Eight days of the overseer’s training passed without any new contenders; eight days of grit and sweat and the crack of his many-tasseled whip; eight days of Sabit’s furious glares at Qaansoole.
On the afternoon of the ninth day, the champions took to their double lines in the dusty forum grounds. The King of Rurr, resplendent in blood-red robe trimmed in with civet fur, walked between the primping fighters. Even this formality galled the king, who paid more attention to the dust upon his leather boots than the displays of strength all around him. Without looking up, he said, “Which champion has the most victories?”
“I have,” said Qaansoole. “Thirteen victories, no losses.”
The king looked up at the voice and smiled. “You shall be the champion of Rurr yet again, little archer,” the king said. “The wretched city of Yuheim has seized a rich trading vessel on its way to our harbor. The liar denies it, but you shall prove the righteousness of our cause.”
After the King of Rurr and his extravagant robes had withdrawn, the challenger entered. The Prince of Yuheim was a portly youth, his round face as yet unbearded. He walked with an aged adviser close at hand. The pair examined each champion carefully, noting their stance, their choice of weapon, their figure, their teeth. The whole time, Sabit glared at Qaansoole, who stood apart from the rest, near the door where the King of Rurr had departed.
Having reviewed all the champions, the Prince’s adviser wanted Illi for their cause. The mountain of a man could surely crush the little archer, the old man contended.
Instead, the Prince approached Sabit. “You have not taken your eyes from Rurr’s champion.”
“I have my own reasons,” Sabit said, loathing dripping from every word.
“My city stands falsely accused of piracy,” the Prince said. “We could use something honest to defend us. Your anger is the truest thing I have seen in this forum. Will you fight for Yuheim?”
“If it means I get to fight her, I will fight for you,” Sabit replied, “And I will win.”
Wayfarings of Sabit: Broken Justice is copyright (c) 2016 by Michael S. Miller. All rights reserved. New chapters post every weekday. You can support this and other stories on Patreon: https://patreon.com/michaelsmiller or http://ipressgames.com/fiction/