Valerian’s intent had been to enjoy the Festival of the Goddess Inina’s Blessings to the world with his daughters and young son. It was a day of joy, a day to celebrate family and loved ones both there and gone on to Inina’s arms.
However evil intent lurked inside one heart, tainting the festival with his anger and resentment. Valerian stood between Mayolo and his daughter, between Mayolo and Faustine, his daughter’s best friend, arranging their hand fasting as a way of saving Faustine and her mother from Mayolo’s abuse.
The village stood beside Valerian and his family but as the day progressed, Mayolo reached out to attack Valerian in the most painful way possible. Only Inina’s blessings on his soul could save his family from Mayolo’s dark magic.
Inina’s Blessings of Joy
VALERIAN SMILED as he sucked on his finger. The cinnamon and sugar that coated the tip slid over his tongue. His daughters Aliberta and Calida’s cooking always pleased. They had learned much from their mother before her untimely death four years ago, birthing his beloved son Lucius.
To his joy, they continued to learn as they took over the maintenance of the household, crafting hearty meals full of peppers and spices, as well as desserts that delighted the tongue with mango, honey and Calida’s favorite cinnamon.
“Papa, stay out of the sauce!” Aliberta huffed at him.
When he reached another finger to sample the sauce a second time he was left with a sticky spot on the back of his hand redolent of honey and hot peppers from their friend Faustine’s spoon. Both Aliberta and Calida gasped as if Faustine had committed an unforgivable crime by striking him lightly but Valerian laughed. Faustine had always been bold and assertive, unafraid to face challenges directly.
“It’s too tasty to stay away from,” Valerian said, grinning as his daughters rolled their eyes. “It’s a compliment to your cooking, my dear.”
“Papa,” Calida sighed while rolling her eyes. “That’s not a compliment. You’re in the way. You could help by keeping Lucius busy.”
“Please!” Aliberta agreed.
Lucius ran around the corner of the house and into the outdoor cooking area, waving his arms in excitement. He dashed around the three girls and then squealed when Valerian caught him by the waist and blew a raspberry on his cheek. He tasted in equal measure of mango and mud, prompting Valerian to splutter and hold Lucius slightly away from his body.
“This cannot be my son,” Valerian said, grinning at the way Lucius squealed and laughed at the swinging motion. “I’m quite certain that my son would not be this messy when there’s a party to enjoy this afternoon.”
“Hugs Papa!” Lucius said, waving sticky fingers at Valerian.
Valerian caught the fingers of one of Lucius’ hand in his lips, pretending to nibble on them. They tasted even more strongly of mango, with the addition of honey, which might explain why Lucius was running about that way. Treats instead of more filling food would make the boy as energetic as Haraldr on a hunt.
Find This Story: