“Lay one hand on me, brother, and you will pay.” Finn runs up, hands clenched.
“Out of drugs today, Finn. Too bad,” Newlin retorts.
Mana power surging, his fist smashes into Finn’s jaw, bone making a painful snap.
“Don’t let him get away with that, Finn! Kick him!” Vance yells.
But it’s too late, Newlin throws Finn to the ground.
And punches him until he’s silent.
Breathing hard, Newlin watches as Finn groans and writhes in pain.
Newlin growls, “I expect you to do as I say, Finn. You are weak and should know your place. If you EVER drug me again, I will kill you.”
Vance claps then stretches his arms out. “Good one, brother! I applaud your talents! Finn deserved that. It wasn’t my idea to drug you and for that, I’m truly sorry.”
“I don’t know what is worse. The one who plots or the weakling who follows it. You disgust me.”
“I am a follower, Newlin. So be it. But now I’m yours. Is that such a crime? To follow those who are strong?”
Newlin smirks. “For you, dear brother, it is. You decided to follow the wrong man at the wrong time. And you shall pay.”
Moving like a deadly viper, Newlin pounces on Vance, hitting him until he flops to the ground.
“I submit to you, brother! Please stop!” Vance’s pleas die on deaf ears. Newlin will not stop until his message is heard loud and clear.
Pummeling Vance with blows, Newlin says, “Oh now you want me to stop. I’ll do as I please and will not hear anything to the contrary. You had this coming.”
Vance tries to defend himself, but the power in Newlin’s fists are too much.
When Newlin is satisfied, he stands, surveying his handiwork.
Emotion pierces him. “I wanted to be your brother. Your friend. And you gave me nothing but hatred. If all you respond to is anger, so be it. But I won’t be toyed with. I am your Master Slave. You will call me sir and do as I say from now on.”
Makana’s father’s words echo in her soul as the days progress. What should she do? A part of her thinks she should stay out of it. Her mother, after all, knows best. She is the Creator! But then Runoi’s sad face and his desire to fight for what he believes in also speaks volumes. Men should have the right to fight for this important cause.
Makana finally decides she must have a meeting with her mother.
“Now what is on your mind, my darling daughter. We haven’t chatted like this in a long time. It’s quite overdue.”
Makana hesitates. How should she go about this? One misstep and her mother will cease the talk at once.
“I spoke with father the other day…”
Instantly, Kalani glares. “This better not be about your father joining the slave army because that subject is not up for discussion.”
“But isn’t it your mantra that everything is always up for discussion? I mean, if people didn’t talk about things, nothing would ever change for the good. Think about slave’s rights. If Queen Hawika didn’t discuss their grievances, we wouldn’t have Daddy here with us right now.”
Kalani’s face pinches like she ate a sour lemon. “Where are you going with this, child?”
“We are a liberal tribe. You even have said it yourself. Our slaves have rights. In fact, they are a part of our family and should be able to decide for themselves what to do. Otherwise, you are ruling with an iron Amazon fist. Is this not what you hate? And yet, you’re barring Daddy from doing the thing he believes in so much.”
“Good point, my dear, but you’re forgetting the truest thing of all. Your father is not a fighting man. He is a cook. A lover. These were the things he was bred for. Not using a sword. And furthermore, he’s as clumsy as an oxen on roller-skates. Do you really think he knows best in this matter?”
Those words knife through Makana. “Mother, it is a hard thing to think about Daddy fighting, but to bar him from going will hurt him to the core. He will not respect you. He will not respect himself. You cannot do this to him.”
“Makana, I cannot bear the thought of anything happening to your father. I love him too much for that. Besides, we need him here. We are down too many slaves. Who would cook for us? Kanui? He’s awful at it. The answer is no.”
“Fine. But I’ll tell you this. If you don’t let him go then your relationship will suffer. Already you’re not talking. It’s been over a week. Think long and hard about this, Mother.”
With that, Makana stands and strides toward the living area. Kalani gazes after her, thinking about her words.
Maybe there is a way to compromise. Kalani’s tires of fighting with her mate. She will speak to Runoi at once.
Alena rushes to report what she’s seen. “Mother, both Vance and Finn are incapacitated. You got your wish. I hope you’re happy now. I think Finn’s jaw is broken.”
“Oh, don’t be so dramatic, Alena. They will be fine. I have a spell that will fix Finn up. Send Newlin to me. I wish to speak to him.”
Cautiously, Newlin approaches his mother. He’s unsure what she’ll say. Will she banish him for hurting her favorite sons? Coming here has brought nothing but folly to him. He might run away. Living alone would feel better than this. “I’m here, Mother.”
“Yes, my son, please sit. I have much to discuss with you.”
Once Newlin settles into a chair, his mother smirks. “Your mana is powerful. I can feel it grow even now. Your brothers will follow your orders without fail. You see what I mean about weakness and strength?”
Newlin nods, so relieved his mother is happy. He feels his bond to her grow immeasurably. It was always his desire to be loved by her. And now instead of being angry with him for beating up Finn and Vance, she’s happy. “I do understand. I’ve never felt mana surging like that before. You’re right about Tribe Wahine making me weak. I’m sorry for it.”
“We shall see how sorry you are. We are allied with the rebel forces. And in order to cut Hawika in half, we are to take out Tribe Wahine single handedly. What do you say in being my general to lead in the attack? And if you do this thing, I promise you’ll be the general of the Royal Slave army once your sister ascends the throne.”
This blows Newlin away. Him? A general? He could only dream to have that much power. And to lead the slave army if he does well. “Take Tribe Wahine out, you say? What does this entail?” His thoughts meditate on Kiko and his child. He would never harm them.
“You will lead your brothers and sisters in the cover of night and like a death plague, kill every last one of them until there is not a heart left to beat.”