“This is the dwelling of our Chieftain, Ano,” Leilani explained. “I’m certain I do not need to say this, but please let me do the talking until he addresses you directly.”
“Of course,” Obsi whispered as they entered.
In the center of the large hut there was a small dias with a throne-like chair. Several villagers, all seemingly Elders, sat on the floor on either side of the throne. On the throne sat a large man, both in height and girth, wearing a large headdress. Obsi did not look directly at anyone and waited for Leilani to speak. When Leilani dropped to one knee, Obsi did the same.
“Greetings, Father,” Leilani said.
“Greetings, Daughter,” Ano replied in a deep but gentle voice. “I see you have found a Traveler.”
Leilani stood, and again Obsi did the same. “Yes, but she is no ordinary Traveler. She came to the island through a magic portal, in the cave near the Shrine of Namaka.”
Ano stood abruptly. “Only gods can come through magic portals,” he said, his eyes widening. He looked at Obsi. “You are a goddess?” he asked.
Obsi shook her head. “No…”
“This is Obsidian Wraith,” Leilani interrupted. “She was in a great battle, then saw a glow coming from a cave. The image she described sounded to me like the Mark of Nemaka.”
Ano continued to stare at Obsi as he spoke. “Then, at the very least, you were summoned here by the Goddess Nemaka. We have not asked Nemaka for a Traveler, but She is wise in her doings.” He stepped down and walked over to them. He bowed to Obsi. “Please, Obsidian Wraith, let us honor your arrival with a feast this evening.”
“Ummm…” Obsi looked at Leilani for help. Leilani nodded. “I would be honored,” Obsi replied as diplomatically as she could. Being called a goddess unnerved her, but she knew her protests would be seen as an insult, so she pushed them aside. Ano stood, and motioned for the Elders to leave ahead of them. They then exited the hut.
“Leilani, please take our guest to your hut until the feast is ready,” Ano said.
“Yes, Father,” Leilani replied, taking Obsi by the arm. They started to walk toward the far corner of the village, but a commotion near the center of the village drew their attention. They rushed over, and saw two men carrying a third who was wounded. They gently set him on the ground, and one rushed off to get help.
“What happened?” Leilani asked as she knelt next to the wounded man.
“We were spear fishing near the reef, and Daido was attacked by Scorpa.”
Concern crossed Leilani’s face. “Scorpa does not attack humans unless they are interfering with his prey. What were you fishing for and how close to the reef were you?”
The man looked down, embarrassment coloring his face. “We were chasing tuna and were too close to the reef. I am sorry, Leilani. But just as Scorpa let Daido go, we saw...the monster.”
Two women rushed over with medicine to treat the poison burns covering Daido’s right arm and upper leg. Leilani stood to give them space to work. “Tell me,” she said to the man.
“It was a gigantic manta ray, with the face of a crocodile. It watched us, but did nothing.”
Leilani nodded. “Go tell Ano this,” she ordered, “and stay away from the reef for a while. Scorpa let you off with a warning. Do not test him.”
The man nodded and rushed off. Obsi knelt next to Daido. “Will he be alright?” she asked the women working on his wounds.
“Yes,” one of them replied, “he will need a few days of rest and medicine, but he will live.”
“Thank you,” Obsi said as she stood. She turned to Leilani and they continued their walk to her hut. “So, what do you serve at a feast? And who or what is Scorpa?”