This week, on Flash Fiction Friday, we get a glimpse at the event that caused Yuldha, from Warrior Queen on a previous Flash Fiction Friday, to have to defend her city from invasion.
He should have known she wouldn’t agree. How could he be dumb enough to believe she’d say yes when her people had left his kingdom long ago, back when it was better than it was now? Since Elventar had been established by previous citizens of Aleshtain, they’d watched in abject horror as the countries just over the mountains that separated them from the world struggled to fend off the attacks of Aleshtain. The country they’d chosen to break off from so forcefully had become more and more aggressive as it became increasingly depraved.
She regarded King Myranor of Aleshtain with a neutral look. No smile, but also no frown. Let him think of it what he would. Once he’d made the request officially and taken the guessing out of it, she’d formally ensure that he understood exactly what she thought of his proposal.
He opened his puffy lips, a sly glint in his eye. “Lady Yuldha.”
She gritted her teeth, refused to answer such a rude greeting. If he wanted to be that way, two could play. She’d be rude too, as childish as it seemed. But she wasn’t in the mood to humor him in his idiotic games. He could either act as the diplomat he was supposed to be on this envoy, or he could leave her hall before he’d even had a chance to speak.
“My Lady…” Myranor cleared his throat. “I have come to make a proposal that I feel would be beneficial for both of us.”
For him, maybe. Not for her. Being shackled to a man who would never treat her as an equal, much less human, would never do. She wasn’t a woman who insisted upon trying to do all that a man could do or even one who insisted that men let her try. It simply wasn’t sensible to her. She knew her limits, knew there were things she couldn’t do. But she did demand respect and equality. Just because she couldn’t some things did not mean she couldn’t do others men could not. And it certainly didn’t mean she was inferior. “I haven’t got all day, Myranor.”
“Yes, well… I came to ask if you would do me the honor of giving me your hand in marriage.”
He blinked. “I beg your pardon?”
Perhaps he was deaf as well as stupid. “No.”
“You do realize that a marriage between us—”
“Would be insufferable? Yes, I do. That’s why it’s a no.” She rose from her throne with a thin smile.
“I think you’re being a bit premature about this. You wouldn’t want to make a hasty decision and land yourself in a war, would you?” Myranor crossed his arms.
“Is that a threat, Sire? Because if it is, I think it is you who ought not to be premature. Do you forget who you are dealing with?” She lifted her chin. “If you have, I can remind you. I believe I was the one who sent your fool of a son packing when he tried to take advantage of one of my Maidens. That’s another count against you too, I’m afraid. Too many wives. And I don’t want to share.”
“Pity.” His upper lip curled, all pretense of being nice gone.
“Not really. I’m just glad if it helps you understand how vastly unsuited we are.”
“Is it your habit to be this undiplomatic with all suitors who visit you, madam?”
She laughed. “Certainly not. I only act this way when I’m disrespected in my own household and then asked to sell myself off like chattel. How would you like me to respond, sir?”
He narrowed his eyes then turned to go. “Mark my words, Yuldha. You will regret this.”
“Maybe. But maybe not. It was lovely seeing you again, Myranor. Don’t let the door hit you in the rump on the way out, would you?” She knew she shouldn’t goad him like this, but some part of her couldn’t help adding, “I wouldn’t want my nicely polished doors soiled. I’m fairly sure the oily stench of scum would never wash out.”
He shot her a nasty glare over his shoulder, his face mottled red, but he let his adviser hustle him out the door. As soon as it slammed shut behind him, she slumped back down in her throne with a sigh. War would definitely follow on the heels of this meeting. Too bad. She hadn’t intended for it to go so badly, had even intended to be somewhat gentle in her letdown. But Myranor hadn’t allowed for it. So now they were in a quandry. Lovely. Well, she’d just have to find a way to win, she supposed. Knowing Myranor, that could prove to be a challenge.
That’s it for this week! I hope you all enjoyed. If you have something you’d like to see on Flash Fiction Fridays, feel free to leave the idea in the comments below or send me an email!