When I came back from checking the traps that we had laid out earlier the sun had already set behind the Sev Voski Mountains, mountains that neither of us had seen in fifteen years. An overwhelming feeling of home coming had spread throughout my body when we had glimpsed them for the first time in the woods but Sarai’s unwavering apprehension had me a little worried.
Sometimes I wondered if more damage than either of us knew about had been done that night. She had repressed many of the memories but the emotions still ran quite deep it seemed. Fortunately my bad memories were not attached to places but they were attached to people and Sarai was still my greatest weakness.
I could smell the fire that she had started in the kitchen before I even opened the door; luckily I was the only one outside that could.
“Did we catch anything?” Sarai asked from where she was stoking the fire in the iron stove.
“Two rabbits, I also gathered some edible mushrooms that I found,” I replied as I set my sack down on the small kitchen table. “It isn’t much but we have some herbs so it should taste good at least.”
“Do you want me to help with anything?” she said her voice hopeful that I would say yes.
“No princess that will not be necessary,” I told her with a defeated smile, we had the same conversation almost every night but my answer was always the same.
“It would go faster if you let me help,” she mumbled looking unhappy.
“Of course it would but even though we don’t live in the palace you’re still a princess and I’m still you’re servant,” I explained as I started getting the right pots and pans out of the cabinets. She hated when I used this argument but that didn’t change the fact that it was true.
“I wish you would stop saying that, I never thought of you as my servant when I was a kid and I don’t now either,” she shot back with a huff, her arms crossing over her chest in annoyance.
“I know you don’t but that doesn’t mean that other people won’t or don’t. In this current world I have very little standing in anything as a necromancer but as a servant of our future queen… I don’t just call myself your servant because I am but because that status protects me more than you realize,” I explained with a sad smile. I watched as the information finally sank in, the pain that it brought and the confusion, and I couldn’t help but feel bad myself that I had brought it on.
“I still don’t understand how anyone can call Damijan a king when he marginalizes and oppresses our population with fear. He is no king or leader that I would ever follow,” she spat, her rage radiating off of her body in palpable waves that always frightened and fascinated me. King Ekram had been a passionate man but nothing like his daughter. Sometimes she mused about what it would be like to abandon her duties as queen but her compassion for the people of Sahmanner was boundless and deep when it came to Damijan’s atrocities. We just needed to figure out a way to reach the people to use her rage productively.
“I don’t know princess but unfortunately there are other people who think like him out there,” I said as I opened the sack.
“Which is why we’re here, it’s time we started changing those people’s minds,” she murmured as she slowly walked out of the small kitchen with her arms still crossed, her mind now focused on something else as she went upstairs to wait.
“Majka, please let her mind survive this,” I prayed silently.