That night, Sabit danced with her fellow initiates into the small hours. Still weary from the hunt, her steps were clumsy. Always stubborn, Sabit made up for her lack of skill with a bottomless energy that outstripped the stamina of even the fully-established Sisters who had not hunted. By the time the bonfires burned low, Sabit was the only one still dancing—if her staggering gait could still merit the description.
As Sabit collapsed to her bedroll, nerves frayed and skin drenched in sweat, she remembered her last night with Kehnan, eight days before. Sabit had also dropped to the bed, dripping with sweat, when her lover had told her, “The Sisterhood of the Lioness wants to overthrow the king of Bahteel.”
“What matter is that of ours?” Sabit had asked.
“The reward that the king offers for the head of the Sisterhood isn’t matter enough?”
“I have heard of no reward,” Sabit said, rolling away from Kehnan. “The king speaks well of the Sisterhood.”
“Of course he must speak well of them. They have many allies,” Kehnan crawled behind Sabit and whispered in her ear. “Privately, he has offered an enormous sum for Meriama’s head.”
“I am neither assassin nor mercenary,” Sabit said.
“Of course you aren’t. The Sisterhood has caught and killed every assassin sent after them. They grow bold. Meriama claims she is unkillable. They have taken three villages in the west. In their arrogance, they tied every man in those villages to posts in the ground, as food for the jackals and vultures. Not a child of those villages has been seen since. What will Meriama do in the mighty city of Bahteel when she pulls the king from his throne?” Kehnan fell silent, allowing his words to roost in Sabit’s ear.
When Sabit did not respond, Kehnan rolled away from her, saying, “It’s no matter for us, though. No one can kill Meriama anyway. The finest fighters have tried and failed. The innocents of Bahteel will simply be at her mercy soon. No one can stop her. It’s impossible.” Kehnan closed his eyes and waited.
For a moment, Kehnan worried that Sabit had fallen asleep.
Her words filled the darkness. “I could stop her.”
Wayfarings of Sabit: Sisterhood of the Lioness is copyright (c) 2017 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/