I feel unsettled as we move away from the Varcasas, I send a message to Roark and Shem to meet up at the new military camp.
“Are you sure? You usually like to keep us hidden and the enemies guessing.” Paula frowns as she sees that our new camp is in an open space.
“We need to snuff out the spy or spies.” I say to her.
“Hmmmm… how will this enable that?” She asks with a raise of her brow.
“Misha was able to get that close not because he is gifted but because he has someone helping him on the inside. I made the decision to raid their camp immediately so the spy would not have the time to warn them. I am going to give up trying to understand how Misha works, the more I look… The less I see.” I groan.
“What will you do then?” Elena asks while chewing on something.
“Focus on me, my men and my strategies.”
“Well… That is disappointing.” A voice vibrates from behind us, Paula has her sword drawn to his neck. Misha did not come alone this time; he entered our camp with fifteen others.
My men raise their weapons at them, Shem comes from behind and does the same. In retrospect, we have him fully surrounded.
“Why are you here?” I ask.
He puts his hands up in submission, I notice that none of his men are armed which fuels my suspicion more.
“Are you stupid or you are just mad.” Elena comments with a tone between adoration and confusion.
“Well… I’d like to call this a successful experiment.” He smirks.
“You had some of men at your disposal, yet you didn’t kill them. Instead, you gave a good night’s rest. You had me in your grasp and you didn’t kill me, even with a twisted ankle; I am sure you would have found a way to detain me. I had your supplies destroyed and for some reason, you had the chance to kill some of my people but you didn’t. So, it is my turn to ask… Are you stupid or just mad?” He gloats and Paula’s sword moves closer to his throat.
“Hmmmmm…. Maybe I’m both. Still doesn’t explain what exactly you are doing here.” I reply.
“Well… while killing and trying to conquer each other with blood might sound appealing, I like to win neatly. Haven’t you noticed that some of your men are missing?” He grins fully this time.
Roark and his men are not here yet and I glare at him.
“Now I know that you value life and would not kill until you think it is necessary, soooo a woman like you would do just about anything to protect her own men. I am here for a negotiation.” He finishes with a proud wink.
I knew he was trouble the moment I set my eyes on him but I had no idea that he was this much trouble.
“We could stand here like animals under the sun or you can invite me in and we can talk about this like civilized people.” He taps his foot like a child.
“Say the word and I’ll take off his head.” Paula fumes.
“If anything happens to me, well…. Your men are as good as dead. Do you want to risk that without even hearing my offer?” Misha smiles at me completely ignoring Paula.
“Roark would understand.” Paula whispers.
I shake my head at her and put her hands down.
“We will do this openly… I think we have had more than enough private moments to last a life time.” I glare at him and he shrugs.
His men are seated on a side of the table with him as head, I sit across him with Paula standing behind me. Luna and Elena stand together by the side to watch us.
“What do you want?” I ask.
“Roelum, of course.” He grins again and I want to punch him.
“You can see how we might have a problem.” I remove my armor and massage my neck.
He stares at my breasts for a second and I groan on the inside.
“Let’s face it, we have more men than yours. Surrender now, and you can become a duke or a chief in any part you choose. What is the point of being so stubborn? It is obvious that you would lose this war if we were to go all out.” Misha slowly explains.
“I cannot figure out why you think we would lose. Oh…. I see, just because I let you and your men live once. You actually think that I would risk Roelum to rescue my men. They are soldiers, they understand what they signed up for and aren’t you people bound by blood to repay every debt? If we are going by this principle, it is fair to say that you owe me or at least your men do or like a part of it.” I roll my eyes as I sign the word part.
“You will not sacrifice your men for Roelum. Your loyalty runs deep.” Misha drinks from the cup of wine.
“Are you not scared that I would poison you?” I grin.
“Poison is not how you do things.” Misha shakes his head.
“No, it’s not but it’s his.” I nod my head at Ladda who keeps glaring at Misha.
“You have talented people by your side, but you have a fatal weakness. Your kind heart, somehow you think that we are bound by blood to keep promises. No… we are bound by law and laws are meant to be broken.” Misha drinks again from the cup and I sigh.
“You look very confident… I have to ask… why?” I drink from the same cup and I hear his men sigh in relief.
“Maybe because while you are here haggling with me, Roelum is defenseless and being attacked by my warriors.” Misha smirks again.
“Ahhh… I see. Is that what is actually happening or you are just blowing horn?” I ask in a disinterested tune.
“You don’t think I am serious?” He laughs out loud.
“No, I know that you are very serious. I mean you have like ten thousand men, few hundreds were the scouts, and let’s say few hundreds are keeping my men hostage. So that leaves like thousands whose whereabouts are unknown. The men with you are not seasoned in battle, look at that one; he can’t even look at me. Your best men are not here, okay except for him.” I point at one of the men glaring at me.
Misha looks confused now and I feel some of his confidence leak out.
“No, no… You can’t look confused now. I am talking a lot today, am I not?” I finish the wine and Elena pours more into the cup.
“Why don’t you look panicked, you should be going to save your people.” Misha tilts his head.
“What is the point? Even if I leave now, there is no way I’ll get there in time and besides… I am enjoying the conversation. Sharing thoughts and all.” I wink at him.
“Fine… Tell me. What makes you so confident?” He looks at me seriously now.
“Oh… It is my turn. Maybe it’s because I have a husband named Erin and a right-hand man called Akka. Erin has an entire army under his control and ohhhh… Guess where they are right now?!” I giggle at him and he steals a glance to the side.
“Ahhhh… about Luna, tsk tsk tsk… That was a risky move. I appreciate the effort, while I might value human life, I don’t feel the same for people who use their gifts against me. It is nothing personal.” I smile lightly and throw my knife at Luna; she stares at me as she goes down in shock.
“Hey, you are right after all… There is death all around me.” I frown at her; Elena cradles her as she takes her last breath.
Misha stands to move but Paula has him by the throat again.
“Don’t b so surprised, people have the tendency to underestimate me. You wouldn’t be the first. Sit please, we don’t want to behave like animals now, do we?” I break the cup of wine.
“In case you don’t understand what she said… It means you are now our hostage.” Paula pushes Misha back to his seat.
He growls and glares at me, Unable to say a word.
“I know… I have that effect on people.” I smile at him as my men move him and his people into a wooden prison.