After the meeting with the old man in the park, the wanderer had decided that time in the city was short and he needed troops. Walking to Cathak Letals home, he passed hundreds of people but none would look him in the eye. He had given up on being friendly with them, perhaps when a few generations have passed they may feel differently! HE had time and theirs was like a butterflies, a short and beautiful existence but nonetheless short.
Arriving at Cathak Letals house, he held back a laugh of derision at the crass opulence of his palace. Well at least he was sure that would be what Letal called it! The guards at the gate now had a backbone of pride, he smiled at that but knew that they would turn on them when they knew that troops would be coming. But he still had time, and knew that they feared them with good reason. 2000 Ragaran troops had borne witness to what he could do, Shadrach had defeated a giant autochthon in a duel, and the others had shown that on their own they would be capable of defeating Letal and his little band of loyal troops.
The guards turned to him; crossing their spears they asked his business!
“I am here to see Cathak Letal, with a matter of urgency.”
” The great Cathak Letal is busy and cannot be disturbed.”
” Then I shall wait for him within.”
” I am afraid that will not be possible, perhaps if you try tomorrow.”
” You will find that I have something important to put to Cathak Letal.”
” Again we must repeat that Cathak Letal is busy, perhaps if you come tomorrow he may well see you.”
The glint in the Wanderers eyes made the guards resolve wither, but the clank of the spears crossing each other again showed that they had a little back up. He turned to see Ragara Anja, damn was she quiet! “Ragara Anja, I did not expect to see you here. Are you here to see the great Cathak Letal as well?” Smiling she replies, “I came to see you ask for whatever it is you are after?” “How did you know that I was after something?” “Something in the stars, solar!” Holding back his shock, but not well enough to hide from Ragaran Ana, “does that mean that I can see Lethal now then?” Turning to the troops Ragaran Anja smiles, waves her pretty hands and they are allowed to enter.
“I thought the great Letal was busy?”
“He will see us now”
But the smile on her face, did not make the wanderer feel comfortable. A retainer came quickly, bowed to them both and requested that they follow him to the audience chamber. The audience chamber was not as crass as he expected. But one of the tapestries brought a rage in him to the fore. Anja placed a hand on his shoulder, stopping him tearing it down. Turning swiftly he glared at Anja, but her smile was somewhat disarming.
“Now is not the time for that Char!”
“He is dead, I am the Wanderer in White.”
“Yes I know that, but nonetheless, you cannot hide that forever. We are not quite sure of all that you have done, but you did go missing from us for a while.”
“As I said he is dead, a deserved death for his crimes.”
The sound of a door opening ended the conversation. Cathak Letal entered the room in a loose fitting toga like an emperor at the head of a conquering army. The stench of sex and drugs was about the man, the wanderer barely disguised his disdain. Ragara Anja turned to him, ” How nice of you to greet us all conquering Letal!” The barely held venom in her voice shock Cathak Letal him from his proud lofty platform. “This man has spilt his blood to help give you a reputation, I hope you will at least show the hospitality that you are known for. Would you treat the others the same as the Wanderer here, when they come to give their respects?” The wanderer was surprised at how Letal held himself.
“Apologies to you both, how is it that I can help you?”
“I need troops.”
“To the point” Letal replied.
“I thought that there would be no point to playing games, I have never played them very well!”
“And would you have me give over my loyal men.” The tone of his voice denoted his lineage, and barely held anger at his outrageous request.
The wanderer looked from Letal to Anja, his face full of pompous pride, and hers almost smiling, almost.
“You must have criminals in your cells, bandits, murderers and thieves? I want them, not your loyal men, I would make them deserving of a second chance and of course they’d be doing a service to society.”
Laughter fills the audience chamber, Letal calls for some wine to be brought. A few moments later food and wine are brought into the chamber, Letal offers Anja and the wanderer a place on cushioned divans.
“You want me to hand over the lowliest scum in my prisons, and deny the populace a viewing of beheading’s. And give into your hands those that would slit a childs throat for a handful of jade.That is a great risk, that I am not sure that I am willing to take.”
“But of course you will give over some of them Cathak Letal, a showing of mercy would of course help your reputation amongst the populace. As one of victor and one of mercy, surely you could not turn down an opportunity such as this?”
“And what guarantees will I receive that they will not be used against us here.”
“Your word, Wanderer is that all? You would have me hand over hardened scum to you on your word that you would not turn them against me?”
“Yes” The tone of the wanderer’s voice, stopped Letal in his tracks. He also feared the wanderer, but had so far hidden it but now he had shown it.
“I have only asked, I would not demand. I may be many things but I am not treacherous Cathak Letal, that I am not.” The edge in his voice left Letal no reason to disbelieve him.
Ragara Anja smiled, “Then we have a deal Letal, you will release the prisoners into the kind hands of the Wanderer here?”
“Yes, you can have what you are after. They will not be easy to command you know, positively rebellious I am sure.” The self-satisfied smirk on his face told the wanderer all he needed to know.
“I thank you for your audience Cathak Letal, when can I pick up my little band of helpful fellows?”
“In the morning, and I wish you luck with them.”
Letal rises from his seat, “You may leave me now, I grow tired and need to rest.”
Ragara Anja smiling turns to the wanderer, “Now that was interesting, you really are one to watch. Remind me to keep an eye on you.”
Ragara’s comment did not make him feel any easier, rising from the Divan he offers his hand to the lady. Smiling a most beautiful smile she takes his hand and with his help rises.
“Would you like me to walk in front, Ragara. So that you can keep an eye on me?”
Laughing “And there was me thinking you had no sense of humour.” Turning she kisses him on the cheek, the wanderer blushes which makes Anja laugh even louder. The echoes of her mirth echoing down the halls as she takes his arm.