped around the sleeping Queenie. After he got his hammer, he goes back outside and stands in front of the slab. He raises his hammer high in the air and starts to smash the slab up. It took over 10 minutes but by the end, the slab was no more than tiny rocks. Afterwards, he carries the small pieces one by one back to the slab’s original spot.

“ With my mind and wit, I was able do something that you cannot, something that you deemed impossible. So I ask you, what is more important to a tribe? Strength that cannot achieve any task at hand or some one weak that finds a way to do everything? Strength without guidance of the mind can achieve nothing.”

         Sylva hung her head low without saying anything. She now understood why Cani is a special goblin. Wisdom and intelligence was a rare trait among goblins and it was often looked down about. Yet, he simply overwhelms his opponents or any difficulties with those traits. She admits her defeat a second time.

"Now,  lets talk about that little punishment that you have agreed to..."
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damancy

  • Slayer of Soles

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