This is a preview to the chapter Chapter 2 from the book The Weeping Empress by Sadie S Forsythe.
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Senka and Muhjah sat under an overhanging tree, avoiding the rain and shared a piece of scavenged fruit. Muhjah looked around at the bedraggled group.
“This really is a fine mess. ‘Get in, break up the caravan, cause a little havoc, and get out.’ That’s what I said, wasn’t it? How’d the whole thing go so damn tits up? Now we’re somehow playing escort to a bunch of lost civilians. Why do you listen to me? If you would just tell me to shut the hell up, we wouldn’t be in this mess.”
Senka ignored him and looked out at the crowd, his eyes falling on Chiyo. She sat uncomfortable and cold amidst a group of farmers, who looked sidelong at her and avoided conversation. Her newfound sidearm jutted out awkwardly, and she was practically sitting on the hilt. She looked as out of place as she was.
“We taking in pets now?” he asked.
“Aw, come on. Don’t you find her at least a little intriguing? In the way and underfoot I know, but how often do you see a girl chomping at the bit like that? Yeah, she’s a disaster with a sword, and I know that offends your sense of careful mastery, but she somehow manages to stay alive.”
Senka raised an eyebrow in amused agreement, and Muhjah went on in a tone of mock excitement, his words tumbling out fast and breathless.
“She’s a little crazy—no doubt about that. You can see it in her eyes. She’s pissed as hell about something. But aren’t you curious to know about what? I know you are. You practically lectured her today, and that’s not like you. If she’s smart enough, she might even ask for a lesson.”
Senka rolled his eyes.
“A lesson from Senka,” Muhjah concluded. “Now there’s something I never thought I’d see.”
Senka looked at his friend from under lowered lashes and spit a seed to the side. He is right; he always is. They had been together so long they could read each other like signposts. There is something about this strange young woman that is worth taking note of.
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