Tales of Roelum
Father is meeting with the King of Rale, he truly believes an alliance can happen. I don’t agree with him, I was born in this war, I learnt to fight and defend my kingdom, but as we always say, Father is always right, he must have a reason for agreeing to the treaty. So here I am; face to face with our mortal enemy drinking wine with each of us on our guard, just in case the Prince decides to get sword friendly.
I don’t move from my seat, even when everyone cheers, I keep a straight face not because I want to but I have to, this damn mask orchestrated by my father to scare the enemy. There’s a fear the mask gives, stories about the general in a mask has spread all through the nation, no one knows what I look like, no one knows who I am, the general rumor is I am a man born of the devil, a blood thirsty demon meant to serve my king. The tales of my “demonry” feeds the fear of our enemies, and fear is a great weapon in times of war.
This is the only thing I know, after today, I don’t know what I will be or what use I am to my father and my kingdom. These thoughts go through my mind as I watch my father shake hands with the King Rale and there are cheers from both parties except for Prince Erin, he looks like he wants to cut his blade through me, I can’t blame him, since I killed his brother and all, this must be a nightmare to him, he won’t be able to get his revenge, that must suck.
My father rises, and goes out ; the rest of us join him as we mount our horses and go back to our home. I go to my room, my maid helps me with my mask and my clothes, she’s not terrified of me like the others which makes us a good fit.
“I know you are the demon of war or whatever, you are a lady!!! Look at your body, scars everywhere; who is going to get married to you like this, I guess I should be grateful that your face is unmarred, thank God for that awful mask.”
I grin at Paula, “These scars are my badge of glory, I consider it a great honour. Whether I get married or not, I do not care.”
Paula sighs at me, “Are you naive or just an idiot? You are the daughter of a maid, no one cares about you; not the queen or your father. He is using you because of your gift, you think because of all the victories you have given him, he will love you? No! Now that you are not of use to him, he will find a way to get rid of you, especially now that you are influential in his army. Do you know this? Or you don’t?”
I step into the bath made by Paula, I lose my braids and let my long curly hair down, I take a deep breath,
“Paula, I am not some desperate child looking for love, I just want my freedom, I don’t enjoy fighting as much as you think; I had to be good at something or I would be set aside. I don’t care if I’m being used or not, I just like the fact that someone remembers my name; for good or for bad”.
Paula leans down and pats me on the head, “Dear, they don’t know you, they know the demon and you are so much more than that, I hope you know that too”.
A knock distracts us and my father orders my presence.
I dress as simply as I can; Mother hates to see me adorn myself but even with that, I can never seem to satisfy her, I understand her too; I am an evidence of her husband’s betrayal. I reach the Royal hall and I see the entire family on the table, I greet each one of them, my curse really; An illegal child will always be inferior, after the usual ceremony, I sit.
“I have gathered you all today to say this, finally we have achieved peace. My fore fathers have tried to achieve this but failed, today we take a step into making history as Rale and Roelum end their long lived war. I know this is new and hard to get used to, this kingdom can no longer afford to lose more young men, same with Rale. To mark this treaty, I will be releasing a daughter of mine to get married to a prince of Rale, and the person I have given that honour to will be Salem.”