Seeing his queen’s agony at this man’s words, Nerit kicked the captive’s knees. The others guided Kehnan’s muscular form down so that he knelt before Sabit. Nerit reached into his pack and withdrew the broad blade of polished bronze he had taken from Kehnan on the road. Careful to avoid its sharpness, he extended its handle to the bandit queen.
“He did not resist our ambush, my queen,” said Nerit. “But we found a medallion bearing the seal of the king of Bahteel among his things. Bahteel is a brother-king of Junjai, our great enemy. I think this man is a spy who should be treated as all spies.”
Sabit took the sword. Looking down its blade, she studied its craftsmanship. Cutting the air with a few short swings, she accustomed her hand to its balance. She took a step toward Kehnan.
“Wait!” barked the bound warrior. “I stole that medallion from my captors in Bahteel. You and I have fought the king before, Sabit. He wants us both dead. I heard a rumor that an unbeatable spear woman had taken up in the forest, so I came searching for you. We have been comrades in arms. You must trust me.”
Sabit paused to consider his words. Nerit seized the captive by his long, dark hair. Pulling Kehnan’s head back, he offered the warrior’s throat to Sabit’s blade. “He lies! End him, my queen. He cannot be—”
Flexing the muscles of his thick neck, Kehnan struck Nerit with his forehead. The younger man collapsed from the powerful blow. Letting out a roar, Kehnan fought against the thick ropes binding him. They went taut. They stretched. They strained.
The ropes burst.
With a flurry of motion, Kehnan struck at the young bandits surrounding him. They toppled like children’s toys before the fury of the big man. In the blink of an eye, Kehnan had his thick arm around Nerit’s throat. His other hand pressed on the young man’s head, poised to snap his neck.
“I am not your enemy, Sabit,” Kehnan said, fixing his eyes on the bandit queen. “I came to this forest to find you. I see that the rumors are true. You are a queen here, as you were always meant to be. What can a man do with a queen besides serve her?”
The mighty warrior tossed Nerit aside, ashamed but unhurt. Sinking to his knees before Sabit, Kehnan placed his own throat against the tip of the bronze blade she held. “I have placed my life in your hands a hundred times. Never have I regretted it. I shall not regret it now. Accept my service or slay me on my knees. What say you, Mongoose?”
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Wayfarings of Sabit: Betrayal is copyright (c) 2017 by Michael S. Miller. All rights reserved. New chapters are posted on Monday and Thursday. You can support this and other stories on Patreon, https://patreon.com/michaelsmiller, or at http://ipressgames.com/fiction/.
NOTE: Sabit has a lot to be thankful for. The next chapter will post Monday, November 27.