I widen my eyes and sigh.
“What can I do for the night guards of Roelum?” King Mona asks.
Akka smirks and bows. “We are no longer night guards, we are simply travelers here to check on the safety of our dear princess.” He looks at me and winks.
I smile and Erin’s hold on me tightens.
“I see, you beat my front guards to get in here for a pleasant visit?” King Mona cocks his brows.
“They started it first. Besides they seem a little bit weak to be royal guards, it only took Roak to take them out. I am Akka, and these are my brothers Roak, Shem, Ladda, Enek and Emer. They are twins, we come in peace.” They all bow.
“If we are to search you, you are certain we wouldn’t find any weapons on you?” Samael asks.
Akka smirks “Do you want to check for yourself?”
Samael clears his throat.
“This is not the right time, guards or whoever you are today.” King Mona smiles.
“I know, I heard about the attack, yesterday.. while I was passing through Coni market, I overheard a discussion on how the Queen would be attacked, we came to check if our princess was alright. Retired or not, we still have our duty to the princess. Hello Paula” Akka grins at her.
“What??? You didn’t see it fit to report to the authorities?” Queen Nuke shouts.
Akka winces and covers his ears; “I’m here, am I not? We have been here since last night but the front guards won’t let us in, we had to take matters into our own hands. I’m glad to see that her majesty is unharmed and untouched.”
“It’s all thanks to your Roelum princess who for some reason has war heroes at her beck and call; an illegitimate princess at that. This keeps getting interesting.” Queen Nuke relaxes.
“And you are more beautiful than what I’ve heard.” Roak says in his deep voice and weird accent that I can’t figure where he gets it. He has a thing for sleeping with powerful men’s wives. I don’t know why. Other than that, he’s pretty much a good guy.
Queen Nuke visibly blushes and I groan.
“It is good seeing you brothers, perhaps you would like to wait in my chambers, I’ll join you shortly.” I say in between gritted teeth.
“No!!” They all say loudly and it takes me aback.
Paula whispers to me. “You should have had your bath, your hair is still stained with blood. You really think they would leave you alone when you look like you just walked through the river of blood?”
I remember how overly protective they can be and I sigh deeply.
I look to the side to see Ayo staring at me and it reminds me of a cluster of ants. I decide that she’s not one to be taken for granted but I can’t focus on her for now.
“Can I be excused? It has been a long night, I would like to reunite with my brothers. Can I be excused?” I ask.
Erin stands with me as we leave the room together.
We get to Erin’s chambers, the minute we are alone they hug me so tight I swear I broke a rib. Erin stares uncomfortably at us.
After the loud greetings and the cussing, Paula pats Akka head and I introduce them to Erin.
“Has he been good to you?” Enek asks.
“Good my foot! He went to Pallaire on his first night as a married man. I say we pull off his balls.” Emer glares at Erin.
Erin sighs resignedly. “I’m never going to forget this, am I?”
“He’s alright, and give him some respect! He is my husband.” I tell them and they look at me in shock.
“Wh… What?!” I ask.
“You like him… You like the Rale brat!” Akka says and Paula nods.
They look at Erin and back at me.
“No, I don’t get it.” Shem shakes his head.
“Granted, he’s handsome… What else does he have going for him?” Ladda sits lazily.
“He can take you out in a fight.” Paula replies.
Roak spits out the wine in his mouth.
“For the love of the gods, this is not the jungle, eat like a human being.” Paula groans.
“He can take on Ladda? I don’t believe it!” Erek smirks.
I whisper to Erin “Should I call this off? If this goes on, the men would have a bet on who would beat whom, then your dining room would be a chaos and… Do you get my point?”
“These are the men who have lived and fought by your side for a long time, I don’t expect them to like me just yet but they will respect me. I’m not just a pretty boy Salem. I happen to have wicked combat skills.” He grins playfully and I relax.
“Okay, it’s decided; 250 silver coins. Prince Erin, the four of us think Ladda here can kick your ass but Enek thinks you can beat Ladda. What do you say you prove us wrong huh?” Akka winks and Erin frowns.
“Is there something wrong with your eyes?” Erin asks and the rest chuckle.
“Why? The ladies seem to love it when I wink.” Akka grumbles.
Erin leads them to his underground chamber, I didn’t know he had one, it is filled with different weapons and gears. Victor moves quietly beside him.
“Hand to hand combat?” Ladda asks and Erin nods.
We make a center stage as Paula signals and the fight starts.
Erin is faster and stronger but Ladda is cunning and sleek, he fights dirty but Erin ends up winning.
The men clap and I exchange a look with Akka. He understands me the most, he must have seen how much their acceptance of Erin would mean to me.
“You finally fell in love? And with your husband at that?” Akka taunts me.
“I don’t know if it’s love but it’s something and it’s mine.” I reply and he grins.
He pats my head. “I’m happy for you kiddo. Jay sents his love, he can’t walk out on your father if not he’d be here ”
“It’s okay, I didn’t expect you guys to come. I’m glad you did. So what have you found?” I raise by right brow.
“Whatever do you mean my princess?” Akka eyes me mischievously.
“I know you Akka, you are the most manipulative, calculative person I know. It’s Ayo isn’t it? She is the one leaking the secrets to the House of Ini.” I sigh.
“How did you know?” Akka asks surprised.
“Sixth sense, I knew when you guys didn’t show yourself to me I knew you were strategizing and getting information. Ash and fall aren’t here, I saw them once when I went to the Pallaire. So tell me, are you here for me or for my father?” I had to know.