“Something bad happened.” Aladdin was looking up at him, quietly worried. “That’s why you left here, right? Sinbad said Balbadd was a place for people who didn’t have somewhere to go. So it must have been awful.”
“Sindria would also like an answer to that,” Ja’far said plainly. “We had letters about you; your father was very proud of his son. But we were busy. Saving the world, Sinbad would tell you. And he wouldn’t be lying.” The white-haired minister shook his head. “But we should have come anyway. We trusted our ally King Rashid too much, and failed him when he needed us most. And now you’re trying to pick up the pieces of what Abhmad has shattered. Legal or not?”
Pretty much summed it up. Even if it didn’t answer the real question in Aladdin’s eyes.
Morgiana, now; those exotic eyes were wide, putting together what Ja’far had said with what she’d seen in the dungeon, Alibaba would bet. She knew what it took to beat Lord Jamil at swordplay.
So there’s only one person I need to explain to. Alibaba swallowed hard. “I told you before, there were things I wanted to tell you. I just… didn’t get the chance….”
Ja’far held up a hand as he faltered. “Morgiana. Aladdin. You should know that your friend is probably in great danger here, if his name is widely known. So far as I know there are no official orders hunting him – but having met your brothers, Alibaba, I’d be surprised if there are no unofficial orders to see you… detained. Or worse.”
“You met Alibaba’s brothers?” Aladdin said, startled. Glanced back at Alibaba. “You have brothers? And you ended up in trouble because of me, instead of… people can send letters to help cover debts, the caravan traders told me that. Why didn’t you ask them to help you?”
“Because they don’t want to know I exist.” Now; he had to say it now, or he never would. “My name… my name is Alibaba Saluja.”
Morgiana’s breath huffed, like a lioness spotting unruly prey.
“King Rashid’s third son, and acknowledged heir,” Ja’far stated.
“Which is crazy, and I told him that,” Alibaba gritted out. “No one’s going to follow the son of a palace maid, I-”
Aladdin poked him, right in the ribs by Amon’s knife. “This sounds complicated. Start from the beginning.”