tagNonConsent/ReluctanceLife and Times of a Priestess Ch. 02 Pt. 03

Life and Times of a Priestess Ch. 02 Pt. 03


Chapter 2 : The Priestess Meets A General

Part 3 : Friendship, Advice and Love

"I have always wanted to travel," she said as they talked again afterwards. "But in my life I have never been very far. No one here travels far or knows much about anywhere else. Tell me about where you have been."

"I have travelled all over the Empire and I have seen everything. Most of it is quite similar to Shanla. There are Temples to the Goddess all over. Every city has one, every town has a smaller one. Even villages sometimes have them. The people work much as they do here and are happy and content because the Goddess's rewards are given to all.

Danella was slightly saddened to hear it. She had hoped that other parts of the Empire would be different, more exciting, but she could not have described what an exciting place would be to her, just somewhere different. "Have you been outside the Empire? What is it like there?" she asked, hoping that those places would be more interesting.

"I have not been everywhere, Danella, but I have been into Vanmar, before the war. It is a strange place, but you would not want to hear about it. It is a sad place, it would depress you."

She sensed that he would like to tell her but he was being polite by warning her that the tales he had to tell were unsettling. "Please tell me what Vanmar is like. I have heard of it. I heard that the people there do not worship the Goddess, that they despise her and forbid their own people to worship her. They are full of unsatisfied lusts and slaves to their economic leaders. Is this true?"

"Yes, it is true," he said. "And the reality is worse than you can imagine it. I went to one of the leading nations as part of a military delegation when it seemed the Vanmarians wanted to ensure that peace existed between us. We were encouraged to speak to the other military officers in the hope that if we knew what each other were like we would come to respect each other and be unlikely to want to fight each other.

"We met their partners, wives as they call them, at the meals and parties they organised for us. Many couples seemed distant towards each other, as if they lived together too closely and were bored with each other. And yet they are forced to live with each other and to make love, as they call it, only with each other. The men and the women are often unhappy because they cannot make love to anyone else. Many of them are single, which means they are enjoying no sexual worship with anyone. These people I could tell were unhappy, apart from the ones who had "girlfriends" or "boyfriends" who were expecting to become married."

She was genuinely surprised. "Do you mean there are people who do not have sexual activity with anyone?" She knew they did not worship the Goddess in Vanmar but she had assumed that there would be sexual activity for everyone all over the world. Even without the Priesthood and the Goddess, sexual life was surely natural.

"I did not meet many," he answered. "Most of my contact was with married officers. Most officers are viewed as successful and they attract wives easily, and the few who were not were mainly young men still looking for wives. There were only one or two who seemed to have had no success. They joked about it when we asked, but I could tell they were insecure and unhappy. Many of the married officers also appeared unhappy, probably because they did not love their wives, although they should."

"But they must love their wives - they call it making love, you said," said Danella, confused.

"Love means a different thing from making love. They make love to their wives, usually but not always. But they do not necessarily love their wives any longer, although, by the commitments made when they marry, they ought to love them. It is a duty. To them love is a special relationship. It means that two people love each other to the exclusion of everyone else. When they marry they must be 'in love' with each other. The best way I can describe it is that they worship each other. They have no Goddess. They do not mean to worship the Goddess when they make love. They are worshipping each other. They can only worship one person at any time. Ideally that person should be the same wife or husband for the whole of their life. They recognise a situation which happens in practice where a husband and wife cease to love each other, but they are still married and usually make love to each other. This is recognised as a part of the reality of many marriages by many but no one wishes to admit it in public. Everyone wishes their marriage to be seen as 'successful'."

"I am confused," Danella confessed. "It seems such a silly system. Imagine if here everyone found only one partner to worship instead of communion with many. Everyone would be so unhappy. Life's meaning would change completely. I sometimes think we worship the Goddess too much but I think we do need her." She wished that she had not said that as soon as she said it, but there was no taking it back. To say that in front of a General might not be a sensible thing to do, but she had said it now and she did not think he would be angered. He had seen a different kind of world and he could accept that worshipping the Goddess was not everything.

As she had thought he seemed politely not to notice. Perhaps he recognised the truth in what she said. He ignored her lack of respect for the Goddess and went on. "Late in the day when we felt we were all relaxed, one of us asked if there were any women available with whom we could have sex. We were polite. We recognised that in Vanmar this is a sensitive matter. We did not demand it, we did not wish to cause any offence and did not expect them to deliver. Partly we asked in order to find out more about these people.

The question proved our lack of understanding about their ways of thought. Our suspicions about their attitudes were proved correct. We did not say we wanted to 'worship'. We knew they did not worship the Goddess, but we believed they might appreciate sex. Maybe they had people like Priestesses who were not wives and would be available. It was a big mistake. They did not like our question. It made them angry. They took it as an insult and complained that after all their hospitality this was how we tried to take advantage of them. We had to apologise and explained that we were merely trying to understand more about them. When we explained about our own sexual life they seemed to become more understanding. We even detected interest in our ways from some of them, although they were careful not to show too much interest lest their fellows considered them ill-behaved."

Danella could sense that Polad enjoyed her company, in more ways than merely physical. Any man she had ever been with had always enjoyed her physical presence, unless he were homosexual. She was able to take that for granted. Many liked to talk, but they laughed and talked about ordinary things. She knew Polad was enjoying her questions as she discovered something of the alien society across the sea. He was able to talk about the meanings behind the war which was his occupation. She guessed he probably resented the lack of interest displayed by so many of the people of Pirion while he and his comrades fought and sometimes died in the distant war in defence of an ungrateful and unconcerned people. She too found she was being charmed by this unexpected encounter with one who had travelled and had so much to say. She enjoyed the respect he seemed to accord her ill informed questions. Perhaps he recognised the inquiring nature of her mind, her desire to learn and to alter the course of her life, and respected her.

"You are an intelligent lady," he complimented her. Priestesses do not often wish to talk much about matters such as the war. They prefer not to hear things which might disturb them."

"I have a hunger to hear things that are new to me. I know little about this war, and I wish to know more of the world. I would like to travel to Vanmar," she said.

"You would?" The tenor of his voice displayed surprise. "Vanmar may be dangerous at the moment to us, because of the war. Certainly getting there would be difficult."

"That is a shame. I have been thinking for a while that I would like to see more of Pirion, but now you tell me about Vanmar, I realise that it is the place I have been waiting to hear about. I would like to see those places, and to observe those people with such strange habits and to meet them."

"You have chosen a bad time to be thinking these thoughts," said Polad gravely.

"Do you think it is not possible to go to Vanmar, because of the war?" she asked.

"I wouldn't advise it. There are people of many 'nationalities' all over Vanmar. They would not necessarily care that you come from a land they are at war with. Away from the fighting I suppose you would be safe. But there are no boats sailing from Pirion's ports and I would not advise travel through the occupied territories. The Vanmandrians in particular can sometimes be very cruel to our people there. I suggest that if you wish to travel, see Pirion first. The war is a great danger to us all and we may find that large parts of Pirion are never the same again. Go and see Pirion while it still survives. But it is too dangerous to go to Vanmar. If peace one day returns that will be the time to discover Vanmar."

Until this meeting she had not considered travelling to Vanmar, but now she was reminded of how strange that continent was she discovered a desire to go there which had not consciously existed before. Nonetheless she heard his advice. She realised that she had been caught up in the routines of the Temple for so long that she had forgotten that she had free will. Her life was her own to do with as she pleased. She determined that she must make some attempt to escape from the routine of life which seemed to bind her. The only thing lacking had been the will to actually make the change. The only act required was to use her legs to carry her away into a journey of discovery, of Pirion to begin with, and she knew not where later, and also by so doing to make a discovery of her self.

The General invited her, "Will you eat with me? I feel there is much more for us to talk about, and maybe later if you are in no hurry for the Temple we may make communion together again."

To her own surprise she realised that she had enjoyed the afternoon. She had enjoyed the touch of his hands and the strength of his penis within her. Conversing with the General had warmed her further to him. His gentle intelligence and the respect with which he treated her had put her completely at her ease.

"Please, Danella," he said, "Don't call me General, call me Polad. When we are together it is you who are my superior."

And so faced with the decision of leaving now to return to her Temple dormitory, where she would be returned to her dull habitual occupations, or of staying to continue their fruitful conversation and companionship, she chose the latter. Despite the rank of the General there was really no reason for a Priestess to feel obliged to stay longer than the few hours they had already spent together. She was free to go. For the first time in perhaps a few months she felt willing once again to extend a priestly duty beyond its natural length. This was no longer a duty but became a personal choice. Could it be that she wished to count a General as a close friend?

"Yes, I would like that," she found herself saying. Polad enveloped her more closely, drawing his fingers lightly over her stomach. She raised her cheek to him, returning the

embrace. For a while they stayed in each other's arms.

The housekeeper brought food which she laid out on a small table which was placed before them. "Eat well," said the housekeeper, smiling in such a way that Danella detected her affection for the General, confirming the General's pleasant nature. The housekeeper was pleased to see the General relaxed and happy.

"Thank you, Nicolia." He stood to embrace her with his thanks and kissed her warmly. Obviously master and servant had a strong healthy relationship.

As they ate Polad discoursed at length about his observations of the Vanmarians and his worries that Pirion might not be able to resist the invaders adequately. Again he encouraged Danella to travel. "If you stay in Shanla without change you will continue to feel bound by your routines. I believe you should change the pattern of your life for a while. Travelling may be a good way to solve your disquiet. You will come to know yourself better and what is right for you by it. But let me ask you one thing?"

"What is it?"

"Please don't begin your travels immediately. I am here in Shanla for two more weeks. Can you wait for another two weeks before leaving? I want to see you again at least a couple more times if you will allow me," he said.

She laughed, "Is that all? Of course I would like to see you again before I leave. I have enjoyed this meeting. It has revitalised me more than you might realise. Anyway, I have only just decided to travel today, thanks to your stories. I am not going to disappear without a little more thought, and I have friends and parents who I would not leave without some warning!"

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