Whispers of Fire Ch12 bit – Oops

Kougyoku sniffed. Royals had as many wives and concubines as they wanted. Her father certainly had. Balbadd’s insistence on just one was kind of insulting.

“But the really interesting thing is, Sabhmad and General Barkakk went out of their way to not mention him, until I turned up a rumor or two,” the magi went on. “They think he’s a legal heir. And given how much spine Sabhmad scraped together to not tell me more than he thought he could get away with… he might be a lot more than that.”

Erk. “You mean – Abhmad’s not the eldest son?” Kougyoku stammered.

Cassim snorted.

“That… might not matter, Princess,” Ka Kobun said thoughtfully, squinting into memory.

She was not going to start like a jumpy little girl. She was a princess of the Kou Empire and the Djinn Warrior who was going to take Balbadd. She’d be calm. Even if all their plans had gone suddenly tilt. “Ka Kobun?”

“I researched what the Imperial Archives had before we left the Empire, my lady,” her assistant informed her. “Balbadd hasn’t maintained twenty-three generations of unbroken descent just by handing the kingship over to the eldest heir. They’re a merchant kingdom. Where other countries use swords, they use coins. They’d no more hand over rule of Balbadd to someone who can’t trade than the Empire would hand over the whole army to Princess Hakuei….” He trailed off, looking distinctly green.

“But that’s what they did, if Abhmad is the king now,” Kougyoku said slowly.

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14 thoughts on “Whispers of Fire Ch12 bit – Oops

  1. Ough, this is implying certain things about Alibaba’s difficulties a few years back. By Balbadd standards, if I’m reading this right, Abhmad led a coup. That doesn’t bode well for any stronger power marrying in. Granted the Kou could crush it easily, by why borrow trouble? Besides Abhmad might prove to be either just that cunning or just that lucky. (Thinking of Churnaz in Oath of Swords here. Not a main character, he’s the leader of a faction by dint of ruthless leadership in battle, and murdering just the right people to take power.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Balbadd’s insistence on just one was kind of insulting.

    So is insisting that everyone follow your culture exclusively and disregard their own.

    And yet . . . .

    “But that’s what they did, if Abhmad is the king now,” Kougyoku said slowly.

    Which is the only reason your Empire’s plan of initial economic conquest has been working at all. There is a reason your Empire were getting nowhere fast with Balbadd when King Rashid was alive. And would have continued to get nowhere fast if someone who could trade and tell the Banker where to stick it had been in charge for the last three years.

    Assuming of course, y’all didn’t have said person bumped off like you likely did King Rashid . . . just saying he got sick and run down awfully quick and they probably knew they could play Abhmad like a fiddle . . . plus given Al-Thamen’s perchance for spreading misery almost everything bad that happens has to be gone over with a fine toothed comb for their involvement. They don’t cause everything that goes wrong but they do cause a lot of what goes wrong.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m sure Al-Thamen didn’t help.

        More than likely.

        As I said, I don’t think they cause everything that goes wrong. Because sometimes bad things just happen. And people are perfectly capable of being utterly awful people and incredibly cruel to their fellow sentients all on their own without any involvement from Al-Thamen.

        I do believe they can and often do take ruthless advantage of those situations.

        And sometimes they did cause the awful thing in first place.

        And because they do both, it can be hard to sort out which is their awful and which is regular-sometimes-the-world-sucks awful.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. On the other hand, “not causing everything” says nothing about “not preventing something from being solved.” There’s probably a lot more that isn’t technically “caused” by Al-Thamen, that Al-Thamen nonetheless is involved in through such things as having letters misplaced, or making sure a courier gets sick at just the wrong time, or providing a distraction for the guy who could have solved the thing.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. Aaaaaand now they jave 2 reasons to hunt down Alibaba. As ifbeing the reason Balbadd has not fallen isn’t enough. Though Kougyoko could possibly find a reason to stall… though the thing with cassim…. 2 love triangles! Argh! … Really ? You went for not 1 but 2 love triangles. Maybe love polygon would be a better term to use. As if economic warfare wasn’t complicated.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. >What can I say? Alibaba attracts dangerous redheads!>
        Kougyoku: Eeeeeee! He thinks I’m a worthy and dangerous opponent! ‘giant grin and bouncing’
        Cassim: (whispered aside to Judar) How is she sparkling like that? And more importantly, WHY is she so happy that Alibaba considers her a deadly threat?
        Judar: The answer to both of those questions is: I don’t know and I don’t want to know.

        And speaking of Alibaba, a recent Men at Arms Reforged video finally clued me into the name of the the weapon that his short-sword/dagger reminded me of. The short squat dagger with the curve at the end and the thick middle ridge is reminiscent of the Janbiya.

        Liked by 4 people

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