“Why would you even ask that? He officially took our merits as soldiers because we resigned, calling us traitors. Our loyalty is with you, you have saved our lives so many times, it is our duty to ensure that you live long enough to give me a little niece or nephew and by the look of things, it might be soon.” Akka ruffles my hair and yelps at touching the dried blood.
“Seriously, go have your bath or something.” He shrieks.
“Stop changing the subject and tell me what you have found out.” I impatiently cut him off.
“Ayo is not just some random orphan, the house of cads is run by rabians, Paula’s people; they came into an agreement with the house of Ini… They are not the savages we used to know. Imagine fighting with like a hundred Paula.” He shivers at that.
“She is a rabian that is highly trained, King Mona killed off her family when she was Eight, I’m guessing a little bit of revenge is mixed up in there.” He giggles at his joke.
“Where is your sense of humour??? This is a well thought out plan, Mona is losing hold on his heads, chiefs and ministers, the last hold is Queen Nuke and her people since she still has people loyal to her father. If they had suceeded in killing her, then nothing would stop the House of Ini from taking over.” Akka sighs.
“No wonder King Mona agreed to a treaty so easily, his house is in absolute disarray, while he was off fighting, his enemies laid traps in his house..I wouldn’t have cared if not for the fact that my future is tied to this.” I scratch my head.
“Please Salem, a bath!” I hear Erin call from behind.
I sigh and go with Paula to freshen up.
I join Akka on his seat while he sips wine, somehow I don’t feel threatened by him despite seeing how close he is to Salem.
“She’s at ease when she’s with you.” I say to him.
He chuckles “Salem is never at ease, that’s the damage being a killer at an early age does. Somehow she has managed to keep her humanity, that’s a feat most people can’t excel at.”
“Do you love her?” He asks.
“Yes…” I realize that this is the first time I’ve ever said this out loud and I feel a sense of peace.
He looks at me surprised “You know she’s the general that killed your brother?”
“What if I didn’t know and you just told me?” I accuse.
“If you didn’t know who she was, she would never have allowed us here.” He scoffs.
“I’m able to get past that, she’s more than just a general. She’s beautiful, smart, compassionate when she wants to be, relentless, stubborn and she’s someone I want to know more.” I run my hand through my hair.
“She is lucky to have you, this is better than what I imagined. Take good care of her, she might seem to have all the answers but when it comes to the people she cares about, she tends to become emotional and make bad decisions. Make her trust that you can take care of yourself so she’ll trust you to take care of her. Although I don’t see that happening, I believe in miracles.” He yawns.
I let Victor show him to his room as I mix in with the others, since the fight with Ladda, their aversion to me has reduced but they are still careful of me.
Ladda I see is the poison and bomb maker, Erek and Enek are the twin swords fighters, never been defeated. Roak is the strongest of the bunch, Arakk is the skilled archer, Shem a great swordsman. I haven’t met the rest but these are intriguing characters. it makes me wonder how these men could let a woman Salem lead them into battle. It makes me respect them a bit more.
“I know that look, you wonder how people like us can be led by Salem… It wasn’t easy at first but after she beat each of us at our game, we pretty much understood she was superior, even as a teenager; she could meet Jay’s hits without flinching. He taught her to fight, she learnt everything else herself.” Enek cleans his sword.
“She is full of surprises.” I check out his other weapons.
“I thought you didn’t bring in weapons.” I fold my hands.
“We never said that.” Erek laughs.
“If the general thinks you are worth it, then you are.” He pats my back.
Salem returns clean and with Paula. She calls for a round table, I try to give her space but she signals to the seat next to hers.
The door opens and Queen Nuke rushes in with fury with her servants behind her.
“Salem!!!!! Or should I call you the demon general?” She barks.