“Father, Salem will remain in Roelum.” I say to the King of Rale after his summoning immediately I was home.
“You left your wife in another kingdom.” Queen Nuke mocks.
“It is her home.” I reply.
“I see she chose her side; we are well aware of the brewing war between Roelum and the Varcasas, I just didn’t think Salem would decide to abandon us especially at a time like this.” Queen Nuke smirks.
“That means you both knew about it and didn’t see it fit to warn her or at least inform her?” I say with a cock of my brow.
“Why should we say anything? It is all good riddance anyway.” Queen Nuke responds.
“What do you think will happen to Rale if the Varcasas win the war against Roelum? Do you think Rale will be safe? We have just a boundary line between us, they are savages and like to devour everything their way. Do you really think you will be safe?” I ask.
“What exactly do you mean?” My father relaxes.
“You know what I mean, Father. Look at us, we are a nation fighting against itself. After Roelum, they will undoubtedly come for us. I don’t think it is time to rejoice other Roelum’s predicament especially when ours is not even much better.” I say while looking at the Queen.
“You… how dare you?” Queen Nuke charges.
“Have I said anything wrong?” I ask with a smile.
“She has ruined you; you wouldn’t have dared insult me to my face in the past.” Queen Nuke scoffs.
“I don’t think Salem should take full responsibility for this change; he has always been this way… he just did a good job of hiding it.” King Mona smiles at me approvingly.
“I see… so what now? You want a political seat?” Queen Nuke asks.
“Do you still have the power to give me one?” I ask and she fumes.
“I can see your mouth has become sharper, in your new infinite wisdom, how did you think it was a good idea to leave your wife in a kingdom that will soon fall. You realize that the Varcasas have a huge army with skilled warriors who have conquered nations.” Queen Nuke smiles sweetly at me.
“That is why we are going to help her.” I say and my father tenses.
“Interesting, why would we even do that when we can barely even hold on to the power we have now.” My father smirks at me.
“Cads needs to be taken care of as well as the Inis, you have your private army… don’t you think it is time that you stop playing nice and end it once and for all. It is like a poison, the more it stays, the more it spreads. If we take off the head of the snake, the body becomes useless.” I suggest.
“That is madness… we cannot allow a civil war now.” Queen Nuke charges.
“Do you intend to play nice until they have killed all of your spies, they even have one right here in the Royal family. They are that brazen and you still think holding niceties with people that want your crown is the best way to go? This is the royal family, that stopped meaning something the moment we started compromising.” I defend.
“Was this how Salem dealt with the traitors there, I had heard of how swiftly she stopped and controlled the rebellions, now they are preparing for war, it hasn’t even been a month she left Rale. She is quite the woman, isn’t she? I like the person you become with her. It is much better than the loafer you used to be.” I and queen Nuke stare at my father strangely.
“That’s not the …” I am cut off.
“What I find really strange is how your mistress and your wife could be friends, is it possible that there could be a woman who doesn’t get jealous of her husband’s trifling. Why would the king of Roelum let such a gem away from his sight? I understand, such a woman can either be a threat or a support to the kingdom, he must have been afraid that she’d become the former. What an Idiot!” He shakes his head.
“Is that the problem right now?” Queen Nuke scolds.
He takes a good look at her “I certainly did not think you’d ever become a threat to me.”
“WHhhyyy…” He cuts her off.
“So, a civil war? That’s what you propose?”
He asks me leaving Queen Nuke stupefied.
“We have to be smart about this, I know you know about Ayo… How long do you intend to keep her running about like she owns the palace?” I ask.
“I will leave this matter to you, I give you seven days to get rid of the rebels, you have free use of the army and the guards at your disposal.” King Mona says resolutely.
I am speechless, I didn’t think it’d be this easy. Queen Nuke’s face goes green.
“What are you doing? Giving him that much power? Have you gone mad?” Queen Nuke screams at him. He stares her down.
“Get your head out of your crown, we have tried it our way, let him do it his way. I am getting tired of the games.” He says calmly.
“I am Queen, you cannot give him that much power without my say so.” She counters.
My father goes silent for a second, he chuckles and draws out his sword which makes Queen Nuke go completely solemn.
“You forget every time who I am, do you still think I am afraid of you? I have never been afraid of you Nuke. The privilege I’ve given you is because of the respect I have for your father, I once thought you were like him but how wrong I was. Look at the sword Nuke, do you remember what you stood for once? Or has power completely muddled your sense? If your father were alive… Do you think he’d be happy with the way you have turned out? A once promising warrior reduced to a snarky cat in the palace. Do not test the limits of my patience, after learning about Brahim, I didn’t think you could disappoint me any further. I also take my part in being blinded by his charm, your father killed men like him, you should remember your roots before you become lost in the deluded image you have about yourself.” He hands over the sword to her and walks out of the room with me following in his stead,
“Do you think I was too harsh on her?” He sighs.
I am confused because he never seems to want to talk to me and now, he is handing over authority to me and talking about personal matters.
“She is tough.” I reply.
“No, she isn’t, she is as fragile as they come. Hopefully, this will wake her up. I have also been too lenient with her.” He says as he gives me the royal stamp.
“Are you not worried that I would make a big mistake?” I test the waters.
“As long as you learn from it, I thought you’d become serious at a younger age but I’d take what I can get.” He says resignedly.
“Looking at my children makes me wonder how I went wrong, I hate and admire Salem at the same time, she made of you what I have tried to do for years.” He smiles sadly.
“I thought I had it in me the whole time.” I grin.
“You have… I’ve seen you; you tried your best to look like a loser, you are a good actor except I also walk at night… I’ve seen a different version of the person you used to show people so they let down their defenses. I can’t wait to see the man you’ll become.”
“Don’t you want to kill Salem?” I ask.
“She killed your first son.”
“She killed your brother.” He responds.
“She is my wife.” I say to him.
“She is my daughter-in-law.” He replies with a straight face.
“I am in love with her.” I argue.
“I admire her.” He smiles lightly.
I am speechless at the turn of the conversation.
The door bursts open with Samael panting while glaring at me.
“Why are you handing over power to that bastard?” He fumes.
“He deserves it.” My father replies unbothered.
“I challenge you Erin Mona of Rale to a Twark.” Samael challenges.