Horus cannot not believe his eyes.
He is the father of a beautiful Amazon daughter, Britta Samai.
“Do you need any help, love?”
“She just fed, so I think we’re okay,” Gatherer Ina Samai said. Thank you for checking on us.”
Ina had been up all night with tending to his little princess. Horus is beyond ecstatic with how things turned out. Originally, he vyed for being the mate of Kalani Wahine, the Creator of this tribe. It was between him and Kalani’s mate, Runoi.
He thought undoubtedly she’d choose him, a prince and a free man, but she didn’t.
And although he was crushed, he feels so differently now. He is part of the strongest tribe, loves the best woman, and is the father of the most beautiful daughter. How could the Maker bless him any more than this?
Going to the side yard to observe Newlin’s progress, Kanui is surprised to see most of the boulders gone and Kiko chipping away at the last one.
“Miss Kiko, may I ask what you’re doing here?”
The Master slave never ceases to force nervous jitters in Kiko’s stomach. Swallowing, she answers, “I am clearing them to make way for the Creator Heiress’ playground.” Was he cross with her?
“Did Newlin put you up to this?”
Her heart leaps at the mention of her crush’s name. She cannot wait for her teen birthday which is only days away. She hopes one day she will make Newlin her mate. Arching an eyebrow, she says, “Yes. He wished to give me a gift of his Amazon Delights if I would do him this favor. It is not a problem at all for me and I adore those candies.”
Kanui should have guessed Newlin would try to wriggle out of work, but this is unconscienable. Newlin will be punished for this infraction. “I’m very sorry, young miss, but Newlin ate all his Amazon Delights moons ago therefore he cannot bestow this payment to you for your hard work.”
Eyes narrowing, Kiko retorts, “You lie, Master Kanui. Newlin would never do that to me.”
Waving an arm, he says, “I wish it were not so but I watched him eat the last of them myself. I promise, Newlin will be thoroughly punished for his callous behavior.”
Kiko barely hears this as her face heats up and tears spurt from her eyes. Her heart is broken. How could Newlin be so mean to her?
Anger courses through Kanui as he watches the poor girl cry. He will find Newlin and put him in the Pillar of Punishment for this outrage.
Searching all over the compound, Kanui cannot find the impudent slave anywhere. He asks Horus and Kandor for their help. Finally, he finds Newlin across the way.
“Get up, lazy slave,” Kanui orders. “You’re coming with me.”
Newlin has just settled down in a comfortable slumber. How dare Kanui interrupt his nice nap? “If you’re worried about the task you set, I finished it up. Now leave me be. All my work is done.”
Kanui cannot believe Newlin’s boldness. But soon, he’ll find out what happens when Newlin tries to cheat.
“You made Kiko cry with your lies, Newlin. I will not tolerate this behavior. You will get up now and come with me.”
What did that silly girl tell him? “Good Maker, Kanui, you’re making a big deal out of nothing. Kiko wanted to help me. Now if you don’t mind, I’ll get back to my break.” He closes his eyes again.
With malice lacing his low voice, Kanui orders, “Get up now or I will have no choice but involve the Creator and you know what that means.”
Kanui is an overbearing brat. Newlin rolls his eyes. “Fine. But mark my words, Kanui, I will be sure to interrupt your nap next time for this.”
“How could you hurt Kiko like you did?” Kanui erupts. “You lied and told her you would pay her for her services. Have you no shame, man? You will come with me to the Pillar of Punishment. And if you give me any trouble, you will stay there for three days.”
“You must be joking, Kanui. I did nothing as bad as that to suffer in the Pillar. Surely. I would have made it up to Kiko. She’s a good girl.”
“I am not joking, slave. You made one of our tribal sisters cry on top of forcing me to find you every day to do the work you know must be done. I’ve warned you.”
Now Newlin is getting angry. Crossing his arms, Newlin spits, “Make me.” Although Kanui is larger than him, Newlin is very skillful in martial arts. He knows he could win in a fight.
Kanui snaps his fingers. Instantly, Horus and Kandor comes to his side. “Very well.”
Newlin’s bravado seeps out like air in a popped balloon. “Shit.”
After a fortnight of traveling, the skies grow darker and the air cooler. Leia does not like the foreboding she feels in her bones. But she is determined to hear what Mor has in mind. She hasn’t seen her friend since she was cast out of the Amazon by her own mother. Sentenced to a dishonorable death, Mor bravely used her magic to spirit Leia, Tonai, and Mor away from threat. The Queen then sent a decree, which granted her exile rather than suffer from the many bounty hunters that would have found her as well as her personal slave, Tonai.
“Mother,” her daughter, Leilani moans, “this is a very creepy place. Must we go here?”
“Do not fear, my dear one. Mor is a great friend. We will be quite all right.” She hopes.
As they move toward what looks like the entrance, surrounded by glowing skulls, Leia has to remind herself of this fact. Everything here seems steeped in evil.
Just then, guards stop their path.
A huge, menacing Amazon snarls, “Take one step further and you’ll lose your heads, trespassers.”