“Our goals are aligned and we could assist each other.”
Waliyah leaves the implied question hanging as she turns her attention back to the festival events. Her brother strides onto the field, clad only in a simple tunic and breeches. The warrior takes a few swings with the massive axe, testing its heft and balance. He positions himself near the great wooden posts and the priestess’ eyes narrow as her gaze settles on tattoo of The Goddess that spreads across the young man’s forehead.
I shall take great pleasure seeing the khimaar peeled from your skull, strip by bloody strip.
The outlander beside her finally speaks, interrupting her revenge fantasies.
“Listen, sugah”, he drawls in his ridiculous accent. “Ah ‘ppreciate yer offer, an’ all, but ah don’t rightly give a possum’s teat whut you an’ the rest’o yer camel-humpin’ friends is-a feudin’ about. All this-here talk about apple states…”
“Apostates”, corrects Waliyah.
“Whutever. Whut ah means tuh say is, ah don’t put no stock in yer hullabaloo about hairy ticks…”
“Heretics”, interrupts the priestess.
“That’s whut ah said. Anyhoo, all this-here fussin’ and a-feudin’ about who believes whut about which in the where ain’t got no meanin’ fer me. And it’s all a moo point.
“It jus comes down tuh one thang. If’n helpin’ you an’ the rest ‘o yer rag-head pals is gonna hurt that red-headed chunt and her ass-wipe friends, then ah’m in.”
Waliyah smiles and leans forward, handing the package to the heathen. “Excellent. I am certain you will find these items helpful in your efforts. There are instructions on their proper use inside. Be cautious that you do not harm yourself in the process. I look forward to your performance in the Midnight Joust.”
The man takes the container and sets it down near his feet. “Yah-yah, quit yer yappin’ an’ let me watch the ackshun. Ah wanna see what this-here darkie friend of yers can do.”
As the horn sounds and Faisal begins the competition, Waliyah turns and walks quietly from the grandstand, unnoticed in the cheering crowd. One of the feda-ghazi guards falls in step with her as she pushes through the last of the onlookers.
“He should have his head separated from his shoulders for such insolence”, growls the warrior. “I do not understand why you are negotiating with the unclean fool instead of allowing us to deal with the matter ourselves.”
“Calm yourself, Jabbar”, purrs the priestess. "Using heathens to destroy heretics is a time-honoured tradition. The uncultured outlander may succeed and save us a great deal of unnecessary effort. Or Glynraven may fail and bring himself to judgment before the Merciless Gaze of The Eternal Light of Justice and Wrath.
“Either way, I win.”