“People have an annoying habit of remembering things they shouldn't.”
- The Journey to the Afterlife
***Kingdom Newerth, Capital City***
“So Jazira is also here? That’s no good. I still can remember her first attempt at using the pathways. She gathered so much energy that she almost ripped apart a whole continent. Using brute force was always her method of choice. I hope you managed to steer her towards a different path this time.” Lidith eyes the ceiling with a gloomy expression. It took us five minutes to separate her from Mother.
After she cooled down, she introduced herself as Beth. I had to assure her that I would stop my mother from using any gene-altering methods on her. Seems like her previous life with my parents left her a little traumatized. I’ll admit that being turned into a catgirl isn’t high on my list of priorities either. Though I have to say that my mother had a somewhat legit reason for her actions. Mom’s treatment helped Beth to control her berserker mode.
Ok, she still went on a rampage now and then, but at least she managed to direct her aggression at people who deserve it. She had a real problem with her anger issues back then. And she still has trouble with keeping herself in check from what we’ve just seen. I’ve to remember that when I bring up old memories.
She has cooled down by now, but I can see in her eyes that she is still unhappy with the situation.
“Adea can blow up a continent?” Marcus asks alarmed, looking at me with wide eyes. It looks a little ridiculous when he is surprised while being in his demon form. I really want to check out the extent of his shapechanging capabilities. Can he turn into an animal, or does he have to stick to a humanoid form? And now that I think about it, why not an inanimate object? There are quite a few kinky things we could try if he turns into a vibr-
“You are drooling,” Marcus reprimands me with a sharp whisper.
I try to gather myself and wipe my mouth with my sleeve. There is no time to lose myself in a dream world. “I am sorry. Regarding Adea, yes, at the peak of her powers she can blow up continents. The current reincarnation of her isn’t quite that capable though,” I answer.
He sighs in relief. “But she will reach that level of power sometime?”
Shrugging, I try to downplay the situation. “Her control will increase and she is a decent person. In all the time I’ve known her, she never lost control.” Though she is quite capable of wiping out a city, with residents and pets included, if the right buttons are pushed. I probably shouldn’t mention that to Marcus. His parents would freak out if they learned about it.
What the eye doesn't see, the heart doesn't grieve over… or something along those lines.
Mother raises both hands in surrender. “I am sorry. I didn’t realize that being friends with us was such a traumatizing experience. I hope we can overcome that. At least I hold no grudge against you. I understand if the current you is different, and that you would rather not get involved with us. A lot of time has passed and people can change. Sometimes it’s better not to face the past.”
It took a while, but after the initial commotion was over, the crowd dissolved. They gathered in small groups for discussions and to devour the buffet.
Beth sighs and looks around to study the other ambassadors. “It’s not like I actually resent you after all this time. I actually liked playing the aunt for Seria. You still opened an old wound though. And I am not particularly interested in meeting your husband again. Did he manage to overcome his… issue?”
“He goes by Shade now. Don’t worry. It has been quite some time since he last freaked out,” Mother answers with a perfectly straight face, not giving away anything. She didn’t lie, but she also forgot about giving Beth all the information.
I shudder, remembering our recent conversation. There might be a real possibility that Dad freaks out once he meets his other version. So I step in to steer the conversation away from Shade. “Why don’t we talk about your realm, Beth? How did you do in this life? And is your realm interested in cooperating with us?”
Beth shrugs, stretching the fabric of her a little too tight dress. “I am not sure. What’s there to tell? We call ourselves the Jesserj Trading Inc. Don’t be fooled by the name. The corporation rivals any decently sized continent in power. We provide safe trading and portals between several different realms. The spirits were always a thorn in our sides. Interdimensional travel would be so much easier without them.
“As for my time between my reincarnations… I am afraid that I don’t have that much memories between now and the life we had together. I think that I was alive when you fought the calamity the second time, though not for long.”
Both my eyebrows shoot up in surprise. “You were!? Why didn’t you seek us out?”
Beth blushes. “Can we talk about something else? I really don’t want to talk about it since we weren’t on the same side. It was a really, really shitty reincarnation and I didn’t have memories of you back then. My soul got wrecked and I should probably thank Shade for repairing it to the point he did, it cut down my reincarnation time. But I think I lost a lot of memories nonetheless and spent quite some time recovering. This new reality seems to unlock memories of different timelines. I’ve no other explanation for my set of memories.”
She was on the other side? And she died? Does that mean that we killed her?
The only one who apparently figured something out is Mom. Her eyes widen in horror and she covers her mouth with both hands. “I am so, so sorry! To have memories of being reduced to such an existence. Now I understand everything. I never should have allowed him to do something like that to anyone.”
Beth raises a hand, stopping Mom from speaking any further. “Please, just don’t talk about it. I am doing my best to wall off my memories of that time. I don’t want to speak or hear about it. A lot of things went really wrong back then. Let’s just pray that there is no version of Sharid running around.”
Oh, yeah. But to be honest, I quite liked Sharid. Even if she was the reincarnation of my father’s gender-bent nemesis. She did really good as a woman. I had no problem with her hooking up with my brother.
Marcus looks from Mom, to Beth, and then to me. “Can someone try to bring me up to date? I don’t understand anything.”
“And that’s for the better!” Beth and Elona answer in unison.