The Desert King: Chapter Fifteen

Author’s Note: So this story has taken a mighty left turn compared to the original version of it. I’ve changed a couple things along the way, but this chapter introduces a redemption arc for one of the characters who didn’t get it in the first iteration. Can you decide which character it is? Happy reading.

Chapter Fifteen: Tests of Character

Despite a decent meal, plenty of water, and a good night’s rest in Kulastri’s blanket, Majir’s surly attitude didn’t improve in the morning. She’d risen well before either of the young men in her care. She checked the traps, cleaned the game, and ate in the stillness of the morning.

She prepared enough food for both of them to eat well, though Majir would receive the smaller portion given the state of starvation in which he arrived. When they woke, Terim quietly took his portion and ate. Majir, on the other hand, complained bitterly that the blanket didn’t keep him warm and he hadn’t gotten enough food, which was unfair.

Kulastri thanked her lucky stars she had the silk across her face to hide her scowl, but it didn’t hide her eye roll. Zorrick caught it and snickered despite the complaining.

“You got the smaller portion because your body couldn’t handle more at this moment.” She kept her voice even despite the urge to tell Majir to shut up.

“That’s not fair!”

“What’s not fair?” Terim glanced up.

“That you get more food. If I don’t deserve more, you certainly don’t.”

“Oh, for the love of the gods, I’ll give you my extras if it’ll make you shut up.” Terim rose to put some of his food into Majir’s bowl, but Kulastri stopped him.

“No, you need the fuel to make it to our next destination today and he will just spew it up when his stomach can’t take it.” She pulled Terim back to his seat. “I’ll make some tea that will encourage the feeling of satiation. Eat slowly, Blacksmith’s son, or you won’t be able to keep it down.”

She filled a pot with water and set it on the fire, resigning herself to leaving later than she intended.

“What a spoiled, ill-mannered lout!” Zorrick’s words accompanied a royal scowl of disdain. “He’s an uncouth cur with no sense of gratitude, manners, decorum, hell, even kindness!” The prince paced from one side of camp to the other, not even bothering to step around the fire. “Why did you bother giving him your blanket? Terim’s right. The bastard should’ve slept cold.”

Kulastri snorted and nodded. Perhaps that night she would let him sleep cold.

“Are you going to move to the next camp north?” Zorrick stopped beside her as she rose.

She shook her head. “I will fill the water skins. Put them out for me so we can carry enough for today’s trip.”

Terim did as she asked, but Majir moaned and groaned about how hard it was to get to his.

At least he had one with him.

She took the ones from her pack and headed for the stream so have a few moments to speak to Zorrick alone. True, the other men couldn’t see him, but the last thing she needed was for either of them to brand her as crazy or supernatural. She rolled her eyes again at the thought of how rural folks often responded to the unknown.

With death threats and stonings.

Zorrick was still seething when she reached the stream.

“Please tell me you’re not going to train him to be in the royal guard.”

She shrugged just to egg him one. “I dunno. Maybe he’ll have some decent qualities once we hike the attitude out of him.”

“Kulastri, you can’t be serious.” Zorrick rounded on her. “He doesn’t have the temperament to take orders, much less follow them. He’ll question everything and whine while doing it.”

“Oh, come on, Zorrick. I seem to recall a few of those whine-fests from you, once upon a time.” She filled one water skin after another. “And I didn’t give up on you.”

“I was of royal blood! You hadto train me, or my father would’ve handed you your walking papers.”

“Be that as it may, we managed to train the whine out of you.” She capped the last skin and rose. “Are you suggesting I don’t give Majir the same courtesy? I mean, I figure if I can train a whiny, entitled prince, I can handle just about anyone.”

Zorrick opened his mouth then grinned ruefully and grunted a laugh. “Yeah, I have to admit that’s true. And you weren’t much older than me so it blew my mind anyone my age could be so heartless and unyielding.”

“Your father made it very clear I was to succeed or die trying. It was a very motivational speech.”

Zorrick laughed. “I see your point.” Then he sobered. “But are you truly going to train Majir?”

She shrugged again, losing her amusement. “I don’t know if I can. Garbage steel cracks and breaks after forging and cooling. Only the good steel can be honed into blades of quality. The question is, is Majir good steel or garbage?”

“You know my current opinion.”

She nodded. “Yes. I don’t think we’ll be heading north for a bit. As long as the weather stays mild, I’ll hike them around the foothills to build their stamina. If Majir pulls his head out of his ass, we’ll turn north. If he doesn’t, well…” She shot the prince a significant look.

“You’ll kill him?”

“No.” She frowned. “I’ll give him enough supplies to make the trip home to his village.”

“Oh, okay.” They headed back toward camp and Zorrick shook his head. “That’s probably a good idea. Unless his attitude completely changes, he’s not going to be anything but dead weight.”

Kulastri grimaced and took a deep breath before stepping back into the camp where Majir was whining about his stomach hurting.

Other people’s entitled children.

She made the tea then packed up their gear in preparation for their day’s hike.

It’s going to be a long day.


Though they got a late start, Kulastri kept the pace slow in deference to Majir’s recovery. Terim bit back his annoyance with the younger man several times as he whined along their path. Instead of taking Kulastri’s advice, he’d eaten his breakfast too fast and almost vomited it back up. At least, Majir had stopped complaining that he didn’t get the same amount of food as Terim.

When they stopped at midday, Majir whimpered about his feet and the blisters developing from hiking in his boots. Kulastri produced a salve for the sore spots and offered it to him to coat his feet. Then he complained that the salve stung.

Terim wanted to shove him off the nearest cliff.

At least when they reached the night’s camp, Majir was too exhausted to do anything but fall asleep where he lay. Terim threw his own blanket over him before he volunteered to fille the water skins for the hearty rabbit stew Kulatri made for their meal.

The next day started much the same with Majir complaining about pretty much everything and Kulastri bearing it all in silence or patient responses while Terim gritted his teeth in annoyance.

By midday, he’d had enough.

“Shut up, Majir!” Terim bared his teeth at the younger man. “All you do is complain and whine. You want better treatment? Try treating others with more kindness. Want more food at the meals? Try carrying more than your own pack. You make your own misery and share it with the rest of us. Try keeping it to yourself for once.”

For a few moments, blessed silence covered their small group and even Kulastri raised her eyebrows, though she said nothing. He didn’t think she disapproved of his outburst, but with the mask over her face, it was hard to tell.

“You can’t talk to me like that! I deserve—”

“You deserve nothing!” Terim rose to his feet. “You earn respect and favors. That’s how this works. Torsha has offered so much to you out of generosity and kindness, and you’ve done nothing but complain and whine.” Torsha meant warrior in their shared language and could be someone of any gender so their old norms wouldn’t diminish Kulastri in Majir’s eyes. “We’ve listened to you whine and moan and bitch about being here, but you chose this path! No one dragged your ass all this way. You could be at home, pampered and adored as you expect, not having to experience hardship. But you decided to follow me. Stop whining about what you chose to do!”

Terim stopped, his chest heaving and his hands in fists. Majir gaped at him, his mouth hanging open with surprise. Terim had never let loose his frustrations on anyone before and it felt good to unburden himself, but he worried what his outburst would cost in Kulastri’s estimation.

“Fair points all, Terim.” She nodded as she handed him some of the travel bread. “You must remember that we are on a journey, Blacksmith’s son. This isn’t a holiday or a frivolous jaunt. The treasure you assume Terim is searching for is knowledge and skills beyond what he’s already learned. If you want that, want to learn to be more than a blacksmith’s son, you may continue with us. But if you don’t like traveling, don’t like learning, wish to be a pampered boy with no other skills, then I suggest you pack your belongings, and we shall point you toward home. The choice is yours, Blacksmith’s son.”

Majir blinked before his face resumed its frown. “Why do you call me ‘blacksmith’s son’? I have a name.”

“So you do, but you haven’t earned my respect enough to make the effort.” Kulastri shrugged. “What will you choose to do?”

Majir’s gaze moved from Kulastri to Terim and back. “I want to stay and learn, Torsha.”

She nodded sharply. “Good. We will take it one day at a time. First lesson: Focus on making it to your destination despite the pains and exhaustion. We will break to rest and eat as often as you need, but you must focus on building your strength.”

The rest of the meal was finished in silence, both Terim and Majir buried in their thoughts. Terim wasn’t convinced Majir would live up to his promise. He’d only ever been a bully and a coward, strutting around the village like he owned it. Terim didn’t like the idea that Majir would be coming with them, but it was Kulastri’s decision. He didn’t think Majir would make it, but he’d bide his time, waiting for the other young man to quit.

They resumed their trek, still moving slowly, but while Majir struggled, he kept his complaints to himself. For Terim, movement came easily and he felt stronger than he had even the day before. He must have gained weight because his belt needed to be let out one hole when he’d dressed that morning.

They took two more breaks in their hiking for Majir’s sake, and Kulastri asked him how he fared each time. He complained about his feet and the weight of his pack, but listened attentively when she gave him suggestions on how to improve things. She also helped him check and wrap his feet so his shoes wouldn’t cause as much discomfort.

When they finally stopped for the night, Kulastri turned to Majir. “You will help me prepare the meal tonight so you may learn how to feed yourself.”

Majir screwed his face into a scowl. “What about Terim? What’s he going to do?”

“He will be preparing the fire pit and gathering wood so you and I may cook.” She waited to see if Majir complained, but the younger man nodded as he sat down to remove his shoes and check his feet. “Good. Terim, find the driest wood you can—fires burn better when the fuel is dry and there’s recently been rain in this part of the mountains.”

“Will do, Torsha.” He dropped his pack out of the way and headed into the trees in search of what she termed ‘deadfall.’

He let his frustration at Majir’s addition wash through him. The asshole has been the bane of his existence throughout his life. Why was Kulastri giving him an opportunity to stay with them? Why couldn’t Terim just have one thing that was his alone? Terim kicked a rock out of his path and bent over to pick up a fallen branch. It wasn’t fair. He didn’t want to share Kulastri’s attention.

Is that because you liked her focused on you or because Majir’s an asshole?

The voice of reason made him scowl. He wanted to think it was just about Majir, but in truth, he liked being the center of attention for the first time in his life. He’d waited for decades to be in his position and in just over a fortnight, he’d gone back to being in the shadows.

Sighing, he scoured the forest for wood and brought as much as he could carry back to camp. Despite her orders, Kulastri and Majir had already dug the fire pit and lined it with rocks so all Terim needed to do was set the kindling.

“Do you know how to build a fire, Terim?” Kulastri paused in showing Majir how to chop the vegetables for the stew.

He flattened his mouth and nodded. “Yes, Torsha.”

“Good. Please prepare the fire while I set traps for meat.” She rose and looked at Majir. “Cut all the vegetables. We will need to eat hearty tonight.”

“Yes, Torsha.” For the first time in a long time, Majir sounded agreeable, no whine detected.

Kulastri left the camp and Terim settled into setting out the fire so it would be easy to light.

“You should stuff leaves and small twigs in between the larger twigs if you want the fire to light easily.” Majir’s quiet words drifted to Terim from where he chopped tubers.

“Oh yeah? You think you could build a better fire than I can?”

Majir’s jaw tightened but he shrugged. “I had to keep the forge going for my dad and sometimes all we had was sheep’s wool and cactus rinds. Plus it was bloody hot. I learned the fastest way to get it started and get the hell out of the forge.”

Terim wanted to tell him to kiss his ass, but he couldn’t argue with Majir’s experience from working with the blacksmith. Terim frowned but followed the other man’s directions until it was time to light it. He found Kulastri’s tinder box on the rim of rocks and used it to make a flame. But nothing would catch, and he grew frustrated the longer it took to start the fire.

“Here, try it this way.” Majir scrambled over next to Terim and cupped his hands around the kindling. “Set your flame in the most protected portion of the pit and blow gently on anything already lit.”

Terim frowned. “Doesn’t that blow out the flames and defeat the purpose?”

Majir shook his head. “No, it gives the flames just enough energy to find more fuel. It goes against all logic, but it’s worked every time for me. Just try it.”

Terim grumbled, but did as Majir suggested, finding the deepest portions of the pit to light the kindling and using his breath to fan the flames. Majir stayed long enough for most of the tinder to catch before pulling his hands away.

“Good job.” He nodded and returned to his position of chopping vegetables.

Terim watched him go with narrowed eyes. “Why are you being helpful?”

Majir shrugged. “I’m starving. Can’t eat if we can’t cook, can’t cook if we don’t have the fire going.”

Terim rolled his eyes and turned back to the fire to keep it going. Kulastri returned and resumed helping Majir prepare the stew, her quiet instruction diffusing some of the prickly energy between them. The stew turned out thick and hearty, a welcome repast after the long day of hiking. Neither man said much to each other during dinner, but at least Majir had stopped complaining.

“Tonight we must make a change.” Kulastri covered the pot and set it aside.

“A change? Like what?” Terim helped her clean up, washing the dishes while Majir packed them away.

“You two will need to share a blanket at night. Not only will you both stay warmer, but it’s a better use of resources. We will visit a trading village in two days where we can purchase gear for another person.” She glanced over at Majir. “You will be required to care for and carry this gear. Do you understand, Blacksmith’s son?”

Majir scowled but nodded. “Yes, Torsha.”

“Good.” She nodded as well and gestured to him. “Come, let me show you how to prepare bedding.”

“Must we sleep together, Torsha?” Terim didn’t like the idea of being that close to Majir.

“Yes. We only have two blankets, and the weather is growing colder. You will both need each other’s body heat as well as your blanket to keep you from freezing.”

And she needs her blanket for the nights, too.

He grimaced but didn’t protest. The last thing he wanted was to be in close proximity to his childhood enemy, but it was better than freezing.

Desperate times make strange bedfellows.

They readied the camp for bed and Terim settled down on the place Majir had prepared, the other young man lying beside him. Terim pulled up the blanket and tried to touch Majir as little as possible, but it proved futile if they were to share the blanket. He resigned himself to being uncomfortable as he rolled not his side away from the other man.

He woke in the morning to find his back plastered against Majir’s and being surprisingly warm. Kulastri was already up and puttering around the fire making a meal from last night’s stew. She hadn’t replaced the black silk around her face and he shot her a surprised look as he nodded at Majir. She shook her head and the day started in silence. If Majir noticed when he woke, he never said.

Over the next few days, they hiked through the hills and both Terim and Majir slowly regained their strength. Surprisingly, Majir learned how to make camp faster than expected and he became the one to prep the fire and keeping it going, while Terim helped with food and setting the traps to catch wild game. They both helped with cleaning and packing while Kulastri cooked. She left her face bare more and more as Majir earned her respect.

When they came to a valley containing a village, she suggested they make camp and get it ready for the night while she went into town to buy supplies. They both protested her going alone, but she insisted they keep watch over the gear they had while she took care of shopping. Neither wanted to stay, but they reluctantly agreed.

They didn’t talk much other than to give or ask directions on how to set up camp. Terim wondered what Kulastri would find, but tried to read to while away the hours. Majir spent his time pulling out the fixings for the stew and cutting them into bite sized pieces without complaint. Terim put down his book and took the time to fill up the pot with water. Then he took a turn cutting things up. Everything sat in the pot, simmering over the fire by the time Kulastri returned just before dark, her pack bulging.

“Wow, what all did you buy?” Terim rose and helped her take off the gear.

“Three-person tent, two travel pallets, two blankets, the pack, hats and gloves, socks for everyone, and a pair of boots for you, blacksmith’s son. You’ll need your feet to be in better condition than your sandals provide.”

“Thank you, Torsha.” Majir took the socks and boots, and sat beside the fire.

“You’re welcome. You’re proving to be an excellent travel companion. Keep it up.” She gave him a smile before turning to Terim. “One of the pallets is yours so you don’t have to sleep together tonight, though I recommend it. Another storm is on the horizon and the trees won’t provide much shelter. Work together to set up the tent while I go fill the water skins in the stream.”

Terim shared a wary look with Majir, but pulled the tent closer and worked it out of its containment straps.

“I think the flattest space is over here.” Majir stood and pointed at a place between to large pines. “It might also provide a little shelter from the wind.”

Terim nodded and they worked at setting up the tent, tying off the canvas to iron stakes they pounded into the ground with rocks, and the trees. It took them three tries to get it right, but in the end they learned how to work together and how to set up the tent.

By then, Kulastri had returned with full water skins and noticed the pot on the fire. “Did you make stew?”

Majir nodded. “Yes, Torsha. I didn’t know when you’d be back so it made sense to start it in time to eat.”

She looked impressed. “Nicely done, gentlemen. That’s thinking ahead. I see you’ve managed the tent too. Well done.”

Terim’s gut clenched at the admiration in her voice. Was she more impressed with Majir than him? An odd sort of jealousy flickered through him, but he tried to shrug it off. Neither he nor Majir said anything except please and thank you as she served the stew. She noted it was pretty good but would need more salt next time, and they settled into their usual routine until the storm forced them into the tent to wait it out.

Terim was glad of the shelter as he listened to the wind whip through the trees and the rain beat the walls of the tent. The din from the storm made communication impossible so he let his thoughts chase each other around until he fell asleep.

Over the next week’s worth of days, they found their rhythm. Kulastri would be up before either of them, but Majir would follow to help with meal prep while Terim worked on packing up camp and evenly distributing the gear among their packs. They’d eat a cold breakfast and head out, always northward.

They’d hike higher into the mountains for most of the day, breaking for lunch and to make camp in a place both defensible and near water. The weather stayed mostly fair, but grew cooler as the season progressed toward winter. The leaves on the trees turned a color Terim had never seen except painted on the sands when the sun dropped below them. In the evenings, he’d set up the tent while Majir cut up vegetables and meat, and Kulastri made sure they had enough water. Once the camp was set, Terim wrote in his journal about his journey and observations until supper was ready.

Like that fact that Majir is turning out to be an okay guy.

Once he’d gotten his boots and socks, the younger man hadn’t complained once, even when the new boots gave him blisters. Kulastri had noticed his limp and recommended treatment before they got worse, and Majir had allowed it without protest. He’d even shown Terim how to sharpen one of the kitchen prep knives when it grew too dull to use.

Majir also had a keen eye on where to pitch the tent and how to build the fire just right to heat the stewpot the fastest. In turn, Terim showed him how to balance his pack load for long-term hiking, how to skin the rabbits Kulastri brought back from their snares, and the drawings he made of flowers and animals they saw during their travels.

“Do you always draw in your book?” Majir sat down beside him to tend his feet. They were still tender, but had healed with a salve Kulastri had picked up at the village.

Terim shook his head. “Sometimes I write down all the things I’ve seen during the day.”

“Write?” Majir’s eyebrows went up. “You’ve learned to write?”

Terim blinked. “You haven’t?”

Majir shook his head and went back to his feet.

“I, um, I could teach you your letters. If you like.”

He couldn’t believe he was offering to teach his greatest childhood tormentor something so valuable. But more than that, he couldn’t believe Majir hadn’t had the benefit of writing and reading. Terim couldn’t fathom not having those skills, especially someone who needed to know measurements for blacksmithing.

Majir scanned Terim’s face as if looking for deception as he rubbed the salve into his feet. Neither of them said anything for a while, and Terim wondered if Majir would sneer in his face. But after minutes of silence, the younger man nodded.

“I would like that.”

“Okay. We’ll start tomorrow after we reach camp.”

Majir nodded again and Terim shot a look toward Kulastri. She wasn’t looking at them, but a smile curled her lips as she tended the pot on the fire. They spent the rest of the evening eating and packing up to make leaving in the morning simple.

The next night, as promised, Terim began Majir’s reading and writing lessons, while Kulastri worked on some wooden staves she had picked up along their way that day. Terim shot curious glances at her, wondering what purpose they had, but neither asked as they studied. Majir was smart and learned quick, but it still took patience to help him when he got frustrated.

“I can’t do this.” Majir rose to his feet and stomped around the fire.

“You can, it just takes practice. Your memory and letters will get better, but you have to repeat them a lot. You’ll get it.”

“It’s impossible!”

“Interesting choice of word.” Kulastri’s mild voice drifted over to where he stood with his hands in fists at his sides. “If you break it into two pieces, it literally says, ‘I’m possible.’”

“What?” Majir scowled.

“Write it for him, Terim. Show him.” Kulastri pointed at the ground. “Show him.”

Terim took a stick and scrawled I M P O S S I B L E in the dirt, then added a slash between the M and the P. “Impossible.” He read the word slowly, pointing out the letters and their sounds. “If you break the word after the M, it reads ‘IM POSSIBLE’, or I’m possible.” Terim straightened. “You got this, Majir. You’re learning. It takes a while, it’s slow, but I’m sure you remember at time when you didn’t know how to heat up and craft blades, and you made lots of mistakes. But you learned and now you’re good at it.” This was an assumption since Terim had rarely visited the blacksmith’s shop, but Majir’s tension slowly left his shoulders. “You’ll get good at this, too.”

Majir scowled but turned back to his seat and picked up the charcoal stick to write. Terim sat down beside him and patiently went back over where they’d left off, helping him sound out the letters and reminding him of common items that started with them.

Another week passed with hiking, eating, and learning letters in the common language as they traveled. The weather grew difficult on the high ridges of the mountains, but turned mild again in the valleys. Terim preferred moving through the valleys, but when he asked Kulastri why they kept to the ridges, she warned him that the communities settled the valleys and not all of them were welcoming to travelers.

One afternoon they found a sheltered grove and stopped early. Kulastri told them to set up the tent beneath a wide sweeping tree that reminded Terim of a willow but was an evergreen. It provided an umbrella-like canopy and extra shelter for the tent. Then she sat Majir down and taught him how to make the travel bread in a pot while she had Terim set the snares for small game animals.

When he returned, the bread was baking and the leftover stew heated in another pot. Kulastri fished out the wooden weapons she’d been working on and held one out to Terim.

“It’s time to work for your passage.” She tossed him the staff, which he fumbled but managed to keep from hitting the ground.

“What?” He swallowed hard.

“You came in search of knowledge, and today is the beginning of your lessons.” She eyed him as he braced the staff on the ground. “We will see how little you know about weapons.”

“You can be sure of that,” Majir remarked as he checked the bread.

Kulastri raised her eyebrows and Majir shrugged. “He was a goatherder. He didn’t spend a lot of time around weapons.”

“Did you?”

He shrugged again. “Around making them, but not using them.”

“Then you will be next after I finish with Terim.”

Majir’s eyes opened wide. “Really?”

“Oh, do you wish to learn how to use weapons?” She tilted her head, her eyes narrowed.

“Very much. My father made some great ones, but I always wanted to try them out.”

She took her time looking at Majir and he started to squirm a bit under her scrutiny. “I think you might have more love for the use of weapons rather than an understanding.”

Majir frowned. “What does that mean?”

“It means I won’t teach you to use these weapons if you don’t understand they aren’t always necessary. There’s no glory in battle or killing.”

“But all the songs—”

“Are written by old men who’ve never been on the battlefield, have never seen the horrors of weapons wielded with viciousness, and know nothing of the invisible scars left when war is done.” Kulastri shook her head, her eyes solemn. “Don’t crave fighting, Majir. Only do it as a last resort.” She raised her chin. “Mind the bread so it doesn’t burn and your turn will come.”

He opened his mouth to complain but then blinked. It was the first time Kulastri had called him by his given name.

“Yes, Torsha.”

Kulastri nodded and Terim tried to hold the weapon she’d given him with readiness. It had been carved into a wooden practice blade, complete with hilt and pommel. The blade itself was as long as his arm from shoulder to fingertips and balanced perfectly so that it was easy for him to hold upright. He stared at it, then at Kulastri with concern.

“What now?” he asked blankly.

“First, you’ll need to know how to hold it right.” Kulastri smirked as she took his hand and positioned it better on the hilt. “Find the place where it sits in your hand and feels like an extension of your arm. You won’t have a lot of strength with it yet, but you need to know the balance of your weapon to use it effectively.”

She had him do some practice moves, swinging the wooden blade around until he got used to the weight. He wasn’t smooth or graceful, but he started to understand how it would move. She adjusted his grip and helped him place his feet to make his moves better, but he was tired after only a few minutes.

“Very good, Terim. Get some water and rest your arm. You will feel it tomorrow.” Kulastri took the weapon from him and gestured at the pot. “Keep an eye on dinner. Majir, it’s your turn. Come stand here.”

Terim sat while Majir bounded to his feet, his energy restored after the days of hiking and eating well. Kulastri went through the same set up with him and had him practicing while Terim drank water and made sure their stew was hot but not burned. He watched Majir go through the same exercises and the blacksmith’s son seemed to understand faster than Terim did, but Kulastri kept his lesson short as well.

“Good. Both of you will understand this quickly, I think. Now it’s time to rest, eat, and do your letters lessons.”

Majir groaned but he set the practice sword aside and drank some water before sitting down near Terim. “It’s easier to learn weapons than it is to learn letters.”

Kulastri nodded as she settled on the other side of the fire while Terim dished up the stew.

“I understand, but you need to know the common language before I start teaching you a new language.”

Terim looked up as Majir’s shoulders slumped. “I have to learn another language?”

“Which new language?” Terim’s gaze sharpened.


Terim looked at Majir and the younger man heaved a sigh. “Oh, fine. How do you spell that?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.