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It had been awhile since the girl smelled the salty sea air, the wharf was filled with large company ships, mostly Wesi owned, it reminded her how the Wesis managed to overtake the empire that never sleeps using undisputed sea power, she was ought to not like them, at least with how her father and brother seemed to forcefully toil their principles just so to tolerate living alongside them.

 

However she couldn’t help but admire the golden lion and sea serpent ensign of the Wesi Empire, dancing against the wind from its flagpole on one of the merchant ships while basking on the warm light of the morning sun like in its constant heyday.

 

Her eyes shifted down on the docks filled with lively people going to and fro, screaming and shouting, although at great distant, she could hear the spontaneous curses, the crude howling and yelling, she could see the lively colors of brown and black amongst them, she finds herself sometimes repulsed by them, but at that great distance, from the balcony of her brother’s office, she found the scene somewhat amusing.

 

She actually missed it.

 

“You ignorant twat! Didn’t I say that the deal has been signed? It was contracted, you can’t cut me short! Lord Maja won’t allow such insolence!”

 

Inside the room, a young businessman was having fit thrown to yet another young man sitting behind a table in front of him.

 

The latter, tall and dark skinned made himself taller as he shoot up himself and slammed his fists on the table “And I have the authority what’s to be allowed to get in and out of this land!...Your share of trade had met its due, I won’t allow more …the craftsmen of this kingdom need their trade to bring food on their table all the same….you’ve been congesting the market enough! Take your filthy Wesi ass out of here or I won’t think twice of knocking your head out of your neck”

 

“You are a fool my lord…how long do you think you could keep this up? He…will have your head….”

 

“Let him come to me then” Challenged by the indignant man.

 

Then the door was slammed close leaving the girl and the man inside the room alone.

 

“Another Wesi acting like they own the world” The girl heard her brother spat.

 

“I don’t think that’s an empty threat, if mama was here…she’d probably tell you to let Lord Maja deal his business” Said the girl, entering the room.

 

“She has her own way of running things…though what’s important right now isn’t my head…but yours…” The man glared at her “What you did was unforgiveable”

 

The girl ignored the fiery eyes. Unaffected, she threw herself on the couch, her malong inspired robe’s ends flickered by the action “Brother… Did Avelia charge you or me with treason?”

 

“No”

 

“Did the king order for our head? “

 

“No”

 

Cheeky, the girl raised her eyebrows at him “Then what is wrong? You weren’t punished…the king probably didn’t even care about the delegation to the north”

 

The brother only nodded at her “What happened there?” He asked, somewhat stiff, like it was a question in hindsight.

 

The younger sister waited for more, but was left disappointed, or rather relieved.

 

“It was uneventful …my movements were restricted, as expected….only that I learned they are at war with the Gyps again…and also…I saw an Olgavian delegate”

 

“The Gyps? They never won over them…the modern arms still couldn’t do the work…And I don’t think they’ll let the Svezda Army set foot on their land…King Yval’s pride is worth more than that” Said the young man

 

Suddenly, the girl felt parched, and around her neck felt like something wished to get out.

 

Rushed

 

Cold

 

Sweat

 

“Take a look at this Kira”

 

The younger sister followed, her eyes landing on a small tube of wrapped leaves on her brother’s fingers “You’re not the first one who invented tobacco Jerel…you’re not being funny” She sighed

 

“It’s not just any ordinary tobacco…the merchants said it is…but I’ve been hearing about this ‘Fidonie’… and that dolt earlier has this on his list bought by one of Lord Maja’s squire, he bought 30 crates of it!” He hissed at the end “Imagine that...and it’s not for a minute price I must say...it doubles the typical tobacco…I think this is what they call fidonie”

 

“It might just have a different material” Obviously, Kira suggested

 

“Of course it is…but I need more information about this…I can’t allow Lord Maja bringing whatever he feels like it from Wesland” Jerel took off his black coat and necktie with visible frustration on his face.

 

Kira and Jerel faced each other from their respective seats.

 

“Are you really going to wear that for the celebration?” Jerel asked, his eyebrows formed quizzically…it might be in reprimanding way but Kira considered it to be somewhat playful.

 

The girl stared down at her own attire, she was wearing a long sleeved black blouse with standing collar, on top of it was a sleeveless malong-like robe with v-shaped neck seam, the length ending somewhat at her calves, under it was a loose pair of trousers, it was a very unconventional attire, and she’s aware how much stares she gets for it “I don’t have anything else to wear….unless you want me to make a fool out of myself and go out naked”

 

“I asked because mama and papa already arrived in the capital…you know that she doesn’t want you being….like this…they are staying in Galura palace right now…she’ll eat you Kira…so prepare yourself”

 

“When has she not?” Kira shot.

 

Her brother was exasperated, it showed in his eyes , he gave a piercing stare “She turned ballistic once she learned I was here and that you stole my commissioning… this isn’t funny Kira or trivial or any of your senseless pursuits…this is Canisa Kingdom….my delegation there is to bring talks to the table…do you know why I was chosen for this delegation?”

 

The younger one turned her face away from his brother’s stare, eyes fixed on the wooden knight centerpiece on the center table, she didn’t answer.

 

The room was beginning to feel warm and small

 

“Because I am one of those people trying to neutralize Wesi influence on our land….our house is the only one left in Eyria with Aranjagaan blood in them as those in Canisa, butchering this delegation is like permanently closing all possible ways of ending the tension between these two kingdoms”

 

Finally, Kira stood up from her sea, it was like a branch finally making the fire from all the friction done, she adores her brother, she really does, sometimes the feelings are mutual, however he has the knack of being bothersome, Kira trailed it back 3 years ago, after her brother’s honorable discharge from the army “Trust me Jerel…you’re the only one thinking that….both kings will never compromise for each other…one is incompetent and the other…blood thirsty….have you not learned from the feudal wars before?....This-“ Kira stopped as she glanced at her brother and saw his gaze awaiting her words, making her rethink her choice of words “ I’ll be leaving” She said in resignation before walking away.

 

“No”

 

Kira stopped walking away and faced Jerel again, she found the latter’s fingers grazing on the panabas sword she gave to him.

 

“It’s happening….Prince Caldwell arrived a month ago for tomorrow…you know what that day is right?”

 

The younger one raised an eyebrow knowingly. She felt yellow “Of course…that’s why I came back here”

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About the author

Equis_Ta

  • Philippine
  • Master of None

Bio: I'm a Filipino, queer and a psychologist student from the Philippines

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