Tales of Roelum Episode 54

Episode 54
Salem

We ride till we reach the palace gate; I change my mind about seeing my father, we will probably end up arguing and fighting. I decide to look around the city instead. We move into a guest inn, secured two rooms, we have our baths and we meet at the table in the Inn. There are men drinking, some half drunk and a conversation catches my ears.

“I cannot believe the King lost the night guards, what was he thinking removing them from their position?” A man near the table says to his friends I suppose.

“I knew he was stupid but I didn’t think he was that stupid. Who will save us from the Varcasas now?” another man pipes in.

“The Demon general of course, the King might be dumb enough to let the night guards go but he wouldn’t be stupid to let the man responsible for the previous victories in battle go.” Another man counters.

A man nearby bursts out laughing; “The night guards and the demon general work together, you think he would have let his men go through that disgrace if he was still here, the Varcasians know that and that is why they have decided to take advantage of it, the King is too proud to beg the night guards to come back, our army has lost their morale since the symbol of war is nowhere to be found. Hug your wives, give your children kisses, our days are not long now!” He chugs his drink down heavily.

“Well, he is a bundle of sunshine.” Elena comments drily.

“What is wrong with your father? We are not indispensable, I thought that since he so carelessly threw you out, he must have had a back up plan.” Paula hits the table in annoyance.

I sip my drink slowly. “My father must have thought that with the peace treaty, other nations would be too afraid to launch an attack on Roelum, he is a bit idealistic and it has been a while he fought in a war, he is muddled. Let’s not take these drunk men’s words as fact, we need to find out the truth about this, if I am to meet my father, I need to have all the information. Do you still have your contacts?” I ask Paula.

“I don’t know, it has been a while but I’ll check around.” She leaves the table.

Luna hums a song and stops. “You will end up fighting for Roelum, you can’t avoid it.”

“That is tricky, I am from Rale now; By marriage, it is a joining that even supersedes blood.” I explain.

“If what those men said is true, would you be able to let the Varcasas take over? Do you have it in you?” Elena asks.

“It’s not about what I can and cannot do. To fight for Roelum means I have to forfeit being a princess of Rale which would mean giving up my husband and that is something I will never give up.” I say with a finality.

“Will you really be able to handle it?” Luna asks again.

“I am just one person; I am sure the royal family would be able to find a way around this. With or without me, Roelum has a formidable army that can stand the test of time. The Varcasians have no chance against them.” I try to convince myself.

“You know your father and the army better than anyone. Do you really think that Roelum won so many battles because of the numbers? Or because the Roelum’s army is indestructible. If they are indestructible, it is because of you, because of your mind and because of the fear you strike in the hearts of men when you wear that mask. It breaks spirit and your sword breaks bones, faith is one of the strongest psychological weapons of warfare, that mask is a symbol of the army’s faith in you and a symbol of fear on your opponents. You know this, you understand this which is why you are afraid to admit that without you, Roelum might fall.” Luna says with a wistful smile.

“Let’s not jump the gun. When Paula comes, we can decide on what to do. Is that why you came? You foresaw that I would be in a battle?” I ask her.

“I told you, you three have the shadow of death, it doesn’t matter how much I cleanse your spirit or aura, it lingers around. It simply means that either you are going to bring death to many people or you are going to die.” Luna sighs.

“Why then would you follow us if we are about to die? Do you have some kind of death wish?” Elena asks.

“You might have the shadow of death but there is a halo of light, it is quite the juxtaposition, it is also my destiny to be with you, right now at this very moment and probably until I take my last breath. I can’t see far when I am with you, you are filled with so much darkness and so much light.They both fight for dominance, let’s just say I am curious to see who will win the fight.” Luna finishes the wine in a cup and I wonder why I am surrounded with women who can hold their drink far better than most men.

“It is funny, she says that we might die or we will kill a lot of people, usually that would have sent me running but for some reason, I feel safe with you.” Elena grins at me and gives me a wet kiss on my cheek.

“It is the halo.” Luna pipes in.

I roll my eyes at them, some men come to our table and they stink of trouble, one sits beside Elena and touches her hair, she freezes and slaps his hand, the men laugh at her gesture.

“Common, it is only right that we treat you right. What are three beautiful women sitting in a pub alone for? Drinking at that? You can only enjoy this with company and we are a wonderful company.” He laughs at his own joke and the men follow.

“Is that right? What kind of company can you render us? Take your shirt off and show me.” Elena says with a mischievous look in her eyes.

The men laugh as they settle with us on the table, the man in question who is their leader stands and takes off his shirt, women around whistle in appreciation and I smirk at the action.

Elena stands and traces his abs with her forefinger and other parts of his body.

“Mmmmmmh, but I have seen better. No, thank you.” She sits again and the men laugh heartily at their leader.

“Don’t you want to at least try? I have had only good reports.” He says cheekily and a woman screams in acknowledgement.

“Hmmmmmm, it is a tempting offer but I like my men with less meat.” Elena smiles flirtingly at him.

“Do you speak?” A man touches my hand, I take out his knife and stab him with it immediately. The men bring out their weapons, the crowd goes silent with the man screaming at his hand attached to the table.
I look at their leader square in the face;

“Hello Silas, I see you and your men haven’t learnt your manners yet. You want me to teach you a lesson in etiquette?” I take a pause before saying “Again?”

He looks at me in recognition and some of the men also remember me, how could they forget? Paula and I had come here before for a drink and they had played this same role again, let’s just say they would never forget Paula.
“Y…ooooouuuuu!” He bellows.

“Me.” I grin.

He looks around as if looking for someone, Paula perhaps.

“She isn’t here, do you think you can take me on because she isn’t… I would like you to think about your answer carefully. We don’t want you making a mistake now, do we?” I cross my legs as I stare at him, he looks confused on what to do but you know men and their pride, he takes another look at Elena and Luna which makes him change his mind. He releases his man’s hand.

“It is not worth the trouble.” He tells his men and tries to walk away.

“Not so soon, please sit.” I say with an authoritative tone.

“Don’t push it woman!” He glares at me.

“Silas of Manas, sit down now.” I stare at him equally, something in my eyes must have made him sit in obedience, the entire inn is quiet and shocked at Silas’ reaction to my command.

“What do you know about Varcasa?” I ask and he is surprised at my question. He probably expected something different.

“What do you mean? The rumor that they will attack Roelum? No one dares to with the Demon general at our side. My brother fights with him.” He says with a hint of pride.

“Interesting…” There is shuffle at the front door and I look to meet Erin’s eyes.