It was him again. Calling her. Wanting to goad her to fight with him again. The first few years of her confinement she had done just that. She always lost. She was not as mean hearted or as ruthless as the male deity. She could not think of the vile curses as fast as he. Would not. Though he had done much to her people, she could not wish the same upon his.
She had once believed that all the Kinds could freely be with one another. That love—like the Gaian people said—had no true boundaries.
She had been stupid where he was concerned, her attraction to his physical perfection overshadowing the truth of his character. How could any god condemn a people to the suffering that hers had endured?
The females and babes lost were heartbreaking. She had a list of their names, those lost since his vicious curses first rang down. She looked at it sometimes, a reminder of how she had failed as a goddess.
She would make it up to them, somehow.
With her death, Nelciana would assume leadership of the few Dardaptoans that remained. As goddess of families and relationships, the other deity would strengthen the bonds between Dardaptoan and Witch. And Nelciana’s sense of loyalty would have her protecting the Dardaptoans fiercely.
They would survive. Thrive.
And with what remained of Kennera’s powers, Nelciana would almost be as strong as Eiophon. If she could convince Lothonos to join with Nelciana, they would be stronger than the Lupoiux god.
Strong enough to protect her people in the war the beast would wage the instant the walls containing them came crumbling down.
“Girl. I know you hear me. Do you think ignoring me will make me go away? I have gone nowhere in three thousand years.” His voice was insidious, filling the entirety of her half of the palace. It was a trick he had used since their first week together. His voice in her entire world—another way for him to overpower her.
He so liked showing her how powerful he was.
But she would show him, would win the final battle. It meant her death; that she could not deny, nor would she.
Her people deserved no less.