Tales of Roelum Episode 76

Episode 76
Salem
I hug Akka tight as he limps towards me.
“You look good.” Paula pats his back and he smirks.
We walk together to my room and sit. He downs a glass of wine in one sitting and sighs as he relaxes into the chair.
“I see you have been busy.” Akka comments.
“We do try our best to catch up with you, why do you look like you just escaped from Hell.” I ask.
“Heyyy… Paula said I looked good.” He pours more wine into his cup.
‘’I was being sarcastic, what happened to your sense of humor?” Paula takes a good look at him.
“Was it that bad?” I remove my armor.
“It was not so great; Erin is more capable than I thought. You have a good eye, I’ll admit.” He smiles at me.
“Did you come alone?” Paula asks him.
“Why? Am I not enough?” Akka winks and Paula shakes her head.
“Maybe one day, you’ll be.” Paula replies.
Aster walks into the tent and bows.
“I see… you are here also.” I comment on his appearance, he doesn’t look as bad as Akka but he looks tired.
“I meant what I said, I will always be where he is.” Aster murmurs.
“That sounds like a love confession.” Akka coughs and Aster blushes.
“How do you come up with the vilest things even when you are not feeling okay.” Aster sighs and leaves the room.
“Stop playing with him. Tell me, what is the situation in Rale?”
“We got your letter soon after we attacked house of Ini, we won but there is a problem. Queen Nuke’s son chose them over the royal family because Rale handed over authority to Erin. Turns out, he wasn’t so happy about that. Ayo is dead, Rale killed Samael and framed Erin. The Queen has her private army and so does the King, it is a colossal mess.” Akka sips his wine slowly this time.
“Why would the King frame Erin?” I don’t understand.
“Something about lessons and knowing when to make the ultimate sacrifice. When I left, the Queen hadn’t been informed about the death of her son. By now, she should know… she is the spy master after all.” Akka continues.
“King Rale has to be mad; Samael is his son. How could he just kill him?” Paula cocks her brow.
“Oh… Samael might not be his son. Queen Nuke had a thing on the side with Ini.” We just stare at him in shock.
“Really? Queen Nuke? Her??” I say with disbelief.
“That was what I thought too…” Akka shrugs.
“How could… how… why… wow.” I say in between breaths.
Akka nods and grins… “Juicy, right?”
“Look at you gossiping like an old maid.” Aster renters the room with water and supplies.
He takes away Akka’s wine and gives him water to drink. He opens his wounds, treat and cover it up.
“No more drinking!” Aster sighs out loud.
“Do you know you nag more than an old maid?” Akka shakes his head.
“Maybe if you’d stop drinking like an old fisherman, I would stop nagging like an old maid.” Aster replies.
“Remember you wanted to kill me?” Akka says cockily.
“If you are going to die, it should be by my hands and not because of alcohol.” Aster rebuts.
“My old friend can’t kill me; she is more loyal than most men.” Akka tries to grab the wine in Aster’s hand.
“You have a disease…” Aster grumbles and leaves the room.
“You two get along fine, I thought he’d have put a knife at your back by now.” Paula says with a sad smile.
Emek and Emer come into the tent. They hug Akka tight and laugh at how skinny he looks.
“We have a big problem” Emek announces.
“The Varcasas have about 600 soldiers hidden at the outskirts of Otis. Some of them pretend to be normal citizens and have blended with the people there. The rest of them are camped out at the shore, we would not have considered there if not for the fact that we wanted to have our baths. They are not all varcasas, some are from eastern Murk. I think King Vale sent some of his soldiers to King Abu, you know how much he hates you.” Emek finishes.
“He hates me? What did I do?” I ask confused.
“He just discovered that you are a woman, you humiliated him when he came to Roelum for a visit. You beat him in a duel, he is a proud man and a patriarchist. He is also petty.” Akka adds.
“Why can’t I remember him?” I rack through my memory.
“Big muscled man with a giant axe?” Ener helps.
“Nooo… Nothing.” I reply.
“He has a high-pitched voice and a dwarf who follows him everywhere. “ Emek says.
“Ohhhhh… I thought he was a clown. He is king somewhere?” I remember him because of his unique voice.
“He challenged me and I thought it’d make a good laugh. I had no idea he held it against me. I don’t understand people.” I voice out my frustration.
“This Misha seems to be a big believer in divide and conquer… what do we do?” Akka asks.
“You are doing nothing; you will stay behind and rest. Shem and Roark’s division will handle them. Both of you lead them there, fight until surrender.” I say to them.
They pause.
“That’s it? No plan?” Akka raises his brow.
“I can’t play this game, we are seasoned warriors, we will do better in a fair fight and that is what we should accomplish. Shem’s men will draw them out to a flat ground and finish it. The rest of the men will fight with me, Ladda and Paula against Misha. He will soon attack and I don’t want to play defense, so we will attack together.” I say to them.
“Is that not too risky?” Akka asks.
“We waiting is risky, let us get it done once and for all.” Paula supports me.
“The wall watchers will be our last line of defense, that is the division you will control. I doubt they will get that far but just in case; you should evacuate the city the moment you see any soldier from Varcasas, this will only happen if our plans fail. The aim is t stop their army from entering the gates and ensuring minimal casualty.” I order and Akka nods.
“We will win. There is no other way.” Paula grins.
“When you look like that, it scares me.” Emek shivers.
“Admit it, it has been a while we fought, are you not excited to get back in there?” Paula asks.
We all shake our head in opposition.
“Even you?” Paula asks me shocked.
“I have something I want to protect so I’d rather not be soaked in blood.” I respond.
“That is a good excuse.” Paula nods.
“What do you mean? Erin?” Akka asks.
“Something like that.” I smile and signal Paula not to say a word.
“When do we attack?” Emer asks.
“In a day’s time, when I am sure you have reached Otis.” I reply.
“May the gods help us all.” Akka murmurs.