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“What do you have to offer that would have me spare your life?”
I looked up from my place on the floor, the chains that held me in place. The gilded halls loomed over me as I lay there, seeming to mock me with their glory and splendor. I was covered in bruises and scars, my face covered by wrapped bandages The armored women stared down at me in the same way a scientist would look at a particularly interesting insect. I glared back, trying my best to retain as much dignity as possible, and most likely failing miserably.
“The Empress asked you a question, Mongrel!” Someone yelled from my right before a kick in the ribs sent me sprawling. I landed on the floor, my body giving out a groan in protest. I managed to turn my head to the bastard that had hurt me and glared. I could tell he wasn’t expecting me to be so defiant, so he raised his hand again, ready to clock me. I tensed myself in preparation for the attack, when out of the blue came a large bang!
My head snapped towards the direction from where the sound had originated from, only to flinch from the large thump beside me. The large corpse of the guard hit the floor with a loud and meaty thump. If someone were able to have seen my face, they would have laughed at the shocked look that I had plastered on. I switched my focus from the carcass of the dead guard to the large throne. The Amazonian woman lay on the throne with an almost lazy look about her. In her hand was a large handgun, but I’m not sure calling it a handgun would be quite appropriate. It was a beastly weapon twice as large as the hand that held it, it’s massive and bulky body black as the night itself, its edges highlighted with a golden sheen.
“ Jane, didn’t I say that the prisoner is to remain untouched?” came from the woman on the throne.
“You did your highness. Would you like for me to have someone get rid of the body?”
I turned my head. By the side of the throne was a young woman, holding a clipboard. She was light skinned, her brown hair put up in a neat bun, and seemed to be physically fit. While she didn’t appear physically imposing, something in the back of my mind was giving off warning signals. She was writing something down, her eyes glued to the sheet of paper she held. In the back of my mind, I remarked on how she looked like a stereotypical businesswoman.
“Well then boy, while I didn’t approve of how my guard had acted I do want an answer.” I c***ed my head to the side, mulling what I could say in response. Part of me wanted to be a snarky little s*** and insult her, but the more logical part of me warned me from that path.
“ I do, your highness.” My raspy voice echoed throughout the large room. “Something you will find very....interesting.”
The woman, Empress I corrected myself, raised a single eyebrow.
“Oh, and what sort of information is that?”
I merely chuckled in response, my hoarse voice seeming to become more sickly. Underneath the bandages my mouth twisted into a grin despite the pain I was in.
“Why, knowledge of the mystic kind, something that could benefit your empire and its armies immensely. Why I would go as far to say that the very world would come to fear you!”
The woman did not seem to give any outward reactions to my proclamation, but for those who are experienced at reading people in general, could easily see her body seem to stiffen.
Slowly she raised herself from her throne, her eyes glued on to me like a moth that's spotted a flame. They shone with a dark intelligence, the kind of which I have rarely seen. So it seems she isn’t just a warlord that come out on top simply by being the strongest. I would have to be careful around this one, or else.
“Oh, is that so?” She stood up, her cape billowing around her. “And how do I know if you are telling the truth or not?”
I knew that she would question me, and I do not blame her. I have met countless pretenders in my travels and many of them had tried to fool and lie their ways into power and money. Very few managed to actually succeed, most were killed when they failed to meet their employer's expectations.
Normally In situations like these I would enact some sort of offensive spell and plan my escape, but in my current condition that wouldn't be possible. I had been beaten pretty badly and I haven’t had much to eat either. Due to this, I have not had a chance to regain more of my power, so I was left in a state where I could only use less costly spells. If I had tried to escape as I was right now I wouldn’t make it very far before my think tank was splattered all over the floors. But I knew exactly what to do to expel her doubt about my abilities. Under my breath, I muttered three words.
“Esaeler em morf eseht sniahc.” And in an instant, the chains that held me fell apart. Everyone in the room, excluding the Empress whose name I still did not know, recoiled visibly. Those that were armed readied their weapons but were stopped by a raised hand. wondering
I slowly stood up, my lack of balance nearly causing me to fall over. When I had finally regained my bearings, I started to walk towards the large throne. Once again the guards inside the room tensed, but they refrained from taking any actions. I now stood in front of the Empress, and we proceed to stare at each other.
“I believe that I have proven my ability to you, have I not?”
My words seemed to break whatever silence had settled across the room. The Empress merely gave a small smile in response and stuck out her hand.
“That you have, I believe that you and I can come to a ....profitable negotiation, why don’t we move to a more secluded place to barter?”
I gave no verbal response to her words other than grasping her outstretched hand and giving it a firm handshake. Things were about to get very.......interesting.
To Be Continued