For the first part of the story see: The Emperor and the Warrior
Kya walked with the Emperor into the back room, he waved his guards aside and they stood outside the door. Kya sized him up, taking the measure of the man, not the emperor. He was tall, trim but muscular with the athletic yet supple build of someone proficient in the martial arts. Kya decided that yes, he would be a worthy opponent on a physical level.
“What service do you require of me?” Kya asked, leaving the end of the question open for him to provide a name if he desired but she would NOT call him my some ridiculous title.
The Emperor smiled and when the smile reached his eyes the amber steel depths lit up with an explosion. “Ha! Waiting for a name are you? I see your reputation is well deserved.” He bowed to a respectful depth, then straightened, looking straight into Kya’s sapphire eyes. “I am ‘Whirling Depths of Dragon Breath’ and I require no service of you Kyarina of the Black Hills. Rather I plead for your assistance.”
“DON’T call me that! Kyarina is dead, long dead in a far away land and I am well rid of her. I am Kya, Warrior and Leader of the Twelve Armies.”
In the moment that their eyes met, Kya looked into his soul. A skill she had developed and sometimes regretted over the years. A “gift” from her village healer. In that soul Kya saw none of the pettiness that so often plagued royalty. There was no aura of entitlement or superiority, only a deep-seated need to protect his people and a wild longing to be free of the shackles of his position. Kya deeply wanted to loathe the man, but found herself unable to do so.
“That’s quite a name.” Kya struggled for something to say. “What do your friends call you?”
The Emperor’s expression never changed as he spoke. “I have no friends. Only sycophants, servants and generals.”
Kya nodded “I think I’ll call you Dragon.”
The Emperor smiled his glorious smile once again gesturing to the table behind him. He stood aside and there sat Kya’s helmet the remainder of her armor and weapons. Along side them sat the Emperors scepter, it’s top surmounted with the largest gemstone ever mined, the All Star. Slightly smaller than her fist, Kya could not help but stare at the diamond.
Dragon motioned for her to pick up the scepter. Kya felt the gem in her hands and it was warm, not cold as one would expect. Kya quickly replaced the imperial scepter knowing as she did so that it was a major transgression to touch such a priceless object. To have been permitted to touch it said much of the Emperor’s faith in her.
“What can I help you with Dragon?”
The orchestra began it’s introduction and the sound reverberated through the small room. It was a volatile composition with strident chords and half note pauses. The Emperor smiled at the cacophony of sound nodding as he moved closer to speak directly into Kya’s ear. “I need to stage a coupe,” he whispered.
Kya suddenly understood. Dragon was a prisoner in his own palace. He wanted only to be free and to help his people, but he was being monitored. The sound of the orchestra covered their conversation.
It would be untrue to say that Kya never considered that she could easily kill the Emperor and make her escape under the cover of all this sound. It would be unfair to say that she considered it for more than a passing moment. Instead, Kya sat on the floor, motioning for Dragon to join her “Well then, let’s plan a coupe your majesty.”
Written for the following prompts:
Three Things Challenge: orchestra, half note, All Star
Till next time ~Peace ~JPP