I wince as Queen Nuke stares into my eyes in anger and for some reason hurt and a twinge of betrayal.
“W…what do you mean?” I ask calmly.
Everyone leaves the room one by one, Erin refuses to leave and I tell him it’s okay to do that, soon I’m left with just Queen Nuke and her anger.
“Don’t insult my intelligence, was it fun doing that all this while?” She fumes.
“Okay, if you must know, I didn’t hide that particular information to make fun of you, it was for my survival. I got married to the family that I spent most of my time fighting, what exactly did you expect me to do? Tell you the truth so you can assassinate me in my sleep?” I retort sheepishly.
“In my palace, under my roof; I housed the person who took my son away from me. How foolish am I?” She whispers.
“To be fair, if I didn’t kill him, he would have killed me and I wasn’t ready to die then and I am still not ready to die now.” I take a sip of water.
She sits and looks at me. “Did … Did he suffer?”
“No… No, he didn’t, it was swift and fast.” I reply.
“He didn’t die in the war zone, how? Did you ambush him?” She raises her eyes at me.
“No, he captured me and when he discovered who I was underneath the mask, I’m sure you can imagine what he wanted to do to me. I defended myself and that’s it.” I sigh out loud.
She winces as she relaxes a bit. “I don’t know what I did wrong and how he turned out that way, he was a good man.”
I shift uncomfortably, I realize seeing a vulnerable Queen Nuke is something I want to experience. I am so sure that she’ll soon cry.
She takes my hand in hers and she touches my hair.
” He was my son, the one that I had by my side. For all his flaws, he loved me and he was always by my side. When he was younger, he didn’t want to be King, he wanted to be free, but I broke him, I made him the man who most would tremble at his name. He was broken but he was mine. On my son’s grave, I swear to the gods; I will kill you, I will make you wish you were dead. you saved my life once, which is why I am giving you a chance and a warning. Salem of Roelum, by the time I’m done with you, you will beg for death but I will not give you.” She smiles wryly at me and stands to leave.
“Since we are giving out threats and all..” I stand close to her and bend to whisper at her ears.
“The only reason you are still standing after that threat is because of your crown, the next time you lay any kind of threat on me might be the last time you’ll use your tongue. I didn’t get the name demon because I was easy to kill. Nuke, the next time you threaten me or anyone I love, I’ll take the things you care about one by one until all you are left with is nothing and unlike you, I will be sure to do it myself. Have a lovely evening” I smirk as I see her skin break out in goose bumps.
I sigh, I know I have the ability to intimidate people, seeing her look so small makes me sad and tense. When she breaks out from that fog, she will come at me for all she has, but for now, I don’t have to worry about her.
Akka walks to me. “Should I kill her? I’ll make it clean and fast, no one would know.”
I chuckle. “Not yet, if she dies now, we’ll be in much more danger, we need her to keep the House of Ini at bay while we deal cads.”
At the table, my men are gathered, Paula at my side with Victor at Erin’s side.
“You don’t have any other men you trust?” Shem asks Erin.
“I have the reputation as the lazy and useless Prince, so no.. I have no one loyal to me.” He replies without sadness or guilt.
“I used to be a slave yet your life seems more pathetic than mine.” Ladda smirks and gets hit in the head by Akka.
“What do you have so far?” I ask Akka.
“Ayo is the insider they have but she is not the only one, I wasn’t able to discover who the other person is but it’s a man, it stands to reason that he might be Samael but I can’t be sure.” Akka folds his hands.
“Most of the servants here have been bought by House of Ini, from the King’s men to the concubine Rald. I suspect Rald works for them also, since she is mostly forgotten and overlooked in the palace, it’s possible she’s one of them. If not then her maid spends an awful long amount of time in the House of Ini resort.” Roark winks.
The men roll their eyes at him.
“Elena says Diane has been having less and less interaction with the Queen, it is possible she knows the Queen is running out of power, she is cunning and selfish, she might jump ship if she hasn’t already.” Paula contributes.
“Elena? When did Elena become your spy?” Erin looks surprised.
“Since the last time we were there together.” I answer.
“You have been there since then?” Erin frowns.
“How else do you think I eat?” I ask him back astonished.
Enek and Emer snicker “it is so strange seeing you having to answer to someone.”
“And enjoyable to watch, for some reason I think I can defeat you in a close combat.” Shem smiles smugly.
“You seem more human now…. Very much human.” Ladda grins, proud of himself.
“You haven’t even seen the height of it.” Paula rumbles.
They laugh as they try to pry information from Paula like old women who like to indulge in gossip.
“I’m glad you all are finding this amusing. What do you think should be our first action.” I ask.
“I could poison the house of Ini water source.” Ladda offers.
“No, innocent people would be affected.” Erin responds as if shocked.
“Take off their right hand. The cads, we need to get rid of them.” Akka replies.
“Why are we doing this again?” Roark asks.
“For me, all this while we have been fighting for our nation, now I’m asking that you fight for me, for my safety and for that of Rale’s.” I answer.
“Do you have a plan to defend yourself from Nuke, she is the most powerful in the palace?” Enek asks.
“I don’t have to do anything yet, let’s see her first play first, she won’t kill me for now, she still has to use me.” I take a sip of water and spit it out after I discover that it’s rum.
“Damn you Akka!!” I shriek.
They laugh at me amused.
“Enek and Emer, get the blueprint to their quarters and the security details. Tomorrow, we will attack at dawn.”