Chapter Six

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A/N -- Guys, I'm really sorry for the delay on this. I've had a rough month. My mother was diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer, and I've been spending as much time around her as possible. But I promised an update, so here you go! I hope you enjoy, guys.

Giovnus (Gee-ahv-nus)

Gitleya (Jit-lay-uh)

The peace talks were on their third day. For such a young man, the High Pharoah Vaz'rel was not easily manipulated or intimidated. He knew that Eldia required Erutha's cooperation, else they would truly be in a hole that they couldn't escape from, and he used that information to his country's greatest benefit –to the disdain of the Eldian council.

"To have the gall to ask for all the land you've already taken from us, but now you ask for discounted resources," First Lord Ferdinand argued with a withered frown. "You forget, boy king, that those resources fall also on the houses and the country's citizens –not just the emperor. We lords and civilians started nothing. You cannot mean to tell me you'd cripple the economy out of spite."

"As Eldia has crippled mine with this fool war," Giovnus said. "You took our land and our resources when you slammed yourselves against my border. You took the lives of my people for mere riches." The pharaoh narrowed his eyes. "And I am a man of my people. Each man and woman is a brother and a sister to me. You speak for your civilians, but I can see it in your eyes... you worry for your coin more. And one man doesn't start a war. Don't play me for a fool –this was a decision reached by all of you when the tides looked better."

There was silence for a long minute. "I require the resources and the land for my end of the treaty. I will accept no less."

For a moment, each side stared at the other. From the Eldian side, the five Lords and General Zayn sat by Emperor Geh'lien Rus and his son, Prince Avan Rus. Each man appeared deep in thought. From the Eruthan side, they waited on a response. High Pharoah Giovnus sat beside his twin sister, Gitleya. On the other side of the High Sheik, the Sidonian emissary took notes. An array of Eruthan fell-guards stood around their side, still. They all waited.

Finally, Geh'lien sighed. "And this will satisfy you? Completely?"

With a slight duck of his head, Giovnus gave his answer.

"Then it shall be done," the emperor said with a long sigh. "Bring in the peace documents and the drink, and let us end these talks. I'm sure you miss your home."

"Father..." spluttered Prince Avan. "You can't be serious. They ask too much."

"Quiet, son," Geh'lien shushed him with a gesture. "It's done. There are no other options, I fear."

With a snap of his fingers, two soldiers brought forward the items directed. Delicate scroll and an inked quill were sat on the table between the two rulers, as well as a pitcher of the finest Eldian red wine. A goblet was sat in front of the pharaoh, and then subsequently poured for him.

It was customary during the signing of treaties for the sides to share a drink over the new peace –forming a sort of camaraderie before the documents were signed. "This is our finest Eldian red. It's aged a century. Let us offer it as a gift for your cooperation."

Giovnus took the goblet between two fingers and delicately swirled it about. After a moment, he took a sip. Then, he took another. The wine was then set on the table. The High Pharoah offered a small smile of approval and gestured to his own men. Two stepped forward as the Eldians had, one with a gold chalice and the other with a corked bottle of rum.

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