The Elder Trent (after ironing out some differences and settling business), turned back to the Queen of Aqualaria....
The negotiations go more smoothly afterwards, and soon all are smiling as each and all get what they were hoping for.
Well, some are smiling. The Trents aren't. They'd been hoping that in the area of trade, high tech items wouldn't come up.
However, when Queen Astra hinted that if (in a diplomatic manner in as not as blunt of words) that if Xanth wanted to be left behind and become technological Aborigines, that was okay with her.
Trent worried about the corrosive effects that the machines would have on the Xanthian environment.
Also, there is the fact that this "increase" will happen over a gradual period of time, not all at once. Time enough to adjust.
Trent would soon be complaining, however, how obsessive some of the Military technicians who showed how some of it worked were about the subject.
Things changed from the twentieth century back Home. What with the environment having been pushed to it's breaking point back Home from the initial Enemy attack, mankind had to learn to be environmentally conscious to keep things going.
That's another story.
Treaties are signed and hands shook.
While shaking the hands of door, Queen Astra leaned over to him and said softly: "I wish you luck with you son, Dolph, and his two brides-to-be."
The sentiment had been heartfelt, but this was also a small way of putting Irene and Dor on notice to be careful of what one speaks of in certain areas. Casually speaking of, or mere whispering of, sensitive matters could come back to haunt you.
Elder Trent, long familiar with "his" Irene (who was still just a teen before the Others began to show up from the Shredding) quickly and quietly takes her aside and explains this to her before she can blow her stack.
The Trents, young, old, or middle aged, were more worldly on affairs and customs outside the lands of Xanth, having spent some decades there while having been banished long ago. This experience gave him a wider breadth of vision....of knowledge than those others who'd spent nearly all their lives within the wonderful (but still comparatively small) lands of Xanth. That being the case, Trent can tell a kind gesture from an intentional slight almost instinctively. Most of the others, still punchy from everything turning upside down, didn't have that gift....and it was showing.
Dor blinks in surprise (how did she know of matters like that), while Irene, who'd been within hearing distance.....grows a little paler and grimaces at the smiling Queen Astra (who just smiles back). With the coming of the time-line fracturing (around the time that the novel Heaven Cent would have taken/did take place), certain events occurred differently than they had before. In this instance, it had occurred during a test of love near the end of the novel. Dolph, the young boy of Dor and Irene (the king and queen at that point in time), had gotten into a predicament indeed. He'd fallen for one Nada Naga (a princess of the Naga folk, who could turn into the traditional naga....as well as human beings) but had also revived one young girl (named Electra) his age that, along with instantly falling in love with the person who revived her, was doomed to die if the one who revived her failed to marry her by her 18th birthday! In all, a messy situation, made worse by the fact that Dolph, understandably, hadn't revived her expecting this complication (he'd done it basically because it was the right thing to do). He hadn't revived Electra with thoughts of love or marriage in mind! Also, though Dolph loved Nada, the reverse was not true for Nada. Nada was something a teen while Dolph was still very much a boy. Originally, while Dolph had proved his love was true with Nada, nothing else really changed. He didn't love Electra (who loved him) and Nada didn't love him, originally. Originally, years later, Dolph would grow to love Electra and they would be wed. Originally, the relationship between Nada and Dolph mellowed to a close friendship. But fate threw a curveball, and somewhere along the journey through the wilderness back to home for the test of love, all three fell for each other. To make matters worse, Irene, this time around, had put her foot in her mouth in publically announcing that she would abide by the test results (i.e. if Dolph was serious about this love business, ridiculous as it sounded since he was still a child, then she would officially sanction the marriage arrangement).
The tests came in, and she couldn't recant her decree (though made in jest).
Dor, also having sided on this one issue with his wife, had not been pleased either, but couldn't reverse the royal decree without much lose of face.
At least (before the Fountain had for some reason ceased to work for all but a few select people) an application of water from the Fountain of Youth had youthened Nada Naga to a fitting age (thus silencing waging tongues about Dolph being in love with an older woman). But there was, despite Xanthian custom.....a man was going to have two wifes.
That was an Xanthian matter, and Queen Astra and King Willian would leave it alone for them to handle. It was none of the outside worlds business. Social customs were different. That had been very apparent this day!
There had been such arrangements in the past in Aqaularian society, but those had been few and far between.
Queen Astra paused, not sure how she'd react to such an arrangement if it should ever come forward. However, she believed she would handle it much better than what she'd seen just awhile ago.
10/13/2000 12:57:12 AM
The Never Ending Quest Home
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