Empress Mai

Chapter Three

”How many soldiers, and how far from the capitol are they? ” said Nikko.

”Fifty thousand soldiers confirmed my lords, and they are two miles away from Nibu state, ” the soldier replied.

”That means they are about twelve miles away from here, ” said Bolo.

”You are right, Kamil. Please, secure his majesty and your highness to the Castle now, ” Commander Nikko said.

My father looked at me, and with that look, I had a feeling that he wanted me to prove myself to the generals so I could get their support. When I was younger, I always thought to become a king, you would have to be born just royalty. Of course, that was a part of it, but if you didn have the support of the nobles, you could never be king. Now, I understood rule number two; these were the powerful men that my father wanted me to have their support. This war would give me the opportunity to show them that I could protect my people.

”No need, general; I would like to stay and help protect our people, ” I interrupted.

”Would you please tell us whats in your mind, Princess? ” General Nikko replied.

”Well, I know we have ten thousand soldiers protecting Nibu state, fifteen thousand here in our capital. Nibu state can hold for too long if our enemy brings the whole troops to take the city. ”

After saying that, all the generals eyes were open.

After a few seconds, Bolo said to my father, ”My king, after hearing Princess Mai talking, Im impressed by how informative the young princess is. I would like to hear more about how we can defeat the enemy knocking at the door. ”

”Mai, what would you do as the leader of the country to protect your citizens from threats? Your strategy today will be used to defeat our enemies, ” the king replied, looking at me.

Oh well, I was right; they wanted to test me, and this was a good opportunity for me to gain powerful allies. I had read so many books about wars, and there must be some strategy I could use. ”What would I do when the enemy appears stronger than me? ” I thought to myself.

”I know we are not as many as they are, but I believe we can defeat them if we fight smarter, ” I responded. ”In a fight, strength is important but not the only important thing that we have. If we fight with only strength, well never win, so we must use our brains to defeat them. We know that their camp is two miles from Nibu state; this is most likely where theyll keep their food and water. I need your ten most talented archers to set fire on their camp. Then this should start making them panic. We know our home better than any of them. ” With my index finger, I pointed at the map on the table and continued explaining my plan, ”Here, in the back of the city, we have the Nibu river, right next to it we have the hills, on the left side of the city we have the green forest. They only have one way in and one way out. We will ambush them right inside of the city. The general in command will be staying behind with at least one-third of the army for reinforcement. General Kamil, you take control of the hills. General Bolo, you lead through the forest. And General Nikko, you lead through the river so we can stop them from crossing. Father and I will head towards Nibu state. Also, send words to General Makil; he must guard the city, which should hold them off before reinforcement comes. ”

”I can believe what I just heard; you amaze me, my princess. I admire you. Well do as my princess commands, but one thing though, we don know the short way to the river, the hills, and the forest, ” Bolo said on one knee with his head bowed.

”Thank you, Bolo, do not worry yourself. I know the way to these three-secret passages. I was not naughty for nothing. ”

We all burst out in laughter. They showed my father and me respect and got right back to work. In the meantime, we went to different chambers to dress for battle.

I was excited. I had dreamed of fighting a war for so many years; now that the day had come, I became so nervous. I didn know if I would be able to lead my people the way I wanted to. First, I knew that I would make a lot of enemies; second, because I was a woman, theyd think that I would be softer than my father and be able to control me, but theyd never see me coming.

On the other side of the city, everyone started to panic. Our army separated into four, each general leading to a border on the city. My father and I went on the hunt to find the man that was brave enough to challenge our country. Within thirty minutes, the army of thirty-five thousand reached the gates of Nibu, where my father and I stopped by to check the situation. All the archers were ready to shoot.

As we were ready to fight, we noticed about ten thousand soldiers retreated from the fight. If our plan had worked, we would still have about twenty-five thousand soldiers right in front of our gate. But now, we had only ten thousand soldiers. I needed to come up with another plan. I was wrong about the general in charge staying behind. Little did I realize the person leading that larger group was the prince of our enemy kingdom Bilo. I looked at the sky and thanked the heavens because, upon seeing his face, an idea came right to my mind. The moment you cut the head of the snake; the rest would be history.

I looked at my father and said to him, ”Father, I have an idea, and I know that you might not like it. ”

”Mai, what stupid idea you have in your head? ”

”I want to go out there on the field to negotiate with the prince of Bilo. ”

”Mai, you can do that; I won allow you to. ”

”Father, don you trust me? I would never put myself in danger, and if Im going to be this countrys leader, I cannot be afraid to defend them the way that I can. Look at me, father; I will bring us victory today one way or another. ”

Right after I said that I left for the gate; theyd opened it for me to go out. Garrison Makil wanted me to be safe; therefore, he sent about fifteen of his bravest soldiers to keep me company just to ease up my fathers worries. I walked out, and the prince started to mock me. I was a petite size woman; I was five feet 3 inches and weighed about one hundred and twenty pounds. Of course, he would find a way to mock me.

”Your highness, with all due respect, Im not a joke, and Im not here to joke. Im here to find out the reason behind your attack and to negotiate with you. ”

”What a shame, ” he said. ”Does your King take me as a joke? He sent me a little soldier to mock me. Im the prince of Bilo. Im here to make you pay for what you did to my kingdom. You took my brothers life and stole the treasures of our kingdom. You caused us to live in poverty. How do you want us to forget about it? Today is the day you all perish. ”

”Your highness, your brothers death is not on us. He was killed by your enemies. He killed a whole family without permission because he loved this mans wife; later, when we punished him for his crime, he went to commit a murder that killed tons of people. His enemy got rid of a problem for our country. Now Im asking you what it is that you want from us. We don want to fight with you. Now that you know what happened to your brother, you need to retreat; otherwise, I won go easy on you for bringing fear of destruction to my people. ”

”Who the hell are you to talk to me with such authority? You think that I come here to negotiate terms with you? What I want is to avenge my brother and my country. You better stay out of my way. ” He turned to his troops. ”Soldiers, are you ready? ”

”Yes, your highness! ” They all stood with their weapons, ready to attack the city.

I screamed when I saw that he was not backing down, ”Your highness, I give you one last chance to retreat, or I will deal with you harshly. ”

”Retreat, you said. Soldiers attack! ” he yelled.

My father stood by the garrison post with general Makil and the archers; his heart was beating when he saw the fight break.

”General, should we help them? ” he asked

”Your majesty, not yet. If the negotiator doesn give us a signal, we can move; otherwise, well spoil their plan. I believe he knows what hes doing. ”

”Makil, are you sure you are not trying to put me at ease? ”

”No, your majesty; this is the art of war, trust me. ”

It was my first battle, and I was ready to make an example of this kingdom to the other kingdoms not to mess with me. On the battlefield, the prince was surrounded by a couple of soldiers. I was aiming for him, but it was not easy.

”I need to get to the prince; help me get rid of the soldiers around him, ” I said to my troops.

They shook their heads in agreement with me. They surrounded the prince, fighting off the soldier closer while I reached for his horse. I pulled the horses lead and dropped him on the floor. The prince flew in the air from the horses back on the floor. When he realized he was on the ground, he managed to get up. That was when my foot got right to his face. He fell on the ground again. While on the ground, I twisted his arms and got him upright to his knees. The moment he was in my hand, his soldiers stepped back three feet away.

”Tell your people to back off, ” I said to him.

”Don worry about me; continue to fight, ” he rebelled.

I twisted his ankle, and he screamed aloud. His soldiers saw that, and they retreated about forty feet away.

”Heres what is going to happen; you come any closer, your prince dies. If you want your country to be without an heir, I can snap his neck right now. If you want him to live, you will go back to your country and tell your king I will wait for him in our court to negotiate on how to fix the mess his son made today. ”

”Who the hell are you? ” the prince asked.

”Youll know in time. Take him away, ” I commanded.

Three of the soldiers put chains on his neck and his ankle, then pulled him towards the gates. As I turned around to go inside, one of the soldiers pulled an arrow and shot it straight at my back. One of my men pushed me and hurt himself in the process. I looked up to the general and signaled him to shoot. General Makil gave a go to the archers in position, and they shot nonstop at the enemy. The rest of the troops ran back in retreat.

A few minutes later, I arrived inside. My father ran to me and hugged me tightly.

”Don ever put yourself in danger like that again. ” He hugged me a little tighter.

”Father, Im okay. ”

When the general heard me call the king father, he said, ”Are you one of the princesses? ”

”Yes, general, Im Princess Mai. ” I took off my helmet.

”Im sorry, your highness. I did not recognize you. ”

”No need to worry about that, general; thank you for trusting me with your men today. ”

”My duty, your highness. ”

”Would you please take me to the wounded soldiers? ”

”Yes, your majesty. ”

The general and his soldiers took me to the infirmary, where about four soldiers were lying. Their wounds were not fatal, but some were worse than others.

”Gentlemen, this is princess Mai, you just fought with her on the field, ” the general said.

All the soldiers were in shock because I was a woman, and they did not recognize me in my armor.

”Soldiers, ” I said, and they all set their eyes on me. ”I come here to thank you for fighting with me side by side defending our country. Although you didn know me, you fought with me and even saved my life. Im so grateful to have a man like you in our kingdom. I promise you I will never let you and your family down. ” I approached the soldier who saved my life. ”Whats your name, benefactor? ”

”My names Zilan, your highness. ”

”Thank you for saving my life, Zilan. I will talk to my father to reward all of you for risking your lives out there. ”

”Of course, these men deserve something great, ”my father interrupted. ”Im grateful for you, Makil; what do you say if these men work at the palace with my family? ”

”Your majesty, its an honor. Men, get on your knees to thank your majesty for his grace. ”

”Yes, sir, ” they all replied together.

”No courtesy, please. Thank you, general. ”

”Once you all recover, well be waiting for you at the capitol, ” I said.

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