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The Goddess' Child

Umbramatic

The Ghost Lord
Hey! This was a short thing I wrote for the Kith and Kin zine! It's technically a spinoff of my fic Rude Awakening but due to the nature of zines is it's own self-contained thing.


Also! The lovely Mythicat did some wonderful art to go with this! Go check it out!


The Goddess' Child


Naga sat atop her altar.


It was always quiet there. Serene, silent, peaceful.


...But also boring.


She wished she could stretch her wings. But it was too much of a risk. The deadly disease that claimed all dragons who were dragons too long would take her. She couldn't let that happen. She was a god.


Then she heard the pitter patter of little feet and her mood brightened.


"Ma-ma! Ma-ma!"


A little green-haired girl rushed in, jumping up and embracing Naga with a hug. Naga embraced her back.


"Tiki! How are you?"


"I'm having fun ma-ma! The other dragons played games with me!"


"That's great, dear."


"But..."


Tiki shifted a bit.


"What is it, sweetie?" said Naga.


Tiki pouted. "You said I couldn't play with some of the other dragons... Because they're sick... It's not fair."


Naga gave a worried frown. "Tiki... I... I don't want you to get sick too. That's why we look like humans."


"I know! But... But why can't we help them? The sick dragons?" Tiki jumped up and down.


Naga shook her head. "I... We don't know how to help them, Tiki. The Divine Dragons like me have tried."


Niki's head drooped. "It's not fair..."


Naga nodded. "I know. I know. I wish it was fair too."


Tiki sighed and sulked off. Naga gazed forlornly after her.


She tried not to think about the plague. But it was always creeping ever closer.


--------------


"She did WHAT?" Naga's mouth gaped open in shock.


"She - she - she tried to help one of the sick dragons. She was in human form, but there is still a possibility she got infected," said the other manakete to Naga.


Naga sputtered. "This... no... Is there any way we can stop it?"


The old Manakete put a hand to his chin. "It's possible since she was exposed as a human that putting her in periods of prolonged stasis will prevent the plauge from taking hold."


Naga's eyes narrowed. "So she needs... to sleep."


"Yes. She does."


Naga's face grew grave.

"Then... Then I have no choice, Bantu. I must use the spell."


Bantu gave her a look of worry. "What will you tell her?"


Naga's face fell further.


"I... I don't know."


--------------


Tiki gave Naga a look of despair. "Ma-ma, but why?"


Naga shook her head. "We have no choice. The plague will take hold otherwise."


Tiki's face grew grave. "I can't sleep for that long, mama... I can't play with my friends then..."


Naga tried to stay calm. "Your friends could get infected too..."


Tiki tried to perk herself up. "I... I'll be okay! They'll be okay!"


Naga shook her head. "Tiki, please... It's for the better..."

Tiki's expression grew grave again. "But... But..."


"Tiki... I'm sorry... It's the only way... for you to not... not..." Naga started faltering.


Tiki stopped, thought a bit, then nodded.


"...I... I'll do it."


Naga sighed. "Very well. Close your eyes..."


Tiki did. She grew sluggish, weary. Then curled up on the floor and fell asleep.


---------------


Naga was tending to plants when Tiki visited her again.


"Ma-ma! Ma-ma! I met the coolest person!" Tiki jumped up and down.


Naga tilted her head. "Oh? Who was it, Tiki?"


Tiki grinned. "His name is Mar-Mar! He's got blue hair and a sword and a cape and he helps people and he fights bad guys and he's great!"

Naga nodded. "Ah... Him..."


Tiki tilted her head. "You know Mar-Mar?"


Naga nodded. "Yes.... He has an important destiny."


Tiki pouted. "You know too much."


Naga scrunched up her face. "What do you mean?"


Tiki waved her hands around. "You always go on about prophecies and destinies and stuff. God things."


Naga chuckled. "It's my job after all."


Tiki pumped up her fists. "Well then, tell me Mar-mar's destiny! I wanna know!"


Naga gave a mischievous look. "You know I can't."


Tiki pouted again. "No fair."


Naga gave a wave of her hand. "Well, you should go and see him then. Find out his destiny for yourself."


Tiki perked up. "Oh! Oh! I can do that! Thanks Ma-ma!"


And Tiki ran off. Naga smiled.


"I am glad... you have a friend..."


---------------


It was raining. Even Naga's astral hideout needed rain.


Naga was sitting with her eyes closed, letting it wash over her when she heard a noise. It was a sniffling, and footsteps. Very familiar ones.


She opened her eyes to see Tiki, standing there, her head bowed, tears dripping down her cheeks. Naga's concern grew immensely.


"Tiki... what's wrong?"


"Mar mar... He's... gone..."


"Oh... Oh, dear, I understand..."


Tiki threw herself into Naga's arms and sobbed as Naga embraced her.


----------------


Tiki scoffed. "Ugh, mom, you don't understand."


Naga sighed. "Tiki please."


Tiki had grown older, and taller, and decidedly more rebellious. She was looking at Naga with a sneer.


"You're so... cringe, mom," she said with a dismissive wave of her hand.


Naga raised an eyebrow. "And what does that even mean?"


Tiki rolled her eyes. "Like you're lame and I personally don't like you. That's enough."


Naga chuckled. "That's awfully petty."


"But you're so... traditional. With the whole deity business. You're taking advantage of all those people. You aren't even my real mom anymore. Just a reincarnation."


Naga frowned. "Tiki, this is all just part of my jo-"

Tiki stomped a foot. "You also used that like, sleeping spell on me. I never get to experience like, anything before I fall asleep, wake up, and it's all gone. So that's like, even worse."


Naga's expression grew grave. "Tiki I- "


Tiki groaned. "Ugh. You're the worst."


Tiki stormed off. Naga sighed, sat down, and was quiet for a bit.


------------


A now adult Tiki greeted Naga again.


"Mother! Mother!"


Naga pereked up. "Oh, Tiki! What is it!"


Tikii grinned. "I've joined up with these wonderful people... They're called the Shepherds! They have your exalts among them!"


"Is that so?" Naga said with a smirk.


Tiki rolled her eyes. "Yes. You knew didn't you."


Naga chuckled. "It's my job to know these things."


Tiki sighed and shook her head, "Oh, Mother."


She hesitated a bit before continuing.


"Their tactician. Robin. He's fascinating for some reason."


Naga froze.


"Him... I don't know what it is, but something is ominous about him. Be wary."


"I thought it was your job to know," said Tiki teasingly.


Naga shook her head. "Sometimes I do... Sometimes I just have a hunch."


Tiki laughed. "Don't worry, mother. I think I can handle him."


She skipped off. Naga wrung her hands.


-------------


Tiki balked. "What do you mean I need to leave the Shepherds?"


Naga shook her head. "Things are getting too dangerous. He is getting involved."


Tiki scowled. "I'm not a child anymore, I can handle the danger!"


Naga clasped her hands together. "Please, Tiki, stay safe..."


Tiki pointed an accusatory finger. "You've always tried to hold me back mother, always!"


"Tiki, I-"


Tiki waved her hands wildly. "Thousands and thousands of years of the same damn things and you know what? I'm sick of it!"


"Tiki plea-"


Tears were streaming down Tiki's face. "I hate you mother! I hate you so much!"


She stormed off. Tiki slumped to the earth in shame.


------------


The rain had come again. Pouring over Naga as she sat alone.


It was almost a welcome change since the skies had darkened from Grima's second coming. The Risen everywhere did not like the rain. They sought shelter, giving the remaining survivors a chance.


Not that Tiki was among them.


She had been claimed. Grima tore her asunder with his own jaws. She was gone.


In all the untold millennia and reincarnations Naga had rarely been allowed to cry. But now she did, her sobs echoing as her tears were washed away by the rain.



------------


It was bright and sunny in Naga's domain. She breathed a sigh of relif, as if a great weight had been lifted off her shoulders.


As it pretty much was. Grima was gone. The Shepherds had dealt with him, with her help.


It was then Tiki approached.


"Mother... I'm sorry. You were right."


Naga sighed. "I forgive you, my dear. And in the end things worked out."


Tiki nodded. "Yes... Grima is gone. The Shepherds are safe The Robin we know did not succumb."


Naga nodded back. "And I in turn must apologize."


Tiki tilted her head. "For what?"


Naga hung her head. "Everything. Especially the sleeping spell."


Tiki sighed. "Mother... I understand. I am glad you apologized but I know why you did what you did."


Naga smiled. "Thank you."


Tiki grew pensive. "And perhaps without it... My mind would have succumbed to the disease. I would have never met all those people like Mar-Mar and Robin and all the others..."


She yawned.


"Though... I could use a nap right now..."


Nagga beckoned. "Come... Rest on my shoulder."


Tiki smiled. "I think I will."


Tiki sat down and rested her head on her mother's shoulder. Naga leaned in and did the same.


They stayed that way for a good long while.


***
 
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