Chapter Six (Blood War)

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I blinked, trying to clear my head. I haze of light created halos over everything. As the intense heat of the sun beat down on the parched earth beneath my feet.

Everywhere I looked was desolate. My mind couldn't reason where I was. As I turned I saw an army behind me. Armor glistening silver in the sun.

I wondered are they with me or after me. My question was answered, by a tall figure in blue.

"Highness, the rituals must be observed. Your army is at the ready to carry out your orders." The holy man was shorn clean, robes flowing in the barest breeze from the south.

"So what's next?" I asked, squinting at him.

He looked surprised.
"Highness, are you all right?"

Thinking on my feet has always been my strength.

"Let's say if we were to form a plan based on where we were, where would that be exactly?"

Eyes bulging he stared mouth gaping like a fish. Pulling a pendulum from his pocket he swung it at me.

"Are you looking for water?" I asked. Swatting it away.

"Highness, forgive me, you are not you!"

"But I'm more me than you could be, so quickly, what do I need to know?"

"They warned me of this phenomenon! But I never expected you to jump timelines."

"I never expected this conversation, but here we are conversating!"

"We are at war, Highness! They sent an assassin trying to prevent an alliance, and kill you on the eve of your wedding!"

"Okay, wouldn't a divorce be simpler?"

"Highness, We march to prove a point! That no one moves against us without being wiped out. A lesson keep order in the universe."

"That's crazy! I already know the eventual outcome. It goes ahead, I marry the oaf! We bond, life goes on."

"Highness, your bloodline must be preserved and an alliance reached after the lesson."

"Let's make this simpler, where is the oaf?"

"He was taken prisoner in chains pending judgment and execution."

"Where? That's where we need to be! Why are we in the middle of nowhere?"

"Your armies have been assembling for leagues Highness. For a show of force, we must strike fully! Blood will flow beneath our feet. The blood of our enemies."

"No, they expect that. We need to think smarter! What do they not expect? Speed up the wedding and make it now! Everything will fall into place. Observe the old ways first then give them the wedding they expect we will already be bound by the bonding! Blood will still be drawn and spilled."

"Highness, what you ask has lasting effects. The old ways bind you to each other and time."

"Where I'm from this has already happened millennia ago." I exclaimed hoping to speed up the process.

"Highness, the High Queen has decreed it. The blood of our enemies will flow today. Your army awaits. There are no other options! It is war!"

As he got more full of bloodlust his cheeks puffed out and eyes bulged more.

"But seriously fishy! Don't you ever ask yourself? If all this war is the best way? Doesn't watching men hack at each other, lives forever altered, the light of their spirit gone, get old fast? How many lives are sacrificed in the show of force? We tell children to stop fighting, find solutions and compromise, get along and yet we go to war!"

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