It was a week later when we were visited by him. He came in uninvited by Lord Tarik. By now I was ready with my training. I walked, and ate, and even breathed like a queen. I wore my light green day dress, yes ladies changed for dinner into an evening gown. We even changed to go to different events.
“I am Abubakar, high master. I have heard you have a lady for your guest, Lord Tarik. May I ask who she is?” A voice came from the room where Tarik usually met me for our training. I stayed in the hall.
“Lady Kamilah should be joining us soon. She is getting ready, I presume.”
I took in a deep breath and walked in the room. What was there to fear? Except for the blood magic of the high masters. Abubakar stared at me with a raised eyebrow. I could sense his appreciation of my beauty, like Tarik had.
The light from the windows gave a glow to my caramel skin. Abubakar was taller than me, but I wasn’t considered short. My thin body filled the dress where it needed to be, and I wasn’t too skinny from my years of being a slave.
“I hope I would see you again.” He said.
“I’m sorry, have we met?” I asked, confused.
“No actually. I just happened to see you at the coliseum last week. You were the most beautiful woman there.” He replied. “Tell me, are you betrothed?”
I laughed. ”Gets right to the point, doesn’t he Lord Tarik?”
“Come High Lord Abubakar, let’s sit and eat.” Tarik invited him to the dining room, as he took my hand and led me there himself. Tarik whispered in my ear as we walked. “You are not betrothed. You will marry him and use him to find out the secrets behind the blood magic. It’s the perfect opportunity.”
“I believe my prophecy said ‘betrayer of hemet’. Do you think this is destined?” I whispered back.
“Yes.” He replied, before turning back to Abubakar and saying, “I’m afraid she’s not betrothed… yet.” He smiled.
Abubakar took the liberty of pushing in my seat, and sitting across from me, while the Lord of the house sat at the end of the table. We ate, while the men talked. I didn’t bother to speak. Tarik worked his way into Abubakar’s mind planting seeds and suggesting things about me and him.
It was my path to betray my husband. I would find out the secrets behind their magic and use it against them.
“My I walk you out?” I asked Abubakar.
“Of course, my lady.” I didn’t expect a proposal as he was getting on the carrier. But the sooner the better I guess. I smiled and said yes. We would be married at his palace in the morning.
“Salia!” I hissed at her door. I knew it was late but I had to tell her I was leaving in the morning. That she would need to stay here. She opened the door looking sleepy-eyed, but perked up when she saw my worried face.
“What’s wrong?” She asked me, hurrying me inside the room. It was small, but bigger than anything she had ever had before.
“I am leaving tomorrow. I have been betrothed to high master Abubakar.” I said. Giving a sad smile.
“You must stay here.” I said firmly, before she had a chance to tell me she was coming. She looked sad, but I knew she understood because she hugged me for a long time.
Surprisingly enough the wedding had been announced at dawn and everyone dropped everything to be there. Except for the slaves, who had no choice but to be there. My dress was made during the night. Whoever had made me the dresses fit for a lady knew what size I was, and fit me into a wedding dress. It was simple, but white.
Abubakar wore his cloak that showed he was a high lord and high master. We would be married at dusk. The slaves of his palace had the whole day to prepare whatever feast and dessert they were going to make for us. I was not looking forward to tonight, though. Maybe he would choke on a bone and I would be a widow before the consummation?
I was dressed and ready to go at four. Dusk was two hours away. The guests had arrived and were still arriving. The rest of the high masters would arrive soon. The food was almost done being prepared, and that last slimmer of hope for my betrothed’s death was fading with the sun.
I excused myself for air. Abubakar’s palace was large, but not quite as large as the leader of the high master’s. I needed to find a place to hide. Every time I turned a corner, some slave was washing the floors, or someone was rushing about attending to my short notice wedding.
I almost passed it. It was on the third level of the pyramid shaped palace, and it looked almost like a piece of the wall had gone missing. I only saw it at a certain angle. Making sure no one was looking, I slipped into the crevice. There was no worrying about the state of my dress despite the dusty floors and the cobwebbed corners. I had found what might be a lead to the blood magic.
The crevice led to stairs, which led to a tunnel. I must’ve been deep underground by the time the tunnel opened up into a circular room. All around me were shelves. Filled with potions and bottles. In the middle of the room was a table. It was small and round, and a golden bowl set in the stone suggested it was used for magic.
Parchment was lying all over a desk. A candle with barely any wax left sat next to an inkwell. Lit torches surrounded the room. But the thing that caught my eye wasn’t the potions or the blood stained bowls, but three delicate eggs, scaly and colorful, sitting on their own pedestal, as if in a museum.