This is a very scary part of town.
Sabhmad would be the first to admit that just about any part of town was scary for him. The city, the docks, the palace….
Which in a way let him relax. Sort of. In a knees-to-jelly way. After all, this wasn’t court. The people here weren’t going to want to talk to him.
Stab him, maybe. But probably not talk to him. Much.
And General Barkakk could probably keep anyone from stabbing him. Which meant he’d still have to talk. Eep.
“Keep breathing, my lord,” Barkakk’s voice came through the curtains. “We’re almost there.”
There being a small merchant shop tucked in amongst the dock warehouses that people didn’t talk about. Mostly. Dock-Master Shahidi had eventually talked, after a few subtle reassurances that no, nobody was going to come down on him for doing his duty to execute pirates. Of course not.
Sabhmad swallowed, trying not to think too hard about exactly why Shahidi had needed that reassurance. Abhmad had thought….
No. Abhmad didn’t think. He just did it, and assumed everything would work the way he wanted.
The real world didn’t work that way, even for a king. Maybe especially for a king. And it didn’t do any good to say he couldn’t have stopped Abhmad, even though he really couldn’t. Not without starting a small civil war, because he definitely wasn’t down as legal heir and Abhmad was the oldest and most of the courtiers were going to follow the money and-
Sabhmad braced his forehead against his fists, and made himself breathe slowly. Think. He had to think. And not panic. Because he was going in to help these people, they could do something together that he couldn’t do on his own, and maybe, just maybe….