Hydrogena landed from Heaven astride her steed. The equine animal tossed his head as if heralding his horn to similar creatures deprived on such. Without sign or permission, he took off at full tilt, galloping for the sheer pleasure of it ‑‑ for Hume was an entirely new playground for him. The charger was dark, as dark as the night, and as dark as his mistress’s hair. The ground shook with the shock of his power, for it had never known such before. One would think the delicate legs would snap as he pounded upon them, but they held like steel. A tug on his mane and a whisper in his ear told him it was time to slow.
They eased to a halt atop a large hill overlooking the site of a spring carnival. In the morning it would fill with Humans of all kinds. Craftsmen, artisans, tricksters, and actors would form the basis of the carnival as they enjoyed their most prosperous season. Most of the visitors would be normal folk; farmers, tailors, carpenters and the like. There would be laughing and singing, and games for the children. In the evening there would be revelry and drinking for those not watching over the young ones.
While the upper class deigned to join in the general frolicking, the carnival was an important function for them. It served as a gathering place for them, a rare chance to meet with the other lords. It was also a chance for sons and daughters of the wealthy to meet appropriate spouses. There would be parties where only their kind were welcome, hosted by various households. However, the lords would also sponsor fencing matches open to any who could hold a sword. It was here that ambitious young men had a chance to be noticed by young ladies or their fathers looking for new blood.
It was a particular lord that Hydrogena was interested in. Lockseye had arrived, and this was the perfect place for her to meld into human society and become acquainted with Ulyx’s lord. Ulyx needed watching – such close watching that Aurumus had seen fit to send one of them in person to supervise him. Humans weren’t intended to be smart enough to discover how to tap into celestial power. Of course humans hadn’t been intended for anything. They hadn’t even been intended. Curse that parlour game. Why hadn’t she seen sense and stopped Carbonius? A reason creeped in, and she shoved back a distracting vision of Oxygeny forming and sending particles into space. He’d looked so good doing it, and, full of wine, she’d wanted to impress him. It was shameful, but there it was. She would not be that weak again.
With an elegance only a goddess could command, she slipped off her unicorn and placed both hands upon his smoothly twisted horn. Quietly, she said “Bright Eye, this will only be temporary. You must look like a Human horse.”
With that, the animal’s horn vanished, or appeared to. Bright eye snorted with alarm, shaking his head to feel the reassuring weight of his weapon. Hydrogena almost floated back onto him to wait for heavens rays to light site of her mission.
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