A Different Fight
Martial Arts: standard (rank 1)
Issa stood in a large field within the second walls of the city. He breathed steadily as he waited for his opponent. The resting sun was nearly completely gone behind the walls. Senzi approached him.
“She obviously wanted to help, why challenge you to a sparring match she knows she will lose?”
“Do not underestimate any opponent Senzi, but yes, I had the same questioning thought.”
Their conversation was then cut short as Asilil could be seen exiting to the field, with her servants close behind. She had removed her traditional and royal dress and replaced it with a more fitting outfit. Her servants, behind her, each held a weapon of hers, beautifully crafted of the finest minerals. She then was handed her blades. She held her dual blades, accustoming herself to their weight and striking them together to create sparks before placing them in her sheath. She then eyed Issa.
The two circled each other, Issa readied his spear and noted Asilil’s stance. She was somewhat trained.
She lunged at him, closing the distance, and sent a flurry of jabs and kicks at him. Issa was caught off guard by the assault. He blocked what he could with the wooden end of his spear before stumbling back from a blow to the jaw.
He wiped his mouth, “I see you have indeed grown up.” She gave a seductive wink before continuing her assault.
The Finest of Blades
Slashing Weapon: standard (rank 1)
She pulled her dual blades from their sheaths and went on the offense again once again. She ran towards him blades ready, but Issa simply raised his hand and the winds beckoned at his call, blowing her off her feet and to the floor.
Plenty of Practice
Weapon Master: standard (rank 1)
Asilil flew through the air and landed lightly on her feet.
“Aren’t you growing bored of playing defensively all the time?”
“If you’re bored Asilil, you could always forfeit.”
She picked up her blades twirled them in hands. Swiping at the wind, she ran towards Issa. He threw up his spear as she brought down both blades on him; the blades gouged the wooden shaft of his spear. He then pushed her off, creating a distance between them before twirling his spear in his and smacking Asilil with the butt end. She hit the floor; she looked up to see Issa coming down with his spear. She rolled out of the way, and his spear punctured the ground. He quickly pulled it from the ground, and placed it to her neck as she tried to stand.
She winked before speaking, “Fine, Issa. You win this round. You have earned this city’s support.” He pulled the spear from her, “Come. We will discuss it further over a feast.”
Iron Will: standard (rank 1)
Asilil walked back to the palace. At some point the Council of Five had stepped outside to watch the match, and were not pleased with the results. They followed her as she went to freshen up for the dinner later.
The eldest council approached her from her side and began to speak, “Queen Asilil, we believe you are making a mistake. Joining Issa in this endeavor will endanger all of us.”
Asilil spoke without turning to her council and continued to her chambers, “But councilor, it was you who said that these attacks were ‘insignificant’,” She said with a smirk. “Besides, my mind has been made up. I will dispatch warriors under Issa’s supervision to help him in his mission. I will not be convinced otherwise. Until dinner councilors…” Her servants closed the doors behind her as she retreated into her chambers to prepare.
Commander: superior (rank 2)
The feast began. The large table’s platters entailed some of Africa’s rarest delicacies, and were rightfully fit for a king, or in this case a Queen.
The room had grown full of voices; most circled and were directed at Issa and Senzi, asking of their journey and their plans now that they have gained the support of Queen Asilil. Most conversation however eventually leads to a political agenda, as was the norm for nobles.
“I must say Issa. You must have quite a persuasive tongue to have persuaded the Queen to favor you so…” The woman spoke affectionately to Issa from across the table.
“She only did what she thought was right.” He put simply.
All of the conversations then came to a halt at the sight of the royal guards. They led Queen Asilil as she stepped into the dining hall. The two elite guards stopped at the door and stood as living sentries while Queen Asilil approached the table. At their sides the butt of their weapons could be noticed, but Issa couldn’t make out much of anything else in the fray of things.
The nobles all stood in respect as the Queen entered; Issa and Senzi followed suit. She sat elegantly at the table and her subjects followed. She then blessed the food and welcomed her guests.
The night continued like so until the dinner ended. The room steadily was emptied of the nobles as they left to reside in their own rooms about the palace. Servants then came to lead Issa and Senzi to their rooms for the night.
Issa entered his room and laid down his spear near the bed. On the bed were a bundle of clothes. The cloth was so soft; Issa wasn’t even sure what it was. After placing the clothes out of the way he then lay on the plush bed and fine linen, sighing heavily. Though he was comfortable and weary from his travel here, he could not sleep. He stared out his window into the stars and thought of his tribe and all he could now accomplish with the help of his new alliance. He could return with renewed hope and zeal.
Eventually, he rose from the bed and explored the palace, engrossed in his own thoughts. He leaned on a ledge and faced the city walls when he was startled by a voice.
“I see I am not the only one who sleeps seems to evade.” Asilil said with a smile.
The same two guards from the palace feast followed her at a discreet distance as she approached him. They were obviously palace guards, but they differed from the rest; even carrying themselves differently.
Lion skins were thrown across their chest broad and muscular chests. Necklaces of the slain beast’s teeth hung from their neck. In the moonlight Issa could now see that the one to the left was even a woman. He was impressed by their artifacts of prowess that they carried, but was still appalled by their choice of weapons.
Though they carried spears in their hands, they still carried the weapons of the enemy. The woman wore a percussion pistol at her hip while the man had a rifle strapped to his back. Asilil realized Issa’s analyzing eyes and commented, “Those are Igni warriors.” She said closing the distance between them, “They have given blood oaths to guard me with their lives after their tribe found refuge in Hami-Miji. They were fierce warriors, but the numbers of the Europeans unfortunately overwhelmed them.”
Issa nodded in comprehension and looked back towards the walls, avoiding eye contact. There was a long silence between them as they both stared off into the star lit sky. Asilil then pondered deeply on how to break the silence and then said abruptly, “…I’m accompanying you on your journey Issa.” She stated with much conviction.
Issa finally turned to her, looking into her hazel eyes. “Your place is here as Queen. Why forfeit your kingdom and place yourself in danger?”
Asilil retorted quickly, “Oh please! Issa you are not blind to the politics of Hami-Miji or to my skill on the battlefield. I suppose what I’m saying is… I would be better suited at your side.” She reached to caress his cheek, but he lowered her hand and looked away.
Issa was torn and it showed momentarily on his face before he dismissed it. “You will not accompany me back to Kenya.” Issa stated unmoved from her advance. He then dismissed himself from her company, not allowing the conversation to continue. Asilil seemed unfazed by Issa’s rude declaration as she watched him walk away. Her guards then appeared at her side, silently reassuring her. She smirked lightly as she turned back to her chambers.