Chapter 6.7 A Proposition

Little Hoku is growing leaps and bounds. Runoi is so proud of his sweet daughter. “You want to play with your tribal sister, Britta, my rosy flower?”

The tiny tot nods. She’s so bright, too, he thinks. A worthy princess. He is so glad Hoku  has a little agemate in Ina and Horus’ toddler, Britta.

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But Runoi cannot find Provider Eila to take Hoku for the day as Runoi has duties to gather tomatoes and onions for tonight’s supper. “That woman is never about,” he grumbles. “Ah, well…” Runoi places Hoku on his back and cries, “Where did my sweet Hoku go? I’ve misplaced her!”

Giggling, the tot says, “Here, Daddy!”

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“She’s not in the corner! She’s not on the bed! Oh, goodness, what’s a daddy to do without his lovely rose petal to play with?”

“I’m here!” she says, laughing. Runoi could hear her tinkling bell laughter all day. He praised the Maker for blessing him richly–beyond his dreams. Two beautiful Amazons to fill his days with joy.

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*****

Newlin sets to work, trying to convince Kiko she should spar with him. Already, she’s been training with Kanui for weeks. He waited until this moment because he knows he has more to offer than Kanui, and if she’s already experienced his inefficiency, she’ll be ready to shift to him. All he needed to do was put some doubt in her head, then maybe she’d listen to his plan.

“Might I have a word with you, my lady?” he asks formally.

Bright smile beaming from her face, she says, “Of course, Newlin. What is it you wish to speak with me about?”

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“I want to offer you a proposition of a far superior training regimen than Kanui is doing with you. If you wish to be the Grand Champion of Tribe Wahine, you must be proficient in all areas, including martial arts, swordplay, and archery. Kanui is not a master in any of those fields.”

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Stunned at the truth of his words, Kiko asks, “Will you help me with that, Newlin? What do you propose?”

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“In order to get you in the right frame of mind, your mana must exceed what it is now. The way to do that is to journey to the ancient temples of Rosa. There, you will achieve the most heightened mana and I will be able to teach you swiftly.”

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“B-But that is all the way to the east, in deep jungle. The Creator would never allow it.”

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“But we will never be allowed to unless you ask. Do this, Kiko. I am sure the Creator will see its sagacity.”

But Kiko does not wish to leave Kanui’s tutelage. With his warm smiles and baby blue eyes, she was in heaven whenever in his company. When the time comes, she hopes to ask him to be her mate. And with the coming changes in the Amazon, she more than hopes she will pair bond with him and make him hers forever.

“Well done, my lady. You are stronger than ever today,” Kanui encourages, sending pangs of joy through her. She wants to feel his strong arms wrap about her.

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Unfortunately, she gets lost in these thoughts and stumbles. She picks herself up and starts punching the bag again.

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But as the sweat on her forehead dribbles down her face, Newlin’s words pierce her to the core. He is right. She’ll never achieve mastery worthy of a Champion if she only works out her arms. She must know martial arts and weaponry.

As much as she hates to admit it, Kanui is not equipped to help her in this realm. She will have to leave his strong arms, if only for a little while. Newlin was a good friend to her. And once the training ends, she can come back and flutter her lashes at her one true love, Kanui.

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*****

Newlin cannot believe what he is hearing. It has been moons since he made the suggestion to trek to the ancient temple. He thought Kiko forgot about it, but to his surprise, Kiko has just asked the Creator to journey with him on this venture. His plan is working!

He can see it now. The setting will be gorgeous and the timing right. He will woo her up on top of the mountains by the mist of the great waterfalls. She will be his and he will be hers. His joy cannot be contained.

“Make sure to bring a chaperone,” Creator Kalani says. “I know…I’ll send Kanui and maybe one of your tribal sisters with you. Will that make you happy, Kiko?”

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Warm sensations spring through Kiko. Kanui will be coming on the journey! “Oh, yes, your grace. Thank you so much!”

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*****

Leia cannot believe the audacity of the plan Mor and her daughter have come up with.  “And what if we are imprisoned as we enter the Hanalani throne room? What is to stop their Creator from giving me over to my mother for similar favor?”

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“Why, you forget who you’re talking to, dearest Leia. I am powerful. Full of magic. Do not fear. We will conquer.”

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And so, Leia’s heart leaps as the journey to the Hanalani throne room finally comes to an end. It took many moons, trekking to the south until the famous skull protectors entered her view. Feelings of great foreboding course through her. Was Leia making a grave mistake?

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Chapter 6.6 Plans of Revenge

Leia has never met such a fearsome Amazon as this. She is the biggest woman she’s ever laid eyes on–almost like the notorious Hanalani sisters of old whom her mother barely won against in the Quest for Queen Trials. If it wasn’t for her Uncle Hagan’s Sixam tricks, she would have lost.

Thankfully, Mor sidles beside her daughter and wears a tight smile. “It is fine, Alena. These are friends.”

The blonde woman lowers her sword but does not change her countenance.

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Leia is not happy by this cold greeting. “I wonder why you did not inform your children of our arrival. You did send your slave to fetch me, did you not, old friend?”

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“You know as well as I do times are dangerous,” Mor answers. “One cannot be too cautious.”

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“Then, if we are welcome, why does your daughter look ready to fight?” Leia is very confused by these mixed signals. Mor is not one to be trusted. She must have an ulterior motive if she wants to help Leia rise to the top instead of herself.

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Commanding her daughter as if she is a grunt in her own personal army, Mor barks, “At ease, Alena.”

The daughter obeys quickly.

With a smirk on her face, Mor explains, “You see the power of my children? They have been highly trained in the art of war and they will follow you wherever you go as your own personal guards. Are you not impressed?”

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Gazing at the warrior, Leia nods. “I would be happy to have such a guard as her. I’m quite shocked my brother produced such a beast of a woman. He is not a very tall man.”

“Ah but it must be the blessing of the Maker that made her so large. She does look like Aulani.”

“She does. May I be formally introduced?” Leia does not like how Mor treats Alena–more like a slave than a precious daughter.

“Of course. Creator Leia, this is my dearest daughter, Alena Rigan, and her brothers, Finnegan and Vance.”

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Alena gives a curt nod as the boys bow before Leia.

“Please come in and let us get more comfortable,” Mor simpers. “We have much to discuss.”

Vance places food and drinks on the table but not for the slaves Leia notices. She has never seen such ill treatment of slaves. It is of the days of old–when women ruled the Amazon with iron fists. Slaves cowered before their domineering women and never ate with them nor sat among them. But Leia wishes Tonai to stay with her. Since their departure from their almost certain death at her mother’s hands, their love has been rekindled and all has been forgiven and forgotten between them. He is her partner for life now.

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“Did Simon inform you of my plan, Creator Leia?” Mor asks.

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Leia shifts trying to grow warmer by the fire. She is not used to the cold mountain air. She is a child of the desert and would not wish to stay here for very long. She wonders how Mor can stand to wear no sleeves.

“He stated you had a plan to overthrow my mother and put me in the place of queen and my daughter, Leilani, as Creator of Tribe Wahine. This must be a most ambitious plan. My mother’s Royal Amazon army is renoun and we’d have to kill all the Wahine Tribe members as they are loyal to Kalani and my mother.”

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“Not all Tribe Wahine members. I still have a son who lives among them. He would be your ally. As for your mother’s army–her liberal leadership will be her undoing. With each moon, she passes a new decree giving slaves even more rights which is playing right into our hands. I am in contact with the Hanalani tribe. They have other tribes who are in support of you, Creator Leia. All we need to do is meet with them. They want to see you as well as ask a favor if you would be ushered in as queen.”

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“The Hanalani Tribe?” Leia almost laughs. “Why would they help me become queen? They’ve always wanted the crown for themselves. Sounds like a trap. I wouldn’t trust them.”

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Mor arches an eyebrow. “Many tribes were incensed at your ill treatment and want you as queen. They do not trust the Hanalani Tribe either. Without you, that tribe is powerless. This is your moment, Leia. You must seize the opportunity the Maker has laid before your feet!”

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“I’m not sure how I feel about civil war. Amazon killing Amazon. And what of Tribe Wahine?”

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For the first time, Alena speaks with an undeniably deep voice for a woman, “Allow me to share of this, Mother.”

Never looking at her daughter, Mor says, “Very well.”

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*****

Before Newlin can say a word to Kiko and tell her what a beautiful creature she is, Kanui blocks his advances.

“What is that you’re reading, my lady?” he asks. “Wicked Slaves in Wicked Times? I thought that was banned suns ago.”

Cheeks flushing, she giggles. “Stop it, Kanui. You know such a tome does not exist. It is just a fighting manual. I’m going to be Tribe Wahine’s new Champion. At least, I hope so.”

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Newlin is outraged his cousin jumped in front of him like that. He is too old for Kiko as a mate. Nearly five suns older!

Kanui sits next to Kiko and says, “Allow me the honor of helping in your training. I was taught by Kandor and you know he’s the best.”

Fluttering her eyelashes, Kiko says, “I would be delighted if you would, Kanui.”

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That brat, Newlin thinks. Well, two can play at that game to win Kiko’s favor. Newlin is much better at martial arts than Kanui or Kandor and that is what Amazons specialize in since their muscles are smaller than a man’s. And he is an excellent archer. This should be no contest. Newlin will help Kiko and then she should come around to him.

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Chapter 6.5 Birthdays!

 

After a long arduous night of labor, Kalani is rewarded with another daughter!

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“What should we name her, my love?” Kalani asks her mate. Her heart squeezes with joy just looking at him cradle their newest baby.

“My, another rosy beauty. I’m quite touched by the Maker’s blessing on us, my delicate flower queen! I wish to call her Hoku for it means star. Is she not going to blaze among us like the stars in the sky? I know she will. Yes, dear one, you will be second only to your sister, and I will have to beat the slaves away from you, indeed I will.”

Makana loves seeing what a wonderful father Runoi is to his children–something new for this generation of tribal women. Kalani hopes there will be no war. How could women be so narrow minded to take away a man’s right to be a father?

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*****

The tribe is bustling with the news of a new tribal daughter being born. Hoku Wahine has arrived and it is time to celebrate. Kanui feels for his cousin who still lingers in the Pillar of Punishment. Even if Newlin has only been in there two days, Kanui believes he’s learned his lesson by now and should join in the festivities of the tribe.

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*****

 

Meanwhile, in another part of the compound, the Creator Heiress sobs for all have forgotten her birthday with the addition of her little sister. Although she is glad to see the  wailing babe, she feels as if no one cares for her. Even her father forgot to make the cake he’d promised.

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She cries bitterly into her hand. This isn’t how she should be treated. Surely?

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Suddenly, she looks up and sees her Uncle Newlin smiling upon her.

“Hello, Creator Heiress! I’ve been away, I’m afraid. I forgot to wish you a happy birthday! Was it everything you’d hoped for? You sure have grown and look ever more the part of a princess!”

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Makana giggles. She’s always been so close to her uncle as he often would take care of her during the day when the simpleminded Eila would forget about her duties as Provider. She never understood why the other slaves didn’t like him. “Hello, Uncle. I’m very well now that I’ve seen you. Now my birthday is complete!”

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“That is good indeed because I made you a special gift. Come with me and I’ll show you.”

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Makana loves her uncle so much that she wishes he was the Master Slave instead of Kanui. When it was her duty to become Creator, she wonders if she’ll have the power to appoint a new Master Slave. This is something she will ask her mother when the time comes forth.

*******

After Newlin gave Makana her gift–a wooden horse which she held like it was made of glass and wrapped her arms about him in a wonderful hug, he makes his way into the family room to take a look at the newest member of the tribe–princess Hoku. He loves Makana like a daughter and feels very protective of her. He wonders if he’ll feel the same way toward Hoku.

But then he notices someone else had a birthday while he was locked up. Kiko grew into a teen–and more than that–she became very beautiful indeed.

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Isn’t he lucky she already holds a crush for him? This would be too easy. And he thinks if he could be a mate of one of the tribal sisters, he would not have to do all the menial tasks. Being a mate held more status than being a mere son of the tribe. This is a new decree that was passed only four moons ago, something many conservative tribes grumbled against. In suns past, the law said only Creators were allowed this privilege.

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As it is, Newlin is the lowest ranking slave in the tribe. He constantly did all the dirty, disgusting duties.

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It is time to throw on the charm.

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Chapter 6.4 Rumblings

Newlin cannot believe he’s stuck in the Pillar of Punishment. The last time he was here, that awful, evil man trapped him in there when he was just a kid.

The violent, Amazon painting seems to scream at him from the wall, too.

Kanui went too far this time. Newlin didn’t do anything that horrible. Why is he being treated like a common criminal? Surely, this Master Slave is too full of himself and doesn’t deserve the right to lead the slaves of Tribe Wahine. “I’d never put my cousin in this hell hole,” he grumbles to himself as his stomach gurgles with hunger. How many days has he suffered in here?

“Insufferable man,” Newlin thinks. “I’ll never forgive him for this outrage.”

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*****

Aulani and Ina come to say farewell to the Creator. “It is time for your mother to go back to the palace. She is desperately needed. There are murmurs of unrest and decrees must be decided on.”

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Kalani’s heart squeezes. “But Father, I’m about to have this new baby. Can’t you wait just a little while? At least you should stay.”

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Ysa interjects, “I am in need of your father’s protection for the journey back. These are unsettling times, my daughter.”

Aulani shrugs. “Please send Newlin to us if he gives you any more trouble. He might need a change of scenery after his punishment.”

Chuckling, Kalani says, “He’s going to be angrier than a hornet’s nest that’s been upset by a bear. But never fear, Father, I know how to handle my incorrigible brother. His displeasure will not last.”

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*****

Many weeks pass and Kalani is very near to the birth of her second child. Kandor comes with tidings of leaving her as well. “Might I have a word, Creator.”

“Of course, Kandor. I’m always available to you.”

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“I feel a bit unsettled about leaving Tribe Wahine at this time. Are you sure your grandmother needs me?”

Kalani shakes her head. “I wish it were otherwise, Kandor, for I, too, do not wish my strongest slave to vanish when we are under such threat of that wicked killer, Simon LeBoeff, but what can I do? It is by order of Queen Hawika that you go. In due time, you’ll be back with us.”

Kandor gives a genuine smile. “Well, if it of great importance then. That is the only way I would be able to go even if it is only for a little while.”

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Kandor went on, “The Queen had mentioned in her letter to me that she fears civil war. If that is the case, I want to implore you not to send Runoi.”

“Why would you ever think I’d send my mate?”

Kandor cocks his head. “Because he stated to me not long ago that he wishes to fight for the rights of slaves, and if need be, pick up the sword himself and enlist in the growing Royal Army of Slaves second only to the Royal Amazon army.”

Knitting her eyebrows, Kalani wonders why her love never mentioned something like this to her. She flips her hand, swishing that thought away. “That’s absurd. You may mark my words, Runoi will not be allowed to go even if it is his grandest wish.”

Kandor nods. “You are wiser than your mate, of course. He is lucky to have you by his side, my lady.”

Kalani spies a glimmer of sadness etch his face.

Scooting back from his chair, the slave bows then walks toward the kitchen where Runoi is busy making a cake.

“What is it you’re making there, Runoi? Someone’s birthday?”

Runoi glibly nods. “But you know very well it is the Creator Heiress’ birthday, Kandor. And you also know I heard everything you said to my rosy sweetheart. Do you think you have more power than I? If I truly wish a thing, it will happen.”

Kandor laughs. “Think what you like, Runoi, but our Creator will do what she knows is for the good of the tribe. Having a breeding slave like you fight in the army is not wise.”

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“Really now? You think I cannot handle a few swords? Watch this!” Runoi spins two kitchen knives with finesse. “If that is not talent, I do not know what is.”

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Kandor shakes his head. “I will not argue with you, my friend. This is all up to our Creator, but on this point, I know you will lose.”

“Would you like to wager me, Kandor? Am I not a man? Does my sweet rosy angel not adore me more than the moon and stars themselves? If I make an ardent request, she will allow it.”

Just then Kalani, frought with pain, waddles up to the men. With quick breaths, she moans, “Runoi…it is time.”

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Panicking, Runoi spills the cake bowl on the floor. “Do not worry, my love, I am here to serve you in your hour of torture. We will do this together!”

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All through the night, Runoi rubs his love’s back as the Creator goes through the arduous journey of labor.

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Chapter 6.3 Brat Prince

 

Horus cannot not believe his eyes.

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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.

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He thought undoubtedly she’d choose him, a prince and a free man, but she didn’t.

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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?

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******

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.

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“Miss Kiko, may I ask what you’re doing here?”

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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?

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“Did Newlin put you up to this?”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.

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******

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.

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“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.

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“You made Kiko cry with your lies, Newlin. I will not tolerate this behavior. You will get up now and come with me.”

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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.

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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.”

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“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.”

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“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.”

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“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.”

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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A huge, menacing Amazon snarls, “Take one step further and you’ll lose your heads, trespassers.”

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Chapter 6.2 Plots Thicken

Content Warning: Sexual situations

 

Newlin smirks as he sees the object for initiating his plan skip toward him.

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He settles into the soft cushions of an outdoor chair. “Oh there you are, Kiko. I’ve been looking all over for you.”

Cocking her head, Kiko asks, “Who me?”

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“Yes, of course. There is no other strong Amazon around to help me.” Although Newlin teased Kiko when he was just a boy, once he grew to teen, there was no mistaking her preference for him. He could tell from the blush of her cheek whenever he addressed her. “I have a task that I believe would make you stand out to Creator Kalani.”

Eyes wide, Kiko asks, “What is it, tribal brother?”

“Chip away and remove all the boulders from the side yard. If you do this for me, I’ll give you my Amazon Delights. You know this was a special gift to me given by my grandmother, the queen.”

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“You will?” Kiko gushes. “Oh my Maker! I adore Amazon Delights. Such yummy Carmel chocolates! And they’re so rare! I’ve only tasted one that Creator Kalani allowed me to eat on my 8th sun birthday. It will be an honor to help you, Newlin!”

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********

“We do not make deals with barbarians, sir. If Mor Rigan wants our services, she’ll have to come to us personally.”

Who is this man to speak thus to Simon?

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With malice in his voice, Simon retorts, “I do not remember addressing you, slave. I was speaking only to the rightful Creator of Tribe Wahine, Leia Wahine.”

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“Do not listen to this traitor, my lady. He is reknown for the atrocities he’s committed to his own tribe in the north.”

“It’s okay, Tonai, I will hear him out. Remember, we owe our lives to Mor.”

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Gazing deeply into Simon’s eyes, he feels a bit uncomfortable being this close to the famous Leia Wahine. Her beauty is indescribable, even at her age.

“What is it Mor Rigan would have of me, slave?”

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Simon inwardly winces at the title, “slave”. He wants to spit out that he is not a slave. He was freed by his own hand that day he overthrew his Creator of Tribe Cisneris many suns ago, but he will hold his tongue. There will be time to free himself once more of the Amazon ties that bind him. For now, Leia Wahine holds his ticket to killing all of her former tribemates.

“Mor Rigan wishes for you to join her in the rebellion against Queen Hawika’s new laws. She needs your support to rally the tribes who do not wish to undo what tradition has held for thousands of suns.”

“She’s asking me to go against my mother? That’s impossible. Why would anyone listen to me? I am cast out. If I show up anywhere near the castle, I will be executed.”

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Tonai interjects again, “It is certain death for us both. We are comfortable here on the outskirts of Queen Hawika’s reign. What would tempt my lady Leia Wahine to go with Mor Rigan on a crazy quest to her watery grave?”

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Simon instantly answers, “Come with me and I will promise a way to avenge all the transgressions committed against you by your own family. Join Mor Rigan and she will honor you with the ultimate gift.”

Leia gasps. “You don’t mean…”

A shifty gleem sparkles in Tonai’s eyes. “She’ll do that? Make Leia Wahine Queen of the Amazon if we succeed?”

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“That is exactly what she intends.”

2-2

 

********

“Peek a boo!” Makana pops up yet again over the top of her playground.

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“Argh…you silly little princess, I will scare you into torential giggles. RAWR!”

Bright, high laughter like a waterfall bubbles from the skies. Runoi could hear that all day. Like music to his soul.

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Makana squeals as he waves his arms to scare her then she hides inside the labyrinth of tunnels. Runoi hears the tip tip of her tiny shoes inside.

Just then, Kalani hops into Runoi’s arms, nuzzling him. Another joy in his life. Most days he pinched himself just to make sure all of this wasn’t a dream.

“Aren’t you supposed to be manning the gates, my love?” Kalani asks.

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“Just taking a bit of a detour, my rosy treasure. Duty calls, you know.”

He drops down onto the grass, still holding his adoration.

Kalani giggles. “You know that’s Eila’s job, right?”

“Pray, you’re joking. It will always be my job to entertain and spoil our beautiful daughter.” He gives his joy a quick kiss then says in a low, sexy voice, “But there is another duty I’d love to perform. One that I’m most good at, you know.”

A tingle nudges Kalani and she smiles. She loves Runoi so much. He never ceases to spin her world. “I do know but we cannot leave Makana.”

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“Where is that loafing, ghost of a Provider when you need her? I’m sure she’s lolloping about eating strawberries.”

Just then Makana squeals behind them, “Eiwa!”

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“Well, speak of the devil,” Runoi says, cheeks reddening.

“There you are!” Eila exclaims, picking up Makana. “I’ve been looking everywhere. Gave me a fright.”

Runoi watches as the two leave then goes back to kissing his beauty. “No more excuses now, my mistress. What say you in allowing me to have my way with you?”

Running her fingers through his hair, Kalani whispers, “I’d like that very much.”

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In their bedroom, Runoi whispers, “You are like the famous water goddess herself, Vididia the Vision. Are you sure you’re human? I’m quite captured by your power. I’ll do anything you ask of me.”

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Kalani’s body shivers under the heat of Runoi’s kisses.

“But I think we do not need these flowers, do we, my dear?” He kisses her tenderly down her stomach. “They are getting in my way to please you.” His warm tongue trails over her body, her breath quickening in anticipation.

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Chapter 6.1 Trouble Brewing

Tribe Wahine is in turmoil, ripped apart by one man’s quest for power.

In a fit of vengeance, Simon LeBoeff, hunted down the members of Tribe Wahine who killed his sons and his clan brothers.

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He plunged his sword into Xela, Gatherer Ina’s mate.

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And won in a battle to the death against Ricci.

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Thankfully, Creator of the Cisneris Tribe, Dilabi, found Mattias wounded and on the brink of death. Shaman Mist ran off to obtain herbs to heal him.

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That’s how Aulani and Ysa left their fellow tribal mates to come home to their daughter, Creator Kalani Wahine, bearing the shocking news.

In the meantime, Simon found Mor Rigan since he knew he had little time until Queen Hawika hunted him down and executed him.

And Mor had a plan–to find Leia Wahine, the rightful heir to Tribe Wahine. She asked Simon to bring Leia to her.

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A few things have changed at Tribe Wahine. Kanui, son of Leia Wahine and Tonai, defeated his cousin, Koa, Creator Kalani’s brother, for Master Slave.

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And Kanui’s other cousin, Newlin, son of Aulani and Mor, was not happy.

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*****

Simon has searched through village after village, gathering bits and pieces about where former Creator Leia may have hidden herself all the while escaping the eye of Queen Hawika’s warriors.

Early in the wee hours of the morning, Simon speaks with an old hermit who lives underneath a waterfall. She tells him that the famed former Creator could be found at this small jungle lodge.

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He hopes the elusive woman is at the haunting place for he grows tired of the wild goose chase. He is only going along with Mor’s scheme for as far as it will allow him protection. Then, hopefully, she’ll help him kill off the remainder of those murderous Tribe Wahine despots.

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He’s in luck! Simon spies a wisp of Leia’s famous golden hair.

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*****

“Why do you argue with me so, Newlin? Get back to work. Now.”

Kanui is on a rant again. Newlin is so tired of his cousin’s barbaric orders. Not only is it his job to clean all the toilets and fix the disgusting plumbing, but now he’s asking him to clear out the boulders in the back to make more room for building a new playground for the Creator Heiress. There are other slaves who could do such tasks.

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“But why must it always be me to do the menial work around here, Kanui? Kandor does nothing. You let him laze about while I break my back.”

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“Kandor will be leaving for the palace soon. Don’t you know the queen requires his skills for training her slaves in battle? Now do as you’re told or you will be punished.”

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Blah, blah, blah, Newlin wants to say. What a ridiculous excuse. Kanui obviously favors Kandor since he once was his training master. The favoritism is infuriating. But Newlin will bide his time and think of a way out of the work somehow.

A delicious smile snakes over his face as a plot tickles him. “Very well, Master Slave. I will do everything you ask.”

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Kanui does not like the haughty look on Newlin’s face. He’s never trusted his cousin. The boy is too much like his mother. Kanui knows he’ll have to keep a tighter watch on him on top of all of his other duties in running such a huge compound.

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*****

“Why there you are my sweet rosy flower. You ran off again.” Runoi’s heart squeezes in delight as he gazes upon his beautiful Creator Heiress daughter.

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“You know it’s not nice to make Provider Eila worry, sweet baby love.”

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“But Daddy forgives his darling rosy angel.” Runoi picks up Makana. She’s been the joy of his life ever since she was born.

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“Pway wif me, Daddy!”

“Oh, if only I could, baby darling, but your cousin has me on guard duty today. We are on high alert status, you know.” Runoi almost laughs at himself for talking to his daughter this way for he knows very well his little one cannot understand the danger their tribe was in.

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“Pwease?”

“Oh, good Maker, how can I say no to those gorgeous blue eyes of yours. Well, it can’t be helped then, can it? Horus will just have to wait on me for a few minutes longer.”

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